A New Take on the ABCs – Must Watch

3 years ago | Bible, Feel Good

Taylor Hemess TweetThis video, showing a three-and-a-half year old, Tanner, reciting biblical scripture for every letter of the alphabet was originally posted to Facebook by Tanner’s father, Taylor Hemness, who was then a TV news anchor at KLTV, an ABC affiliate in Tyler, Texas.

The original video garnered almost 7 million views, and a further 32 million views when it was re-posted by Hemness’s then-employer, KLTV.

The viral explosion of the video got Taylor and Tanner on the widely-syndicated Steve Harvey talk show.

In an interview with the Bible Gateway blog, Taylor Hemness provided more details about the background to the video:

Last spring, our youth minister at Glenwood Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas, challenged families to learn a Bible verse for every letter of the alphabet. At the time, Tanner was 3-and-a-half, so I started to tune out. But the minister encouraged parents of young children to try it too, because “we’d be amazed by what they’re able to retain.”

I thought it was worth a try, but honestly didn’t believe that he’d be able to do it. That thought was only strengthened when I saw the list of verses the church provided to us. “Jesus wept” isn’t on the list! I wasn’t even sure they were all from the same translation. So, that Monday, we wrote the first verse on a chalkboard in our kitchen, and started practicing with him. I’d run through it every day, and by Thursday, he had it.

The following Monday, we did it again with “B,” but we also still made him recite A. So, by week five, he was doing A, B, C, D, and E every day. There were a few verses that took two weeks, thanks to difficulty, or things like family travel. Altogether, it took about six months.

He’s wearing a tuxedo in the video because we were at a wedding. He was a ring bearer in a co-worker’s wedding, he was all dressed up, and he’d just learned “Z” the week prior. We had a few minutes, and a quiet room, so I took the opportunity to film him, which I’d always planned to do when he was done.


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