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Americans Love the Bible — But Are They Reading It?

Many own a copy of the Scriptures yet rarely open it

Influence Magazine on June 30, 2017

Americans love their Bibles, but oddly don’t read them much, notwithstanding their high regard for the Bible overall.

Almost 9 out of 10 U.S. households (87 percent) own a Bible. In fact, according to American Bible Society, the average American household owns three Bibles. Yet with all these Bibles, more than half of all Americans (53 percent) have read little to none of the sacred Scriptures.

“Even among worship attendees, less than half read the Bible daily.” — Scott McConnell

In a new study from Nashville, Tennessee-based LifeWay Research, biblical illiteracy appears to be on the rise.

“Most Americans don’t know firsthand the overall story of the Bible — because they rarely pick it up,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “Even among worship attendees, less than half read the Bible daily.”

One in 5 Americans has read through the Bible at least once. This includes 11 percent who’ve read the entire Bible once, and 9 percent who’ve read it through multiple times. Another 12 percent say they have read almost all the Bible, while 15 percent have read at least half.

Among Christians, Protestants (36 percent) are more likely to read the Bible every day than Catholics (17 percent).

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2017 edition of Influence magazine.

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