"Who Knows the Bible Best?" is a pretty interesting article

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narnia4
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"Who Knows the Bible Best?" is a pretty interesting article

Postby narnia4 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:31 pm

Not really a critique here, but this is probably the best forum and I wanted to bring this up.

The newest page here is pretty intriguing. Baptists and non-denominational Christians being the most knowledgeable about the Bible, not sure that's what I would have guessed. My guess as far as the reasons for this is that "non-denominational" is really not a cultural label. If you don't take Christianity seriously, you would be more likely to label yourself generically instead of in accordance with that you actually believe. Especially with Catholics, you have a huge number of people labeling themselves as Catholic when they could hardly care less. With Baptists, it doesn't seem to me like you could go through generations of "non-practicing Baptists", if you label yourself as a Baptist you were probably taught about the Bible as a child and more likely to have some interest in Christianity as an adult. And if you got a group of devout Catholics, I'm sure you'd get people who are much more knowledgeable about Scripture.

Any thoughts on the article?

Edit- Thanks for adding the link Reactionary, I'll add it here as well.

http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/b ... tions.html
Last edited by narnia4 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Who Knows the Bible Best?" is a pretty interesting arti

Postby jlay » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:48 pm

A link to the article would be great
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: "Who Knows the Bible Best?" is a pretty interesting arti

Postby Reactionary » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:07 pm

narnia4 wrote:Not really a critique here, but this is probably the best forum and I wanted to bring this up.

The newest page here is pretty intriguing. Baptists and non-denominational Christians being the most knowledgeable about the Bible, not sure that's what I would have guessed. My guess as far as the reasons for this is that "non-denominational" is really not a cultural label. If you don't take Christianity seriously, you would be more likely to label yourself generically instead of in accordance with that you actually believe. Especially with Catholics, you have a huge number of people labeling themselves as Catholic when they could hardly care less. With Baptists, it doesn't seem to me like you could go through generations of "non-practicing Baptists", if you label yourself as a Baptist you were probably taught about the Bible as a child and more likely to have some interest in Christianity as an adult. And if you got a group of devout Catholics, I'm sure you'd get people who are much more knowledgeable about Scripture.

Any thoughts on the article?


To Jlay: http://godandscience.org/doctrine/bible ... tions.html

Narnia4,
I could consider myself a non-denominational Christian. Although I was born in a Catholic family, in a country where Roman Catholicism is the most influential Christian denomination, so it played a role in my cultural upbringing nevertheless. I've noticed the same thing you did - I know many people who label themselves as Catholic, yet they are de facto agnostic. By that I mean that they act like they don't know or care about their religion, except when they need something, then they are quick to resort to prayers. Baptists tend to be more actively Christian, from my experience. So I wasn't surprised by the results of this study.

The thing is, in my opinion, that Catholicism tends to be overly formalistic and impersonal. And that's not good these days, when everyone needs good PR. Catholic churches are under constant attack, and nobody's there to defend them. And it seems like they themselves can't cope with all that. Gone are the times when you could preach to the choir - people ask questions these days... OK, when they don't blindly listen to what is being served by the media. :)

But anyway, in the church that I used to attend, you couldn't find a Bible study group. There was no such thing (in fact, I first heard about "Bible study" from you Americans). There were only these catechesis groups for highschoolers who needed to attend it in order to receive the sacrament of chrismation. And they usually see it as something they need to get through so they could get watches, cash, and other gifts from their relatives. Not much Christian spirit in there, if you know what I mean. :ewink:

So again, I wasn't very surprised by the results of the study - those Catholics who are active, from my observations, tend to be more concerned about dogmas and catechisms, rather than what's written in the "original" Book. :D Feel free to refute me if I'm wrong though.
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Re: "Who Knows the Bible Best?" is a pretty interesting arti

Postby narnia4 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:44 pm

Without any surveys or numbers to back me up I don't want to do too much stereotyping, but you may be right. I do think that the non-practicing/casual Catholics probably water down the numbers quite a bit (and I guess you could argue in an unfair way).

This graph is interesting- http://www.godandscience.org/images/bib ... utions.gif

Catholics and secularists have the two earliest "bumps" in their lines there, I would guess that those early bumps probably come from Catholics who just really don't have interest.

I'd also guess that the Catholic rejection of Sola Scriptura has something to do with the numbers, you (reactionary) kind of alluded to that. I have seen a very impressive knowledge of Church history and theological knowledge (and application of theology to other things, like language and the arts) among devout Catholics, something I think Protestants in general could be better with. Especially in the last century or so, Evangelicals retreated into a sort of shell.
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