More people, especially Millennials, have skeptical views of the Bible, and fewer young people are reading the Good Book, according to the fourth annual State of the Bible survey.
The survey, from the American Bible Society, found that 26 percent of adults never read the Bible while 39 percent of Millennials (between the ages of 18 and 29) never read the Good Book. Concurrently, 50 percent of adults believe the Bible has too little influence in society compared to 30 percent of Millennials who hold the same view.
Interestingly, Bible ownership remains strong, as 88 percent of households own a copy. But, while households own an average of 4.7 copies of the Good Book, a mere 37 percent of Americans read the Bible at least once per week, and 19 percent of Americans overall are skeptical of the Bible.
“With four years of data from American Bible Society’s State of the Bible research, we are now able to see trends in attitudes about and behaviors around the Bible,” The Christian Post quoted Roy Peterson, president and CEO of American Bible Society, as saying. “The increasing polarization in attitudes about the Bible has implications for us as a nation and for our churches and families.”
The latest survey shows Millennials are helping lead the shift in thinking:
- Half (50 percent) of adults believe the Bible contains everything one needs to know to lead a meaningful life, but just 35 percent of Millennials agree (compared to 61 percent of people 68 or older)
- More than one in four (26 percent) American adults and 39 percent of Millennials never read the Bible
- While 13 percent of all Americans believe no text is sacred, 19 percent of Millennials hold the same view
“American adults, young and old alike, overwhelmingly recognize a moral decline is taking place in the nation,” Religion News Service quoted Peterson as saying. “As they seek solutions, we hope they will find the Bible as the guidebook that can reverse the decline and help its readers make sense of life.”
More than 2,000 people were participated by phone and online as part of the survey.