Can You Answer These Basic Bible Questions Every Catholic Should Know?

By: Olivia Cantor

How many major parts does the Bible have?

Whatever version one might have of the Catholic Bible, their contents and general parts are essentially the same. Plus, they should also be divided into two major parts, Old Testament and New Testament.

The first part of the Bible was written using what ancient language?

The first part of the Catholic Bible is often referred to as the Hebrew Bible, because majority of its content was written in Hebrew. Some of it was written in the Syrian dialect called Aramaic, a language that later replaced Hebrew, before being replaced by Arabic.

The Hebrew-written part of the Bible was the first part, called what?

The Old Testament usually contains 39 books, but the Catholic Bible counts a collection of around 46 different books that include the deuterocanonical books, which detail the history and the evolution of God’s chosen people. Included in this collection are some laws by which they have to abide, to be called worthy of God’s love. This changes somewhat in the New Testament, with the coming of Christ.

The second part of the Bible is also known as _________.

The second part of the Catholic Bible is known as the New Testament. The word “testament” is used because it pertains to God having a kind of “contract” with His people, and these two major parts of the Bible attest to, and detail, this contract.

The term “Bible” actually refers to what?

The word “Bible” actually pertains to “the books,” which is what it essentially carries as a collection. The word came from the term, “biblion,” which means books, which is also derived from “biblos,” meaning papyrus or scroll, probably on which the original texts were written.

What is the very first book of the Bible called?

The Book of Genesis contains many original stories that trace the histories of the world, the people in it, and lessons we all need to learn to please God. Many smaller plot patterns utilized in modern storytelling actually come from the stories illustrated in this book, as well as basic characterizations of protagonists and antagonists.

The first five books of the Old Testament are collectively known as what?

The first five books of the Old Testament include Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Collectively, they are known as the Pentateuch, or Torah in Jewish culture.

What language was used to write the New Testament?

It is said that the New Testament of the Catholic Bible was originally written in Greek, another ancient civilization’s language. As the world’s cultures evolved during ancient times, the chroniclers of the faith also evolved, as evident in this linguistic difference between the Old Testament and the ​New Testament.

People who follow the Bible closely associate its contents with what divine aspect?

Catholics generally regard the contents of the Bible as the "Word of God," and they take it as their guidelines in living their lives. While the words were written by humans, they believe the writers chronicled God’s words, therefore it should be honored as such.

In the Old Testament, God gave his people which set of instructions to follow?

Catholics today closely follow the Ten Commandments, a set of laws that everyone must obey to be a good Catholic, and to earn their rightful spot in heaven. While these laws govern the spiritual rules by which to live, they mostly govern any societal structure’s laws of orderly and harmonious living.

The Book of Genesis contained this crucial story about how things came to be. What is it known as?

People who believe in the Catholic Bible closely support the idea that the entire world was created according to how it was narrated in the Creation Story in the Book of Genesis. Some who believe in scientific facts also include the evolution theory with this basic religious belief, as they balance out their faith and their knowledge.

Who is identified as the author of the Pentateuch?

Moses, the identified liberator of the chosen people of God, was the known author of the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Bible. So aside from leading the people out of slavery and conversing with God from time to time, he also had the time to pause and jot down these words that God wanted to share with His people. It's multi-tasking at its best!

The majority of the New Testament focused on one holy figure. Who is it?

While the Old Testament prepared people about the coming of the Messiah, the New Testament told how that Messiah was prophesied to come, how He arrived, and how He lived and died. Catholics believe that the Messiah is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

What people are considered​ as God’s chosen, as depicted in the Bible?

God’s identified chosen people of ancient times were the Israelites, the people who comprised the ancient Hebrew nation. The Old Testament details how God had a “contract” with them, which could be traced back to the story of Abraham and his lineage, and highlighted during the story of the Exodus and beyond.

If God and Jesus are the supreme protagonists of the Bible, who is their identified antagonist?

Several books in the Old Testament cite the existence of Lucifer and his fall from grace, indicating that he was once close to God but was banished because of committing some form of rebellion. In the New Testament, he makes appearances with the name, Satan, particularly in the chronicling of the Christ's temptation in the desert.

The Bible also contains four Gospels. But what does gospel literally mean?

The Bible contains another subset of scriptures known as the Gospels, which are part of the New Testament. Gospel means “the good news.” In this case, referring to the coming of the Messiah and the salvation of believers.

Who among these is not one of the identified authors of The Four Gospels?

The four Gospels were written by four authors who extensively chronicled the events that involved Jesus Christ. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.​ Timothy was not one of them.

The four Gospels chronicled which main aspect of Jesus’ life?

The authors of the four Gospels chronicled the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Their books tell of similar or parallel events involving the Son of God. However, these parallels can be seen mostly in the Books of Matthew, Mark and Luke, as John deviates a bit in his chronicling.

In which book can you find the tale of Samson and Delilah?

The story of Samson’s unbelievable strength due to his long hair is chronicled in the Book of Judges. There you can read how his enemy army solicited the help of Delilah to seduce the devoted hero, cut his hair and divulge the secret of his strength – which they used to defeat him.

Which angel is the most recognizable in the Bible?

The archangel Gabriel is perhaps the most familiar angel figure in the Catholic Bible because he is featured in several important stories to come out of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Gabriel appeared to Daniel, to John The Baptist’s father, Zacharias, and of course, to Mary to bring her the good news that she would give birth to the Messiah.

What is the collective term for Jesus Christ’s close-knit group of followers?

Avid readers of the Bible know that Jesus Christ handpicked 12 men to become His followers, who would later help Him spread the word of His Father as well as His own teachings. These men came to be known as the Apostles.

This person is perhaps the most well-known villain in the New Testament, during Jesus’ lifetime. Who is he?

Judas Iscariot is one of Jesus Christ’s original apostles, but he later turned out to be a villain and was paid off to betray Christ in exchange for 30 pieces of silver. This led to Jesus' capture and subsequent crucifixion.

Which book contained hymns?

The Book of Psalms contains many verses used for worship, often in the form of hymns and songs considered sacred and divine. Today, the word psalm is also interchanged with hymn. Both words ​basically mean the same thing, especially if used in the context of worship.

In which book can you find the story of a man who was supposed to die in a lion’s den but came out unharmed?

The Book of Daniel mentions the story of Daniel, a believer who was wrongly accused and sentenced to die. He was the one sent to a lion’s den, only to be protected by his faith, and the lions ended up not hurting him one bit.

The inspiring story of David defeating Goliath can be found in which book?

The heroic defeat of the giant Philistine soldier named Goliath by the boy named David was chronicled in 1 Samuel. This story characterizes how, with faith in God, even an underdog can defeat his enemies, no matter how big those enemies might be.

What popular event was chronicled in the Gospels, offering proof to believers that Jesus was the Son of God?

Matthew, Mark, and John were three of the four Gospels that chronicled different variations of the same miraculous event that proved Jesus was indeed the Son of God. Jesus walked on water, toward his apostles who were on a boat during a storm. Jesus encouraged Peter, who was on the boat, to do the same. Peter did, but his fear led him to almost drown​ until Jesus saved him.

In which Bible book is the famous Judgment of Solomon story chronicled?

It was in 1 Kings, specifically in chapter 3, where the famous story of King Solomon’s wisdom was chronicled. This pertains to how the king solved the dilemma of two women claiming to be the mother of a baby, and how he decided which one was indeed the child's mother.

Who is generally identified as the first Catholic pope, according to the Bible?

St. Peter is one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ, the one whom He said would deny Him after His arrest – which he did. But he was also the one whom Jesus said would have a very special position later on – calling him the rock on which He would build His church.

How many commandments did Jesus say were the most important of all?

In the Book of Matthew, Jesus was asked to identify the greatest commandment of them all, and He answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.” He also mentioned a second one that encompassed almost all the other laws mentioned in the Ten Commandments, essentially summarizing the ten into two.

Jesus also mentioned the second most important commandment of all, which is “Thou shalt ____ your neighbor as you _____ yourself.”

After explaining in the Book of Matthew that the greatest commandment pertains to dedicating our love to God, Jesus also mentioned a second one which pertained to specifically to people. He said “Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” which also simplifies all the detailed regulations specified in the rest of the Ten Commandments.

Which book chronicles the creation of the church?

The Acts of the Apostles is the New Testament’s fifth book, which comes after the four Gospels. Sometimes shortened as Acts, this tome chronicles the life of the Apostles after the death of Jesus Christ, narrating how the church was actually built and how the teachings and the messages of Jesus were spread.

The majority of the New Testament is actually comprised of epistles, a large portion of which was written by which holy man?

The New Testament has 27 books in all, and 21 of these books were written as epistles. Fourteen of the 21 epistles were written by St. Paul, a former non-believer who was blinded by God and later became a believer.

What are epistles?

An epistle is a letter written specifically addressing an individual, or in the case of the Bible, a group of people or churches. The majority of the New Testament books are epistles addressed to different groups of churches, containing blessings and notes tailored to the respective recipients.

What is the very last book of the Bible titled?

The Book of Revelation is sometimes called the Apocalypse because it narrates how Satan will continue to try to influence humanity, but God and Jesus will triumph over all evil, so everyone should prepare for this imminent clash and the second coming of Jesus Christ. The book details what’s about to come, and is prophetic in tone. It was authored by a writer named John.

The Bible is among the very first products experimented on by this revolutionary invention, helping it to reach more hands. What is this invention?

The so-called Gutenberg Bible is one of the very first products to come out of Johannes Gutenberg’s invention, the printing press. This movable type invention of the 1400s enabled a faster mass-produced way of printing manuscripts, making the Bible more accessible to people who didn’t have access to expensive handwritten versions prior to this time.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: Jean-Philippe Tournut/Moment/Gettyimages

About This Quiz

Catholics who are steeped in their faith should know the basics of the Bible. That's because it is the ultimate source of wisdom and knowledge for the entire Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, devoted followers of this religion should be very aware of the details of how it came about, the technicalities surrounding it, and of course, the stories and characters featured in it -- perhaps the most important aspect of the Bible to know by heart.

Children who grew up having been educated in Catholic schools always have formal religious lessons integrated into their school curriculum. And these lessons are patterned after what every Catholic should learn in a given year. They contain content taken from the different parts of the Bible. There are several parts that are always cited, depending on the given season.  

But regardless of whether or not you're a Catholic, these Bible details are actually very common, since many pop culture projects have also utilized some of the basic storylines and characterizations and adapted them for modern works. 

Do you think you can identify these basics of the Bible? Let's open up the quiz and see! Have faith that you can deliver this one!

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!