PHILADELPHIA (BP) – More than half of Americans believe the Bible is “without error,” the American Bible Society (ABS) said Tuesday (May 11) in its 2021 State of the Bible report.
Biblical inerrancy is professed by 55 percent of Americans, with even a greater portion of those surveyed, 71 percent, confessing that Scripture is the Word of God.
“Most descriptions of what the Bible actually is still fall within the realm of Christian orthodoxy,” ABS said.
Comprising those who believe the Bible is God’s Word are 26 percent of respondents who said the Bible should be “taken literally, word for word,” 29 percent who said “some verses are meant to be symbolic rather than literal,” and 15 percent who said the Bible has “some factual or historical errors.”
Nearly a tenth of respondents, 9 percent, said the Bible “was not inspired by God but tells how the writers understood the ways and principles of God,” and 13 percent described the Bible “as just another book of teachings written by people that contains stories and advice.”
ABS released the report’s first two chapters, revealing findings on scriptural appreciation and the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on society’s biblical engagement during a time period viewed as the “new normal.”
“Americans are moving forward with muted optimism after a year of stress, frustration, and loss. As they inch into a ‘new normal,’ will they continue reaching for their Bibles for comfort and strength?” ABS sought to answer. “Will they seek the Lord in prayer in times of stress? Will they find connection in church services, whether online or in person? As we explore Scripture Engagement trends, church participation, stresses, and comforts over the past year, it is clear that, though things have recovered somewhat from last year, they may never be exactly as they were pre-COVID.”
The study surveyed 3,354 adults from all states and Washington, D.C., in its online study conducted Jan. 4-29, and also included supplemental data from nearly 100 youth ages 15-17.
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Source: Baptist Press