Who Knows the Bible Best? SURPRISE

Researchers from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, an independent research group, polled 3,400 Americans and asked them 34 questions about the Bible. 

The people who got the most answers right were….ATHEISTS.  This was the case even when controlled for educational levels. 

This throws into confusion all kinds of theories and strategies for spreading either Christianity or atheism.  For example, the Gideons hand out copies of the New Testiment on street corners and leave Bibles in hotel rooms.  Could it be that the more people open up these copies and read them, the more likely it is that will they become nonbelievers?

That is exactly the theory of Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists. In the New York Times today, he  is quoted as saying, “I’ve heard many times the atheists know more about religion than religious people.  Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge.  I gave a Bible to my daughter.  That’s how you make an atheist.”

I don’t want this bit of information to discourage people who receive something important from their faith to leave it behind.  To the contrary, use that gift to it’s fullest.  It’s just that from an intellectual level, the books upon which our religions are based have holes, which up to now, remain empty.

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7 Responses to Who Knows the Bible Best? SURPRISE

  1. Tom says:

    Your test subjects on the Bible knowledge certainly did not include a single Jehovah’s Witness. Even though very few of JWs ever went to college or formally studys theology, they can out perform any priest, rabbi, decon and minister with knowing the bible details. They also know more about non-christian religions and their origins than just about anyone as well.

    You may want to revisit this study and include anyone who is a regular at a Kingdom Hall.

  2. al says:

    Did you notice how many Bible questions were asked? Then why your headline?
    Even in the 15 question test only a fraction of the questions were about the Bible.
    The questions were about RELIGION, world religions.
    An interesting and incorrect read.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      You are correct. Many of my headlines, like headlines in magazines and newspapers, are written to attract readers, not to accurately reflect the blog topic. Don’t you agree it is ironic that atheists know more about “RELIGION, world religions” than Christians? It seems like it should be the other way around. Or, is it that the more one knows about religion and world religions, the less like that person is to be a believer?

  3. Judith Berry says:

    A pastor of a church I attended once gave a questionnaire in place of his sermon on Sunday. The folks didn’t have to sign their name, but the results were astounding. They couldn’t name the books of the Bible, in fact, they didn’t know whether the books were from the old or new testaments, they thought that Jesus’ disciples wrote the gospels, they thought that Heaven was up above, and Hell was down below, someone even thought that the reason Lazurus didn’t smell after being dead a number of days was because he was put in a freezer. Another answer was how Jesus walked on water was because he was balancing on a surf board and so goes the answers. I do believe that most Christians are illiterate in the contents of the Bible and they “just go along with the flow.”

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Thank you for the comment, Judith. One of the most important things people do not know about the Bible, I believe, is that is was not written by his disciples nor anyone else that lived at the time he lived. If I were to guess, it would be that less than five per cent of Christians know this. When one does know it, one reads the whole thing in a different way. Then, the debate is not only about what the Bible says, but what the writer claims to have known. By todays jounalistic standards, putting a comment in quotes by someone not present is usually done after it is signed off by at least a couple of people who were present. Since so many believe the Bible was written by God, apparently this standard is not needed.

  4. Jim says:

    I just thought you might want to know that your comment that the bible was not written by any of Jesus’ disciples is not correct. The gospel of Matthew was written by the apostle Matthew in about AD 50. The gospel of John was written by the apostle John in about AD 90. The gosple of Mark was written by John Mark, who spent a lot of time traveling with the apostle Peter, somewhere between AD 50 – 60. Revleation, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John were all written by the apostle John. 1 Peter and 2 Peter were written by the apostle Peter. Most of the rest of the New Testament was written by Paul, who had a personal encounter with Jesus, in the AD 50′s – 60′s.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Jim 5:15 Thanks for the comment. You are welcome here.

      Your version of Biblical authorship, the times and people, are not accepted by many, I might guess most, Biblical scholars.

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