Sunday, January 21, 2007

New Testament Survey

Following is the key to the to the difficult New Testament Quiz I created earlier, along with some explanations. If you make over 50% on this, you're doing amazing! No cheating - take the quiz before you read the key!

When was Christ born?

  • 5 BC - As Minisinoo pointed out, this is hotly debated in some circles as to whether the year was 3, 4, or 5 BC. At the time I studied this, Evangelical scholars were leaning towards 5 BC, but anything in that range is considered accurate. One of the many factors in the debate is how long it took from the time the census degree was issued until Mary & Joseph learned of it and then reached Bethlehem.

Christ's Ministry lasted approximately from:

  • The time he was 32 until he was 35 - Or, approximately 3-1/2 years. 33-36 is also considered a correct answer.

In the century before Christ's birth, how many other men had claimed to be the Messiah?

  • 60 - One reason many Jews had a hard time accepting Jesus as their Messiah is that there were so many others who had made previous claims. Only Christ, though, was able to fulfill every one of the Messianic prophecies about him.

Matthew's Gospel was directed at what audience?

  • Jews – Which is why he spent so much time focusing on facts that would only be of interest to a Jewish audience, such as establishing his lineage as a descendent of King David and using 53 direct Old Testament quotes to prove Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies. Matthew’s Gospel, incidentally, was the first of the four written, in approximately 45-55 AD. You’ll note that Matthew didn’t know about the fall of Jerusalem to Titus in 70 AD, only that Jerusalem was to be destroyed eventually.

Matthew used 53 direct quotes from the Old Testament to establish:

  • That Jesus of Nazereth was the Messiah, the King of the Jews – As noted above, it was of particular importance to prove to his Jewish audience that Jesus did indeed fulfill all the prophecies about the Messiah.

The Gospel of Mark is primarily focused on the Lord's:

  • Actions – Written for the Romans by the nephew of Barnabas, this gospel has a very hurried feel to it. He uses the word “and” over 1300 times. This gospel has long been thought of as “Peter’s Gospel” because Mark received so much of his material from Peter. It was written between AD 64-68, shortly after the death of Peter by Nero, in approximately AD 63.

Luke is known as:

  • The Beloved Physician – Written with a Greek audience in mind, Luke (a close traveling companion of Paul’s) emphasizes Christ’s humanity, something essential to that particular audience. Luke also incorporates more of Mary’s story than any other gospel. Without him little would be know about Christ’s birth and childhood.

The feeding of the 4,000 was mentioned in how many of the Gospels?

  • 4 – This is, incidentally, the only miracle that is recorded in all 4 of the gospels.

Christ's Ministry was based on:

  • Both the Abrahamic & Davidic CovenantsJohn the Baptist’s ministry was also built on both Covenants. There are three main elements to the Abrahamic Covenant: Promise of Land (Genesis 12:1); Promise of Descendents (Genesis 12:2); and the Promise of Blessing and Redemption (Genesis 12:3). The Davidic Covenant contain two key elements: Reaffirmation of land (also mentioned in the Mosaic Covenant); and Promise that David’s house AND kingdom AND throne would endure forever. Incidentally, an understanding of these covenants sheds light on why for thousands of years people have tried to wipe the Jews out. The day that the last Jew dies, God will have been proven a liar.

Christ was put on trial before:

  • Both Pilate and Herod – First before Pilate, who was afraid of and impressed by Him, as well as very superstitious. Second by Herod, who said it was a Jewish matter and sent him right back to Pilate for the third trial. Pilate gave in out of a fear that he’d be complained about in Rome if he didn’t settle this matter.

How many RECORDED appearances did Christ make AFTER his death and resurrection?

  • 11 – There is no reason to believe that these are the ONLY appearances He made after His death anymore than we believe His only miracles are the recorded ones. The 11 recorded appearances were to Mary Magdalene, some other women, Peter, Emmaus Disciples, 10 Disciples, 11 Disciples, 7 Disciples, 500 at a time, James (brother of Jesus), 11 Disciples in Galilee, 11 Disciples in Jerusalem.

What was the largest group Christ appeared to after His death and resurrection?

  • 500 – In 1 Corinthians 15:6, Paul says “He appeared to more than 500 bretheren at one time, most of whom are alive today [A.D. 56].” A foolish claim to make if they weren’t still alive! I should have again stated, though, that this is the largest RECORDED group he appeared to.

Christ's ministry continued how long after his death and resurrection?

  • 40 days – This is covered in the Book of Acts (written by Luke), not in the gospels. He was constantly around, and spent most of his time teaching the Disciples how to continue on from there – what it all meant.

The "Speaking in Tongues" at Pentecost was:

  • Pragmatic: the crowd was multi-lingual and the disciples were suddenly able to speak their languages. – 10 days after Christ’s ascension into Heaven, at the Jewish Feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem, the disciples, enabled by the Holy Spirit, preached the gospel to men of every nation. Thus, there was a need for them to be able to speak every language present, in order to spread the message to every corner of the Roman Empire.

Prior to his conversion, Paul (then known as Saul) was best known as:

  • An assassin who hunted down Christians. – It took awhile for Paul to be accepted into the early church because of his reputation as a Christian killer! Although very respected in Jewish circles as a disciple of a famous Rabbi, Paul was also a Roman citizen, which granted him some rights that proved very helpful during his many incarcerations.

The term "tent-maker" is used in the modern church in reference to:

  • Paul's vocation, making tents, with which he supported himself as a missionary. – Paul worked as a tent-maker whenever he was able in order to avoid placing the burden of his support on impoverished local churches. Many missionaries today refer to themselves as “tent-makers” when they have full-time jobs with which they support themselves. This is essential in some countries where their immigration or visa laws require all long-term residents from foreign countries to be self-supporting.

Regarding slavery, Christ and the early church leaders:

  • Were grieved by it and offered the slaves pragmatic advice on coping with slavery as Christians. Slavery was often used as a metaphor (we were slaves to sin, but have been adopted into Christ’s family if we Believe), but as far as literal slavery, this was never endorsed by the early church. The apostles primarily preached that we are all equal in Christ (Galations 3:28) and offered advice to slaves on how to behave as Christians while enslaved. The book of Philemon is particularly interesting as it is a letter Paul sent to his friend Philemon on behalf of Philemon’s runaway slave, Onesimus.

The book of Revelations:

  • Tells about the end of the world, when Christ will return for the Believers and wage war against Satan and his puppet, the Anti-Christ.
  • Is a vision of the church in the last days, which John had while on the Island of Patmos around A.D. 95.
  • Is a message from God to the 7 churches - praising some and condemning others.
  • All of the aboveRead the book Left Behind for a fascinating look at what this will mean to each of us. It’s a fictional tale based on prophecy about individuals living during the last days. Not the best piece of literature ever, but definitely the best example I've seen of what it will really be like.


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