Bible Alphabet Challenge

Bible Alphabet ChallengeThe New England Primer, first published between 1688 and 1690, was the first reading primer designed for the American colonies and became the most successful educational textbook published in the early days of U.S. history. The following reflects the primer’s blend of alphabetical and biblical instruction.

A             In ADAM’S Fall, we sinned all.

B             Heaven to find, the BIBLE mind.

C             CHRIST crucify’d for sinners dy’d.

D             The DELUGE drown’d the Earth around.

E              ELIJAH hid by Ravens fed.

F              The judgment made FELIX afraid.

G             As runs the GLASS, our Life doth pass.

H             My Book and HEART must never part.

J              JOB feels the Rod, yet blesses God

K             Proud KORAH’S troop was swallowed up

L              LOT fled to Zoar, saw fiery shower on Sodom pour

M            MOSES was he who Israel’s Host led thro’ the sea

N             NOAH did view the world old and new

O             Young OBADIAS, David, Josias all were pious

P             PETER deny’d His Lord and cry’d

Q             QUEEN Esther sues and saves the Jews

R             Young pious RUTH left all for Truth

S              Young SAM’L dear the Lord did fear

T              Young TIMOTHY learnt sin to flee

V             VASHTI for pride was set aside

W           WHALES in the sea God’s Voice did obey

X             XERXES did die and so must I

Y             While YOUTH do chear death may be near

Z              ZACCHEUS he did climb the tree our Lord to see

The language looks quaint to our twenty-first century eyes, but the idea is sound. If you were going to create a Bible-based alphabet for today, what would it look like? Would you keep “whales” or opt for “wind” or “whisper” or something else beginning with “w”? Can you think of another “z” word or would you stick with Zaccheus?

Think about it and let us know! (Unlike the colonial version, feel free to include the letter “I” in your alphabet.) This could be a fun ‘car game’ to play on your Labor Day Weekend road trip.

New England Primer information and alphabet from The American Patriot’s Bible. Copyright © 2009 by Thomas Nelson, articles copyright © 2009 by Richard G. Lee. Published by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. I love the posts for this challenge. Such inspiration!

  2. 2 years ago
    Marilyn Flemmer says

    These were AWESOME! What a wonderful way to praise God, His holy word, and His people, too. Loved starting my Sunday morning with these insightful poems! Thanks to those who shared their insight. Anne Lowell’s Revised Standard Version was genuinely delightful to read. I am sure many will enjoy. Marilyn

  3. 2 years ago
    adrienne kellar says


  4. 2 years ago
    anne says

    This is an awesome post. Thank you for it and all the replies with added information. For those of you that would like to carry this one step further, I am an independent consultant for a company called Close to My Heart, and if you go to my website,, you can look at my online catalog for a cute game box and 24 pieces that would be just perfect for this to complete. Page 132 (My Creations Memory Game Z1614) under shopping/online idea book.
    I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, just don’t know how else to tell you about this…it is so perfect.

  5. 2 years ago
    anneke loupatty says

    I love it and for the letter I .I give my life to the LORD.

  6. 2 years ago
    mrs Mary Frances Bahm-Goodfriend says

    How GREAT is our GOD……….

  7. 2 years ago
    Anne Lowel says

    Bible Alphabet (Anne’s Revised Standard Version)

    Abide in My Love, Christ sent from above.
    Baptized by water, renewed son and daughter
    Crucified for me, Jesus nailed to a tree.
    Do good to those who hate, let God tend to their fate.
    Earning salvation cannot be done, in surrender is salvation won.
    Feelings can take you only so far, faith is required to reach the bar
    Greater is He than what the world has to offer, do what is right ignoring the scoffer.
    Hide the Word in your heart; don’t wait to start
    Identify in the Lord, live in accord
    Join in belief, turn strife to relief
    Know your God, in His grandeur be awed.
    Living Waters freely flow, for those who to His presence go
    Made by his hands, all men in all lands
    Never alone, fully known
    One sacrifice, so birth can come twice
    Psalms of praise, hearts ablaze
    Quiet stream or raging sea, His presence there will always be
    Resting in Him, fulfillment begins
    Sharing communion, Christian reunion
    Telling the world, mission unfurled
    Under the shelter of His Wings, His love protects and guides and clings
    Vanity, all there is, unless the Savior makes you His
    Wherever I go, my Father will know
    eXtremely committed, His actions befitted
    Yesterday, today and forever; He is the same forsaking us never
    Zither and drums, sing praise ’til He comes

    • 2 years ago
      Angela says

      Outstanding job! Love this and will have to share it with my children’s church!

    • 2 years ago
      Julianne says

      Very good…you are quite talented Anne.

    • 2 years ago
      Brenda Graham says

      WOW!! Definitely God breathed! Need to have this published!

    • Carol Ann and Anne, Your versions are great. Schools have sure changed since the days of the Quakers. There is no way children will ever hear the alphabet in this way. We as parents and grandparents will have to be sure to teach our children these values.

  8. 2 years ago
    Sandy says

    I think wind or water would sound goog. Leave Zecheous

  9. 2 years ago
    Carol Ann Moore says

    Adam’s fall caused sin to all.
    Bible is God’s words to learn.
    Christ was crucified for our sin.
    David was a shepherd then king.
    Elijah hid by ravens fed.
    Fish Christ multiplied for the thousands.
    Gabriel is God’s messenger.
    Herod feared Christ’s birth.
    Israel the promised land.
    Job suffered much.
    Korah lead rebellion against Moses & Aaron.
    Lot’s wife a salt pillar be.
    Moses lead his people free.
    Noah built a great ark.
    Obadiah hid God’s prophets.
    Peter denied the Lord three times.
    Quarrelsome you should never be.
    Ruth was faithful & loyal.
    Solomon both wise & just.
    Thomas, he did doubt.
    Uzzah did touch the ark & died.
    Vashti was set aside for a king’s pride.
    Whale did swallow Jonah alive.
    Xerxes chose Esther for a bride.
    Yahweh is a name of God.
    Zaccheus climbed a tree for the Lord to see.

    • Love it! Thank you. I will use it for my kids during homeschool!

    • 2 years ago
      Julianne says

      Carol, I love it. Witty and memorable. I couldn’t say it any better myself :-)

  10. For Z, I’d use Zipporah. She was married to Moses and was one of the closest people to him during his ministry to the children of Israel. I bet she has more than a few stories to tell!