How Important is Bible Knowledge?

Can a person be a spiritual and succesful Christian, and not know much about the Bible?
What say you?

It’s vitally important to know what God says to us, His human creature, in the bible.
It is vital that we know the teachings of Jesus, and His witness.

Hi Trish.
That doesn’t answer our question though.
Can a person be a spiritual and succesful Christian, and **not know **much about the Bible?

You may think this odd coming from a Lutheran, but I don’t think you have to know the bible chapter-and-verse to be a great Christian that brings others to Christ.

In my opinion, you do have to absorb the lessons in the bible and church teaches you. But an ability to regurgitate large swaths of the bible will no get you into heaven, nor necessarily make you a good evangelist.

The bible is a great tool - but it’s not the only tool. Perhaps a loving heart with obedience, faith, love, and charity would be better to have than a bible tucked under the arm.

Again, this is only my opinion.

You win the the prize behind the curtain. :wink:

Christianity existed for 1500 years without a printing press, without people knowing how to read, and yet were still Christians.
This is what I was trying to get to with the thread “The Bible keeps you from sin or sin keeps you from the Bible.”
In conversing with fundamentalists its very hard to get them to see this. It’s not denegrating the Bible, its using it as it was intended.

Did the early Christians spend a lot of time reading the Bible? Absolutely not! Did they know what was in it? I think, since the faith is still with us, the answer has to be “yes”!!!

Read your Bible and pray the Rosary.

Ermmm…like it! I see what you did there :slight_smile:

Now lets tranport ourselves to the Middle Ages.
A Christian, who knows the stories of the Bible. He might not be able to quote 1 Corinthians 13, but he lives out the principles of that chapter.
Verses a fundamentalist who can quote 1Cor 13 but has no clue how to put it into practice.

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ, which no man can afford” St. Jerome. Catholics especially need to know the Bible. That doesn’t necessarily mean we have to know chapter:verse, but we should know the content.

Because I do not know the bible as much as some of my “non-denominational” friends, I do somewhat fell inadequate when they say stuff. Such as…we no longer need to go to a Priest for confession. Something to do with in the old days there was a thick curtain( really thick) between man and God in this temple. But since Jesus died on a cross for us we don’t need to go to a Priest. There is no longer need to go through a Priest, no thick solid wall/curtain. We can go straight to God. :confused:

When St. Jerome made that statement, how did he mean it? Most of society at that time could not read and only heard Scripture read aloud at Mass on Sunday. They understood Scripture in an oral sense.

The Bible is either “The Word of God”, as the Church proclaims, or it is not.
When a priest ends the mass with the words “the Eucharist is ended” I have to scratch my head and wonder if he really understands that essential part of the mass called “The Liturgy of the Word”.

Well you just refer them to John 20:21-23 when he was speaking to his apostles,

"Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

This was said to the apostles** after** the “old days” when the veil permitted only the high priest to enter into the Holy of Holies were they kept the Ark of the Covenant. This is only the second time that God** “breathed”** on a human being (the first time was at the creation of the soul of man in the garden). In order to retain sins, a person would have to be told of that sin first. This verse is used by the Church for the sacrament of reconciliation.

Wow! thank you. I’m glad that you understood what I was refering to. I wrote curtain/wall, I couldn’t remember that they said veil. This really helps me. God Bless.:slight_smile:

It’s possible but it depends on your mission in life.

If you want to be a witness to the faith, it will be important for you to know many key parts of the Bible, for example the Sermon on the Mount, the Bread of Life discourse, the story of the Passion.

If you are a parent and want to catechize your children, it will be necessary to understand the Scriptural basis of the Sacraments and an overview of salvation history.

Now, if you are a Catholic, it is immpossible to be a practicing Catholic without a significant amount of Bible knowledge. Just fulfilling your Sunday obligation will give you plenty.

your question is can a person be a spiritual and successful Christian and not know much about the Bible and my answer is yes. as another poster stated, Christianity existed for some 1500 years without the printed word being available to Christians. of course, they heard the gospel when they went to Mass and learned psalms and other parts of the Bible, but they did not have their own access to a Bible. so they were taught in their Christian communities how to live as Christians or Catholics.
in the information age that we live in today, though, there should be no excuse that a person who wants to be a committed Catholic or Christian doesn’t know much about the Bible. as a Christian, i believe it is your duty to have a basic knowledge of the Bible and know which books are in the Old Testament and which books are in the New Testament, etc.
i have been to Bible studies and some people had no idea where to find certain books and it was kind of embarrassing.
some people might even argue that you can be a spirtual and successful Christian without even going to church.


Do you mean all Christians baptized in the Trinitarian formula?

Define what you mean by "not knowing much about the Bible?

Well, I would it is possible to be a vibrant Christian without Bible Knowledge, but it is not very likely. To say that your average Christian didn’t know the Bible for 1500 years because they couldn’t read is not completely true. Isn’t Mass and the EO liturgy packed with Scriptural Quotations? The problem with many scholars today is that they assume that oral memory is inherently flawed, but ancient authors actually had the opposite opinion and taught that written work should be viewed with suspicion. So I would say that most Christians probably knew more Scripture than we would if we didn’t read it. Now if the Mass was performed in Latin which no one spoke:shrug:

This also implies the need for good catechesis. Luther wrote the Small Catechism so the head of the house, even a simple man, could teach his family the impostant lessons in the Bible.


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