The Ultimate Bible Quiz



By: Brittany Rowland

6 Min Quiz

Image: krisanapong detraphiphat/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

There have been few books as widely read, studied and debated as the Bible, the sacred scriptures of millions of Jews and Christians around the world. Although often called the "Good Book," it's actually a collection of books that describe God's relationship with the world he created. Written over centuries, it contains history, laws, narratives and poems that believers view as divinely inspired.

Even people who aren't well versed in the Bible would be surprised to know how much it has influenced literature, art and culture. So many expressions have entered the lexicon that people don't even realize come from the Bible. Have you seen the writing on the wall? Are you at your wit's end? If you "move mountains," do something "at the eleventh hour" or "eat, drink, and be merry," then you use phrases borrowed from the Bible in your everyday speech.

So do you think you've got the stuff to pass the ultimate Bible quiz? Do you know your Old Testament prophets stone cold? Can you keep your Jonahs, Jacobs, Josephs and Jameses straight? What about all the women of the Bible? If you were the star pupil at Sunday School or Hebrew School, take a stab at this quiz and find out!

According to Genesis, God created man on which day of creation?

God saves the creation of man and all other land animals for the sixth day. He creates men and women, tells them to "be fruitful and multiply" and takes a well-deserved rest on the seventh day.


The first five books of the Old Testament are collectively known as what?

It's traditionally believed that Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy were written by Moses. Pentateuch comes from the Greek for "five books." In Judaism, it's called the Torah.


In the Book of Exodus, Moses receives the 10 Commandments from God at which location?

While Exodus says that Moses received the 10 Commandments (also called the Decalogue) on Mount Sinai, Deuteronomy calls it Mount Horeb. Scholars think they're two names for the same place.


Which of the following is the last book of the Old Testament?

Malachi is among the prophetic books of the Old Testament and was written sometime around 430 B.C. The word Malachi comes from the Hebrew for "my messenger" — appropriate for a prophet!


After Cain is exiled from Eden, he goes where?

The Bible isn't specific about where the Land of Nod is, only that it's "east of Eden." Nod is related to the Hebrew for "wander," which may describe Cain's life after murdering his brother.


Everyone knows Adam and Eve's first two sons were Cain and Abel, but what was the name of their third son?

After Cain killed Abel, God gave Adam and Eve a third son, Seth. Seth, whose descendants included Noah, lived to be 912 years old. Luke traces Jesus' genealogy back to Adam through Seth.


Of the following, who was not one of the prophets of the Old Testament?

The Book of Deuteronomy belongs to the Pentateuch or Torah. It describes Moses' death and burial and his successor, Joshua, taking over the Israelites before they enter Canaan.


This Jewish woman became a Persian queen and prevented the death of her people. What was her name?

After King Ahasuerus chooses Esther as his wife, Esther uses her position to dissuade him from killing all the Jews in Persia. Today, Persian Jews are known as "Esther's children."


After the death of her husband, this biblical woman sticks by her mother-in-law Naomi.

A Moabite woman, Ruth declared that Naomi's God would become hers too. She then followed Naomi back to Bethlehem and remarried. She's one of the few women named in Jesus' genealogy.


King Nebuchadnezzar sent three figures into a fiery furnace, but God saved them. What were their names?

Imagine the Babylonian king's surprise when he looked in the furnace and saw four unharmed men among the flames! The fourth was likely an angel of God sent to protect his devoted followers.


To test his brothers, Joseph plants what item in his youngest brother Benjamin's bag?

After they sold Joseph into slavery, Joseph understandably wants to see if his brothers are still as disloyal as before. This time, they unite to defend Benjamin, proving they've changed.


This woman placed her infant son, Moses, in a basket and set him afloat on the Nile River.

To save her baby from death at the hands of the Egyptians, Jochebed let him float down the river in a basket. God had plans for Moses, though, because Pharaoh's daughter found and adopted him.


Why did Sarah laugh when she heard a man say that she and Abraham would soon have a son?

After struggling for years to have children, Sarah was skeptical that a woman of her advanced age could bear a son. But sure enough, she gave birth to Isaac, whose name means "laughter."


In Exodus, Moses marries Zipporah, the daughter of which man?

Jethro became Moses' father-in-law when the exiled Hebrew married Zipporah. Jethro even gave Moses a job as a shepherd before he did that whole leading-his-people-out-of-slavery thing.


According to Genesis, this man had the longest lifespan, living to the ripe age of 969.

According to Genesis, Methuselah (Noah's grandfather) comes in first for the oldest age. And Methuselah's grandfather Jared is a close runner-up, living to be 962 years old. Must be strong genes!


One of Samson's mighty feats mentioned in the Book of Judges is killing a lion using what?

Before the treacherous Delilah cut his hair, Samson displayed superhuman strength, taking down a mighty lion with no weapons. Samson defeats his Philistine captors but dies in the process.


King David has an affair with Bathsheba. What is the name of Bathsheba's husband?

David tried to cover up his affair, but when that didn't work, he arranged for Uriah to die in battle and followed that up by marrying Bathsheba. Wow, and we thought today's soap operas were scandalous!


Which two Gospels contain infancy narratives (the story of Jesus' birth)?

The nativity story celebrated at Christmas comes from Matthew and Luke, who had slightly differing accounts of the birth. Linus in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" quotes from the Luke version.


Who is not one of the people Jesus addresses while nailed to the cross?

According to the four Gospels, Jesus said seven "last words" on the cross before his death. He spoke to his mother Mary, a disciple, the man being crucified next to him and God.


In some translations, "Jesus wept" (John 11:35) is the shortest verse in the Bible. Why is Jesus weeping?

When Jesus sees his friends mourning Lazarus, he is overcome with pity and weeps too. While raising Lazarus from the dead is a divine act, showing genuine sorrow reveals Jesus' human side.


When do the Magi visit Jesus?

The Magi, or Wise Men, visited the infant Jesus at an unspecified time after his birth and presented him with gifts. Christians celebrate the Epiphany on January 6 to mark this occasion.


What does Zacchaeus do to see Jesus?

In Jericho, Zacchaeus climbed a tree to see Jesus over the crowd. To everyone's surprise (because Zacchaeus was a reviled tax collector), Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus' house.


Finish this Beatitude: "Blessed are the meek ..."

With the Beatitudes, Jesus describes the people of God as peacemakers, merciful, meek and pure of heart. Here Jesus names the rewards people will receive for possessing these qualities.


One of Jesus' disciples was a tax collector, which made him less than popular. What was his name?

Tax collectors were not popular in Jesus' time. Jewish people saw them as working for the enemy, the Romans. But Matthew, also called Levi, immediately left this job behind to follow Jesus.


Jesus used simple stories to teach lessons to his followers. These stories are called what?

Jesus' parables include the Lost Sheep, the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan. The parables remain among his best-remembered teachings because of their simplicity and profound messages.


Which person is healed of sickness just by touching Jesus' clothes?

In Mark's Gospel, a woman touches Jesus' robe, confident that just touching him would cure her of her prolonged illness. And sure enough, she is healed. Jesus praises her for her faith.


One of the 12 disciples attempts to walk on water like Jesus but loses his nerve. Who is the disciple?

No one walks on water like Jesus. Peter follows Jesus' command to join him in walking on the raging sea, but he gets scared and starts to sink. Jesus then scolds him for doubting his power.


The disciples James, Peter, Andrew and John all shared what profession before meeting Jesus?

The Gospels make the point that Jesus' 12 disciples were mostly ordinary men. At least four of the disciples were fishermen before Jesus came and promised to make them "fishers of men."


What does Jesus do for Bartimaeus, in the Book of Mark?

Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, hears Jesus is near and calls out to him, asking for help. Moved by Bartimaeus' faith in spite of the people trying to shush him, Jesus heals the man.


Lazarus has two sisters. What are their names?

Jesus stays at Mary and Martha's house. While Martha stays busy being hostess, Mary is absorbed by Jesus' words. Jesus tells Martha that Mary is doing the right thing. Chores can wait!


The garden where Jesus prays just before he is arrested is called what?

Jesus goes to the garden of Gethsemane alone to pray after the Last Supper. This is referred to as the "Agony in the Garden" because Jesus knew he was about to be arrested and executed.


Pontius Pilate offers to pardon a prisoner for Passover. To his surprise, the crowd demands this prisoner be released instead of Jesus.

Barabbas was a revolutionary who'd been imprisoned for rioting against the Romans. According to the Gospels, the rowdy crowds insist that they want Barabbas freed instead of Jesus.


After Judas returns the 30 pieces of silver because it is blood money, the priests use the money to do what?

Wracked by guilt for betraying Jesus, Judas returns the 30 pieces of silver before killing himself. The priests use the money to open a paupers' grave as a place to bury the poor.


How many books are in the New Testament?

The number of books in the Old Testament differs according to different religions. But the New Testament consistently has 27 books, including the Gospels, Acts, Epistles and Revelation.


Two prophets appear next to Jesus during the Transfiguration. Who are they?

Jesus' transfiguration occurs atop a mountain, in which he glows radiantly and speaks to Moses, Elijah and God. All the major Christian sects celebrate this miraculous event.


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