Measurement Wizard > Single-Item Measures > Salience, Scripture and Prayer >


Does the respondent think that the Bible should be taken literally, taken as a religiously inspired book, a book of fables, or some other view of the Bible? 

Below are 141 questions from surveys in the ARDA that attempt to measure this concept. The ARDA staff further categorized these questions into 9 types:

[ 3 Category | 4 Category | Errors? | Inspired? | Literalism | Miracles | Rulebook | True? | Word of God? ]

Mouse over a survey name to see further details on a survey. Click on "More" to see the response frequencies for a question, or click here to view all frequency tables.



Category 1:3 Category
 

This question type provides respondents with three different statements about the Bible. In most cases respondents are asked if the Bible is the "actual word of God," was "inspired" by God or merely a book of history and legends.

Some questions fit within the "3 Category" subcategory but varied in a notable way. ARDA staff identified 2 such variants.

[ Holy Book | Levels of Inspiration ]

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BIBLE from General Social Survey 2008 Cross-Section and Panel Combined

BIBLE from General Social Survey 2010 Cross-Section and Panel Combined

BIBLE from General Social Survey, 2002

VCF0850 from American National Election Studies, Cumulative Data File, 1948-2004

BIBLE from General Social Survey, 2004

BIBLEBEL from American National Election Studies, 2004

BIBLE from General Social Survey, 2006

BIBLE from Houston Area Survey, 1982-2010

BIBLE from General Social Survey, 2000

BIBLE from Religion and Politics Survey, 1996

BIBLITRL from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2007

BIBLE1 from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2003

BIBLE2 from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2003

FEELBIBL from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2005

W10W1 from American National Election Studies, Panel Study, 2008-2009

BIBLE from General Social Survey, 1990

BIBLE from General Social Survey, 1996

V083184 from American National Election Studies, Time Series Study, 2008

W2V1 from American National Election Studies, Panel Study, 2008-2009

BIBLE from General Social Survey, 1988

BIBLE from ABC News Religion Poll, 1997

BIBLE from General Social Survey, 1991

BIBLE1 from General Social Survey, 1991

BIBLE from General Social Survey, 1998

BIBLE1 from General Social Survey, 1998

FEELBBL from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2001

FEELBIB from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2006

BIBLE from News Interest Index / Religion Overflow, July 2005

QN50 from Changing Faiths: Latinos and the Transformation of American Religion

BIBLE from Religion and America's Role in the World

BIBLE from Life Choices, 1990

V146 from American Mosaic Project: A National Survey on Diversity

BIBLE1 from News Interest Index, March 2004

BIBLE2 from News Interest Index, March 2004

BIBLE from Houston Area Survey, 2010

BIBLE from American Jewish Committee Religious Right Survey, 1996

BIBLVIEW from Lilly Survey of Attitudes and Social Networks

BIBLE from General Social Survey, 1994

BIBLE from Survey of Religion and Community Life in Indianapolis, 1999

BIBLE from Religious Influence and Identity Survey, 1996

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1999

BIBLE from General Social Survey, 1993

BIBLE from Tulsa, Oklahoma Area Survey, 1986

BIBLE from Religion and Diversity Survey, 2002-2003

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1994

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1992

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1993

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1995

BIBLE from Tulsa, Oklahoma Area Survey, 1985

BIBLE from Dimensions of Religiosity, 1987


Variant:Holy Book (3 Category variant)
 

This variant does not ask only about the Bible. Respondents are asked about the holy book of their religious tradition (e.g. Bible for Christians, Koran for Muslims, Torah for Jews).

[ Back to 3 Category ]


SCRIPTUR from Spirit and Power: Survey of Pentecostals in South Korea

SCRIPTUR from Spirit and Power: Survey of Pentecostals in Nigeria

SCRIPTUR from Spirit and Power: Survey of Pentecostals in Chosen Regions of India

SCRIPTUR from Spirit and Power: A 10-Country Survey of Pentecostals

SCRIPTUR from Spirit and Power: Survey of Pentecostals in Brazil

SCRIPTUR from Spirit and Power: Survey of Pentecostals in Chile

SCRIPTUR from Spirit and Power: Survey of Pentecostals in the Philippines

SCRIPTUR from Spirit and Power: Survey of Pentecostals in South Africa

SCRIPTUR from Spirit and Power: Survey of Pentecostals in the United States

BIBLE from America's Evangelicals

SCRIPTUR from Spirit and Power: Survey of Pentecostals in Kenya

SCRIPTUR from Spirit and Power: Survey of Pentecostals in Guatemala

BIBLE from Faith and Family in America, 2005


Variant:Levels of Inspiration (3 Category variant)
 

This variation of a three-category question about the Bible, asks the respondent to indicate the extent to which the Bible was inspired by God.

[ Back to 3 Category ]


ARBL_3 from Portraits of American Life Study, 1st Wave, 2006


Category 2:4 Category
 

Four category questions about the Bible often provide two "middle-ground" categories between an entirely literal view of the Bible and an entirely secular view.

Some questions fit within the "4 Category" subcategory but varied in a notable way. ARDA staff identified 5 such variants.

[ 6 Option | God's Role | Man's Role | Read in Faith | Too Old ]

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Q20 from Baylor Religion Survey, 2005

BIBLE from Baylor Religion Survey, Wave II (2007)

BIBLE from State of Disunion Survey, 1996

BIBLE from Winthrop University Student Religion Survey, 1996


Variant:6 Option (4 Category variant)
 

This variation provides additional options/distinctions. Respondents can choose from literal, cultural, & historical interpretations of the Bible, indicate that the Bible does not contain God's word but is still "God's word to us," does not contain God's word, or is of little value.

[ Back to 4 Category ]


BIBLVIEW from U.S. Congregational Life Survey, 2001, Random Attenders


Variant:God's Role (4 Category variant)
 

This variant focuses upon God's role in the Bible.

[ Back to 4 Category ]


YBIBLE from Young Adolescents and Their Parents: A National Study, 1984 - Youth Component


Variant:Man's Role (4 Category variant)
 

This variant focuses upon the role of men in the writing of the Bible. The second statement combines ideas of inspiration and error. The third and fourth option both assume that God had nothing to do with the Bible.

[ Back to 4 Category ]


VCF0845 from American National Election Studies, Cumulative Data File, 1948-2004


Variant:Read in Faith (4 Category variant)
 

This variation has a distinctly different third option, indicating that the bible "becomes the Word of God for a person who reads it in faith."

[ Back to 4 Category ]


BIBLE from Politics of Character Survey, 2000


Variant:Too Old (4 Category variant)
 

This variant has distinctly different options, including a final option that the Bible is "too old" to be of value.

[ Back to 4 Category ]


BIBLE from Dimensions of Religiosity, 1985

BIBLE from Dimensions of Religiosity, 1986

BIBLE from Dimensions of Religiosity, 1988


Category 3:Errors?
 

This question type simply asks the respondent if the Bible may contain errors.

[ Back to Top ]


TRERRORS from Religion and Politics Survey, 2000

TRFAEROR from Economic Values Survey, 1992

BIBLE3 from Small Groups Survey, 1991 (Groups Sample)

BIB_ERR from Arts and Religion Survey, 1999


Category 4:Inspired?
 

This question type simply asks the respondent if the Bible was inspired by God.

[ Back to Top ]


TRINSPRD from Religion and Politics Survey, 2000

TRFAINSP from Economic Values Survey, 1992

I-TRFAINSP from Economic Values Survey, 1992

BIBLE from Lilly Survey of Attitudes and Social Networks

BIBLE1 from Small Groups Survey, 1991 (Groups Sample)

INSPIRED from Religious Influence and Identity Survey, 1996

BIB_INSP from Arts and Religion Survey, 1999


Category 5:Literalism
 

This question type simply asks the respondent if the Bible should be taken literally or not.

Some questions fit within the "Literalism" subcategory but varied in a notable way. ARDA staff identified 2 such variants.

[ True/False | Two Statement ]

[ Back to Top ]


BIBLE from Williamsburg Charter Survey On Religion and Public Life, 1987

BIBLIT from Four-State Church Involvement Study, 1988


Variant:True/False (Literalism variant)
 

This variant asks if everything in the Bible should be taken literally as a True/False statement.

[ Back to Literalism ]


TRLITRLY from Religion and Politics Survey, 2000

TRFALITR from Economic Values Survey, 1992

BIBLE2 from Small Groups Survey, 1991 (Groups Sample)

BIB_LIT from Arts and Religion Survey, 1999


Variant:Two Statement (Literalism variant)
 

This variation asks respondents to choose between two statements.

[ Back to Literalism ]


Q57 from Sub-Saharan Africa Religion Survey, 2010

Q38 from U.S. Religious Landscape Survey - Continental Dataset

DETLIFE2 from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2008

Q38 from U.S. Religious Landscape Survey - Alaska and Hawaii Dataset

QN29 from U.S. Religious Knowledge Study, 2010

LITERAL from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2010

LITERL_A from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2009

LITERL_B from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2009


Category 6:Miracles
 

This question type asks respondents their opinions on miracles recorded in the Bible.

Some questions fit within the "Miracles" subcategory but varied in a notable way. ARDA staff identified 3 such variants.

[ 3 Option | 4 Option | Specific Miracles ]

[ Back to Top ]



Variant:3 Option (Miracles variant)
 

This variation asks respondents to choose from believing, not believing or being uncertain about miracles reported in the Bible.

[ Back to Miracles ]


MIRACLE from Dimensions of Religiosity, 1985

MIRACLE from Dimensions of Religiosity, 1986

MIRACLE from Dimensions of Religiosity, 1987

MIRACLE from Dimensions of Religiosity, 1988


Variant:4 Option (Miracles variant)
 

This variant asks respondents to choose from 4 options with regards to reported miracles.

[ Back to Miracles ]


RELGC3 from Dimensions of Religious Commitment, 1986

RELGC3 from Dimensions of Religious Commitment, 1987


Variant:Specific Miracles (Miracles variant)
 

Rather than asking about miracles in general, these questions ask about particular miracles reported in the Bible.

[ Back to Miracles ]


STORIES from Religious Fundamentalism Scale, 1988

STORIES from Religious Fundamentalism Scale, 1986

STORIES from Religious Fundamentalism Scale, 1987


Category 7:Rulebook
 

This question type asks if the Bible provides rules/guidance for living life.

Some questions fit within the "Rulebook" subcategory but varied in a notable way. ARDA staff identified 1 such variant.

[ Guidance ]

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TRFARULE from Economic Values Survey, 1992

BIBLE6 from Small Groups Survey, 1991 (Groups Sample)

BIB_FOLL from Arts and Religion Survey, 1999


Variant:Guidance (Rulebook variant)
 

This variant asks if the Bible provides spiritual guidance.

[ Back to Rulebook ]


TRUST from Religion and Diversity Survey, 2002-2003


Category 8:True?
 

This question type asks their respondent if they believe that every word of the Bible is true.

Some questions fit within the "True?" subcategory but varied in a notable way. ARDA staff identified 4 such variants.

[ Likert-type Scale | Many Truths | Raised to Believe | Yes/No ]

[ Back to Top ]


BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1984


Variant:Likert-type Scale (True? variant)
 

This variant uses a Likert-type scale (Strongly Disagree, Agree, Agree, Strongly Agree, Neutral) to ask about whether the "every word in the Bible" is true.

[ Back to True? ]


BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 2004

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1985

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 2002


Variant:Many Truths (True? variant)
 

This variant asks the respondent if truth is only found in the Bible, or can be revealed through other sources.

[ Back to True? ]


GODSWORD from Religion and Diversity Survey, 2002-2003

GODTRUTH from Religion and Diversity Survey, 2002-2003

GDTRUTH from Arts and Religion Survey, 1999


Variant:Raised to Believe (True? variant)
 

This variant asks the respondent if he/she was raised to believe that every word of the Bible is true.

[ Back to True? ]


BIBLE2 from Middletown Area Study, 1986


Variant:Yes/No (True? variant)
 

Respondent's are asked if "every word in the Bible is true," with possible responses of yes or no.

[ Back to True? ]


BIBLE from Middletown Area Study (Autumn), 1981

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1982

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1990

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1991

BIBLE1 from Middletown Area Study, 1986

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1987

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1988

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1989

BIBLE from Middletown Area Study, 1983


Category 9:Word of God?
 

This question type asks the respondent if the Bible is the word of God.

Some questions fit within the "Word of God?" subcategory but varied in a notable way. ARDA staff identified 2 such variants.

[ Likert-Type Scale | Two Statement ]

[ Back to Top ]



Variant:Likert-Type Scale (Word of God? variant)
 

This variant asks respondents if the Bible is the word of God using a Likert-type Scale (Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Undecided, Agree, Strongly Agree)

[ Back to Word of God? ]


BIBLE from Religious Fundamentalism Scale, 1988

BIBLE from Religious Fundamentalism Scale, 1986

BIBLE from Religious Fundamentalism Scale, 1987


Variant:Two Statement (Word of God? variant)
 

Respondents are asked to choose between two statements about the authorship of the Bible.

[ Back to Word of God? ]


Q56 from Sub-Saharan Africa Religion Survey, 2010

Q37 from U.S. Religious Landscape Survey - Continental Dataset

DETLIFE1 from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2008

Q37 from U.S. Religious Landscape Survey - Alaska and Hawaii Dataset

QN28 from U.S. Religious Knowledge Study, 2010

HOLYBOOK from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2010

HBOOK_A from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2009

HBOOK_B from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2009



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