Try This Tricky KJV Bible Verses Quiz!

Torrance Grey

Image: Trigram Healing

About This Quiz

More than 400 years after its creation, the King James Version of the Bible is still *the* authoritative translation of the Bible for many believers. They consider it to be the most powerful and poetic of the Bible's translations, and would not trade it for any of the more modern, easily understood translations. Completed in 1611, after years of labor by scholars working for the king of England, the King James Bible was reprinted and used for centuries. So widely used, in fact, that people who were barely literate could nonetheless quote the Bible in rich, classic English, complete with "thee," "thou," "verily" and "whomsoever." However, the King James Bible is not without its pitfalls. It's useful to know, for example, that "cattle" means  all animals in 17th-century English, not just cows and bulls. Or that "meat" is food overall, not just animal flesh. And that in the famous chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13, the word for "love" is "charity." 

Are you an aficionado of this classic translation of the Bible? Do you think you can navigate its peculiar rhythms and wrest meaning from its sometimes-archaic language? We've got a quiz in which you can try just that. Often you'll be asked to fill in a missing word or words from a Bible verse. But other times, to mix things up, you'll be asked to identify a speaker, or to name the book a particular verse is from.

Are you ready? Test your Bible knowledge now!

"And the earth was without form, and void, and ______ was on the face of the deep."

This is Genesis 1:2, just after God has created the heavens and the earth, but everything is without shape or structure. The next verse has the famous command "let there be light," or "lux fiat" in Latin.

"And God said unto them, '__________, and replenish the earth and subdue it ..."

This is Genesis 1:28, which goes on to list the creatures that Adam and Eve "have dominion" over. God says the same thing, "Be fruitful and multiply," to Noah and his family after the ark lands on Mount Ararat, and they are the only living humans on the earth.

"And the flood was _____ days upon the earth, and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and the ark went upon the face of the waters."

The famous flood in Genesis was 40 days long, or at least that's how long the rains lasted. It took much longer for the waters to recede: Genesis says that "the ark rested in the seventh month ... on the mountain of Ararat."

"Then the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited _____ out onto dry land."

Of course, this is Jonah, the angry prophet who tries to flee his calling to preach to Nineveh. In Sunday School, the "great fish" is often called a "whale," but the former is the expression most Bible translations use, whether KJV or more recent.

"Thy name shall be no more Jacob, but _____, for as a prince hast thou power with God, and with men, and hast prevailed."

This verse, Genesis 32:28, comes from the chapter in which Jacob wrestles with an angel and wins the angel's blessing. He is also given his new name, which becomes that of a nation.

Identify the book this verse is from: "Delilah said to Samson, 'Tell me, I pray thee, where thy great strength lieth.' "

Samson was one of the judges of Israel, in the days before it had a monarchy. This verse is Judges 16:6.

"Surely __________ shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall live in the house of the Lord forever."

This is the conclusion of Psalm 23, probably written when David was young and led a charmed life, such as going out without armor against Goliath and bringing the giant down with only a slingshot. In his age, David would see dark days, like when his son Absalom tried to usurp the throne from him, and died a violent death because of it.

"And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bone, and ____________: she shall be called Woman, for she was taken out of man.' "

In Genesis chapter 2, God performs the first surgery when he puts Adam to sleep and removes a rib from him. From that rib, God makes Eve, inspiring Adam to call her bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

"And ______ was brought down to Egypt: and Potiphar ... an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelites."

You might have remembered this one thanks to the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, who resented his dreams that someday they would all bow to him.

Identify the speaker: "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?"

Jesus asks this question of the disciple Simon Peter three times at the end of the book of John. Peter affirms it each time, and Jesus responds by saying "Feed my lambs," then "Tend my sheep," then "Feed my sheep."

"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven: _________, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars."

The pronoun "her" is an important clue here. This is the verse in Revelation that inspired the William Blake painting "The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed With the Sun."

For though I speak ___________, and have not charity, I am become a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

This is the opening verse of 1 Corinthians 13, the famous chapter about "charity." (Modern translations use the word "love.")

"And the women ... said, 'Saul hath slain his thousands, and David ________.' "

Samuel 18:7 makes clear that David has surpassed Saul in the people's estimation, just as he has the Lord's favor. Saul quickly grows jealous and afraid of the young hero.

"And the Lord said unto Cain, 'Where is Abel thy brother?' And Cain said, 'I know not, ________________?' "

Cain utters this classic saying in Genesis chapter 4. Apparently not realizing that God knows all, he sidesteps blame for what he has done -- killing his brother Abel.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and ___________."

This is John 1:1, the very beginning of the "non-synoptic" gospel. It does bear a certain resemblance to the opening of Genesis, while the other three gospels open by discussing the circumstances around Jesus's birth.

"And God blessed _______, and sanctified it, for in it He rested from all His Work, which God had created and made."

This verse, Genesis 2:3, is the first mention of a day of rest, which will become the Jewish and Christian sabbath. Later in the Old Testament/Jewish scriptures, God expands on the idea of how to keep the sabbath.

Identify the book this verse is from: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand."

Revelation is one of only a few books of the Bible to be narrated in the first person. Here, St. John is describing one of the visions that make up this last book of the Bible.

"And I looked, and behold, a _________, and his name that sat on him was Death ..."

This is Revelation 6:8. This famous verse inspired the title of one of Piers Anthony's fantasy novel, "On a Pale Horse." That book was the first in his Incarnations of Immortality series.

" ... and his name that sat on him was Death, and _____ followed with him."

This is the conclusion of Revelation 6:8. It gets our vote for one of the scariest verses in the Bible.

"And now abideth faith, hope and charity, but _______ charity."

You probably know 1 Corinthians 13:13 better as ending, " ... the greatest of these is love." It's a favorite Bible text for weddings.

Identify the speaker: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

Jesus is referring to his own body in John 2:19. It confuses the people who hear Jesus, at the time, but after his resurrection the disciples remember it.

"And it came to pass, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of ______, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul."

Most Sunday School children are taught about the friendship between David and Jonathan. It is detailed in 1 Samuel 18, which also tells how Jonathan's father, King Saul, came to distrust and even hate David.

"And lo, the star, which they saw in _______, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was."

Here's the confusing part of the nativity story. The wise men are from the East; the star is in East. To get to Bethlehem heading eastward, wouldn't they have had to circumnavigate the whole globe? After all, there's not much west of Israel/Judea except the Mediterranean Sea.

"Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in _______, and pitched his tent toward Sodom."

This verse is Genesis 13:12, when Abram and Lot part ways. Lot does not make the better choice here, as Sodom will eventually be destroyed by God for its wickedness.

"When thou doest alms, let not thy ________ know what thy _______ is doing."

"Doing alms" is giving to the poor. Jesus means you should do this so secretly that it's almost as if your left hand doesn't know what your right hand is doing.

Identify the book this verse is from: "A prudent man concealeth knowledge; but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness."

Many of the proverbs make such contrasts -- 'A is like this, B is like that.' Here, Solomon (to whom the proverbs are attributed) points out something many of us have noticed: that smart people tend to not to offer advice until it is needed, while the not-so-bright love to sound smart (or at least try).

"Every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which __________."

The foolish man builds on the sand, so that his house falls when the great winds and rains come. Jesus says the wise man builds his house on the rock, where it withstands the rain and wind.

"Fear ye not therefore, for ye are of more value than many ______."

This lovely verse is from Matthew 10, in which Jesus assures the disciples that God is greatly concerned with their well-being: "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father (knowing)."

"Think not that I am come to send _____ on earth; I came not to send _____ but a sword."

Unusual words for a man commonly called the "prince of peace"! But Jesus tells the disciples that his ministry will divide people, even families.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to ___________."

You might have been familiar with this because of the folk song, "Turn! Turn! Turn!" The Byrds adapted the lyrics from Ecclesiastes.

"Or ever the _________ be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern."

These are all metaphors for death in Ecclesiastes chapter 11. The silver cord was thought to tether the soul to the body; at death, it was snapped. You still see this metaphor used sometimes in fantasy fiction.

Identify the book this verse is from: "When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."

The Pentecost story comes early in the book of Acts (this is Acts 2:1). The spirit of God descends on the apostles, and they are able to speak in many different languages.

Identify the book this verse is from: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."

This are the words of God in the Revelation to St. John (or the apostle John, to Protestants). They come very close to the end of the Bible itself -- it's Revelation 22:13, and the Bible ends with Revelation 22:21.

"God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said 'Moses, Moses!' And he said, '_________.' "

Does God not really not know where Moses is? Yes, he does. The "Where are you/Here I am" construction in Genesis, Bible scholars will tell you, had to do with a human's moral position in relation to God, not his literal one.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever ____________ should not perish, but have everlasting life."

John 3:16 is famous (in part for frequently being held up on signs at sporting events). Note that salvation comes through a chiefly emotional act -- believing in Jesus. Not necessarily praying, giving alms or changing behavior, but just believing.

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