When it comes to the role of the Bible in their lives, Hispanics show a distinct gap between how they view the Bible and how they use the Bible. While they hold a very high view of Scripture, there seems to be a lack of clarity or desire for how to apply the Bible in everyday life.
In Barna Group’s work with the American Bible Society, we have developed a four-part engagement typology, ranging from the most to the least Bible engaged. Only 8% of Hispanics qualify as Bible Engaged (believe the Bible is the actual word of God or inspired with no errors and read the Bible at least four times weekly), which compares to 21% of adults nationally. Yet, this gap is more than made up by the fact that 53% of Hispanics qualify as Friendly toward the Bible (have a similar “high” of the Bible but read the Bible less than four times a week), which is significantly higher than the national norm. Hispanics are equally likely with the U.S. average (28% versus 31%) to be Neutral toward the Bible (see the Bible as inspired with errors or not inspired and rarely or never read it, and are less likely (11% versus 16%) to be Antagonistic toward the Bible (believe the Bible is just another book of advice written by men and rarely to never read it).
In general, Hispanics have a high opinion of the Bible—seven in 10 (70%) say that it is the inspired word of God, and more than half (59%) believe it is true in all it teaches. In fact, on both counts Hispanics actually have a “higher” view of Scripture than is true of non-Hispanic Americans (65% and 51%, respectively). The non-Christian Hispanic audience maintains more respect toward the origin and authority of the Bible than is true among other non-Christians in the U.S.