The President of the United States gives the “State of the Union” address to Congress the beginning of each year. The governor gives the “State of the State” address every year before the legislative session begins.
And, every year the American Bible Society (ABS) releases a report on the “State of the Bible” in America. The ABS, along with the Barna Group, collects and analyzes data on how the U.S. population perceives and engages with the Bible.
The findings in this year’s report reflect an increase in Bible users, defined as “individuals who read, listen to, or pray with the Bible on their own at least three or four times a year outside of a church service or church event.”
Approximately half of American adults reach for the Bible at least occasionally. Over 181 million Americans opened a Bible in the past year, an increase of 7 percent over last year, according to the report. The proportion of Americans who never use the Bible has fallen to 29 percent — its lowest point since 2016.
“Over half of U.S. adults (54 percent) believe that America would be worse off without the Bible,” an increase of 5 percent since last year. Only “one in seven Americans (14 percent) believes the nation would be better off without the Bible.”
Barna and the ABS found that seven in 10 Americans (70 percent) view the Bible as the Word of God. Some 25 percent of those believe the Bible should be taken literally, while 29 percent say that the Word of God can be interpreted both literally and symbolically.
The report goes on to say “over one-third of U.S. adults (34 percent) read the Bible once a week or more, while half (50 percent) read the Bible less than twice a year.”
“A slight majority of Americans agrees that scripture’s message is particularly helpful; 54 percent say the Bible contains everything a person needs to live a meaningful life.” I agree because the Bible has always been my guidebook for daily life. As Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path” (NKJ).
Author/Minister A.W. Tozer once said, ‘It is one thing to know about the Bible, and it is another thing to have the Bible dramatically transform your life and thinking — the Bible is the truth upon which we can base our trust.”
Professional basketball player Kevin Durant has remarked, “I read my Bible now all the time. The Bible both pumps me up and balances me to play my best, but it also tells me more about the Lord and how I can live for Him and what all He has done for me.”
I believe the impact of the Bible has been significant in the history of our country, as well as individuals. I suggest you will never regret spending time reading God’s Word. It will speak to your mind and soul.
(Note: The study was conducted online; using a 15-minute questionnaire…from a representative sample of adults 18 and older within all 50 states and the District of Columbia…respondents reflected the distribution of adults nationwide and adequately represented the racial and ethnic diversity of the United States.)
Jan White is a wife, mother, and freelance writer who lives in Andalusia. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.