Soldier, Poet, King personality test may be a Bible studies lesson in disguise

Bruno Cooke January 26, 2023
Soldier, Poet, King personality test may be a Bible studies lesson in disguise
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A new quiz has become all the rage among TikTok users, requiring users to answer questions before being given a role – that of the soldier, the poet or the king, but its deeper meaning may not be as simple as that.

As others have noted, this is not the first time a personality test has trended on the platform. Nor will it be the last.

On the surface, the quiz assigns those who take it with an identity taken from The Oh Hellos’ 2015 song Soldier, Poet, King, but even that has prompted some discussion about how surface-level the song’s meaning actually is.

So without further ado. According to the quiz, are you a soldier, a poet, or a king, and how will you interpret the meaning of your test results?

Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

What is the meaning of The Oh Hellos’ song Soldier, Poet, King?

The Oh Hellos released Soldier, Poet, King on October 16, 2015 but it wasn’t until a few years later, it seems, that Reddit users started ascribing a biblical meaning to it.

According to the most recent thread on it to emerge from The Oh Hellos’ subreddit, it is about the Second Coming of Christ.

Also called the Second Advent or the Parousia, the Second Coming is the belief that Jesus will return to Earth. It is perhaps most popular among Christians, but it also exists among Muslims and members of the Baháʼí Faith.

“When I first realized that I got so excited,” wrote one Reddit user in early January. “Recognizing that it’s not just a fun story but was pointing to the reality that Jesus fills all three roles as the savior of the actual world was just wildly awesome.”

Do the personality test results reflect this meaning of Soldier, Poet, King?

Yes and no. It would have done so more neatly if, for example, the images that accompany the results were all of Jesus Christ.

The image of the king, however, is actually from a painting by Guido Reni, of St Catherine of Alexandria. 

There questions in the Soldier, Poet, King quiz that feel like they have some relationship to the Christ narrative. For example, one begins, “You enter a town, it is…” and another, “You leave the town, and you leave it…”

Questions like “What is a sin?”, “Who taught you about guilt?” and “How will you die?” all encourage one to thing about, or think like, the character of Christ, at least to an extent. 

But it may be in the description of each archetype that comes with the test results that we find the most categorically Biblical meaning in the Soldier, Poet, King quiz.

Soldier, Poet, King quiz results quote The Oh Hellos’ biblical references

The description of a king you receive if you answer the questions in a particular way includes the quote: “There will come a ruler Whose brow is laid in thorn Smeared with oil like David’s boy.”

This is a direct quote from the lyrics to The Oh Hellos’ song Soldier, Poet, King, the meaning of which three Genius contributors have honed down, since the track’s release in 2015. 

Smearing with oil, they write, references the rite of anointing the king upon coronation. In 1 Samuel 16:13, the annotation reads, Samuel anointed David. Later, in 1 Kings 1:45, Nathan anoints Solomon, aka “David’s boy.”

What’s more, “the anointed” is also the direct translation of ‘mashiaḥ,’ or “messiah,” in Hebrew. And the name “Christ” comes from the Greek word meaning “anointed.”

Astronaut Black Cat with a pink dinosaur over pink background. a question mark is on the wall. Manipulation image with my pet cat.

What if you got soldier or poet?

The US Sun writes that the characterisations that fit the soldier archetype are righteousness, strength and violence.

“You see a door and break through it, you wonder sometimes if anger is the only thing you can feel,” the description reads. But remember, “love is passion too. You made your own rules and will follow them to death.”

Meanwhile, the role of the poet has to do with individualism and being subtly powerful. The outlet also quotes one quizzer as saying, on social media, that the three archetypes are “metaphors.”

Which plays into the notion that the real meaning of the Soldier, Poet, King quiz fits with the interpretation of The Oh Hellos’ track, detailed above. Namely, that they are not separate identities after all. Instead, they are facets of Jesus Christ’s persona – so the theory goes, anyway.

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.