Did you know that Mary Magdalene was the mother of Jesus? That the New Testament book which records Paul’s conversion is Psalms? That the last book in the Bible is Evolution? That Mary Margaret was Naomi’s daughter-in-law? That the first murderer listed in the Old Testament is Pilot? That the title of the first four New Testament books is Beatitudes? That King Saul consulted Sybil on the day before his death? That Isaiah was a son of Solomon?
These are but some of the answers taken from a Bible-knowledge test administered to 357 incoming freshmen at Westminster College (New Wilmington, Pa.) in September, 1962. Of a total of twenty-five questions (most of them elementary), the average number answered correctly was eight! Seventy-five students who had served as Sunday school teachers achieved a median score of eleven. A check of six typical questions revealed that:
256 students could not name the New Testament book which recounts the story of Paul’s conversion;
209 failed to identify correctly the title given the first four New Testament books;
208 did not know the name of either of Naomi’s daughters-in-law;
173 could not name the first murderer listed in the Old Testament;
140 were unable to identify the last book in the Bible;
129 could not name the author of the largest group of letters in the New Testament.
Are the test results valid? In previous years, freshmen who evidenced superior Bible background were assigned to advanced classes. It is possible, then, that many deliberately did poorly on the placement test to disqualify themselves from the more difficult sections. This year no such class divisions were made, however, and it must be assumed, therefore, that the students did their best and that the test results are valid.
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