"From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures," wrote Paul to Timothy, "which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." II Timothy 3:15-16
Yes, the Bible is the foundation of the Christian faith. But how well do we really know the scriptures? If every word was inspired by God, then an understanding of every word is essential to our complete understanding of God's will for us.
Many of us have gaps in our knowledge of what the Bible says. We may not be able to answer even simple questions, ranging from "What is the tenth Commandment?" to "What happens to us after we die?" But it's all there in black and white.
To improve our understanding of the scriptures, this Web page asks 28 questions in a multiple-choice format, followed by the Bible verses that support the correct answers. (All Bible quotations are given in the "King James" or Authorized Version.)
Try taking this quiz with your family. If you're unsure about a question, try clicking each of the answers in turn.
Along the way, you'll discover an important truth.
Who created heaven and earth?
How many Gods are there?
Were there birds on earth before there was man?
God created everything. Does that include evil?
How many sheep did Noah take on the ark?
Why do we set aside one day a week from work?
What is the tenth Commandment?
Is God all-powerful?
Is God just?
Does God ever change his mind?
Does God ever become tired?
Can God always be found by those who seek him?
In the time of Moses and Aaron, did God order the priests to offer burnt sacrifices?
Did God order his people to commit genocide?
Does God lie?
Is it good to get drunk?
Did Jesus come to earth to bring peace?
Joseph was the earthly father of Jesus. But who was the father of Joseph?
As Christians, should we keep our good deeds secret?
As Christians, should we defend ourselves with weapons?
Should we hate the members of our family?
Pilate placed a sign on the cross. What did it say?
On the first Easter, how many women discovered the empty tomb?
At what time of morning did Mary Magdalene come to the tomb?
How should women behave in church?
If your Christian beliefs are challenged, should you have an answer ready?
Do Christians ever sin?
Is there life after death?
Have you noticed? Every answer you choose turns out to be correct! It's a miracle.
Actually, there's nothing miraculous here. The scriptures simply give more than one answer to each of the questions we've posed. Some of the answers contradict each other.
The lesson: Let us not be idolatrous. Let us not worship the Bible. It is not perfect. It is not God. Rather, it is "the word of God" as it occurred to various people in various situations over a period of a thousand years.
At one time, an eye for an eye was simple justice. At another time, an eye for an eye was cruel and unusual punishment. Both opinions are in the Bible. Both may be right, or neither.
The Bible is both "honor your father" and "hate your father."
It is both "two sheep" and "seven sheep."
It is Jacob and Heli.
It is peace and a sword.
The Bible is black and white.
Many of the questions and answers in this article have been adapted from William Henry Burr's 1859 book Self-Contradictions of the Bible.
For more questions and answers, check out this quiz show I found online.