“Fall on your knees.
Oh hear the angel voices.
Oh night divine, oh night,
when Christ was born.”
– O Holy Night
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
It is easy to enjoy Christmas with its live altar as a crib, clean straw, nice furry animals, and its Christmas card atmosphere of sweetness and charm. In the same way, it was easy for the Jews in Christ’s time to enjoy temple worship with the Holy of Holies, the Ark, and the Veil: all this undying appeal stimulates and enchants us. But redemption was not worked out in temple worship. It was worked out in ordinary life among the ruck of the sinful, sick, maimed, stupid, and self-interested. It was accomplished through sharing the suffering and injustice of life. There was a temple ritual already, but Reality reached and won its creatures by contact through personality, a contact that now and then evades nothing and leaves nothing out. – Evelyn Underhill
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King; peace on earth, and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled.”
At Christmas time, Christians celebrate the incarnation of Christ.
Hymn to the Only Begotten Son [St. John Chrysostom]
Over the days, the journey of Advent
the nativity evolving,
the scene coming into focus
beginning with the couple, expectant
alone, in the rented stable
away from family, from home
waiting, under his star, for a son,
foretold by angels, by prophets
Shepherds watching their sheep, expectant
on guard for predators, for robbers
awake for trouble, called by herald angels
to the babe newborn in the manger.
Wise men, long before his birthing,
following a star, in the west,
leading them and their gifts
to his lowly bed.
All of us, through the ages
drawn to the bed of the newborn king
our savior come into the world
to set us free.
It’s never too early to start planning for overseas holiday mailings, according to Postmaster Dennis J. Mahoney.With thousands of American troops and civilians stationed around the world, the coming weeks will be a busy time for mailing international and military parcels and packages, he said.
He listed below the major dates recommended for mail to be delivered by Dec. 25.
- Nov. 13 —Parcel Post to military APO/FPO addresses.
- Dec. 4 —First-Class cards and letters or Priority Mail to military APO AE ZIP 093 addresses.
- Dec. 11 —First-Class cards and letters or Priority Mail to all other military APO/FPO addresses.
- Dec. 18—Express Mail Military Service to all military APO/FPO addresses except APO ZIP 093.
- Dec. 4 —Priority Mail and First-Class Mail to Africa and Central or South America International Mail locations.
- Dec. 11 —Priority Mail and First-Class Mail to all other International Mail locations.
- Dec. 12—Express Mail International to Africa and Central and South America.
- Dec. 17 —Express Mail International to all other countries (except Canada, Dec. 18).
- Dec. 19—Global Express Guaranteed to all countries (except Canada, Dec. 20).
“We hope the publication of these dates will prove beneficial to persons mailing cards and gifts to foreign countries so they will arrive in a timely manner,” he said.
He said the Postal Service’s website www.usps.com can prove to be a helpful resource during this holiday mailing season, offering a wide variety of links to mailing and shipping tools.