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'Jeopardy!' Contestant Given Credit for a Wrong Bible Answer

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


People who know their Bible were upset on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, when host Ken Jennings gave a contestant credit for a wrong answer to a Bible question and did not give the contestant who gave the right answer credit in the final round of the show's Tournament of Champions.

Usually, when a mistake like that happens, it is corrected after a commercial. However, Jennings did not acknowledge the mistake. The late Alex Trebek would have caught it and remedied the situation.

Question 'Jeopardy!'

Question 'Jeopardy!'

This is What Happened

Going into Final Jeopardy!, Professors’ Tournament winner Sam Buttrey led with $14,800, Andrew He had $13,200, and Amy Schneider had the least amount of only $2,400.

Usually, the contestants don't do well in the Bible category. It is often the last category they choose. Since it was the Final Jeopardy! round at the end of the show, the category was selected for all the contestants to answer.

"Paul's letter to them is the New Testament epistle with the most Old Testament quotations."

The correct answer is a subject of debate, even among biblical scholars, including this writer who has been a Bible teacher for nearly 60 years.

Schneider answered: "Who are the Hebrews?" Jennings said she had answered correctly.

Buttrey answered: "Who are the Romans?" Jennings said he had answered incorrectly.

Andrew He said: "Philippiaes" which was the wrong way of saying Philippians. It was also incorrect.

Schneider's answer was actually incorrect because Paul did not write the book of Hebrews. The book of Hebrews is not written in the style of Paul's 13 books in the New Testament. The author of the book of Hebrews is unknown. Even so, her final total was not enough for her to win the episode.

Many "Jeopardy!" viewers as well as this writer, believe Buttrey's answer was the correct one because Paul was the author of the book of Romans and not the book of Hebrews.

And the Winner Is...

Even though Schneider was given credit for an incorrect answer, Andrew He was considered the winner in spite of his incorrect Final Jeopardy! answer because he had the most money at the end of the round. Therefore, he is just one win away from becoming the champion of the tournament.

Buttrey should have won if his Final Jeopardy! answer had been acknowledged as being correct. Many fans believe Buttrey was robbed.

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Reactions from 'Jeopardy!' Fans

Bible scholars and experts on religion and history reacted to that particular episode.

A priest and theology professor wrote on Twitter:

"The challenge: Hebrews has the most OT quotes of any NT letter; it was historically attributed to Paul; but today most argue he didn't write it based mainly on internal evidence. Romans is right if Paul didn't write Hebrews."

Another historian and theologian wrote:

"Dear Jeopardy: But Paul didn't write Hebrews!!!!!!!"

A fan thought the question was misleading and unfair to the contestants.

So I actually think tonight’s final #jeopardy answer was unfair because Hebrews is not one of “Paul’s letters” and I don’t know any scholar who refers to it as such. I think @Jeopardy needs to select better Bible experts. I’d be furious if I were a contestant tonight.

Others agree that the clue was not clearly worded in reference to Paul's epistles.

Some fans are holding out hope that the show will correct this in the next episode. At the end of the round, most people think Buttrey should have won. They concluded:

“It’s just hard to believe that nobody caught this pretty massive blunder.”

Another Controversial Clue Days Earlier

This is the second controversial clue the game show has faced in just a few days.

During an episode of "Celebrity Jeopardy!" a clue was about the 2021 death of Instagram personality Gabby Petito and the suicide death of her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, who wrote that he was responsible for her murder.

The clue read:

"In 2021 fugitive Brian Laundrie ended his days in FLA's Myakkahatchee Creek area, home to these long & toothy critters."

The answer was: "What are alligators?"

Viewers pointed out that the question involved both suicide and a highly publicized murder case.

A viewer wrote:

"Y'all couldn't have gotten to alligator AAAAAANY other way???"

An attorney for the Laundrie family is demanding an apology from the show. He called the question "distasteful."

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