When I was a kid, I remember taking a Bible to church for services. I also recall studying the Bible intensively using a variety of tools, including Bible-marking programs, personal reading and study, and classes. Much of my biblical knowledge stems from those days. Back then, we never heard about biblical illiteracy. During this time, I did discover that a clear understanding of the Bible is paramount to accurately and convincingly sharing my faith.
These days, it seems like scarcely a week goes by without a new study being released about how Christian Americans have become biblically illiterate. A recent study by the Barna Group (which conducts research and training for churches and nonprofits) uncovered “some disturbing revelations about our nation’s grasp of Bible content and Americans’ changing perception of the Bible.”
Couple this with regular releases of study results flagging biblical illiteracy and genuine concerns growing out of it. Some recent examples:
• 60 percent of Americans cannot name even five of the Ten Commandments.
• 82 percent of Americans believe “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse.
• 12 percent of adults believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.