Bible Book Search | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
October 2018

Bible Book Search

By Betsy Marvin

Sometimes, even when we know something is there, it is hard to see. This activity will push students to think outside of the box as they search for books of the Bible hidden in a puzzling paragraph.

You are going to want to Download this PDF because it has the answer key. Print off enough copies to do this in teams. The paragraph (it’s posted below to see if you can find them without the answer key) has the names of 30 books of the Bible are hidden in its text, but they are broken up in tricky ways. For example, the second sentence has the books Amos and Mark hidden in it like this: This is a most remarkable puzzle.

Read Job 42:1-6, 10-17. Once students are finished, use these questions to discuss the activity and how it helps us understand Job:

Sometimes, even when we know something is there, it is hard to see. You knew the puzzle had 30 books of the Bible in it, but some were really hard to see.

  • What helped you keep at the puzzle even when you were frustrated?
  • Why were some easier to find than others?
  • How does this connect to Job?
  • How does it feel to rely on things you cannot see? 12:1
  • As soon as Job stops trying to figure out God and prays, God restores him.What can we learn from this?
  • In the beginning we raised the question, why do bad things happen?Rethink this. What have you learned from Job over the past few weeks that you can remember when bad things happen?
  • What did God know of Job before it all began? (He knew that Job had the faith and courage to withstand the test and grow his faith)

Full Text of the Puzzle:

There are 30 books of the Bible in this paragraph. Can you find them? This is a most remarkable puzzle. It was found by a gentleman in an airplane seat pocket, on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, keeping him occupied for hours. He enjoyed it so much, he passed it on to some friends. One friend from Illinois worked on this while fishing from his john boat. Another friend studied it while playing his banjo. Elaine Taylor, a columnist friend, was so intrigued by it she mentioned it in her weekly newspaper column. Another friend judges the job of solving this puzzle so involving, she brews a cup of tea to help her nerves. There will be some names that are really easy to spot. That’s a fact. Some people, however, will soon find themselves in a jam, especially since the book names are not necessarily capitalized. Truthfully, from answers we get, we are forced to admit it usually takes a minister or a scholar to see some of them at the worst. Research has shown that something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have in seeing the books in this paragraph. During a recent fund raising event, which featured this puzzle, the Alpha Delta Phi lemonade booth set a new record. The local paper, The Chronicle, surveyed over 200 patrons who reported that this puzzle was one of the most difficult they had ever seen. As Daniel Humana humbly puts it, “The books are all right here in plain view hidden from sight.” Those able to find all of them will hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown. One revelation that may help is that books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without their numbers. Also, keep in mind, that punctuation and spaces in the middle are normal. A chipper attitude will help you compete really well against those who claim to know the answers. Remember, there is no need for a mad exodus; there really are 30 books of the Bible lurking somewhere in this paragraph waiting to be found. God Bless.

Word Bank: In Biblical order, not in the order they are in the paragraph!

  1. Genesis
  2. Exodus
  3. Numbers
  4. Judges
  5. Ruth
  6. Samuel
  7. Kings
  8. Chronicles
  9. Esther
  10. Job
  11. Lamentations
  12. Daniel
  13. Hosea
  14. Joel
  15. Amos
  16. Nahum
  17. Malachi
  18. Matthew
  19. Mark
  20. Luke
  21. John
  22. Acts
  23. Romans
  24. Timothy
  25. Titus
  26. Philemon
  27. Hebrew
  28. James
  29. Peter
  30. Revelation
Betsy has worked with students for over 26 years and has served at Cornerstone Church in Caledonia, MI for nineteen of those years. Currently, Betsy is the Director of Family Ministry while still holding the high school ministry hat. Betsy also teaches women’s ministry at Grace Bible College as an adjunct professor. Betsy has been married for 29 years with a son in college and daughter in high school. In her free time, she enjoys reading, laughing with her family, and date nights!