Showing posts from September, 2010

Old Testament Tales - Noah's Ark

Noah’s Ark and the Tower of Babel 1. Which came first, Noah’s flood or the Tower of Babel? 2. Which came first in Noah’s flood, the rain or the rising waters? 3. Where might Noah’s flood have taken place? 4. How many of each animal did Noah take into the ark? 5. How long did the flood last? 6. What is the first incidence of drunkenness in the Bible? 7. When did God tell man not to eat meat with the blood in it? 8. Who was Methuselah? 9. Who was Enoch? 10. Where was Babel? The Bible records early people living to great ages (Genesis 5). Adam is recorded as dying at age 930, his son Seth at 912, grandson Enosh 905, etc. with Methuselah (Noah’s grandfather) reaching the grand old age of 969—a Biblical record! Some traditions describe the miracle of God’s giving us long life. Others suggest that the patriarch’s name is used throughout the existence of the tribe, not just the man. Non-Biblical documents seem to record great ages as proof of great wisdom and power. For myself, I s

Old Testament Tales: Adam and Eve

The Beginning: Adam and Eve 1. Did God make plants before people or people before plants? 2. Did God make man before woman or woman before man? 3. What did the first human beings eat? 4. Where was the Garden of Eden? 5. What did God tell Adam and Eve not to eat? 6. How many children did Adam and Eve have? 7. Where did Adam and Eve live after they were thrown out of Eden? 8. Why did Cain kill Abel? 9. What happened to the surviving brother? 10. Where did civilization begin? For some people, the Bible story of creation is “just a myth.” For others, it proves evolution doesn’t exist. And for others, myself included, the remarkable agreement between Genesis and the discoveries of modern science (as opposed to traditions of ancient belief) make it hard not to believe in God. After all, how could people more than 3,000 years ago (a very conservative estimate) ever have guessed that plants evolved before fish and birds before mammals before man? In the beginning, there was light,

New Testament Tales - That Final Book

That Final Book 1. When was the final list of books in the New Testament completed? 2. When was the last big debate over which New Testament books were canonical? 3. Which was the last book included in the New Testament? 4. Who wrote the last book of the New Testament? 5. How many churches was the book of Revelation addressed to? 6. What’s so special about 144,000? 7. What’s so special about 666? 8. What four beasts are in the book of Revelation? 9. What four beasts are in the book of Daniel? 10. What four beasts are in the book of Ezekiel? Paul’s epistles circulated throughout the world by the end of the 1st century and are mentioned in contemporary Christian writings. The four gospels were accepted as canonical by 160 AD (with various references to four being the number of winds and corners of the world). Origen’s list of canonical books in 200AD left out James, 2 Peter and 2 and 3 John, and included the Shepherd of Hermas, which was later left out. There are records of de

New Testament Tales - the Apocrypha

Which writings didn’t make the cut? 1. Why didn’t the Gospel of Thomas get included in the Bible? 2. What is supposed to have written three different gospels about Jesus’ death? 3. How many ancient books are known to have been written about Jesus’ childhood? 4. Did Pilate become a Christian? 5. How many books of Acts didn’t make it into the Bible? 6. Why isn’t the Gospel of Judas included in the Bible? 7. How many Apocalypses were written in early Christian times? 8. Why are Paul’s writings included in the Bible? 9. Why are Luke’s writings included in the Bible? 10. Why isn’t the Left Behind series included in the Bible? The early Christian church accepted Hebrew scripture as the word of God, looking to Jesus’ followers for interpretation and application. As the disciples died, they created a “canon” of books consistent with Christ’s teaching, just as the Jews had a canon of approved interpretations. Each document was authentically written by someone who knew and respected J

New Testament Tales - Which Epistle is Which?

Which Letter is Which? 1. Which epistle tells us to anoint the sick with oil? 2. Which epistle warns of the dangers of the tongue? 3. Which epistle mentions “the rapture”? 4. Which epistle says the greatest of these is love? 5. Which epistle includes a request that two church leaders try to get along with each other? 6. Which epistle contains a long discourse about how the whole world knows about God? 7. Which epistle contains instructions on women covering their heads? 8. Which epistle is written in sorrow and talks about joy? 9. Which epistle mentions somebody’s mother and grandmother? 10. Which epistle asks for mercy on a runaway slave? The epistle of James is believed to be the first one written. James writes about everyday concerns in Jerusalem, the bridling of the tongue to avoid inflaming hostilities (between Christians and Jews, since they lived together and Christians were still a small sect of Judaism), and prayer for the sick, accompanied by anointing with healing

New Testament Tales - the Holy Spirit in Acts

The Holy Spirit in Acts 1. What are the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit? 2. What’s the connection between the gift of “tongues” and the sacrament of baptism? 3. Which apostles are also described as prophets? 4. Whose daughters were prophets? 5. What’s the connection between anointing with oil and prayer for healing? 6. How does the Holy Spirit guide in the book of Acts? 7. Who prophesied that Paul would be arrested? 8. What miracles occur in Acts? 9. What prophesies are recorded in Acts? 10. Who said “We must obey God, not men”? Paul lists nine gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:1-14, seven in Romans 12:6-8, and five ministries in Ephesians 4:11. All these gifts are apparent in the stories in the Book of Acts. The gift of tongues is frequently connected with Pentecost and baptism, but only because that is where it is usually seen first. Acts seems to accept tongues as evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit, perhaps in the same way as the Old Testament accepted ecst

New Testament Tales - Miracles in Acts

Miracles in Acts 1. Which apostle performed the first healing miracle in Acts? 2. Who said “Silver and gold have I none”? 3. Whose shadow was said to heal people? 4. Who healed Saul’s blindness? 5. What happened to a woman whose name means gazelle? 6. Which disciples raised the dead? 7. Who was called a god for healing a crippled man? 8. Who handled poisonous snakes? 9. Who was mistaken for an angel? 10. Who stayed in jail after his chains had fallen off? Christian traditions differ about the place of miracles in the expanding church, some claiming that miracles were needed in the earliest days to verify God’s plan but died out later, others claiming they have never died out. The Catholic church even goes so far as to investigate potential miracles to verify which ones might be true, while other churches claim God prefers to work through modern medicine, and still others deny the value of any medicine other than prayer. The Book of Acts is full of miraculous events, far mo