"U.S. citizens know almost nothing about the Bible. Although most regard it as the word of God, few read it anymore. Even evangelicals from the Bible Belt seem more focused on loving Jesus than on learning what he had to say.
In a religious literacy quiz I have administered to undergraduates for the last two years, students tell me that Moses was blinded on the road to Damascus and that Paul led the Israelites on their exodus out of Egypt. Surveys that are more scientific have found that only one out of three U.S. citizens is able to name the four Gospels, and one out of 10 think that Joan of Arc was Noah's wife. No wonder pollster George Gallup has concluded that the United States is "a nation of biblical illiterates."
Biblical illiteracy is not just a religious problem. It is a civic problem with political consequences. How can citizens participate in biblically inflected debates on abortion, capital punishment or the environment without knowing something about the Bible?" (Stephen Prothero is chairman of the religion department at Boston University and the author of "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know -- and Doesn't.")
Find his book at amazon.com.
Take his test at newsweek.com.
Learn more at his website here.