Is This From the Bible or From a Movie?


By: Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

Movies about Biblical stories don't always stay strictly true to the Good Book. Plus, epic fantasy movies sometimes closely resemble the Bible in their storylines. No wonder it can be hard to remember exactly what's in the pages of the Bible! We're here to help with a 35-question quiz.

A holy man is taken up to heaven directly, without dying.

This was the great prophet Elijah, who ascended to heaven in a whirlwind. It is prophesied that he will return "before the Day of the Lord."


Soldiers gain entrance to a city by hiding in a giant wooden horse.

Joshua, the military leader who took the land of Canaan for the Hebrews, probably wishes he'd thought of this one ... but it's a Trojan War story from "Troy" and similar movies.


A young slave is so determined not to be seduced, he leaves his cloak behind in a woman's hands.

This was Joseph, who was enslaved in Egypt. His master's wife desired him, and he was forced to flee, slipping out of the cloak she'd grabbed.


A man in a foreign kingdom disguises his wife as his sister so that the king won't kill him in order to have her.

This was Abraham. Acting under this misunderstanding, King Abimelech does "send for " Sarah and presumably has sex with her, which angers God: "You are about to die for the woman you have taken, for she is a married woman." This story shows the sad state of women's rights in those days: Sarah's feelings in the matter are not recorded; it is only a sin because she "belongs" to Abraham.


A king, frightened of the growing numbers of an enslaved race, demands that their infant boys be thrown into a river.

This was the Egyptian king in Exodus 1. We don't learn how many Egyptian citizens followed through on this brutal order, but the threat was great enough that Moses's mother hid him in a basket on the Nile River, out of fear of his being killed.


A prince of Egypt learns his true ethnic roots via a nightmare.

This elaboration on the Moses story happens in the animated "Prince of Egypt." In the Bible, Moses just seems to know that he is really Hebrew. How he learned this since he was raised as Pharaoh's grandson, isn't mentioned, but the simplest explanation is that his foster mother told him.


An Egyptian princess falls in love with the man who will deliver his people from slavery.

This was an elaboration on the Moses-in-Egypt story in "The Ten Commandments." Moses was raised as Egyptian royalty, but a flirtation with a princess is a Hollywood invention.


Nuns protect a righteous and loving family from an evil regime; the family later escapes by crossing mountains.

This one's "The Sound of Music." The Von Trapp family hides in the convent Maria von Trapp used to serve in, then crosses the Alps to get away from the Nazis.


A queen "gifts" herself to a conqueror by wrapping herself in a rug.

The movie and queen in question is "Cleopatra," played by Elizabeth Taylor. She presents herself, in style, to Julius Caesar.


God strikes a man blind, briefly, as part of making him one of His greatest evangelists.

This was the apostle Paul, then known as Saul. His conversion on the road to Damascus is one of the New Testament's better-known stories.


A fisherman finds a baby and his mother drifting in a coffin at sea.

This happened in "Clash of the Titans." The baby was Perseus, who would grow up to be a demigod and hero (and better yet, Sam Worthington!)


The thief who mocked Jesus on the cross has his eye pecked out by a crow.

This comes from "The Passion of the Christ," Mel Gibson's controversial film. Though it largely followed the writings of the gospels, the detail about the crow is something the movie added.


A man tricks his prospective son-in-law into marrying the wrong daughter.

This happened to Jacob, who wanted Rachel but got Leah, hidden under a veil. Jacob labored another seven years to earn Rachel as his bride. Now that's love!


A king's stepdaughter dances for him -- and then demands a holy man's death as her reward.

This was Salome, who asked for the head of John the Baptist. We're pretty sure the beheading wasn't the girl's own idea; someone had to have been whispering in her ear.


At his inaugural feast, a king is terrified by the ghost of a man he has had killed.

This happens in the play "Macbeth" and its film adaptations, like the recent one starring Michael Fassbender. Macbeth has killed King Duncan to take his throne, but it is his onetime friend Banquo whom he sees as a ghost at his inaugural feast.


A Jewish nobleman is reduced to the status of a galley slave by the betrayal of a friend.

This was in "Ben-Hur," which was set in the time of Christ, but was solely fictional. Judah Ben-Hur rises from slavery to compete in a chariot race before Pontius Pilate himself.


A king sees a human hand-write a frightening prophecy on a wall.

This happens in the book of Daniel. Some people mistakenly say the king was Nebuchadnezzar, but it was his son Belshazzar, who took over after Nebuchadnezzar went mad.


A god's son is attacked by one of the Furies, Alecto.

In "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," Percy is the son of Poseidon. The attack by Alecto begins his hero's journey to find one of Zeus's lightning bolts and prevent war among the gods.


A great man turns to a slave girl when his aging wife cannot bear him a son.

This was Abraham, who had a son, Ishmael, with Sarah's servant Hagar. Ishmael is considered to be the father of the Arab nations.


A donkey tells a man to stop beating him.

This happens in the Book of Numbers. Balaam's ass sees an angel blocking the road and will not proceed. When Balaam hits the animal, he actually speaks, asking Balaam why he is beating him after years of good service. Only then does Baalam, too, see the angel in their way.


An incredibly strong man goes out in a blaze of glory, killed when he brings down a house on his enemies.

This was Samson, whom Delilah betrayed to the Philistines. After he prayed for strength from the Lord, he was able to shove two pillars apart, bringing down the whole house on himself and his enemies. He was willing to die to get his revenge.


I used a whip to guide my strongman lover to the temple of the Philistines, so he could destroy it.

In 1949's "Samson and Delilah," Samson's faithless lover pretends to take part in his public torture by whipping him but actually guides him to the temple to take his revenge. This aspect of the Samson and Delilah story is not taken from the Bible.


Two spies stay in the home of a prostitute, who lies to authorities to protect them.

The prostitute was Rahab, in the book of Joshua, who sent searchers in the wrong direction looking for the Hebrew spies in her home. To Jews and Christians, Rahab is a righteous woman, but from the secular historical perspective, she is a traitor to her own people: imagine if a colonial American woman did this for British spies during the Revolutionary War!


A slave gives a nation's leader a prophecy that saves the country from famine.

This happened in the book of Genesis, when Joseph prophesied about the "seven fat years" and "seven lean years." This allowed the Pharaoh to store away grain in the good times for the famine. (We could really use him at the Federal Reserve today!)


A nobleman takes charge of a band of thieves, to oppose the rule of a corrupt pretender-to-the-throne.

This one was "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," starring Kevin Costner. If you're not in the mood for such a reverent telling of this English legend, try "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" instead, with Cary Elwes.


Two sisters get their father drunk so he will impregnate them.

Genesis has no lack of disturbing stories, and this is one of them. Lot's two daughters committed this sin, becoming the mothers of the Moabite and Ammonite tribes, enemies of the Hebrews.


A beautiful young girl is brought to an aging king to keep him warm when he sleeps.

The girl's name is Abishag, and she kept King David warm in his old age, " ... but the king did not know her sexually." Abishag is mentioned in Robert Frost's poem "Provide, Provide."


The sun stands still to allow an army to win a battle.

Joshua asks for and receives this miracle in the book of Judges. "The sun stopped in midheaven, and did not hurry to set for about a whole day." (Judges 10:13)


A emperor is murdered after planning to have a competent general succeed him instead of his vicious son.

This was "Gladiator," the 2000 film that cemented Russell Crowe as an action hero. He played the good general, Maximus.


A young warrior cuts off the corner of a king's cloak, to prove he was close enough to kill him but didn't.

This was David, who knew that King Saul was planning to have David killed, and who could have gotten the drop on him first. When Saul saw the corner of the cloak, he knew that David was truly not his enemy, and they were reconciled for a time.


A holy man has two bears maul young people who mock him.

Yes, the prophet Elisha actually did this. Christians struggle to defend this passage in 2 Kings, suggesting that the youths were not children but young men, even "hoodlums," and that we don't know from the passage whether any of the youths were killed.


A devious mother helps her favorite son win his father's blessing, instead of the elder brother.

The mother was Rebekah, who helped Jacob disguise himself as Esau in front of his aging and blind father. The "blessing" Jacob took was more than good wishes; it seems to be a binding promise of the dominant position in the family, similar to the birthright (which Jacob also took away from Esau).


A corrupt "man of God" is prevented from drowning the slave he has impregnated.

This is fiction, and set in a time long after the Bible's events! It's from "Cold Mountain," a Civil War movie. The Reverend Veasey is about to kill a young black woman when the hero stops him.


War breaks out when a young prince smuggles a beautiful queen, with whom he is infatuated, home on his ship.

This happens in the movie "Troy" -- and every other work of fiction based on the Trojan War. The beautiful queen is, of course, Helen of Troy. Hers is "the face that launched a thousand ships."


In the deserts of Africa, a group of wise men give a young girl the power to fight demons.

Okay, technically this is television. This was the origin story of the Slayer, revealed in the fourth season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."


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