For those of you who like to do fun group things at your holiday gatherings, I'm repeating here a quiz I use each year. Sometimes I get creative and use it to collect email addresses....I read the quiz and ask for their email to send an answer. Other times we split into groups and have a contest with a prize for group with most correct answers. Many of us have grown up seeing nativity scenes on the streets of our home towns.
The source for my answers are documented historians like Josephus recognized by the Library of Congress as authentic middle east sources and The Bible, the recognized Christian authority. I have used it in groups containing both Christians and non-Christians where they had a good time; so it doesn't matter about your religious faith. Christmas and the birth of Jesus are part of our American culture.
TRUE OR FALSE (THIS QUIZ PERTAINS TO A BOY CHRISTIANS CALL CHRIST, OR THE SON OF GOD):
1. Jesus was born in December.
2. Jesus was born in 0 A.D.
3. Early Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus.
4. Mica, a prophet, fortold that Jesus would be born in Bethlehelm.
5. Angels told the shepherds they should go worship Jesus.
6. The Wise Men with presents were present at Jesus birth.
7. Three(3) Kings on camels visited bearing gifts.
8. A star led Wise Men to Jesus.
1. Jesus was born in December. False. Based on the time of first census decreed by Caesar Augustus, Roman history records this occurred about September or October. It was during this census and family registration trip to Bethlehem that Mary gave birth to Jesus. We celebrate the birth in December and it is a national holiday in the U.S.
2. Jesus was born in 0 A.D. False. There is no 0 A.D., only 1BC or 1AD. Josephus and other historians place the birth at about 4 or 5 BC.
3. Early Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus .False. The first recorded celebration occurred in 336AD, over 300 years after his birth.
4. Mica, a prophet, foretold that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. True. Book of Mica in the Bible
5. Angels told the shepherds they should go worship Jesus. True. Book of Luke 2: 8-14 in the Bible
6. The Wise Men with presents were present at Jesus birth. False. Magi (Webster's defines Magi as the priestly caste in ancient Media and Persia, supposedly having occult powers) traveled there later.
7. Three (3) Kings on camels visited bearing gifts. False. There is no record of three Kings in the Bible or in the history records of the Middle East such as Josephus' works or Roman historical documents. The Bible says Magi (see #6above) bore 3 gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but doesn't give the number of magi. The plural use of the word implies at least two but there may have been many more. There is no mention of how they traveled. Since camels were common transportation, many history re-enactments use camels but there is no actual record that it was camels in any of the written documents of Rome, or the Middle East, or the Bible.
8. A star led Wise Men directly to Jesus. False. Magi from the East saw the star that foretold of Jesus birth, but they went to Jeresslem seeking location of the child so they could worship Him. Herod heard this and sent them to search in Bethlehem and report back to him. After the visit to Herod, a star stood over the location of the child to guide them when they found Him. They were warned in a dream not to return to Herod to tell him of the child's whereabouts as Herod planned to kill the child. They did not return to Herod. Herod in a rage had all male children under age of 2 killed in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Jesus' parents had fled in the night before to Egypt and were unharmed. Herod's plot is recorded in Josephus's records and Roman history documents, and in the Bible.