Nearly half of American adults engage with the Bible apart from reading to hearing it during a church service, Barna’s annual State of the Bible survey has found. Here are its top seven findings.
Barna’s nationwide survey, conducted in partnership with the American Bible Society and involving 2,040 interviews, examined behaviors and beliefs about the Bible among U.S. adults. It reported the following results.
1. Half of U.S. adults are “Bible users.”
Forty-eight percent of Americans “engage with the Bible on their own by using, listening to, watching, praying or using Bible text or content in any format (not including use at a church service) at least three to four times a year,” the study says, adding that Bible use hasn’t changed much since 2011 — though culture has changed.
The survey also showed that 14 percent of the total adult population uses the Bible daily, 13 percent use it several times a week, 8 percent do so once a week, 6 percent about once a month, and 8 percent three to four times a year.
2. The Bible is used mostly by Boomers, city dwellers and southerners.
Barna found that Bible use is high among city dwellers, at 53 percent, and small town or rural residents, at 49 percent, compared to adults who reside in the suburbs, at 42 percent.
“Above-average use can also be found among residents of the South (55%), particularly compared to the other regions: the Northeast (42%), the West (44%) and the Midwest (49%). Millennials (47%), Gen X (45%) and Elders (48%) are slightly less likely to use the Bible than Boomers (51%),” the study says.
3. Use of technology to read the Bible is on the rise.
Fifty-seven percent of Bible users search for biblical content on the internet or a smartphone, at 55 percent, the survey says. Another 42 percent use a Bible app on their phones, 35 percent listen to a teaching via podcast and 36 percent listen to audio version of the Bible, it adds. “Usage for all these formats continues to grow each year with the exception of small group usage, which appears to be on the decline again after having trended upward,” the study notes, and goes on to say that the appeal of a print version of the Bible remains high at almost nine in 10.
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Source: Christian Post