Survey: Knowledge of Bible ‘In Decline’ Among Youths

Knowledge of the Bible and its stories is declining among people in the UK, according to a survey by Durham University; it was sponsored by Church related organizations.

The National Biblical Literacy Survey carried out by St. John’s College, Durham University found that young people believe the Bible is “old-fashioned”, “irrelevant” and “for Dot Cottons” - in reference to the churchgoing character in the BBC One soap, BBC News reported.

A Survey of more than 900 Britons from faith and non-faith backgrounds revealed that as many as 60 percent could say nothing at all about the Good Samaritan. “Wasn’t he the man who helped the woman at the well?” asks one respondent, while 62 percent of respondents did not know the parable of the Prodigal Son.

And only one in 20 interviewees was able to name all of the Ten Commandments. 16 percent of them said they know none of them.

But the study showed many still turn to the Bible at times of emotional stress, for support and guidance at key moments and as many as 75 percent own the Holy Bible.

Researchers at the survey, funded by a consortium of national churches, charitable trusts and Bible agencies said that their findings showed the Church and Christians could no longer make assumptions about people’s knowledge of the Bible, especially those under 45s which is in decline.

It says, half of under 45s failed to accurately recount information about Samson and Delilah, while a third were clueless when quizzed about the Feeding of the 5,000.

It also revealed that 40 percent did not know that the tradition of giving Christmas gifts came from the story of the Wise Men bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus.

One respondent said David and Goliath was the name of a ship, while another thought Daniel - who survived being thrown into the lions’ den - was the Lion King.

Reverend Brian Brown, a Methodist minister and visiting fellow in media and communication at St John’s College, Durham University told BBC news: “The Church and political leaders should take serious note of the findings and recognise that we cannot make the assumptions we used to make about the Bible and its place in contemporary people’s lives and culture.”

Vijay Menon, an evangelist who turned to Christ from Hindu background was quoted by a blogger at as saying, “Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of God, which is ultimately the world’s biggest problem.”

The findings also formed part of the evidence behind the Methodist Church’s decision to designate 2011 as the Year of the Bible.

Don’t judge us too harshly; it’s the environment more than anything. The article noted we still go to the Bible in crises, why is that? Because crises forces us to look outside of ourselves. When everything is fine, the economy is up, there’s plenty of food, everybody thinks they’re living the life and “who needs God?” After all, we’ve got our ipods, the internet, sex, and everything else to keep us busy, there’s just no reason at all to spend time on God. Notice that Ireland is again returning to the faith… now that the economy is twice as bad as the United States.

When you’re nine-years old and your parents tell you to wash the dishes, you may rebel against that idea and have fantasies that you hate them, they’re so unfair, and you’d be better off without them. Then you wake up in the morning and you’re sick and in pain and they come into your room and take care of you all day; and you admit you love them after all.

This is a fruit of relativism, which makes the bible irrelevant, and secularism which has driven Christianity from the public life of our country.

Try me. :cool:

Whoa! This not mere lack of knowledge. This is complete ignorance. I mean I don’t read the Bible myself very often but even I can still recall some of the simple stuff like Delilah seducing Samson, David pwning Goliath, or Daniel and the Lions. Come on Britain, you haven’t gone that anti-Christian have you?

The next thing you know, you name something Goliath and they’ll be scratching their heads as to where the name even came from. -_-;;

Oh yes Britain certainly has, take it from me I live here.

I agree; I don’t read it that much, either, but… I sometimes mix up names, but a quick reminder will set me straight.

I wonder though how many know about Noah’s Ark and the flood? Or Adam and Eve, or the first Seven Days? These are basic stories that most people know about, even the non-Abrahamic peoples. Even if one is not a Christian, he should still know of them like either historical figures like in America we should know about George Washington and Paul Revere, or the Italians should know Garibaldi and Mussolini, the Russians Peter the Great, Lenin, and Stalin, the Chinese Pu Yi and Mao, the Japanese Meiji and Hirohito or mythological characters like the Slavic Baba Yaga, the Italians Befana or the Roman pantheon, the Nordic peoples Siegfried and Brunhilde, the Egyptians Isis, the Shinto Amaterasu et cetera…

Even if one does not believe in them as religion, he should having been raised in Western culture at least recognize something… I wonder though, if it is wrong to criticize my generation of being ignorant only of Christianity when they probably do not know well the names Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Nero, Caesar, or know at all of the Roman and Greek pantheons (which most of us even as Christians still know about)…
I would like to see a poll to see how much these kids know of even their own national history, of WWII, and the pagan mytholoies or even if they know the name of their Prime Minister or care enough to know… If they are familiar with the names Churchill, Queen Elizabeth, and Margaret Thatcher…

I think that to Christians, this is merely the most visibly troublesome aspect of a generation that is much more terrifyingly ignorant of much besides itself.


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