Biblical illiteracy has been growing here in America. Most people don’t know what the Bible says. They may know a few isolated Bible “stories” here and there, but they don’t understand the scope or flow of the biblical text, largely because they have never read most of it! Though the growing biblical illiteracy epidemic is very sobering, here’s an encouraging report from new research—the majority of Americans still want to read their Bibles.
According to a recent study, 61% of Americans answered “yes” to the question, “Do you wish that you read the Bible more or not?” Surprisingly, this number has remained fairly stable for over half a decade now. And when the respondents were asked, "Would you say that your own personal use of the Bible has increased, decreased or is about the same as one year ago?" 66% answered "stayed the same."
So while the growing biblical illiteracy is very saddening, it’s encouraging to know people are still interested in God’s Word and seem to think that reading it is a worthwhile pursuit. As Christians—especially parents, pastors, and other Christian leaders—we need to be encouraging believers, including our children, to read and study the Bible. It’s knowledge of God’s Word that will combat biblical illiteracy and help people grow in their relationship with the Lord. We also need to be challenging unbelievers to read the Bible on their own. They may be more open to it than you think!
Sixty-one percent of Americans answered “yes” to the question, “Do you wish that you read the Bible more or not?”
And if people are still interested in reading the Bible, perhaps they’re also interested in talking about it with you! Don’t shy away from boldly yet gently appealing to the Bible as your source of authority for issues of morality, history, philosophy, science, and theology. After all, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Use God’s Word to start gospel-centered conversations with others!
If you’re wondering where to start, I encourage you to share copies of our short book Begin with your friends and family. This unique book contains selected passages from the Bible that explain the gospel in detail starting from the foundations, such as Genesis chapters 1–11, the Ten Commandments, and the Gospel of John, as well as commentary. It also includes an overview of the whole Bible to give the big picture perspective of what God’s Word is all about. At the end of the book are short answers to 10 of the most common questions of our day and an explanation of the gospel.
Begin is an excellent resource for everyone, but especially for new Christians and seekers. You can order copies of Begin from our online store.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.