Biblical Quizzes for Really Smart People
Quiz III--Movies II
Quiz VII--X rated
Quiz VIII--X rated
Quiz X- The Numbers
Quiz XXIX (Messiah)
Quiz XXX (Messiah II)
Quiz XXXI (Mess. III)
Quiz XXXII (Mess. IV)
Quiz XL--vivid images
Quiz LIX--weird doct.
Quiz LXV--doctrine II
Bible Quizzes for Smart People XLVIII
Bill Long 2/4/07
1. "When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face; but whever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would take the veil off, until he came out; and when he came out, and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, the Israelites would see the face of Moses, that the skin of his face was shining..."
This is a long quotation but it really probes only one theme, a theme so important that it was picked up in the NT (see next quotation). The idea here is that Moses, filled with the reflected glory of God after having spoken to God face to face, "like a man speaks to his friend," had to cover his face when speaking with the people of Israel, lest they become overcome by the glory of God mirrored in Moses' face. But when Moses went back to speak to God he took off the veil, as if to get a fresh "charge" or "supply" of God. The Greek translators of this passage rendered the word "veil" as "horns," thus leading to the interesting Renassance and early modern sculptures where Moses has two tiny "horns" on his head. So, a misreading of the Scripture led to a distinct sculptural style for hundreds of years. You would think that someone in the Renaissance would have said, "Horns on head? Are you kidding! Do you think I have rocks in my brain?" Well, where do you find this text?
2. "And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed unto the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit."
This passage draws on # 1 for its image and meaning. The author has deeply absorbed the spirit of # 1 above and now applies the experience of "seeing God" to all Christians. As a result, all of us have faces that "shine." But we don't talk to God face to face; we see God "as though reflected in a mirror." But our faces, like Moses', are unveiled while we see this reflected glory of God. What is the effect? A transformative one. We are being changed, not by the resurrection of the dead (see I Cor 15), but rather by the refracted visioin of God. The author doesn't tell us how he imagines this gradual transformative process; suffice it to say that it happens. Thus, in the space of these two passages we go from Moses' experience with God to our own transformation. A suggestive image is thus presented to us for our consideration. Where do you find this one, and who is the Biblical author who develops it?
3. "Oh that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his dwelling."
The major theological problem of the 20th century was the silence of God. Where was God, the Jew asks, when his or her family was exterminated by the cruel philosophy and crueler hand of the National Socialists in Germany? Where was God when they cried their hearts out to God, praying the required prayers, calling on God for help? No one can say; no one has a direct line to the mind of God on this one. Some Jewish scholars, drawing on images from Christian theology, see the Holocaust (ending in 1945) and the subsequent founding of the State of Israel (three years later) as sort of a "death and resurrection" of the Jewish people. Rather than "Easter" happening three days after Good Friday, the nation was founded three years after the "death" in WWII. This argument thus leads to a strong sense of commitment to the State of Israel not only by Jews but also by Christians, especially if they "buy" this argument. Well, the Biblical passage quoted above is attributed to a character who thought also that God was silent when he wanted to talk with God. This author has prepared his "case" against God and now wants God to listen to the case, absorb it and answer him. This has perhaps given it away, but maybe not. In any case, where do you find this quotation, who speaks it and how does it fit into the context of what he is trying to say?
4. "For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted."
We go from the sublime to the ridiculous. Oh, there is nothing ridiculous about this passage; it is a very good one. But the story I tell contrasts considerably with the "nobility" or "theological gravity" of the discussion under # 3. When I was in seminary, one of my fellow classmates' last name was Shields. He was from the South, married, frightfully conservative, but still was someone I got to know because we worked together on the same field-education project. Well, I was so objectionally Christian in those days (that is, putting spiritual icing on almost every conversation I had) that I used to do the following. Whenever I ran into my friend/colleague Shields, I would say to him, "Well, did you know that the Shields' of the earth belonged to God?" I think he took it in good humor despite the fact that he was probably rolling his eyes internally as I tried to provoke some humor. That is what happens when you tend to fill your mind with the Bible at a young age; it is always "there" forever after.
5. "for God loves a cheerful giver."
I never much liked this passage because of what preachers did with it. Actually, they never preached on it; they always cited it just before the collection was taken in worship. It was a sort of "spiritual reminder" to all of us that we should be giving out of a desire to serve God rather than out of reluctance. God loves the cheerful giver. The Scriptural author that used these words was actually alluding to a passage in Proverbs that doesn't precisely say this, but it therefore has a good Biblical pedigree. I recall a friend of mine who liked to use this verse just before the collection came in, but he thought he would be more "accurate" to the actual language of the Greek text underlying it (oops, I guess you know the Testament now). The Greek word for "cheerful" is hilaron, and the English word that is a transliteration of this is "hilarious." Therefore my friend, who didn't really have a very good sense of humor and needed all the help he could get, would say to the congregation, "for God loves a hilarious giver." The first time he did this the congregation greeted it with a chuckle of approbation; the second time with a tolerant smile; the third time with a brief smirk; the fourth time with an impatient scowl. My friend caught on after about the fifth time he used it that the joke was no longer funny and that he might want to revert to "for God loves a cheerful giver," or, better yet, find another verse to quote to inspire giving. So, that is my story on this one. It isn't a bad verse to know, however. Where do you find it?