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The Bible: What Believers Don’t Know Might Hurt Them

The Bible: What Believers Don’t Know Might Hurt Them October 22, 2021

It happens all the time. You’re an atheist chatting with a Christian about their beliefs, and they don’t know their Bible as well as you know their Bible. So, what do you do?

This morning I took the bait and took the “Ultimate Bible Quiz.” I’m sad to report I didn’t ace it. But I did score 45 out of 50, which was enough to get an A.

For the record, I’ve stepped foot in a church only half dozen times in the last 30 years. To be entirely forthright, I have a degree in religion which gives me a slight edge. That said, I’m often flabbergasted and frustrated when conversing with Christians who don’t know their Bibles.

I wonder if this kind of situation happens with believers. Do they, for example, run into situations in which they know and understand more about atheism than atheists?

A few questions on the quiz . . .

One of the questions I found comical such as: How was Eve created?

  1. She came from Adam’s rib.
  2. She rose from the sea.
  3. She was created from the stars.
  4. She rose from the ground.

These answers are amusing, because given the inherent speculative nature of supernatural beliefs all four answers are entirely plausible.

In fact, answer #3 might just be scientifically provable!

It happens all the time. You’re an atheist chatting with a Christian about their beliefs, and they don’t know their Bible as well as you do. So, what do you do? / Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

Some of the questions proved more challenging: What’s the very last word written in the Bible?

Now, give yourself some props if you know this one. It’s the word, “Amen.” And give yourself bonus points if you also know the first phrase in the Bible. Which is, “In the beginning.”

This next question I missed. Yet, I bet fewer than 5 in 100 Christians would know it too. On what day of creation did God create mankind?

Well, that depends on which creation story a person is using to understand the order in which God created mankind.

Is it creation story #1, which runs from Genesis 1:1-2:3? In which case the answer is God created mankind on the 6th day.

Or is it creation story #2, which runs from Genesis 2:4-2:25? In which case the precise day when mankind was created is unclear. (Although this account clearly states that animals were created after mankind.)

For those interested in theology, this website outlines the contradiction in the two accounts in layman’s terms.

If you’d like to take the test yourself follow this link.

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About Scott R Stahlecker
Scott Stahlecker is a former minister, a member of the Clergy Project, and writes for Thinkadelics about the joys and benefits of living as a freethinker. He is the author of the novel Blind Guides, Picking Wings Off Butterflies and How to Escape Religion Guilt Free. You can read more about the author here.

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16 responses to “The Bible: What Believers Don’t Know Might Hurt Them”

  1. Most Atheists in the USA were raised in a nominally Christian home and likely went to some sort of Sunday School and possibly church. Additionally, a lot of Atheists were created when Christians read the Bible and realized none of it made sense (that’s what happened with me when I was about 12). Therefore, yes, Atheists often do know more about the Bible than Christians.

  2. Believers only need to know that the bible always automatically agrees with them so there’s no need to read.

  3. “Train up a child in the way they should go and when he is old he will not depart from it,” so the Bible says. The same holds true for when parents don’t raise their children in supernatural beliefs, and instead, teach them to be rational thinkers. So, when they do pick up a Bible, the myths and stories sound just like Grimm’s Fairytales.

  4. I’ve seen that bumper sticker. Or, to quote Ned Flanders from the Simpsons, “I believe all the things it says in the Bible. Even the contradictory parts.”

  5. I was at the county Bible Quiz recently and a young woman was asked, “What did Eve say to Adan when she met him for the first time in the Garden of Eden.” “Mmmm…..” she said, “that’s a hard one.”

    Just a little humour for a change!

  6. I’ve discovered that not only are many Christians unfamiliar with the Bible, they’re often unfamiliar with their cult’s specific dogma. I’ve had to explain to three different Catholics what Papal infallibility actually entails.

  7. I’ve run into the same situation while talking to Mormons. Many Mormons think they are quoting scripture when the are quoting the Book of Mormon.

    I was once an Adventist. Most Adventists know their Bible well, but they do have a tendency to rely more on the words of their prophet Ellen White.

  8. I didn’t encounter Mormons until after college (meaning, as an adult with a lifetime of learning and experiences) and their “religion” baffles me as much as Scientology: it’s all just so blatantly made up as they go along. So many contradictions in that one, too. As an adult, I’ve worked with a lot of Mormons because one of the things they do is join the military so they can proselytize on Uncle Sam’s dime. Some Mormons will drink caffeinated sodas, some shun soda but will drink hot cocoa (which is caffeinated). Some survive on junk food to free up money to tithe, and some are very picky eaters. Anecdote I heard from a Mormon: Brigham Young’s first wife said, “God spoke to me and told me you couldn’t drink alcohol”, to which Brigham Young replied, “Oh, yeah? Well God told *me* you couldn’t drink your tea!” And thus, forevermore, alcohol and tea were forbidden.

  9. I was late in the game in learning more about Mormons as well, but I’m sure you’ve been to the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu? They do have some strange beliefs, a bit comical too. I’m always somewhat amused when they quote the Book of Mormon, because the stories in that book mirror biblical stories only the names and places are twisted.

    As an example, there’s the biblical story of Abraham being asked by God to sacrifice his son Isaac on Moriah. In the Book of Mormon the story might talk about a man named Hamabra who was required to sacrifice his daughter Saaci on Mt. Riorah. Just bizarre made-up stuff. My theory is Joseph Smith was plagiarizing the Bible and making stories up on the fly when he wrote the Book of Mormon.

    I had a chaplain friend who once told me that he was hounded by Mormons for months once they found out he was minister. If I recall correctly, the Mormon who was able to convert him to Mormonism (from the chaplain’s current religion) stood to inherit a number of planets as a reward.

  10. The PCC and Sea Life Park were field trip places, every year in school. I honestly do not remember any religious talk at the park, but I may not have been paying attention, and it was awhile ago.

    My job has positions open in Utah, and everyone who’s gone has said the land is beautiful, but the people who live there are horrible. Mountain Home, Idaho was like that, too. Lots of 12-year-old sister-wives with babies on their hips, lots of people living off welfare but bad-mouthing the governments, and unbearable behavior toward non-Mormons, including children being shunned at school for not being Mormon.

  11. I remember when Sea Life Park opened. You had little time to run from one show to the next. The highlight was the whales in the big tank. I’m surprised that it went downhill so fast. I would have thought that with the amount of tourists that visit Oahu, that many would still want to visit the park. It had a lot to offer in terms of marine life. Bad management perhaps?

    PCC was way on the other side of the island as you know. As a local, you only needed to go there once. I can see how that place still stays busy though, if for no other reason than they have enough support from visiting Mormons.

    Yeah. Utah is a beautiful place. But I’d strongly caution people not to move there.

  12. I haven’t been to Sea Life Park since…1982? It was fine then. As I said we went to PCC every school year on field trips. I’m sure there was some kind of deal going down with that.

    We also once went to a field trip at Primo Brewing Company…another head-scratcher why they’d want 12-year-olds to tour their factory.

    BTW, this is Katydid. Patheos is telling me I’m posting too quickly (once a day) so I’m posting under a different name.

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