Bible quiz: the answers

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On Christmas Eve we set 20 questions and asked you to write three proverbs, with Trappist beer for the winner, and Bishop's Finger beer from Shepherd Neame for the runners up. The response was impressive.

The winners are: Katrina Attwood & Judith Woolf, York.

The runners up are: The Middleton family, Worcester Park Mrs D Hudson, Leominster.

1. What were the 10 Plagues of Egypt?

The Nile turns to blood; Frogs; Gnats; Flies; Cattle disease; Boils; Hail; Locusts; Darkness; Death of the firstborn.

2. (a) Who was swallowed by a great fish? Jonah.

(b) Who caught a fish with a coin in its mouth which he used to pay a tax bill? Peter.

(c) Who burnt the heart and liver of a fish to drive away a demon? Tobias.

3. In which Biblical books does one find the following maxims: (a) Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall? Proverbs. (b) Put not your trust in princes? Psalms.

(c) The love of money is the root of all evil? 1 Timothy.

4. Which prophet: (a) had a talking donkey? Balaam.

(b) made an axe-head float? Elisha.

(c) called down fire from heaven?


5. Whose preferred weapon was (a) a tent-peg and mallet? Jael.

(b) a tent-peg and mallet? Samson.

6. Who dreamt of: a) a ladder joining earth to heaven? Jacob.

(b) three baskets of bread, with birds pecking the bread from the top basket? Pharaoh's chief baker.

(c) a statue with feet of mixed iron and clay? King Nebuchadnezzar.

7. Which New Testament letters are addressed: (a) to the twelve tribes in the dispersion? James.

(b) to the Lady Elect and her children? 2 John. The "elect lady" is probably a particular church, not an individual (c) to those who are called? Jude.

8. Who: (a) had a serpent-staff which could swallow up similar magical snakes? Aaron.

(b) destroyed Nehushtan, the brazen serpent which protected Israel from snakebite during the wilderness wanderings? Hezekiah.

(c) survived both shipwreck and snake bite on the island of Malta? Paul.

9. Who or what is described as "neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm"? The church at Laodicea.

10. Whose daughter could be described as less fortunate than Isaac? The daughter of Jephthah, who was sacrificed by her father.

11. What distinction do Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth share with the wife of Uriah and the mother of Jesus? They are the five women named in the genealogy of Jesus which begins St Matthew's Gospel.

12. From which Biblical character does the term "simony" derive? From the story, Acts 8:18-24, of Simon Magus, who tried to buy from the apostles the power to bestow the Holy Spirit.

13. What is the Septuagint and why is it so called? The Septuagint is an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish Bible. It became the standard "Old Testament" used by Greek-speaking early Christians. It contains some writings not found in the traditionalHebrew canon; these became incorporated into Christian Bibles as the Apocrypha. The name derives from the legend that Ptolemy II Philadelphus commissioned the translation for his library at Alexandria, employing 70 (or 72 in other versions) translators who did the job in 70 (or 72) days.

14. Who is thought to have killed Goliath? Probably David but also Elhanan, son of Jaare-Oregin, recorded as having killed Goliath in a battle at Gob.

15. Who composed: (a) Symphony of Psalm in 1930? Igor Stravinsky?

(b) Job, a Mask for Dancing in 1931? Vaughn Williams?

(c) Jeremiah Symphony in 1942? Leonard Bernstein.

16. Identify the following pairs: (a) a hairy man and a smooth man? Esau and Jacob.

(b) a prophet and his unfaithful wife? Hosea and Gomer.

(c) the "sons of thunder"? James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

(d) Zeus and Hermes in disguise? Barnabus and Paul.

17. What were the professions of the following people: (a) Nimrod? Hunter.

(b) Amos? Shepherd and "dresser of sycamore trees".

(c) Zacchaeus? Superintendent of taxes ("chief publican" means the same thing).

(d) Priscilla (or Prisca) and Aquila? Tentmakers.

18. Identify: a) a well-travelled native of Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram (Abraham)

(b) a blameless man from the land of Uz. Job.

19. According to Goethe, what was Faust's rendering of the opening words of the Fourth Gospel? "In the beginning was the Deed."

20. What book includes the disclaimer "Of making many books there is no end and much study is a weariness of the flesh"? Ecclesiastes, which is sometimes called Qoheleth or Koheleth or even "The Preacher" (Ecclesiastes means, literally, one who addressesan assembly).