Monday, December 02, 2013

sword drill

Remember my trip to Texas at the beginning of November? The one where I had two days--two entire days--to spend in airports on either end of the trip? Well, one of the things I did for entertainment was download an iphone trivia game called QuizUp. It's not a perfect game, but if you're a trivia nut as I am, it's a pretty good time. In a matter of a couple of hours, I had leveled up several times each in Bible trivia, Harry Potter trivia, General trivia, Classic Logos, Literature trivia and its subcategory Novels. In fact, before my first flight even took off, I was #1 in Montana in Bible Trivia. Of course, I may be the only one playing, but let me tell you, my anal, OCD, trivia-lovin' heart just about burst. I'm considering having a t-shirt made.

It will tell you a great deal about growing up Evangelical that we loved Bible Trivia games. Loved them. We played them in Sunday School, Youth Group, and VBS. Youth leaders would pull them out while they were desperately trying to entertain us in children's church while the sermon went on and on and on upstairs in the sanctuary.

One game was called Sword Drill. Each of us sat there with our Bible (closed) in our lap. The leader would say DRAW SWORDS! and we would all hold our Bibles high in the air. (it might explain a bit to know that in Ephesians, the Bible is called the "sword of the spirit.") Then the leader would call out a Bible reference (Luke 2:9, Psalm 119:105, Romans 3:23, whatever), and we would frantically try to find the verse as quick as we could. When you had it, you stood up. The winner got to read the verse. And sometimes there were prizes.

Good times. I'm kind of a trivia nut by personality anyway. Trivial Pursuit is the only game I've played in my life that I had a decent chance of winning. (best ever TP question: Are there rings around Uranus?)

Anywhooo. There's an art to trivia. My favorite kind of trivia is --of course-- something that I know that most people don't know (what was James Joyce's wife's name? [Nora Barnacle, and here is your bonus trivia for the day: they lived together for more than 25 years before they married, quite scandalous at the time for a couple of former Irish Catholics] What famous author committed suicide by filling his/her pockets with rocks and walking into a river? [Virginia Woolf] In what year did Texas become a state? [1845] Who designed the Louvre pyramid? [I. M. Pei])

But there are plenty of trivia questions that I don't know that are still good questions--interesting questions, questions that make you think, or things you think should know. (what is our national flower? [the rose--I did not know this until tonight!] Name one of the two farm teams Michael Jordan played for during his brief baseball career [Birmingham Barons or Scottsdale Scorpions] Who first developed aspirin? [Felix Hoffmann] After long absences, which two sports will return to Olympic competition in 2016? [golf and rugby]). Even if I don't know the answer, those questions seem legit.

There are also bad trivia questions, and unfortunately, QuizUp has a fair number of those, too--like, who is 37th on the NBA's list of all time leading scorers? Who won the bronze medal in men's ping pong at the 1992 Olympics? Things that only prove how good you are at using Google. It's irritating when you're up against someone that you know is just looking everything up--because they get everything right, but not until just before the time runs out.

Unfortunately, my early success at QuizUp must have mostly been due to the ease of the early levels--I've had a bad run recently and it's not quite as much fun as it used to be. But it's still a heck of a lot more entertaining than any other phone game I've tried.

Here are some Bible trivia questions for you, ranging from easy-peasy to obscure (but I hope still interesting). I know there are at least four of us around here who were raised Evangelical, so this is for you. I will confess that I had to peek to come up with an eighth tribe in #10. I'll put the answers in the comments.

1. What animal speaks to Balaam?

2. What did the three wise men (magi) bring to honor the newborn Jesus?

3. How many horsemen of the apocalypse are there?

4. What was Zaccheus' profession?

5. What kind of wood was Noah's ark made of?

6. Which two of the four gospels do not have an account of Jesus's birth?

7. Who says "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God."? Who is this person speaking to?

8. Where does the Apostle Paul get his hair cut? (my all-time favorite bible trivia question)

9. Who was the first king of Israel?

10. Name eight of the twelve tribes of Israel, or alternatively, name eight of the twelve disciples of Jesus.

11. What is the longest chapter in the Bible?

12. Who read the handwriting on the wall?

And there you go. Have a trivial day.


  1. 1. a donkey (Numbers 22) 2. gold, frankincense, myrrh (Matt 2:11) 3. Four 4. publican/tax collector 5. cypress (Gen 6:14) 6. Mark, John 7. Ruth, speaking to her mother-in-law Naomi 8. Cenchreae (Acts 18:18) 9. Saul 10. this is sort of a trick question, because the 12 sons of Jacob are slightly different than the 12 tribes. the sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulon, Joseph, Benjamin. The tribes omit Joseph and Levi, and add Joseph's sons, Manassah and Ephraim. The twelve disciples are Simon Peter, James, John, Andrew, Thomas, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, another James, Simon, Judas the son of James, Judas Iscariot. 11. Psalm 119. 12. Daniel.

  2. 1. ass
    2. gold, frankincense, myrrh
    3. 4
    4. tax collector
    5. gopher wood
    6. Mark & John
    7. Ruth to Naomi her MIL
    8. beats the hell out of me
    9. Saul
    10. Reuben, Judah, Simeon, Gad, Asher. Lev, Naphtali, Ephraim, Benjamin and that’s all I remember from some obscure song
    11. I have no idea
    12. Daniel

    I didn't look at yours until I was done, but I'm thinking not bad for an unschooled Presbyterian!

    Trivia addict as well, here.

    1. hey, that's pretty good for a presbyterian! (kidding, since I am now a presbyterian, too, of course). I can't believe I missed learning the tribes of israel song. I had Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Reuben and Judah without looking.

    2. For some reason I can always remember Naphtali because of "Naphtali is a doe set free" --funny how some things get stuck in your head.

  3. I love trivia! But, as a Pagan person (raised by a borderline-lapsed-Catholic and a one-quarter Cherokee/one-half Grapes-Of-Wrath oakie) my bible knowledge is VERY slim.

    Also, when is your mouth appointment? Have you had the surgery yet? I found out that our insurance doesn't cover the implants I need, so I have no experience with any of this. (And I'm exceedingly angry over it all.) Hope your procedure is quick and heals fast.

    1. oh, no, Julie! that's maddening. Ours covered half of this or I might not have done it. It was Tuesday, and you should see me--I look like I've been in a barroom brawl. Fortunately, it isn't nearly as painful as it looks, just really tender. I'd post a picture but seriously it is scary looking.

  4. Hey Barb, I knew the horsemen question because I have read the book Good Omens, the nice and accurate prophecies of agnes nutter, witch. By Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. This will have you frowning and screaming with laughter, it is very entertaining and laced with trivia-like references to far more books than I have read. If you have not read it, I hereby implore you to read it. It was written one summer by two authors not yet discovered, and the fun they had writing it jumps up from the pages.

    1. I LOVED that book! It is one of my all-time favorites, and two of my favorite authors. In fact, a couple of weeks ago I was thinking about listening to the audiobook again--the guy who does the narration has a great time with all the voices, and he has a fabulous british accent. (are all british accents fabulous?) Have your boys read Pratchett's Tiffany Aching books? loved those, too.

  5. I'll see if I can find the Tiffany Aching books for the older one. He's now doing most of his reading in English :)
    British accents are intrigueing (sp?) Since there are so many variations. I enjoy most of them :)