scripture in context: a 20-point quiz

I’ve been thinking lately about memorizing more scripture, and it occurred to me that we often memorize verses without giving attention to the context in which they should be understood.  So I came up with this little quiz.  I’m not saying an individual has to do well on this test in order to be a good Christian; I am, though, suggesting that those who do well will surely be in the “express line” to enter the pearly gates.  [It is, after all, common knowledge that Christians who know Greek and/or properly understand scripture in context will enter the kingdom of heaven first.]

I’ve listed ten relatively (or extremely) common memory verses, each followed by multiple choice answers.  All you have to do is select the correct context for each verse.  Give yourself one point for each correct answer and another point for each correct book, chapter, and verse you can name. That makes a total possible 20 points.

1.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

a) Peter while preaching at Pentecost
b) John (the Baptist) while preaching a baptism of repentance
c) Jesus in conversation with Nicodemus
d) Jesus while teaching in the synagogue
e) talking dinosaurs who once roamed the earth

2.  “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

a) living a holy life without sin
b) the Holy Spirit empowering Christians to do miracles
c) evangelism and the spread of the gospel
d) being content no matter the situation
e) the ability to run marathons

3.  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”

a) our resurrection from death to life in christ
b) an argument against James’ view of salvation by works
c) an outline of the steps of salvation
d) putting on the whole armor of God
e) the true meaning of Christmas

4.  “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

a) acceptance of Gentiles into the Christian community of faith
b) explanation of the purposes of baptism
c) Christians living by faith and not by sight
d) observance of, and justification by, the law
e) no context — just a song intended to be sung so fast that the words
are unintelligible and the melody unforgettable, which will ruin meditation on these words for all human life and for all time

5.  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God…”

a) commentary on the Eucharist / Lord’s Supper / Communion
b) a definition of worship by Paul
c) description of baptism by Paul
d) the importance of submitting to church leadership
e) again, no context — just a completely random tweet from Paul

6.  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”

a) faith and discipline
b) angels and demons
c) Holy Spirit and power
d) a letter to the church in Ephesus
e) Katy Perry and Justin Bieber

7.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

a) heaven as our goal and reward
b) promise that Christians will have both health and wealth
c) Holy Spirit’s work on behalf of the elect
d) enduring persecution and overcoming temptation
e) the Auburn Tigers will win the national championship next week

8.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

a) the glory of a new covenant
b) the significance of baptism
c) resurrection of the dead at the judgment
d) the Christian’s task in reuniting mankind with God
e) instructions for solving a Rubik’s Cube

9.  “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

a) the Sabbath and rest
b) the authority and usefulness of New Testament scripture
c) the ability of the Old Testament law to convict us of sin
d) being doers of the word, and not hearers only
e) Air Supply was quite possibly the best band of all time

And this last one specifically for us Church of Christ folk:

10.  “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

a) New Testament directives for Christian worship
b) description of a life filled with the Holy Spirit
c) condemnation of instrumental music
d) a prophetic psalm of David
e) this question doesn’t need a ridiculous answer ‘e’
(i’ve already placed it above)

The answers in tomorrow’s post. Though feel free to discuss below today…

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “scripture in context: a 20-point quiz

  1. You know why no one has commented? Because we’ve all been put in our place and unable to reach our keyboards. Point well taken, albeit difficult to swallow. Thank you sir… I think.

  2. a very good reminder. we are too quick to use isolated verses to support our ideas. often if we read the context we would realize that “the verse we keep using doesn’t mean what we think it means….” 😉 OR even what we WANT it to mean. i look forward to the answers. a few i knew, others i will need to look up, but i’m lazy so i’ll just wait for your post 🙂

    i do take offense at your hinting that 9 e is a ridiculous answer. it is very true, just doesn’t apply to question 9 😉

    so what’s up with Justin Bieber? trying to get hits from hordes of teenage girls?

    • trapper, you sound a little like andre the giant in ‘the princess bride.’ wasn’t that his line? something like, “i don’t think that word means what you think it means?” it was concerning the word “inconceivable.”

      air supply really was a good band. and the justin bieber photo, i’m not sure what i was thinking. his name was in the quiz and i didn’t have a photo. you know, i’ve never even heard a song by the guy?

  3. Pingback: scripture in context: answer key | aliens and strangers

  4. I *may have been* jumping up and down when I saw this clever quiz. The whole ‘Scripture out of context’ topic is a big pet peeve of mine as well. It has really changed how I look at Scripture memorization and how I teach my kids to retain Biblical concepts. It causes me to often consider who exactly particular sections were written to – and if I have any right universally claiming them for myself. I think sometimes the answer is yes, and other times it is no.
    I didn’t respond initially because I have (obviously) become an over-commenter. It’s only because this is one of my very favorite blogs and the issues you address are timely and thought provoking. Few people can discuss theology so regularly without coming off as really condescending and high minded. You are a great teacher Mr. Harrison.

    • an over-commenter?! there’s no such thing, tisha. someone has to start the conversation. and who better than someone who actually enjoys the discussion?

      and thanks for the compliment. teaching is one of my great loves (somewhere behind Christ, christie, and baylor), and i was questioning this post because it was so hard to write without overly “religious” language. i still don’t think i succeeded, but at least it didn’t come across as preachy and uppity.

  5. Pingback: looking forward — top 10 posts of 2011 | aliens and strangers

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