How Well Do You Know the Bible?
‘The book of Thomas? Sure, that is in the Bible. But the book of Jonah is not. Christ’s birthplace? Oh, that is Jerusalem—or was it Nazareth? I’m not really sure whether the book of Isaiah is in the first or the second part of the Bible. The number of apostles? I really don’t know.’
“THESE findings may have come as no surprise if the data had been collected only among non-Christians,” says the magazine Christianity Today. “What is surprising—and disturbing—is the amount of Scriptural ignorance that was found among born-again Christians.”
For instance, 22 percent of the nominal Christians surveyed thought that there really was a book of Thomas in the Bible, while 13 percent were not sure. As for Jonah, 27 percent said it was not in the Bible, and 12 percent had no idea. Six percent could not even guess where Christ was born, while 16 percent named Jerusalem, and 8 percent said it was Nazareth. A full 13 percent had no idea where the book of Isaiah could be found in the Bible, while 11 percent placed it in the Christian Greek Scriptures (“New Testament”). And while most knew that there were 12 apostles, 12 percent gave another number, from 2 to over 20, and 10 percent had no idea at all.
The question that gave the most trouble was whether the expression “God helps those who help themselves” was in the Bible or not. Only 38 percent of the “Christians” surveyed knew that it was not to be found anywhere in the Bible, while a greater number, 42 percent, thought it was a Biblical quotation. The rest did not know.
“Why is there so much ignorance about the Bible?” asks Christianity Today. “Most likely, it comes from a lack of Bible readership. Half of all Americans do not read the Bible. The majority of all born-again Christians read the Bible once or twice a week, or not at all. No wonder so many Christians know so little about the Scriptures!”