Why are Protestants more familiar with the Bible?


This always bugged me. They know verses and can quote till the cows come home. But most Catholics don’t even know there are two Testaments in the book!!


I know both OT and NT. I know that 2/3 of the NT is from the Septuagint, I know how the Bible came into being, I can remember most of the Gospels, Epistles, in all major issues. I do think I’m more well verse in the NT than the OT… That I can admit.


Please note that most Protestants only know some verses in the Bible that fits their view; these are the passages they would often cite, most especially when discussing with Catholics. They do not know the whole Bible, or are even more familiar with it. This is just the impression we Catholics get because they can quote chapter and verse. A Catholic who knows how to do it will appear knowledgeable of the Bible as well.


I got loads of prizes for reading and memorizing the Bible as a child.
At 4 I knew the books of the OT and NT by heart in order.
And the stories were taught to us straight from the book. No fictionalized story about a little boy talking to Moses about what happened when the Red Sea parted…or Vegetables acting out David and Goliath…just straight Bible.
And Bible homework weekly which my mom made doggone sure I did.
And prizes. Like psalters. And KJV Bibles. And pictures of Jesus knocking at the door. Bookmarks with the 10 commandments.
Tha’s why. IMHO.


I think that’s stretching it quite a bit. I don’t know any Catholics who aren’t aware that there are two testaments.

And Protestants are good at memorizing verses, but ask them to put it into context with what comes before and after, and then you may find out they don’t really understand what they are reading in the same light any longer.


I noticed that when they discuss their interpretation in this forum as well as the ones I know offline.


In my exp Catholics are behind in Bible Study. I guess since they are sola scriptura that is all they do. No Church, no tradition, no Catechism etc. Theyh focus on the Books while we have a more rounded knowledge.
I exp this in High School when my faith was challenged and I could not defend ANY Catholic doctrine. Half the books he quoted from i never heard of before. I almost left the Church. Luckily my friend introduced me to apologetics and I stayed and learned more and more and even taught Confirmation for a few years. We should know our faith more and teach it more.


Yeah I exagerated to stir up the pot;)


A lot of protestant denoms use “sword drills” with kids. But by the time the kids are teens they are taught contextual interpretations of scripture.
We Catholics could sure use some of the tactics they use for our kiddoes.


I could see that protestants can remember the verses really well, and that is good for them. I wish I could do the same, but I don’t have a memory for that; therefore, I take notes and whenever I need to quote it, I use my notes.

Another thing that I could think of one reason why we don’t remember verses as much as others is that when go to mass, we do more than just the Readings and Gospels.

My grandmother doesn’t remember any verses, but I bet you she lives according to Jesus’ teaching in the Bible more than some who claim to memorize all the Psalms.

I am saying this is not to excuse ourselves from reading Bible. Remembering the Bible is great when you need to explain to others, but it is not going to weaken your faith or to show that you have lack of faith by not memorizing it.


The majority of Catholics are not practicing. There are only a few of us who are practicing. It is our duty as lay Catholics to re-educate other Catholics in the Bible, and in the Catechism. I know the Catholics in America are poorly catechized. It is time for us to preached…


I was in a Catholic gift shop yesterday and saw one reason…3/4 of the store was filled with statues/idols and the other 25% was books…20% of which were Bibles.


Statues are* not *idols. They simply serve as a reminder of the saints and help us to lift our hearts and minds to prayer. It’s no different than having a picture of a loved family member on a wall. Catholics certainly don’t pray to statues, after all.


I bet they had some good art in there if that made up 3/4s of the store.

Although, I bet they had a Rosary section, a scapular section, a holy card/medallion section. The store around here even has a whole section for vestments and Mass supplies. They should shape up if they don’t have all that!


To answer the OP:

Protestants are NOT more familiar with the Bible. Catholics hear more Scripture at Sunday Mass than most Protestants hear all week.

It is just that Catholics do not read the Scriptures as a chapter and verse. The read big chunks at a time without stopping to look at verse markers. So when confronted, Catholics cannot always break out with “Oh yeah? Look at James 2:24!”

I think memorizing the Bible by chapter and verse is not the best way to go anyway, unless you are constantly debating Protestants. I know 90% of the Bible stories by heart, and I know how the Bible flows, so I can find anything I need to find. It just might take me a few minutes.

And it also deals with Sola Scriptura. Catholics do not rely on the Bible alone, and rightly so. We rely on the Church as Christ taught us to. However, when you have nothing BUT the Bible, it is easy to become consumed with it because you have no where else to turn for Christian teaching.

I will not get into the poor education of modern day Catholics, but I will say that we have a lot more to learn. We have the entire Christian truth, I suppose it is eaiser to memorize for the Protestants because they only have a fraction of the truth to learn.


As some have already indicated or alluded to, Protestants are not necessarily more familiar with the Bible in any meaningful sense. Afterall, they’re Protestants. If they were truly familiar with the Bible, they would be Catholics.


I can understand why and how you upset others now.
When someone hates something or someone, they will make a grain bigger than an elephant.

I feel sorry for you.


HMM! No clue. Most of the Protestants I know can quote about 15 verses, over and over again,…out of context with no connection except their own interpretation or that of their pastor.:rolleyes:

Catholic’s on the other hand, can identify most all of the scripture verses, because they hear them and the teachings every Sunday.
We are not taught to pick and choose nor listen to partial verses.

Different ways of hearing and learning the bible perhaps.


Well, I shop at a Christian bookstore (not Catholic, but Catholic and Protestant, majority Protestant). They have one row of Bibles. The rest of the store has non-fiction and fiction books, t-shirts, CD’s, plaques, pictures, and cards. Bibles are the minority of items they sell.


It seem Mr. Link has a hidden agenda for Catholics…

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.