David

Bible quiz time

I’m constructing a Bible knowledge exam that students from my seminary will need to take before they graduate.  I’ve constructed over 30 questions so far.

They need to be graded easily, so I’ve chosen to make many multiple choice.  Here are four questions that generally share a certain theme (answers are written in invisible ink at the bottom, highlight them to make them appear):

  • Absalom
    • a) Murderer of father’s son
    • b) Usurper of father’s throne
    • c) Rapist of father’s wives
    • d) Victim of father’s general
    • e) All the above
  • Tamar, the Canaanite
    • a) Had sex with Judah’s son Er
    • b) Had sex with Judah’s son Onan
    • c) Had sex with Judah
    • d) Is an ancestor of Jesus
    • e) All the above
  • David
    • a) Murderer
    • b) Adulterer
    • c) Warrior
    • d) Ruler
    • e) All the above
  • Rahab
    • a) A prostitute
    • b) A traitor
    • c) A worshipper of YHWH
    • d) An ancestor of Jesus
    • e) All the above

While crafting these questions, if struck me how the Bible is full of stories of really messed up people.  (I’d fit right in.)  And God works powerfully through them, even including them in his family tree (see Matt. 1), which should give those of us who are as messed up as this batch hope. 

So how’d you do on the quiz?

Answer here:

 All the above for all the above.

“I will strike you down and cut off your head”: Biblical trash talking

“I will strike you down and cut off your head.”  These words are uttered by the boy David to the giant Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:46.  It’s hard to imagine the same person writing many of our favorite psalms (“The LORD is my shepherd as I decapitate foreign monsters…).  From Sunday school we’re all familiar of David’s highly accurate shot to the giant’s noggin, but the graphic ending of the story is often left out (I’m sure teen boys would love it).  David followed through on his prophetic trash talking as Caravaggio’s painting (1610) so vividly illustrates (1 Sam. 17:51).

I gave a paper on trash talking during the summer of 2008 in Oxford at the Society for Old Testament Study (SOTS).  (Although many Brits weren’t familiar with trash talking, there is a similar phenomenon in cricket called sledging.)  While David’s insult may seem shocking, he was simply responding to the taunts of the Philistine who called out to David as he approached, “I am a dog that you come at me with sticks” (1 Sam. 17:43).

As I researched the paper, I was surprised at how many places taunting appears in the Old Testament.  So, there’s a book idea–A Theology of Trash Talking.  I’ll be blogging through a few more examples of biblical trash talking, but I’d love to hear your examples, because I’m sure there are a few I haven’t noticed yet.  Where do we find trash talking in Scripture?