Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 20, 2019

Jeopardy, James, & Jennings

(4 Minute Read plus video)

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek
with 2019 Tournament of Champions
winner James Holzhauer

A famous statesman who died a century ago said something about the authority of Scripture only days before he died. It was broadcast worldwide to millions by radio and telegraph.

Almost 100 years later, it was heard again by millions of people this month. It will echo to millions more via popular recordings.

This quotation of stalwart faith was featured in a pivotal question during “the Most-Anticipated Event in Trivia History,” also called Trivia’s Super Bowl.

Last week the television quiz show Jeopardy! completed its Tournament of Champions. Fifteen brainiacs competed in the preceding week’s quarterfinals. These were the top champions from the preceding two years of the show.

The three finalists competed in a two-day final on Thursday and Friday of last week. The finalist who won the tournament was James Holzhauer, nicknamed Jeopardy James for his stunning success last spring in winning 32 straight games and over $2.4 million.

Testimony from the Grave

On the first day of the finals in the Double Jeopardy round, James Holzhauer selected the $1200 clue in the category “Lawyers, Law & Legality.” It turned out to be the third of the three Daily Doubles. (See Jeopardy archive for November 14, 2019.)

James bet $9,812 that he could correctly answer the as-yet-unseen clue. Here is the Jeopardy! clue:
“At the Scopes trial, this politician said he’d seen nothing to accept the word of scientists against the inspired Word of God.”

William Jennings Bryan

James answered with this question:
“Who is William Jennings Bryan?”
This correct reply raised his game total at this point to a leading $34,612‬ over second-place Emma Boettcher with $6,000 and third-place Francois Barcomb at -$200.

Because this Jeopardy! question was a Daily Double, and because the legendary Jeopardy James bet $9,812 on his expectation of answering it correctly, this specific question appears in highlight clips ad infinitum. Those words of faith concerning such a crucial principle are being transmitted over and over and over.

I suspect this seed is falling on both fertile soil and stony ground, just as in Jesus’ parable of the soils: “Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
(Luke 8:8. See also Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20.)

William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925), three-time Democratic candidate for President and U.S. Secretary of State, made his statement that was referenced by Jeopardy! during Clarence Darrow’s questioning of him at the Scopes Trial in 1925. Darrow was questioning Bryan on the date of Noah’s Flood, and Bryan said he believed the figures in the Bible. Then this exchange occurred.

Clarence Darrow & William Jennings Bryan At the 1925 Scopes Trial

Clarence Darrow & William Jennings Bryan
At the 1925 Scopes Trial

Darrow: “Then you say that in your opinion there is no civilization that can be traced back 5,000 years?”
Bryan:I am not satisfied by any evidence that I have seen that would justify me in accepting the word of archaeologists against the inspired Word of God.
Darrow: “You believe that every civilization and every living thing except fish and the people on the Ark were wiped out at that time?”
Bryan: “Yes.”
Darrow: “And you believe that all these people and animals have come on the earth since the Flood, 4,265 years ago? Do you know any scientific man on earth who believes any such thing?”
Bryan: “I don’t think I’ve ever asked one.”
Darrow: “It’s quite important, isn’t it.”
Bryan: “I think many things are more important than the age of the world. I never have had a great deal of interest in investigations that dispute the Bible.”
(From Bryan’s Testimony Climax of Scopes Trial.)

People’s pithy sayings often live on long after their deaths. My now-deceased father used to say about the Bible,
Remember, this Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book.
I learned this adage from my father, but it has a long history. Evangelist Dwight L. Moody (1837–1899) used it, and long before him John Bunyan (1628–1688), author of Pilgrim’s Progress, said it.
Concerning a lost object, my wife’s mother would always say reverently,
God knows where it is.
Her daughters have reminded each other of her quote repeatedly over the years following her passing.

William Jennings Bryan left many memorable quips of truth including these two:
“All the ills from which America suffers can be traced to the teaching of evolution. It would be better to destroy every other book ever written, and save just the first three verses of Genesis.” (Bryan quote 1)
“Evolution seems to close the heart to some of the plainest spiritual truths while it opens the mind to the wildest guesses advanced in the name of science.” (Bryan quote 2)

What kernels of truth will you be leaving behind in the minds and thoughts of posterity?

For more about William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925), read these Bible-Science Guy articles:
21. Famous Thinkers – Statesman Is a Creationist 1
22. Famous Thinkers – Statesman Is a Creationist 2
23. Famous Thinkers – Statesman Is a Creationist 3

The Scoop on Scopes

Here are links to some of William Jennings Bryan’s works that convey his arguments defending Creation and the Bible and opposing Evolution.
The Prince of Peace, Fleming H. Revell Company, Chautauqua lecture, 1914.
Seven Questions In Dispute, Fleming H. Revell Company, 1924.
The Biggest Question of the Day: Is the Bible True?, Sign of the Times, October 1924, pp 8-9.
Closing Statement at the Scopes Trial, July 1925. (published posthumously)
Mr. Bryan on Evolution, Reader’s Digest, August 1925.
The Bible or Evolution, Sword of the Lord Foundation, 1940.

Jeopardy James

Here are links to YouTube videos of the first day of the 2019 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. Jeopardy! says these videos are only available for a short period before they will be taken down.
2019 Tournament of Champions Finals – Day One. James makes his Daily Double selection of Bryan’s quote at 12:49.
Jeopardy Tournament of Champions. James makes his Daily Double selection of Bryan’s quote at 8:50.

Here’s a 5-minute interview with Tournament of Champions winner James Holzhauer:

Jeopardy! recently announced in a press release a prime-time, hour-long special, Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time (GOAT), to air on ABC beginning Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at 8 pm EST. Jeopardy!‘s top three all-time money winners will compete in a multi-night Jeopardy! tournament for a winner’s prize of $1 million. The second-place and third-place contestants will each receive $250,000.

The three contestants in the Jeopardy! GOAT tournament are:
Ken Jennings (45) owns the longest Jeopardy! winning streak with 74 wins in 2004.
Brad Rutter (41) is the top all-time Jeopardy! money winner.
James Holzhauer (35) has the second-longest Jeopardy! winning streak with 32 wins in 2019 and has the top 15 single-day Jeopardy! winnings.

The Jeopardy! GOAT tournament will consist of a series of nightly matches. Each night’s match will be two back-to-back games. The player with the most combined winnings from the two games wins the match. Play continues night after night (except Monday) until one player has won three matches. Thus the tournament can last anywhere from three to seven nights.

Tournament host Alex Trebek said, “Based on their previous performances, these three are already the ‘greatest,’ but you can’t help wondering: who is the best of the best?”

This should be an extremely interesting tournament with the three best players in the history of Jeopardy! going head-to-head. Maybe there will even be more interesting quotes from the tournament to discuss.

Questions to Ponder

1. What do you say over and over?
2. If Jeopardy! wrote a question about you, what would be recognized as a quote from you after you have passed away?
3. Will your quote be a pointer to the Great Creator?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the sequel:
What Is Real Jeopardy?

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday November 20, 2019 A.D.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

What do you think? Leave a comment. Please pray for the worldwide impact of the Bible-Science Guy ministry!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: