The Common Good

Survey Finds British Children and Adults Are Biblically Illiterate

Three out of 10 British children have next to no understanding of the Bible and their parents aren’t that knowledgeable, either.

A man reading the Bible in church. Photo courtesy of Magdalena Kucova via Shutterstock

Related Reading

Take Action on This Issue

Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

survey released Friday by the Bible Society, founded in 1804 to spread knowledge about the Scriptures, said most boys and girls aged 8 to 15 years old did not know that Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, or Jesus’ birth were rooted in the Bible.

More than a third of the 800 children surveyed did not know that David and Goliath and the story of the Good Samaritan were Bible tales.

One in 10 mistakenly thought the story about King Midas and Icarus was in the Bible.

But not just children are Bible ignorant.

Nearly half of the 1,100 parents surveyed failed to identify Noah’s Ark as a story from the Bible. More than one-third thought a Harry Potter plotline was or might have come from the Bible.

The Bible Society published the research to mark the launch of its “Pass It On” campaign, which aims to encourage parents to keep the Bible alive by passing its stories on to their children.

In a foreword to the report, Richard Chartres, the Anglican bishop of London, said sharing Bible stories “is as vital now as it has ever been.” He added: “There is work to be done.”

Trevor Grundy writes for Religion News Service. Via RNS.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Resources

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)