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 XXVIII
Bill Long 1/14/07
1. "For we know if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens," NRSV. The KJV is like unto it (oh, where does that three word phrase from from?): "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with God, eternal in the heavens."
Such a spirit of optimism pervades this verse. The preceding verses expressed the same feeling--our outer body may be wasting away but our inner nature is being renewed day by day. We have something to look forward to, according to this author, and that something is the bolded verse above. I learned these words first through a hymn, however. It was set to the famous tune of St. Anne (most familiar in "O God, Our Help in Ages Past") but it was not that most familiar hymn. It was "O Where are Kings and Empires Now of Old that Went and Came?" lyrics by A. C. Coxe. The fourth verse runs: "Unshaken as eternal hills,/ Immovable she stands,/ A mountain that shall fill the earth,/ A house not made by hands." It is interesting that this hymn, in the Episcopal Hymnal, equates the "house not made by hands" with the Church, while most expositions of the passage I have read concluded that this "house" is the individual Christian's "house." We don't have to solve this burning exegetical conundrum right now for you to tell me where it comes from. It shouldn't be too hard. Ok, time's up. Where do you find it?
2. "He brought me into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me," NRSV. The KJV talks about being brought into a "large place."
It is the large or broad place which attracts my interest today. The Hebrew word behind it is "rehoboth." I recall my early days at Brown University in 1970-71 where I decided to attend worship at a Plymouth Brethren assembly with my friend Norm Howarth. We were picked up by Dave and Ellie Greeenhalgh, who lived in Providence, and off we went to church. The church was located in Swansea, MA, about 10 or 15 miles from Providence. Norm was nurtured in that tradition and was constantly trying to argue for its superiority over my Presbyterianism. I was open to almost anything in those days, so I eagerly went along. I enjoyed lots of good meals after church, I recall. In any case, in order to get out to Swansea we had to drive through a MA town named "Rehoboth." I didn't know why the town was so named, but when I began studying Hebrew in 1972-73 I ran across the word, derived from the Scriptures. I love the idea behind this verse because it suggests that the support derived by the author from God could be characterized as being led from "the mighty waters" to a "broad place." The place of deliverence is therefore known as the "broad place." That image is particularly powerful to us today who feel strained, confined, constrained, restricted, limited, boxed in, caged, etc. in our lives. We know, more than anything, that we need a "broad place" in which to live and do our work. I have used this phrase repeatedly, as well as the words "to paint my life on a broader canvas," to characterize what I felt has happened to me in the past few years. I have been able to live in the broad places of life. The broad place can be a physical location but it is, most likely, a place of inner freedom. Have you ever been there? Are you there now? Ok, where is the verse?
3. "If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it," NRSV.
The author of this text is referring to the Body of Christ, the Church, but many people who know the reality of this verse (if they do, in fact), experience it in relation to other groups, too. For the past 10 years I have been part of a group I affectionately call "The Salem Liberals." Though some of us periodically move to Portland, this group numbers about 10 people from about 50 - 70 and meets once a month at one of the member's homes. We begin each time with a ritual bashing of George Bush, sort of like a unison call to worship, and then we delve into issues political, religious, literary or other that people want to speak about. When a member has a health concern, the others in the group seemingly miraculously surround that person with words of support and offers of help that really are quite heartening. When one member fights City Hall (or, in this case, the County Planning Commission), we are all there to listen and support. This verse has been most real to me in the context of that group. So, where do you find it? (the verse, I mean).
4. "Let the endlers who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.." NRSV.
I think this verse has stuck in my mind because of the concept of a "double honor" or "double blessing." "Doubles" have interested me ever since I got my first double scoop of chocolate ice cream in a cone as a kid, I think. Thus, wherever I see a "double" in literature, I sit up, as if something special is coming my way. Well, here it is a double honor to those who both preach and teach. I wish I could do both in life. In fact, I just finished my teaching job, so chances are that I won't be doing much of either over the next several months, years or even for life. Who knows? But at least I have this verse to play with in my mind. Where do you find it?
5. "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love," KJV. The NRSV makes it less visual when it says, "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his intention toward me was love."
I have no doubt that the NRSV is the better translation here, but I first learned the verse through a sort of weird Young Life song derived from the KJV while I was in High School. I wasn't really a regular Young Life attendee, even though they seemed to want every jock in the high school (and I was moderately successful in that department) to come to meetings. The cheerleader-types would welcome you at the door, and who could resist their smiles and short skirts? YL seemed just too "gung ho" for me, even though they promised that if I really wanted to get "deep" with people, I should go to "Campaigners," a 7:00 a.m. breakfast at the Jenks' home not far from mine. But I think I never went because the word "Campaigners" hung me up. I couldn't separate the word from political "campaigns" and so I completely misunderstood what was going on. Well, in any case, we sang this little ditty in YL about God bringing us to his banqueting table, and "his banner over me is love." You were supposed to make a sort of tent over your head when you sang the last line. I never got into hand-motions when singing, but I was amazed as I gazed around the room and saw apparently normal people making tent-motions over their heads when they sang it. Indeed, the subject of the sentence is not really God in the text, but we spiritual high schoolers thought it was. In any case, I will never hear this verse without seeing teens making tents with their hands. Where do you find it and what is its context?