Biblical Quizzes for Really Smart People
Quiz III--Movies II
Quiz VII--X rated
Quiz VIII--X rated
Quiz X- The Numbers
Quiz XXIX (Messiah)
Quiz XXX (Messiah II)
Quiz XXXI (Mess. III)
Quiz XXXII (Mess. IV)
Quiz XL--vivid images
Quiz LIX--weird doct.
Quiz LXV--doctrine II
Bible Quizzes for Smart People LIV
Bill Long 2/18/07
1. "I alone am left..."
Maybe it is unfair that I only pick four words out of a very rich narrative and complaint to use for this quiz. But, as we saw with the previous quotation (about the delay or silence of God), life is unfair, and I suppose I am contributing to it in a very small way. We often think that we want to contribute to the "saving" of the world in our little way, by purchasing a Prius, by recycling, by not consuming so much, etc., but we often don't think of the various ways we might contribute to the world's injustice in small ways. I am doing so today by only giving you four words from this Biblical passage. Be that as it may, these words express the feeling shared by many in their experiences of living. Often these sentiments are patently untrue--people utter them more as an indication of self-pity than as a result of objective analysis of events in life. In this particular case, for example, the person who uttered these words is swiftly answered by God, "Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him." Normally when we feel we alone are left, there really are others who understand and can be "present" with us. But sometimes, I venture to say, we are alone. No one might really understand what we do. Sometimes no one really can frame things like we do. I sometimes feel that the loneliest persons on earth are college presidents--not because I have been one but because I have hired one and have worked closely with presidents over the years. Why do I say this? Well, because there is no one at his/her "level" in the institution. The trustees are "above" the president, and therefore don't receive all the thoughts swirling in his/her heart. The Vice-Presidents, etc. are "below" and are not privy to all the knowledge the President has. So, they are alone at times. Thus, this Biblical verse can have lots of utility in various situations. Where do you find it?
2. "Their rims (i.e., of the wheels) were tall and awesome, for the rims of all four were full of eyes all around."
I recall reading an article about 30 years ago about a "Christian motorcycle club," or some such thing. I don't recall if they called themselves "Heaven's Angels" or what, but they did have a "verse" which they had adopted for their club. Some teams adopt animals; this Christian club adopted a verse. And, it was the verse bolded above. Which motorcyclist wouldn't want to think that the rims of his wheels were "tall and awesome"? I wonder if, instead of raping, pillaging and terrorizing the populace, this Christian motorcycle gang did errands of mercy? Well, I forget, but I didn't forget the verse that they used. Where is it and what is it trying to describe? Just think, if even the motorcycle guys can find a verse in the Bible that applies to them, don't you think there are countless ones that apply to YOU?
3. "Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the people sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and to drink their own urine?"
Now that I have introduced you to this sordid Biblical passage, I might as well tell you about pissing against the wall in the Bible. In I K. 14:10, God threatens to bring judgment against the house of Jeroboam. The KJV of this passage states, "Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone." Well, by the time the NRSV got to this passage, it read it as follows: "therefore, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will consume the house of Jeroboam, just as one burns up dung until it is all gone." Well, what happened to the piss against the wall? I haven't studied this problem in detail (surely there is a dissertation out there on it someplace), but it is another indication that the KJV doesn't give you the best text or translation of the Bible. Well, back to the bolded verse. I bet you know instinctively that this passage isn't from the Sermon on the Mount, but where does it appear? And, how do you explain the rather vivid nature of its imagery?
4. "Where you go I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God," NRSV. The KJV has the more familiar words, "for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge..."
This is an easy one. I think I owe an easy one to you after dragging you into the gutter with me in the previous few references. In the generation that was married before 1970, when Peter, Paul & Mary began to steal the show at weddings with their "Wedding Song," many brides would want a tenor to sing the song "Whither thou goest, I'll go..." It always seemed to have a bit of a sappy ring to me, but then again, it probably was a sappy song. Yet, the sentiment is a rich one. The words are of someone who has decided to give up identification with her people and throw in her lot with the people of God. Why would someone do that? And, who does so in this passage?
5. "Immediately, the fingers of a human hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the wall of the royal palace, next to the lampstand."
In this passage, instead of someone pissing against the wall, we have a hand appearing and writing on the wall. This is the origin of the phrase we all use now, "the writing on the wall." When we say that someone is unaware of the "writing on the wall," or that someone sees the "writing on the wall," we mean that the person's fate is sealed, that it is too late to turn back, and that it is only a matter of time before things reach their natural denouement. Where do you find this verse, and in what context does it appear?
6. "Written with the finger of God.."
Well, now we are morphing from things written on the wall with the fingers of a human hand to something that was inscribed with the finger of God. When I heard this verse the first time, when I was a child, I always wondered what the signature of God looked like. No one was ever able to tell me, but the image sunk deep into my consciousness and has become one of my favorite verses. Job might have wanted his words to be forever inscribed upon a rock (Job 19:23--thanks, Bill), but here we have words written with the very finger of God. You get the impression that in a situation like this, you really don't need to ask that the words become permanent. God's finger makes them so....sort of divine indelible ink. Ok, time's up. Where do you find this verse?