Q: Are Americans Ready for a Bible-Based Quiz Show? A: Not So Much

Statistics show that, when it comes to playing along at home, Americans will be less prepared than they think they are

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If you follow Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and the Holy Spirit, then American Bible Challenge may be the game show you’ve been praying for—but it may be more difficult than you expect.

Produced by the creators of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the show premieres tonight at 8:00pm on the Game Show Network (GSN). Host Jeff Foxworthy—the Grammy-nominated comedian who coined the tagline “You might be a redneck if…” —will test how much Americans know about the world’s best-selling book. A Game Show Network press release says, “the tournament starts with 18 three-person teams” competing for a grand prize. The grand prize will be donated to the winning team’s favorite charity. So the more money contestants make, the more of a difference they can make in people’s lives. Doesn’t that sound like the Christian thing to do?

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At first glance, it seems like there would be a big audience for American Bible Challenge. A whopping 74% of Americans call themselves Christians, according to the most recent U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The American Bible Society reports that 6 billion copies of the Bible have been sold.

But while a lot of people might own a Bible, they may not have picked it up in a while. The American Bible Society’s “State of the Bible 2012” reports, “79% believe they are knowledgeable about the Bible but 54% were unable to correctly identify the first five books of the Bible.” The same report finds that the proportion of Americans who have never read the Bible has grown “from 21% in 1999 to 25% in 2011.”

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The show’s team seems ready to capitalize on that overconfidence (of, dare we say it, biblical proportions), and surely a trivia contest is the best use of religious learning. “There are so many everyday expressions that are actually biblical in nature, like the handwriting’s on the wall,” Foxworthy said in an interview about hosting the show. “Where did that come from? Well it was Daniel interpreting the dream.”

In any case, Christians might like American Bible Challenge more than the other Christian show that premiered this year, ABC’s GCB (short for “Good Christian Bitches”).

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