Check the Answers
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Question: Where in the Bible do we get the term ’scapegoat‘?
The term ‘scapegoat’ comes for the use of a goat that was to receive the sins of the people and be released into the wilderness. Learn more about who wrote this and why it was written and what was going on at the time. Dig in! Join a local Bible Study. Keep asking questions!
Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin-offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting; and Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel. Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord, and offer it as a sin-offering;but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over it, so that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel. (Leviticus 16:6-10)
Question: Which of these were considered “clean food” for the Israelites?
Answer: All of the above
All of the above were considered clean food for the Israelites. (Letivicus: 20—23)
Eating bugs is a strange idea for us — at least most of us. Why is this verse in the Bible? What does it say about this period of ancient times?. As for today, what stories or memories does this stir in you? Share it with your friends or pastor. Start a conversation!
All winged insects that walk upon all fours are detestable to you. But among the winged insects that walk on all fours you may eat those that have jointed legs above their feet, with which to leap on the ground. Of them you may eat: the locust according to its kind, the bald locust according to its kind, the cricket according to its kind, and the grasshopper according to its kind.
Question: Which disciple was a medical doctor?
Why is it important for us to know Luke was a medical doctor? How is the Gospel of Luke different from the others? Read Luke 1:3. Notice his precision, accuracy and search for truth. Does that sound like a doctor to you?
Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you. Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters in Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you read also the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, ‘See that you complete the task that you have received in the Lord.’ (Colossians 4:14–18)
Question: Animals are answerable to God. True or false?
Yes. It appears that they are! (Genesis 9:5)
What confuses you about this text? Or what challenges you about it? It seems strange that God would require a “reckoning” of all animals? Yet, the time this was written people believed that life resided in blood. Hum — we have blood and so do animals. Just a bit of food for thought. Keep going!
God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you shall rest on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life.
Question: The magi saw the baby Jesus in the manger. True or false?
In the Gospel of Matthew they see Jesus in Mary’s house. Not the manger. Who are these magi anyway? How did they discover where Jesus was? Dig a bit deeper and you will see it was the shepherds who saw Jesus on the manger. (Read Luke 2 and note the differences in the story.)
When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road. (Matthew 2:10–12)
Question: In ancient Israel, men closed a deal by exchanging what?
As you read this scripture--here are some questions for you to ponder. What do you suppose God is up to in this passage? What is the setting? Who are these characters Can you follow the plot? Start a small group Bible study and share your own insights.
Then Boaz said, ‘The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance.’ At this, the next-of-kin said, ‘I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.’
Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, one party took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, ‘Acquire it for yourself’, he took off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, ‘Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.’ Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, ‘We are witnesses. (Ruth 4:5–8)
Question: In the Bible, whose hair weighed over five pounds when it was cut?
Read the text and do the math yourself. If a shekel weighed 11.5 grams, how much did his hair weigh in pounds? If you are math person — have fun with the conversion equation. If you are not, take our word for it — it was just over five pounds! As for Absalom, he was a handsome one with flowing hair, but in the end, how did that contribute to his demise? Read on! (2 Samuel 18)
Now in all Israel there was no one to be praised so much for his beauty as Absalom; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. When he cut the hair of his head (for at the end of every year he used to cut it; when it was heavy on him, he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head, two hundred shekels by the king’s weight. (2 Samuel 14:26)
Question: How many books make up the Protestant Bible?
66 (39 Old Testament 27 New Testament)
The Bible is a collection of 66 separate books gathered together over hundreds of years and thousands of miles. The Bible has many generes of writing including: histories, stories, prophecies, poetry, songs, teachings, and laws, to name a few. 1 (The Lutheran Handbook p145, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2005)
Many Lutherans describe the Bible as follows:
The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God’s Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God’s revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God’s Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the word. (From the “Confessions of Faith,” The Constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 2.02c)
In other words, The Bible is God’s Word, but human beings were inspired by God’s Spirit to write the words. The Spirit speaks through the words to create and sustain faith and to encourage people of faith to be active in serving the world. Finally, Lutheran Christians see the Bible as centering on Jesus Christ and how he reveals Gods Word for the world. In fact the Bible itself speaks of the Word who became flesh and lived among us. (John 1: 1, 14) 2 (Lutheran Study Bible, p19, Augsburg Fortress, 2009)
What better reason to open up this amazing Book of Faith!
Question: How many days was Jesus on the Earth after his Resurrection?
Have you ever wondered what the significance is of 40 days? Why are there so many references to events that are this length of time? 40 was the number of days was seen on earth after the resurrection, 40 was the number of days Jesus was in wilderness, 40 days was the period of time of that Noah endured the great flood, and it was the amount of time Moses spent in the mountain. Certainly there is significance to the number—but why? Why does it matter? Talk about it with others. Learn more about the meaning of this time reference. Open Scripture.
After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)
Question: What is the longest book in the Bible?
Psalms has 150 chapters and over 43,000 words! Tradition attributes them to King David, but it is more likely they were written by many people over hundreds of years. This is a collection of songs of praise, lament and thanksgiving—essentially the hymnal of Ancient Israel. The different kinds of psalms are here because the Psalms are reflective of the psalmist’s life setting at the time they were written. Think about different songs you would sing when you were feeling joy, fear, victory or sadness. Find a Psalm that you could turn to in each of those moments!
Question: Who was David’s great-grandmother?
Naomi took the child and laid him in [Ruth’s] lap and cared for him…and they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” This is also the family to which the Apostle Luke tells us that Jesus belongs. Why would it have been important for Luke to tell us who Jesus’ family was? Talk with others in a small group about what family connections and ancestry mean to your identity. Read more in Ruth 4 and Luke 3.
Question: How many times does the word “Sabbath” appear in the Bible?
Answer: More than 100
The word “shabbat”, or “sabbath” appears well over 100 times in the Bible, though the exact number of occurences is not agreed upon because of variations in biblical manuscripts and translations. Do you take time each week away from work and other obligations, even if they are not done? While our lives may seem more complex (and probably are) than those of the people to whom this was originally given, remember that this was a commandment given to an agrarian society—work is never done there either! How can we follow this commandment faithfully in our busy world?
Question: Who were Eliphaz, Zophar and Bildad?
Answer: Job’s friends
Eliphaz, Zophar and Bildad were Job’s friends who came to sit with him in his mourning and who attempted to comfort him. None of them were very successful. Why not? Read more in Job chapters 4-26. Think about why the words the friends offered job were not really comforting. What could they have said differently? What do you say or what do you need to hear when you are in a similar situation?
Question: What has the Christian tradition called the song Mary sings in Luke 1?
Answer: The Magnificat
Mary’s song praising God for the birth of Jesus is so named because in it, she says that her soul glorifies or magnifies the Lord. While Mary’s song is perhaps the most well-known song of praise in the Bible (or at least in the New Testament), it is part of a much larger tradition of offering praise to God in song, as with the Book of Psalms. What is very interesting is that the longer praise songs are often in the voices of women. Read more with Miriam’s Song of the Sea in Exodus 2 and Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel 2. For what kinds of things are the women giving praise? Under what circumstances? Are there similarities between the songs? Why do you think it might be important that women are the singers? What kinds of feelings can be expressed in song that are more difficult to express in regular words?
Question: What/who did Jonah ask God to kill?
Answer: Jonah himself
God sent a worm to kill a tree, but this was not upon Jonah’s request! (See Jonah 4.7) While it seems that Jonah fully expected God to destroy the city of Ninevah and all of the people in it, and complained when God did not do so, the Bible says only that Jonah asked God to kill him.
“But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry… ‘Is this not what I said when I was still at home?…I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love. A God who relents from sending calamity. Now, O Lord, take away my life. For it is better for me to die than to live.’” (Jonah 4.3)
The end of the book of Jonah is a very interesting part of the Bible. There’s so much more here than a guy being swallowed by a big fish! Jonah was a Hebrew prophet and prophets were people who tried to help others understand spiritual realities by demonstrating them through physical means. Whether this meant simply bringing the word of God to be spoken by a human being or doing very unusual things in their own lives (see Ezekiel 3-5 especially), prophets were always trying to shake things up so that people could understand what God was doing. Jonah seemed to misunderstand what God was doing, even though he understood perfectly what kind of a god God was. Reflect on or discuss with someone else how you would feel if you were in Jonah’s situation. Try to remember a time when you were upset by someone else (a friend, partner, sibling) being forgiven. Or, think about a time that you forgot about the forgiving nature of God and talk about what helped you remember.