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TV Quiz Show Tests Biblical Knowledge

Think of it as a mix of “Jeopardy!” without the greed, “Wheel of Fortune” without Vanna White, and other popular TV game shows without the double entendres.

What is left in “Inspiration Please!” which bills itself as the first Bible quiz show, is an entertaining game that draws upon contestants’ knowledge of the Bible and other spiritual resources.

“They want to promote biblical literacy in a fun way,” says comedian Robert G. Lee, the genial host of the show, which is airing on cable TV’s Faith and Values Channel at 7 p.m. Sundays and at 5 and 10 p.m. Tuesdays.

“Inspiration Please!” is like a lot of other game shows in style, with Lee standing beside a podium across from three contestants ready to pounce on buzzers.

The show’s producer, Don Epstein, is a veteran writer and producer for game shows such as “The $25,000 Pyramid,” “Jackpot” and “Three on a Match.”

And, like “Wheel of Fortune,” the game’s final sequence involves contestants answering questions to reveal letters of an inspirational word they have to identify.

But this is no ordinary TV game show.

For starters, the questions all have religious themes, covering everything from Bible trivia to spiritual references in art, music, literature and movies.

For example, if biblical figures were arranged alphabetically in a phone book, who would come first? Aaron.

And which American League baseball team would Esau and Jacob be most likely to play for? The Minnesota Twins. One would have to go over to the National League for the team most likely to elect a pope: the St. Louis Cardinals.

The sex and greed that sell many game shows are absent from “Inspiration Please!”

In recognition of biblical warnings against gambling, points do not add up to money for contestants. Instead, the grand prize is a trip to Israel. Other prizes include such things as a Bible reference library.

The cable channel picked up the costs for the initial run, but it hopes to attract religious advertisers to help keep the show going. There are tentative plans to tape an additional 26

Tags: religion