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 XLV
Bill Long 2/1/07
A New Testament Quiz
Tired of so much emphasis on Old Testament passages? Well, this quiz may be for you. All five of the passages are from the NT. See how you do.
1. "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it."
I believed this verse for many years. Then I gradually began to see how it didn't make sense to me. Now I disagree with it. Let me explain this evolution. When I was memorizing the Bible, I committed this verse to memory on the way to mastering the book in which it is found. Those were the days of my uncompromising and focused dedication to things of God. Hours in the Bible, prayer, fellowship, evangelization each day. Nothing else really mattered, even if my parents were paying a bundle to send me to an Ivy League school. Why did I do this? Well, I think I was in love with God (or my understanding of God) and God was an uncompromising sort. If you fell short in one particular, you were really saying that you didn't love God, and you deserved eternal condemnation. This verse helped shape my perspective on that question. But then, as I matured and began to think about life more and more, I adopted a different philosophy which I would call "gradations" of sin or of unlawfulness. To take an easy example, I began to believe that being angry with your kids was not as bad as murder. But this experience of "grading" things at first caused me distress because it seemed to introduce a murkiness into spiritual things that I wanted to be clearer. I wanted bright lines and clear principles and not the stuff of "situation ethics" as it was derisively called by many at the time. But then I realized that our whole society, especially our legal system, is set up on the premise that fine distinctions among human actions is foundational to practicing justice. Well, you probably have an opinion on this one, too. But first, tell me where you can find this verse?
2. "Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.."
This was another of those verses which I had trouble with over the years but instead of growing to disagree with it, as the former one, I have grown to embrace it. At first, in my eager early Christian days, I didn't know what to make of it because it suggested that Jesus "learned" or "grew" as time went along. I had the impression that he was perfect from the womb, a sort of walking, talking perfection-machine. I didn't really know what Jesus' perfection meant, but I thought I had to believe it. Oh, someone tried to explain to me how it was true. Jesus, they told me, was like a rose. Though tightly closed before budding, it really has all its "perfection" already in it. When May or June hits, the rose opens naturally of itself and displays the perfection that it already possessed. Well, I don't know if I was convinced by that one, but that was how it was explained. In any case, as I matured, I began to find Jesus more attractive if I saw him as a human first and then as a divine figure (whatever that might mean). This verse then took on a delightful meaning for me. Jesus, too, learned through suffering. I was learning through suffering myself, and this verse affirmed that my learning process might be one of the ways I would be privileged to "imitate" Christ. I then went back to restudy the life of Jesus, looking to the ways that he might have "learned" obedience through his life and suffering. My 1997 book Yearning Minds and Burning Hearts: Rediscovering the Spirituality of Jesus (Baker) is the result of that quest. Well, where do you find the bolded verse?
3. "Then he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.'"
No, this was not first said by Donald Trump in contemporary America. But it does reflect a strand of belief and living that is very prevalent in our (or probably any day). This belief is that we can assure the security of our future by economic accumulation. Well, I think this theory works for lots of folks. As one friend once said to me, "I have been poor, and I have been rich, and I like the latter condition a lot more than the former." But the problematic nature of the thought expressed in this verse is that we really don't control our destiny in life. Stories abound of people who sailed through their 30s and 40s with roaring colors, only to see their life unravel in middle age and older age. We have no assurances that our life won't do the same thing. Thus, instead of relaxing and saying "eat, drink, be merry," the author of the text suggests that one might better become "rich toward God." That, then, is our challenge for today--to become rich toward God. While you are figuring out how to do that, where is this verse?
4. "All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.."
The phrase, "to separate the sheep from the goats" or "the wheat from the chaff" has entered into our general cultural vocabulary today, and I think it is a good idea to know who first came up with the terminology and where it can be found. In addition, what is the context in which it was spoken?
5. "It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior."
I love this verse because it is the hinge point of an argument in the Bible. We join the argument in medias res. The author is trying to argue that Abraham was actually inferior to another character, a shadowy one at that, because he blessed Abraham rather than vice-versa. Since this person who blessed Abraham is superior he becomes an antitype to Christ, who is the Son of God who continues forever. Well, as with some great musical performances, you just have to be there to enjoy it--so you just have to read the verses of this tightly constructed argument to "get it." And, even when you get it, I think the reaction of most people today, if they really understand it, is "huh?" Or, "so what?" But the verse is there, and is a rather central verse for a very interesting book in the Bible. Where is the verse?
Now, with those five NT quotations, don't you feel much better?