As summer approaches and parents and children alike start planning for summer activities and deciding how to use newfound free time after school ends, there are a myriad of options. For thousands of children ages 7-18, their summer plans this year include studying and memorizing Scripture for the National Bible Bee.
What is the National Bible Bee summer study?
The National Bible Bee summer study consists of a Discovery Journal guiding participants to dive deep into a portion of God’s Word and learn to study it inductively, and memory passage cards to help them memorize dozens of verses. The study materials are slightly different for each of the 4 age divisions: Beginner (ages 5-6, not eligible to compete at the NBBC), Primary (ages 7-10), Junior (ages 11-14), and Senior (ages 15-18).
Starting on June 5th, registered participants complete a daily lesson in the discovery journal for the next 8 weeks. Over each 5-day week, they read and observe the passage before studying it through cross-references, original language studies, and historical, cultural, geographical, and other background information, and reflecting on/applying what they learned. Each week they have two passages to memorize, one from the study passage, and one from a cross-reference elsewhere in Scripture. At the end of the summer study, participants have the option to take the National Bible Bee Qualifying Test (August 11th-14th), and the top 120 scores in each age division (except Beginners) will be invited to compete for prize money up to $50,000 at the National Bible Bee Competition.
Why participate in the National Bible Bee?
Studying and memorizing Scripture isn’t easy, but doing it with others can be a great source of encouragement and motivation. Participants in the National Bible Bee have the option to join a host group, either one that meets locally in-person or one that meets online, which allows them to study with other people. Not only is this encouraging when studying is difficult, but it is also exciting to hear what others are learning and how they are growing in their relationship with the Lord, and to learn helpful tips about how others study and memorize God’s Word. Additionally, the National Bible Bee online Social Community is a great place to share tips and resources, ask questions, connect to other participants from all over the world, and participate in fun extra challenges for small prizes. Building connections with other young people and families who are passionate about the Bible is a great way to find a community that will “stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24 ESV).
Like so many other good things, inductively studying the Bible is a learned skill, and the National Bible Bee’s Discovery Journal is a great introduction to inductive Bible study. Not only does it guide participants through the study of a certain portion of Scripture, but the Discovery Journal also teaches them how to use those study tools on their own, whether by finding cross-references to let Scripture interpret itself, or by looking up words in their original language to better understand how those words are translated and what they mean, among other tools. This is a great foundation for a lifetime of “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).
Because of the way the study is set up as an 8-week study consisting of 5 lessons a week, it helps participants build the habit of regularly spending time studying and memorizing Scripture – a habit that will spiritually benefit them long after the summer study ends. Memorizing Scripture confidently enough to recite it takes consistent review, another excellent practice with blessings that last a lifetime. In recognizing the value of Scripture and regularly spending time in it, we “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.” (1 Chronicles 16:11 KJV)
As impactful as these benefits of participating in the NBB summer study are, they all pale in comparison to the greatest benefit of all – the Word of God. Our source of revelation about God and the gospel, the person and work of Christ; a transforming power the convicts, encourages, and teaches us, conforming us to the image of our Savior; and our source of truth and guidance on how to live – what could be a more eternal and lasting blessing than knowing God’s Word? While participating in the National Bible Bee certainly isn’t the only way to receive the life-changing benefits of memorizing Scripture, it is a great way for participants to immerse themselves in the Word and learn personally the truth of the Psalmist’s declaration “[t]he law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” (Psalm 119:72 KJV)
To register to participate in the summer study, sign up here before May 31st: 2023.biblebee.org/ss23-org
Written by NBB Alumna: Janese Hurst