“Danger!” fans are confused and more than a little angry after a controversial Final Jeopardy! The track split the contestants in the final rounds of the show’s “Tournament of Champions.” This is the second track controversy the show has faced in just a few days.
Amy Schneider, Andrew He and Sam Buttrey are the final champions of the tournament, and the first person to win three rounds will be the ultimate winner. On Wednesday’s episode, the trio tackled this track, under the “New Testament” category:
“Paul’s letter to them is the New Testament epistle with the most quotations from the Old Testament.”
The statement is not controversial because it is about the Bible. This is not an uncommon topic on the trivia show. But the right answer is still a matter of debate, even among biblical scholars.
Schneider answered “Who are the Hebrews” and was deemed correct by host Ken Jennings.
Buttrey answered “Who are the Romans” and it was considered incorrect.
He said “Philippines”, probably referring to the Philippians, which was also incorrect.
All the answers refer to books of the Bible which are collections of epistles, or letters, ostensibly from the apostle Jesus Paul to different groups in the formative days of the Christian church. However, experts have different opinions about whether Paul actually wrote the letter to the Hebrews, and therefore whether the answer was actually correct. In fact, there are bitter divisions among different schools of Christian thought regarding Paul’s biblical influence and authorship.
Lots of “Jeopardy!” viewers thought Buttrey’s answer must have been correct, since scholars generally agree that Paul was the author of the book of Romans.
Even experts in religion and history chimed in.
“The challenge: Hebrews has the most OT quotations of any NT letter; historically attributed to Paul; but today most argue he did not write it based primarily on internal evidence.” a priest and professor of theology wrote on Twitter. “(Romans is right if Paul didn’t write Hebrews),” he added.
“Dear Jeopardy: But Paul didn’t write Hebrews!!!!!!!” wrote another historian and theologian.
Others postulated that, regardless of the answer, the track was not clearly worded regarding letters, epistles, and books of the Bible, all deeply confusing terms for people outside (and sometimes within) the spheres of biblical study.
Amidst the confusion, he emerged as the night’s winner despite his incorrect Final Jeopardy! answer, and is one win away from winning the tournament.
It is worth noting that Buttrey, who had the answer that some people believe should have been correct, is a fan favorite and he would have won if he got the last answer.
Just days before the Bible encounter, an episode of “Celebrity Jeopardy!” presented a clue about the 2021 death of Instagram personality Gabby Petito and the suicidal death of her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, who wrote that he was responsible for her murder.
“In 2021, fugitive Brian Laundrie ended his days in the Myakkahatchee Creek area of FLA, home to these long, toothy creatures,” the clue read.
(The answer was “What are alligators?”)
Onlookers were appalled that the question invoked both suicide and a highly publicized murder.
“You couldn’t have gotten to a AAAAAA alligator any other way???” one viewer wrote.
In a statement to several media organizations, a lawyer for the Laundrie family apologized to the show, calling the question “disgusting.”