Monday, 4 February 2008

To exist or not to exist

Those of us engaged in campus evangelism will be well-used to the argument that Jesus either didn't exist or that the gospel accounts exaggerate Jesus' actions and claims.

Amazingly, however, this survey by UKGold TV shows that it's not just Jesus that people are confused about! 65% of Britons think that King Arthur existed and 58% believe that Sherlock Holmes really lived. Perhaps even more bemusingly, 47% of Britons think Richard the Lionheart didn't exist, whilst nearly a quarter of those surveyed thought that Winston Churchill didn't exist - despite being voted just a few years ago Greatest Briton in a BBC poll.

Those conducting the study noted a marked change in how people acquire their historical knowledge. Over three quarters of the nation (77%) admitted to no longer reading history books, or watching historical programmes on television (61%). One in eight (15%) admitted they rely solely on the history that they learnt at school. A sad state of affairs when one concludes that this probably means that the vast majority of people's view of the historical Jesus roots in opinions formed at junior school...

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