Quiz about O Holy Night The Stars Are Brightly Shining
Quiz about O Holy Night The Stars Are Brightly Shining

O Holy Night! The Stars Are Brightly Shining Quiz


It's the gospel truth! Isn't it? Our Christmas carols provide us with so many details about the circumstances of Jesus' birth. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself how many of these are true to the biblical account?

A multiple-choice quiz by glendathecat. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
glendathecat
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
316,170
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
4352
Awards
Editor's Choice
Last 3 plays: Guest 77 (8/10), Sniper049 (9/10), Guest 72 (9/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. "Ne had the apple taken been, The apple taken been,
Ne had never our ladie, Abeen heav'ne queen." (from the carol "Adam Lay Ybounden")

The medieval carol "Adam Lay Ybounden", repeats the myth that humanity was punished through Adam eating a forbidden apple. Why is this idea not biblical?
Hint

The type of fruit is never mentioned in the Bible story of Adam and Eve.
Only Eve ate the fruit.
The fruit is incorrectly translated from the Hebrew, It should be a pomegranate.
The stories of Adam and Eve do not appear in the Bible.

2. "Jesus Christ, our saviour, was born on Christmas Day" (from the carol "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen")

No date for the birth of Jesus is mentioned in the Bible, so why does the world celebrate Christmas on December 25th?
Hint

It was decided by Archbishop Usher in the seventeenth century.
It's to fit in with the globe-trotting exploits of Father Christmas.
It is a tradition that goes back to the apostles.
It is the date of a pagan festival taken over by the early church.

3. "Silent night, holy night" (from the carol, "Silent Night")

Just as we don't know the date, we don't know the time of Jesus' birth either. Which extra-biblical source began the tradition of his being born during the night?
Hint

The Talmud
Pride and Prejudice
Pilgrim's Progress
The Apocrypha

4. "Snow was falling, snow on snow, snow on snow" (from the carol "In the Bleak Midwinter")

Was it snowing when Jesus was born? Which of the following is a piece of biblical evidence that points to this being improbable?
Hint

The wise men would have refused to travel in the snow
The statement that it was 35 degrees centigrade
The presence of shepherds in the fields watching their flocks
Angels were in the night sky

5. "He came down to earth from heaven, who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable, and His cradle was a stall" (from the carol "Once in Royal David's City")

The traditional Christmas story has Jesus being born in a stable but, as you've probably guessed by now, you won't find this anywhere in the Bible. How does it arise?
Hint

From the description of Jesus laid in a manger
From Mary's blog
From a prophecy in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel
From a fifth century church historian

6. "Little donkey, little donkey, had a heavy day;
Little donkey, carry Mary safely on her way." (from the carol "Little Donkey")

Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem because they had to travel from Nazareth to take part in a census. Their mode of travel is not recorded but which of these statements is most likely to be true?
Hint

A donkey would have been far too expensive for a carpenter to buy.
It wouldn't have been a donkey as Jews see these as being unclean.
Donkey? In Mary's condition she'd have been in an ambulance.
The presence of a donkey is very probable.

7. "O Star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright;
Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy Perfect Light." (from the carol "We Three Kings of Orient Are")

Most nativity plays show the wise men looking up to a star and following it from their native land to the place of Jesus' birth. What is wrong with this portrayal?
Hint

The Bible says that they only followed the star for a very limited time.
They would have used GPS.
The wise men would have had their eyes covered for fear of seeing God.
The wise men would have let others proceed in front of them in case of danger.

8. "Herod then with fear was filled: A prince', he said, 'In Jewry!'
All the little boys be killed at Bethl'em in his fury." (from the carol "Unto Us A Boy Is Born")

Herod's slaughter of the innocents is at least biblical, being chronicled in Matthew's gospel. Given, though, the historic dating of Jesus' birth, which inconsistency surrounds the story?
Hint

Jesus would have been 15 when the massacre took place.
Any killings would have had to be ordered by the Romans.
By this time, Herod was a reformed character but never recovered from his earlier bad press.
Herod died in 4 BC.

9. "O they sailed into Bethlehem,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day" (from the carol "I Saw Three Ships")

The idea of the Holy Family cruising around Israel seems bizarre right from the start but which of the following makes it even more unlikely?
Hint

The river that runs through Bethlehem was silted up at the time of Jesus.
They used a boat to sail out of Bethlehem AFTER Jesus was born.
The Romans banned shipping for fear of Zealots smuggling arms.
There are no waterways on which to sail into Bethlehem.

10. "Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb" (from the carol "Hark the Herald Angels Sing")

The virgin birth is recorded in both Matthew and Luke's gospels, so it is biblical. Which of the following reasons, though, is seen by commentators as the most serious objection to its historical accuracy?
Hint

The details copy other stories of virgin births in the Old Testament.
It is never directly referred to in the whole of the rest of the New Testament.
Both Matthew and Luke were bribed to include the story.
The story has been invented to match Old Testament prophecy.


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. "Ne had the apple taken been, The apple taken been, Ne had never our ladie, Abeen heav'ne queen." (from the carol "Adam Lay Ybounden") The medieval carol "Adam Lay Ybounden", repeats the myth that humanity was punished through Adam eating a forbidden apple. Why is this idea not biblical?

Answer: The type of fruit is never mentioned in the Bible story of Adam and Eve.

The book of Genesis records that Adam and Eve were allowed to eat from any tree except that of the tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). No details concerning the nature of its fruit are given.
2. "Jesus Christ, our saviour, was born on Christmas Day" (from the carol "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen") No date for the birth of Jesus is mentioned in the Bible, so why does the world celebrate Christmas on December 25th?

Answer: It is the date of a pagan festival taken over by the early church.

In the absence of a biblical basis for the timing of Christmas, the church seems to have "adopted" the pagan practice of a festival around the time of the Winter Solstice. This had the double advantage of being an existing time for celebration that took place when agricultural work was at a minimum.

It is not known whether Archbishop Usher had an opinion on Christmas Day but he did calculate that the first full day of creation was October 23rd 4004 BC.
3. "Silent night, holy night" (from the carol, "Silent Night") Just as we don't know the date, we don't know the time of Jesus' birth either. Which extra-biblical source began the tradition of his being born during the night?

Answer: The Apocrypha

The idea comes from the book of Wisdom, found in the Apocrypha: "For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, your all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne" (Wisdom 18 v. 14-15).
4. "Snow was falling, snow on snow, snow on snow" (from the carol "In the Bleak Midwinter") Was it snowing when Jesus was born? Which of the following is a piece of biblical evidence that points to this being improbable?

Answer: The presence of shepherds in the fields watching their flocks

The chance of snow at Jesus' birth is doubly unlikely. Firstly, whilst it can snow in Bethlehem, this is very rare. Secondly, shepherds out in the fields (Luke 2 v. 8) would ordinarily be an indicator of a warmer time of year. During the winter months, the animals would be kept closer to home. But then, to dispel another misguided notion, there was probably more chance of the ground being white than of Jesus being white!

Christina Rossetti is following an older tradition that the snow was to cover up the sinfulness of the world. This is exemplified by the following verses from John Milton's "Hymn on the Morning of Christ's Nativity".

"It was the Winter wilde,
While the Heav'n-born-childe,
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
Nature in aw to him
Had doff't her gawdy trim,
With her great Master so to sympathize:
It was no season then for her
To wanton with the Sun her lusty Paramour.

Only with speeches fair
She woos the gentle Air
To hide her guilty front with innocent Snow,
And on her naked shame,
Pollute with sinfull blame,
The Saintly Vail of Maiden white to throw,
Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look so neer upon her foul deformities."
5. "He came down to earth from heaven, who is God and Lord of all, And His shelter was a stable, and His cradle was a stall" (from the carol "Once in Royal David's City") The traditional Christmas story has Jesus being born in a stable but, as you've probably guessed by now, you won't find this anywhere in the Bible. How does it arise?

Answer: From the description of Jesus laid in a manger

This is probably the most prevalent myth about the birth of Jesus and stems from readers trying to flesh out a story that has very little detail. The cue is taken from Luke who states that Mary wrapped Jesus "in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2 v. 7).

This is probably meant to suggest no more than that she had to improvise and use an emergency form of crib for their new baby.
6. "Little donkey, little donkey, had a heavy day; Little donkey, carry Mary safely on her way." (from the carol "Little Donkey") Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem because they had to travel from Nazareth to take part in a census. Their mode of travel is not recorded but which of these statements is most likely to be true?

Answer: The presence of a donkey is very probable.

The distance between Nazareth and Bethlehem is approximately 70 miles and the journey would have required overnight stops. It is probable, therefore, that the couple would have used a donkey to carry Mary and their possessions.
7. "O Star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright; Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy Perfect Light." (from the carol "We Three Kings of Orient Are") Most nativity plays show the wise men looking up to a star and following it from their native land to the place of Jesus' birth. What is wrong with this portrayal?

Answer: The Bible says that they only followed the star for a very limited time.

The journey of the wise men has three stages as recorded in the second chapter of Matthew's gospel.

Stage 1: They see a star appear in the sky and recognise it as announcing the birth of "the king of the Jews". They do not follow the star at this point but travel to the royal palace in Jerusalem because they assume this is where the birth will take place.

Stage 2: Herod and his advisors interpret the wise men to mean the Christ (or Messiah) and send them to Bethlehem on the basis of Old Testament prophecy.

Stage 3: Whilst the wise men are on the short journey from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, the star reappears and directs them to "the place where the child was". This is the only point at which they are described as following the star.
8. "Herod then with fear was filled: A prince', he said, 'In Jewry!' All the little boys be killed at Bethl'em in his fury." (from the carol "Unto Us A Boy Is Born") Herod's slaughter of the innocents is at least biblical, being chronicled in Matthew's gospel. Given, though, the historic dating of Jesus' birth, which inconsistency surrounds the story?

Answer: Herod died in 4 BC.

The birth of Jesus is meant to define year zero in the Christian calendar but is notoriously difficult to date with reference to external events. Not only did Herod die four years too early but Quirinius, whom Luke names as governor of Syria, did not take up this post until 6 AD!
9. "O they sailed into Bethlehem, On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day" (from the carol "I Saw Three Ships") The idea of the Holy Family cruising around Israel seems bizarre right from the start but which of the following makes it even more unlikely?

Answer: There are no waterways on which to sail into Bethlehem.

The only time that the Bible mentions Bethlehem and water at the same time is when David longs for a drink from the local well (2 Samuel 23 v. 15).
10. "Late in time behold Him come Offspring of a Virgin's womb" (from the carol "Hark the Herald Angels Sing") The virgin birth is recorded in both Matthew and Luke's gospels, so it is biblical. Which of the following reasons, though, is seen by commentators as the most serious objection to its historical accuracy?

Answer: It is never directly referred to in the whole of the rest of the New Testament.

The virgin birth has long caused controversy largely because there is so little information to go on. In its favour is the fact that Matthew and Luke give differing accounts suggesting that they were both, independently, aware of the tradition. On the other hand, the silence of the rest of the New Testament is ominous. One would have expected the early evangelists, as they bore witness to the life of Jesus, to make use of such a miraculous beginning.
Source: Author glendathecat

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor CellarDoor before going online.
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