Bible Reading Survey Follow-Up

Okay, some follow up. I had to go question by question to tabulate the responses as Survey Monkey doesn’t let you filter responses on a free account.

Out of 100 people, 18 people self-identified as a Christian.  11 of them had read the Bible in its entirety, giving us an approximate “Yes” percentage of 61%.

Now here’s the funny part:

A slightly larger percentage of non-Christians who took this survey had read the Bible in its entirety.  However, if you take a look at the bar chart from yesterday’s post, you’ll notice a lot more people claimed to be non-Christian than Christian.  I am not a statistician, and the survey population was only 100 people, but I am wondering how statistically significant that 5% would be considered.   I am genuinely surprised at how close the responses are.

5 Replies to “Bible Reading Survey Follow-Up”

  1. All sorts of fun could come from these statistics. You could say things like “most people who read the Christian Bible choose not to be Christians”, for example. Or, on the flip side, you could say that “most people choose to read the Bible – even non-Christians!”. I wonder if either of those statements holds true for any other religious text.

  2. Within the confines of the survey, Wolfger, what I took away was that whether one was a Christian or not did not have a significant impact on whether or not one had read the Bible in its entirety.

    However, I have not analyzed the relationship between people who were not REARED as Christians and thoroughness of Bible reading.

  3. Well, I missed out on the survey, but here’s a datapoint: the word “bible” isn’t entirely defined.

    I grew up in Israel, hence the OT (in Hebrew) was part of the public school curriculum. At least, some select chapters of it were. I read it, cover to cover, several times. The NT was taboo: I didn’t even see one until I was out of high school, and had met a man whose mother (illegally) handed them out in translation into Hebrew. It was a forbidden book, so _of course_ I read it. Once in Hebrew using the ex-MIL’s illegal copies, once in the King James translation into English. I have a faint recollection of that (in contrast to the fairly deep knowledge I have of the OT, with the deep disputes and Talmudic discussions about the most minute of points.)

    “Christian” is also not entirely well-defined. In Israel that was the Other Flavor (I rejected Judaism resoundingly when I was 12, which led people to say: “what are you, some kind of a Christian?!?”) and here – well – I don’t think I’d count as a Christian even remotely.

  4. The question about whether or not one was a Christian was phrased so that if one self-identified as one, then that was plenty. The church I was reared in don’t really think Mormons are Christians, but that’s how they self-identify, so for the purposes of the survey, I ran with that.

    As far as the Bible being well-defined, I also anticipated a display of erudition, and did an end run around that in advertising the survey. Yes, yes. I’m well aware of the debate around what’s “really” part of the Bible or nor, but if you self-identify as a Christian and pick some version of it accepted by YOUR faith, that was good enough for the purposes of this survey.

  5. I wasn’t trying to pick at the question, Noël. Just tried to answer the question. It’s not a matter of “display of erudition” but rather, of not wanting to provide inappropriate data points.

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