Study: Bible reading changes views
Baptist Press
August 19, 2011

Study: Bible reading changes views

Study: Bible reading changes views
Baptist Press
August 19, 2011

WACO, Texas

— One activity can bring Christians, whether conservative or liberal, together:

reading their Bible, a Baylor University

research assistant, has reported.

Frequently reading the Bible changed the attitudes of all Christians no matter

their political background, Aaron Franzen reported in a news release from

Baylor’s Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA).

“Thus, even as opposition to same-sex marriage and legalized abortion tends to

increase with more time spent with the Bible, so does the number of people who

say it is important to actively seek social and economic justice,” the ARDA

release said.

Franzen said he believes little research has been done in this area of

Christian life because so many people think they know what the Bible says and

find reading it “a habitual and ultimately meaningless activity.”

But the study, released in early July analyzing the Baylor Religion Survey’s

2007 data, arrives at a different conclusion. Franzen’s findings revealed that

habitual Bible reading led to a consolidation of viewpoints on several

political and social issues:

  • Almost half of the survey respondents who read their Bible less than once a

    year supported gay “marriage,” while only 6 percent of those who dug into the

    Word several times a week or more believed gay couples should be able to obtain

    a marriage license.

  • As Christians read the Bible more frequently, they were 27 percent more

    likely to believe it is important to consume less to be a good person and 22

    percent less likely to think science and religion are incompatible.

  • Bible readers also were more likely to be against abortion, expanding the

    government’s authority to fight terrorism, harsher punishment of criminals and

    the death penalty.

However, the agreement on these issues from people in all political camps is

not widespread because daily or weekly Bible reading is not as common as many

would think, Franzen said.

The study showed that the majority of people do not read their Bibles

frequently. Less than a quarter of those surveyed said they read scripture

weekly or more often.