The official website for the Monroe Bible Quiz Team from Beacon Hill Evangelical Free Church.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


Remember, the full list of FTV's can always be found at this link. The // in the verse marks the minimum number of words you need from the FTV to uniquely identify it.

QUESTION: For I am not // ashamed...
ANSWER:  ...of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.(Rom 1:16)

QUESTION: For in // it the righteousness...
ANSWER:  ...of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Rom 1:17)

QUESTION: For the wrath // of God...
ANSWER: revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and un-righteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Rom 1:18)

QUESTION: For his // invisible attributes...
ANSWER:  ...namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.(Rom 1:20)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

GETTING READY: How do Romans & James relate?

This is our last week of the "Getting Ready" series, where we consider the high-level questions about these books.  If you have additional questions, don't be shy about e-mailing the coaches!

Romans and James are such different books, why are we studying them together?

It would be hard to imagine how the books of Romans and James could be much more different.  Different authors, different audiences, different emphases.  Some even argue they have different theologies!  (Martin Luther even once called James "a false gospel", in one of his grumpier moments.)  The only thing they have in common, it seems, is that they're both in the Bible!

But, really, Romans and James highlight the two inseparable sides of Christianity.

Romans has a focus on the grace of God.  Paul talks over and over about the fact that our salvation is a free gift, and that there was nothing in ourselves that made us worthy of Christ.  He highlights the fact that the Old Testament Law can't save anyone, which is why Jesus had to come and die and rise.  Romans takes our eyes off of ourselves and our own good deeds, and puts them onto God.

James, on the other hand, has a focus on what we do.  James agrees wholeheartedly that our works don't save us, but points out that such an amazing gift should spur us onto good works that will please our savior.  He challenges lazy or sinful Christians to examine themselves and start doing all the things Jesus commanded us to do.  James reminds us to remember while our eyes are on heaven, we're on mission on the Earth!

If you have Romans without James, you have happy Christians who are of no use to anyone.  If you James without Romans, you have busy Christians without any joy.  You need them both to be the men and women God called us to be.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


While the NIV tried to stay as close to "plain English" as possible, the ESV tries to stay as close as possible to the original text.  Paul had a large vocabulary, so this means that sometimes he uses words with which you may be unfamiliar.  This new weekly series will attempt to help you thru any difficult words by highlighting potentially unfamiliar terminology.  If there are additional words you need help with, please e-mail the coaches.

Romans 1 Vocabulary:

Apostle/Apostleship:  Apostle is from the Greek word apostolos, which means "one who is sent".  It is used in scripture for people who specially set apart to bring the gospel to the world, especially "the Twelve" but also including people like Paul and Barnabas.  "Apostleship"means "having the office of apostle". (Reference:  About.Com)

Barbarians:  In modern times, we think of "barbarian" meaning "savage" (like "Conan the Barbarian").  But in Biblical times, it means "anyone outside of the Roman Empire".  It was making fun of the languages of other peoples - especially Germanic tribes - whose words sounded like baby talk to the Greek and Latin-speaking Romans.  (Reference:  Dictionary.Com)

Futile:  Useless; ineffective; powerless; frivolous.  (Referenece:  Dictionary.Com)

Debased:  Lowered in quality or dignity.  Reduced in power or significance.  (Reference:  Dictionary.Com)

Malice:  Desire to inflict harm or injury on someone else.  (Reference:  Dictionary.Com)

Covetousness:  Greed.  Desiring wealth or possessions above all else.  (Reference: Dictionary.Com)

Strife:  Antagonism or rivalry.  Bitter conflict.  (Reference:  Dictionary.Com)

Slanderers:  People who make malicious and false statements about someone else.  (Reference:  Dictionary.Com)

Insolent:  Boldly rude or disrespectful.  (Reference:  Dictionary.Com)

Haughty:  Proud, snobbish, arrogant.  (Reference:  Dictionary.Com)

Ruthless:  Cruel; Without pity or compassion.  (Reference:  Dictionary.Com)

Monday, August 26, 2013

"WEEK" 1: Study Romans, Chapter 1

Practices begin Sunday, September 15, during Sunday School.  For the first practcie, please study Romans, Chapter 1

If you want to read the chapter online, click here. (Free website Biblegateway.Com)

Click here to download an MP3 of Romans, Chapter 1.

If you'd like to read a commentary on the chapter, click here. (Free website, ChristNotes.Org)

If you want to download the puzzle for this week, click here

Study Tip: For Bible Quizzing, we recommend at a minimum that quizzers read the chapter at least twice each day. This provides a good foundation for studying as the quizzer becomes familiar with the material. It is often good to make this a first-thing-in-the-morning, and a last-thing-at-night event, as that lodges the material in the brain for the subconscious to work on it during your day and overnight.

Upcoming Events:
- September 15 - Practices begin
- September 21 - Quiz Meet in Cresskill, NJ

Sunday, August 25, 2013


We'll see you there at 9:00 AM.  If you're not coming today, please take a moment to download the Health Form and Event Form.  We need those signed and back by the first Quiz Meet on September 21st!  (This is required even if nothing has changed.  Our docs need to be current every year.)

Pizza Party (4/5/2013) - 64

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Don't forget that the Bible Quiz Team Kickoff is tomorrow at 9:00 AM!  We're looking forward to seeing everyone there.  We've gotten a few questions on the event, so here is your handy-dandy answer list:

What do I need to bring?
Yourself, any friends who may want to join, and a parent (optional, but we need new health/event forms signed)

Should I wear my Quiz Team shirt?
You are welcome to (the coaches will be).  But it's not required.  Feel free to wear your favorite "We love Pastor Rich" shirt instead.  ;-)

What do I need to study?
There will be no quizzing at the kickoff.  But we will be quizzing on Romans 1 on September 15.

How about a foosball tournament?
Um...  We're meeting for only 1/2 hour before church and have a lot to cover.  We probably won't have time.  Maybe afterwards.

Trumbull Quiz Meet (11/17/2012) - 54

Thursday, August 22, 2013

GETTING READY: What is the layout to James?

The second book we'll be studying for the 2013-2014 season will be the epistle of James.  The next few weeks of the "Getting Ready" series, we will be considering the high-level questions about this book.  If you have additional questions, don't be shy about e-mailing the coaches!

How is the epistle of James laid out?

Last year, we studied the Gospel of Matthew so the structure of the book wasn't a big deal.  It was a story where event followed event.  Essentially, it was a biography of Jesus (though it had a point of view and an intended message).

This year, we are studying an epistle.  It's a letter that James wrote to Jewish people in the Roman Empire (and he probably had no idea it would one day be included into the Bible as scripture).  We study chapter by chapter, but Paul intended it as one whole lesson and argument.

Here is an excellent outline from Bible.Org:

I. Salutation (1:1)
II. Enduring Trials (1:2-18)
  • A. Summary/Main Theme: The Testing of Faith (1:2-6)
    • 1. Faith in God’s Sovereignty (1:2)
      2. Faith and Perseverance (1:3-4)
      3. Faith and God’s Gifts (1:5)
      4. Faith Vs. Doubt (1:6)
  • B. Specifics (1:9-18)
    • 1. Faith Vs. Doubt (1:7-8)
      2. Faith and Finances (1:9-11)
      3. Faith and Perseverance (1:12)
      4. Faith and Fatalism (1:13-18)
III. Applying the Word: Faith Within the Church (1:19–3:18)
  • A. Summary/Main Theme: The Obedience of Faith (1:19-27)
    • 1. Anger Vs. Obedience (1:19-21)
      2. Passivity Vs. Obedience (1:22-25)
      3. Speech and Obedience (1:26)
      4. The Impartiality of Obedience (1:27)
  • B. Specifics (2:1–3:18)
    • 1. Partiality Vs. Obedience (2:1-13)
      • a. Summary (2:1)
        b. Hypothetical Situation: Rich and Poor Enter the Assembly (2:2-4)
        c. Rebuke for Showing Partiality (2:5-7)
        d. Conditions of Obedience (2:8-11)
        e. Principle (2:12-13)
    • 2. Passivity Vs. Obedience (2:14-26)
      • a. Summary (2:14)
        b. Hypothetical Situation: Impoverished Believer in your Midst (2:15-17)
        c. Rational Argument: Demons’ Faith is Passive (2:18-20)
        d. Biblical Argument: Abraham’s and Rahab’s Faith is Active (2:21-25)
        e. Principle (2:26)
    • 3. Speech and Obedience (3:1-12)
      • a. Summary: The Tongue as a Measure of Maturity (3:1-2)
        b. Argument by Analogy (3:3-12)
        • 1) Analogy One: The Tiny Tongue (3:3-6)
          • a) Bits in Horses’ Mouths (3:3)
            b) Rudders on Ships (3:4)
            c) Sparks and Forest Fires (3:5-6)
        • 2) Analogy Two: The Tamed Tongue (3:7-8)
          3) Analogy Three: The Forked Tongue (3:9-12)
          • a) Praising and Cursing (3:9-10)
            b) Fresh and Salt Water (3:11)
            c) Schizophrenic Produce (3:12)
    • 4. The Wisdom of Obedience (3:13-18)
IV. Witnessing to Divine Providence (4:1–5:20)

  • A. Summary/Main Theme: The Reward of Faith (4:1-10)
    • 1. The Prayer of Faith (4:1-3)
      2. Friendship with the World (4:4-6)
      3. The Humility of Faith (4:7-10)
  • B. Specifics (4:11–5:20)
    • 1. Avoiding Worldly Influences (4:11–5:6)
      • a. Slander in the Community (4:11-12)
        b. Boasting about Tomorrow (4:13-17)
        c. Warning to Wealthy Oppressors (5:1-6)
    • 2. The Patience of Faith (5:7-12)
      3. The Prayer of Faith (5:13-20)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bible Quiz Team is coming!

The Bible Quiz Team Kickoff is coming up next Sunday at 9:00 AM in the teen room.  If you have friends - or relatives - who might be interested, take a moment to show them our promo video and invite them to join us!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

HUMOR: Watch those corrections!

Not mine.  From here.
A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon.

"How do you know what to say?" he asked.

"Why, God tells me."

"Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?"

Saturday, August 17, 2013

BIBLE NEWS: Please pray for Egyptian Christians

Please take a few moments to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt.  The Egyptian people are in the middle of great upheaval as they decide what kind of government they'll accept after the overthrow of two presidents.  Amidst the chaos, partisans are attacking Christians and churches while the police are too busy to do anything about it.
Some 30 churches have been either partially or completely destroyed, many of them after arson attacks. Schools, libraries, shops, cars and businesses belonging to Christians have also been targeted.At least four Coptic Christians have lost their lives since Wednesday in suspected religious killings. Most of the violence has been in Egypt’s poor and conservative southern provinces, but there have also been scattered attacks on the outskirts of Cairo and in northern Egypt.
Persecution is nothing new for Christians - Christ said no one is greater than their master - but this is a time for prayer that God give special protections.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

GETTING READY: To whom was James written?

The second book we'll be studying for the 2013-2014 season will be the epistle of James.  The next few weeks of the "Getting Ready" series, we will be considering the high-level questions about this book.  If you have additional questions, don't be shy about e-mailing the coaches!

To whom was the epistle to the James written?

Like Romans, James is quite up-front about who he is writing to:
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
James 1:1
Of course, "the twelve tribes in the Dispersion" is not exactly a phrase you hear every-day in 21st Century America.  So, let's take each piece by itself.

First, the "twelve tribes".  This is a common way for Jews of Jesus's time to talk about the descendants of Jacob.  Jacob had twelve sons whose descendants became 12 tribes who eventually conquered the whole land of Israel.  Genesis 49 does a good job of listing the 12 sons (although for complicated reasons, the 12 sons and 12 tribes don't always exactly match up).  The "twelve tribes" is shorthand for "all of the Jewish people."

Second, "the Dispersion".  In other translations, it says "the Diaspora" which you may have heard in history class.  Both words mean "the scattering".  Originally, all of the Jews on Earth were located in Israel.  Then came God's judgement in the form of Assyrian, Babylonian, and eventually Roman Empires.  Babylon, especially, had a policy of splitting up conquered peoples to different places to keep them from organizing into resistance.  So, by the time of Rome, the Jewish people were scattered - or dispersed - throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe.

So, "the twelve tribes in the Dispersion" roughly means "all of the Jewish people in all of the world."  And, from the context of the letter, we know he was talking to Jewish Christians, in the hope that one day all Jews would embrace Christ.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


This kind of Bible - with a brass cover - was often given to troops in World War II.  It was intended to be kept in a pocket over their heart, to protect them from evil (and bullets).

Bible Brass

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

ANNOUNCEMENT: Bible Quiz Team Kickoff Meeting

Our second annual Bible Quiz Team Kickoff Meeting for the Monroe Team will be on Sunday, August 25 at 9:00 AM.  This is a chance for anyone new to Bible Quizzing to come out and learn about the ministry and the team.  Parents and teens welcome.  There is no commitment for coming to the meeting.  We'll see you there!

Yes, we know that is also Pastor Rich's last Sunday with us, but we'll do our thing before the service, so that you can spend your time with him AFTER the service.

Districts 2013 - Monroe Won Second Place

Sunday, August 11, 2013

HUMOR: What would you give?

Not mine.  From here.
The Junior Sunday School Teacher asked her eight eager 10-year-olds if they would give $1,000,000 to the missionaries. 
      "YES!" they all screamed!! 
      "Would you give $1,000?" Again they shouted "YES!" 
      "How about $100?" "Oh, YES we would!" they all agreed!! 
      "Would you give just a dollar to the missionaries?" she asked. 
      The boys exclaimed "YES!" just as before except for Johnnie. 
      "Johnnie," the teacher said as she noticed the boy clutching his pocket, "why didn't you say 'YES' this time?" 
      "Well," he stammered, "I HAVE a dollar."

Saturday, August 10, 2013

BIBLE NEWS: "American Bible Challenge" renewed

Last year, the Game Show Network premiered a new game show based on Bible knowledge called "American Bible Challenge".  The show got the highest ratings of any original programming from GSN, and now has been renewed for another season.  It is a good time for those of us who enjoy testing our Bible knowledge.
Host Jeff Foxworthy and musical co-host Kirk Franklin will both be returning for the nine-episode order.“We are proud of the breakthrough success of this atypical series,” said network executive vp pf programming and development, Amy Introcaso-Davis. “The American Bible Challenge is GSN’s flagship show that appeals to everyone in the family. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

GETTING READY: When was the Epistle of James written?

The second book we'll be studying for the 2013-2014 season will be the epistle of James.  The next few weeks of the "Getting Ready" series, we will be considering the high-level questions about this book.  If you have additional questions, don't be shy about e-mailing the coaches!

When was the epistle of James written?

Unlike Paul's epistles, whose references can be fit into the narrative in Acts, James's letter is harder for scholars to pinpoint.  It was clearly written to Christians living in the first century (i.e. from 1 to 99 A.D.)  Various evidences indicate it was written between 47 and 60 A.D., possibly in the last years before James (brother of Jesus) was martyred in 62 A.D.  The book mentions the persecutions going on in Jerusalem as current affairs, which are recorded in Acts and elsewhere in church history.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Wildwood Bible Car

I posted a photo of a "Bible Car" a while back from an exotic location, but while in Wildwood, NJ we saw a "Bible Car" of a different type.  I do not recommend doing this to YOUR car, but it did make me smile.

Wildwood Vacation Day 1 (7/23/2013) - 33

Wildwood Vacation Day 1 (7/23/2013) - 32

Monday, August 5, 2013

GETTING READY: Who wrote the Epistle of James?

The second book we'll be studying for the 2013-2014 season will be the epistle of James.  The next few weeks of the "Getting Ready" series, we will be considering the high-level questions about this book.  If you have additional questions, don't be shy about e-mailing the coaches!

Who wrote the epistle of James?

Like the book of Romans, the epistle of James starts off telling us right away who the author was:  "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ"  (James1:1 ESV).  But unlike Paul, there isn't only one known early church leader by this name!  Jesus had two disciples who went by the name James:  James, son of Zebedee (brother of John) and James, son of Alphaeus.  However, it is unlikely that either of these men wrote this letter.  James, son of Zebedee, died about 44 A.D while this letter came after 60 A.D.  And while James, son of Alphaeus, is mentioned as an apostle, he is never mentioned again in scripture after the gospels and is not known among the church fathers as a writer of letters.

So, who is this mysterious writer?  Well, there is one other James who was quite prominent in the Early Church, mentioned repeatedly by other writers of the New Testament:  James, brother of Jesus!

(If it's not obvious, technically James would be the adoptive or half-brother of Jesus.  His mother was Mary, but his father was Joseph and not God.)

In fact, early church fathers are united in identifying James the brother of Jesus as the writer of this book.  So, all of the evidence points in the same direction.  And it is rare even among modern scholars to find anyone who has a different view.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

HUMOR: Picking the Hymns

Not mine.  From here.
One Sunday a pastor told the congregation that the church needed some extra money and asked the people to prayerfully consider giving a little extra in the offering plate. He said that whoever gave the most would be able to pick out three hymns. After the offering plates were passed, the pastor glanced down and noticed that someone had placed a $1,000 bill in the offering. He was so excited that he immediately shared his joy with his congregation and said he'd like to personally thank the person who placed the money in the plate. A very quiet, elderly, saintly lady all the way in the back shyly raised her hand. The pastor asked her to come to the front. Slowly she made her way to the pastor. He told her how wonderful it was that she gave so much and in thanksgiving asked her to pick out three hymns. Her eyes brightened as she looked over the congregation, pointed to the three handsomest men in the building and said, "I'll take him and him and him!"

Thursday, August 1, 2013

GETTING READY: FTVs & Reference Questions

Before we jump into James, we wanted to get a few resources out to you for this upcoming year.  So, without further ado, here are some important links.  We'll be turning to James later in the week.

What are the Finish-the-Verse & Reference Questions for next Season?

We just got the list of FTV and Reference Questions for the 2013-2014 season, hot off the presses.  Click on either of the links below, or use the ones in the sidebar - both go the same place.  There is no pressure to start working on these now, but if you're bored in the mid-summer malaise, you have the option.