PBE: Pathfinder Bible Experience

Practice. Study. More practice, and then more study. That’s the circadian rhythm that Pathfinders participating in the Pathfinder Bible Experience work by. Lots of story. Lots of practice.

For months, the club memorizes entire chapters of Biblical books that the North American Division pre-selects. Then, they come together, sometimes multiple times a month, to practice the testing they will eventually face in early February at the PBE Area Level competition.

P.B.E. was started in the late 1980s by Terry Dodge, Pathfinder Director for the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventists at the time. (Dodge later became
the Pathfinder Director of the Michigan Conference.) Originally known as “Bible Bowl”, P.B.E.’s name and format has changed several times during the past 30 years. It’s benefits and purpose remains the same though. “A hidden benefit of Pathfinder Bible Experience is teamwork. Each pathfinder has his or her assigned chapters memo- rized. When the questions are asked, the team gets the point for a correct question. Thus, each team member must rely on each other to uphold the team,” says Craig Harris, the current Pathfinder Director for Michigan. “School grades have increased across the board from the memorization if scripture, without one exception!” Harris exclaimed.

Each team/club starts by testing with other teams in their geographical area (the PBE Area Level competition). This year, they are testing on the books of Ruth, and 1st and 2nd Kings. Each team answers the questions together, using a “scribe” to record the answer. Each question can be worth one or more points, and it is a total recall test. The teams that complete the testing with at least 90% of the questions correct compared to the team that reached first place then move on to the next level--the State level.

In a previous article, we asked how P.B.E. has impacted several Cadillac Club Pathfinders participants. The results were exceedingly positive. “P.B.E. has helped me grow closer to God and get a deeper understanding of Him through the group studies.” says Moriah Vogler. Another Pathfinder said, “PBE has helped me want to read the Bible more in my private life instead of skipping my personal devotional on occasion. PBE has made me excited to study the Bible again. It has definitely changed the way I view studying the Bible.”