Tonight marks the premiere of the second season of the National Bible Bee Game Show. Sponsored by Museum of the Bible and hosted by Kirk Cameron, the show will feature 72 young people, ages 7 to 18, competing for the $270,000 prize.
The seventy-two National Bible Bee Game Show contestants are chosen from the annual National Bible Bee and grouped as Primary (ages 7-10), Junior (ages 11-14) and Seniors (ages 15-18). From each age division the top three percent of contestants compete in the bracket-style Scripture-knowledge tourney. In preparation, young people commit to memory up to 840 verses from the Bible in just 90 days prior to the competition.
Since the National Bible Bee’s first contest in 2009, over 40,000 contestants have participated. Competition begins locally and online, where the top 360 participants are chosen to advance to the National Bible Bee Competition. Last season’s winner, Hannah Leary, says the game is far more than rote memory. “It's not just memorizing Scripture,” Leary explained. “It's studying Scripture and being able to dive in deep and understand what God has to say in His Word.”
Unlike the previous season, which aired on three cable networks and reached 80 million homes, season two will air on Facebook Live. According to Facebook, there are more than 1.9 billion people active on the social media giant each month. This will mark the first time a television series will broadcast on the Facebook Live platform. April 4 also marks the one year anniversary of the launch of Facebook Live. Enthuse Entertainment, which produces the game show, hopes the success Facebook Live has seen will result in success for the game show’s 30 one-hour episodes which will broadcast every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.
The show will be available through ChristianCinema.com’s Facebook Live channel. Bobby Downes, CEO of ChristianCinema.com, says “Facebook Live is the future of television. It allows us to choose our audience, pick the airtime and, most importantly, engage with the viewers as they watch this incredibly inspiring competition.” Downes added, “Over the span of this show we anticipate 30 million people will tune in, and for those who miss an episode, a season pass or individual episodes can be purchased on-demand at ChristianCinema.com."
“Since the National Bible Bee started in 2009, I’ve been a fan and supporter,” says Cameron, who rose to fame as a child on the hit television show Growing Pains and is now an actor, producer, speaker, and father of six. Nowadays, Cameron is best known for starring in Christian movies, including Fireproof and Saving Christmas. He’s also made headlines for comments he made describing gay marriage as “unnatural,” “detrimental,” and “destructive to…civilization.” He later departed from these hardline views, stating the church needs to look within for the destruction of marriage instead of blaming others’ definition of it.
The show also features a panel of co-hosts who include Emeal Zwayne, national spokesperson for the National Bible Bee, Hannah Leary, last season’s winner, and brothers Jason and David Benham whose HGTV show was cancelled after a recording surfaced of David stating that homosexuality was attacking the nation and “demonic ideologies” were taking hold in colleges and public schools. In the press release for the game show, the National Bible Bee states, “Their show on HGTV was cancelled due to the stand they took for their faith.”
The National Bible Bee Game Show offers a great opportunity for the Museum of the Bible to get the word out about its upcoming opening in November 2017 in Washington, D.C. Steve Green, Chairman of Museum of the Bible remarked, “There is something special that happens when young people commit the Bible to memory. These kids are having fun, and we are excited to be a part of its ground-breaking premiere on Facebook Live.”
WATCH: The National Bible Bee Game Show Season 2 Official Trailer
Alisa Williams is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
Image Credit: National Bible Bee website.
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