Children and parents don't recognise famous Bible stories

Many are unable to identify key tales such as Noah's Ark, the Nativity and Adam and Eve

Who built the ark? It’s a good question for many of today’s parents and children, who are “unaware” of Bible stories.

Almost three in 10 children do not know that the story of the birth of Jesus is a Biblical tale, research by the Bible Society found.

And many others are unable to identify Adam and Eve or Noah’s Ark as religious stories.

Although many parents believe it is important for their children to be aware of what is written in the Bible, large numbers of youngsters have never read, seen or heard some of its most well-known stories.

The Bible Society said that these findings point to a decrease in Bible literacy and show that while many people still place great importance on the book, little is being done to promote it.

In the survey of 800 eight to 15-year-olds and around 1,100 parents, 29 per cent of children didn’t realise that the Nativity came from the Bible.

One in five (20 per cent) didn’t identify Noah’s Ark as a religious story and 19 per cent didn’t recognise Adam and Eve.

But almost one in 10 (9 per cent) incorrectly though that the stories of King Midas and Icarus came from the Bible, while 6 per cent thought the story of Hercules was contained in the book.

Nearly a quarter of children (23 per cent) had never read, seen or heard Noah’s Ark, along with 25% for the Nativity, 38% for Adam and Eve and 43% for the Crucifixion.

And parents did not fare much better. Nearly half of those questioned (46 per cent) failed to recognise Noah's Ark as a Bible story, while around a third were unsure of or did not recognise the tales of David and Goliath (31 per cent) and Adam and Eve (30 per cent).

Adults also confused modern day literature with the Bible. 34 per cent thought a Harry Potter plot line might be a Biblical narrative, while 54 per cent said the same about the Hunger Games.

The report found that almost half (43%) of parents whose children had seen, heard or read Bible stories said it was important for a child to do so because these tales provided good values, while two in five (40%) thought these stories were important to our history and culture.

Three in 10 (30%) said it was important to ensure that classic stories and books were passed on to future generations.

It also revealed that over a quarter of children (28%) said they would like to read, hear or see more Bible stories.

The Bible Society published the research to mark the launch of its new Pass It On campaign, which aims to encourage parents to keep the Bible alive by passing on its stories to their children.

James Catford, group chief executive of Bible Society, said: "It's clear that parents want to give their children the best start in life.

"The Bible's contribution to our culture - language, literature, the visual arts and music - is immense.

"It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from.

"The Bible enriches life, and every child should have the opportunity to experience it.

"If we don't use the Bible, we risk losing it.

"We're calling on parents to pass it on."

Additional reporting by Press Association

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk