This Bible Quiz Is Very Difficult, So We'll Be Impressed If You Even Get 10 Right
By: Torrance Grey
Image: krisanapong detraphiphat / Moment / Getty Images
About This Quiz
You may be able to list all 66 books of the Bible in order, but can you do it backward while standing on your head? Just kidding; this quiz won't be that intense.
Do you know the punishments that were given by God in the Old Testament? You better answer that question quickly as God may be giving you this quiz as your punishment for skipping Sunday school that one beautiful summer day. Can you remember all of the names of the women in the New Testament? Your best guess should be Mary since there are six women named Mary, mostly mothers. But we won't tell your mom if you get one wrong.
You won't have to walk on water while reciting the book of Genesis, but you may think that's easier than some of these questions. But maybe you're the exception. Perhaps you pride yourself on knowing the smallest details of the Bible. If so, this is the quiz for you! You'll be rewarded with a high score at the end.
Even if you consider yourself a Bible expert, you're likely to find a few questions here to stump you. Reach back into your knowledge from Sunday school to answer these tough questions. Good luck!
The apostle Paul was called by Jesus on the road to which city?
If you're familiar with the name "Damascus," blame the news coming out of this city in war-troubled, present-day Syria. Damascus is one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. Fun fact: It's also the source for our word "damask," meaning "pale reddish," supposedly the color of Damascus roses.
Which of these was NOT the name of one of Noah's sons?
Aaron appears later in the Bible, as the brother-in-law of Moses. You can remember the names of Noah's three sons thus: "Shem" is the root of our English word "Semitic," "Ham" because it's also a lunch meat and thus strikes us as a strange name, and "Japheth" because it's a nightmare for some people to pronounce. Hope that helps!
When God changed a favored man's name to "Abraham," how did He do so?
Added a syllable
Early in his life, the "father of three faiths" was named Abram, or "exalted father." God then gave him the longer name "Abraham," which changed the meaning of his name to "father of nations." In Hebrew, the name change was even simpler, only one letter. But evidently, the meaning is significant.
Added the capital letter, which was not typical of names during that time
After Cain murdered Abel, Eve gave birth to a son she named __________.
The verses dealing with Seth's birth are among the most problematic in the Bible. Skeptics ask, "If his parents were the first people on earth, who did Cain go live with in Nod?" To which believers answer, "Well, of course Adam and Eve had other brothers and sisters, and they moved away to live elsewhere." Yet in Gen. 4:25, Eve says, "God has appointed me another son instead of Abel, because Cain killed him," strongly implying that she had no consolation in other sons. You be the judge!
In the book of Joshua, what mass medical procedure must take place before the Israelites can enter Canaan?
Circumcision, known as "bris" in the Jewish faith, is the removal of the foreskin from a male infant's penis. Adult circumcision, as in the case of the mass circumcisions in Joshua. It is both a religious practice and a medical one. Modern people have boys circumcised to make hygiene simpler and easier, not necessarily for religious reasons.
The name of Abraham's firstborn son, Ishmael, appears in what famous work of literature?
Portrait of a Lady
A Moveable Feast
"Call me Ishmael" is the famous opening line of "Moby-Dick." Largely contentless, it nonetheless sticks in the brain, like "Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley" (the opening line of "Rebecca"). Ishmael was Abraham's son by the servant girl Hagar, and he became the father of the Arab nation.
The figure we also call "the devil" bears a name meaning, essentially, "opposing counsel." Satan is most clearly playing this role in the book of Job, where he comes before God and asks to test Job's faith. He says that without his wealth, lands and family, Job's trust in God will collapse. So here, Satan is a skeptic and a prosecutor figure.
The story of Esther, the queen who saved her people from a wicked king's adviser named Haman, is important in Judaism; it is the basis for the religious holiday of Purim. Though religion plays a key role, as the reason for Haman's persecution of the Jews, God is never mentioned. In fact, you might say that Haman and Esther's struggle was more about ethnicity than faith.
What was the name of the "wicked" queen whom Esther replaced?
It isn't for nothing that "we've" put the word "wicked" in quote marks. Vashti's sin? She refused to come to court and display her beauty for the king and his friends. In a sense, Vashti can be seen as a feminist heroine; but to Jews, her fall from grace allowed Esther to replace her and thus come to her people's aid.
Moses' wife is clearly identified as "Zipporah." Yet later in Exodus, there is reference to Moses being married to a "Cushite woman." Is this Zipporah? She is referred to as being the daughter of a Midianite priest, whereas the Kushites, also called Nubians, were dark-skinned Africans. But the Midianites were also fairly dark-complected. Scholars have not reached a consensus on this point.
Several of the Twelve Apostles shared a name. Which of these names, though, belonged to a sole apostle?
Yes, there were even two Judases. For clarity, the second Judas was commonly referred to by the alternate name, Thaddaeus. Simon the Caananite shared a name with Simon Peter, and there was a James the Greater (son of Zebedee) and a James the Lesser.
Terah isn't a major figure in the Bible, but he plays an important role. He was the father of the "father of many nations." He is also the father of Abraham's wife Sarah, who was Abraham's half-sister, reminding us that customs were *really* different in the ancient Middle East.
What relationship was Lot, the famous resident of Sodom, to Abraham?
His close friend
Lot was the son of Haran, Abraham's brother. He settled in the city of Sodom and was rescued by two angels when the city was marked for destruction by God. Lot didn't have a whole lot (pun not intended) of success with women. His wife was turned into a pillar of salt for turning to look back at Sodom while they were fleeing. What about Lot's daughters? Well, that's a story that's NSFW.
Which of these is NOT a book of the Old Testament?
Manasseh was a king of Judea, the "southern kingdom." No book of the Bible, though, is named for him. The other three names above are those of minor Old Testament prophets and are among the lesser-read books of the Bible.
Which of these disciples of Jesus also had the name "Cephas"?
James the Greater
Cephas is probably the least-well-known name of Simon Peter, the disciple who became the first pope. Originally "Kepha" in Aramaic, it is rendered "Cephas" in most translations of the gospels, and means "rock," as does the Latinized name, "Peter."
The book of Lamentations expresses Jeremiah's grief over the fate of what city?
Bethlehem became of great importance to Christians, as the birthplace of Jesus, but it has never been a metropolis and has never "fallen" in an epic way. That distinction goes to Jerusalem, the capital of the short-lived United Kingdom and the home of Solomon's temple. It was overrun by the Babylonians in 500 B.C.
The apostle Paul was blinded as part of his conversion experience. Who healed him?
This is evidently a different Ananias from the one married to Sapphira, who sold a plot of land and withheld the profit from the early church. The Ananias to which we refer lived in Damascus and was initially reluctant to heal Paul because Ananias knew he was a zealous enemy of the early Christians. Of course, all that was beginning to change, and his healing would be part of that change.
When a group of boys taunted Elisha, what did God send to punish them?
A rain of frogs
Painful skin boils
In 2 Kings 2:23-24, a group of boys yell, "Go away!", at the prophet Elisha and mock him for being bald. When Elisha calls on God for help, God sends "she-bears" to maul the boys. The language of the Bible isn't clear on whether the boys survived, but this is certainly an instance of very harsh justice in the Bible.
In which book would you find a description of the new heaven and the new earth?
Revelations, or the Revelation to St. John, is the final book of the Christian Bible. It describes the war that will take place at the end of time, after which there will be a new heaven and new earth for the faithful to enjoy (and a lake of fire for the Antichrist and his followers).
When the Philistines stole the Ark of the Covenant, with what did God afflict them?
Loss of appetite
The "tumors" might have been the boils caused by what had not yet been identified as the bubonic plague. We know this because when the Philistines returned the Ark, they included an offering of gold in the shape of tumors and the shape of mice. The tumors obviously had symbolic significance, and the mice might have as well, if the Philistines understood them to be spreading the plague.
Which of these is NOT a feminine name in the Bible?
Napthali is one of Jacob's 12 sons and the father of a tribe of Israel. Bilhah, Rachel's handmaiden, was his mother. Zilpah was the handmaiden Leah gave to Jacob, also to be a surrogate mother, and Jezebel was a wicked queen in the Old Testament.
Like many books of the minor prophets, the book of Malachi is short, only four chapters. It deals with the importance of repentance and following the Lord to stave off a great day of judgment. While the Old Testament and the Jewish Bible are essentially the same, Malachi is not the last book in the Jewish Bible, where the "writings" follow the "prophets."
This biblical figure married a woman named Asenath. Who is he?
Wait, Joseph was married? That's right; he's one of several important male figures in the scriptures whose wife is essentially a footnote, named only once. However, it was enough that the horror writer H.P. Lovecraft named one of his most intriguing female characters after her, Asenath Waite, in "The Thing on the Doorstep."
Psalms 14:1 says, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no ____.'"
This is a common verse used to rebuke atheists. Don't confuse it with the secular proverb, "A fool and his money are soon parted" (which, in our opinion, is a lot more easily proved; just witness the cryptocurrency craze).
This sounds like something the increasingly unhinged Saul would do, but it was Solomon. Supposedly the baby was claimed by two mothers, and when Solomon offered to literally divide the infant between them, only the real mother said no. Of course, this story is predicated on the idea that any mother would want half a dead baby, but it's best not to question these things too deeply!
According to Proverbs, a virtuous woman's price is above what?
Many of the sayings in Proverbs concern what makes for a good marriage, as does this one. It's also the name of a 1998 movie about a young conservative Jewish couple, "A Price Above Rubies," starring Renee Zellweger.
This method of transportation was prophesied in Zechariah 9:9: "Tell ye the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your king comes, meek, and seated on a donkey, and on the foal of a donkey.'" It seems likely that the donkey that Christ rode was full-grown; donkeys are not large animals, to begin with, and a juvenile one would not likely bear the weight of a grown man.
What did Peter want to do for Jesus, Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration?
Build shelters for them
It's hard not to read the story of the Transfiguration and see Peter as overwhelmed and simply needing something to do. He was, after all, rash in speech and action early in the Gospels, and the following verse says, "He did not know what to say, for they were terrified."
King Nebuchadnezzar threw three men into a fiery furnace. How many did he see when he next looked inside?
Nebuchadnezzar had Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego summarily executed, or so he planned. But when he looked into the furnace, the king saw four "men." An angel of the Lord had joined the three humans, who were untouched by the flames.
Which of these is NOT an epistle of the New Testament?
The apostle Paul wrote letters, also known as "epistles," to churches in several towns of southern Europe, including Greece. Corinth, which merited two letters, was one such location. But the famous island of Crete was not.
What was Bathsheba doing when David first saw her?
This one is easy to remember because of her name. Bathsheba was bathing on her rooftop in sight of the king's apartments. From the Need to Know Dept.: It's possible that Bathsheba was performing a mikva, a ritual bath according to Jewish custom, that women must take every month after their cycle.
Because he wanted Bathsheba, David had her husband killed. What was the man's name?
David didn't have Uriah murdered, directly. He instructed another of his military leaders to send Uriah into the heat of the fighting, and then "withdraw from him." In military slang, Uriah was "fragged." This was after David tried to get Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba on leave (thus covering up the fact that she was pregnant with another man's child), but Uriah was too devout a soldier to do this.
Obadiah is only one chapter long, or 21 verses. The opening half-line identifies the book as "the vision of Obadiah," and condemns the actions of the neighboring Edomites against the Hebrews, foreseeing, as many prophetic books do, a day of reckoning.
It might come as a surprise to you that Peter was married, but clearly, he was. Early in the gospels, Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law of a fever; the mother-in-law relationship could not have existed without a wife. However, Peter's wife is otherwise absent from the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles.