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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Star Trek quiz...Boldly going where no quiz has gone before

By David Buckna
Special to ASSIST News Service

CANADA (ANS) -- On May 8/09 director J.J. Abrams beamed an exciting new vision of Star Trek into North American movie theaters. This Star Trek reboot tells the origin of Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Test your knowledge of some of the biblical connections to Star Trek with this 30 question quiz. Full ahead Warp Factor 1...


1. Who's the only actor to portray both Jesus on the big screen and captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise on the small screen?

2. In the introduction to most episodes of Star Trek (TOS, 1966-1969), Captain Kirk (William Shatner) is heard saying the five-year mission of the starship Enterprise is "to boldly go where no man has gone before." What Bible book states: "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace..."--Galatians, Hebrews, or Romans?
The Trek triumvirate of Spock, Kirk, and McCoy

3. In Star Trek, crew members beam down to a planet and back up by means of the starship's transporter. Where was Jesus standing just before he was "beamed up" to heaven?

4. In what TOS Star Trek episode did Klingons first appear?

5. When Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) was thinking of quitting Star Trek after the first season, who persuaded her to continue because her part was a role model for black women?

6. During the filming of the TOS episode "Amok Time" Leonard Nimoy (Spock) was asked by the director to come up with a Vulcan greeting. What did Nimoy base the greeting on?

7. What words of Jesus did Harry Mudd quote in the TOS episode, "I, Mudd"?

8. In the TOS episode "The Trouble with Tribbles", Spock quotes from the Sermon on the Mount, comparing tribbles to what other life form?

9. In what TOS episode does Dr. McCoy tell Spock:"The DNA code analyzer will give you the fundamental structure of the thing."

10. In the TOS episode "Requiem for Methuselah", who had a Gutenberg Bible among his collection of rare books?

11. In what TOS episode does the crew find a planet on which plant life (even the grass) secretes a powerful acid?

12. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1980), Kirk asks the alien space probe: "Why does Vger travel to the third planet of the solar system directly ahead?" What's the probe's reply?

13. In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), on what planet does Spock experience a physical rebirth?

14. In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), what's the Vulcan word for "soul"?

15. In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) Dr. McCoy quips: "Angels and ministers of grace defend us." What play is it from?

16. From the same film, what are the names of the two humpback whales studied at the Cetacean Institute?

17. Who's the villain in the Star Trek: The Next Generation premiere, "Encounter at Farpoint"?

18. In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) what's the first question Kirk asks the alien entity masquerading as God?

19. In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) what painting hangs inside Spock's quarters?

20. According to Spock, "Logic is the beginning of wisdom." According to Proverbs 9:10, what is the beginning of wisdom?

21. In Star Trek: Generations (1994), where is the name of a Benedictine monk seen?

22. When the Voyager crew encounters a nebula-like creature, ["The Cloud"] to whom did Captain Janeway say: "...because just like Jonah and the whale, you're going in!"?

23. In Star Trek: First Contact (1996), she tells Data: "I am the beginning. The end." Who said it?

24. In Deep Space Nine [episode "Far Beyond the Stars"] Joseph Sisko recites a Bible verse to his son Benjamin. Which verse?

25. What's the tagline on the Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) movie poster?

26. In Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), Captain Picard tells Data, "For now we see through a glass, darkly". In what Bible book does this statement appear?

27. What popular professor at Carey Theological College and Regent College (Vancouver, British Columbia) used illustrations from Star Trek to explain postmodern philosophy?

28. In Star Trek (2009) a vengeful Romulan warrior (Eric Bana) has the technology to travel through time. In what Bible book does Paul state God's grace "was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time"?

29. From the same film, what's the name of the Romulan warrior?

30. What community did Leonard Nimoy endorse for the world premiere of Star Trek (2009)?


1. Jeffrey Hunter, who played Jesus in King of Kings (1961) and Capt. Christopher Pike in the Star Trek pilot episode, The Cage (1964). The storyline given was that Pike made two five-year explorations, then relinquished command to Capt. James Kirk in 2263. Hunter was unavailable when the second Star Trek pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before, was being planned, so the part was recast with William Shatner as Kirk. Prior to picking Hunter or Shatner, producer Gene Roddenberry offered the role to Sea Hunt actor Lloyd Bridges.

2. Hebrews (4:16). The complete introduction by Captain Kirk: "Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."

Jesus told his disciples about their mission: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20 )

3. The Mount of Olives

Jesus "beams up" to heaven:

"After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 'Men of Galilee,' they said, 'why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.' " (Acts 1: 9-11)

Jesus "beams down" to earth:

"Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. (Zechariah 14:3-4)

4. "Errand of Mercy". In Klingon, John 3:16 is translated as: "toH qo' muSHa'pu'qu' mo' joH'a', wa' puqloDDaj nobpu' ghaH 'ej ghaHbaq Harchugh vay', vaj not Hegh ghaH, 'ach yIn jub ghajbeh ghaH." 

Where No One Has Gone Before by Bob Hulteen 

5. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nichelle Nicols: "After the first season of Star Trek I told Gene Roddenberry I had decided to leave the show and return to the theater. Gene asked me to reconsider, to think about it. Well that same weekend I went to a NAACP event, and a man came over to me and said a fan wanted to meet me. Well I turned and I discovered that fan to be Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King told me that Star Trek was one of the few shows that he and Mrs. King allowed their little children to watch. He said that Uhura, my character, was so important because she was in the first fully integrated cast that portrayed men and women truly as equals. Well when I mentioned that I was going to leave the show Dr. King said, 'You can't do that!' He said 'Your character is the first non-stereotypical role on television and is in a position of authority. People who don't look like us, see us for the first time as we should be seen, as equals. 'Don't you see,' he said, 'Star Trek has changed the face of television.' Well I told Gene Roddenberry that I would stay with the show. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, for 10 years later Uhura and I would recruit the very first women and minority astronauts for NASA's space shuttle program. Obviously it changed that face too. I will always be indebted to Gene Roddenberry for my role on Star Trek, and to Dr. Martin Luther King for encouraging me to stay aboard the starship Enterprise. Thank-you very much."
Spock greets other Vulcans

6. Nimoy recalled a time as a child when he peeked during the blessing of the congregation by the Kohanim. According to Rabbi Yonassan Gershom of "The actual blessing is done with both arms held horizontally in front, at shoulder level, with hands touching, to form the Hebrew letter 'shin.' This stands for the Hebrew word for 'Shaddai,' meaning 'Almighty [God].' Nimoy modified this gesture into one hand held upright, making it more like a salute. So, technically, the Vulcan greeting is not the same thing as the ceremonial Jewish blessing. Still, the resemblance is close enough to evoke instant recognition among knowledgeable Jews."

Leonard Nimoy: The Origin of Spock's Greeting 

Spock, Spirituality, and Star Trek 

7. "Man cannot live on bread alone" (Luke 4:3).

8. the lilies of the field

McCoy: What's the matter, Spock?
Spock: There's something disquieting about these creatures.
McCoy: Don't tell me you've got a feeling.
Spock: Don't be insulting, Doctor. They remind me of the lilies of the field. "They toil not, neither do they spin." But they seem to eat a great deal. I see no practical use for them.
McCoy: Does everything have to have a practical use for you? They're nice, soft, and furry, and they make a pleasant sound.
Spock: So would an ermine violin, but I see no advantage in having one.

...Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin (Matthew 6:28, KJV)

9. "The Immunity Syndrome". In the episode, the "thing" the crew encounters is a giant space amoeba approximately 18,000 km in length.

Crick and Watson are the co-discoverers of the thread-like DNA molecule. Yet thousands of years ago David wrote in Psalm 139: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb....your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (verses 13 and 16). The phrase "you knit me together" anticipates that we are literally "knitted" or "woven" together at the molecular level.

Dr. Mark Eastman comments at (
"Now the interesting thing about the DNA molecule is to make copies of DNA, you need proteins. But you can't make proteins until you have DNA. And this is one of the fundamental paradoxes of life."

10. Flint, an immortal human from Earth who lived under several aliases over a span of 6000 years, including Methuselah, Brahms, da Vinci, Solomon, Alexander, Abramson [meaning 'son of Abram'], and Lazarus.

From ("Since the immortal Flint claimed to have been Lazarus, it seems that Jesus did not actually bring him back to life. However, it is also possible that Flint was embellishing his own history and may not actually have been Lazarus."

Paul L. Maier writes at ( "Bethany, where he [Jesus] raised Lazarus from the dead, according to John II, is still called 'Betanya' by Israelis. But to the majority Arab population of that Jerusalem suburb, the name of the town is El-Lazariyeh, 'the place of Lazarus.' That name change was known as far back as Eusebius (church historian, A.D. ca 260-339), and exactly what one would expect if indeed Bethany had witnessed so great a miracle as the dead being raised."

Can we live as long as Methuselah? by Shaun Doyle 

How Did Methuselah Die? by John D. Morris 

11. "The Way to Eden". After beaming down, Spock and others find Adam (one of Dr. Sevrin's followers) lying dead--a partially-eaten (and acid-saturated) fruit in his hand.

Where Was The Garden Of Eden Located? 

12. "To find the creator."

Christians believe the creator is the Triune God (Father, Son, Spirit)

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." (Genesis 1:1-2)

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made....He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him." (John 1:1-3, 10)

"But about the Son he [God] says, 'Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom'....He also says,  'In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.' " (Hebrews 1:8;10)

13. Genesis

14. katra

15. Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 4, at the moment Hamlet first sees the tortured ghost of his father.

16. George and Gracie. The whales were named after the American comedy-duo George Burns and Gracie Allen.

Deep secrets: cetacean communication by Lael Weinberger 

Whale evolution? by Jonathan Sarfati 

17. 'Q'. Theologian Stanley J. Grenz observes: "...the postmodern world of The Next Generation shows interest in the supernatural, embodied, for example, in the strange character 'Q'. Yet its picture of the divine is not simply that of traditional Christian theology. Although possessing the classical divine attributes of omniscience and omnipotence, the godlike being 'Q' is morally ambiguous, displaying both benevolence and a bent toward cynicism and self-gratification."

18. Kirk: "Excuse me, I'd just like to ask a question...what does God need with a starship?" The first question asked of God in the Bible is: "Am I my brother's keeper?" spoken by Cain. Just before, God asked Cain: "Where is your brother Abel?" (Genesis 4:9)

Robert M. Bowman, Jr. writes in CRI Journal: "When Sybok's 'God' is revealed to be a devilish entity, McCoy wonders if God is really 'out there' somewhere in the universe. Kirk's answer: Maybe God is not out there, but is 'in the human heart.' (Is God not in the Vulcan heart, too?) Certainly this declaration strikes a responsive chord in the viewer. Given a choice between locating God on a planet somewhere in the galaxy or finding God in the human heart, the latter answer must be judged nearer to the truth. The Bible, after all, affirms that while God made the universe, He made human beings in His own image. But the choice presents false alternatives. In biblical thought, God is both transcendent over and distinct from His creation, and immanent and active in the universe and especially in the human heart."
The Expulsion from Paradise
(1961) by Marc Chagall

19. "The Expulsion from Paradise" (1961) by Marc Chagall.

Valeris: I do not understand this representation.
Spock: It's a depiction from ancient Earth mythology. The Expulsion from Paradise.
Valeris: Why keep it in your quarters?
Spock: It's a reminder to me that all things end.
Valeris: It is of endings that I wish to speak. Sir, I address you as a kindred intellect. Do you not recognize that a turning point has been reached in the affairs of the Federation?
Spock: Hmm. History is replete with turning points, Lieutenant. You must have faith.
Valeris: Faith?
Spock: That the universe will unfold as it should.
Valeris: But is that logical? Surely we must...
Spock: Logic, logic, logic... Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end. This will be my final voyage on board this vessel as a member of her crew.

20. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10, NIV)

21. In a close-up shot of a champagne bottle, twirling through space. Dom Perignon (1636-1715) was the cellar master at the abbey of Hautvillers. Although Perignon didn't invent sparkling wines, he is credited for producing champagnes with a superior flavor.

22. Neelix.

Jonah and the great fish 

23. The Borg Queen: "I am the beginning. The end. The one who is many. I am the Borg....We too are on a quest to better ourselves, evolving toward a state of perfection."

In Revelation 21:6, God tells John of Patmos: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End...."

24. (2 Timothy 4:7) "I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith."

25. The Battle For Paradise Has Begun. Ba'ku is a "paradise" planet characterized by a unique effect caused by its rings, which prevent the Ba'ku inhabitants from aging.

Star Trek: Insurrection 

26. 1 Corinthians (13:12).

Picard: For now we see through a glass, darkly.
Data: Sir?
Picard: He [Chinzon] said he is a mirror.
Data: Of you, sir?
Picard: Yes.
Data: I do not agree. Although you share the same genetic structure, the events of your life have created a unique individual.

The title of the two-part Star Trek: Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly" (2005) is also an allusion to this verse.

27. Stanley J. Grenz (1950-2005) (  His Star Trek lectures include: "The Gospel and the Star Trek Generation", "Star Trek and the Postmodern Generation", and "Christian Integrity in a Star Trek World".

Grenz writes in A Primer on Postmodernism (1996): "One hero of the old Star Trek was Spock. Although he was the only crew member who came from another planet (he was part human, part Vulcan), in his nonhumanness he actually served as a transcendent human ideal. Spock was the ideal Enlightenment man, completely rational and without emotion (or at least able to hold his emotions in check.) His dispassionate rationality repeatedly provided the key to solving problems encountered by the crew of the Enterprise. In such cases, the writers appear to have been arguing that in the end our problems can be solved by the application of rational expertise. Postmodernism represents a rejection of the Enlightenment project and the foundational assumptions upon which it was built."

28. (2 Timothy 1:9). Chuck Missler writes:
(" A study of the Greek phrase 'pro chronon aionion,' translated 'before the beginning of time,' shows the independent existence of God's grace in Christ outside of our time domain....This origin for the Greek word aionion ('time') is provocatively similar to the definition that most modern physicists use to define 'time'; i.e., a one-way physical dimension in which cause-and-effect phenomena take place but in which travel can go forward but not backward."
The Enterprise crew, old and new

"The Creator Beyond Time and Space" by Chuck Missler and Dr. Mark Eastman (Koinonia House, 1996)

29. Captain Nero. When the Great Fire of Rome blazed in A.D. 64 and Nero was accused of starting it, he falsely blamed the Christians. In his documentary novel, The Flames of Rome (Kregel Publications, 1995) Paul L. Maier, professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University, faithfully constructs the dramatic conflicts preceding and following the Great Fire though the family of Flavius Sabinus--mayor of Rome under Nero--and among the first converts to Christianity.

The 11th track on composer Michael Giacchino's Star Trek (2009) soundtrack is "Nero Fiddles, Narada Burns".

Note: Captain James T. Kirk's middle name is Tiberius. Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus, born Tiberius Claudius Nero (42 BC-AD 37), was the second Roman Emperor.

The Roman Governors by Paul L. Maier 

30. Vulcan, Alberta (

Vulcanites beaming over Star Trek film
By Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald, May 5, 2009

Vulcan beams into Star Trek
By Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald, May 7, 2009

One of Spock's favorite expressions is: "Live long and prosper." The apostle John wrote something similar: "Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers." (3 John: 2).

For further reference

Star Trek (2009) 

The Best Of The Star Trek Films 

Memory Alpha 

"Star Trek and the Next Generation: Postmodernism and the Future of Evangelical Theology" Crux 30.1 (1994) by Stanley J. Grenz

"The Truth Is Out There: Christian Faith and the Classics of TV Science Fiction" by Thomas Bertonneau, Kim Paffenroth, Brazos Press, 2006

"Star Trek and Sacred Ground", E. Jennifer Porter and Darcee L. McLaren, editors, State University of New York Press, 2000 

"The Double Vision of Star Trek" by Mike Hertenstein, Cornerstone Press, 1998

"Prequel reignites the Star Trek franchise" by Katherine Monk

"Bridge building" by Tony Watkins 

"Strange New Worlds: The Humanist Philosophy of Star Trek" by Robert M. Bowman, Jr. 

Star Trek as the original "Nones"? Conversation with sci fi's Gabriel Mckee 

Interview on the Spirituality of Star Trek 

"Ego, Super-Ego, & Id" by Gary D. Robinson 

The Ten Commandments in the Worlds of 'Star Trek' 

"More than Just a Ship" by Elisabeth Leitch 

"A Blockbuster With Great Themes" by Aaron Kamp 

Freelancer David Buckna produces -- THE POP GOSPEL -- a column that communicates Judeo-Christian truth to the postmodern culture using a Q & A format. Questions are gleaned from movies, television, music, literature, current events and other aspects of pop culture. Buckna's previous quizzes for ANS can be found at the ANS Search Archive page, searching for Buckna. Copyright 2009 by David Buckna. THE POP GOSPEL. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Buckna reads email at

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