As Christmas approaches, it's fun to consider the shepherds of the Bible. Shepherds are mentioned often in Scripture, sometimes literally (those who cared for sheep), sometimes figuratively (those who cared for other people, particularly God's "flock" of chosen people). Whether literal or figurative, shepherds were concerned for the welfare of creatures who were the targets of various predators—and of their own foolish ways. So it's not surprising that some of the Bible's greatest leaders were known as "shepherds." Test your knowledge of the many shepherds mentioned in the Scriptures.
- Which of the four Gospels tells of the shepherds visiting the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem?
- What New Testament book refers to Christ as both "lamb" and "shepherd" in the same verse?
- Who is the first shepherd mentioned in the Bible?
- Which Gospel has the parable of a shepherd separating his flocks into good (sheep) and bad (goats)?
- What prominent Old Testament character rescued some young women from surly shepherds?
- "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd," an aria in George Frederick Handel's Messiah, is a quotation from what Old Testament prophet?
- Which apostle referred to Jesus as the "Shepherd and Overseer of your souls"?
- Psalm 23, the famous "shepherd Psalm," is attributed to what great leader?
- In which Gospel does Jesus say, "I am the good shepherd" who "lays down his life for his sheep"?
- Complete this verse from 1 Peter: "when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the _____ of glory that will never fade away."
What beloved wife of the Old Testament is the only woman in the Bible referred to as a "shepherdess"?
Click here for answers.
J. Stephen Lang is the author of 15 books about the Bible, including the recently published What the Good Book Didn't Say (Citadel Press) and Talking Donkeys & Wheels of Fire: Bible Stories That Are Truly Bizarre! (Warner).
Copyright © 2006 by the author or Christianity Today/Today's Christian magazine. Click here for reprint information.