No book is more cherished in America than the Bible. According to Zondervan, a large religious publisher headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, sales of the different versions exceeds one billion dollars annually–and this, despite the fact that ninety percent of American households already own at least one copy of the “Good Book.” Bibles are not only in our homes and places of worship. We find them in our motel rooms, in the lobbies of hospitals, in the waiting rooms of our doctors’ and dentists’ offices, in the coffee rooms of automobile garages, in prisons. Sometimes strangers hand them out to students on our campuses, to the elderly in rest homes, or to us as we enter the grocery store, all for free.
The Bible is everywhere available. Is it also read? Yes and no. A 2005 Princeton Survey Research International poll for Newsweek magazine found that approximately twenty percent of Americans claim to read their Bibles daily. That is just a little less than the twenty-six percent of Americans who claim to read a newspaper in print. The surprising news, however, is that many people, even many who profess that the Bible is the Word of God, don’t seem to know exactly what the Bible says. A Pew Forum of religious knowledge survey, for example, found that only two-thirds of the Christian community could identify Genesis as the first book of the Bible and only half could name all four Gospels. In fact, atheists and agnostics scored higher on the test questions than did Christians. The results proved so troubling that the seminary faculty at The Talbot School of Theology of Biola University launched a new blog, The Good Book blog, to combat Biblical illiteracy and provide solid scholarship as an accessible resource to the Christian community.
How well do you know the Bible? On the heels of Easter, I offer the following twelve question quiz, borrowed from a longtime friend, Dr. Gerald Johnson, from Auburn, AL.
How well do you know the Easter Story?
Circle the right answer. Can you reference the correct Biblical passages?
1.Who first came to the tomb on Sunday morning?
- One woman
- Two women
- Three women
- More than three women
2.When did she/they come to the tomb?
- While it was still dark
- After the sun had risen
3.What was her/their purpose?
- To see the tomb
- To bring spices; they had already seen the tomb
- The body had already been spiced
4.Was the tomb open when the woman/women arrived?
5.Who greeted the woman/women?
- An angel
- A young man
- Two men
- No one
6.Where was/were the greeter/greeters?
- Sitting on the stone outside the tomb
- Sitting inside the tomb
- Standing inside the tomb
7.Did the woman/women tell what happened?
8.When Mary returned from the tomb, did she know Jesus had been resurrected?
9.Did the risen Jesus want to be touched?
10.Was the risen Jesus recognized by all who saw him?
11.Did Jesus ascend to Heaven? And if so, when?
- The same day that he was resurrected
- Forty days after the resurrection
- The ascension is not mentioned
12.Which divine character was the son of God, had a miraculous/virgin birth, died, and was resurrected?
- Osiris (Egypt, ca. 2000 BCE)
- Dionysus (Greece, ca. 1500 BCE)
- Mithra (Persia, ca. 1400 BCE)
- Krishna (India, ca. 900 BCE)
- Jesus (Judea, ca. 30 CE)
- Quetzalcoatl (Mesoamerica, ca. 600 CE)