The Word of God is alive and active

The study of Scripture is not a natural choice when we think about the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations because many of us are used to the normal list of academic subjects in the languages, sciences and arts.

Jul 01, 2022

The study of Scripture is not a natural choice when we think about the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations because many of us are used to the normal list of academic subjects in the languages, sciences and arts.

The Bible is not something that is usually associated with exams but a group of 62 students from St Joseph’s Private Secondary School made the choice to take Bible Knowledge as a subject for the SPM 2021 examinations. “We were blessed with excellent results as we achieved a 100 per cent pass rate for the recent 2021 SPM examinations, with over half the students receiving A grades. This was not just a testament to the hard work of the students and teachers but also a reminder of the importance of studying the Word of God”.

What follows are reflections and testimonies of some of our students who took Bible Knowledge.

“I took BK as a subject in SPM and can say with confidence that I’ve learned a lot from the entire experience. A lot of people asked me why I wanted to take an extra subject, as they thought it would only add burden and workload on me. On the contrary, reading the Bible brought me so much peace and joy amidst the nine other challenging subjects I took in SPM. The books that we had to study for SPM — Luke and Acts- reveals Jesus’ ministry when He was on earth and also about the early Church. These books are filled with miracles and lessons that show Jesus’ character and love for the people, which, I personally think we can learn so much from, Christian or not. From the parables in Luke to the many miracles performed in Acts, there is something for every season of life in the Bible, and taking this subject really helps you see and grow in so many aspects.

“Not only that, I’m really thankful to my BK teacher who nurtured us, not only academically, but spiritually as well. My favourite part of class was listening to others’ perspectives and interpretations of the Word, and what it meant to them. Of course, the grade you get in SPM must be important to many of you.

“I won’t lie, I’m happy but not completely satisfied with my BK grade. I guess I was overconfident because BK has always been my strongest subject and so I dedicated a lot more of my time to other subjects. I guess it is like how in life, we tend to be so caught up with the busyness and the want to achieve so many goals that we forget or overlook the importance of spending time with God. Just my two cents. (Hehe!)

“But, I really have no regrets and wouldn’t change a single thing on my whole experience. My mom’s words: “Your grade is God reminding you to read His Word more.” (Haha!) Bible Knowledge might be challenging to some, but I promise it’s worth it in the end. You’ll learn and grow, gain wisdom for the many phases in your life to come. That’s all from me! Always remember to love Jesus, love His Word!” — Tiffany Tong

“When I first decided to take Bible Knowledge as an elective in SPM, I knew it was not going to be easy because it requires us to memorise and remember even the smallest details in the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts if we really want to do well in this paper. However, I was sure that I made the right decision as this subject is uniquely different from other subjects like Biology and Physics.

“Even though it requires memorisation, the stories and parables found in the two books are very interesting and can be easily understood if enough effort is put into reading the verses and footnotes with commitment and determination. Plus, with the help of questions, exercises and answer schemes from past year papers, it is definitely not an issue to score an excellent grade for this paper.

“On the other hand, aside from studying and understanding Bible Knowledge for academic purposes, I also gained spiritually as it helped to strengthen my faith as a Catholic during this eventful journey.” — Irwin Fong

“Truth to be told, I initially took this subject thinking it could potentially boost my overall SPM results. Despite doing well in the end, I was very wrong about it being easy. I think a huge factor that contributed to its difficulty was not only that I had to learn two books, but rather, how much I had to think critically. The new format brought us out of our comfort zones with the KBAT questions, and though challenging, I quite liked it.

“SPM BK has evolved from a subject based on pure memorisation into something more meaningful, where there is room for individuality and spiritual growth from reflecting on personal experiences. And that I feel is what makes SPM BK such a special subject because, to do well in it isn’t limited to people who are only book smart or those who can study well, it is a journey of faith as well.

“I was very lucky not to have done this alone, as I’ve had friends and a supportive teacher, to guide me along the way. One of the things I have learnt to cherish was the little community of friends I’ve made through taking up SPM BK, where we could exchange ideas and interpretations of the Bible and learn new things from each other as a group.

“To me, SPM BK shouldn’t be viewed as another subject similar to history or something as factual as one of the sciences. There is so much depth in the Bible which even I have yet to uncover, and SPM BK is only the beginning to a lifelong journey of faith.” — Natalie Song

“The journey of studying the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles was not only interesting and adventurous, but the process was undeniably challenging too. In fact, as I was registering for Bible Knowledge for my SPM, I did ask myself whether I was actually making the right choice because I simply had a perception that the Bible was another boring, monotonous and burdening history subject where I had to memorise chapter after chapter filled with lengthy stories, speeches, parables.

“However, the Holy Spirit opened my mind and gave me the realisation that in Bible Knowledge, I'm studying the history of the Lord Jesus, the Saviour and someone whom I need most as my guide. Besides, reading in depth and understanding all the heart-warming and insightful parables of Jesus, and the preaching by his disciples, was absolutely worthwhile as they’re filled with many valuable lessons to be taken home.

“Thus, as a Bible Knowledge student, I now am aware of the importance of sowing the seeds of faith, hope, and love. Having a strong faith that is deeply rooted in me contributes to the ability to bear the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit in every life-changing situation I’m facing. Moreover, the courage to take up Bible Knowledge as an extra subject allowed me to develop resilience, patience, and the awareness that God is truly journeying with me every step till the very end.

“To conclude, I think studying Bible Knowledge allows me to reflect on the simple and humble life of Jesus and, at the same time, walk the talk by practising His values in my daily life as a truthful Christian. In this very way, I’m bringing the light of Christ to the community so that everybody will be inspired to live life to the fullest in Jesus’ image and for the glory of God, our Almighty Father and Creator.” — Amanda Loi

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