The Ultimate Bible Knowledge Quiz

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is the Septuagint?

What is the Masoretic Text?

What are pseudepigrapha?

What is the difference between the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint?

What is the difference between the Peshitta and the Ethiopian Orthodox canon?

What is the basis for Jewish religious law?

What are the four genres of Christian literature in the New Testament?

What is the difference between the Catholic and Protestant Old Testament canons?

What is the purpose of the Pastoral Epistles in the New Testament?


The Bible is a collection of religious texts considered sacred by many religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Samaritanism. It is an anthology of texts of various genres, including instructions, stories, poetry, and prophecies. The collection of materials accepted as part of the Bible by a particular religious community is called a biblical canon. The Bible is generally considered to be a product of divine inspiration, but interpretation can vary. The earliest collection of the Bible contained the first five books (the Torah) and was followed by a collection of narrative histories and prophecies (the Nevi'im) and a collection of psalms, proverbs, and narrative histories (the Ketuvim). These three collections form the Hebrew Bible or "TaNaKh." The Septuagint is a Koine Greek translation of the Tanakh from the third and second centuries BCE, which largely overlaps with the Hebrew Bible. Christianity began as an outgrowth of Judaism, using the Septuagint as the basis of the Old Testament, and new scriptures were written in Koine Greek forming the New Testament. The Bible is the best-selling publication of all time, with estimated total sales of over five billion copies. It has had a profound influence on Western culture, history, and cultures around the globe. The study of the Bible through biblical criticism has indirectly impacted culture and history. The oldest books of the Bible began as songs and stories orally transmitted from generation to generation, and the Bible was written and compiled by many people from a variety of disparate cultures. The oldest existing copies of the books of the Hebrew Bible are the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in the caves of Qumran in 1947. There are three major historical versions of the Hebrew Bible: the Septuagint, the Masoretic Text, and the Samaritan Pentateuch. The Masoretic Text is considered the authoritative text of the Hebrew Bible by modern Rabbinic Judaism. All biblical texts have variants, which are any deviations between two texts, and can be accidental or intentional. The majority of all variants are accidental, such as spelling errors, but some changes were intentional. The narratives, laws, wisdom sayings, parables, and unique genres of the Bible provide opportunity for discussion on most topics.Overview of the Hebrew Bible, its themes, and structure

  • The Hebrew Bible covers a wide range of themes including the role of women, sex, children, marriage, neighbors, friends, animals, trees, nature, money, economics, work, relationships, sorrow, despair, and the nature of joy among others.

  • The Bible contains assumptions about the nature of knowledge, belief, truth, interpretation, understanding, and cognitive processes.

  • The Bible teaches the nature of valid arguments, the nature and power of language, and its relation to reality.

  • Humans have free will, but it is a relative and restricted freedom in the biblical metaphysic.

  • The Bible provides patterns of moral reasoning that focus on conduct and character.

  • The Hebrew Bible is taken from the Masoretic Text, which dates from 1008 and can be referred to as the authoritative Hebrew Bible or Tanakh.

  • The Torah is also known as the "Five Books of Moses" and provides the basis for Jewish religious law.

  • The Nevi'im is the second main division of the Tanakh and tells a story of the rise of the Hebrew monarchy and its division into two kingdoms, focusing on conflicts between the Israelites and other nations, and conflicts among Israelites.

  • The Ketuvim is the third and final section of the Tanakh and is believed to have been written under the inspiration of Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) but with one level less authority than that of prophecy.

  • The Septuagint is a Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible begun in the late third century BCE, and it expanded as the work of translation progressed.

  • The Book of Daniel is preserved in the 12-chapter Masoretic Text and in two longer Greek versions, the original Septuagint version, and the later Theodotion version from the second century CE.Overview of Biblical Texts and Their History

  • Jerome rejected the Septuagint version of the book of Daniel in Christian usage, and instead, the churches read the version of Theodotion.

  • Theodotion's Daniel is closer to the Hebrew Masoretic Text version, which is the basis for most modern translations, and is the one embodied in the authorized edition of the Septuagint published by Sixtus V in 1587.

  • Textual critics are debating how to reconcile the earlier view of the Septuagint as 'careless' with content from the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran, which have confirmed much of the Masoretic text, but they have also differed from it, and many of those differences agree with the Septuagint.

  • Pseudepigrapha are works whose authorship is wrongly attributed, and it is not the same as apocryphal works that are outside the canon because they are not accepted as authentically being what they claim to be.

  • The Old Testament pseudepigraphal works include the Books of Enoch such as 1 Enoch, 2 Enoch, and 3 Enoch, which are ancient Jewish religious works, traditionally ascribed to the prophet Enoch.

  • The New Testament is the name given to the second portion of the Christian Bible, and it was generally accepted that the New Testament writers were Jews who took the inspiration of the Old Testament for granted.

  • The Protestant Old Testament of the twenty-first century has a 39-book canon, while the Roman Catholic Church recognizes 46 books as its Old Testament, and the Eastern Orthodox Churches recognize 6 additional books.

  • The Syriac Orthodox Church includes additional books in its Old Testament canon, such as the Book of Enoch and Jubilees.

  • The New Testament is a collection of 27 books of 4 different genres of Christian literature (Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles, and Apocalypse).

  • The Gospels are narratives of Jesus' last three years of life, his death, and resurrection, while the Pauline Epistles are written to individual church groups to address problems, provide encouragement, and give instruction.

  • The Pastoral Epistles discuss the pastoral oversight of churches, Christian living, doctrine, and leadership, and the Catholic Epistles, also called the general or lesser epistles, provide general teachings and exhortations to the early Christian church.

  • Both Catholics and Protestants use the same 27 books in the New Testament, and most of the books were already agreed upon as scripture by the late first and early second centuries.

  • By the end of the fourth century, the New Testament canon was effectively set, and most of the books that were seen as scripture were already universally accepted.Variations in the Bible's canon exist in different traditions such as the Peshitta and the Ethiopian Orthodox canon, which includes 81 books. The Catholic Church canon consists of 46 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. The Bible has had a profound influence on politics, law, war and peace, sexual morals, marriage and family life, letters and learning, the arts, economics, social justice, medical care and more. While the Bible has contributed to the formation of Western law, art, literature, and education, critics view certain biblical texts as morally problematic and say they have been used to support the death penalty, patriarchy, sexual intolerance, the violence of total war, and colonialism. The Bible's teachings on social responsibility and charity have transformed healthcare, education, and public health care. The Bible's emphasis on learning has led to the development of national literatures and the invention of alphabets. The Bible has directly and indirectly influenced literature and art. Biblical texts have always required interpretation, and this has given rise to multiple views and approaches according to the interplay between various religions and the book. The Bible is seen as religiously and intellectually significant, providing insight into its time and into the composition of the texts, and it represents an important step in the development of thought.


How well do you know the Bible and its history? Test your knowledge with this quiz covering topics such as the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, the New Testament, and variations in the Bible's canon. From the role of women to the nature of free will, the Bible covers a wide range of themes that have had a profound influence on Western culture and history. Challenge yourself and see how much you know about the world's best-selling publication.

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