Bee–ing biblically knowledgeable

Eight-year-old Caroline Norris spent 150 hours committing Bible verses to heart this summer.

When it came time to put that knowledge to the test at Oak Mountain Presbyterian’s first Bible Bee, she excelled, placing first in the primary age group and second overall.

Chairman Jan Kral said the Bible Bee not only encourages kids to memorize verses, but to live them.

“We’ve become a pretty biblically illiterate society,” Kral said. “For people who believe in the Bible as the word of God, this is the most important competition we could have.”

She said the bee’s motto is, “Learn it, Speak it, Live it.”

Competitors go through two rounds. The first oral portion includes four multiple-choice Bible knowledge questions and four Bible recitation elements.

The second portion of the competition involves a 200 question written test and 20 bonus questions that can come from anywhere in the Bible.

The Bible knowledge questions include examples such as “According to Psalm 37:4, in what should we be diligent?”

Kral said, “The purpose is to get children into the Bible.”

The Oak Mountain event corresponds with the creation of the first National Bible Bee to be held in Washington, D.C. in November. The top finisher at the national competition walks away with $100,000, Kral said.

To advance to the national competition, students must not only win their local bee, but also score well enough to place in the top 100 in their age group in the country.

The following kids placed in the local bee: primary (ages 7-10) first place Caroline Norris, second place Denzel McDaniel and third place Rebekah Smith; junior (ages 11-14) first place Johnny Kral, second place Joshua Moore, third place Addison Kemp and fourth place Lizzy Smith; senior (ages 15-18) first place Tiffany Smith, second place Kasi Crittenden and third place Rebecca Jones.

Students traveled from across central Alabama to compete with many coming from Wilsonville, Alabaster, Pelham and Columbiana.

Kral said organizers would love to see Bible bees pop up all over the state next year. For more information, visit