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Do you know the Biblical story of Jesus’ birth?  Do you know what’s “really” in the scriptures, or have you “assumed” some things about the story from all the Christmas stories you’ve read.  Take the following IQ Quiz.  See how well you do.  Check out the scripture verses at the end of each question and then check the answers at the end of the quiz.  You might be surprised by what’s actually in the Bible (or what’s not in the Bible!).  Then, share the quiz with your friends or Sunday School  Class.  It’s sure to open a lot of discussion.

CHRISTMAS I.Q. QUIZ

1. What does the Bible say that the Innkeeper said to Mary and Joseph? (Luke 2:7)
A. “There is no room in the inn.” 
B. “I have a stable you can use.”
C. “Come back later; I should have a vacancy”
D. Both A and B 
E. None of the above

2. A manger is a…
A. Stable for domestic animals
B. Wooden hay storage bin
C. Feeding trough or watering trough
D. Barn

3. Which animals does the Bible say were present at Jesus’ birth?
A. Cows, sheep, goats 
B. Cows, donkeys, sheep
C. Only sheep and cows 
D. Miscellaneous barnyard animals
E. None of the above

4. According to the Bible, who saw the star in the east?
A. Shepherds   
B. Mary and Joseph
C. Three Kings 
D. Both A and C
E. None of the above

5. According to the Bible, how did Mary and Joseph get to Bethlehem?
A. Camel   
B. Donkey
C. Walked   
D. Joseph walked, Mary rode a donkey
E. Horse-drawn chariot 
F. The Bible doesn’t say

6. How many angels spoke to the shepherds? (Luke 2:10)
A. One   
B. Three
C. Multitude   
D. None of the above

7. What did the angels say/sing? (Luke 2:14)
A. “Glory to God in the highest, etc.”
B. “Alleluia”
C. “Joy the world, the Lord is come”
D. “Unto us a child is born, Unto us a son is given”

8. What is a heavenly host?
A. An angel at the gate of heaven 
B. The angel who serves refreshments in heaven
C. An angel choir 
D. An angel army

9. What is Frankincense?
A. A precious metal 
B. A precious fabric
C. A precious perfume 
D. None of the above

10. In Matthew, what does “wise men” or “Magi” refer to?
A. Men of the educated class 
B. Eastern Kings
C. Astronomers   
D. Sages

11. What is Myrrh?
A. Middle Eastern Money 
B. A drink
C. The sound a happy cat makes 
D. A spice used for burying people
E. None of the above

12. How many wise men does the Bible say came to see Jesus? _____

13. Where did the “magi” find Jesus? (Matthew 2:11)
A. In a manger 
B. In a stable
C. In Nazareth   
D. In Egypt
E. In a house   
F. None of the above

14. When the “magi” found Jesus he was… (Matthew 2:11)
A. A babe wrapped in swaddling clothes
B. A young child
C. A boy in the temple 
D. A grown man

15. The “star in the east” that the wise men followed… (Matthew 2:9)
A. Stayed in the same place their entire journey
B. Disappeared and reappeared
C. Moved ahead of them and stopped over the place where Jesus was
D. Stayed above the manger the night Jesus was born
E. None of the above

16. The “magi” stopped in Jerusalem… (Matthew 2:2)
A. To inform Herod about Jesus 
B. To find out where the king was
C. To ask about the star 
D. None of the above

17. Where do we find the story of Jesus’ birth?
A. Matthew   
B. Mark
C. Luke   
D. John
E. All of the above 
F. Only A and B
G. Only A and C 
H. Only A, B, and C

18. When Joseph found Mary was pregnant, what happened?
A. They had a huge wedding 
B. Joseph wanted to break the engagement
C. Mary left town for three months 
D. B and C

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BONUS QUESTIONS:

1.   True or False   There was snow in Israel the night Jesus was born.

2.   In Israel, at the time of Jesus’ birth, a manger was usually made from what type of material?
A. Plywood 
B. Oak
C. Cedar 
D. Stone

3.   How did the magi from the east (most likely Persians), know to follow a star that would lead them the location of the “King of the Jews”? (Daniel 5:11 and 2:28)

4.   What were swaddling clothes? (John 19:40)
A. Baby-sized cotton bed sheets
B. Blankets made from the mother’s clothes
C. Linen strips of cloth used to bury the dead.
D. Large wool blankets tied together

5.   In the song “Hark the Herald, Angels Sing”, what does the phrase “risen with healing in His wings” refer to? (Malachi 4:2)

THE ANSWERS: (read the scriptures beside the questions first)

1. E.     In the Bible, the innkeeper didn’t “say” anything.  In fact, the Bible doesn’t even say that there was an “innkeeper”! (See Luke 2:7)

2. C.     Feeding trough or watering trough

3. E.     The Bible doesn’t say, we just “assume” that since Jesus was placed in a “manger” (and therefore probably in a place where animals were sheltered), that there were various barnyard animals present. However, since the shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks in the fields that night, all the other animals could have been out of the “stable” as well.

4. E.     This is a “trick” question. The “magi” saw the star. However, the Bible doesn’t say how many there were and they were not “kings”, but astronomers or “star gazers” (see answer 10).

5. F.     Although the modern “pictures” in a Bible will show Mary on a donkey with Joseph beside her, the Bible doesn’t actually say!

6. A      Luke 2:10 “The angel of the Lord said unto them…”

7. A      Luke 2:14

8. D      The word “host” means “army” – literally thousands. Now, since there was a “multitude” of the heavenly army” (hosts), there could easily have been from 10,000 – 100,000 angels there that night! No wonder the shepherds were “sore afraid”!

9. C      Frankincense was used in the temple worship of the Lord. It represents his deity because he is truly God born in human flesh.

10. C    The word “Magi” literally means “star-gazers”.

11. D    Myrrh was used as part of the normal Jewish burial customs.  Jesus was buried with a 75 pound mixture of myrrh and aloes. (John 19:39)

12. __   The Bible doesn’t give the number. Many people assume that there were three because of the three gifts. However, in ancient times, these men usually traveled in caravans of ten to twelve, along with a full entourage needed for meals. provisions and protection.

13. E    Matthew 2:11 (see the next answer)

14. B    Matthew 2:11 When the Shepherds found Jesus, he was a “babe” in a manger. The Greek word used in Luke 2 is for a “newborn baby”. However, by the time the Magi appeared in Bethlehem, Jesus had been moved from the manger to a house (verse 11) and the Greek word used in Matthew is for “toddler” or “young child”. He was probably somewhere between 10-18 months old.

15. C    Matthew 2:9 Most people miss this question, because there are so many pictures and dramas in which the star remains stationary over the manger. The star did not appear over the manger (the shepherds did not see the star over Bethlehem that night) nor did it stay stationary over the house. This verse makes it clear that the star moved “in front” of the magi and guided them till it “stood over where the young child was”. These men lived in “the east”. Which means they were already in the “east” when they saw the star “in the east”. (Read Matthew 2:1-2) So, the star had to first move over them and then to the west toward Bethlehem before they could begin to follow the star! This explains why it took them so long from the time the star appeared (at his birth) to reach “the young child”

16. B    Read Matthew 2:2

7. G      Isn’t it amazing how God divinely inspired these two gospel writers to write His exact words, but, yet, He used their interests and professions to recall different aspects of Jesus’ birth. Matthew, a tax collector, records the genealogy of Jesus (used for registration and taxation) and tells the story of the “magi” – men of means from a foreign country. Luke, on the other hand, was a physician, so he records the pregnancy and birth. (Luke 1 and 2)

18. E    Joseph wanted to “put her away” secretly and Mary left town to see her cousin Elizabeth. (Matthew 1:19 and Luke 1:39, 56).  We have no Biblical evidence of a “huge wedding”

Bonus Questions Answers:
1.   True!  It’s a trick question. There is always snow on Mt. Hermon, even in summer. Even though Jesus was most likely born some time in the fall (September-October), and most probably during the Feast of the Tabernacles (Sukkot), there wouldn’t have been snow in Bethlehem. But there would have been snow on Mt. Hermon.

2.   D.   Interestingly enough, most mangers in New Testament times were made of stone. If you visit Israel today, you can see stone mangers used by Solomon to water his horses at Megiddo.

3.   Although there is no Biblical record of exactly who these men were or their point of origin, I personally believe that they were descendants of the “wise men” of Babylon. I believe that God, in His great providence, used Daniel (while he was in captivity in Babylon), to teach these men about future events – including the birth of the Savior of the world. Read Daniel 2:28 and 5:11 and note: Daniel was put in charge of these men!!!

4.   C. Swaddling clothes were strips of cloth (quite often linen), commonly used in the Middle East and Far East to wrap new-born babies to keep their limbs straight. They were also commonly used to bury people. John 19:40 records that Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea “… took the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes (strips) with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.” People who traveled long distances (such as Joseph and Mary traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem) would quite often wrap some of these strips around their waist or pack them in their supplies to use in case someone died during the long journey. So, quite possibly, the swaddling clothes in which Baby Jesus was wrapped, could have been those same linen strips that Joseph was keeping for a burial!!!

5.   Read Malachi 4:2 It was a very common belief during New Testament times that when the Messiah appeared, he would have “healing in his wings”. So, what were his “wings”?.

Every orthodox Jew wore a prayer shawl called a tallit. Even today, you will see rabbis and orthodox Jews wearing prayer shawls – in the synagogues, at festivals such as Passover, and especially in Jerusalem at the Walling Wall.  On the fringes of the prayer shawl (called a “tallit” or “tallith”), attached at the bottom hem, are “tassels” – which are strings tied into knots (called “tzitzit” in Hebrew), which represent the 613 laws of the Old Testament.

Why did they wear these garments with tassels? Because they were commanded to. Deuteronomy 22:12 says, “Make fringes (Hebrew: tzitzit) upon the four quarters/corners (Hebrew: kanaph – ” wings”) of the cloak you wear (Hebrew: tallith).” (See also Numbers 15:38-40). The translation of the word kanaph, the corner of the prayer shawl that holds the tzitzit, is “Wings”. When the true messiah comes, according to Malachi 4:2, he would have ‘healing in his wings”.

In the New Testament, when the woman who had the issue of blood for 12 years reached out to touch the “hem of his garment” (Luke 8:44), she was reaching out to touch the “tzitzit” in the “kanaph” (the “Wings”).   She believed Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesy. So, when she touched the hem – the wings (the tzitzit in the kanaph) – healing went out from Jesus and she was healed. That’s why Jesus said, “your faith has made you whole”. She believed the prophesy was about Jesus – that there was healing in his wings!!!    [Note: Others also believed and wanted to touch his “wings”. See Mark 6:56]

David Langerfeld
The Daily Encourager

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