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 XXII
Bill Long 1/10/07
1. "Do not curse the king, even in your thoughts, or curse the rich, even in your bedroom; for a bird of the air may carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter."
This is a proverb-type piece of advice, though it doesn't come from the Book of Proverbs (thanks, Bill). It merely states what we might call a way of the world. It doesn't wring its hands because of its "injustice" or affirm its "rightness;" it just tells you that rumors, or privately-muttered statements about influential people, find their way back to them. One of the reasons I love this verse is that it reminds me of a tale in Greek mythology, that of King Midas of Phrygia. Most know of Midas' wealth and how the God Dionysus gave him the ability to turn to gold anything he touched. Hence, the "Midas touch" (nothing to do with replacing your muffler). The following also happened to him:
"Midas preferred Pan to Apollo in a musical contest, so Apollo gave him a pair of asses' ears. Midas hid his ears under a cap, and only his barber knew of them, but he had promised to tell no one. Burdened with this secret the barber went down to the shore, scooped out a hole and whispered, "Midas has asses' ears," into it. The next year reeds grew in that spot, and as the wind rustled through them the reeds repeated the secret to everyone who came past."
Isn't that story a great illustration of the biblical quotation? But where, pray tell, do you find the verse?
2. "For I am full of words," NRSV.
This, friends, could easily be the epigraph for this website (do websites have epigraphs?). I find it an incredibly useful verse to describe garrulous people. "Well did the Scriptures speak about XXX when it said, 'I am full of words.'" After all, if you really want to put the Scriptures to work in your life, why confine your use of it just to "salvation-type" quotations? The Bible is about so much more than that. It explores the range of human emotions, familial relationships, doctrine, and stories or parables that are attractively memorable. My quizzes try to bring out the "human" side of the biblical quotations, too. This verse isn't well-known to many, I venture, but it nicely captures the sentiment of someone who has so much to say. We know those people and sometimes are those people. Where do you find it, and in what context does it appear?
3. "But God's firm foundation stands," NRSV. The KJV has, "The foundation of God standeth sure."
One of the realities of life if you sink yourself deeply into the Evangelical or Fundamentalist Christian world, which I did more than 30 years ago, is that you discover a lot of weird people. They have heard somewhere along the line that God loves everyone and so they conclude that such a statement applies to them. Then, out of gratitude to God, they hang around all kinds of church gatherings, hoping that their zealousness for God can hide their strangeness. Sometimes it seems to do so but, ultimately, the weirdness re-surfaces, and it really becomes the person's basic identity. I mention this point because one such guy whom I met in college used to quote this verse. He was part of what was then known as the "Local Church Movement." This movement was strongly influenced by the writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, two Chinese Christians persecuted after the rise of Communism. About 30 or so of these people, mostly young and, from the perspective of 35 years, mostly from family backgrounds from which they wanted to distance themselves, swooped in on Providence RI in the Fall of 1973, my senior year at Brown University. None were students at Brown. A few of them started coming to fellowship meetings at Brown and, before you knew it, they invited some of us to attend their gatherings. Believing at the time that if a person was zealous in faith, he/she probably was someone to get to know, I eagerly attended their meetings. They seemed to be so in love with God, so full of God's spirit that it was almost too much to bear. Some part of me wanted to be like them. So I went to their meetings week after week. Late in the Fall, however, they decided (it was really probably decided "on high") that Providence was not the place for them. One of them purportedly had a "revelation," where he saw a rock being washed by the ocean. The rock eventually would be eroded, he said, but it would take a long time. So it was with Providence. The Church could be established in Providence but it would take a long, long time. Duh. But they didn't have the time, I suppose, because they wanted to go to more fertile fields. Before they pulled up stakes and headed to Boston (as I recall), a few of them began to work on me, asking me to move with them. As I reflect on that event from the perspective of 34 years, I actually become scared today, even though I was proud of the way I handled the situation. One of the guys, Dave, who liked the verse quoted above, told me that they really wanted me to come along with them. I suggested that since it was my senior year at college that it was important for me to finish my degree. He agreed that was important but how could I neglect the more important things of God? I had no answer for him, really, but I just told him "no." Then Craig, an elder (though he couldn't have been older than 30), began to work on me. He would call me at all hours, praying over the phone, telling me all kinds of wonderful spiritual truths, and then invite me to come with them. I had never been put in such a situation previously, and it was actually more of a temptation than it might appear at the distance of time. But finally I told Craig that I loved them all (that was a required statement, as I recall), but that I just had to finish my degree. He said something about my rejecting God, and then they left me alone. I hung around Evangelicals and Fundamentalists until I was told so frequently I was going to Hell because of my thoughts that I figured I should hang around people who had a more upbeat message. Well, returning to reality, where does this verse come from?
Sorry I only got through three Scriptures in this quiz, but sometimes the memories come back..