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How well do you know the Christmas story?

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW THE CHRISTMAS STORY?

Here are twenty multiple choice questions for you to answer. There is at least one correct answer to each question but some have more than one right answer (in all 27). Each correct answer receives five points for a possible total of 135 points. For every wrong answer, five points will be deducted, so be careful! Since Christmas is to be a joyous occasion, you may find reason to laugh at some of the choices, but don't let yourself get fooled by trick questions! You may not use your Bible. DO NOT LOOK AT THE ANSWERS UNTIL FINISHED!! 1. When Joseph discovered that Mary was expecting a child... a. he was very happy b. he asked for a divorce c. he contemplated getting a divorce d. he brooded over it until he fell asleep 2. Before Jesus was born... a. Joseph left Mary b. Mary left Joseph c. Joseph and Mary led a normal married life d. Joseph built a crib 3. Why did Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem? a. King Herod made a decree b. Joseph and Mary were related to the king c. A star appeared and led them to Bethlehem d. An angel appeared and told them to go 4. How did Joseph and Mary get to Bethlehem? a. They both rode donkeys b. Mary rode a donkey and Joseph walked c. They rode camels d. The Bible doesn't say 5. Which animals were present at the manger when Christ was born? a. Sheep and cows b. Donkey and ox c. The Bible only mentions sheep d. The Bible doesn't say 6. What did the shepherds in the field see? a. an army b. a choir c. a star d. three kings 7. Who were the visitors from the East? a. Relatives b. Kings c. Astronomers d. Farmers 8. How did these visitors find the baby Jesus? a. They followed the star to Nazareth b. They followed the star to Bethlehem c. They followed the star to Jerusalem d. They followed the instructions of King Herod 9. What did these visitors do when they arrived? a. They had a snowball fight b. They found the child in a manger c. They dreamed of the bad man d. They sang Christmas carols 10. Which is the most probable time of Christ's birth? a. December b. In the year "Zero" c. In the year "One" d. Five to seven Anno Domini 11. The innkeeper... a. ...sent Joseph and Mary away because they were Jews b. ..was angry because they woke him from a sound sleep c. ..offered them a place in the stall d. ..isn't mentioned in the Bible 12. Which book of the Bible has the most to say about Christ's advent? a. Revelation b. Matthew c. Luke d. Isaiah 13. When Christ was born... a. ...there was snow in Bethlehem b. ...there was snow in Jerusalem c. ...there was snow in Israel d. ...the Bible doesn't mention snow 14. How many brothers and sisters did Jesus have? a. Jesus had two brothers b. There were at least seven children c. Jesus was an only child d. The Bible doesn't say 15. Where did Jesus live the shortest length of time? a. Bethlehem b. Nazareth c. Egypt d. Capernaum 16. Why did Joseph and Mary take Christ to Jerusalem? a. because Herod wanted to kill him b. for Christ's baptism c. for Christ's circumcision d. for Christ's dedication service 17. When was Jesus baptized? a. shortly after his birth b. on his first birthday c. as a young lad of twelve d. a few years before his death 18. As a youngster... a. ...Jesus was a good student b. ...Jesus stayed back c. ...Jesus confounded the teachers with his knowledge d. ...Jesus' parents were not happy about his behavior 19. How did Jesus get his name? a. An angel gave him his name before he was born b. Joseph named him c. He received his name in the temple when 8 days old d. The prophet Isaiah gave him his name 20. How well do you think you did on this test (Read instructions again!)?= =20 a. I believe I received between 75 and 135 points b. I think I have 50 to 70 points c. I probably only have 25 to 45 points d. I doubt if I got more than 20 points Answers to Christmas Quiz: 1. The correct answer is "d" Joseph was not at all happy about Mary's pregnancy. He contemplated "putting her away" (breaking their engagement) but since they were not yet married, he could not have gotten a divorce. According to Matthew 1:18-20, Joseph brooded about the situation until he fell asleep and an angel appeared in a dream. 2. The correct answer is "b" According to Matthew 1:25, they did not lead a normal married life until after the birth of Christ. Mary left Joseph when she made an extended visit with her cousin Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:39 and 56). 3. The correct answer is "b" Not King Herod, but Augustus made the decree mentioned in Luke 2:1-4. According to the genealogies of Matthew 1 and Luke 3, both Joseph and Mary were descendants of King David, whose birthplace was Bethlehem. 4. The correct answer is "d" The Bible doesn't say how Joseph and Mary got to Bethlehem. All other answers are "Christmas card theology"! 5. The correct answer is "b" This idea is taken from the writings of Isaiah who wrote, "The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand." Since it is Christmas and we want everyone to live peaceably, "d" may also be considered correct. If you checked both, you get ten points even though that would be a contradiction - it's Christmas! 6. The correct answer is "a" The shepherds first saw a solitary angel, who was soon joined by a heavenly host (army), which praised God, saying... Nowhere in the Bible is there a reference to angels singing, although Revelation 8 speaks of them blowing trumpets. The NIV mentions angels singing in Rev.5:12, but the Greek word is "lego", which means speaking. I still think that they can sing though! 7. The correct answer is "c" Because there were three gifts, some reason that there were three visitors. The Bible does not say that they were kings. This is an old tradition of the Church, which even gives them names and racial origins. The Bible describes them as Chaldean or Babylonian "magi" which indicates persons who study the stars. One root for this tradition can be found in Isaiah 49:7-12 and 60:3-6. (See comments at end!) 8. The correct answer is "a" (See comments at end!) 9. The correct answer is "c" According to Matthew 2:9-12, they dreamed of Herod, who was obviously a very bad man. Only the shepherds are reported to have visited the stall. (See comments at end!) 10. The correct answer is "d" This is the only question that cannot be answered from the Bible, but you should be aware of the fact, that our calendar is not correct. 11. The correct answer is "d" The Bible mentions an inn, but not the innkeeper (Luke 2:6)! 12. The correct answer is "d" More is written about the coming of the Christ in the book of Isaiah than in all four gospels together. 13. The correct answer is "c" Jeremiah wrote "Does the snow of Lebanon ever vanish from its rocky slopes?" (Jer. 18:14) and there is a similar verse in Isaiah 55:10. The peak of Mount Hermon glistens with perpetual snow.=20 14. The correct answer is "b" Matthew 13:55-56 mentions four brothers and at least two sisters of Jesus. 15. The correct answer is "a" Jesus lived longer times in Nazareth and Capernaum. Many believe that Joseph died sometime before the wedding of Cana, after which the family apparently moved to Capernaum. The stay in Bethlehem was less than 40 days (compare Luke 2:22; 39 and Leviticus 12:4 and comments at end) 16. The correct answer is "d" It was forbidden to enter the temple while unclean; purification rites lasted 40 days according to Leviticus 12:4. 17. The correct answer is "d" Jesus was baptized by John about three years before his crucifixion. 18. The correct answers are "a,b,c,d" Read Luke 2:40-52 and you will see that this is true! 19. The correct answers are again "a,b,c,d" Read Matthew 1:21-25; Luke 2:21 and Isaiah 7:14! 20. Congratulations if you got these five points!=20 Here is a bonus question (no points!): =09 1. Which modern song is most closely related to the angel's message to the shepherds?=09 a. o "Silent Night" b. o "Jingle Bells" c. o "Don't Worry, Be Happy!" d. o "O Tannenbaum" The angels=92 message to the shepherds was "Fear not, for we bring you= tidings of great joy!" That is pretty close to "Don't Worry, Be Happy!", don't you think? COMMENTS and EXPLANATIONS: How did the wise men know that a king had been born in Israel? We know that they saw a star, but how did they know that this star meant? The wise men were obviously familiar with a yet unfulfilled prophecy of the famous Babylonian prophet, Balaam (or Bileam). Chaldea or Babylon (now Iran and Iraq) was world-famous for its Chaldean prophets. Bileam or Baalam lived and prophesied about 1400 years before Christ. The Moabite king, Balak called upon him to curse the Israelites (Numbers 22-24), but against his own will and to the utter chagrin of the Moabite king, Baalam could only bring forth blessing. After several attempts, the king commanded Baalam to cease his prophesies but Baalam was compelled to prophecy one more time. He foretold the appearance of a star which was to announce the coming of a special Jewish king (Numbers 24:17). But the appearance of a new or different star alone would not have in itself provided sufficient evidence. The wise men were undoubtedly also familiar with the unfulfilled prophecy of yet another famous Chaldean prophet, Belteshazzar, better known to us as Daniel. It was acclaimed of both Baalam and Daniel, that all their prophecies came to pass (Numbers 22:6 and Daniel 6:3). Daniel lived about 800 years after Baalam and foretold the exact time in which that special Jewish monarch would arrive on the scene. He even prophesied that this special prince would be executed without a fair trial. (Daniel 9:24-26). Six centuries after Daniel and fourteen centuries after Baalam, the Chaldean astronomers or "wise men" of Matthew's gospel saw a special star and concluded that it had an important significance. Perhaps they searched for clues in the gigantic collection of more than 100,000 clay tablets that were stored in Nineveh, at least 30,000 of which still exist. After recognizing that the only unfulfilled prophecies of their two most famous prophets coincided exactly, the wise men set out on their long journey (about 600 miles) to Jerusalem, where they fully expected to find a new-born prince in the palace of the king. "And when the fullness of time was come..." Galatians 4:4 The arrival of the Chaldean wise men in Jerusalem did not go unnoticed. Their query about a new-born king of the Jews caused no small stir in the king's palace and also in the city. You see, the wise men were not the only ones who were familiar with Old Testament prophecy. Jewish leaders and residents of Jerusalem, including the aged Simeon and Hanna, were also expecting the imminent arrival of the Messiah (Matthew 2:3; Luke 2:25-40). Joseph of Arimithea was also expecting the Messiah (Mark 15:43) and Luke 3:15 declares that the people of Israel were in general expectation of the Christ, wondering if John the Baptist could be the promised Messiah. It is reported that the leading Jews sent Levites and priests to Bethany on the Jordan to investigate this possibility (compare Malechai 4:5; Matthew 11:14; 17:11-13; John 1:19-21). King Herod took this news so seriously ("Even the devils believe and tremble!" - James 2:19) that he called all the leading theologians into his palace for consultation. Gemaliel, Paul=92s famous teacher, was probably among their number (He was also of the line of David. Could he have been staying in "Bethlehem Hotel" where there was no room for Joseph and Mary??). The Jewish Theologians told King Herod that according to Micah 5:1, the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, so he sent the visitors to this town with instructions to return and give a detailed report on their findings to the king (Matthew 2:1-8). Herod was so upset about the failure of the wise men to report back to him, that he ordered the slaughter of all infants in the vicinity of Bethlehem. The star did not lead the wise men to Jerusalem as some assume. It appeared to them first while they were in their own country. Although the wise men set out for Bethlehem, they wound up in Nazareth instead, for the same star which they saw in the east reappeared and directed them to the "house" where the young child was living (Matthew 2:11). Their journey must have taken months, yet Joseph and Mary could not have been in Bethlehem much more than a week. Even if Jesus was circumcised in the Synagogue of Bethlehem after 8 days, he was brought to the temple in Jerusalem for his dedication. This took place after the "purification" which lasted 40 days (Leviticus 12:4), after which the family "returned to Nazareth" (Luke 2:21-22 & 39). The wise men did not obey Herod, but obeyed God instead -- as wise men still do! (Matthew 2:9-12).=20 Have a blessed Christmas and may you be resolved to study your Bible more carefully in the New Year! Quiz and comments by Ralph Harvey, Austria

Quote of the Day

Nothing in all creation is so like God as silence. – Meister Eckhart

check it out

The Seguin-Guadalupe Library has an updated website that I absolutely love!  You can view your account, reserve and recommend books, receive notification when books are almost-due.  You can even apply for a library card online.

IN ADDITION, Hubby and I saved $$$ by borrowing books from our local library – to the tune of a combined total of $541!  [When I informed DH, he grunted and said that I had spent much more than that on books for our home library – I replied ” Isn’t it marvelous news that it wasn’t $541 more!”  DH groaned . . .  I smiled.]

WHAT A DEAL!  Our library is the best bargain in town!

Remember the date due library cards?
POOF!!
Gone! – now a borrower receives a computer printout of ALL books they have currently borrowed and not yet returned.  A good reminder and a record.

I love it!




three French hens (two days early)

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!

 

quote of the day

Books are humanity in print.

– Barbara Tuchman

my Christmas wish to you

Hallelujah!

Teaser Tuesday (one sentence)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesdays  participants can add the book to their To Read Lists if they like your teasers!

She had lived in the neighborhood since defecting from the suburbs the week after that funeral, but she generally avoid setting foot inside St. Raphael Cathedral, wary of her ancestors’ brand of piety.

Colleen Smith’s novel, Glass Halo, is a gem.

Nick Bantock (author of the Griffin and Sabine series) writes: “Eloquently bittersweet, Glass Halo takes you through a stained window into a world of shards.”

snap of the day

Did St. Francis preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats.

– Rebecca West

It’s showtime!

Akira Fujii captured this record of the moon's progress dead-center through Earth's shadow in July 2000 by aligning his camera on the same star for successive exposures.

About 2:35 a.m. (Eastern time), one can view the lunar eclipse (if the sky is not real cloudy).

After weeks of buildup, it’s finally time to go outside and see the full moon go dark — or, if it’s cloudy, watch the total lunar eclipse over the Internet.

North Americans should have the best seats in the house for the event, which reaches its climax at 2:41 a.m. ET Tuesday when Earth’s shadow covers every bit of the moon’s disk. For more than an hour, the moon should glow sunset-red, thanks to the light refracted by the edge of Earth’s atmosphere.

– Alan Boyle, Science Editor

I love everybody

bad news

Got the word this morning.

Wishing all a Merry Christmas and I’m going to Fact-Check this rumor!

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas!

Work of Christmas Begins

When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…

And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.

– Howard Thurman, adapted

one day I’ll fly away

Goodbye – Jasmine – Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden

If you love jazz . . . as I love jazz . . you will find this piece so very moving . . .

 

snap of the day

on the seventh day of Christmas

my true love gave to me . . .

Here I Am, Lord

Wishing you a Merry Christmas (nine more days!)

Maple Cupcakes

MAKE THE MAPLE CUPCAKES

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.  [This time, I made mini-cupcakes.]

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening until ribbon like.  Turn the mixer to low and stream in the maple syrup.  Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the mixture is nearly uniform in color, about 3 minutes.

Add the egg yolks and egg, one at a time, and beat until just incorporated.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated.  Stream in the milk.  Stop the mixer; add the rest of the flour, then turn the mixer on until just combined.  Scrape down the sides and bottoms of the bowl and fold in the walnuts.

Fill the prepared cupcake pan about three-quarters full.  Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Note:  These cupcakes take longer to bake than traditional cupcakes due to the maple syrup.

Allow the cupcakes to cool for 15 minutes in the cupcake pan, and then turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.

MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE MAPLE FROSTING

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter until it is completely smooth.  Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.

Add the sugar and the maple syrup and beat until smooth.  Be careful not to overbeat the frosting or it will lose structure.  (At this point, if you want to, you can tightly cover the frosting and refrigerate it for a day.  Let it soften at room temperature before using.)

ASSEMBLE THE CUPCAKES

There are many ways to frost a cupcake.  If you have a pastry bag, simply fit with the largest tip, fill the bag with frosting, and pipe enough to cover the cupcake in a big mound.  If you do not have a pastry bag, use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop the frosting and dispense it onto the top of the cupcake.  You can also use an offset spatula to frost the cupcakes.  Top with whole toasted walnuts.

Refrigerate any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  Bring cupcakes to room temperature before serving.

Note:  I used pecans (for pecans were what I had!) rather than walnuts.