Would you pass a basic Bible quiz?

Christian . . . Are you growing in knowledge of God’s word? Paul wrote to the Philippians (1:9), “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.” Love among and for the brethren must be grounded in truth, in the knowledge of God’s word. You are no help to your hurting brother in Christ if you offer him warm, fuzzy psycho-babble. Love him by sharing Biblical truth that can strengthen, encourage, and direct. Paul desires the believers to grow “in all judgment” – discernment. The Christian that falls for the next spiritual fad is of no use in God’s work . . . especially in evangelism. If you love the lost, you had better be able to show him his errors in reasoning so that you can show him his sins and his need for the Savior.

So I offer a basic Bible quiz, especially for adults who have been believers for several (or many) years. I promise that this quiz is ‘basic’ – elementary. I have resisted what might be considered advanced topics. I have also avoided what some could term ‘trivia’ . . . for example, how did Balaam finally assist Balak to get the Israelites cursed? Even though such topics are not ‘trivia’ at all. We should be familiar with the historical accounts which God has provided for our instruction – Romans 15:4.

Since this is an elementary quiz, a qualifying test for basic Bible knowledge, a passing grade would mean at least 90% of questions answered thoroughly. I’m not trying to stump anyone. You really should know this stuff!

Is this quiz thoroughly comprehensive on THE MOST VITAL questions on THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL truths? No, of course not. Consider it to be a ‘typical’ basic quiz. Teachers: if you decide to actually test your students, and you don’t like this quiz, then construct one at an equivalent level. For example, replace the question about Jeremiah with one about Isaiah.

Regarding pastors / elders . . . the test is not meant for you to take. It should be embarrassing if you have any trouble with it. Rather, you can use this test to evaluate whether you have fulfilled your responsibilities. If the people you teach fail to pass, then you fail. Something needs to change . . . don’t just preach louder!

So, before we begin . . . Don’t get nervous! . . . be assured that if you fail you can recover and re-qualify. I’ll have some comments at the end to suggest how to correct whatever deficiencies you uncover – in your own knowledge or as you re-embrace your responsibility to others.

Section #1: Closed Bible questions . . . you are allowed only pencil and paper.
Time limit: 2 hours

Q1: List all 10 of the 10 commandments. (See, I told you this test would be easy!)

Q2: Explain how the Lord Jesus, in His earthly ministry, taught the moral law. Did He affirm it, diminish it, or amplify it? Give some specific examples from His teaching.

Q3: Why did the nation of Israel split? Which tribes split? Describe the spiritual development of both parts of the nation until the Babylonian captivity. Give several specific examples to illustrate this development.

Q4: Which Old Testament prophet is most despised by modernists, because of his detailed prophecies concerning the centuries to follow? Give a couple of examples of his prophecies which were fulfilled before the 1st coming of Christ.

Q5: What was the historical context surrounding Jeremiah’s ministry – namely, what was the big problem? What was his bad news? What wonderful hope did he offer?

Q6: Which of the 4 Gospel accounts is ‘different’ from the other 3? Explain how.

Q7: Describe 3 Old Testament ‘types’ fulfilled in the New Testament. (For example, the Passover lamb, without blemish, was slain and its blood used to deliver anyone who applied it properly – to the doorposts. The fulfillment is the sinless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, whose blood cleanses from sin anyone who repents and believes . . . thus, the Passover Lamb is a deliberate God-given ‘type’ to point to Christ . . . now, describe 3 other types.)

Q8: What was the main problem that Paul addressed in his letter to the churches of Galatia and what was his argument to correct the problem?

Q9: Name at least 5 of the 7 churches listed in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Summarize the messages given to 2 of them.

Q10: Quote from memory 5 verses from the OT and 5 verses from the NT. Quote them perfectly.

Section #2: Open Bible questions . . . you are allowed pencil, paper, and a plain Bible with no commentary notes, cross references, or appendices.
Time limit: 2 hours

Q1: Use Scripture to support the doctrines of the Trinity and the Deity of Christ.

Q2: Find passages from 3 different OT books that prophesy the 1st coming of Christ. Explain their significance (namely, don’t just list the verses).

Q3: Find passages from 3 different OT and 3 different NT books that prophesy the 2nd coming of Christ.

Q4: Some people assert that Paul and James contradict each other regarding the relationship among faith, works, and salvation. Use Scripture and explain how these two NT writers are in perfect accord.

Q5: Use several OT and NT passages to demonstrate the ‘young earth creationist’ position.

Q6: Use the Bible to show that a believer immediately goes to Heaven when he dies, and that an unbeliever goes to Hell. (Not talking about final judgment . . . but in this present age.)

Q7: Use Scripture to identify at least 15 characteristics of a growing, sanctified follower of Christ.

Q8: Use Scripture to identify at least 15 characteristics of lost people.

Q9: Use at least 3 different books of the Bible to show that Scripture commands us to identify and separate from false teachers.

Q10: Show from the Bible that tithing is God’s method to support the NT churches in order for them to build costly facilities and to pay salaried clergy / staff who must graduate from Bible colleges and be ordained by others who have also done so. (Good luck with this one!!)

Section #3: History of God’s people since the 1st century . . . you are allowed only pencil and paper.
Time limit: 2 hours

Q1: Pick any 5 historical ‘good guys’ out of the following list and describe the significance of their work.

– John Wycliffe
– Erasmus
– William Tyndale
– John Wesley
– Shubal Stearns
– Hudson Taylor or Adoniram Judson
– Charles Spurgeon

Q2: Pick any 4 historical ‘bad guys’ out of the following list and describe the trouble they caused.

– Origen
– Augustine
– Ignatius of Loyola
– B. F. Westcott and/or F. J. A. Hort
– Rick Warren
– Rob Bell or Brian McLaren

Q3: Christian authors . . . Pick either John Bunyan or Henry Morris and describe his principal work and its significance.

Q4: Explain in a few paragraphs how God has preserved His inerrant word and propagated independent local churches since the 1st century . . . apart from and despite the efforts of the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches that came out of the Reformation. Mention at least 2 groups of believers that thrived under persecution during the Middle Ages.

Section 4: Practicum . . . Open Bible – you may use a cross-referenced study Bible, plus pen and paper.
Time limit: 2 hours

Q1: You are with an elderly, life-long committed Roman Catholic man who is on his deathbed . . . He has about 10 minutes to live. He insists that he believes in Jesus as his Savior. Show him from the Bible what his fatal errors are and what he must do.

Q2: You share lunch with a young, college-educated Muslim. Start on common ground – the law of Moses – and explain to him the differences between God and Allah, the Gospel and the Muslim’s hope for Paradise, and what he must do to be saved.

Q3: Use your Bible to refute the false Calvinist doctrines of Total Depravity and Unconditional Election. Explain how these doctrines, when embraced in youth, can prevent someone from understanding the Biblical Gospel and becoming a born again believer.

Q4: An atheist insists that he will not listen to your Bible quotes, since he doesn’t believe the Bible to be true. You must first convince him that God might exist. Give him at least 3 affirmative arguments for God being real, and then at least 3 arguments from your general knowledge of basic science to show that evolution is obviously false.

Q5: Give 3 examples where Jesus tried to reach an individual lost soul in the Gospel accounts. Explain His methodology in each case.

Q6: Explain briefly the major differences between Peter’s open-air argument in Acts 2 and Paul’s corresponding message on Mars Hill. How can you apply these principles to your own personal evangelism?

Q7: Do you have at least 100 verses in your current memory bank? Answer simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

Q8: If you have been a believer for several years, have you read the Bible through several times? If many years . . . many times? Answer simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

Q9: In the last month, have you ‘practiced’ your responsibility in evangelism by sharing the Gospel with at least 5 lost people – who were strangers to you? ‘Sharing the Gospel’ must include pointing out that their sins will bring judgment and Hell, and that they must repent – forsake their sins, and trust Christ . . . which will be demonstrated by a new birth and a changed life; ie., you didn’t take shortcuts. Answer simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

Q10: In the last month have you prayed in tears for the burden of another believer. Answer simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. (Do you know why this question is both relevant and important?)

end of exam – Whew! Tired? Oh, sorry, too long? Have you ever taken the SAT or ACT? How about the GRE (Graduate Record Exam)? Were they too long? How about all of those Finals Weeks in college? Oh, but those were to test important skills, you say. Why would anyone be bothered with testing Bible knowledge?

Isn’t it interesting how ‘discipleship’ – in practice – seems to consist of about 2 or 3 hours per week of sitting under Sunday School lessons and pulpit sermons . . . for decades . . . with no accountability, no exams, no apparent care whether anyone learns anything! The secular world does far better than that. Engineers are not merely lectured to for a few years and then unleashed to build bridges and computers. Pediatricians in training do more than watch Power Point shows before you entrust them with your sick child. Lawyers must repeatedly demonstrate knowledge and skills in rhetoric and writing before they will be licensed by the state.

But the greatest work in God’s universe – making and developing disciples of Jesus Christ – involves no real training, no testing, no care whether anyone ‘gets it’ or not. The few young folks who develop any noticeable zeal are sent off to ‘Bible College’ and become hirelings to some other congregation. Now they are the ones in the pulpit conducting 2-hour per week ‘discipleship’ lectures for the ‘laity’ in the pews. (See my article, “Don’t go to Bible college.”)

Did you pass the exam? Great! Get ready for more advanced study! Those questions were really just elementary . . . surely, you agree. Any 16-year-old raised in a Christian family should pass easily. You wouldn’t send your children out into the pagan / apostate / humanistic world without knowing at least this much, would you?!?

Did you fail? Ok, don’t get discouraged. Do something about it! If your ‘discipleship’ training has been via the traditional failed system described above, then figure out the NT model for yourself . . . described in several articles in the Discipleship section of this site. Man up! You are going to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ – the ultimate test!!! – and give an account for your own life, and for the discipleship responsibilities you have for your wife, your children, and other believers around you.

Don’t just drift along in the system. I’m hoping that for someone out there that this little quiz might be a wakeup call.

There is a spiritual war on and you need some armor and some weapons!!!

It’s your job . . . your pulpit-pew system is blocking your growth. It’s not helping . . . at least be honest with yourself.

Feel free to correspond if you like. I’m not trying to convince paid clergy – they are committed to their facilities and salaries and . . . they fear for their paychecks, which depend on an unbiblical distinction between clergy and laity. (See 1 Peter 2:9 and Rev 1:6). But you know that you should invest in the gifts God has given you. And follow His way toward spiritual growth and usefulness in the greatest calling of all – The Great Commission.

– drdave@truthreallymatters.com

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