A majority of Americans (65%) say that the Bible, the Quran and the Book of Mormon are “all expressions of the same truths.”
That somewhat-surprising finding is part of a just-released survey of 3,020 U.S. adults (with a 1.78% plus or minus margin of error) conducted jointly by the American Bible Society and the Barna Group.
More predictable was the fact that most self-identified Christians (52%) disagreed with that assessment, either somewhat or strongly.
Evangelical Christians, for example, see the Quran, which Muslims believe was dictated to the Prophet Muhammad by an angel, and the Book of Mormon, which members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe contains the story of Jesus visiting the ancient Americas, as false and heretical.
Dallas-based Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress has said both Islam and Mormonism are “heresies.”
“Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism ...lead people away from God,” said Jeffress, who has been an adviser to President Donald Trump, in 2010, “they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in hell.”
Other findings of the Bible Society survey include:
• Two-thirds of American adults say they have maintained their Bible reading during this past year, which included the COVID-19 pandemic, while 22% percent say it has increased.
• Those who read it regularly — at least weekly — were more likely to say their Bible reading has risen in the past 12 months, while those who read it less frequently were more likely to say it has decreased during the past year.
• The survey found wide variance in what respondents believe the Bible is. A quarter (24%) say that it is “the actual word of God, meant for literal interpretation.” Nearly a third (31%) say it is “inspired,” but some parts “are symbolic rather than literal.” Some 15% say that “while the Bible is inspired, it contains errors.” About 11% believe that “it is not inspired” and is “primarily the authors' interpretations of God.” About 18% view the Bible as “just another book of teachings.”