The Ultimate Christmas Quiz By David Fitzgerald

Back in April my good friend and historical researcher, David Fitzgerald created The Ultimate Easter Quiz.  We were shocked by how many blogs shared the quiz.

Well, David has now made a better quiz and just in time for the Holiday Season.  There are twelve questions (one for each apostle or day of xmas?) with multiple choice answers.  There is also one bonus question about Easter.  Read the questions and write down your answers.

Each day I will post one of the answers along with historical details and you can see how you did.  David and I invite you to tell us what you chose or discuss the question and/or the answer.  If a question or an answer brings a story to mind – please feel free to share.  Let’s have fun with this as we head in to the season of the winter solstice.

After all of the answers are up I will repost the whole quiz and all of the answers together just in time for Thanksgiving and Skepticon 4.

David will be one of speakers again this year and I’m sure he will have more to tell us about jesus myths!

Here is the quiz!  Don’t forget to share it with your christian friends and see if they can score as high as you!

You can now see all of the answers here!

1. What year was Jesus born?
a. We don’t know for sure, since the gospels disagree irreconcilably.
b. We don’t know for sure, but the gospels agree it was during the reign of Herod the Great (died around 4 B.C.).
c. We don’t know for sure, but the gospels agree it was when Quirinius was governor of Syria (6 A.D.).
d. We don’t know for sure, but the gospels agree it was the year the moon was in the seventh house and Jupiter aligned with Mars.
e. D’uh! The year zero, of course.
Answer to #1
2. According to the Gospels, what day was Jesus born?
a. Dec 25th.
b. Dec 24th.
c. No date is given in any gospel.
d. The day of the Winter Solstice.
e. The third night of Hanukkah.
Answer to #2
3. What pagan holiday did later Christians “borrow” to celebrate Jesus’ birthday?
a. The Greek Brumalia festival
b. The Roman feast of Saturnalia
c. Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (“the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun”)
d. All of the above
e. None of the above
Answer to #3
4. So what day was Jesus really born? 
a. Jan 6
b. Feb 2 (Groundhog Day)
c. March 25
d. We can’t be certain.
e. Sometime during Sukkoth, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles
Answer to #4
5. According to Mark (the oldest gospel) where was Jesus born?
a. He doesn’t say.
b. By the chimney, with care.
c. In his parent’s house in Nazareth.
d. A manger in Bethlehem.
e. A cave in Bethlehem.
Answer to #5
6. According to Luke, who were the Wise Men?
         a. A group of 2 – 12 Zoroastrian astrologers from Persia.
         b. Three kings of orient bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh from afar.
         c. There were no Wise Men.
         d. Cupid, Donder and Blitzen.
         e. Melchior of Persia, Caspar (or Gaspar) of India, and Balthazar of Arabia.
Answer to #6
7. According to Matthew, who showed up on the night of Jesus’ birth?
a. Shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night
b. An angel and a multitude of the heavenly host
c. The prophet Simeon and the prophetess Anna
d. Ten lords a-leaping
e. No one.
Answer to #7
8. What happened after Jesus’ birth?
a. Impossible to say for sure – two of the gospels tell completely contradictory stories, and the other two say nothing.
b.  Good tidings were brought for him and his kin; and then figgy pudding, for they would not go until they get some.
c. Scary stuff: An angel warns Joseph via a dream to flee their home in Bethlehem for Egypt. Herod kills all the baby boys in the region. After Herod’s death, they return to Judea but are afraid of Herod’s son, so they move to Nazareth in Galilee instead (evidently, Matthew forgot that Galilee was ruled by Herod’s other son!).
d. Happy stuff: The shepherds spread the good news to all, baby Jesus is circumcised, and after the obligatory 40 days for ritual purity, brought to the temple in Jerusalem where prophets hail him as the Christ. They return home to Nazareth and go back to Jerusalem every year for Passover until Jesus is twelve.
e. We aren’t told, the gospels immediately cut to his adulthood.
 Answer to #8
9. Which of these traditional Christmas elements were originally pagan?
      a. Christmas Trees
         b. Yule Logs
         c. The Birth of the Savior
         d. Boughs of Holly and Sprigs of Mistletoe
         e. All of the above
Answer to #9
10. Where does the word “Yuletide” come from?
a. It’s an abbreviation of the Latin ultimus ides, “last holiday of the year.”
b. From Germanic/Old Norse “Jul-time” or “Jól-time” (the midwinter fest).
c. Named after Julius Caesar, who invented Sanctus Clausius, the Roman Santa Claus.
d. Named in honor of Hywll Tydd, ancient Welsh god of reindeer and socks.
e. Nordic priests copied the name from the Christian Christmastide.
 Answer to #10
11. Who started the War on Christmas?
a. True American Christian Fundamentalists and the Founding Fathers
b. Richard Dawkins
c. Godless atheists, the liberal media, gays and lesbians, activist judges, science teachers, lawyers, the ACLU, democrats and everyone else we hate.
d. The Jews
e. Al Qaida
Answer to #11
12. Our familiar modern American “Santa Claus” is based on all these earlier figures, EXCEPT for:
 a. The English Father Christmas, Charles Dickens’ characters and the Victorian cartoons of Thomas Nast.
b. The Dutch Santa, Sinterklaas or Goedheiligman
c. A de-horned, sanitized, anagram of Satan.
d. Mighty Norse thunder god Thor’s father, Odin
e. St. Nikolaos, 4th-century Greek bishop and patron saint of children.
Answer to #12
Bonus Question! (re-gifted from the Ultimate Easter Quiz)
13. Who wrote these gospels, anyway?
a. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John – I mean, come on, it says so right there.
b. Actually, none of the gospels even claim to be written by eyewitnesses -all were originally anonymous and written at least a generation later.
c. Well, it’s more like the end of first century for Mark and sometime in the early to mid 2nd century for the others, if you must know.
d. Hold on – Not only that, but Matthew and Luke just reworked Mark gospel, adding their own material and tweaking Mark’s text to better fit what they thought it should say.
Answer to #13 and all of the first 12 questions!
David Fitzgerald is (among other things) a historical researcher and the author of the book NAILED: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All (recently voted one of the Top Five Atheist/Agnostic Books of 2010 by
You can get more info on Facebook.


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11 Responses to The Ultimate Christmas Quiz By David Fitzgerald

  1. Ambidexter says:

    11. Who started the War on Christmas?

    The correct answer, Bill O’Reilly, is not one of the choices.

  2. Phil says:

    Funny – I had the same thought.

  3. LRO says:

    Jesusonarollerblade, I am of the fast food generation – I want answers, and I want answers now.

    Esp 11, çoz I think it wuz me.

  4. Jeffersonian says:

    1. f. He wasn’t. Jesus is a mythological savior originally suggested by a Jewish cult,
    developed by Saul of Tarsus and, later still, written about
    in a no-longer-extant gospel which was changed and redeveloped by several
    authors over the next century(s).
    2. c.
    3. d.
    4. f. He wasn’t. It’s likely he’s an hsitorical amalgam of Eastern Mediterranean
    supernatural legends.
    5. a.
    6. c. It’s a modern, extra-biblical tradition; though there were plenty of wise GUYS
    in the backwards (by Roman standards) province of Judaea.
    7. e. The author(s) of Matthew mentions magi but he doesn’t say there were three and
    they visit Jesus a year or two after his birth (allowing for their travel
    time and because Herod has 2-year-olds slaughtered). Bizarrely, why would
    these magi give a shit about the new king of one of the small tribes in a
    backwater Roman province? Doesn’t make any sense (except in light of the
    8. f. Assumedly all of history that’s been recorded from the Roman scribes and
    forward.But the birth itself is fictional and don’t get me started on how no
    xtians know the actual definition of “Immaculate Conception” (i.e. the Concept
    of Immaculation).
    9. e.
    11.a. (originally, anyway)
    13.e. A succession of people over the centuries. You do mean the four currently
    accepted ones, right? Because if start talking about the Gospels of Judas,
    Thomas, Peter, or any other parts of the original bible that Catholics don’t
    want included today, it’s going to be a long answer.

  5. Jeffersonian says:

    cut off:
    (except in light of the author’s construed fulfillment of prophecy and strengthening of the story arc).

  6. killer says:

    It is my understanding that one of the things that drove the early settelers from England was the celebration of the birth of Christ. They felt it was created by merchants as a marketing ploy. The city of Boston, when founded, had a law against the celebration of Christmas.

  7. Paul (no, not him) says:

    The correct answer to number 7 is not listed: Jesus.

  8. Phil says:

    That is funny.

  9. Mike Carilli says:

    Where are the answers going to be posted every day?

  10. Phil says:

    Right here on Skeptic Money. The first one is up already – you can see it here.

  11. Ms. Crazy Pants says:

    Well, a lot of guesses….but we’ll see how I do.
    Sorry for the late post…

    1) b…I know I already have that one wrong

    2) c I’m relying mostly on what I was taught in Catholic school, and I don’t recall a date being given though we did know it wasn’t actually Dec. 24-25th.

    3) b

    4) d

    5) e I know the songs say manger, but I thought that was the animal feeding trough, and that he was born wherever the animals were kept, and a cave seems like a handy barn.


    7) a

    8) c

    9) e

    10) b….really guessing

    11) c …according to Fox news. (can cite fox news as a source?)

    12) c

    13) c

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