More Than Half of Americans Wish They Would Read the Bible More

More Than Half of Americans Wish They Would Read the Bible More

According to a study by the American Bible Society (ABS), more than half of Americans say they wish they would read the Bible more but say they fail to do so for a number of reasons, including a lack of time.

The latest release from the ABS’s State of the Bible report shows that 52% of Americans say they wish they would read the Bible more. Meanwhile, 14% say they increased their Bible use in the past year.

“Granted, this is a bit like asking, ‘Do you wish you exercised more?’” the report researchers said. “Wishing and doing are two different enterprises. But it’s still important to know the desire is there. And whatever we could do to increase excitement about the Bible, explain the language, or show where to start, it might move the needle a bit.”

Researchers asked the 52% who want to read the Bible more what is preventing them from taking the plunge. The top four answers were: 

  • “I never seem to have enough time to use it” (26%). 
  • “I don’t know where to start” (17%).
  • “I don’t feel that excited about using it” (15%).
  • “I find the language difficult to relate to” (15%).

And when asked to complete the sentence “I use the Bible because,” 47% of participants chose the option “because it brings me closer to God.” The other options, along with the response rate, are as follows: 

  • “I need wisdom for making life decisions” (20%).
  • “I need comfort” (15%).
  • “It tells me about the nature of God” (9%).
  • “It tells me how to treat others” (4%).
  • “I know I’m supposed to” (3%).
  • “It is a responsibility for a group Bible study or school” (2%).

The study showed that one-fourth of Americans use the Bible at least weekly. Among that group, 72% say that Christ is their most important relationship in life.

“The path toward the Bible intertwines with a spiritual journey into a deepening relationship with Christ,” researchers said. “We remember Jesus telling Bible scholars that the Scriptures they studied actually ‘testify about me’ (John 5:39 NIV). It’s no surprise, then, that Bible use at any level—daily, weekly, or a few times a year—increases as people move forward in their relationship with Jesus.”

For years, ABS researchers have asked Americans to imagine their nation without the Bible. “If people of our country were to not read the Bible, do you think our country would be worse off, better off, or about the same?” The results have been rather consistent. 

“While some observers assume there’s a growing animosity toward the Bible, we don’t see that on this question,” researchers said. “Only about one in seven (14%) say a Bible-less America would be better. Three times that many (44%) take the opposite view, that America would be worse off without Bible-reading. Nearly that number (41%) say there would be little change. 

“It’s worth noting that more than a quarter of non-Bible users say the country would be worse off without it. They don’t interact with Scripture themselves, even three times a year, but they seem glad that others do.” 

Phot: Debby Hudson/ Unsplash

Subscribe to Decision Email Devotional

Subscribe to Decision Email Devotional

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

About Us     Contact Us     Privacy
©2024 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. BGEA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.