The American Bible Society recently published their annual “State of the Bible” survey results. The 2018 results show that the more time a person spends reading God’s word, the more likely they are to want to read it every day.
When asked if they had to pick one thing to be part of their daily lives, 61 percent of the aforementioned group said they needed their Bible. The options included the Bible, coffee, sweet food and social media.
The ABS asked Americans, regardless of their religious background, the same question, and yielded a range of results. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents chose coffee, 28 percent chose sweet food, 19 percent chose social media and a mere 16 percent chose the Bible.
“What many Americans rightly recognize is, that while coffee provides a nice temporary jolt of energy, only the life-changing message of the Bible gives lasting hope and peace,” President and CEO of the American Bible Society, Roy Peterson, said of the results. “The Bible provides the wisdom of the ages for today’s fears, challenges and struggles.”
Although many rely on coffee and sweets to get them through the day, the statistics indicate that these things only provide momentary comfort. When surveyed, 42 percent of Americans stated that they are living in more fear today than ever before.
For the question regarding fear, the two groups that stood out as exceptionally fearful were women (47 percent) and millennials (49 percent). The study found that women and millennials were a lot more prone to fear than men and any other age groups.
An interesting factor the ABS noted was the difference the Bible was making in the lives of Americans. The study concluded that 41 percent of Americans that read their Bible find a greater sense of peace from doing so. Those who said they read the Bible frequently said their fear had not increased over the years.
The survey also yielded this promising statistic: 81 percent of Americans said they hold hope in the future, and those who read the Bible frequently have an even higher hope for the future than the average population.
The American Bible Society also looked at different trends regarding Americans’ relationship with the Bible, and how it has impacted them over the course of their lives. For example, the survey included questions about whether respondents believed the Bible is the word of God.
“American Bible Society took a higher-resolution look into the lives of Americans around the Bible,” Peterson said. “We are now able to give better context into how Americans are or are not interacting with the Bible and how that impacts their lives. We are finding the more engaged with the Bible someone is, the more hopeful and peaceful they are, along with a greater awareness of their need for the Bible.”
The study revealed that 9 percent of Americans are Bible Centered, 17 percent are Bible Engaged, 15 percent are Bible Friendly, 5 percent are Bible Neutral and 54 percent are Bible Disengaged.
The respondents who are in the “Bible Disengaged” category don’t necessarily have negative feelings toward God or Christianity, but might just be indifferent to the Bible. The majority of this group stated that they don’t ever read the Bible, and that it has little to no impact on their lives.
Those that fall into the more engaged categories are also bound to have a strong desire to read the Bible more. This includes 57 percent of all Americans, 89 percent of Bible Centered and 90 percent of Bible Engaged.
Out of those top engaged Bible readers, 42 percent of all Americans, 89 percent of Bible Centered and 80 percent of Bible Engaged believe, that the Bible includes everything a person would need to live a good and meaningful life.
Forty-one percent of Americans, 66 percent of Bible Centered and 70 percent of Bible Engaged think that the Bible holds too little of an influence in the United States.
Interestingly enough, 44 percent of all Americans, 80 percent of Bible Centered and 82 percent of Bible Engaged, believe that the Bible is more important to the moral makeup of the United States than the Constitution.
The more engaged a person is with the Bible, the more likely they are to believe that morality in the United States is declining (79 percent of Americans, 88 percent of Bible Centered and 89 percent of Bible Engaged).
Furthermore, Bible readers (those who read it at least once a month) stated that the book has impacted their lives in many ways. This group affirmed that they have a higher willingness to engage with their faith (56 percent said very strongly or strongly) as well as a higher chance of being loving towards others (54 percent). Another 42 percent also said that being engaged with the Bible makes them a more generous person, whether it comes to time, energy or financial resources.
For more information about the latest State of the Bible research, click here.
(H/T: Charisma News)