Can You Get More Than 11 Right on This Bible Trivia Quiz?

RELIGION

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Elisabeth Henderson

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons by Gerard van Honthorst

About This Quiz

The Bible is arguably the most influential book in all of western culture. Lines from the Bible pepper the Liberty Bell, presidential speeches and the stained glass in the U.S. Capitol building. The Bible itself nestles inside the cornerstone of the Washington Monument. As this book forms the keystone of the dominant faith of American society, knowledge of its contents can be a powerful tool for understanding American culture and values. 

While specific and thorough knowledge of the Bible’s contents may be on the decline, a full third of Americans reported to the Pew Research Center that they read the scripture at least once a week. This same study found that while 71% of Americans knew that the Bible teaches that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, only 40% could point to Job as the character who stood steadfast in his faith despite terrible suffering. 

Many people look to the Bible as the moral ground for our culture and use it as evidence to support their cause. Knowing the details of the biblical narrative and history is not trivial — it’s crucial to being an active participant in the moral conversation. How well do you know your Bible? It may be time to dust off the old book and refresh your holy knowledge with this quiz! 

Can you name all four Gospels?

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the four Gospels of the New Testament, which tell the story of Jesus’ life. While the four accounts each tell the same narrative, they have many differences from each other, giving biblical scholars much to talk about.

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What color of coat did Jacob give his son Joseph that made his other sons seeth in jealousy?

The Old Testament story of Joseph blatantly tells us that Israel (Jacob) “loved Joseph more than his other sons,” so he gave him a coat of “many colors.” No wonder they were jealous! The coat didn’t last long. The brothers stripped it from him before casting him in a pit.

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Who whispered to Eve that she should try a taste of the fruit of the forbidden tree?

In the story of the Fall of Adam and Eve, a serpent appears and whispers to Eve that she should eat of the tree that God forbade her from tasting. The serpent reasons that though God told them they would die if they ate of it, they would “not certainly die” but would gain knowledge of good and evil.

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Which weapon brought about the downfall of the giant Goliath?

David, the future King of Israel, faced off with Goliath, the giant whom all the warriors were too scared of. He brought only a slingshot and five stones, relying on God’s strength to win the battle.

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How long did the people of Israel voyage in the ark?

In the Old Testament story of the ark, God sends a flood to wipe out the wickedness that ran rampant on the earth. Only a small remnant of Israel remained safe in Noah’s ark, and they sailed for 40 days and 40 nights until the flood subsided. Now tourists can visit a replica of the ark in Kentucky.

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In the story of Joshua, how many times were the people of Israel instructed to march around the city of Jericho?

The people of Israel were told to march around the city of Jericho seven times, once a day for a week. On the final day, the Lord instructed them, they would blow a trumpet and make a loud shout, and the city would fall flat.

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Who encountered God in the form of a burning bush?

God caught Moses’ attention by speaking to him from the midst of a burning bush. While tending his flocks, Moses noticed a bush that was on fire but not being consumed. When Moses approached, God told him to remove his shoes, because he was standing on holy ground.

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What kind of imagery does Jesus commonly use in his parables to connect his teachings with his audience?

Since his audience commonly had vast agricultural experience, it makes sense that Jesus often drew upon imagery from farming and harvesting as a way to connect his descriptions of the kingdom of God with the daily lives of his listeners.

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What is the repeated phrase that sets up each of the Beatitudes?

The Beatitudes, found in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, all famously begin with the phrase “Blessed be.” The word beatitude means a state of blessedness. The series of Beatitudes shows how Jesus upends the quest for wellbeing with earthly goods, as he makes declarations like “Blessed are those who mourn.”

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What did Judas receive in exchange for the whereabouts of Jesus?

The Pharisees paid Judas 30 pieces of silver in exchange for his help in getting Jesus arrested. When the Roman soldiers arrived to arrest him, Judas identified Jesus with a kiss.

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Which biblical character is known for withstanding extreme suffering yet holding to his faith?

The story of Job narrates how this man of faith was tested when God allowed Satan to take away all his earthly possessions, his family and his health. Though Job questions God, he remains strong in his faith in God’s ultimate goodness. Scholars believe the book of Job is the oldest in the Bible.

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Which book closes out the Old Testament?

Malachi marks the end of the Old Testament. The book of Malachi is the last of the minor prophets. Malachi is not necessarily the name of the author, however, but just a transliteration of the Hebrew word for “my messenger.”

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Where was the original audience for the books of Corinthians I and II located?

The books of Corinthians I and II are letters written by the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth. The ancient city of Corinth was located in south-central Greece. The modern city of Corinth is located close by.

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What is the fate of the 10 virgins at the close of that parable?

In the parable of the 10 virgins, the girls were instructed to wait for the bridegroom. Five of the virgins brought their lamps with plenty of oil, but the other five did not bring oil to keep their flames lit. These unprepared virgins were left out of the wedding feast when the bridegroom arrived.

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Which angel startled Mary with some life-changing news?

Mary was minding her own business when the angel Gabriel appeared to tell her she had found favor with God. He then revealed that she would be visited by the Holy Spirit and conceive the Son of God.

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Who was given the great responsibiity of building the first temple of Jerusalem?

While King David chose the site for the temple, at Mount Moriah, the responsibility for building the temple was given to his son, King Solomon. The builders completed their work in 957 B.C.

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Which apostle/s were thrown in prison in the New Testament?

Paul, Peter and John were all imprisoned in the New Testament, though not together. Peter and John were incarcerated together for teaching that Jesus was the Messiah. Paul wins the award for being taken in custody the most times, writing most of his letters from prison.

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What signals to Peter that he has betrayed Jesus?

On their last night together, Jesus foretells that Peter will deny Him three times before the rooster crows. Just after he insists for the third time that he was not with Jesus, the cock crows, and Peter bows his head in shame.

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What does John compare the appearance of water in the heavenly city to in the Book of Revelation?

In Revelation 22:1, John describes the appearance of water in the heavenly city as “bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb.” Since this book paints a portrait of heaven, the language often waxes poetic to evoke the otherworldly nature of paradise.

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What did the Roman soldiers do to Jesus’ body after his crucifixion?

After the crucifixion of Jesus, Roman soldiers patrolled all the executed to ensure that they were dead. When they came to Jesus, they stabbed him in the side with a spear, and water and blood flowed out, which the gospel writers connect with the fulfillment of a prophecy.

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How did Paul and Silas escape prison?

While Paul and Silas were imprisoned, a great earthquake struck and shook down the doors, releasing them from their chains. They actually didn’t leave though, because they knew it would endanger the jailer. They remained in their cell and were eventually released by the magistrate because they were wrongly held.

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What is the primary concern of the first four of the Ten Commandments?

The first four of the Ten Commandments are concerned with how to relate to God rightly. They command God’s people not to have other gods, not to worship idols, not to take God’s name in vain and to keep the Sabbath holy.

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How many books are in the New Testament?

Twenty-seven books comprise the New Testament of the Bible. The four gospels open the text, followed by the Acts of the Apostles and 21 epistles, or letters, to the churches. The apocalyptic Book of Revelation marks the ending.

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Who first braved the journey to Jesus’ tomb after he was killed?

While there are different gospel accounts of the women who go to anoint Jesus in the tomb; the most specific one (Mark 16) names the women as Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome.

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Which Psalm wins the “longest chapter in the Bible” award?

Psalm 119 weighs in as the longest Psalm in the Bible and, incidentally, is also the longest biblical chapter. Psalm 119 has 176 verses and focuses primarily on the goodness of the law.

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After Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, who took his place as one of the 12 disciples?

Judas met his demise shortly after he betrayed Jesus, and the 11 remaining disciples were left to choose someone to replace him. They chose two: Matthias and Joseph Barsabbas. After they cast lots, Matthias won the apostolic election.

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Which is the shortest book in the Bible?

The most diminutive book in the Bible is Obadiah, counting in at 670 words and 21 verses. The book concerns the relationship between Israel, the descendants of Jacob and the Edomites, the descendants of Esau. After the Edomites crushed the Israelites, Obadiah rightly predicted that Israel would rise again.

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Who is traditionally known as the author of the first five books of the Old Testament?

Tradition holds that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. However, many scholars believe that multiple authors actually wrote the books.

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According to the New Testament, how many people did Jesus raise from the dead (not including himself)?

The New Testament gives accounts of three people whom Jesus raised from the dead. The most well-known report depicts his friend Lazarus being called out of the grave. Two other stories tell of him raising children from the dead — the son of a widow and the daughter of Jairus.

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Who bathed Jesus’ feet with expensive oil and wiped it with their hair?

In the gospels of Matthew and Mark, an unnamed woman bathes Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume. In the gospel of John, though, a similar episode occurs where Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus’ feet with oil and wipes them with her hair. Nowhere is Mary Magdalene mentioned in connection with this story, though many people associate her with it.

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Which of the gospels contains the story of the penitent thief on the cross?

The story of the penitent thief, even though it is a very well-known story, only appears in one gospel: Luke. In the story, thieves flank either side of Jesus as he is being crucified. One thief repents and asks Jesus to remember him when he comes into his kingdom.

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When God finally makes his presence known to Elijah on the mountainside, what form does God take?

God instructed the prophet Elijah to go to the mountain where God would pass by. Elijah waited and watched for God in a windstorm, an earthquake and a fire, but God was not in these. Only in the still, small voice does Elijah decipher the presence of God.

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Who penned the Letter to the Hebrews?

While many attribute the Letter to the Hebrews to the Apostle Paul, the book’s authorship remains unknown. A possible contender for writing the book is Priscilla, a leader in the early church. Scholars, however, do not agree on any one author.

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What language was the New Testament originally written in?

Mainstream scholars agree that the New Testament was originally written in Greek. While some hold the opinion that the original text was in Aramaic, scholars contend that Greek is more likely, in large part because it was intended for a Greek-speaking audience.

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For what reason did the Apostle Paul have his name changed from Saul?

Many people mistakenly think that Saul of Damascus had his name changed by Jesus to Paul when he converted. The name Paul, however, is just a Latin form of the same name, which would have been more familiar to Gentiles. Using the Gentile name made sense for this missionary to the Gentiles.

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