Thursday, December 9, 2010

Today's Trivia – Religion

Religion has been a part of civilization for thousands of years. Here are some interesting facts about it...

"Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar, La Allah Il Allah, La Allah Il Allah U Mohammed Rassul Allah" is heard by more people than any other sound of the human voice. This is the prayer recited by muezzins from each of the four corners of the prayer tower as Moslems all over the world face toward Mecca and kneel at sunset. It means: "God is great. There is no God but God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God."

One of the holiest Christian holidays is named after a pagan goddess. The name "Easter" derives from the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre, who governed the vernal equinox.

Salt is mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible.

1/3 of Taiwanese funeral processions include a stripper.

About 10% of Jewish households have Christmas Trees.

Almonds and pistachios are the only nuts mentioned in the Bible.

As specified by the Christian church, the canonical hours are matins, lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers, and compline.

Buddhism was once the religion of kings and princes in India -- and a much larger fraction of the population -- but has been in long decline for almost 1000 years.

There are 49 different foods mentioned in the Bible.

Zipporah was the wife of Moses.

Strict Puritan laws had their origins from practical reasons. Smoking was banned - farmers would raise badly needed food crops instead of tobacco. Cooking was banned on Sundays - to prevent house fires during the long hours the family was at church. Young men were banned from hunting - to prevent weapons from falling into Indian hands.

Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer are the three angels mentioned by name in the Bible.

In a century's time Islam had converted one-third of the world.

In Christian theology there are nine choirs of angels. From highest to lowest, they are: seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels.

In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II was named an 'Honorary Harlem Globetrotter.'"

It's a common practice in southern India for a man to marry his elder sister's daughter.

'Jedi' is an official religion, with over 70,000 followers, in Australia.

The first translation of the English Bible was initiated by John Wycliffe and completed by John Purvey in 1388.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, named in the Bible's Book of Revelation, are Conquest, Slaughter, Famine, and Death.

Scholars estimate that the 66 books of the King James version of the Bible were written by some 50 different authors.

Seven suicides are recorded in the Bible.

Some biblical scholars believe that Aramaic (the language of the ancient Bible) did not contain an easy way to say 'many things' and used a term which has come down to us as 40. This means that when the bible -- in many places -- refers to '40 days,' they meant many days.

The seven virtues are prudence, courage, temperance, justice, faith, hope and charity.

The shortest verse in the Bible consists of two words: "Jesus wept" (John 11:35).

The 1st US Mormon temple was dedicated in Kirtland, Ohio in 1836.

The 3 Magi:(or Wise Men) and their gifts: Melchoir, "king of light," offered Gold, Gaspar ,"or the white one," offered frankincense, and Balthazar, "lord of treasures," offered myrrh.

The Bible devotes some 500 verses on prayer, less than 500verses on faith, but over 2000 verses on money and posessions.

The longest name in the Bible is Mahershalalhashbaz (Isaiah 8:1).

The only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible is the cat.

The Bible is the most-shoplifted book in the world.

The Bible was written by about 40 men over a period of about 1600 years dating from 1500 BC to about 100 years after Christ.

The Church of Scientology was founded in 1953, at Washington DC, by US science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

The Hindu holy day begins at sunrise, the Jewish holy day begins at sunset, and the Christian holy day begins at midnight.

The patron saint of dentists is St. Apollonia. She reportedly had her teeth pulled out in 249 AD by an anti-Christian mob.

The seven archangels are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Chamuel, Jophiel, and Zadkiel.

The Seven Deadly Sins are lust, pride, anger, envy, sloth, avarice and gluttony.

The Three Wise Men of the East brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Jesus. Frankincense is a gum resin used as a base for incense. Myrrh, also a gum resin, was valued as a perfume and unguent used in embalming.

The two robbers crucified next to Jesus were named Dismas and Gestas.

The youngest Pope was 11 years old.

There are 1189 chapters in the Bible: 929 chapters in the Old Testament and 260 chapters in the New Testament.

7 comments:

  1. Oh my, those were fascinating, Martha! Loved the one about strippers at Taiwanese funerals---I wonder what the rationale behind that is?? Maybe to cheer up the mourners (or the men, at least)? :-)

    I couldn't help but think (reading the one about there being only two nuts in the Bible): There might be just two nuts in the Bible, but there are lots of nuts who misrepresent the Bible and misrepresent Jesus.

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  2. Martha, have you ever seen that movie "Seven" with Brad Pitt? It's based on the 7 deadly sins and it's really scary.
    Are you buried in snow today?

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  3. I love this kind of trivia! And the irony of shoplifting a Bible is not lost on me. But I'm very glad I live in a secular society, as my friend is fond of saying 'I love Jesus, but please save me from your followers'...

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  4. Ha ha...that is funny, Beth. Yes, there are definitely a lot of nuts who misrepresent the bible. It's really sad.

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    Cynthia, I saw that movie many years ago and it really freaked me out - especially the way it ended! ACK!

    We got some snow earlier this week but not that much. From a Canadian perspective, it was a minor snowfall; nothing we can't handle :)

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    Tatiana, I love this type of trivia, too! I am an information junkie, after all. I'm also happy to be living in a secular society. Religion is a personal thing. I don't feel the need to force it on anyone, nor do I want it forced on me.

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  5. The "factoid" about Buddhists in India is not true and strikes me as rather odd. India does indeed have around 8 million Buddhists (a number which is drastically under-served by the phrase, "almost no Buddhists"). True, Buddhists account for a bit less than 1% of the population, a number dwarfed by the population of Hindus and Muslims. (Islam is the second largest religion in India.) Still, Buddhism remains an important minority religion in India even today. What's more, the Buddha is still a living, towering cultural influence in India, and quite apart from nominal Buddhists, he is revered within the very large tent which is Hinduism.

    Here's the factoid in question:
    "Contrary to popular belief, there are almost no Buddhists in India, nor have there been for about a thousand years."

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  6. PS Hi, Martha! Sorry for my first contribution being arguably negative. (Think of it as positive for the Buddhists, eh?) I came here from PATSP and I enjoy your contributions and comments there! And I liked the rest of this piece... and even the factoid in question can be made true with a little tweaking... Buddhism was once the religion of kings and princes in India -- and a much larger fraction of the population -- but has been in long decline for almost 1000 years.

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  7. Hi sentient meat; no need to apologize. These bits of information are trivia found around the internet, so I've no doubt that some of them are not very accurate. I did a little further research because of your post, and learned a little more about Buddhism in India. It's in decline, as you say, but still alive. I'm going to change the Buddhist sentence above to what you've written. Thanks for the info.

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