Monday, September 16, 2013

Answers Revealed

"where can I find help for you?"
2 Kings 6:27

So, how'd you do?  It's not easy, so if you got them all, I'm very impressed!

Here are the answers:

There are 30 books of the Bible in this paragraph.  
Can you find them?  
This is a most remarkable puzzle.  
It was found by a gentleman in an airplane seat pocket 
on a flight from Los Angeles 
to Honolulu, keeping him occupied for hours.  
He enjoyed it so much that he passed it on to some friends.  
One friend from Illinois 
worked on this while fishing from his johnboat.  
Another friend studied it 
while playing his banjo.  Elaine Taylor, a columnist friend, 
was so intrigued by it 
she mentioned it in her weekly newspaper column.  
Another friend judges the job of solving it so involving, 
she brews a cup of tea to help her nerves. -->
There will be some names that are really easy to spot.  
That's a fact.  Some people, however, 
will soon find themselves in a jam, especially since 
the book names are not necessarily capitalized.  
Truthfully, from answers we get, we are forced 
to admit it usually takes a minister or scholar 
to see some of them, at the worst.  
Research seems to show that 
something in our genes is responsible 
for the difficulty we have 
in seeing the books in this paragraph.  
During a recent fund-raising event, 
which featured this puzzle, 
the Alpha Delta Phi lemonade booth 
set a new sales record.  
And the local paper, The Chronicle, surveyed 
over 200 patrons, who reported that this puzzle 
was one of the most difficult they had ever seen.  
As Daniel Humana humbly puts it, 
the books are all right there in plain view, 
yet hidden from sight.  
Those able to find all of them will hear lamentations 
from those who couldn't see them.  
One revelation that may help is that books 
like Timothy and Samuel 
may occur without their numbers.  
Also, keep in mind that punctuation and spaces 
in the middle are normal.  A chipper attitude 
will also help you to compete really well 
against those who claim to know the answers.  
Don't be frustrated.  
There is no need for a mad exodus
there really are 30 books of the Bible 
lurking somewhere in this paragraph, 
waiting to be found.

I like quizzes.  All sorts of quizzes.  I like the challenge, I guess.   But this particular quiz intrigues me in a couple of ways.  First of all, the wording is so odd in places, making it obvious that the author had to phrase things a certain way in order to achieve the letter pattern he or she needed.  So I think it's interesting that those clues point us to the place, but we still have to actually locate the book name.

Then there are other places where the book name is obvious.  Say, "Exodus," "Lamentations," and "Chronicles".  For those, you only have to be familiar with the names of the books, and they'll jump right out at you.

But then there are also the ones that just won't be found.   At least, I hope that happened to you, too.  I know the books of the Bible, and I've been speaking and reading the English language all my life.  I had to study this puzzle word by word, and letter by letter before I could find them.  The reason is that the letters are doing a different job.  The "lemon" in "Philemon" is disguised as lemonade.  We have to empty our minds of the surface meaning, to look for what the author wants us to find.

And surprise, surprise ~ sounds a lot like the Bible, doesn't it?  There is much wisdom in there, but it's not always easy to see.  We have to read, and cross reference with other verses in Scripture, and then study and read some more and ponder and pray, pray, pray.  After all, understanding comes from Him.

So don't give up.  The answers are there, and totally worth finding!

~ "you will seek Me and find Me,
when you search for Me with all your heart" ~
Jeremiah 29:13


  1. I missed Amos, Esther, Acts, Ruth, Romans, Matthew, and Hosea. I have resolved to use these names for my next seven children. Not!

    Your sentence "After all, understanding comes from Him" made me think of Proverbs 4:7, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."

  2. I thought this quiz seemed familiar. I searched in my post archives and found this from November 2008, although it included only 24 of the books. In the comments, I mentioned that I had had it for ten years or more, and one reader put in links to two more versions of the quiz. No telling how long it has been around.

    I had completely forgotten that I had seen it before. Another sign of advancing age, I suppose.

  3. Yes, I saw it years ago, too, and when I saw one recently, I combined the two to include more books. Interesting concept, that apparently many people have had! :)