National Bible Challenge

Fall TOURNAMENT: September 25, 2021


Unity Christian’s A team edged Evangel Classical in the prelims, 260-240. Both Unity teams not only advanced to the Final Four, but faced each other in the Final Four. The A team won in overtime, 290-280. In their semifinal game, Evangel defeated Lifeway Christian (AR), 270-220.

The finals was neck and neck from start to finish. At game’s end, the scoreboard showed Evangel 250, Unity A 250. For the second consecutive year, there would be overtime!? Not so fast. Unity lodged an appeal on this question: “What words were spoken by Jesus to the people of Nazareth, the town where he grew up, when they refused to believe in his teachings because they considered him one of themselves and therefore without authority to preach to them?” Our answer: “A prophet is not without honor save in his own country.” Unity’s answer was “town.” We used the KJV translation; Unit’s answer represented the NIV wording. Since we accept answers based on any “authoritative” translation, Unity was awarded the points and the national title.

The venue will be Google Meet which is free and easy-to-use. Start time will depend on the size of the field but will likely be 9:00 or 10:00 Eastern. Entry Fee: $60 per team

Each team will compete in at least three official tournament matches. Advancement to the Single Elimination playoffs will be determined by performance in the three preliminary games. All 2-1, and 3-0 teams will make the playoffs.

Your team contingent should include three or four starters and one or more coaches. Alternate(s) are allowed but must remain on mute until they are in play.


We do not focus on just one book of the Bible. The entire Bible, Genesis to Revelation, is fair game. We prefer the NIV but will accept answers worded in the language of any authoritative translation.


A tutorial on using the videoconferencing program relative to the tournament will be sent to all coaches in time for them to practice with their teams. Our tech coordinator will be available to answer all questions ahead of time and will be available by phone for all matches. Do watch the video of a Semifinal contest from September 26, 2020; the link is posted below.


For this one-day tournament we will be limiting the field to no more than 36 teams.


Charles A. Beall holds a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. He hosted the Know Your Bible radio program on KCBI in Dallas. He is the creator of the National Academic Championship for high school and middle school teams, which in 2021 looks forward to its 39th annual tournament.

National Bible Challenge Results

Fall TOURNAMENT: April 3, 2021

Advancing to the playoffs: both JFK teams (NJ), both teams from South Carolina Governor's School of Science and Math, Harvest Christian (Guam), Daviess County (KY), Cardinal Gibbons (NC), and No. 1 ranked State College (PA). Harvest Christian is the only school to have advanced to the playoffs in both of our Theme contests so far, including the National Bible Challenge. Most notable were the last two matches, as JFK1 edged SCGSCM2 270-260. In the finals, State College and JFK were so impressive displaying their scientific knowledge. The title match was tied at 230 at the end of regulation play.

It took nine overtime questions to settle the championship, and had we reached ten without a clear winner, we would have declared dual champions. Here are the first eight of those overtime questions, which each team handled successfully:

JFK/ QUANTITATIVE CHEMISTRY Nitrogen and hydrogen gases react to make ammonia in the Haber process. If 3 moles of nitrogen react with 6 moles of hydrogen, what is the largest number of moles of ammonia that can result?

Ans. 4

STATE COLLEGE/ QUANTITATIVE CHEMISTRY A piece of potassium weighs 86 grams. When it was submerged in a graduated cylinder containing 50 mL of water, the level rose to 150 mL. What is the density of the potassium?

Ans. 0.86 g/mL

STATE COLLEGE / ASTRONOMY Name the phase that the moon is in for each type of eclipse, lunar and solar.

Ans. Full moon for lunar and new moon for solar

JFK/ ASTRONOMY Predicted by Alpher and Herman in 1948, their first estimate for its temperature was 5 Kelvin. Penzias and Wilson received the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics for their 1964 measurements of it using a Dicke [dik] radiometer. The Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect says that density distorts values of what universal temperature leftover from the big bang, CMBR for short?

Ans. Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

JFK/ PHYSIOLOGY The constant, complex, orderly set of chemical changes in cells, is called what?

Ans. Metabolism

STATE COLLEGE / PHYSIOLOGY Muscular contractions of the esophagus that push food through in swallowing are called what?

Ans. Peristalsis

STATE COLLEGE / DISTANCE PROBLEMS A boat travels at 24 mph. A patrol boat starts 3 hours later from the same place and travels 32 mph in the same direction. How long will it need to overtake the first and what distance will it cover?

Ans. 9 hours, distance 288 miles

JFK/ DISTANCE PROBLEMS Two runners leave the same starting point at the same time, but run in different directions, perpendicular to each other. he northbound runner is travelling at 3 miles per hour, while the eastbound runner is travelling at 4 miles per hour. Find the rate at which the distance between the runners is increasing at two hours.

Ans. 5 miles per hour

The ninth question was this:
State College/ GEOLOGY The era is Cenozoic, the period is Quaternary and it spans earth from 1.65 million to 10,000 years ago. What epoch is defined by these geologic time frames?
State College answered holocene, but JFK knew it was The Pleistocene, giving them the title.