08 Appendix C: Glossary

Appendix C: Glossary



“Theolographics” are Barna’s way of describing people’s beliefs and practices related to faith or religion.

Practicing faith means a person identifies with a religion, says their faith is very important in their life and has attended a religious service or gathering (other than a special occasion such as a holiday, wedding or funeral) within the past month.

Practicing Christians meet the criteria for practicing faith and identify themselves as Christian (includes Catholics and Protestants).

Practicing Catholics meet the criteria for practicing faith and identify themselves as Catholic (subset of practicing Christians).

Practicing Protestants meet the criteria for practicing faith and attend a church affiliated with a Protestant denomination (subset of practicing Christians).

Bible readers read the Bible at least three to four times a year outside of a worship service, Mass or church event.

Bible-minded people believe the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches and have read the Scriptures within the past week.

Bible-engagement definitions are based on data collected for the American Bible Society’s annual “State of the Bible” study. Barna created a four-part typology based on people’s view of and level of engagement with the Scriptures.

Bible engaged means that people have a “high” view of the Scriptures and read the Bible four or more times per week. They view the Bible as a) the actual or b) the inspired word of God with no errors, or as c) the inspired word of God with some errors. They must also read, use or listen to the Bible four times a week or more to be considered Bible engaged.

Bible friendly people also have a “high” view of the Scriptures but read it less frequently. They are similar to the Bible engaged in their definitions of the Bible, but read it fewer than four times in a week.

Bible neutral people have a lower, but not negative, view of the Bible. This person chooses neither of the top two definitions of the Bible (i.e., the “highest” views) nor the most skeptical statement. They tend to pick “middle options” and rarely or never read the Bible.

Bible skeptics believe the Bible is just another book of teachings written by men. The Bible skeptic selects the statement in the survey that reflects the “lowest” view of the Bible and rarely or never read it.



Millennials were born between 1984 and 2002 (adults 18 and older only).

Gen-Xers were born between 1965 and 1983.

Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964.

Elders were born prior to 1946.

Teens were ages 13 to 17 in 2015, the year of the “State of the Bible: Teens” study.

Ethnicity is based on respondents’ self-descriptions of their ethnicity. Those who describe themselves as Hispanic plus another ethnicity are coded as Hispanic only. To ensure adequate sample sizes, Barna usually segments the population only by the three largest ethnic groups:

White / Caucasian

Black /African American

Hispanic / Latino

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Appendix B: Profiles of Bible Engagement

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Appendix D: Methodology

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