Written by Dr. Dale Taliaferro
1. Can you name the parents of Jesus?
a. Mary (Matt. 1:16; Luke 1:31, 2:6-7).
b. God (Luke 1:32, 35).
c. Joseph (by adoption) (Matt 1:16, 19-20, 24-25).
2. Where did Joseph and Mary live before they were married?
a. Mary--In Nazareth (Luke 1:26-27).
b. Joseph--In Nazareth, presumably (Luke 2:4).
3. What was the name of the angel who appeared to Mary?
Gabriel (Luke 1:26).
4. Where did Joseph and Mary live after their marriage?
Nazareth (Luke 2:4-5, 39).
5. Where was Mary when the angel appeared to her?
In Nazareth, inside some structure or building (Luke 1:26, 28).
6. Whom did Mary visit immediately after Gabriel appeared to her?
Elizabeth, her relative (Luke 1:36).
7. How far along in her pregnancy was Elizabeth when Gabriel appeared to Mary?
Six months (Luke 1:26, 36).
8. How long did Mary stay with Elizabeth?
About three months (Luke 1:56).
9. Why didn't Mary stay to celebrate the birth of John?
Probably fear of stoning, since she was pregnant and beginning "to show."
10. How far along in her pregnancy was Mary when she broke the news to Joseph?
At least three months (Luke 1:38-39, 56).
11. Why were Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem?
To be enrolled for the taxes (Luke 2:1-3).
12. Why did Mary accompany Joseph?
a. A practical reason(she was well along in her pregnancy).
b. A biblical-prophetical reason (Micah 5:2).
13. What determined the city to which each Jew had to travel in order to be taxed?
Lineage. Joseph had to go to the city of David since he was of "the house and family of David." (Luke 2:3-4).
14. Who, then, would be in Bethlehem?
a. Joseph's relatives--descendants of David (Luke 2:3-4).
b. Possibly Mary's relatives also (Luke 3:31-32).
15. How did they travel?
Probably in a caravan (cf. Luke 10:30-37, esp. 30). The Scripture doesn't say anything about their journey to Bethlehem.
16. Why couldn't Joseph and Mary find space in the inn?
Probably because Joseph's relatives rejected them and wouldn't give up their space (Luke 2:5; cf. Luke 1:61, 2:5; John 8:41).
17. Who were the first people to come to see Jesus according to Scripture?
Shepherds (Luke 2:8, 15-16).
18. What chorus did the angels sing to the shepherds?
None. They said "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men of good will" (Luke 2:14).
19. What sign did the angels tell the shepherds to look for?
The baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger (Luke 2:12, 16-17).
20. What was the manger?
A feeding trough made of stone.
21. In what way do the meaning of the Hebrew term for Bethlehem and the sign given by the angels prepare us for Jesus' later ministry?
a. Bethlehem means "house of bread," which correlates with Jesus' Bread of Life discourse (John 6:22-65).
b. Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes--the same kind of clothes He would be buried in (John 19:40).
22. What happened eight days after Jesus' birth?
His circumcision (Luke 2:21).
23. What happened 32 days after Jesus' circumcision (40 days after Jesus' birth)?
Mary's ceremonial purification and Jesus' redemption (Luke 2:22-24).
24. What are two reasons that Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Jerusalem?
a. To fulfill the Law--Jesus' redemption and Mary's purification (Luke 2:22-23).
b. To fulfill prophecy (the personal prophetic revelation given to Simeon) (Luke 2:25-32, esp. 26).
25. Where did Joseph and Mary go after the purification ceremony?
Nazareth (Luke 2:39).
26. What are magi?
Politically powerful scholars and astronomers ("king-makers").
27. How many wise men came to see Jesus?
Scripture does not say, but Augustine and Chrysostom say twelve. Another tradition names three: Melchior (Shem's descendant), Caspar (Hem's descendant), and Balthasar (Jopheth's descendant).
28. How many gifts did the wise men bring and to whom did they present their gifts?
At least one gift from each wise man. They presented the gifts--plural in number--to Jesus. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh designate appositionally the kinds of gifts, not the number (Matt 2:1-2, 11).
29. What was curious about the star?
It was not constant (Matt. 2:2, 10).
30. How did Herod use the star?
He calculated the age of the child by the length of time it had been appearing and reappearing (Matt 2:7, 16). The wise men did not discourage this thinking.
31. Where were Jesus, Mary, and Joseph when the wise men reached them?
a. In a house, not the stable (Matt 2:11).
b. In Nazareth. The impression given in Matthew 2 is that of a hurried, immediate escape for all (Luke 2:39). Thus there was no time to fulfill the law or the prophetic utterance (cf. no. 24).
32. How old was Jesus at this time?
Two months to two years.
33. In what year was Jesus born?
Five or four B.C. (Herod died in March or April of 4 B.C.)
34. How long was Jesus in Egypt with His parents?
From one month to over one year.
35. How did Joseph and Mary finance the trip to Egypt?
Probably with the gifts of the magi.
36. Where was Jesus raised upon His return to Israel?
Nazareth (Matt 2:23).
37. How old was Jesus when He began His ministry?
Thirty-three to thirty-four years old (born 5 to 4 B.C., began ministry A.D. 29). Luke 3:23 tells us he was "about thirty"; the Greek indicates a rough (rather than close) estimate.
38. How old was Jesus when He died?
Thirty-seven to thirty-eight years old, depending on whether His ministry was three or four years in length.
© 1992 Probe Ministries
About the Author
Dale Taliaferro, formerly with Probe Ministries, earned both an M.Div. and M.Th., and received his D.Min. from Western Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon. In 2003 he founded Equipped for Life Ministries, offering six week/lesson seminars on the Christian life, weekly Bible studies, and a two-year training program in Bible and Theology. He and his wife Waunee reside in Dallas, Texas.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:
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Plano TX 75075