Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Name Game

As you might expect, names come up quite a bit in Bible classes. Many of the students bear Biblical names, as do I. A closer look at some of the names from Scripture reveals some surprises. The following, from February 26, 2007, looks into the matter.

Last Friday was the final day of the six weeks. Several years ago, someone came up with a brilliant idea. On the final day of the term, we would have a shortened day, releasing at 1:00 PM instead of 3:25. It's such an advantage to have several extra hours to grade papers, enter scores into the computer, and prepare for the six weeks which inevitably kicks off after the weekend. An abbreviated day means periods last thirty minutes, not forty-six. I do something out of the ordinary on these days. Friday, I divided my students into gender-based teams, with either three or four squads per period. Winning team members had two points added to a test grade while the runners-up had one point tacked on. When tests are 60% of the final grade, it's a big deal. This was the basis of the competition: without using Bibles, each team had five minutes to list in order the ten men mentioned most frequently in the New Testament. After scoring, we repeated the process with the ten men found most often in the Old Testament, followed by the ten women's names in the entire Bible. You'd get one point for correct answers and three if the name was in the same position as in the actual table, taken from Meredith's Book Of Bible Lists (Bethany House Publishers.) A perfect score was ninety. The highest score any of the nineteen teams posted was twenty-eight. It isn't as easy as it looks. I have good Bible knowledge and I would struggle. How well do you know the Scriptures? Take a shot before looking at the answers listed below.

The 10 Most-Mentioned Men In The New Testament (#10 to #1):

Philip (the deacon), Judas Iscariot, Timothy, Herod, John (the apostle), Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and Jesus

The 10 Most-Mentioned Men In The Old Testament (#10 to #1):
Jeremiah, Joshua, Joseph, Solomon, Abraham, Saul, Jacob, Aaron, Moses, and David

The 10 Most-Mentioned Women In The Bible (#10 to #1)
Hagar, Mary Magdalene, Miriam, Abigail, Mary (mother of Jesus), Jezebel, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and Sarah

Anything strike you as odd? How many bets could you win saying the most infamous woman in the Scriptures, Jezebel, shows up more than the Savior's mother? Would you guess that two rulers known for cruelty, Pilate and Herod, made the list while nine apostles didn't? There's a Who's Who of who didn't make the cut in the Old Testament: Noah, Isaac, Daniel, Job, Isaiah, Elijah, Adam (or his significant other.) Not all listed are good; not all good folks are listed. Judas and Saul would have been better off remaining obscure. Every woman on the list is directly connected with a corresponding man on one of the two Top Tens. I told the students that I wouldn't think that a great Biblical background would be beneficial in knowing numbers of mentions. But look at the lists again. The thirty names are intricately woven into the unfolding story of Jesus: family roots, prophecies, followers, proclaimers and hinderers, and ultimately, the Messiah of the world. You can't tell a story without main characters and a supporting cast. The Bible has it all....and more. It leaves the door open for the sequel, the final act. Get your ticket!

Applicable quote of the day:
"The Bible was written in tears and to tears, it yields its best treasures."
A.W. Tozer

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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1 comment:

graceflyer said...

Interesting info here, I think Jezebel is a favorite of many modern day sadducees and pharisees. They don't see. :)