How well do you know the Christmas story?
Every year, my mother dusts off a homemade Christmas quiz she created six or seven years ago and tests our knowledge of the biblical accounts of Jesus’ birth. The quiz’s 10 questions vary considerably in difficulty. Exempli gratia:
- Which two books in the Bible record the story of Jesus’ birth?
- (Matthew and Luke)
- How many wise men came to the stable to see Jesus?
- (None—they came to the house.)
- How many angels told the shepherds about the savior’s birth?
- (Just one.)
Though I rarely ace the annual assessment, it reminds me of the importance of knowing what the Bible does and doesn’t say. A plethora of myths and misconceptions have been tacked onto the Christmas story, so fact and fiction often become intertwined.
Would you say the same principle holds true with the first few chapters of Genesis? I believe so. The biblical creation account is such a well-known story that it is greatly muddied by misunderstandings. In our world today, many people just aren’t sure what the Bible actually says.
- Did Adam and Eve really eat an apple?
- Did God really create the Sun before the stars?
- Did Adam really name all the animals?
- Et cetera
And so, perhaps we should ponder: Are we sufficiently well-versed to defend the original, historical, unadulterated creation account (or any other scriptural passage, for that matter)? Or has our understanding of the Bible been polluted by erroneous details? Are we able to separate fact from fiction?
There are all considerations I hope to keep in mind throughout the year—not just when Mom decides to pull out her homemade Christmas quiz.