Winner of the Bible Bee! | God's World News
Winner of the Bible Bee!
Time Machine
Posted: January 01, 2024
  • 1 bible bee k
    Contestants Joah, Julie, Viaan, Faith, and Matthew compete at the Junior Bible Bee Championship in Ridgecrest, North Carolina, on November 16, 2023. (Chloe Hendon)
  • 2 bible bee k
    Julie Pan returns to the Bible Bee stage on November 16, 2023. (Chloe Hendon)
  • 3 bible bee k
    Viaan accepts his win onstage at the Junior Bible Bee Championship. (Chelsea Boes)
  • 4 bible bee k
    Faith Pentimone closes her eyes to recite. (Chelsea Boes)
  • 5 bible bee k
    Viaan’s parents thank God for his big win. (Chelsea Boes)
  • 1 bible bee k
  • 2 bible bee k
  • 3 bible bee k
  • 4 bible bee k
  • 5 bible bee k


You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining.

The bad news: You've hit your limit of free articles.
The good news: You can receive full access below.
WORLDkids | Ages 7-10 | $35.88 per year

Already a member? Sign in.

The lights dim in a crowded auditorium in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. Footlights brighten the stage. The audience shouts, “Three, two, ONE!”

Five kids stand in the spotlight: Viaan Oggi, Joah Moore, Faith Pentimone, Matthew Lee, and Julie Pan. They are Bible Bee finalists. Each has spent months memorizing more than 500 Bible verses. But who memorized the most?

The Bible Bee began in 2009. Thousands of kids join the memorization contest each year.

“Being on this Bible Bee journey has been a dream come true that I didn’t see coming,” Joah Moore says. Joah didn’t even know about the Bible Bee until May. His parents noticed his flair for Bible memory. They encouraged him to compete.

Faith Pentimone recites with her head down and eyes closed. Matthew Lee of Cranbury, New Jersey, jokes, “I want to be done reciting.”

The competition moves between buzzer rounds and recitation rounds. Pressure builds. Each contestant has excellent memory and delivery. But nobody can catch Viaan Oggi.

Viaan is just 11 years old. He won the Primary-level finals two years ago. Now he stands calmly in the Junior competition, hands in his pockets. He repeats Isaiah 11.

When he wins, his family joins him on stage to celebrate. The grand prize is $25,000. But Viaan’s mom says “it’s a win-win” for all the contestants. Why? They’ve all memorized God’s word.

Viaan offers wisdom for future prize winners. “Put it in the bank,” he says. “And do not spend it on gum!”

Interested in trying the Bee yourself? Julie Pan, from Austin, Texas, has some encouragement for you. “Nothing is impossible with God. It won’t always come at the beginning, but eventually your brain will grow.”

You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul. — Deuteronomy 11:18

Why? People have learned God’s word by heart for thousands of years. It’s not too hard for kids to do!