We plan to post a few Christmas-themed articles from Christian Standard’s archives during the days leading up to the celebration of Jesus’ birth. We’ll start with this Christmas quiz from 1974.
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How’s Your Christmas I.Q.?
December 15, 1974; p. 12;
By Maxine Fream
You’ve heard the Christmas story ever since you were a small child and you know it backwards and forwards, right? So you should have no trouble answering the following few questions, right? Watch it!
True or false?—
1. Joseph and Mary were both descended from King David.
2. Joseph thought Mary’s child was illegitimate and he planned to divorce her.
3. Mary’s mode of transportation to Bethlehem was on the back of a donkey.
4. A heavenly choir of angels sang to the shepherds to announce the Savior’s birth.
5. A special star led the shepherds to the stable where Jesus was born.
6. The shepherds went away and told everyone they met about what had happened to them.
7. Three Wise-men from the East came to worship the new King of the Jews.
8. The names of the Wise-men were Caspar, Melchior, and Belthazar.
9. The Wise-men followed the star for about five miles.
10. The star led them to the stable where Jesus was born.
11. Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to Jerusalem right under the very nose of King Herod, unaware that he posed a threat to the baby’s life.
12. The famed frankincense and myrrh that were presented to Jesus by the Wise-men were actually resins obtained from certain trees.
1. True. Bible scholars are generally agreed that Matthew gives the lineage of Joseph and Luke that of Mary. The lists are alike from Abraham to David, but from David on they are wholly different except for one name. This could be two individuals having the same name, or it could be that the two lines of descent crossed one another in the one person (Matthew 1; Luke 3).
2. True. In Jewish custom, the betrothal was a very important matter—almost as sacred and imposing as the marriage ceremony itself. It could be broken only by a bill of divorcement. Joseph planned to write a bill of divorcement and break the betrothal privately without bringing Mary before a public tribunal (Matthew 1:19; Deuteronomy 24:1).
3. False. No mention is made in Scripture of any animal. They could have had a donkey, but if so, it would more likely have been used, as it normally is, as a pack animal to carry their baggage. Anyone who has ever had opportunity to ride a donkey would realize that its bumpy, jolting gait would be the last thing a woman in the final stages of pregnancy would want to ride on such a journey! It would be far more comfortable and safer to walk (Luke 2:4, 5).
4. False. Sorry to disappoint you music lovers, but the Bible does not say the angels sang anything. They were praising God and “saying . . .” (Luke 2:13).
5. False. No mention is made in the Scriptures of the shepherds seeing a star. An angel announced the birth and gave directions for finding the newborn infant (Luke 2:10-12).
6. True. “And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds” (Luke 2:17, 18).
7. False. We are not told how many Wise-men there were. Three gifts are mentioned, but there could have been any number of Wise-men.
8. False. The names come from a tradition. No names are given in the Gospels.
9. True. The Wise-men followed the star from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, a distance of about five miles. The star did not lead them to Jerusalem from the East—they evidently went there because the current king of the Jews lived in the nation’s capital city of Jerusalem and that was the logical place to look. They told Herod that they had seen His star “in the East.” They did not say they had followed it. After they left Herod, the star which they had seen in the East reappeared, causing much rejoicing on their part, and this time it did lead them.
10. False. Jesus was not in the stable at this time, but in a house, and is no longer called a “babe” but a “young child.” Herod sought to kill all who were “two years old and under” and he was probably making a good deal of allowance, so we know Jesus was not yet two.
11. True. At the end of the forty days allowed by Jewish law for purification (Leviticus 12:2-6) Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple to present Him to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice. This was all before the Wise-men arrived (Luke 2:22).
12. True. Consult any dictionary.
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1-0 incorrect—top Bible scholar
2-3 incorrect—you went to Bible College
4-5 incorrect—above average.
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Mrs. (Donald) Fream and her husband are members of the faculty of Midwest Christian College, Oklahoma City, Okla.