Thursday, December 13, 2012

Answers to the Christmas Quiz

The craft-set Nativity Scene finished by Megan several years ago.

If anyone reading this has not read yesterday's post, STOP READING.

Now go to yesterday's post and take the quick little quiz there. Then come back here for the answers.

Now, for the answers. The key to understanding the answers is that, as stated yesterday, this is a Bible quiz. Only the things that are clearly stated in the Bible will count as True answers.

1.  False. We all so clearly see in our mind's eye the picture of Mary riding on a donkey. There is no donkey mentioned in the Bible. In fact, Luke 2:4,5 simply says they "went" from Nazareth to Bethlehem. (My guess is they walked, which would probably be more comfortable for a pregnant girl than a donkey ride.)

2.  False.  The manger was Jesus' first bed, but not where he was born. (The Bible doesn't even mention a stable, barn, or cave--just the manger, which is a feed trough for animals.)

3 .False.  Luke 2:9-14. The first angel "said" his message, then a multitude of angels joined him "saying". . . . (Of course there could have been music, but it simply isn't mentioned.)

4.  False.  No date is mentioned in the Bible. In fact, there is no mention in the Bible of early Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus. The closest we can come is from the references to Caesar Augustus in Luke and to Herod the king in Matthew. From known dates of their rules, scholars have estimated the birth of Jesus to have fallen between 7 and 4 B.C. They guess his birth was probably in the spring due to the reference of the shepherds being out with the sheep at night.

5.  False.  All the Bible (in Matthew 2:1) tells us about the wise men is that they came from the East. Three gifts are mentioned, but not the number of wise men. The names come from fiction stories.

6.  False.  The Bible tells us the wise men "came" and they "departed." How they traveled is not stated; could have been camels, or horses, or wagons drawn by some animal, or donkeys, or on foot. But we will always associate the wise men with camels because of all the paintings we have seen with camels. And the wise men and shepherds could not have been together at the manger. The shepherds were sent there by the angel on the day Jesus was born. The wise men traveled from "the east," and by the time they reached Bethlehem Jesus was no longer referred to as a "babe" but as a "young child" and the family was living in a house (Matthew 2:9-11). But, I still put them all in my Nativity set, because it is representational of the whole advent story, not because it is historically accurate!

7.  False.  The little drummer boy is a figment of song and story, but not from the Bible. But we like him anyway!

All of these myths, misunderstandings, and misconceptions are deeply planted in our minds by the popular represetations we have seen and heard all our lives. They are harmless, not damaging to our faith, but it is good to know the reality of the Bible account .

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