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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Do you think Jesus was born in a stable? 99% of people don't know what the Bible really says about the nativity story (and that includes donkeys, inns and wise men)

Up to 99 per cent of Britons mix up the Biblical nativity story with common misconceptions about animals, stables and inns, a survey found today.

These include Mary travelling to Bethlehem on a donkey, Jesus being born on Christmas Day and three wise men visiting him - none of which are mentioned in the world’s most-read book.

Only 3 per cent of adults are aware that the Bible does not actually state the number of wise men who arrived to see Jesus - despite it often being portrayed as three, the Bible Society poll revealed.

 Just 4 per cent know that the Bible does not say how Mary got to Bethlehem, and less than a third correctly said Mary and Joseph were betrothed when she found out she would give birth to Jesus.

Some 20 per cent were able to correctly say that Mary and Joseph travelled across the country after being told to do so by Caesar Augustus, with 5 per cent believing they were moving house.

 And one in four say Jesus was born on December 25, although there is no reference to a date in the Bible. The date on which we celebrate Christmas comes from the Roman festival Saturnalia.

Meanwhile only 40 per cent of respondents could correctly state that the Bible says the angels told the shepherds: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to all men.’
And just 1 per cent correctly identified that the Bible does not say Jesus was born in a stable. 

 The society warned of a ‘growing decline in Bible literacy’ - adding that people aged at least 55 know the book's stories best, with the majority of correct answers being achieved by this age group. 

Bible Society group chief executive James Catford said: ‘Nine out of ten people don’t engage with the Bible and they might not realise that they’re missing out on a treasure trove of brilliant and engaging stories.
‘The Bible could be lost to future generations unless we all take action. That’s why in the week leading up to Christmas and beyond, we are encouraging parents to save a little time in their annual celebrations to help pass on one of the greatest stories ever told.’
The society was founded in 1804 by a group of people including William Wilberforce to encourage the wider ‘circulation and use’ of the Scriptures.
The survey was carried out from December 3 to 5 by OnePoll among a sample size of 1,000 adults.

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW THE STORY? TAKE THE BIBLE SOCIETY'S QUIZ!

According to the Bible…

1. When Mary found out she would give birth to the Son of God, she and Joseph were…?
a) They were married
b) They were betrothed
c) They were on their first date
d) They had never met
e) The Bible doesn’t say
f) Don’t know

2. Why did Mary and Joseph travel across the country?
a) They were told to by King Herod
b) They were told to by Caesar Augustus
c) They were moving house at the time
d) They were visiting family
e) The Bible doesn’t say
f) Don’t know

3. How does Mary travel across the country?
a) On a donkey
b) On a camel
c) Walked
d) The Bible doesn’t say
e) Don’t know

4. Where was Jesus born?
a) Nazareth
b) Bethlehem
c) Jerusalem
d) The Bible doesn’t say
e) Don’t know

5. The angels told the Shepherds who were looking after their flock:
a) ‘Be very afraid’
b) ‘Go to Nazareth now to see this baby Jesus’
c) ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men’
d) The Bible doesn’t say
e) Don’t know

6. Was Jesus born in..?
a) A stable
b) An inn
c) A relative’s home
d) A barn
e) The Bible does not say

7. Who visited baby Jesus immediately after his birth?
a) The Shepherds
b) The Wise Men
c) Both the Shepherds and Wise Men
d) The Bible doesn’t say
e) Don’t know

8. How many Wise Men visited Jesus?
a) Three
b) One
c) Twelve
d) The Bible doesn’t say
e) Don’t know

9. Jesus was born on the 25th of December?
a) True
b) False
c) The Bible doesn’t say
d) Don’t know

 

ANSWERS: 1b, 2b, 3d, 4b, 5c, 6e, 7a, 8d, 9c
You can also take an interactive version of the quiz by clicking here