Saturday Stumper # 6

[In recent years research has suggested that exercising our brains can have a positive effect as we grow older.  Here is a puzzle that I first saw (or one similar to) in the late 1970’s.      The correct answers will be posted tomorrow night at 5:55 pm. I could not find Malachi and Esther — an especially tricky pair!]

Saturday Stumper # 6

The names of all the books of the Protestant Bible are hidden within these five paragraphs. Can you find them? Some books, like Zepheniah or Habakkuk, are straightforward, but for books that usually have a numeric prefix, the book name is not repeated and would be hard for even Ezekiel or the Ephesians to find.

This is a most remarkable puzzle. It was found by a gentleman, Mr. Levi Ticuster, in an airplane seat pocket, on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, keeping him occupied for hours. He enjoyed it so much, he passed it on to some friends, Ian and Philipp (Ian’s brother) who worked on this while fishing from their john boat. A relative from Corinth, Ian’s cousin Isaiah, 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, Joshua “EZ” Rally, has a sister who judges the job of solving this puzzle so intense, she brews a cup of tea to calm her nerves.

There are others who, like Timothy, find this puzzle easy. 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 an Ecclesiastes scholar (like Jon A. Harriman) to see some of them at the worst. Research has shown 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 Micah Delta Phi lemonade booth set a new record.

A local paper, The Nehemiah Chronicle, surveyed over 200 Judean patrons who reported that this puzzle was one of the most difficult they had ever seen; they felt that it was harder to understand than the greatest song of Solomon. As Daniel Humana humbly put it in a proverb, “Some of the books are right here in plain view hidden from sight.” Those able to find all of them will hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown; they will have psalms in their hearts, while others may feel like Zechariah. One revelation that may help is that some books are found without their numbers; also, punctuation and spaces in the middle of book names are allowed and normal.

A chipper attitude will help you compete really well against those who claim to know the answers. Have you heard the quote by Jeremiah Deuter “O no, my brother found more than I did!” , or his brother’s response “Too bad – I ahead of you!” One gal at Iansville, Arkansas, said that a lady she knew (not an old hag) gained many insights by reading slowly and eventually came up with the Colossi answer. She then went and had her hair done by Sam U. Elegant at the “S’ salon. I answer folks with the following advice, “Keep looking.” Remember, there is no need for a mad exodus; all the books of the Bible are lurking somewhere in these paragraphs, waiting to be found.

The following is a list of the Bible book names found within the above five paragraphs. Hint: Print out this page and then highlight the books that you find, both in the above paragraphs and in the following list. Then, it will be easier to see which books you have not found yet.

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, Peter, Jude, Revelation

[Protestants removed certain books and chapters in what we call the Old Testament because they were not first written in Hebrew.  Prior to that, there was one Bible for all Christians.  I could not find a similar puzzle that would truly include ALL the books of the Bible.  Someone with more time than I have can create one.  Of if someone knows of one, please send me a copy.]


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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