Poor Quiz

Better the poor whose walk is blameless
    than a fool whose lips are perverse.

  • Proverbs 19:1

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.  Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair.  And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.  He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied.  “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.  You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

  • John 12:1-8

This quiz is full of Bible verses or other interesting facts – all about “poor.”  The word “poor” appears 176 times in the NIV, but then, one of our questions below refers to a verse where the NIV does not use the word “poor” but other words that convey the same concept.

This entire quiz on the poor comes from J. Stephen Lang, The Whimsical Quizzical Bible Trivia Book.

Disclaimer:  Whenever I quote something from this book, I will include this disclaimer.  The Apostle Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16 that all Scripture is useful for instruction.  Thus, none of Scripture could be considered “Trivia.”  And if this quiz causes people to look up the answers, that is not trivial at all.

The Questions:

1What man, deeply moved by meeting Jesus, gave half his goods to the poor?
2What pagan conqueror carried off all the people of Jerusalem except the poorest?
3Which Old Testament book forbids charging interest on loans to the poor?
4What were Poor Man’s Bibles?
5Who told King David a parable of a poor man who had his one pet lamb taken away from him by a rich man?
6Which New Testament epistle warns churches against treating rich folks better than poor folks?
7What festival of the Jews featured giving gifts to the poor?
8What wise king said, “Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king”?
9To whom did Jesus say, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor”?
10The Christians in Greece took up a love offering for the poor Christians in what city?

My wife was a poor immigrant to the USA as a child.  Her father did not make a poor salary, but there were nine children (my wife – second oldest and oldest girl) and they arrived with only their clothing, a few years after the closing of Ellis Island.  The older children were told, at least one year, that there would be no Christmas presents under the tree for them so that the younger children could have a good Christmas.  The younger children have argued that this never happened, so my wife’s parents and the older siblings must have done a good job of pretending everything was normal.

There were other sacrifices as well, some affecting my wife’s health still today.  My wife has a couple of idiosyncrasies as a result.

When I was growing up, we always seemed to have what we needed, even though we lost the farm when I was in the second grade, about then – a slow process from financially losing the business until we sold the livestock and equipment to when we moved from the farmhouse.  I often heard “no” due to finances, even for little things, but a benefit of living on a farm or with family farmers nearby, there was always food.  We always had the traditional poor man’s meal on New Year’s Day.  The concept is starting the year humbly with the hope and prayer of better things to come.  It consisted of black-eyed peas, ham hocks, turnip greens, and cornbread.  My wife substituted the black-eyed peas with a Hoppin’ John, made with black-eyed peas, rice, and some of the fat from the ham hocks, an even poorer poor man’s meal.

Bible References:

  1. Luke 19:8
  2. 2 Kings 24:13-14
  3. Chapter and verse are 22:25
  4. N/A
  5. 2 Samuel 12
  6. Chapter and verse are 2:2-4
  7. Hint: established in Esther 9:20-32
  8. Ecclesiastes 4:13, I know, a give-away
  9. Matthew 19:16-21
  10. Romans 15:26




The Answers:

  1. The tax collector Zacchaeus
  2. Nebuchadnezzar
  3. Exodus
  4. Picture books widely used in the Middle Ages in place of the Bible.  Used by the illiterate, they were probably the earliest books to be printed.
  5. Nathan the prophet, who was condemning David’s adultery with Bathsheba
  6. James
  7. Purim
  8. Solomon
  9. The rich young ruler
  10. Jerusalem

Since you did so well, we need a video that talks about being poor.  These videos were made featuring Clara (Cologira Bonfanti) Cannucciari (1915 – 2013).  She was 91 when she made these videos.  The first is her depression breakfast video.  This is followed by a video of her making the poorman’s meal.  These are not your usual cooking videos, but from the stories that she tells, you understand a little bit about what it was like during the depression.

Of course, if you did not do well on this quiz, beware.  You may end up being taunted by a French knight – pronounced “Kah-ni-git.”

But regardless of whether you are rich or poor, God loves you.  And sometimes, that ignored person, that “nobody,” becomes a nobody, trying to tell everybody about Jesus.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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