This GCSE RE Christianity quiz asks questions about the Bible in the 21st century. It has been almost 2,000 years since the last book in the Holy Bible was originally written, and many centuries since its overall contents were broadly agreed across and within the Christian traditions. In the 21st century we inhabit a world in which people are still working and worshipping, raising families, coping with life’s joys and sorrows etc., but there are many developments that the Bible writers ~ for all their gifts of prophecy, in many cases ~ were unable to foresee.
Some of these issues are technical, but many of them also have a moral dimension, such as those involving humankind’s newfound scientific abilities to preserve, extinguish or adapt the life of organisms ~ including both living humans and embryos.
Others include how God’s ‘chosen people’ (Jews or Christians, singly or en masse) should cope in an age of worldwide communications that they share with millions of followers of other faiths.
Matters of interpersonal conduct and relationships can also be viewed in a Biblical perspective: not least such intimate issues as homosexuality, and indeed of gender and the priesthood (i.e. ‘should there be female ministers?’), on which various branches of Christendom will have divergent views ranging from ‘the Bible wouldn’t stand for it’ to a ~ perhaps ~ more moderate model of Christian tolerance.
Amid all this, who nowadays has the authority to interpret Scripture and tell others whether their sincere urges or initiatives are (or are not) God-given? How far can Biblical texts fairly be summarised or adapted to offer apparent support for a case? In an age where there seem to be more offshoot versions of Christianity (not to say ‘cults’) than ever before, and when virtual communities can exist across the internet who never physically meet as a traditional congregation would, there are many possibilities for the traditional faith to be distorted, diluted and even perverted. This quiz will review some recent instances and consider what may be learned from such experiences.
Within living memory, time was when (usually) young unmarried mothers-to-be would be hustled away to an institution where they would be away from awkward questions, but work to pay their keep, such as the infamous (and long-since-closed) Magdalene Laundries. At least these days there is less stigma attached to a woman being pregnant outside the context of a formalised relationship.