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Catholicism - The Holy Bible

This GCSE RE quiz on Catholicism asks questions about the Holy Bible. Roman Catholics, along with the Orthodox Church, use the same main collection of Holy Bible texts (in Old and New Testaments) as do the Protestant denominations, so for ‘basic’ Bible awareness you would do well to look into our parallel quizzes in the non-RC Christianity strand (of which several include ‘Bible’ in their titles), or indeed our Judaism quizzes for what many of us know as the Old Testament.

These ‘other’ books are seven in total, under titles appearing mainly as a mix of Jewish eponyms and history. (Obviously Jews do not hold with the New Testament, but even though the apocryphal books pertain to their own history and culture, they do not hold with those either.) The precise composition of the Apocrypha ~ a Greek term, meaning ‘hidden’ ~ or, as Catholics know it, the Deuterocanonical Books (i.e. ‘of secondary rank’) has itself varied a little over time, and there are three further Books which complete Protestant Bibles include but that Catholic ones do not.

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The 5th-century Latin Bible of St Jerome, usually known as the Vulgate, includes the apocryphal seven books, as did the Gutenberg Bible which was the western world’s first major moveable-type printing project, just over a thousand years later. By the time of England’s ‘King James’ (Authorised) Version in 1611, there were no fewer than 14 Books in its separate Apocrypha section.

In our current context we probably do not need to go into great detail as to which of these books or passages were later dovetailed back into the Old Testament, but we’ll concentrate on material to be found in Catholic Bibles as we make our way onward into the 3rd Christian millennium, and three of which have been lent further credence by the discovery of early manuscript copies among the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947.

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  1. Which of these Books is NOT among the seven in the modern standard Apocrypha?
    Oops! How well do you know your prophets, in the Old Testament, of whom he was one?
  2. Extracts from the story of Tobit (and his son Tobias) are read on appropriate occasions in various traditions, for the light they shed on spiritual issues. Only ONE of these is NOT significantly touched upon during the narrative as a whole: which ONE?
    ... Well, there is an incident during the story, but that hardly has the same general applicability as these other topics. One would be hard put to make a sermon on this passage of the text!
  3. You may happen to be (or know) someone, perhaps of the 'Judaeo-Christian' tradition, by the name of Judith. Anyone since named after the Judith of the Apocrypha may, we assume, have been intended by her parents to stand up feistily for what is right ~ and what harm can there be in that? Well ... which of the following (once again) is the only ONE that Judith did NOT do, according to her Book?
    Whatever else may or may not have occurred, this 'fairytale' ending was not what awaited her. Many men admired her pluck and would probably have been only too happy to settle down with her, but she remained un-re-married. Some authorities regard this Book as 'the first feminist novel' (certainly seen through the prism of Old Testament Judaism as we understand it, for a woman to take such a lead would certainly be a remarkable story)
  4. There seems to be considerable debate about the authorship of 'The Wisdom of Solomon', though it is broadly and proverbially* accepted that one of Solomon's first key acts was to pray for wisdom (rather than, say, unlimited wealth or military success). What was Solomon's single most significant 'day job'? *Solomon is also credited with writing the (Book of) Proverbs in the canonical Old Testament.
    Re: Answer 4 ~ No, it was the First Temple (and no expense spared: see Kings &/or Chronicles in the Old Testament). Of the other, odd-numbered 'distractors', No.1 is false, and No.3 is all very well (and memorable) but hardly on a par with his kingly influence during his lifetime. His mother was the widow Bathsheba, and there too lies an interesting if somewhat grubby story ...
  5. The Apocrypha contains at least one other Wisdom book of its own: which of these is it?
    This is one of the latest Books to have been written (probably about 200 BCE) and is a mixture of behavioural advice, piety and spiritual longing
  6. Baruch (himself, whose name is given to another apocryphal book) served as scribe and personal assistant to which important Old Testament prophet?
    If you are at all familiar with Jeremiah's own Book (which makes generally doomy reading) and the Lamentations, you may have some idea what to expect with Baruch. But there are some splendidly resonant prayers and speech passages of (we presume) Baruch's own
  7. The name 'Maccabees' may strike as strange and even slightly quaint, but the people whose story is told in these two Books were certainly feisty souls. Which of the following is NOT broadly true of their story?
    All very well, except that the relevant festival is Hannukah
  8. Allowing for the fact that some of the apocryphal material belongs within already-canonical Books of the Old Testament, leaving seven freestanding Books to constitute the Apocrypha itself ... how many Books would you expect to find, altogether, within a Catholic Bible?
    The Catholic Old Testament (including Apocrypha) amounts to 46 Books; plus 27 from in the New Testament, makes 73
  9. The apocryphal material all dates from the 'interTestamental' period, i.e. its historical context lies between the Old Testament (with its histories and prophecies) and the dawn of the Gospel. Even non-Catholic authorities concede that this material is of value and interest, though not necessarily strong enough in various ways to form a direct basis for doctrine &/or worship. Which of the following best summarises such wider opinion?
    The apocryphal Books are clearly worthy of study!
  10. There is one other core Biblical text, shared within the Judaeo-Christian tradition, for which the Catholic Bible divides the chapters differently ~ while ending up with the same total number. Which Book is this?
    Protestant Bibles turn what Catholics know as Psalm 9 into two separate psalms, but then re-amalgamate 'their' 146 and 147. Hence, what most nominal-Anglican people know as 'the Shepherd's Psalm' (no.23, as often quoted at funerals and paraphrased in Protestant hymns: 'The Lord's my shepherd', etc.) is no.22 in the Catholic context

Author: Ian Miles

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