The Ultimate Easter Quiz – Jesus Gets Nailed!

Posted by Phil Ferguson on April 20th, 2011 – 24 Comments – Posted in religion

Recently I contacted my friend David Fitzgerald and asked if he would create an Easter Quiz. David Fitzgerald is (among other things) a historical researcher and the author of the new book “NAILED: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All.”

This great book was voted one of the Top Five Atheist/Agnostic Books of 2010 by About.com.

Here is the link to the book’s facebook page.

You can order an e-book version at smashwords or…

An actual book via Amazon.

Now…. Try this 10 question quiz and see how you do.  The answers are below the fold.  (click on link for this post (the title) or hit “read more” at the bottom of this page.

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The Ultimate Easter Quiz

By David Fitzgerald

1. When did Jesus get crucified?

a. At the 3rd Hour (9am), on Friday, the morning of Passover.
b. Shortly after the 6th Hour (noon), on Friday, the day before Passover.
c. He didn’t really get crucified, his identical twin Thomas Didymus did.
d. He didn’t really get crucified, he only appeared to be crucified.
e. We don’t know for sure, since the gospels disagree irreconcilably.

2. What supernatural events occurred at his death?

a. An earthquake hits Jerusalem (actually, two); strong enough to break stones.
b. Supernatural darkness covers all the land.
c. The sacred temple curtain spontaneously rips in half.
d. A mass resurrection of all the Jewish holy men, who crawl out of their graves and appear to many in Jerusalem.
e. All of the above, depending on which Gospel you read.

3. What historical evidence do we have for those supernatural events?

a. Every major ancient writer of the time worldwide mentioned them.
b. Many important writers in Judea discuss them.
c. Several writers in Jerusalem mention them.
d. No one mentions them, but we do have archeological evidence for them.
e. There is not a single lick of evidence for any of them, written or otherwise.

4. How many women went to the tomb?

a. Three: Mary Magdalene, James’ mother and Salome.
b. Two: Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary.”
c. Lots:  Mary Magdalene, Joanna, James’ mother Mary and other women.
d. Just one: Mary Magdalene.
e. No way to know, since none of the Gospels agree.

5. What did they find there?

a. A young man, sitting inside the tomb on the right.
b. Two men, standing inside.
c. Two angels sitting on each end of the bed.
d. An armed guard of Roman soldiers standing watch, when suddenly a great earthquake occurs, and an angel descends from heaven, his face blazing like lightning and his clothing white as snow; the Roman guards are utterly terrified and all faint dead away; the angel rolls away the stone and sits on it.
e. No way to know, since none of the Gospels agree.

6. What happened after the visit to the tomb?

a. The women ran away in terror and never told anyone what they saw.
b. Jesus appears, is initially mistaken for the gardener, and then is tenderly reunited with Mary.
c. The women tell the disciples, who don’t believe them.
d. Peter runs and beats everyone to the tomb; or possibly gets beaten by one of the other disciples.
e. No way to know, since none of the Gospels agree.

7. Where/when did the risen Jesus first appear to the disciples?

a. On a mountain in the Galilee (60-100 miles from Jerusalem), just as the angel told them he would.
b. We don’t know; we aren’t told anything after the women run from the tomb.
c. He appears to two followers (not disciples) on the road to Emmaus (seven miles from Jerusalem)
d. He materializes in a locked room in Jerusalem as the disciples are at dinner.
e. No way to know, since none of the Gospels agree.

8. When/Where did Jesus ascend back to heaven?

a.  Jesus returns to heaven on the same day he arose, right after dinner, from a room in Jerusalem.
b. We don’t know exactly, but it’s at least 8 days after the resurrection, when the despondent apostles have gone back to being fishermen on the sea of Tiberias.
c. After his resurrection, Jesus spends at least 40 days of teaching his disciples in Jerusalem before ascending to heaven from the Mt. of Olives.
d.  Jesus didn’t ascend into heaven; he met his disciples in the mountains of Galilee and told them he would be with them always.
e. We don’t really know; Luke is the only gospel writer who actually mentions the ascension.

9. 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.
e. Get this – if all that weren’t enough, all the Gospels have been edited and added to by later editors, and for the first 200 – 300 years, we have no way to determine how faithfully the originals were preserved.

10. Where does the word “Easter” come from?

a. From the Aramaic word for Passover.
b. It originally was “Eastern Holiday” – referring to the Passover celebrated by Jews in the eastern part of the Roman empire.
c. From est ova, Latin for “Where are the eggs?”
d. From an ancient Celtic pun that means both “Bunnies” and “Chocolate.”
e. from Eastre/Eostre, the pagan Goddess of Spring.

Click on the “read more” to the right for the answers!

ANSWERS

1. When did Jesus get crucified?

a. At the 3rd Hour (9am), on Friday, the morning of Passover.
b. Shortly after the 6th Hour (noon), on Friday, the day before Passover.
c. He didn’t really get crucified, his identical twin Thomas Didymus did.
d. He didn’t really get crucified, he only appeared to be crucified.
e. We don’t know for sure, since the gospels disagree irreconcilably.

Note: According to the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), Jesus was crucified at 9am on Passover; John insists it was in the afternoon the day before Passover. To make matters even worse, they all say this was on a Friday. Later Christian sects argued he was never crucified at all; it was just a spiritual ruse.


2. What supernatural events occurred at his death?

a. An earthquake hits Jerusalem (actually, two); strong enough to break stones.
b. Supernatural darkness covers all the land.
c. The sacred temple curtain spontaneously rips in half.
d. A mass resurrection of all the Jewish holy men, who crawl out of their graves and appear to many in Jerusalem.
e. All of the above, depending on which Gospel you read.


3. What historical evidence do we have for those supernatural events?

a. Every major ancient writer of the time worldwide mentioned them.
b. Many important writers in Judea discuss them.
c. Several writers in Jerusalem mention them.
d. No one mentions them, but we do have archeological evidence for them.
e. There is not a single lick of evidence for any of them, written or otherwise.

Note: Incidentally, though we have no historical evidence for any of these spectacular events, oddly we do have historical accounts for much less interesting incidents including the antics of other, lesser, would-be messiahs during the same time period when the Gospels say Jesus’ fame was spreading like wildfire throughout Judea, Galilee, and beyond to the Decapolis and Syria.


4. How many women went to the tomb?

a. Three: Mary Magdalene, James’ mother and Salome.
b. Two: Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary.”
c. Lots:  Mary Magdalene, Joanna, James’ mother Mary and other women.
d. Just one: Mary Magdalene.
e. No way to know, since none of the Gospels agree.

Note:    a. Three: (according to Mark)
b. Two: (according to Matthew)
c. Lots: (according to Luke)
d. Just one: (according to John)


5. What did they find there?

a. A young man, sitting inside the tomb on the right.
b. Two men, standing inside.
c. Two angels sitting on each end of the bed.
d. An armed guard of Roman soldiers standing watch, when suddenly a great earthquake occurs, and an angel descends from heaven, his face blazing like lightning and his clothing white as snow; the Roman guards are utterly terrified and all faint dead away; the angel rolls away the stone and sits on it.
e. No way to know, since none of the Gospels agree.

Note:    a. A young man: (according to Mark)
b. Two men: (according to Luke)
c. Two angels: (according to John)
d. Guards/Earthquake/Blazing Angel/Romans Terrified: (according toMatthew)


6. What happened after the visit to the tomb?

a. The women ran away in terror and never told anyone what they saw.
b. Jesus appears, is initially mistaken for the gardener, and then is tenderly reunited with Mary.
c. The women tell the disciples, who don’t believe them.
d. Peter runs and beats everyone to the tomb; or possibly gets beaten by one of the other disciples.
e. No way to know, since none of the Gospels agree.

Note: The women running away in terror and never telling anyone is the original ending of Mark, which stopped at ch. 16, verse 8; the rest of the chapter was one of two endings which were added much later. John tells the story of Mary coming alone and mistaking Jesus for the gardener. Luke has the women run and tell the disbelieving disciples, but then has Peter change his mind and run to the tomb. John has Peter and “The Beloved Disciple” both run to the tomb, and has Peter lose the race – so obviously, the beloved disciple (who is supposed to be the real source of John’s Gospel) is the best.


7. Where/when did the risen Jesus first appear to the disciples?

a. On a mountain in the Galilee (60-100 miles from Jerusalem), just as the angel told them he would.
b. We don’t know; we aren’t told anything after the women run from the tomb.
c. He appears to two followers (not disciples) on the road to Emmaus (seven miles from Jerusalem)
d. He materializes in a locked room in Jerusalem as the disciples are at dinner.
e. No way to know, since none of the Gospels agree.

Note: Matthew has Jesus meet his disciples on a mountain in the Galilee. Mark’s gospel originally ended at the empty tomb with no appearance of Jesus. Later an ending based on Luke’s was added. Luke has Jesus appear first to Cleopas and another unnamed follower on the road to Emmaus before he appears to the disciples, which of course begs the question: Who the hell is Cleopas, and how does he rate? John, as we saw, has Jesus appear first to Mary before he magically interrupts the disciples’ supper – but not all of them; he has to come back a week later to convince Doubting Thomas.


8. When/Where did Jesus ascend back to heaven?

a.  Jesus returns to heaven on the same day he arose, right after dinner, from a room in Jerusalem.
b. We don’t know exactly, but it’s at least 8 days after the resurrection, when the despondent apostles have gone back to being fishermen on the sea of Tiberias.
c. After his resurrection, Jesus spends at least 40 days of teaching his disciples in Jerusalem before ascending to heaven from the Mt. of Olives.
d.  Jesus didn’t ascend into heaven; he met his disciples in the mountains of Galilee and told them he would be with them always.
e. We don’t really know; by the way, Luke is the only gospel writer who actually mentions the ascension.


Note: Mathew ends his gospel with Jesus still on the mountain in Galilee with his disciples. John ends with the disciples instead returning to being fishermen again, and Jesus appearing to them at the sea of Tiberias. Neither gospel mentions an ascension. Mark originally ended at 16:8 with no account of the ascension either, but the ending tacked on by later editors followed Luke and had him ascend right after dinner the same day of his resurrection, though Mark’s dinner takes place in Jerusalem and Luke’s in nearby Bethany. Strangely, Acts 1:9-12 (also written by the author of Luke) contradicts all four gospels by telling us Jesus was around for forty days (!) (with no reaction from the public or his enemies who executed him!) before he ascends to heaven from the Mt. of Olives.


9. 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.
e. Get this – if all that weren’t enough, all the Gospels have been edited and added to by later editors, and for the first 200 – 300 years, we have no way to determine how faithfully the originals were preserved.

Note: Technically all of these are true, except for a.


10. Where does the word “Easter” come from?

a. From the Aramaic word for Passover.
b. It originally was “Eastern Holiday” – referring to the Passover celebrated by Jews in the eastern part of the Roman Empire.
c. From est ova, Latin for “Where are the eggs?”
d. From an ancient Celtic pun that means both “Bunnies” and “Chocolate.”
e. from Eastre/Eostre, the pagan Goddess of Spring

Note: Only e) is correct; The rest are pure lies. Fun fact: The goddess Eastre (a.k.a. Eostre) may be a later variant of the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar/Astarte, though some scholars suspect the medieval St. Bede just made her up.

  1. phoebe williamson says:

    love your work .

  2. Phrosty says:

    Great post.

    For 10 C, “est ova” isn’t even Latin for “Where are the eggs?”. “Est ova” translates to ‘”it is the eggs.” Roughly, “Where are eggs?” would be “Ubi sunt ova?”

  3. tod says:

    loved it.

    I would love to post this on FB but I can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I get the humor and can see that it was written for the converted, so to speak.

    The atheist barbs would have 95% of my friends stopping after the first question.

    If there were a less off putting (to christians) version, we might be able to get some theists to actually ponder their understanding of these myths.

    That being said, super funny and gave me a smile this easter.

    Thanks

  4. wyocwboy62 says:

    Michael Moore needs to make a movie about easter with ALL the versions and it would really show how schizophrenic religion is.

  5. Kate says:

    I will pray that all of you who insist Christ is not the Risen Savior will be led to faith before you die and then find out, when its too late. Then no prayers or anything else can save you from an eternity in hell.

  6. Lisa Lane says:

    Great quiz. I had fun with it. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Clark David Kimble says:

    What are the differences between organized religion and superstition?

    a. Superstitions don’t expect you to tithe
    b. Superstitions don’t get your kids raped by people who claim to be “Men of Superstition”
    c. Superstitions don’t strong-arm politicians into appearing to side with them to draw votes from the naive
    d. Superstitions don’t require you to meet with a never-married, chaste, and probably gay official before marrying in the House of Superstition
    e. Superstition doesn’t condemn you to hell for being gay
    f. Superstition DOES let you back in the House of Superstition after divorce
    g. Superstitious people aren’t tax-exempt
    h. Superstitions people don’t declare war on other superstitions over superstitious differences: “Our Superstition is the only true, loving Superstition, and we’ll keep killing your people until you believe it”
    i. Superstition doesn’t allow the most horrid, sinful people a clean slate just by coming in on Sunday, tithing, and being absolved, free to start sinning all over

  8. Scott says:

    Kate: We do not want you to pray for us. Take the time that you would pray and do something nice or useful for someone else.

  9. Read says:

    Please look up “to beg the question”. Otherwise, loved it. Thanks.

  10. Veerle says:

    gave me a smile, altough it should be said that numerous catholic people are aware that the gospels are written long after the “facts” etc. still, on the matter of the eggs for 10C – ova est is incorrect since est is third singular while ova is plural – i’d say it should read ovum est or ova sunt ;)

  11. james says:

    hilarious how the christians don’t even know about the contents of their precious book. i especially like the answer to question 10. (and kate- please do not pray for me).

  12. Paul says:

    A quote from a brilliant man:

    “The difference between a cult and a religion is how much real estate they own”

    Frank Zappa

  13. bill says:

    Lmfao troll harder angstheists.

  14. Jen says:

    Kate, that over-edited and -translated book you base your life on says that it is only by God’s Grace that we may enter His Kingdom, for He so loved us that He gave us His only Son. Are you saying God Himself cannot save me if He so chooses, whether I believe or not?

  15. ironflange says:

    Re #6: I get it, the faster runner is the better person. So, by way of example, this makes Ben Roethlisberger a better person than, say, Jimmy Carter. Makes perfect sense.

  16. Dale Headley says:

    Virtually all the sources of information about Santa Claus agree – what he looks like; where he lives; what he does, etc. In other words, there is vastly more evidence for the existence of Santa than for Jesus. Not only that, but the ability to circumnavigate the glove delivering all the presents to all the children in one night pales in comparison to the miracles attributed to Jesus. Jesus didn’t do those miraculous things, because he never existed; and the folks who are awaiting his return in 2012 (or any other of the countless predicted times) will be disappointed. He ain’t coming back!

  17. anti_supernaturalist says:

    ** Sherlock Holmes saves, Watson

    The proper name ‘Sherlock Holmes’ refers to no person, living or dead. Holmes never lived.

    Everything we can know about Holmes comes from the imagination of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His writings are the only “sacred” text for all questions concerning the great detective. Any other text, for example an engaging novel, The Seven Percent Solution must as theologians say “reside outside the received canon”.

    Imitative authors and adoring fans however can not limit themselves to the holy text. They want more. Fan fiction — books, TV and movie scripts — attempt to resurrect Holmes without doing violence to the “historical” Holmes.

    Now, simply substitute ‘Jesus’ for ’Sherlock Holmes’. The truth emerges — there is no historical Jesus. “Jesus”, just like “Daniel” and “Judith”, belongs solely to judaic historical fiction.

    More darkly, P/Saul’s creation, a hellenistic divinity and alter ego for “Jesus” is the “Christ”, who belongs to morbid fantasy comix where he appears as the Holy World Avenger™.

    Theology is fifth-rate fan fiction.

    You can no more have a personal relationship with Jesus=Christ than you can with Sherlock Holmes. And for exactly the same reasons.

    the anti_supernaturalist

  18. inmate says:

    I would like you to consider the possibility that this man, currently known as Jesus of Nazareth, is, in fact, a Time Lord. He and his TARDIS are capable of all things mentioned in this these texts, regardless of how irreconcilable they are.

    The answer is simple: a time-traveling, shape-shifting, immortal alien and his space ship of incomprehensible power explains it all!

  19. rtaylortitle7 says:

    Absolutely fantastic. I wish you would include the many mis-translations (actually, since we don’t have ANY so-called originals texts, they’re probably totally replete with mistranslations from SOMETHING we don’t know about!!!) in the KJ [authorized] version and the Septuagent LXX from Hebrew to Greek. Good example, the word translated into “virgin” is actually “young woman”.
    If god was omiscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, et al why we he/she/they have “inspired” so much that is errant, misleading and contradictory??? Hmmm……

  20. Moely says:

    If this proves anything it’s that no one who wrote the four Gospels were present during any of the events of Jesus life that the Bible is based on. It does not however prove that he never existed as a person.

  21. david says:

    this was incredibly stupid. next time stick to a written example of how you feel and why, not some horrible excuse for a fun multiple choice quiz.
    give me a break.

  22. Bigman says:

    You should cry a bit harder David…
    Stupid christians.

  23. Meatwad says:

    Ah jeez come’on folks Jesus lived and he took all yuhr sins upon himself. And did you hear that his daddy cast out the ‘sinful’ one. It is all a book about the conflict between big daddy and his kid that thought to chenge things, therefore duh boot. He left a red lettered confession in revelations 22:16 which is the second to last words attributed to the kid, and it matches up with that Lucifer dood real good. Living here on Earth he also was another creature, or critter, I mean human of the creation, and Romans 1:25 lays it bare, see for yourself,,, “who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” So all those bad things the christians are doing is for their Lucifer creature or Jesus by just many of its names.

    Now do you want to tackle the jews scripts they came from? They can’t even live up to that exile thingy. Not one of their god demanded events has taken place for them to call the exile from israel over and done. Zionists have pretended one event took place but it lacks the method as well as the number sif thast one method of death for all those jews is to be taken serious.

    As Atheists, why do we just tackle the christian nonsense, get with it.

  24. Meatwad says:

    Oops, I forgot to fulfill that first thought. The Son of God took ALL SINS upon himself. This Jesus was the one sinful one that was cast our of daddies house for taking all those sins from each and every other creature that sins. There, all cleared up now. YES, even the devilish siners had their sins taken whether they liked it or not, that boy took em all.

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