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'Jeopardy!' Contestants Can't Answer 'Easy' Clue on Lord's Prayer as Biblical Illiteracy on Rise

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Fans of Jeopardy! were stunned during Tuesday's episode after the three contestants couldn't answer what some believed was a very easy question about the Lord's Prayer from the Bible's New Testament. 

Host Mayim Bialik read the clue. 

"Matthew 6:9 says 'Our Father which art in heaven' this 'be thy name.'"

Not one of the three contestants, Laura Blyler Scanland, Suresh Krishnan, and Joe Seibert, even attempted to answer the clue with a question. 

"Hallowed be thy name," Bialik told them after the buzzer noting the time to answer the clue had expired. 

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In Matthew, chapter 6, verses 9-13, Jesus told his disciples how to pray, and since then it has been one of the most famous prayers in human history. The following passage is from the King James Version (KJV).

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Social media exploded after the contestants failed to answer the question.  

"This is pretty Sad. Not one of these geniuses knows the Lord's Prayer?!" one user said. 

Another wrote, "Embarrassing. I am sure I choose to know the Lord's Prayer over the game show."

Several users who claimed they were non-religious, found the question to be relatively easy. 

One user tweeted, "I wasn't raised in a religious family but know it simply through exposure to other families and norms."

Another user tweeted a video clip of the question and the contestants' lack of response. 

"This was a clue on Jeopardy last night & not one contestant got it right. This may seem like a silly example of cultural decay. But my 5-year-old knows the entire Lord's Prayer and loves to recite it at dinner time. Parents can change the world with how they raise their children."

One user replied, writing:  "2.2 billion people are Christians. The very first prayer you would have learned would have been the Lord's Prayer. I would have liked to ask them why they didn't know it."

Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, noted in a tweet the American public has "lost so much Biblical literacy & basic awareness of the things of God's Word."

"Twitter erupted with @Jeopardy fans who were surprised that 3 smart contestants were unable to fill in the blank with a word from the Lord's Prayer. We have lost so much Biblical literacy & basic awareness of the things of God's Word. This moving away from Biblical values will equal double jeopardy for our nation," the evangelist warned. 

Some users questioned if Jeopardy! writers had been adding too many questions about the Bible to the game show in recent years, despite the fact the Bible is still the most popular book sold in the world today. 

The discussion was also the subject of the Jeopardy! Reddit forum, where one user claimed, "Christianity/biblical categories get too much space," on the game show. 

One person explained a teacher had once told the user "that to truly consider yourself well-read (by U.S. standards), you need to be passingly familiar with Greek mythology, Shakespeare, and the Bible. Between those three, you can find almost every archetype that Western stories are built on."

One person, who claimed to not be religious, responded, "I'm not religious but think it's undeniable that the Bible had an absolutely enormous impact on Western civilization, architecture, literature, art, and politics. Yes, it's featured more, but it's also had a greater influence."

It should be noted that even in a Bible-illiterate society, the Lord's Prayer can still be found in popular culture, especially in movies. 

There are instances in several movies where characters refer to either a part of the prayer or repeat it entirely.  One notable example is in the onboard ship funeral scene from the 2003 film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World where the entire cast recites the Lord's Prayer. 

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of