“Americans believe the nation is in moral decline, but they see hope for change in the pages of Scripture, according to the 2017 State of the Bible survey.”
The “State of the Bible” is an annual report commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by the Barna Group. According to the 2017 survey, general trends skew positively toward both Bible engagement and perceptions of the Bible.
Here are some of the research findings:
- Half of Americans are ‘Bible users’ – that is, they engage with the Bible by reading, listening to or praying with the Bible on their own at least three to four times a year (50%).
- Nearly one-third of adults say they never read, listen to or pray with the Bible (32%), a five-percentage point increase over 2016.
- The King James Version continues to be the version Bible users prefer most often, with 31% using this translation.
- 58% of Americans wish they spent more time reading or listening to the Bible.
- More than one half (56%) of those who report an increase in Bible readership attribute it to their understanding that Bible reading is an important part of their faith journey.
- The top reason for decreased Bible reading continues to be being too busy with life’s responsibilities.
- Most Bible users (91%) still prefer to use a print version of the Bible when engaging with scripture, yet an equal number (92%) report using another Bible format than print in the past year.
- As expected, younger generations prefer to use their smartphones to access the Bible more than other generations. More than one in four Millennials (27%) prefer their phone compared to one in five (20%) Gen-Xers, 7% of Boomers and just 3% of Elders.
The full report is available as a free PDF download. Go to the State of the Bible website, find the View Past Reports section near the bottom of the page and select State of the Bible 2017.