NT Authorship...and Jeopardy

There’s a scandal brewing on my favorite game show tonight.

The Final Jeopardy clue asked contestants to name which one of Paul’s letters in the NT contained the most OT quotations. Amy answered Hebrews and was ruled correct, but one of her opponents answered Philippians and another answered Romans. They were ruled incorrect, but since Andrew’s score was the highest, he won the game. In this year’s Tournament of Champions, the format for the finals is “first to win 3 games wins the series” as opposed to the standard format of highest cumulative score after 2 games. Therefore, since Andrew won the first game of the finals, he is only one victory away from winning it all.

But, as many people have been pointing out, scholars disagree over whether Paul actually wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews. It’s a very long church tradition, and the letter’s full name in the KJV is “The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews.” The KJV is pretty often used as the basis for Bible questions in trivia (unless otherwise specified); it definitely was in the official rules for Weakest Link when I was a contestant on that show.

So if it comes down to “what books/letters the KJV says Paul wrote”, Hebrews is included and Amy would be correct. But if not, his letter to the Romans would be, so Sam would have won the game. This gets even trickier because Jeopardy tapes several weeks before its air date, so it’s not like they can see the response on social media and then, on the next day’s episode, say “Oh, we made a mistake, Sam should have won yesterday’s game.” Something would have had to come up between the end of that episode’s taping and the beginning of the next one (they tape 5 episodes a day), so they would either throw out that entire Final Jeopardy and redo it, or address it at the top of the next episode and give Sam the win.

The fact that this oversight didn’t get noticed until now is highly sus, to say the least. It’s not a simple movie goof where a microphone is in the shot or someone’s holding something different between cuts of the same scene. Jeopardy is a show about knowledge, curiosity, and research. They shouldn’t have written that clue if there was such ambiguity about the authorship of a book of the Bible. And since it’s a game show, this episode could go on to decide who wins the Tournament of Champions!

That’s really interesting that we have a standard of “KJV is the basis for Bible questions in trivia.” Trivia really is a big rabbit hole!

That definitely is an oversight. :open_mouth: It’s a really interesting question, too. They probably should have gone with the KJV basis if that’s standard, right? Which would be Hebrews.

Yeah, they ended up going with the KJV because it’s public domain and has been a standard for so long.

In the end, though, this whole discussion became moot because Andrew lost the tournament to Amy. :sweat_smile: