At Christmas and Easter, television networks seem to suddenly remember that Americans are interested in religion. ABC's umpteenth repeat of "The Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston last Sunday won the evening, beating out a new episode of "The X-Files."
A new animated story of Jesus airing this Sunday, "The Miracle Maker," may become a classic of its own (see our review, page 17).
And PAX TV is using the Easter season to make a unique entry into the hot genre of game shows. "Genesis: The Family Bible Game Show" premires Sunday at 6 p.m. Teams from churches and synagogues test their knowledge of Bible history and literature.
In a welcome twist to the general "greed is good" game-show philosophy, the prizes will go to a charity or community-outreach program supported by the church or synagogue. Bible scholars from the University of Southern California's school of religion will authenticate questions and judge the answers, which will be based on Bible facts and not sectarian dogma or interpretation.
My mother would have watched - and made a great contestant. Growing up, our family used to play a "know your Bible" board game. My dad was a fun teammate, famous for playfully "inventing" new Bible characters or books, like "1st Moses."
But even after some of us had taken college courses in the Bible, we always knew to get on mom's team if we wanted to win: Her daily Bible study over many years made her the undisputed family "expert."
You can find more information about the "Genesis" game show at www.genesisbiblegameshow.com
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