Who knows the contents of the Bible better, Catholics or non-Catholics?

It’s just a question:

Who knows the contents of the Bible better, the average Catholic or average non-Catholic? :popcorn:

It depends who the average Catholic and the average non-Catholic are.
As a Lutheran, I’m just as concerned about catechesis, since we read scripture through the lens of the confessions.



Although Evangelicals are very good at repeating the Bible parrot-like.

Well done, Evangelicals, you have the gift of memorisation.

Here’s a Bible trivia question:

How many books are in the Bible?

How true.

73 I think, but who cares :shrug:

Books or Letters?

Which Edition? The Latin Vulgate?

Depends on what you mean by “knows”: do you mean “who can quote from the Bible more?” (generally non-Catholic Christians) or do you mean “who knows what truths the Bible tells?” (if the Catholic Church has the fullness of the faith, then that answer might reasonably be ‘Catholics’). :wink:

Exactly enough. :smiley:

Luther’s translation has 74.


I think knowing the Bible is be able to understand its context in any given passage, not just being able to remember some memory verses. Frankly I often meet Protestants who would throw Biblical verses at you to make a point but once you tried to veer the conversation away and introduce verses of your own they seems to be not that fluent with the Bible anymore. Of course I am not trying to generalize as perhaps these may be the exception rather that the rule.

So who is better? No idea. One cannot generalize; it’s depend very much on the individuals and how they love, study and live the Bible. Maybe in the past Catholics were poor in Bible knowledge but not anymore now. I mean there is lots of improvement in this area that probably your ordinary Catholic Joe is able to engage his Protestant counterpart in discussing the Bible reasonably.

The greater ‘disadvantage’ in this kind of engagement for the Catholic is Catholics don’t use solely the Bible, but also the teachings of Tradition and the Magisterium. Lutherans have a similar ‘disadvantage’ since we view scripture from the Confessions.


I think perhaps the better question might be liturgical Christians versus non-liturgical Christians. An evangelical Anglican priest pointed out to me once, that for all the talk by the non-liturgical lot about how they focus on the Bible more, we liturgical Christians generally have much lengthier Scripture readings at our services. It’s gone even more in that direction with the happy-clappy movement coming in.

The newer Roman liturgy, as well as the Church of England’s ‘Common Worship’, typically have an Old Testament reading, an Epistle and a Gospel, as well as a Psalm read before the Eucharist is celebrated. I went to a rock and roll church down the road and they have one very short reading, an admittedly very good 10 minute sermon expounding on it, a few prayers (I was literally the only person in the room to join the preacher in saying the Lord’s Prayer) and 40 minutes of Christian rock music, with people swaying in the aisles and what have you.

I have to say that I was treated very kindly by these people and all my dealings with them have been very pleasant. But it’s about as far removed from my style of worship as can be.

Asked a simlar question a few months back.

Feel free to resurrect the thread, as its within the year long limit.

Thank you, Jon. Some Protestants don’t listen if I say that. So it is just Bible. My point is Catholics have come a long way (thanks to Vatican II) from being ‘bullied’ by Bible Christians. It is interesting to note that they can match them in Bible knowledge and not merely respond with that blank look.

Doesn’t the Orthodox Bible have a few more? I know they have an extra Psalm and maybe an extra Book of Maccabees.

Really? Please join us on the predestination and forensic justification threads to continue that thought. The common responds to a biblical understanding of a forensic justification is “Catholics don’t believe in a substitutional or penal view of justification”. That is not dealing with the Scriptures, but rather it is a non-biblical response to Scripture revelation.

Well, Catholics read it all the way through (at a minimum) every three years. With explanations in the homilies. That’s not even COUNTING private study (which I admit, seems to be more common among protestants, but is also important for catholics!)

Besides, even if most protestants DID claim greater knowledge of 66 out of the 73 books of the Bible (which can’t be proved one way or the other, and is probably really close), Catholics would have waaaaaaaaay better knowledge of the Deuterocanon.

That’s true except that many Catholics would tend to depend on the sermon by the priest on the liturgical readings. Since the readings are already fixed, nobody really bother to remember where they come from. They simply are forgotten after the mass and perhaps a bit to remember is the priest’s sermon if there is something interesting there.

We realize this setback today. Some Catholic leaders, especially those in the Catholic Renewal, do feel the need to love the Bible and know it, whether they are from the liturgical readings, inspired readings or just plain Bible study. Those initiatives have bear some fruits now. If we notice, even in the CAF, there are Catholic posters who are quite at ease with Biblical knowledge and that’s refreshing to see.

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