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Kids are growing and as a part of the process they become interested in certain questions… Yesterday, my son, who is 11 had a discussion with a friend of his (also 11) concerning the existence of God. I will refrain from the exact content but something really caught my attention…At some point he asked the guy whether he read the Bible. His friend immediately became very evasive but eventually was pressed into admitting that he did not, never have… but, he said, “my priest told me and I believe him…”...

And that made me wonder, just how many among those people who claim to be Christian and who insist that those who are not must quietly pack and go to hell actually read the primary source?... So, I did a little research… what I found reminds me painfully about old Soviet Union days and the way people supposedly learned works of Marx …in other words pure indoctrination at very young age

Anyway.. something to think about…

According to Gallup, "Despite the impressive statistics concerning Bible reading and study, it is apparent that ignorance about its contents is widespread." 8

He gives evidence for this conclusion:   

Only half of adults interviewed nationwide could name any of the four Gospels of the New  Testament.

Just 37% of those interviewed could name all four Gospels.

Only 42% of adults were able to name as many as five of the Ten Commandments correctly.

Seven in ten (70%) were able to name the town where Jesus was born, but just 42% could identify him as the person who delivered the Sermon on the Mount.

Researcher George Barna has also documented the lack of Bible knowledge in the United States:

38% of Americans believe the entire Bible was written several decades after Jesus' death and resurrection (While this is true of the New Testament, the entire Old Testament was written hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus Christ).

12% of adults believe that Noah's wife was Joan of Arc.

49% believe that the Bible teaches that money is the root of all evil. (The love of money is said to be the root of all types of evil).

75% believe that the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves.

All of these reflect luck of knowlege conserning the factual information... how many of those who actualy could answer these questions ever though and understand the content... then again faith doesn't require understanding, does it? 

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  1. sven's Avatar
    I think the Bible-knowledge seem to be very good judging from those numbers. As the numbers don't seem to differ between active christians or not. The actual Bible-knowledge of practicing christians aren't mentioned except an anecdotal evidence from George Lindbeck that concerns "church-going families"

    From my experience with more outspoken/fundamentalist christians is that they know their scriptures very very well.. certainly much better then I generally know facts before taking a stance in issues. Interpreting it is another matter all together though. It is of course a difference of knowing something and that the knowledge is true...

    And in the first matter of the boy believing the priest. Believing authorities is mostly in everyday life a rational thing to do as it saves tons of energy. You can't possibly think every matter through. Important decisions in life like religion or on what you should vote is of course something you should reflect about and not take anyones words for granted. But it is complicated, let me explain:

    If you didn't have authorities (theistic or atheistic people or litterature) you would neither believe or not believe in a spedicific God in a beliefsystem as it is a matter of faith(if you have a religious experience on your own you are not likely to attribute it to a belief system you are not aware of). So you need an authority to tell you what to believe before you can even question and reflect about it. Like your son might have you, and the other boy might have the priest...

    Ultimately it's not a question of what the Bible says it's a question of whether you believe in what it says or not (everything or parts of it).. and for that you don't have to read it all. Just as the many of those who consciously have chosen to not be Christians or Muslims haven't read the Bible or Koran..

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