“The Bible must be the most popular yet least-read book in the world!”
(Bishop John Pritchard, Oxford, England, in the preface to “The 100-Minute Bible”)
This isn’t a joke, although it may sound like one. Michael Hinton, who was born in Bristol, England, and spent 25 years as a school headmaster, knows something about the challenges of educating people. Now that Hinton has switched professions and runs a village parish in Kent — he has prepared a remarkable little tool to give people a “big picture” of the Christian Bible.
Bishop Pritchard’s stern verdict is backed up, of course, by data from Gallup Polls to the work of Boston University’s Stephen Prothero, who ReadTheSpirit talked with a couple of weeks ago.
Oh, there’s no problem at all with Bible ownership. Americans have helped the world to keep The Bible such an all-time best seller that it is excluded routinely from “best-seller lists” — to make room for other books in the No. 1 slot on the list.
But do we read it?
Test yourself with this simple Mix ‘n’ Match quiz. It’s based on Hinton’s book — as a way of recommending the little book to you today. (Click on the cover or the title to jump to our review — and you can even buy a copy via Amazon, if you wish.)
Just match these books to excerpts from summaries from Hinton’s little blue volume. Then, click on the link at the
end and the correct answers will pop up. If you’re a daily subscriber by
Email (you can sign up for free on the right-hand side of our site),
we’re sorry that you don’t get this Click-to-See-the-Answers feature in
your Email versions — so, please don’t read too far ahead today, if
you’re an email reader.
THE 10 BOOKS:
1.) 1 Samuel.
2.) 1 Kings.
THESE BOOKS ARE ABOUT:
A.) A secular leader, he’s famous for rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls in record time.
B.) Three guys were thrown into a furnace but they weren’t even wilted by the experience.
C.) There’s pretty strong advice here that we ought to enjoy life — because it speeds past quickly and a lot of it can wind up wasted on vanities.
D.) God buried Moses in a mysterious place.
E.) A wise man tried to tell people the bad news they wanted to hear — but they weren’t interested. Some of his prophecies, written down by Baruch, were burned by a king.
F.) A disgruntled man famously sulked underneath the shade of a bush, because God did not destroy a city. Then God destroyed the bush, instead.
G.) A prophet accused people of being unfaithful to God — and knew something about the subject.
H.) Even the Queen of Sheba was dazzled by a ruler in this book!
I.) A powerful leader, called by God since boyhood, finally agreed to help people find a ruler — and wound up anointing Saul as king.
J.) In their extreme old age, and by a special providence from God, Abraham and his wife Sarah bore a son, Isaac.
When you think you’ve got all the answers, CLICK on the link below in the online version of this
quiz, and the ANSWERS will pop up!
Ready? CLICK for the ANSWERS below …
1.) I. His name was Samuel and he played a major role as a king maker. He eventually anointed David as well.
2.) H. Even though a ruler herself, she was dazzled by Solomon and you’ll find the story in 1 Kings.
3.) G. Hosea knew about unfaithfulness, because he was married to the prostitute Gomer.
4.) A. That’s Nehemiah who was the super-energetic builder. He was a royal official in his day, but not a priestly figure. A good model for inspired lay people, perhaps.
5.) J. The story of Abraham falls within the vast scope of Genesis, which extends from the famous creation story, through the flood, Noah’s ark and far beyond that.
6.) B. These were Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego — of gospel music fame. This trio was so famous, they even got a mention in the Broadway show, “Guys and Dolls.” No kidding.
7.) E. Jeremiah definitely was a herald of bad news — important news for people to hear, but tough messages, nevertheless. He had a very rough life.
8.) C. People may be surprised by how many lines they know from Ecclesiastes by heart. Like: “Vanity! Vanity! All is vanity!” And, “To everything, there is a season …”
9.) D. Your impression of the details here depend on which translation of the Bible you read. Some English versions are a little vague on this point — but the Hebrew clearly indicates that God buried Moses. And, the passage falls in Deuteronomy.
10.) F. That was Jonah, who should have learned his lesson about trusting God’s will at that point. Some translations describe the shady plant in other terms. Hinton calls it a “bush.”
How’d you do?
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