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Class of 2014, Wesley Methodist School Kuala Lumpur. She scored 7A+’s and 3A’s, including an A for BK.
“You’re taking Bible Knowledge for your extra subject? Isn’t memorizing the text word for word hard?”
Yes, I took BK as my extra subject, yes it’s hard, but taking BK was definitely a journey worthwhile.
On the first 2013 BK class at my church SIBKL, we were asked to share our reasons for taking BK. It was then I thought about why I was taking BK as my 10th subject. I could have very well taken Accounts like many of my friends or even Geografi, a subject that I liked since form 1. But thinking of the challenges faced by Malaysian churches and how BK almost died out as an SPM subject further convinced me to make a stand for Christianity in Malaysia. Furthermore, I wanted to honour God as well.
How wrong it was of me to initially think that there was no need to study and memorize the text of Luke well. Since I had learnt those parables and stories in Sunday School or read them on my own before, I thought that skimming through the text was good enough. I did that for the first half of the year but realised that that method wasn’t getting me the marks I wanted to achieve and I wasn’t happy with my mediocre marks. If honouring God was the reason why I took BK, was my ‘chin-chai’ way of studying BK and average grades honouring God then, I thought to myself. No! Honouring God also meant that I had to work hard (which included studying the text properly) in order to produce excellent grades that glorified Him. So that was what I did for my final year exam, and I got my first A for BK that year.
In form 5, I set A+ as my target for SPM BK and made up my mind to work towards that goal. I studied Acts as how I studied Luke the year before, but I still couldn’t remember the text as well as I wanted to. Since I’m a visual learner, I found that making notes in table form and drawing comparisons between people, parables etc. worked really well for me. Changing my study method helped me tremendously and it improved my marks as well. Even my BK teacher at church noticed the improvement in my marks and asked me what I did differently in my preparation for that test. This was a huge encouragement to me and spurred me on to study harder. BK became one of my favourite subjects and I looked forward to studying it.
SPM trials came along, but I still felt that I couldn’t remember the sequence of events in Luke and Acts well. So, I tried listing down the main events chapter by chapter to use as quick revision and it worked! This method actually helped me in SPM, as I was trying to recall whether Jesus sent out the twelve disciples or the seventy-two.
Even though I only got an A for BK SPM, but I have absolutely no regrets in taking this subject and it was definitely worth it. BK classes weren’t just normal lessons, but it was filled with life lessons and it also shed new light on God’s word. My only regret was perhaps not studying consistently in form 4.
I strongly encourage all Christians to take BK for SPM; don’t let the task of knowing Luke and Acts by heart stand in your way of taking BK because if you can memorize Sejarah facts by heart, you can do the same for BK! Furthermore, you are learning about God’s Word which is God-breathed (1 Tim 3:16) and it will be a lamp for your eet and a light unto your path (Psalms 119:105).
If you are reading this and are taking BK for SPM, yay! Study consistently, hard and smart as it will definitely pay off in the end. If you aren’t getting the marks you want or are struggling, seek help from your teachers and friends and pray to God for strength and guidance in studying His Word. You could also try changing your study method, it is tried and tested (by me hehe) and has proven to work. All the best and God bless!
Henry Kuan Phang Sheng
studied at SMK Sri Permata. He obtained 5A+’s, 3A’s and 2A-‘s in the SPM, including an A- for BK. He is currently doing the A-Levels at MCKL.
God deserves all the Glory. Reflecting upon my BK journey in SPM, I honestly made the right choice of signing up for BK in the SPM even though some say that it wasn’t easy to get an A. The first thought that came into my mind back then was, ‘If I’m a Christian and do not love God’s Word, what makes me a Christian then?’ Eventually I attended classes with full enthusiasm but during the process, I somehow began losing interest. At that point, I asked my mom for advice whether to continue taking BK. My mom said, ‘What makes you think that BK is not important? You think that all your science subjects are important, in fact God’s word is so much more important than all these subjects.’
After that, I was continuously amazed by what God shows me – how important His Word is every time. In the news, there was this incident of bibles taken away to prevent distribution. Those short notices from the news, reminded me not to slumber but be equipped with His Word. My youth leader told me that among all the SPM subjects, she thinks that BK is the most interesting and most satisfying subject to study. As I was reading every chapter word by word, I found so many interesting things God has to say. My BK teacher says that every work of God has His reasons and he would try to explain it with godly viewpoints. (Thank you Uncle Thiran)
The process of studying BK wasn’t a smooth ride. But think of it in another way – God wants you to put effort so that He can bless you. Now, sometimes I can still recall the scriptures that were studied before. When I read about the crucifixion of Christ as I was preparing for SPM, I couldn’t control it but cried during the late nights thinking of how much Jesus loves us even though we are not worthy to be with Him, yet He called us worthy. The preparation for SPM was so stressful because you have to study BK along with the other subjects. But during one of my late night BK study, I cried reading Luke and Acts and somehow felt that God’s presence was within me and at that point I felt overwhelmed that He won’t leave me nor forsake me in my life .
You may be wondering what I will gain from this bible study which doesn’t have any market value. You got it wrong because after much stress and studying, God reminded me that throughout my life He will never leave me nor forsake me. That was so much more important than anything else. Reflecting upon this journey, I am overjoyed that God was part of my SPM studying chapter.
Jasmin Pui En Hui
studied at SMK St. Columba, Miri. She obtained 5A+’s, 4A’s and an A- in the SPM, including an A for BK. She is currently pursuing the South Australian Matriculation at Taylor’s College.
Initially I got the idea to take on Bible Knowledge because it makes sense to do so, following after my brother. However, it is also because I wanted to have a more intimate spiritual relationship with God even in the midst of my hectic schedule of tuitions and etc. My parents were a little bit reluctant about it at first but later my dad encouraged me to take on the subject.
I’ll have to admit, taking on Bible Knowledge in SPM was not easy for me at first. One of the reasons is that you’ll have to stay back for the lessons which may be quite dull at times. But I encouraged myself by keeping in mind that God gave us 24 hours a day and it will not hurt to spend some time with Him by getting to know His words. I also believe that it is in His purpose and blessings that SMK St Columba have teachers for this subject. There are students that I know of in other states who wanted to take on Bible Knowledge so much but are not able to, due to the school’s restriction of having no teachers to teach this subject.
I have not regretted taking bible knowledge ever since because it really does help me in my spiritual faith especially when I am furthering my studies away from home. Yes, it may seem hard now to score good grades for bible knowledge but it is not impossible. Even so, grades are not all there is to it. I believe that it is not right to think of the word of God as something that is ‘pulling’ our average grade down when it should be something that helps ‘push’ our grades up. ‘For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding’ Proverbs 2:6 NKJV.
studied at SMK Damansara Utama and obtained 8A+’s, 1A, and 1A- in the SPM, including an A+ for BK. She is now pursuing her A-Levels at HELP College and continues to be involved in her local church.
In my school, BK is a taboo word. Friends either exclaim in sorrow and dismay if one were to decide to take BK as an optional tenth subject for SPM, or friends would be full of pitiful surprise and horror at such a mad decision! Why so?
I guess it is because people perceive BK as a ‘hard to score’ subject, what more for those hoping for straight A+s. BK is also perceived as of no relevance for our future academic career. This fear and perception is wide-spread even amongst my Christian friends.
However, at my home front, the conversation is totally different. I remembered my dad commenting that if Christian students do not take BK, who else would? My dad also re-assured me that whatever BK grades I get, it will not matter – what is crucial is the stepping out in faith to opt for BK as my tenth subject. You can say it was my family’s joint decision to honour God, placing importance and emphasis in BK as part of my education.
So, I began going for BK ‘tuition’ in Form 4. With no regular school BK exams, there was no pressure to study hard. I would just “switch on” during BK tuition, and it was off my mind for the rest of the week. The task of studying two full books of the Bible (Acts and Luke) was also too overwhelming, so I procrastinated to even begin studying. By the end of Form 4, I knew I had to start getting serious. I started making my own BK notes. Reading and memorising lines were tough for me, and so I started writing down the Book of Acts in point form. Progress was slow. By about mid-form 5, I realised the real urgency and began to put my heart and mind towards studying BK.
It reached a point when I wanted to study BK even more than the other subjects! I felt like I could apply God’s teachings and how He handled situations recorded in the Bible into my daily life. I studied, memorised and internalised the Word. When friends told me their life stories and struggles, if relevant, a passage from either Luke or Acts would suddenly pop up and I could advise them based on that.
I also started studying BK during school hours, and that caught the attention of some of my curious school mates. Friends would ask what I was doing, flipping through my “Luke” and “Acts” books and asked questions. I had always wanted to be God’s light and instrument in school, and it never occurred to me that this would be a way. I never expected my friends to be that curious to the extent that they started asking me questions about who Jesus is.
When I studied in class, I would read aloud to myself, hoping that my friends sitting around me would listen as well! To me, it may be their one and only chance of listening and hearing God’s Word. It was a wonderful experience being able to read and study the Word of God freely in school. (The Word of God that I brought to school wasn’t in a form of a scary thick or dusty book, but an interesting readable book which my friends didn’t mind touching, reading and exploring.)
As I look back, I am awed to see how God has used me and his Word to make a difference in school. I never imagined that BK could make such a big impact to my life and my friends’ lives. It showed me how important it was to read and internalise God’s word.
By God’s grace, I scored an A+ for BK. Whilst happy to have earned an extra A+, I am joyfully thankful to have somehow been used by God to bring the folks in school hopefully a step closer to salvation. Through my results, I hope BK isn’t such a taboo word in school anymore!
For His Glory.
studied at Wesley Methodist School Kuala Lumpur obtained 6A+’s, 5A’s and 1B+ in her SPM, including an A for BK.
Taking the subject of Bible Knowledge is not easy. Not even when you have grown up in church all your life ever since you were a babe. Not even when as a child you spend almost every night reading Bible storybooks. Not even when the idea of flipping through 52 chapters of history excites you but bores all your other friends.
It was not difficult for me to take up Bible Knowledge, but it took me a long time to realise what it really meant. It requires an in-depth study of Jesus Christ, which forced me to take a hard look at events I used to pass off as over-read, over-seen, over-familiar Sunday school tales. With that, I found that the living Word of God is always speaking to us – it always tells us or reminds us of the will and heart of God. Certain seemingly trivial details in the text are precisely what shed light on the big picture and bring me to realise what I previously did not know about the Bible. Taking up Bible Knowledge no longer meant that I was merely revising something I already knew, but gradually it became a challenge for me to keep on finding out more about the Word of God and to no longer be ignorant about my own belief.
Dropping Bible Knowledge was an idea I tried not to entertain, yet at times when 11 SPM papers seemed too much to deal with, I wonder why I took on this in the first place. I kept going on with this subject anyway because I wanted to bring God into my education. In a world where the dogged pursuit of academic excellence is beginning to seem a lot like a form of idolatry, I knew it would be easy to place education at the centre of my life and forget about God altogether. In taking Bible Knowledge, I could spend time and effort in what was a combination of both my education and my faith. In fact, God Himself is the God of education – He is our great Teacher of life. Putting Him in my studies was a way of saying that I would remember Him in whatever I did.
This journey of discovery was definitely not possible if not for the people God had blessedly placed in my life: My school teacher, Madam Irene, who made classes interesting by relating biblical events to real- life spiritual issues; My dearest Ms Moey who tirelessly and meticulously narrated the Bible with a fervent passion for the Lord; my friends whose jokes and laughter added much happiness to my Friday extra classes; my youth pastor, Pastor Yuli who would always listen to me rant about the subject and encourage me to do my best; even my parents who knew almost nothing about the paper but still supported me throughout. These people reminded me that Bible Knowledge is not plainly another subject – it can even bring lives closer to each other!
Life truly is not quite the same with Bible Knowledge. You would know it when you can recite the Lord’s prayer by heart. You would know it when you hear a random chapter from Acts being quoted and you can recall exactly where Paul has arrived in which missionary journey. Most importantly, however, you would know it when you can open up the Bible without cringing at the large amount of text, but you will smile and your eyes will brighten up, knowing that with every new flip of a page, God will be there.
Three students who sat for the GCE O-levels Bible Knowledge (Luke and Acts) share their testimonies.
from Nobel International School sat for GCE O- levels in 2014. He is now at Taylor’s doing A-levels.
Greetings, BK students! Almost a year has passed since I sat for my final high school exams, and to this day I have only kept 2 books within my reach from secondary school. They are the books of Luke and Acts.
I must admit that despite all my adoration for the 2 books, studying them and toiling over them was never too much fun. While studying BK as an exam subject, the temptation to do less in my study of the Word was often in my mind. But I am so grateful to God and to my dear teacher (who never gave up on pushing and praying for me), that I did not quit. Because in the aftermath of toiling all night, breakthrough happened and the Word of God became truly alive and active in my life.
My time studying BK brought breakthroughs in my personal walk with God that I never expected. The time I spent reading and writing the word of God made me honour His words and that honour allowed it to speak into my life and has since brought me to whole new level. It is truly my prayer for you that you never give up and that you will find breakthroughs in your passion for the Word. Together we might be equipped champions of the Gospel in our nation.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
All the best!
Ng Kuan Yew
sat for GCE O-levels in 2014. He studies at Taylor’s.
Here are three valuable insights I gained from doing BK:
1. The Word of God does come alive
Reading the Bible daily may seem like a mundane routine. Sometimes, I feel bored and I miss out on important truths; and I may just stop reading altogether. But through perseverance, a whole new meaning and perspective may be gained. In BK class, some of the stories in Luke are brought to life. For example, the story of Simon the fisherman who left everything to follow Jesus. At first, it seems like a casual encounter, but upon further reflection, I realise more about Jesus’ influential and empowering nature. He is leading people to Him till this day!
2. Quoting Scripture in time of need
During BK lessons, we are made to memorize and remember certain key information that may seem insignificant at that point of time. However, these scriptures come in handy especially during my lowest moments. During those times, God brings to mind the scripture passage which I had memorized.
3. The Word of God brings fulfilment
At first, I had to choose between BK or debate training sessions. I tried getting the best of both worlds by attending one hour of BK and one hour of Debate. It was the BK classes that seemed to bring a sense of fulfilment after every class. There is no regret in the long run for taking BK! BK is worth it.
just finished A-levels at MCKL. He hopes to be an actuary.
I first started taking BK when I was in Form 1. At that time, I was lost, uncomfortable and reserved in school, hiding under a shell. In the first two years, I realised I lacked knowledge and could not apply the truths found within the Gospels. I missed the significance of the truths. Being gifted with a memory for details was not enough.
In Form 2, I joined a new youth group where I was more exposed to more Scripture. In Form 3, I applied more zeal to BK and grew deeper in knowledge and understanding. During Year 10, when my school underwent a transition into the international syllabus, I briefly took up English Literature classes (which clashed with BK classes) to give it a try. Despite the positive comments on my work, I decided to switch back to BK.
I never regretted that decision and God blessed me with an A*, the highest score in school for IGCSE BK that year. BK trained me to think critically as well as provided spiritual strength and a firm foundation for my personal convictions. In fact, I believe BK helped me to think deeper about life often. I grew to walk strong in the Lord.
It was through seeing the greatness and loving-kindness of God in the Scriptures that I finally realised the meaninglessness in my self-inflicted misery and guilt (being harsh and pinning the blame on myself over things). I eventually surrendered my struggles to God. Today, I live free of such burdens, through the truth of the Living Word. I journey in the path of God’s light with a greater clarity of mind and a renewed purpose.