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 LX
Bill Long 2/24/07
1. "The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them."
Woody Allen paraphrased this verse hilariously in his book Without Feathers: "And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together, but the lamb won't get much sleep." The Biblical quotation is of an idyllic future time, when traditional enemies will be reconciled and peace will prevail. As the passage goes on to say (in a quotation that also is worthy of our learning): "for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." But Woody Allen, the skeptical (and even cynical) secular Jew "knows" that such a time won't happen; he has lived long enough to know that things really don't change that much in life and that we are shaped by our past to such an extent that to hope for millennial change is totally unrealistic. We chuckle at Allen's humor because it might, after all, be true. Where do you find this verse?
2. "Then he said, 'Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.' He answered, 'For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.'"
This passage also is beloved by Jews in our day, not because of the humor to be derived from it, but because of the way that a Bible character "argues" with God on behalf of humans. If you spend much time in the Rabbinic literature you learn not only that the Rabbis have honed their theological and argumentative skills to a rare extreme but that God actually approves it. There is even one Talmudic passage where God rejoices because His children have bested him in argument. The passage just quoted is really not an argument between a Biblical character and God. One might say, in contrast, that it is a sort of bargaining session between the two. God has decided to destroy a city. The character muses to God about whether God would destroy the righteous with the wicked. Though he poses that broad question to God, he soon gets down to specifics. Will God destroy the city if there are 50 righteous men there? 45? 40? 30? The passage culminates in the question and answer bolded above. The rhetorical and literary dynamics of the question/answer session are incredibly intense. I love the passage. And I hope you do, too. Where is it found?
3. "How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him," NRSV. The KJV has the quainter language: "How long halt ye between two opinions..?"
I also provide part of the KJV translation because of its use of "halt." We normally think of "halting" as "stopping," but the original meaning of the term, from Old English, is "to be lame, walk lame, limp." When Wyclif translated this OT passage (oops!), he rendered it, "How long halt ye into two parties?" This then led to the verb "halt" adopting a figurative meaning: "to waver, vacillate, oscillate; to remain in doubt." It wasn't until the 17th century that the meaning of halt as "stop" emerged in English, borrowed from the German verb halten. Thus, the traditional phrase the "halt (crippled) and the lame" reflects the original meaning of that term. Well, with that linguistic point out of the way, let's look at the text. I recall loving this from early days. It reflected a kind of piety that was very attractive to me in my late teens/early 20s--a sort of uncompromising, black and white approach to religion. Either you follow God or you follow Baal. The gulf is unbridgeable between the two, and you have to make a choice as to whom you follow. Thus, the Biblical character who says these words became a favorite of mine. Who is it and where does he say this?
4. "As soon as they entered Samaria, XXX said, 'O Lord, open the eyes of these men so that they may see."
Images of blindness and recovering one's sight suffuse the Scriptures. Jesus not only brought recovery of sight to the blind, but he also removes the blindness in which we live so much of our lives. In the passage from which this verse is taken, an important Biblical figure tries to convince those who were with him that "there are more with us than there are with them." But all signs pointed just to the opposite. The numbers of the enemies teemed. It seemed so unlikely that the people could emerge victorious. But they did, because they were able to "see" where they previously could not. One Bible character--Job- had his central moment of revelation when he said, "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you." One of our problems is that we can't "see" aright. We, like the Apostle Peter, notice the waves and the wind around us, and then we sink in the waves. But if we just could "see," if we could have the spiritual sixth sense to understand that God is working in us and for us, we would not be so fearful. That is why the prayer of this figure that his companions would "see" has always been dear to me. Where do you find it?
5. "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Everybody has heard this verse many times but no one knows where to find it. This verse was used by John Calvin for a call to worship in the Reformed Worship of Geneva; it has inspired countless hymns and choruses. It states with admirable simplicity the truth of the day. God has made it. Let's rejoice in it. For many years in life I wasn't able to rejoice in the day. Pressures within and forces without seemingly conspired to drain me of the joy that should have characterized my days. But now those days have passed, and I still live. It is the most wonderful feeling in the world--to have gone through some difficult and draining days and realize that you have emerged from them relatively intact, with mind, body and soul ready to face each day. Thus, this verse has a continuing potency for me. I hope you can say it earnestly, too. Where do you find it?
6. "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
When I first learned this verse, many years ago, I learned it was "walk in love, as Christ loved us," but I guess the sentiment is identical. This verse means a lot to me because it captures the way I would like my life to be today. If I can arise and rejoice in the day, I ought to want to live in love. To live in love means that you realize that many people you meet are facing hurdles of immense proportions in their lives. You realize that everyone is trying to "make life work," and most people are pursuing this task with an integrity that is, when you really study it, admirable. Thus, the love comes not because you are conjuring up a feeling that has no basis for it; it is derived from the simple realization that people have dignity in their struggles and most people (yes, almost all) are trying to make something good out of their lives. Therefore, why not try to help them in this effort? Where do you find this verse?