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Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at
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Know Your Bible?

Americans read the Bible more than people in other countries, according to a poll released today.

The Catholic Biblical Federation sponsored the survey which interviewed Christians and non-Christians in nine countries–the United States, Britian, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, Spain and Poland.

 The majority of Americans–75 percent–said they’d read the Bible in the past year. Between 20 percent and 38 percent of those polled in other countries responded affirmatively. Also, more Americans–93 percent–had Bibles in the home.

 But if Americans are reading the "good book," are the words sinking in? Last year, a Boston University religion professor released "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and Doesn’t."

Stephen Prothero was inspired to write the book after noticing his students–typically religion majors–seemed shockingly ignorant about basic religion.

He discovered even more ignorance: Sixty percent of Americans can’t name five of the Ten Commandments.

Fewer than half of Americans can name the first book of the Bible. Half of all high school students think Soddom and Gomorrah were married.

 To see how you match up, here are some sample questions from Probe Ministries’ Bible Literacy Quiz:

1. What are the first four Gospels of the New Testament?

2. What two Old Testament books are named for women?

3. To whom did God give the Ten Commandments?

4. What is the root of all evil?

5. Who delivered the Sermon on the Mount?

6. Who was the Roman governor who sentenced Jesus Christ to death?

7. What group of people is the Old Testament about?

8. How many people were on Noah’s ark?

9. On what occasion was the Holy Spirit given to the church?

10. Whom did God command to sacrifice his only son?

11. Who was the Hebrew who became prime minister of Egypt?

12. With what woman did David commit adultery?

13. What is the last book of the Old Testament?

14. How many books are there in the Bible?

15. Who wrote the book of Hebrews?




1. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

2. Esther and Ruth

3. Moses

4. The love of money

5. Jesus Christ

6. Pontius Pilate

7. The Hebrews, who became the nation of Israel. They were descendants of Abraham.

8. Eight: Noah and his wife, his three sons and their wives

9. Pentecost (which is coming up May 11)

10. Abraham

11. Joseph

12. Bathsheba

13. Malachi

14: 66: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament

15: Nobody knows.

This quiz comes from a 104-question literacy quiz from Probe Ministries.