Bible record breakers

All-age
Are you looking for a way to link a sporting focus with the Bible? This idea explores some record-breaking Bible characters and their stories.

On your marks:

The information in the following idea could be used as part of a Bible quiz or as an icebreaker to introduce a session or all-age event with a sporting theme. It also has the added element of giving groups a reason to look up verses and stories from the Bible.

Get set:

No special props are needed... just a Bible to hand!

Go!

1. Get into the record-breaking theme by referring to some weird and wonderful records that have been set and which you can find recorded in one of the well-known books on this topic. In addition, or alternatively, you could try some of the following terrible Bible jokes on this theme:

  • Q: Who was the smallest man in the Bible?
  • A: Bildad the Shuhite (shoe height!) - Job 2:11
  • Q: Who was the strangest man in the Bible?
  • A: Joshua the son of Nun (none!) - Joshua 1:1
  • Q: Who was the biggest woman in the Bible?
  • A: The woman of Samaria (some area!) - John 4:7

2. Now introduce some possible Bible entrants for the sporting records:

  • Q: Who were the first man and the first woman to 'cross the line'?
  • A: Adam and Eve - but both were disqualified because of a false start!
  • Q: Who was the first round-the-world sailor?
  • A: Noah
  • Q: Who was the first long-distance walker?
  • A: Abraham
  • Q: Who was the first match-fixing cheat and also the first champion wrestler?
  • A: Jacob
  • Q: Who was the first person to represent two countries (Israel and Egypt)?
  • A: Joseph
  • Q: Who was the first extreme mountain climber?
  • A: Moses
  • Q: Who was the first 'bring on the wall' contestant?
  • A: Joshua
  • Q: Who was the first deep-sea diving expert?
  • A: Jonah
  • Q: Who were the first long-distance camel-racing team?
  • A: The wise men
  • Q: And who was possibly the most all-round Bible champion of all?
  • A: David - the champion shot put, who declines the body armour of an ice-hockey goalkeeper, the finely-balanced javelin of a past medal winner, the custom-made sword of a fencing expert and the protective helmet of Greco-Roman wrestler... and decides instead to put God first and trust to his one God-given skill with a catapult!

3. Next introduce the categories of Bible record breakers, as listed in the first column below, for which you are looking for contestants. Then introduce the Bible references for discovering the identity of the contestants - see the second column below. (If necessary, explain where to look for the contents page ion the Bible and how to find chapters and verses.) The final column below gives the answers.

Record-breaking category Bible reference Contestant
The earliest Genesis 2:7 Adam
The oldest Genesis 5:27 Methuselah
The strongest Judges 16:3 Samson
The wisest 1 Kings 3:10 - 12 Solomon
The richest 1 Kings 10:23 Solomon
The tallest 1 Samuel 17:4 Goliath
The shortest Luke 19:1 - 3 Zacchaeus
The fattest Judges 3:17 Eglon
The meekest Numbers 12:3 Moses
The cruellest 2 Chronicles 33:1 - 2 Manasseh
The fastest 2 Samuel 2:18 Asahel

You may be able to think of some more record breakers or even have a few alternative contenders for these titles. Over to you!