Ways of Studying for the Bible Quiz 

Translated from Hebrew and expanded by Princess Merav (princessmerav @ hotmail.com)

  1. Filling-in-the-blank for the book of Proverbs:
    • -Study one verse every day
    • -Write verses on stickers and place them on a variety of things: i.e: books, notebooks, desks, tables, cupboards, etc. Write either the entire verse, or only parts of it with the intention of guessing the rest.
    • -Add melodies to the verses. It is easier to memorize a song than a poem. Use melodies that you are familiar with such as those from prayers, from your favourite secular songs or be creative and make up your own. If you have time, you may also choose to have a different melody for each verse.
    • -Make a chart. On one side of it write the first half of the verse and the second part of it on the other side of the chart. Hide one part and guess it by yourself.
    • -In the year 2000, this type of question was asked only in the third round of the televised contest and it only counted for about 3 points out of 100. If you make the third round, you automatically get a prize. You obviously should aspire to do your best, but donít spend all of your time on memorizing verses from Proverbs. It is more important to read the book enough times to be familiar with the verses in order to know which book they appear.
  2. Make Comparisons Between Similar Stories and Verses:
    • -Charts about the books of I and II Kings according to the following topics: Name of the King, Kingdom he ruled, Good/Bad in the eyes of G-d, Prophet at that time, Wars, Prophecies, Illnesses, Rebellions, etc.
    • -Make up imaginary and personal signs in order to tell similar verses apart from each other or in order to remember lists more easily. The weirder and more special the sign the better, as you will remember it with less effort.
    • -The author of the questions knows that most people do not like to study the II books (II Samuel and II Kings) as much as the rest of the material, therefore, most of the questions in the contest are about these books. You should try to know them the best. Especially, be familiar with all the names and the things that they are associated with. It is not enough to know the story and to be able to describe the person involved. Names are important, even (or should I say especially) those of the minor characters (i.e: Ritzpa, Davidís friends and soldiers, Michalís husband...)
    • -The second round of the televised contest usually involves comparing two or more stories, people, events which appear in the entire material... Make charts of people, food, musical instruments, places, etc. An sample question is: what does a parable atop a mountain and a golden Menorah have in common and who are the personalities associated with each story? The answers are respectively: olIVES, YOthAM and ZECHARIAH.
    • -Many questions appear over and over again in different years. Get as many yearbooks as possible (from your areaís previous representatives or from the office representing the Jewish Agency) and spend some time in the last month going over the questions and answers and learning them well. If you realize that you do not know an answer, go over that chapter again. Also, if you really have a lot of extra time, try to go over words and expressions in the Concordance and off by heart say everything that you remember about each term. But always remember that the best way to study is to read the text over and over and over... again.
  3. During Your Study Sessions, Stand On a Chair, Make Exaggerated Gestures, Read Out-loud:
    • -One of the most common type of question is identifying in which book a certain verse appeared. There is no multiple choice. Some people remember things according to the place where they studied. Therefore, try studying each book in a different place, especially the prophets, because they tend to sound the same, especially Yishayahu, Yirmiyahu, Yehezkel and Hoshea. Also, you may try different melodies for each, different accents...
    • -Highlight the most important verses in the Bible. Before the contest you can go over the highlighted ones only.
    • -It is recommended to review the last chapters of each book an extra time, because when one studies without breaks he is usually tired by the time he reaches the end.
    • -Attend synagogue every week to hear the weekly portion of the Bible as well as the Aftorah. In addition, many of the Psalms which are part of the material are recited/sung during the services. It is easier to remember something that you repeat every week. You can also introduce your family to the Sfaradi custom of reciting the Song of Songs every Kabbalat Shabbat (Shabbat Eve)-if this beautiful book is part of the material of your year- as well as reciting Eshet Chail (Woman of Valour) at the same time if the last chapter of the book of Proverbs is part of your material.
    • -If your eyes are too tired one day in order to study, ask someone to read to you. You can also tape yourself the first time you read the material.
  4. Learning Off by Heart:
    • -Every time a new verse is memorized, repeat the previous five verses.
    • -Some people remember better when they start learning the verses from the end of the passage to the beginning of it. When reviewing this section, the last verse they studied is the first they have to recall.
    • -Even a passage that has been memorized requires a review by rereading it.
    • -Do not memorize in one session two similar passages from different books as it can get confusing.
  5. In The Televised Contest and in the Diaspora Round (Public Contests where Answers Must be Given Orally):
    • -If you do not remember or are unsure of an answer, you may ask for extra thinking time, or that they repeat/ elaborate/ explain/ translate the question.
    • -If the judges ask you to repeat the answer it is wrong, therefore, you must come up with a better one.
  6. Most Importantly, Be Happy. The Real Winner is the One Who has Studied and Who Appreciates the Bible:
    • -Smile, do your best, donít be nervous, donít try to impress anyone. People admire you just for having made it to the Internationals. You are already a winner because you won the National contest in your home-country, because you got to spend two wonderful weeks in Israel with like-minded people and because you have tremendous biblical knowledge as well as learning skills which may help you to excel in the rest of your education. Your school, community and home-country are already proud of you and of having the honour of having a wonderful person like you representing them in the Holy Land. If you do not make the top 16, be sure to cheer the other competitors on, make them feel as comfortable as possible, congratulate them, enjoy the rest of the trip and continue studying the Bible for your own personal enrichment and enlightenment.
    • -Read the material over and over as many times as possible. You are bound to remember many details, even if you feel like you donít know anything. You will know the answers when you are asked specific questions.
    • -Compete in the Bible Contest only because you love it from the bottom of your heart. Donít allow anyone to pressure you. Also, aim high and be as ambitious as possible. Donít let anyone tell you that you do not have a chance to win because every one is a genius etc. You are as smart as everyone else. Have confidence in yourself and set high expectations of yourself, but donít be disappointed if you do not reach them. Most importantly do your best and be happy with however well you do. Make the best of the International Bible Contest and do your best, because as soon as it will be over you will start wishing that you could participate in it again because you know that you could have done better, gotten to know more people...
    • -If you miss reading secular books, remember that the Bible is the best and wisest piece of literature ever written and that it has been a bigger best-seller over history than ďHarry PotterĒ. From the Bible, you will learn new vocabulary, new writing styles... and you can even look forward to next year when you will have time to read secular novels, but will still come back to the Bible every so often, because you will miss reading it. The International Bible Contest will make studying the Bible fun and will foster in you a love for it, while giving you the best experience in your life so far.
    • -When you get back to school, catch up on the work you missed. It is important to excel there, too. Make time for school work between all the emails that you must write to your new best friends (those you met at the Internationals) and between wishing that you were back in Israel having the best time ever. Best of luck and may the strength be with you :-)