Only Someone Who Never Missed a Day of Sunday School Can Ace This Bible Trivia Quiz

Zoe Samuel

Image: Sensus Fidelium

About This Quiz

The Bible is the most-sold, most-printed, and (one hopes, given those numbers) most-read book in the world. Indeed, like many bestsellers, the Bible is very often present in homes where it has never been opened - but pretty much everyone pretends they've read it. Fortunately, even people who have barely ever cracked its pages are broadly familiar with a number of stories from it. Whether you heard about it at church or another house of worship, at home, or simply by watching any of the seemingly endless movies adapted from its many tales, you probably have a baseline knowledge of stories like the Exodus, the parables of Jesus, Noah's Ark and the Creation story. You may take the Bible as gospel (so to speak) or you may view it as merely an important historical text, but either way, you can't fully escape it.

How well do you know this seminal text? Can you quote it chapter and verse, or do you get all those kings, judges and prophets mixed up? Could you rattle off the entire ancestry of King David, or do you only remember him from some movie that may or may not have starred Gregory Peck? Let's find out!

From which tree did Adam and Eve eat first?

There are actually two forbidden trees - the Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge. Genesis 3:22 tells us that Adam and Eve are from the latter, and God says they must be kicked out of Eden in order to stop them eating from the other one too.

Who is the husband of Jezebel?

Jezebel is Ahab's foreign-born wife. She introduces all sorts of pagan and evil rites into the palace and they both come to a bad end.

What weapon does Samson use against the Philistine army?

Samson kills 2,000 men with the jawbone of an ass. The Philistines are determined to take him down and they use his beloved Delilah to find out his secrets so they can get revenge for his victory.

Where is Ruth originally from?

Ruth is a Moabite woman, but she becomes one of the people of Israeli partly by marriage but also mainly by her own volition, when she says to her mother-in-law, "Your people shall be my people, and your God my God."

Which pagan deity do some bad kings of Israel worship?

While all the pagan gods in the Bible are considered very bad, Baal is the main one whose worship is brought into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Into what does Aaron turn his staff to prove God's word to Pharaoh?

Aaron does this to prove to Pharaoh that Moses is truly speaking for God. However, Pharaoh's priests are able to do the same thing - though their serpents aren't as fearsome, since Aaron's staff eats them!

What is Miriam's relationship to Moses?

Miriam is Moses' sister. Aaron is his brother. They are raised separately as Moses is put upon the Nile in a basket in order to save him from Pharaoh's edict killing the first-born of the Hebrews, and he is found and rescued by the Egyptian queen.

What is the shortest book in the Bible?

Obadiah is a prophet and his book was written during the Assyrian period. It only has 21 verses.

Which of these is not an angel named in the Bible?

Ezekiel is a prophet; the other three are angels.

Which of these is not one of the minor prophets?

Isaiah is a major prophet. The others are three of the 12 minor prophets.

Which of these is not one of the major prophets?

Elijah is a very important prophet but does not have his own book. Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Isaiah each have their own book.

Where is Saul going when he has his conversion experience?

Saul is on the way to Damascus when he has a religious epiphany and becomes a Christian, renaming himself Paul.

What are Jesus' last words on the Cross?

This is one of the more confusing elements of the Bible for some, as it is an odd thing for Jesus to say. Others interpret it to mean that he suffered in such a way as to truly feel abandoned. Others point out that this is a quote from one of the Psalms.

How many Psalms are there?

There are 150 Psalms, with various authors. Solomon and David are the most prolific of these.

How many books are in the Old Testament?

There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New, for a grand total of 66 books. Some religions also include the books of the Apocrypha, raising the total further.

How many rules are established in the Torah (the first five books)?

There are 613 "mitzvot" or commandments in the Torah, of which ten are the best known. 365 are "negative precepts" or laws that say "thou shalt not", meaning they are instructions to NOT do something; 248 are "positive precepts" that say "thou shalt". Thanks to the destruction of the Temple, only 77 of the first group and 194 of the second group can actually be observed.

Which of these New Testament Books is NOT split into two?

There are two Books of Timothy, two Thessalonians and two Corinthians, but Colossians is a single book (an epistle to the people of Colossae).

By what other name is the Song of Solomon known?

Canticles is a curious song as it is not about stories of the Bible. Instead it reads as a man and woman who are lovers, celebrating each other. It is often read as the relationship between God and Israel.

What tragedy is the Book of Lamentations lamenting?

Lamentations was written during the exile in Babylon following the invasion of its ruler Nebuchadnezzar. It is a very sad book about a people longing for their home.

To whom did Elijah give his cloak and thus his mission?

The prophet Elisha was Elijah's protege. When Elijah ascended to heaven on a chariot that rose on a column of fire, his cloak fell and settled around the shoulders of Elijah, proving that he was truly the heir of Elijah's mission to speak the truth.

Which of these books of the Old Testament are NOT split into two?

There are two books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, but just one Book of Proverbs. Proverbs is usually read in conjunction with Psalms.

Which of these is NOT one of the Ten Plagues?

There are frogs (hardly surprising given that the river had just turned to blood and the frogs probably didn't like it in there!) - but no snakes, at least.

What occasion was the Last Supper intended to celebrate?

The Last Supper was the Pesach, or Passover meal, which Jesus and the apostles held to celebrate the Exodus from Egypt. Passover is one of the most important Jewish holidays and has been celebrated for 3,000 years.

What exactly did they hang in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?

The Hanging Gardens were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and depictions show that they spilled down the sides of a great ziggurat - they were literally gardens that hung!

Which of these is not an Assyrian emperor?

Belshazzar is Babylonian - the rest are Assyrian.

What is the capital of Assyria?

This question stumps Sir Robin in Monty Python's Holy Grail, but it would not have stumped anyone living in Biblical times as Assyria was a mighty regional power. Nineveh was its capital, though the city has since been destroyed. It was on the Tigris River in modern Iraq, and would have been a very fertile and powerful place. Rainfall in the Fertile Crescent used to be some eight times higher, so what is now desert would have been glorious farmland. The city of Mosul stands on the site of ancient Nineveh.

Why is Cyrus the Great considered so darn great by the Biblical narrative?

Persian leader Cyrus defeated the Babylonians and allowed the Israelites to go home. He was a great friend of Israel. Persia later became modern-day Iran.

Where did Moses get the Ten Commandments?

Moses spent 40 days on the mountain getting the word of God, which he inscribed onto two stone tablets. Meanwhile, the Hebrews were busy making a golden calf and generally acting in a manner that made Moses very angry.

Who wins the battle of Jericho?

Joshua and Caleb were lieutenants of Moses. Since the Hebrews had to wander in the desert for 40 years before entering the promised land, a new generation of leaders had to lead the way. Joshua was one of the mightiest of these.

What is special about Methuselah?

Supposedly Methuselah lived some 782 years, though obviously record-keeping wasn't perfect then. He was certainly very old at his death. He is important because he is the grandfather of Noah.

How many sons does Noah have?

Noah has three sons: Ham, Shem and Japheth. They help build the Ark and collect the animals, along with their wives, and all go on the Ark to safety during the Flood.

Who is the good man who flees Sodom and Gomorrah with his family?

Lot is a good man who is given warning of the destruction of the sinful cities. He begs God to spare them, and God agrees if Lot can find ten good men in the cities. Unfortunately, Lot comes up short and just about has time to flee with his family, on the instruction that they must not look back. Lot's wife cannot resist and is turned into a pillar of salt.

What is the last book in the Bible?

There was controversy about including the Book of Revelation in the Bible, as it is tonally so different to the others, but it made it in and became the last book.

Which of these is not one of the Gospel Makers?

Paul is a very important figure in the New Testament but is not one of the Gospel Makers. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

What is the fourth book of the Bible?

The first five books, known as the Torah, are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

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