Biblical Archaeology Review 40:5, September/October 2014

Strata: How Do BAR Readers Differ? You Tell Us

We all know that BAR readers are better educated, more literate and know more about the Bible than Americans generally. How do we know? Well, we just know.

But what about BAR readers’ attitudes toward the historical accuracy of the Bible? Do they differ from other Americans? And, if so, how? We may be able to answer those questions.

A recent Gallup poll of more than a thousand American adults offered three different attitudes toward the Bible’s historical accuracy, as follows; after the question we give the percentage of people who agreed with the particular viewpoint (totaling 96 percent; 4 percent had no opinion):

1. The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word.


2. The Bible is the inspired word of God but not everything in it should be taken literally.


3. The Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.


Over time, the percentage of the first category has declined somewhat from earlier Gallup polls. The second percentage has remained about the same, and the third percentage has increased somewhat.

How do BAR readers compare? We are taking a poll online. Go to and cast your ballot. We will publish the results.

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