How Well Do You Really Know the Bible?

Tasha Moore

Image: Steve Debenport / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Our divine Bible challenge brings to light scriptural facts that even the most astute Christian scholar might miss. Prove that you're ahead of the blessed curve and answer all of these questions without fail!

Heroic feats that biblical figures managed to accomplish, some tricky code names and even a few heaven-on-Earth scenarios are the indisputable focus of this quiz. We invite you to test your recall of obscure details — gems hidden among the Old and New Testament tales you thought you knew so well.

And what could possibly be so mysterious about famous Bible lore? Take Moses, hero of the Hebrews, as an example. Sunday schools across the globe teach how he parted the Red Sea and hung out with his brother Aaron a lot. But a lesser-known Moses fact is that he married an Egyptian woman, not of the chosen camp. The bride choice was so controversial that his siblings rebelled against him. God smote Moses' sister (yes, he had a sister) with leprosy for her disloyalty. But Moses wasn't too sore about sis' mindless rebuke. He begged God to restore her health so that she could be brought back into the Israel camp.

Care to learn more Bible secrets? Stay tuned after your generous scroll!

To whom did God say, "to dust you shall return?"

Genesis 3 chronicles God's words spoken after Adam and Eve "hast eaten of the tree" in the Garden of Eden that God had instructed the two not to eat from. As a consequence of Adam's disobedience, God told him, "for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

An angel of God predicted that Hagar's son was destined to become a what?

In Genesis 16, an "angel of the Lord said unto [Hagar] ... thou art with child ... and shalt call his name Ishmael ... And he will be a wild man ..." The angel goes on to say that Ishmael's hand "will be against every man," meaning he will have an aggressive disposition.

Moab and Benammi were of what relation to Lot?

Genesis 19 explains how Lot's daughters conspired to make their father drunk and lay with him so that they "may preserve seed of our father." Lot's firstborn daughter conceive Moab, and his youngest daughter conceived Benammi.

What was the interest rate charged to a poor Israelite who borrowed from another Israelite?

Exodus 22:25-27 illustrates God's particular concern for the poor among Israel. He delivers an incontrovertible edict to protect the needy: "If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor ... thou shalt not ... lay upon him usury."

On the top of what mountain did Aaron die?

According to Numbers 20, "the children of Israel ... journeyed from Kadesh, and came unto mount Hor," where God told Moses to "strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son ..." Aaron's son Eleazar continued the duties of the priesthood after "Aaron died there in the top of the mount."

Which tribe of Israel was not counted in the census in the book of Numbers?

Numbers 1:49 confirms Levi's exclusive status among the tribes of Israel: "Only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel ..." Levi was reserved to oversee "the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof ..."

What did the cloud resting over the tabernacle mean to the Israelites?

Numbers 9:17 elucidates the hovering cloud's significance: "[A]nd in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents." However, "when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed ..."

Who were not among the 70 elders that Moses summoned and that prophesied at the tabernacle of meeting?

Numbers 11:26 states that Eldad and Medad "were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle ..." Previously, God had "took the spirit that was upon [Moses], and gave it unto the seventy elders ... and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease."

Before an Israelite could be put to death, there had to be a testimony of how many witnesses?

God upholds that "[a]t the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death," according to Deuteronomy 17:6. Only the testimony of one witness is required to prevent a sentence of death.

According to Mosaic law, what animal should not be muzzled?

Deuteronomy 25:4 is explicit in communicating, "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn." The precaution prevented the muzzled creature from eating while it toiled.

A man guilty of a crime had to be beaten with how many blows?

Exodus 21:20 suggests that a rod was used for beating: "And if a man smite his servant ... with a rod ... he shall be surely punished." The "forty stripes," or blows, that Deuteronomy 25:3 specifies was later reduced to "forty stripes save one," according to 2 Corinthians 11:24.

Who was Jeshurun?

Deuteronomy 32:15 refers to Israel as Jeshurun, who "waxed fat, and kicked ... [T]hey provoked [God] to jealousy with strange gods." The nickname is included in the book's "Song of Moses," a group of verses that compares what Israel should have become with what they ultimately became.

Because of Gideon's lack of faith, what did he place on the threshing floor to be first wet and then dry?

Judges 6 illustrates Gideon's insecurity concerning what God had promised. He asked God for confirmation using fleece as the sign, saying, "If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said ... I will put a fleece of wool in the floor ..."

What hard-to-pronounce word did the Gileadites use to capture the Ephraimites?

Judges 12:5-6 recounts how the Gileadites caught the Ephraimites at "the passages of Jordan." Ephraimites who denied their identity and requested, "Let me go over" were challenged to pronounce "Shibboleth" in the way of the Gileadites to escape execution.

Who told Ruth to lie at the feet of Boaz on the threshing floor?

Ruth 1:9 reveals Naomi's suggestion concerning the "security" of her "daughters in law": "The Lord grant you that ye may find rest ... in the house of her husband." In Ruth 3, she advises Ruth to "get thee down to the [threshing floor]" to await Boaz's response concerning the woman's intentions.

When Hannah went to the house of God to pray, Eli thought she was what?

In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah's "lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken." Eli, a priest of the temple, observed Hannah's mouth as she prayed. Hannah "drunk neither wine nor strong drink," but she instead "poured out her soul before the Lord."

David feigned madness to escape from what king?

First Samuel 21 confirms David's attempt to feign madness by letting "his spittle fall down upon his beard." Although the servants of Achish had told the king of David's renown, David, who was "sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath ... changed his behavior" to escape.

Who persuaded King David to oppose his son Adonijah in favor of his son Solomon?

Bathsheba was the mother of Solomon. Nathan conspired with Bathsheba to persuade King David to allow Solomon to reign after him. Nathan implored Bathsheba to convince the king in order "that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon," according to 1 Kings 1.

Who established the days of Purim?

Esther 9:29 maintains that "Esther the queen...wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim." The days of Purim, "after the name of Pur," was to be observed by the Jews so "that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and ... to their appointed time every year."

Who told Job to "curse God and die"?

Job 2:9 details Job's wife's explicit command to her husband: "Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die." Job's wife demonstrates frustration with her husband's understanding of his hardships and a perceived lack of mercy.

Who asked, "Have you only one blessing my father?"

Esau's words are recorded in Genesis 27:38: "And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father?" Here he refers to the blessing of the firstborn son, a birthright blessing he had squandered and sought to recover.

What mother was paid to raise her own child?

In Exodus 2, Pharaoh's daughter recognizes baby Moses, who was left in a small ark in a river where she had been bathing, as "one of the Hebrews' children." Her maid "went and called the child's mother" to whom Pharaoh's daughter said, "Nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages."

King Hezekiah was sick unto death; what was used to cure him?

According to 2 Kings 20, King Hezekiah "turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord," after prophet Isaiah told him to "set thine house in order; for thou shalt die ..." God then sent healing words through the prophet, who said to the king, "Take a lump of figs."

What did 700 soldiers in the army of Benjamin have in common?

Judges 20 identifies "twenty and six thousand men that drew sword ... which were numbered seven hundred chosen men." And among these select men were "seven hundred chosen men lefthanded ..."

Who was pictured on a Roman penny during the time of Jesus?

Mark 12 highlights the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the Herodians as Jesus says to them, "... bring me a penny, that I may see it." Jesus then asked of the penny they retrieved, "Whose is this image and superscription?" "And they said unto him, Caesar's."

Do you know the biblical figure told to build 7 altars?

Numbers 23 records Balaam's orders to Balak: "Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams." Balak obeyed the command to build the pagan altar. Later, "God met Balaam ... [and] put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak."

Which disciple of Jesus was a tax collector?

In Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27, the disciple Matthew is referred to as Levi. Matthew 9:9 indicates that Jesus "saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me."

Guess another name for Zaphnath-Paaneah?

A Pharaoh calls Joseph "Zaphnath-Paaneah" in Genesis 41:45. The Egyptians were fond of Joseph for his abilities to interpret dreams and manage affairs of the kingdom during his tenure.

How well do you remember the person who told Moses to select able men to judge small matters of the Israelites?

Exodus 18 confirms that "Moses hearkened to the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said," regarding selecting "out of all the people able men, such as fear God ..." These "men of truth" were meant to be "rulers of thousands .. .hundreds ... fifties ... and tens."

Identify the one responsible for causing a three-year famine during David's reign as king?

Second Samuel 21:1 explains how David "inquired of the Lord" about the famine that lasted "year after year." God responded: "It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites." Saul had broken the treaty that the deceptive Gibeonites had entered with Joshua 400 years prior.

What group of people were made to drink gold dust?

Exodus 32 recounts how the children of Israel reacted when "Moses delayed to come down out of the mount ..." They became discouraged and made up other gods. Upon his return, Moses ground a golden calf to powder "strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it."

Of the ten lepers that Jesus healed, which one came back to say thanks?

According to Luke, after Jesus healed the lepers, he sent them to the priests to confirm that they'd been healed. The gospel claims that "one of them, when he saw he was healed, turned back ... and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks ..." Luke 17:16 identifies the man as the Samaritan.

Name the man who blessed the child Jesus in the temple?

Luke 2:26 describes Simeon as one who "should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ." Simeon "came by the Spirit into the temple," where Jesus had been brought, and "took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace ..."

The name of the high priest's servant whose ear Peter cut off is ________?

Simon Peter "smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear" with a sword, according to John 18:10. The gospel establishes that [t]he servant's name was Malchus." Jesus corrected Peter's indignation saying, "Put up thy word ... the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?"

Select the group of people that was compared to "a cake not turned"?

Hosea 7:8 informs that "Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned." The tribe relied on political alliances formed with neighboring nations rather than depending on God for guidance.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes