When you were in school didn’t you love when the teacher stated that she would be grading “on the curve”? That meant that you didn’t need to know all or most of the information on a test to get a good grade. You only needed to know more than a percentage of the other students in your class. “Grading on the curve” allowed you to be measured against the performance of your fellow students, not against the total information you should have mastered. You could excel just by being better than most others!
Ancient Jews may have believed that God would judge all people “on the curve”. They at least had knowledge of God’s Old Testament Law, which set them above the immoral Gentiles in Roman culture who did not. Plus, their Jewish culture and religion was framed by the old Testament Law. Even if they did not keep it perfectly they were far better than Roman pagans!
Today in America many outwardly religious cultural-Christians believe similarly to the ancient Jews. “We may not be perfect”, they say, “but we are a whole lot better than the majority of the secular society around us!” But, does God really “grade on the curve”?
The Acts of the Apostles, Part 55 – Outline (PDF)