OK, back to my quiz, which most of you failed miserably.   (OK, OK, many of you missed just one question).   So the deal is that I use the quiz as a way to break the ice with the class, have some fun with them, get them to see that even if they’ve been through Sunday School their entire lives they probably don’t know even the most basic things about the NT, and then use the quiz as an opportunity to teach some rather important things.

The following are the answers.  Most of you got them.   I do have to say that when I challenged you to pick the question that everyone was missing, there were some *very* interesting suggestions based on nuanced readings.   But, as many of you correctly perceived, I had in mind #12.   As you’ll see below.  here are both the answers and the things that I try to teach the students based on the answers, here on the first day of class.

  1. How many books are in the NT?

27.  I tell them that this is an easy one.  Here’s why: if you think of the NT, you think about God, and specifically about the Christian God, and therefore specifically about the Trinity.  And what is 27?  3 to the 3rd power (3 x 3 x 3).   It’s a miracle!   (Also there are 3 letters in New and 9 in Testament so 3×9 = 27)

  1. In what language were they written?

Yes, Greek.  But some of my students don’t know that.  A good number think the answer is Hebrew; some think it’s Aramaic; and only a very few think it’s English.  J   I’ve never understood the Hebrew thing, but I think it’s because whenever there’s a Jesus documentary on the History Channel or Discovery or whatever, they flash up Hebrew manuscripts as backdrop, and so people associate Hebrew with Jesus.  (Plus, he was a Jew; Hebrew is language of ancient Jews; and so on).  In any event,  I use this question to talk to them about Greek as the lingua franca of the Roman Empire even though the language of Rome was Latin, and this lets me say a few things about Alexander the Great and the significance of Hellenization in the Mediterranean.


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