Study: 84 Percent of Americans Call Bible ‘Holy’

Reprinted by permission of The Christian Post

By Elena Garcia
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Jul. 10 2008 02:58 PM EDT

A new Barna survey shows that more Americans accept the Bible as “holy” or “sacred” than they would other books.

Respondents of the survey for The Barna Group identified around 12 books they thought fit the bill as “sacred literature” or “holy books.” The list included expected titles such as the Bible and the Koran and others such as Quiet Strength by football coach Tony Dungy.

However, the Bible stood out by far from other texts with 84 percent of Americans deeming it a holy book.

Only three books were recognized as holy by at least 1 percent of Americans. The Koran trailed behind the Bible in second place with 4 percent; the Book of Mormon as labeled by 3 percent as sacred/holy; and the Torah was deemed holy by 2 percent of the public.

Most of the other books listed in the survey failed to even garner 1 percent of the public’s vote.

While only 7 percent of Christians in the study would categorize a book other than the Bible as holy, around 40 percent of non-Christians would point to the Bible as holy.

“Most Americans consider the Bible to be the word of God – and do not believe any other document fits that description. People associated with other faiths are much more likely to view the Bible as sacred literature than Christians are to view any other document to be holy,” observed George Barna, the researcher of faith trends who directed the study.

The study also found that men, conservatives, older Americans, and individuals who had lower income and education levels were more likely than their counterparts to accept the Bible as holy.

Not surprisingly, the study found that adults under 25, residents of the West and liberals were the groups most likely to consider non-Bible books as holy.

Barna said this rings true because these groups “tend to be the most experimental in spirituality.

And among the different types of Christians responding to the survey, evangelical Christians appeared to hold the firmest conviction in the holiness of the Bible. A high 99 percent said the Bible was sacred.

Overall, people’s responses in the study demonstrate America’s singular connection to Christianity, concluded Barna.

Barna noted that while Christians in America are “only moderately committed to Christianity and to the church they attend most often, they have no inclination to embrace anything besides the Bible as sacred, especially if it originated from a different faith tradition.”

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