Tom Bigbee (16 Dec 2010)
"Tom's Christmas Quiz Answers"

1) How did Mary travel to Bethlehem?
      A) On foot
      B) On a donkey
      C) On a cart
      D) On a camel
      E) None of the above

E) None of the above - because we don't know.  It doesn't tell us.  It was probably not a camel as they were expensive and were the long-haul trucks of the day.  Mary could have traveled the 80 or so miles on foot as she was young but I doubt she did.  She could have traveled on a donkey but this could have been more tiring than walking.  My guess is that she rode a cart behind a donkey as the major roads were wide enough for carts.

2) Why did the innkeeper refuse Joseph and Mary?
      A) He was mean
      B) The inn was only for men
      C) The inn was full
      D) So the prophecy would be fulfilled
      E) None of the above

E) None of the above - because there was no innkeeper in the real story.  Actually, the word for inn is translated elsewhere in the Bible as guest room.  So yes, the inn or guest room was full, but there was no innkeeper and there was no prophecy regarding any of this.

3) What day was Jesus born?
      A) December 25
      B) December 21
      C) April 25
      D) September 25
      E) None of the above

E) None of the above - because no one knows exactly which day.  However, we know for sure that it was not in December as the shepherds did not keep their flocks in the fields in the winter and the roads could sometimes be impassable after the rains or occasional snow.  Caesar would probably not have called for a census in the winter and the best time for collecting taxes (the main reason for a census) would be at harvest time.  It also would have been wise of the local rulers to do it right before one of the traveling festivals.

There is strong Biblical evidence that Jesus was actually born during the seven day feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).  Because Mary got pregnant by the Holy Spirit when Elizabeth was six months pregnant and because we know when Elizabeth got pregnant after her husband Zechariah served in the Temple (the eighth course), then using the schedule of courses as outlined in 1st Chronicles 24, we can pin it down to a few weeks in the Autumn.  Because YHWH's holy days (feasts) were created by Him to identify Messiah, Jesus was probably born on the first day of Tabernacles (the Word became flesh and 'tabernacled' among us).  His circumcision would then have been on the eighth day which gives future prophetic significance.  This would also mean that Jesus was conceived during Hanukkah, the feast of Dedication.

4) Who came to visit Jesus at His birth?
      A) King Herod
      B) Shepherds
      C) Wise men
      D) Caesar Augustus
      E) None of the above

B) The shepherds - they were the only people recorded that visited him at birth.  King Herod and Ceasar Augustus definitely did not.  Contrary to popular belief, the wise men did not visit Jesus until he was little older.  They gave him very expensive gifts and gold so this was after Joseph and Mary went to the Temple for his circumcision, when they sacrificed two doves because they were so poor.  In Matthew, when they visited the 'child', the Greek word there indicates he was a young child (maybe 12-18 months).

5) What cloth did Mary wrap the baby Jesus in?
      A) Her robe
      B) Oriental silk
      C) Feed bags
      D) Huge wicks
      E) None of the above

E) None of the above - because it says only that they wrapped him in swaddling cloths (strips of linen cloth).  However, Mary's cousin was married to Zechariah, a Temple priest, and there are hints that the strips of cloth were wicks for the giant Temple lamps that were made out of worn out priests clothes.  So, D) might be correct, which would mean that Jesus was wrapped in priestly clothing at his birth!

6) Who were the wise men from the east?
      A) Babylonians
      B) Kings
      C) Magicians
      D) Astrologers
      E) None of the above

A) The 'Magoi' were from Babylon but were not Kings.  More on this later or I will give away some answers.

7) How many wise men were there?
      A) 2
      B) 3
      C) 4
      D) 7
      E) None of the above

E) None of the above - or take your pick, because it doesn't say how many, but the plural word tells us that there was more than one.  The reason many assume there were three is that they gave three gifts.  All the rest is conjecture.

8) How did the wise men know when and where to look for Jesus?
      A) Ancient astrology
      B) Visions from God
      C) The I-Ching
      D) Daniel the Prophet
      E) None of the above

D) Daniel the Prophet.  Now I can tell the whole story.  The wise men were from Babylon and likely were of Israelite descent.  How do we know?  600 years before, the nation of Israel was taken to Babylon for 70 years.  Most of them did not return with Nehemiah and Ezra.  Daniel was second in command during much of his time there and was very powerful and wealthy.  YHWH had revealed much to Daniel and, as recorded in the book of Daniel, he knew when Messiah was to arrive and what signs to look for in the sky using the Mazarot (God's astronomy, not Satan's astrology).  He left instructions for them and probably even left the funds in trust for the gifts!  Can we really think that God would use pagan astrologers to find Jesus?

9) What was Jesus born in?
      A) Manger
      B) Tabernacle
      C) Stable
      D) Cave
      E) None of the above

E) None of the above - because it doesn't tell us.  No, Mary did not give birth in a manger, a feeding trough, unless it was big enough to feed an elephant.  It only says they laid him in a manger - but that in no way proves that he was born in a stable.  Some have proposed it was a cave such as in the Church of the Nativity, but because it faces east and many traces of human blood were found there it was probably a Tammuz cave where infants were sacrificed to Tammuz on Easter (Ishtar) Sunday.

But - consider that if he was born on the first day of Sukkot (Tabernacles), there would have hundreds of sukkahs, or temporary booths, all over Bethlehem - and if there was no room in homes or guest rooms because of the thousands of travelers attending the feast in Jerusalem a few miles away, then a sukkah would have been the most available and prophetically fitting place for them.

10) The reason that Jesus did not cry was because…
      A) He was sinless
      B) Mary was the perfect mother
      C) He could talk from birth
      D) He was wrapped in swaddling cloths
      E) None of the above

E) None of the above.  The notion that he did not cry is from the carol, Away In A Manger.  Crying is the way babies communicate and it is not a sin to cry.  Let's not make the mistake of thinking that he was not fully human.

11) What name did the angel tell Joseph to call Him?
      A) Emmanuel
      B) Savior
      C) Josephus
      D) Jesus
      E) None of the above

E) None of the above.  You probably answered D, but in case you never heard, Jesus was NOT his actual name!  The name Jesus has only existed in print for about 400 years and has only been said with a hard J sound for about 300 years.  Before that, as late as the original 1611 King James Version, it was printed as Iesus or Iesu and pronounced 'eeaysoos'.  This came from the Latin (Iesus) and Greek (both Iesou and Iesous, depending on which book of the Bible).

Iesou was an inadequate transliteration of Yahshua because Greek had no Y or SH sound.  There is a much more detailed explanation for all this but Joseph (Yoseph) and Mary (Mariam) did NOT speak Greek.  They were Hebrew people living in the land of Hebrews who spoke primarily Hebrew and a little Aramaic (from Babylon).  Archaeology is continually proving this.  In Matthew 1:21 the angel spoke to Joseph in Hebrew saying:

And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus [ישוע = Yahshua/Yeshua/Y’shua]: for he shall save [יושיע = Yoshia] his people from their sins.

Yahshua/Yoshia is a Hebraism, or a word play similar to a pun.  So if you answered B), you were close since His name means salvation!

12) What is the origin of the abbreviation 'Xmas'?
      A) A commercial advertising abbreviation
      B) Secular humanists trying to take Christ out of Christmas
      C) In Hebrew the name Jesus begins with the letter Tav (X)
      D) In Greek the name Christ begins with the letter Chi (X)
      E) None of the above

D) In Greek the name Christ begins with the letter Chi (X).  The word Christ comes from the Greek word for Messiah (Machiach in Hebrew).  So the English transliteration of Jesus Christ from Greek is Iesou Christo.  The first letter of Christ in Greek, represented by the 'Ch', is the letter Chi which looks like our letter X.

The use of X (chi) as an abbreviation of Christ was even found in Roman catacombs.  So, Xmas is really a very old abbreviation for Christmas but should still be pronounced Christmas.  Whether some have used it more recently as a way to take the Christ out of Christmas might be true, particularly if said as 'exmas' - but now if you find someone attempting to remove Christ, you can turn it into an opportunity to tell them the whole truth about...
...Jesus the Christ, Iesou o Christo, and Yahshua Ha Mashiach, the salvation of the world!

(:-{> - God's Greatest Miracle Yet!