They believed that the Bible was the word of God, but they didn't know where it came from, how long it had been in existence, who wrote it, who translated it or how many different versions there were. Most of them were totally unacquainted with the contents of the book itself. But all the same, they believed it - after a fashion. [Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell, Penguin Books, 2004, p170-171]
The remarkable thing is, Robert Noonan's (aka Robert Tressell 1870-1911) description characterizes so many Christians still to this day despite the proliferation of scholarly material on the Bible, textual criticism and the like.
Who benefits from having lay Christians devoid of any meaningful knowledge of the Bible?
Recently, I had the displeasure of encountering two 'Bible-believing' Christians who were carbon copies of the unlearned, obnoxious, right-winged American Christian fundamentalists we so often pour scorn upon, the twist being, these two 'Bible-believers' were British. Looks like the infection of American fundamentalism is affecting Christians worldwide along with the persistent problem of ignorance of the Bible and Christianity.
Somebody somewhere is laughing all the way to the bank...
Christians, please look into matters before the tide of American fundamentalist ignorance comes for you. Let's pray it's not too late...