7/29/2014

Only 1 in 5 Christians Read the Bible Daily


How often do Christians read the Bible?

A 2013 ABS (American Bible Society) poll says Americans love the Bible but don't read it much:
  • 88% of respondents said they own a Bible, 
  • 80% think the Bible is sacred, 
  • 61% wish they read the Bible more, and 
  • the average household has 4.4 Bibles.

Doug Birdsall, president of American Bible Society, said he sees a reason for why the Bible isn't connecting with people: "I see the problem as analogous to obesity in America. We have an awful lot of people who realize they're overweight, but they don't follow a diet. People realize the Bible has values that would help us in our spiritual health, but they just don't read it." If they do read it:
  • the majority (57%) only read their Bibles 4x/year or less.
  • only 26% of Americans said they read their Bible on a regular basis (4 or more times/week).
  • Younger people also seem to be moving away from the Bible. A majority (57%) of those ages 18-28 read their Bibles < 3x/, if at all.

[The Barna Group conducted "The State of the Bible 2013" study for ABS, using 1,005 telephone interviews and 1,078 online surveys with a margin of error for the combined data of plus or minus 2 percentage points.]

A 2012 LifeWay survey of 2,900 Protestant churchgoers found that  while 90% "desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do," only 19% personally read the Bible every day. Most Christians don't read the Bible much. Only 1 in 5 Christians read the Bible daily. The responses to how often they personally read the Bible are:

  • "Every Day" (19%).
  • "Rarely/Never" (18%).
  • A few times a week (25%).
  • "Once a Week" (14%).
  • "Once a Month" or "A Few Times a Month" (22%).

This LifeWay research survey concluded: "The impact of the Word of God on people's lives is seen in the relationship between Bible engagement and turning from wrongdoings and choosing to obey God – two indicators of higher Bible engagement scores. Such tangible life changes show the transformational impact of Bible engagement in the life of a disciple of Christ." LifeWay Research president Ed Stetzer said, "Almost all churchgoers want to honor God, but more than a third indicate obedience is not something they have done when it is costly to them."