More than half of Americans say they wish they read the Bible more but say they fail to do so for a number of reasons, including a lack of time.
That’s according to the latest release from the American Bible Society’s State of the Bible report, which shows that 52 percent of Americans say they wish they read the Bible more. Meanwhile, 14 percent of Americans say they increased their Bible use in the past year.
“Granted, this is a bit like asking, ‘Do you wish you exercised more?’ Wishing and doing are two different enterprises,” the report said. “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 percent 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 percent).
- “I don’t know where to start” (17 percent).
- “I don’t feel that excited about using it” (15 percent).
- “I find the language difficult to relate to” (15 percent).
One-fourth of Americans use the Bible at least weekly. Among that group, 72 percent say that Christ is their most important relationship in life.
Regular Bible reading, the report said, is directly tied to a person’s faith.
“The path toward the Bible intertwines with a spiritual journey into a deepening relationship with Christ,” the report 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.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
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