Can You Fill In the Blanks of These Popular Bible Verses?

RELIGION

Torrance Grey

7 Min Quiz

Image: MCCAIG / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

For many Christians, memorization is an essential part of Bible study. Far from being dismissed as "rote memorization," it's a way of engaging with the most important parts of the Scriptures. In Sunday School classrooms, you'll see Bible verses on the walls in colorful letters, and in Christian schools, children memorize them and recite them as part of oral quizzes. 

These verses turn up not just as part of sermons and homilies but as text read at weddings or funerals. For example, you've likely been to a wedding where the minister or a family member asked to read and chose 1 Corinthians 13 as a text. One of its most famous verse goes, "Love is patient, love is kind; love is not envious, nor arrogant, nor boastful, nor rude." At a funeral, you might hear this verse from Romans: "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God." 

Whether you had a thorough Christian-school education or have simply spent plenty of time reading the Bible, you might well consider yourself an expert on favorite Bible verses. If so, settle down somewhere comfortable and try our quiz now. 

Which word belongs in the blank? "For God so loved the ____ that He gave his only son, that whoever believed in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Ah yes, John 3:16, the favorite of sign-holders at televised sports events everywhere. We're not sure how many people have been brought to Christ by seeing the lone citation "John 3:16" painted on cardboard, but certainly a lot of us are familiar with the words above.

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What is missing here? "There is a time for everything, and a ______ for every activity under heaven." (Ecc. 3:1)

This verse — the entire chapter, really — is a favorite for funerals. As read in the book of Ecclesiastes, it's somber and poetic. Sadly, though, the Byrds turned it into one of the more insipid pieces of folk music, the song "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

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What word completes this verse? "If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but have not ____, I am a noisy gong or clanging cymbal." (1 Cor. 13:1)

We couldn't leave out 1 Corinthians 13, one of the few parts of the Bible that even Christmas-and-Easter churchgoers can quote. In early translations, the relevant word was "charity"; now it's "love," making this a popular passage for weddings.

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Which word belongs in the blank? "Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar with wings like ____ ..." (Isi. 40:30)

This verse from the Old Testament book of Isaiah is particularly inspirational to Christian athletes. It goes on to say, "They will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint."

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Which are the missing words? "My Father's _____ has many ____; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go there to prepare a place for you?" (John 14:1)

This is a famous verse from the gospels and another popular one commonly read at funerals. The "Father's house" is heaven, of course, where Jesus will soon go to prepare the place for his followers.

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Which word is missing? "Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of mine _____." (Ps. 23:5)

You have to admit, there's a kind of old-world attitude going on here: "It's not enough that I succeed, but all my haters have to see it." Things change in the New Testament, with Christ's turn-the-other-cheek teachings.

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Which is the missing word? "For my yoke is easy, and my ______ is light." (Matt. 11:30)

This passage begins, "Come to me, all ye who are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." These verses stand alone, but the closing about "my yoke is easy and my burden is light" makes more sense if you understand that Jesus is speaking in the context of traditional Judaism, which has 613 commandments and required many years of study to comprehend fully.

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Which word belongs in the blank? "I am the ____ and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

This is another beloved verse from the Gospel of John. Jesus is speaking to his disciples; often, there kinds of messages about Christ's true self were only shared with his inner circle, only later to be spread to the world at large.

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Which is the missing word? "For all have sinned, and all have fallen short of the ______ of God." (Rom. 3:23)

"Glory" might not be the expected word here — "expectations" or "standards" seems to fit better. Perhaps Paul the Apostle is referring to the broader concept of God: Sinners have fallen far short of the example of God's greatness or of the great mercy and grace He has shown.

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Which word belongs in the blank? "No one can serve two masters. ... You cannot serve both God and _____." (Luke 16:13)

These two words mean the same thing, "mammon" being the older word. It's the one you'll find in the King James Version. Some people love the KJV for the use of poetic 17th-century English; others feel the easier the Bible is to understand, the easier it is to live by its precepts. To each their own!

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Which word belongs in the blank? "The ______ of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life ..." (Rom 6:23)

To us, it sounds as though the verb should be plural "are." But in most translations (maybe all?), "wages" is treated as a collective noun, using the verb "is." At any rate, "result," "fruit" or even "endgame" all get across the same meaning.

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What are the missing words? "Remember the _________, and keep it holy."

This is one of the Ten Commandments, but not the first; it's the fourth. The idea that God wanted his people not just to have a day of worship, but one of rest, is a nice one to this day. The idea of a Sabbath tells the faithful that it is God's will that we take it easy once in a while.

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What word completes this verse? "And we know that in all things God works for the _____ of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Rom. 8:28)

This verse parallels one in Hebrews, which says that "all things work out for good" for those who love Jesus. It's one of many verses indicating that God has a plan for all of those who follow Him.

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What word completes this verse? "The Lord is my light and my _______ — whom shall I fear?" (Ps. 27:1)

We often associate "salvation" with the New Testament, not the Psalms. Yet "salvation" is also an important concept in the Old Testament, where it isn't usually about the soul, but about the Israelites being saved from their enemies, not defeated nor humiliated.

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Which word belongs here? "For I know that my ______ lives ..." (Job 19:23)

This is Job's famous response to his friends (well, "friends") who tell him that he must have sinned to be punished by God in the way that he has. This favorite verse doesn't, however, represent Job's feelings throughout the book that bears his name. For much of it, he demands justice from God or accounting of why He has made Job suffer.

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What are the missing words? "God called to him out of the bush, 'Moses, Moses!' And Moses replied, '_______.'" (Ex. 3:4)

Experts on the Old Testament suggest that "Here I am" (also said by Abraham, earlier) represents a kind of "moral" position in relation to God, a readiness to be seen and judged. After all, God knows everything; it's not as if He doesn't know where Moses is.

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What words complete this verse? "______ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Heb. 13:8)

Earlier translations of the Bible omit the verb, rendering the verse "Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever." This was a literary technique that writers used only with the verb "is" (or conjugation of "is"). Latin-language writers did the same thing with "est."

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What word completes this verse? "I can __ all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13)

This simple verse is another favorite of Christian athletes and students ... more or less, anyone who is taking on difficult challenges. It's found in the book of Philippians, which Paul evidently wrote while in prison for his evangelism.

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What words complete this verse? "Resist the devil, and he will _____."

Is it wrong that this verse reminds us of diet advice? No kidding; it does. "Stop feeding your cravings and they'll go away" is time-honored advice. Maybe this isn't so sacrilegious: "faith-based dieting" is a real thing.

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What word completes this verse? "Now we see as through a _____ darkly; then, we shall see face to face." (1 Cor. 13:12)

In this verse from the 13th chapter of Corinthians, the word "glass" is generally agreed to mean a mirror. But the thing that the reader is supposed to see is God, not the self — perhaps it's better to imagine that Paul is talking about a dim or smudged window instead? At any rate, Paul promises that someday, we will see God directly.

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What belongs in the blank? "Your word is a _____ to my feet and a light to my path."

The idea of "lamps" is important in the Bible and usually a metaphoric one. See also the parable in Matthew 25, in which the bridesmaids "trimming their lamps" for the arrival of the bridegroom; this is an allegory of the faithful being ready for Christ's return.

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What is the missing word or words? "Let your ________ before men, that they may see you good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matt. 5:16)

Again and again, righteousness or goodness is compared to a light in the Bible (or a lamp, as we note elsewhere in this quiz). Fun fact: this verse from Matthew was borrowed for a song in the 1970s musical "Godspell."

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What belongs in the blank? "Be fruitful and _____, and fill the earth and subdue it." (Gen: 1:28)

"Be fruitful and multiply" are God's words to Adam and Eve. About the "fill the earth and subdue it" part? Environmentalists would say we've fulfilled that command (and how!) to the detriment of the planet. Christians are increasingly part of the environmental movement, under the flag of stewardship of God's creation.

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What belongs in the blank? "(Cain) said, 'I do not know; am I my brother's _____?" (Gen. 4:9)

As it turns out, Cain was his brother's slayer; you know the story. But the question he asks of God is whether he is Abel's "keeper." People quote this question when they are asking what moral obligation they have to look after someone.

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Which word belongs in the blank? "For it is through grace that you have been saved, through faith ... not _____, so that no one can boast." (Eph. 2: 8-9)

"Works" is a concept meaning "actions" or "effort." The idea that humans are saved through faith and not works is a very important one in the New Testament, one that the apostle James expands on in the book named for him (here, the writer is Paul).

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What belongs in the blank? "God said to him, "No longer shall you be called Jacob, but _____ shall be your name." (Gen. 35:10)

Renaming is an important motif in the Bible — it usually reflects a changed, elevated relationship with God. Here, Abraham's grandson and Isaac's son Jacob receives the name Israel, which also becomes the name of a nation.

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What are the missing words? "See, I am sending you out as ____ amidst the _____." (Matt. 10:16)

This is part of Matthew 10's "Great Commission," or the first sending out of the disciples into Judea to preach. (It was later, after his resurrection, that Christ commanded his disciples to preach to the broader world). These are certainly not the most reassuring words to be sent away with ... but Jesus assures them, "The one who endures to the end will be saved."

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What word completes this verse? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own ______." (Prov. 3:5)

Proverbs gives us quite a few quotable rules for life. The book also follows, quite often, a parallel or "two-part" literary style that states an idea, then underscores it via a slight rephrasing. Here, that rephrasing is, " ... in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

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What is the missing word or words? "No one has greater love than this: to ________ his friends." (John 15:13)

This follows another well-known verse: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12). The idea of "lay down his life" also foreshadows Jesus's death for humankind.

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What belongs in the blank? "Just as you did to the least of these my brothers, you did ____."

The full verse is "The king will answer them, just as you did for the least of these my brothers, you did for me." The "king" is Jesus himself, and the "least" are the poor and sick that Christians are meant to take care of.

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What is the missing word or words? "Job said, 'Let the day perish in which I was ____.'" (Job 3:2-3)

This is Job's famous complaint — that he wishes he had never been born. As you'll know if you've read the book of Job, he was a prosperous man with a family, until God and Satan take away all his blessings as part of, essentially, a bet over Job's continued righteousness.

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Which words belong in the blanks? "Here I am! I stand in the _____ and ____." (Rev. 3:20)

The Book of Revelation starts with messages from Christ to different churches in the early Christian world, conveyed through John of Patmos (that's the "revelation" of the title). This message is to the church in Laodicea.

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Which word belongs in the blank? "Let the words of my mouth and the _______ of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord." (Ps. 19:14)

Today, we often think of meditation as a mental practice, the quieting of thoughts. Here, the Psalmist is using it in its broader sense, to mean "thoughts and ideas," especially those we dwell on.

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What's the missing word? "For me, to live is _____, and to die is gain." (Phil. 1:21)

This verse doesn't make immediate sense (in English, at least; maybe it's a translation thing). "Christ" is a person/god, not an outcome or result, like "gain." Still, the meaning comes through: Paul is saying that he lives for Christ and by Christian values.

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Which is the missing word? "Why then should I destroy _____, that great city, where live 120,000 souls, many of whom do not know their right hand from their left?" (Jonah 4:11)

The destruction of Jerusalem is the subject of some prophetic books in the Old Testament/Jewish Bible — but not here. Whether Nineveh should be destroyed or saved is the prevailing question in Jonah. The phrase "many of whom do not know their right hand from their left" means that these people don't really know right from wrong, and deserve to be judged under a different standard.

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