The American Bible Society has just released its annual “State of the Bible” survey results, and the numbers are concerning to say the least.
The in-depth study is an attempt to take the spiritual temperature of the average American through assessing their level of engagement with the word of God. It appears that the Bible has plummeted down the priority list for many Americans, who will happily go about their day without reading a word from the holy book.
For example, while 16 percent of respondents indicated that the Bible was a daily necessity, that percentage doubled when it comes to the pressing need for a nice cup of coffee. Yep — 37 percent admitted that the caffeinated beverage was absolutely fundamental to their day. The Bible was also narrowly beaten in the rankings by “something sweet” and “social media,” too. Wow.
According to the extensive study that was conducted in conjunction with the Barna Group, two research methodologies were used; one included 1,004 telephone interviews with adults 18 and older in the continental U.S., while the other was an online survey conducted with 1,036 adults using a nationally representative panel. “A total of 2,040 interviews were conducted,” the study noted.
There were, however, some more positive numbers surrounding the area of “Bible Curiosity.” Indeed, two-thirds of Americans (66%) were found to express “at least some curiosity to know more about what the Bible says.” A few other interesting trends were also concluded from the research. For example, the study noted that “four out of five adults (79%) believe the morals and values of America are declining.” The study continued:
“Even though the majority of younger generations and adults who have little to no interaction with the Bible believe morality is declining, they are less likely to see this as a problem. Three-quarters of Millennials (74%) believe morality is declining compared to 78% of Gen X, 85% of Boomers, and 79% of Elders.”
Much of the study was heavily segmented into various different categories. For example, someone who defines themselves as being “Bible Centered,” would most likely be “married men from the Baby Boomer generation,” according to the report. They are also likely to “attend church weekly, attend Protestant churches, and reside in the South.”
Those who read the Bible on a regular basis demonstrated some more affable behaviors:
“More than half of monthly Bible users believe strongly, either very strongly or strongly, that the Bible has resulted in their willingness to engage in their faith more (56%) and to show more loving behavior towards others (54%). One in three adults expresses moderate agreement with these two statements, while only one in twenty say they do not believe the Bible has influenced them in this way.”
You can read the full study here.