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The Church's Story

Find out about Paul's shipwreck in this quiz.

The Church's Story

The Church’s Story looks at places of worship.

How did The Church, as we know it, come into being? Here are a few key steps in the process, but you'll find more detail scattered through others of our Christianity quizzes.

A nice easy starter: what are the names of the four Evangelists ( = the men who wrote the versions of the Life of Jesus which begin the New Testament of the Bible)?
John, Paul, George and Ringo
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
Peter, Paul, James and Andrew
Thomas, Sebastian, Bartholomew and Stephen
You can check this simply enough in any Holy Bible!
Which of the following contains an UNTRUE detail about the disciple Peter?
He was originally a fisherman by trade
The night before Jesus' crucifixion, Peter was asked on three separate occasions whether he knew Him, and each time he denied having any such connection
He became the leader of the Disciples on the first Whit Sunday ( = Pentecost), when he stood up before all the others to explain to the crowds what was happening
'Peter' was a nickname given to him by Jesus; his original given name was Solomon
Peter's given name was Simon, but Jesus called him 'Peter, the rock upon which I shall build my church'. (Hence, among much else, St Peter's Church at the Vatican in Rome, with its key-shaped 'square' commemorating Jesus' promise to give him 'the keys of the kingdom'.)
Saul, the ardent Jewish persecutor of early Christians, was struck down by a blinding light on his way towards a certain city; on the last of three symbolic days of blindness, he was welcomed (with some surprise) into the Christian community by a believer named Ananias. Which Syrian city was this?
The story is told in Acts 9.
In which city did the silversmiths stage a noisy riot for over two hours in the amphitheatre, on account of the threat to their trade from St Paul's preachings?
The silversmiths were shouting 'Great is Diana of the Ephesians!', since they were worried that if Paul's new religion caught on, they would no longer have any sales of their souvenirs and other Diana-related items. (See Acts 19)
Which of the following is NOT true about the story of St Paul's famous shipwreck?
He was on his way to Rome to appeal to the Emperor
The shipwreck took place just off the island of Crete
The local people were astonished that as Paul was moving some firewood immediately after the shipwreck, a snake came out of the wood, but Paul flicked it away unharmed; at very least, this marked him (in their view) as a remarkable 'survivor'!
While he was staying on the island, Paul healed the sick father of Publius, the local governor: Publius himself became a Christian, and there is a major church on the island to this day
The island in question was Malta (then known under its Latin name, Melita, meaning 'the place of honey: you can still visit ancient Roman apiaries [bee-houses] on the hillside overlooking the rock): there is a more recent statue on St Paul's Rock, commemorating the event. See chapters 23-4 of Acts.
Another early Christian convert, in Philippi, was Lydia, whose day-job brought her many influential onward contacts. What was her profession?
She was a dealer in purple cloth
She sold camel-leather ware
She was a broker in Eastern spice jars
She was a jeweller
Long before the days of chemical dyes, purple cloth could only be manufactured using pigment from a rare shellfish called Murex, which could only be harvested in certain places and by trained divers. This made it expensive, so only rich people could afford to buy purple cloth and be seen wearing it (cf. the 'royal robe' put mockingly onto Jesus just before His crucifixion). Lydia's client list therefore included a significant number of influential people.
Under which Roman Emperor did Christianity become an officially approved religion?
Constantine I
Caesar Augustus
Constantine, who had seen military service in Britain, became the first Christian Emperor early in the 4th Century.
In which year did Martin Luther nail his list of almost 100 scripturally-based complaints against the (Catholic) Church onto the door of the church building at Wittenberg, a gesture which marks the beginning of the Reformation?
... Hence, at time of writing of this Quiz (2014), the Protestant church as a whole is approaching its 500th anniversary (= 1/4 of the Christian era of 2,000 years, give-or-take). Students of British history will know of the pivotal part played in the Reformation on these islands by King Henry VIII, who reigned early in the 16th century (e.g. he abolished the monasteries and abbeys in the late 1530s).
Which was the Year of the Three Popes?
Pope Paul VI died in early August 1978 after 15 years in office; three weeks later John Paul I was elected, but lived only another 33 days; his successor John Paul II (who took the same name in homage, but was originally Karol Woytyla) then reigned for 27 years, including throughout the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe (under which he had lived himself as a Polish citizen), and died in 2005.
In which quite recent year did a Pope resign, and continue to live as Pope Emeritus? (The only usual way for a Pope's reign to end, being at his death)
Pope Benedict XVI (previously Josef Ratzinger) resigned with effect from the end of February 2013; the last time such a thing had happened was in 1415, almost 500 years beforehand and a century before the Reformation.


Author:  Ian Miles

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