Religious Knowledge of a Devout (and Morally Committed) Atheist: 100%

My results on the latest Pew survey:

Here’s how you did on these 15 questions (excerpted from the larger U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey) compared with a nationally representative sample of 3,412 adults. Read the Full Report

Your responses on the quiz do NOT affect the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey’s results.

Take the test here. Or read all the Christianity/Bible questions below.

You’ve probably heard about it already, but short story, atheists and agnostics know more about religion than religious people.

Atheist even know more about Christianity than Christians do (despite the mealy-mouthed headline here):

White evangelicals and Mormons do know a little bit more about Christianity than atheists/agnostics (though given the overall sample size there’s gotta be pretty low statistical significance for these small slices.) But even so, they could only get 7 or 8 out of 12!? Must be a hard test.

Oh wait. Not so much. Of the twelve Christianity/bible questions in the full survey, I got 11 out of 12. Though I didn’t actually know the answer to two; on one I was able to eliminate one choice out of three, and won the toss on the other two. I also had a 50/50 chance of being “right” on the other (two-choice) one I didn’t know. So call it 10 out of 12.

I went into the survey and pulled out those 12 Christianity/bible questions. Here they are:

What is the first book of the Bible?

Will you tell me the names of the first four books of the New Testament of the Bible, that is the Four Gospels?

Where, according to the Bible, was Jesus born?

The Book of Mormon tells the story of Jesus Christ appearing to people in what area of the world?
The Americas
Middle East

Which of the following best describes Catholic teaching about the bread and wine used for communion?
The bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, or
The bread and wine are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ

Which of these religious groups traditionally teaches that salvation comes through faith alone?
Only Protestants
Only Catholics
Both Protestants and Catholics
Neither Protestants nor Catholics

Please tell me which of the following is NOT one of the Ten Commandments:
Do not commit adultery
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
Do not steal
Keep the Sabbath holy

Which Bible figure is most closely associated with a. Remaining obedient to God despite suffering [no item b] c. Leading the exodus from Egypt d. Willingness to sacrifice his son for God? [questions rotated]

Would you tell me if a. Mother Teresa was b. The Dalai Lama is c. Joseph Smith was d. Maimonides was? [questions rotated]

What was the name of the person whose writings and actions inspired the Protestant Reformation?
Martin Luther
Thomas Aquinas
John Wesley

Which one of these preachers participated in the period of religious activity known as the First Great Awakening?
Jonathan Edwards
Charles Finney
Billy Graham

Don’t read this until you’ve answered the last question — spoiler:

Billy Graham was obviously not alive at the time of the The Great Delusioning. I didn’t have more than a vauge guess for the one about “faith alone” (Protestants?). Not that I care…



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5 responses to “Religious Knowledge of a Devout (and Morally Committed) Atheist: 100%”

  1. Ted K Avatar

    Nice post. I had heard so much about this survey seems like the last 3 days, but hadn’t actually seen it or knew the number of questions. I just took it and got 15 out of 15 (I swear on my Mom’s life). But, honestly 2 or 3 near the end I just guessed, one was about the Great Awakening and I think the other was a Supreme Court question. It doesn’t surprise me at all Jews did best as they are probably the sharpest and most educated group. It’s also worth noting that of the second best performing group on the exam (atheists) a large percentage of those are also Jewish. This is not surprising at all when you think of all the Protestant preachers running around the south calling themselves “ministers” and never attended a day of college much less a theological seminary (let me add it is not “bias” making me say that as I don’t claim a denomination but I am closest to Methodist). I’m not saying this to be a jerk or make Jews look bad (as I have great respect for them) but getting a Jew to believe in Jesus in my personal experience is almost apt to get you a punch in the face as it is a “No”.

  2. Chris T Avatar
    Chris T

    A devout atheist? That doesn’t sound very rational.

    I’m an agnostic who takes a position (no god). 😉

  3. Asymptosis Avatar

    Chris T: “A devout atheist? That doesn’t sound very rational.”

    No. But kind of amusing (to me anyway; somebody’s gotta laugh at my jokes) in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way.

  4. Bill White Avatar
    Bill White

    Bummer. I only got 13/15. But I’m a non-believing UU, so I guess that degrades my knowledge. (I do think the question about which is the dominant religion of Pakistan was a trick, and I mismarked the one about public school teachers being permitted to lead prayers. So, I think I was robbed.)

  5. Asymptosis Avatar

    > non-believing UU

    Unitarian? My dad used to say they’re the folks who address their prayers “to whom it may concern.”