GROWING BIBLICAL ILLITERACY: Why Do 90%+ of All Christians Lack the Ability to Correctly Interpret and Defend the Bible?

BIBLICAL CRITICISM - Beyond the Basics THE NEW TESTAMENT how-to-study-your-bible1 How to Interpret the Bible-1
Edward D. Andrews
EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 100 books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

Deeper Bible study is no guarantee that spiritual maturity will result but a lack thereof is a guarantee that spiritual immaturity will result. Having a basic knowledge of how to study the Bible and how to correctly interpret the Bible is no guarantee that you will arrive at the correct interpretation but a lack thereof is a guarantee that you will never discover what the Bible authors meant by the words that they used. Having a basic knowledge of Christian apologetics is no guarantee that you will be able to effectively defend the faith and God’s Word or that you will never lose your faith but a lack thereof is a guarantee that you will be ineffective in your defense of the faith and God’s word and there is a higher likely hood that your faith will fade over time.

According to the American Bible Society, 87 percent of American households own a Bible. A recent study found that a mere 10% of Americans have a biblical worldview (despite 70% of Americans claiming the label of Christian). ‘The unwillingness of many Christians to dig deeper into the Scriptures is not related to a lack of options. The Gideons give away a Bible every second. One publisher sells more than sixty different editions of the Bible. Clearly, the challenge of biblical illiteracy in America is not because of a shortage of Bibles, but rather knowledge and appreciation of the Bible’s message. “Study after study in the last quarter-century has revealed that American Christians increasingly don’t read their Bibles, don’t engage their Bibles, and don’t know their Bibles. It’s obvious: We are living in a post-biblically literate culture. –”


Based on Christian Publishing House’s social media activity over the past 14 years from 2005 to 2019 (engaging tens of thousands of Christians), they have concluded that 90%+ of Christians around the world cannot interpret the Scriptures correctly. They interject their opinions of what they think, feel and believe into the text, which is eisegesis, inserting their meaning into the text as opposed to exegesis, taking the meaning out of the text. This same 90%+ have almost no knowledge of how the Bible came down to us, or how to defend its trustworthiness, its authenticity, or the doctrine of absolute inerrancy of Scripture.

Christian Publishing House has thousands of free biblically grounded articles on 60+ different Bible subject areas. When they post one article on 60 different Facebook groups that have a combined two million Christians, dozens of Christians make comments presumptuously without even taking 30 seconds to at least look at the short article. Is there any wonder a lack of knowledge about the Bible is rampant. They would rather spend their entire day arguing about posts than consume anything informative. They are then told that the article is not what they think and yet they still respond with non-sensical rhetoric. You can lay down free spiritual food in front of a Christian but you cannot get them to eat solid food. They prefer the milk of spiritual babes. – Hebrews 5:12-6:3


ILLUSTRATION: There is a street corner in South America where poor workers go, and businesses pick them up to work the fields picking fruit for the day. John Smith goes there every DAY, and he gives every worker $200.00 and a coupon for discounted meals at his restaurant. Would we say, “why do you come here every day and give out $200.00 and coupons, is it just to promote your restaurant?”

Can you see how that question makes no sense? They are getting a free $200.00 for doing absolutely nothing, and a coupon for a discounted meal if they want to use it FREELY.

EXAMPLE: Christian Publishing House just spent ten hours, five yesterday, five today, unraveling a textual difficulty between Genesis 10;24 and Luke 3:35-36. They took the time to look at all of the manuscript evidence, the textual commentaries, the exegetical commentaries, the translations, and work through it all. Then, they wrote a blog post that is laid out, so it is not too technical, making it easy to understand.

Today, Christian Publishing House posted that blog article for free on 60 Facebook groups. These groups received ten hours of labor for nothing. Many Christians on these groups would say something like, “why do you post these articles every day, are you just trying to promote your blog.”

The posts that these Christians are complaining about is a VERY long well-written article by a Ph.D. Bible scholar and seminary professor who is a renowned expert in this field. He spends hours upon hours researching this article. These Christians are getting it free, and yet they still complain. What if we handed these complaining Christians $200.00 and just walked away, would they complain? No, they would not. The article is below:

OTTC GENESIS 10:24 “Arphaxad fathered Shelah” or “Arphaxad fathered Cainan, and Cainan fathered Sala [Shelah]”


Next Generation of Christians

On how this will impact the next generation of Christians William Lane Craig writes,

I think the church is really failing these kids. Rather than provide them training in the defense of Christianity’s truth, we focus on emotional worship experiences, felt needs, and entertainment. It’s no wonder they become sitting ducks for that teacher or professor who rationally takes aim at their faith. In high school and college, students are intellectually assaulted with every manner of non-Christian philosophy conjoined with an overwhelming relativism and skepticism. We’ve got to train our kids for war. How dare we send them unarmed into an intellectual war zone? Parents must do more than take their children to church and read them Bible stories. Moms and dads need to be trained in apologetics themselves and so be able to explain to their children simply from an early age and then with increasing depth why we believe as we do. Honestly, I find it hard to understand how Christian couples in our day and age can risk bringing children into the world without being trained in apologetics as part of the art of parenting. Of course, apologetics won’t guarantee that you or your children will keep the faith.

Now to answer the Blog article question of why 90%+ of all Christians lack the ability to correctly interpret and defend the Bible?

CONDITION: This 90%+ are willfully blind and lack knowledge of the book that they carry (Bible), how to study the Bible, how to interpret the Bible, how to defend the Bible, how to effectively explain the Bible. This is compounded with the fact that they believe that they know everything and they are correct on everything and so they are unwilling and unable to take in facts and evidence that could lead them to truths.

  • They do not meditatively read the Bible daily if they read the Bible at all.
  • They do not study the Bible daily.
  • They do not prepare for the Bible study classes at the church.
  • They do not know how to interpret the Bible correctly.
  • They do not read books on apologetics, hermeneutics, how to study the Bible, or basic biblical interpretation.
  • Sadly, it pains me to say this but they think they already know everything.
  • The church has dumbed down the Bible so that it is on a 6th-grade level. (CEV, TEV, SEB, ERV, NIV, NLT, etc.)
  • The church uses booklets in the Bible study classes that are written on a 6th-7th grade level with cartoon pictures.

ACTS 17:18 Reasoning with Modern-Day Babblers

The Reading Culture of Early Christianity THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT MISREPRESENTING JESUS_Third Edition King James Bible

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