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‘Jeopardy!’ Sparks a Divine Debate Over the New Testament

‘Jeopardy!’ Sparks a Divine Debate Over the New Testament

A Final Jeopardy! clue stated that Paul was the author of Hebrews. What is “a hot take?”

The typically thorough game show made a bold choice on Wednesday during its Final Jeopardy! round. The contestants were given this clue, under the category “New Testament”:

“Paul’s letter to them is the New Testament epistle with the most Old Testament quotations.”

Sam Buttrey answered “Who are the Romans?” and Andrew He wrote “Who are the Phillippiaes,” which were both deemed incorrect. Amy Schneider answered “Who are the Hebrews?” and was deemed correct.

Big mistake, Jeopardy! Big.

The Bible is a common topic on Jeopardy!, so it isn’t a huge shock that this would be the clue in a final round. However, Jeopardy! should have known better than to wade into a textual debate. Because if there’s one thing theologians can agree on, it’s that it is not clear who was the exact author of Hebrews.

For centuries, expert theologians have debated if Hebrews is a Pauline epistle or if someone else penned it. In fact, there are some pretty massive divisions among different schools of Christian thought regarding Paul’s Biblical influence and authorship.

Many Jeopardy! viewers thought Buttrey’s answer should have been the correct one, since a majority of scholars agree Paul was the author of Romans. And those fans did not hold back their thoughts online.


Fans also argued that the wording of the question was misleading, and Buttrey’s answer should have been accepted.

Jeopardy! hasn’t announced any changes or issued a correction yet, but it’s safe to say they’ll probably steer clear of theological debates for a while.

Editor’s note: This piece was updated to correct that the issue was a textual debate, not a theological one. 

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