Early Christianity Quiz

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Early Christianity Quiz - Quiz

How much do you know about the early Church?


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    In the first three centuries of the Church, what did most Christians believe about Jesus?

    • A.

      They all agreed that Jesus was a good man, and a good teacher. Very few believed that Jesus was God.

    • B.

      Christians were evenly divided. Some believed that Jesus was God, while others considered Him merely a good moral teacher. At the Council of Nicea in the year 325, the view that "Jesus is God" just barely won.

    • C.

      From the beginning, Christians clearly understood that Jesus is God. Centuries later, some members of the Church began to question the divinity of Jesus, but their view was overwhelmingly rejected at the Council of Nicea in the year 325.

    • D.

      During the first three centuries of the Church, it was very rare for Christians to discuss either the humanity or the deity of Christ.

    Correct Answer
    C. From the beginning, Christians clearly understood that Jesus is God. Centuries later, some members of the Church began to question the divinity of Jesus, but their view was overwhelmingly rejected at the Council of Nicea in the year 325.
    Explanation
    There were approximately 300 bishops who attended the Council of Nicea in the year 325 A.D. Out of those 300 bishops, only 2 denied the deity of Christ. All of the rest affirmed that Jesus is God.

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  • 2. 

    "The priesthood of all believers" is a popular Christian phrase, pointing out that every one of God's people are priests, without exception.  Where is this concept first taught in Scripture?

    • A.

      In the Old Testament, in one of the first five books of the Bible, during the time of Moses and Israel

    • B.

      In the Old Testament, in one of the prophetic books, after Moses had already died

    • C.

      In the first four books of the New Testament, in one of the Gospels

    • D.

      In the New Testament, in one of Peter's epistles

    Correct Answer
    A. In the Old Testament, in one of the first five books of the Bible, during the time of Moses and Israel
    Explanation
    The first time this concept shows up is in the Old Testament, in the second book of the Bible. In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, all of God's people are priests. In Exodus 19:6, God's people are called a "kingdom of priests". Similarly, in 1 Peter 2:5, God's people are all called a "holy priesthood".

    In the Old Testament, every Israelite was a priest of God in some sense. Within this priesthood, the Levites were priests in a special sense. Within the group of Levites, men between the ages of 30 and 50 were ordained priests to serve at the temple in Jerusalem. And within this inner circle of priests, one man was chosen to be ordained as the High Priest.

    In the New Testament, things work similarly. Every Christian is a priest of God. And within this priesthood, there is an inner circle of men who are priests in a special sense, set apart to serve as ministers within the Church. And according to the 7th chapter of Hebrews, Jesus Himself is the High Priest.

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  • 3. 

    In the Old Testament, what was God's attitude toward the fashioning of golden images, to be used in the context of worship?

    • A.

      God prohibited the making of any graven images. It was forbidden to create statues of God, angels, men, or animals, for any reason whatsoever.

    • B.

      God prohibited graven images in the temple, but He permitted statues to be made for secular, non-religious use.

    • C.

      God freely permitted golden statues to be made of angels and animals, but it was forbidden to make images of God, because God did not yet exist in any physical form.

    • D.

      God freely permitted golden statues to be made of everything, including animals, men, angels, and God himself.

    Correct Answer
    C. God freely permitted golden statues to be made of angels and animals, but it was forbidden to make images of God, because God did not yet exist in any physical form.
    Explanation
    In Exodus 32, the children of Israel used some of their Egyptian gold to make a statue of a golden calf, to worship as God. But God has never taken the form of a cow, so this statue was a lie. Thus the Israelites were guilty of the sin of idolatry.

    Four chapters later, in Exodus 36, the children of Israel use their Egyptian gold to build a place to worship God. They build golden statues of angels (cherubim), and they weave numerous images of angels into the fabric which was hung in the tabernacle. God was pleased with their work.

    God has never been opposed to the use of statues and other images in the context of worship. God only forbids false images, which result in idolatry. Angels have a form, and may be depicted. God the Father does not have a bodily form, so He may not be depicted.

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  • 4. 

    The apostle John wrote the book of Revelation in the late 1st century.  How soon did most Christians accept the book of Revelation as Scripture?

    • A.

      Immediately

    • B.

      Within 1 year

    • C.

      Within 100 years

    • D.

      Over 100 years later

    Correct Answer
    D. Over 100 years later
    Explanation
    Of course the Holy Spirit inspired the book of Revelation to be Scripture, the same day that the apostle John wrote it. But it took centuries for all Christians in the Church to recognize which books should be included in Scripture, and which ones should be excluded. It took centuries for the book of Hebrews to be accepted by Western Christians, and it took centuries for the book of Revelation to be accepted by Eastern Christians.

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  • 5. 

    After Jesus rose from the dead, during the first 300 years of the Church, the average Christian attended what number of Bible studies per week?

    • A.

      0

    • B.

      2

    • C.

      4

    • D.

      7

    Correct Answer
    A. 0
    Explanation
    During the first 300 years of the Church, Christians did study some of the individual books of Scripture. But there were not any "Bible studies", because all the books of the entire "Bible" had not yet been collected together into a single book. It took several hundred years for Christians to come to wide agreement regarding which books should be included in the Bible, and which books should be excluded.

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  • 6. 

    When did the Church first begin to have a hierarchy of bishops, priests, and deacons?

    • A.

      This practice was started by the Roman Catholic Church during the 4th century, after the Roman Emperor Constantine came to power.

    • B.

      Some sections of the Church had bishops, priests, and deacons during the 3rd century, nearly 100 years before the birth of Constantine.

    • C.

      The Church had bishops, priests, and deacons from the 1st century onward. This practice began while the apostles were still alive.

    • D.

      In the early Church, the words "bishop" and "priest" originally meant the same thing. They did not become separate offices until many centuries later.

    Correct Answer
    C. The Church had bishops, priests, and deacons from the 1st century onward. This practice began while the apostles were still alive.
    Explanation
    The apostle John had a disciple named Polycarp, and the apostle Peter had a disciple named Ignatius. Both of these men have left us writings, showing that the Church is led by a hierarchy of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. This form of Church government was already well established in the churches throughout the entire Roman Empire, by the time Ignatius wrote his letters in the year 107, less than a decade after the death of the apostle John. Ignatius was the third Bishop of Antioch, and Polycarp was the Bishop of Smyrna.

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  • 7. 

    Some modern Churches have "larger Bibles" which include books such as Sirach, Wisdom, Judith, Tobit, Baruch, and 1st Maccabees.  Other modern Churches remove these books from the Old Testament, and have "smaller Bibles" containing no more than 66 books.  During the first 300 years of the Church, what did most Christians believe about these particular Old Testament books?

    • A.

      Most early Christians believed that these books were good and holy, but that they should not be included in the Bible.

    • B.

      Most early Christians believed these books to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, and they accepted these books as part of Holy Scripture.

    • C.

      Most early Christians rejected these books outright. They considered them to be false writings, corrupted by the Devil.

    • D.

      Most early Christians had very little interest in Scripture.

    Correct Answer
    B. Most early Christians believed these books to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, and they accepted these books as part of Holy Scripture.
    Explanation
    Most early Christians believed these books to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, and they accepted these books as part of Holy Scripture. This suggests that these books were considered to be divinely inspired and held the same level of authority as the other books of the Old Testament. The fact that some modern Churches include these books in their Bibles further supports this belief.

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  • 8. 

    During the first 1000 years of Christianity, what did Christians believe about salvation?

    • A.

      From the very beginning, Christians have always agreed that Jesus came to save us from the wrath of God. God the Father is angry at us because we have sinned, and we deserve to be punished forever in Hell. But instead of punishing us, God punished His Son on the cross, so that we could go to Heaven.

    • B.

      The Early Church believed that mankind was in bondage to the Devil, and that Jesus came in order to destroy the works of the Devil. When Jesus died and rose from the dead, He conquered Death, Hell, and the Devil, and Christ's victory has made it possible for us to enter Heaven.

    • C.

      In the early centuries, Christians believed that Christ's main purpose was to live a life of love, and to set a good example for us to follow.

    • D.

      Early Christians were divided over salvation theories, just as they are today. Some of them believed Jesus came to save us from God's wrath, some of them believed Jesus came to free us from the Devil, and others believed that Jesus came to set a good moral example for everyone to follow.

    Correct Answer
    B. The Early Church believed that mankind was in bondage to the Devil, and that Jesus came in order to destroy the works of the Devil. When Jesus died and rose from the dead, He conquered Death, Hell, and the Devil, and Christ's victory has made it possible for us to enter Heaven.
    Explanation
    During the first 1000 years of Christianity, Christians believed that mankind was in bondage to the Devil and that Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil. They believed that Jesus' death and resurrection conquered Death, Hell, and the Devil, making it possible for believers to enter Heaven. This belief emphasized the victory of Christ over evil and the liberation of humanity from the power of the Devil.

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  • 9. 

    The Bible says that the followers of Jesus were first called "Christians" in the city of Antioch.  Who started the Church in Antioch?  And how many centuries did it take before the Church in Antioch started being run by a hierarchy of bishops, priests, and deacons?

    • A.

      The apostle Paul started the Church in Antioch. Initially, it was just a collection of non-denominational house churches without any clergy at all. Eventually, a small number of local pastors were recognized. The Catholic hierarchy of bishops, priests, and deacons did not develop until hundreds of years later, during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Constantine.

    • B.

      The apostles Paul and Peter both helped start the Church in Antioch. During the time of the apostles, the Church of Antioch was governed by bishops, priests, and deacons, and it has continued to be run in the same way for the past 2000 years. History has recorded the name of every man who has been the bishop of Antioch, from the days of the apostles until the present.

    • C.

      The Church in Antioch was not started by any apostle. It was started by regular Christians who had left Jerusalem to avoid being persecuted by the Jews. It was always a Spirit-led congregation without any distinction between clergy and laity. The hierarchy of "bishops, priests, and deacons" never became very popular in Antioch.

    • D.

      Jesus started the Church in Antioch himself, during the 40-day period He was on earth after His resurrection. In Antioch, Jesus appeared to over 500 people, and He told them to start a Church. Jesus implemented a congregational form of democratic Church government, and He never permitted any sort of hierarchy to control the Church.

    Correct Answer
    B. The apostles Paul and Peter both helped start the Church in Antioch. During the time of the apostles, the Church of Antioch was governed by bishops, priests, and deacons, and it has continued to be run in the same way for the past 2000 years. History has recorded the name of every man who has been the bishop of Antioch, from the days of the apostles until the present.
    Explanation
    The apostles Paul and Peter both played a role in starting the Church in Antioch. During their time, the Church in Antioch was governed by a hierarchy of bishops, priests, and deacons. This hierarchical structure has been maintained for the past 2000 years, and the names of every bishop of Antioch have been recorded throughout history.

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  • 10. 

    In the first few centuries of the Church, did Christians make any paintings or statues of Jesus and the apostles?

    • A.

      Yes, in the earliest days of the Church, Christians made statues and paintings of Jesus, the apostles, and other notable Christians.

    • B.

      Paintings were made of the apostles, but none were made of Jesus.

    • C.

      Early Christians made no paintings of people, but they did use some religious symbolism. The fish symbol and simple drawings of the cross were common.

    • D.

      No, early Christians absolutely prohibited religious art.

    Correct Answer
    A. Yes, in the earliest days of the Church, Christians made statues and paintings of Jesus, the apostles, and other notable Christians.
    Explanation
    Eusebius of Caesarea was a Church historian who lived during the time of the early Church, a little over 300 years after Christ. Here is an excerpt from one of the books written by Eusebius:

    Book 6: CHAPTER 18.
    “THE STATUE WHICH THE WOMAN WITH AN ISSUE OF BLOOD ERECTED.
    SINCE I have mentioned this city I do not think it proper to omit an account which is worthy of record for posterity. For they say that the woman with an issue of blood, who, as we learn from the sacred Gospel, received from our Savior deliverance from her affliction, came from this place, and that her house is shown in the city, and that remarkable memorials of the kindness of the Saviour to her remain there. For there stands upon an elevated stone, by the gates of her house, a brazen image of a woman kneeling, with her hands stretched out, as if she were praying. Opposite this is another upright image of a man, made of the same material, clothed decently in a double cloak, and extending his hand toward the woman. At his feet, beside the statue itself, is a certain strange plant, which climbs up to the hem of the brazen cloak, and is a remedy for all kinds of diseases. They say that this statue is an image of Jesus. It has remained to our day, so that we ourselves also saw it when we were staying in the city. Nor is it strange that those of the Gentiles who, of old, were benefited by our Saviour, should have done such things, since we have learned also that the likenesses of his apostles Paul and Peter, and of Christ himself, are preserved in paintings, the ancients being accustomed, as it is likely, according to a habit of the Gentiles, to pay this kind of honour indiscriminately to those regarded by them as deliverers.

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