Harry Potter: Faith and Culture Quiz

David Buckna is doing some excellent culturewatching and writes a weekly pop gospel quiz in the Calgary Herald. Here is his Harry Potter Quiz.

The Pop Gospel by David Buckna

1 Lord Voldemort, an evil wizard, tried to kill the infant Harry, echoing the story of which biblical king who ordered the death of all the baby boys in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the infant Jesus?

2 Connie Neal, author of The Gospel According to Harry Potter, writes:”Lily Potter jumped in front of Voldemort’s curse to save Harry; Jesus jumped in front of death’s curse to save us. . . . When we think of how Voldemort’s curse could not kill Harry, the lightning bolt scar on Harry’s forehead can symbolize God casting Satan down like lightning.” In what Gospel does Jesus speak of this?

3 The Old Testament book, Ecclesiastes (10:20), states, “a bird on the wing may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.”
Echoing this, what birds are used by witches, wizards and Hogwarts students to carry their mail?

4 The Old Testament book Proverbs (1:19), states: “Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.”
What magical building in Harry Potter has a similar warning engraved on its silver doors?

5 In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the phoenix belonging to Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore provides Harry with an escape from certain death. What’s the bird’s name?

6 At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry is accepted into Gryffindor House “where dwell the brave of heart.” What animal is
Gryffindor’s symbol?

7 The Sorcerer’s Stone produces an Elixir of Life that makes the drinker immortal. In what book does Jesus say something similar about himself?

8 One class taught at Hogwarts is Defence Against the Dark Arts. Who taught the early Christians an equivalent concern for defence against evil?

9 In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, name one of the carols the suits of armor sang whenever anyone passed them.

10 Who said in his July 14, 2000, commentary, “The Potter craze reflects the longing in our kids’ souls for God”: George Carey (former Archbishop of
Canterbury), Chuck Colson (Prison Fellowship) or Andy Rooney (60 Minutes)?


1 King Herod (Matthew 2:13-18).

2 The Gospel of Luke (10:18), where he says: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Neal continues: “Voldemort’s power was broken when
Mrs. Potter willingly sacrificed her life for Harry; Satan’s power was broken when Jesus died on the cross to sacrifice his life for us. . . It’s
helpful to remember this connection to Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection by making the association between Lily Potter’s first name and
the Easter lily.” (John 3:16, 4:9-10).

3 Owls. The most bird-brained member of the movie cast is Ook the Owl, star of British television, who plays Hedwig the Owl, Harry’s personal messenger. Hedwig is named for Saint Hedwig, who lived in Germany in the 12th and 13th centuries. David Colbert writes in The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter (Lumina Press, 2001):”An order of nuns established under her patronage chose as its work the education of orphaned children — like Harry.”

4 Gringotts, the bank run by goblins for wizards, bears a warning reading: “Enter, stranger, but take heed/ Of what awaits the sin of greed/ For those
who take, but do not earn/Must pay most dearly in their turn.” Gringotts Bank is entered through Diagon Alley, but it lies miles deep underneath

5 Fawkes, “a crimson bird the size of a swan” that “had a glittering golden tail as long as a peacock’s and gleaming golden talons”. After Harry pulls a giant serpent’s poison fang from his arm, Fawkes’s tears heal his wound: “A pearly patch of tears was shining all around the wound — except that there was no wound.” Baylor University philosophy professor Scott Moore reports that the original pre-Christian symbol of the phoenix, the mythical bird reborn from the ashes of its own nest, was appropriated by Medieval Christians as a symbol for Christ.

6 The lion. John writes in Revelation (5:5): “Then one of the elders said to me, Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.” The lion became a favourite symbol of medieval heraldry because of its association with Christ. And in his Narnia Chronicles, C.S. Lewis would have as his central Christ-figure the lion Aslan.

7. In the Gospel of John (4:14), he says, “Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

8 Paul, who said, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11).

9 “It was quite something to hear ‘Oh Come, All Ye Faithful’ sung by an empty helmet that only knew half the words.”

10 Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson, whose “BreakPoint with Chuck Colson” is found at (www.breakpoint.org)


1-3 Fair

4-7 Good

8-9 Excellent

10 As wise as Solomon.

Copyright 2004 by David Buckna. All rights reserved. Used by permission. David Buckna is the author of “The Pop Gospel”, a regular quiz feature in
the City/Faith & Reason section of the Calgary Herald. Buckna reads email at (solomann@look.ca)

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