Bible Reading Soars: 59 Percent of Readers Still Prefer a Print Copy, But There’s a Generation Gap

According to a recently released   American Bible Society/Barna poll 

Bible reading soared in 2020, with 181 Million Americans opening it and although Americans who read the Bible still prefer to read a print copy over a digital version –attitudes are quickly changing.

The new survey  also found that 59 percent of Bible users in the United States prefer a print version over various digital versions or an audio Bible. The findings are included in the 2021 State of the Bible survey.

Although a majority still favor a physical copy, that’s down from 65 percent in 2020 and 72 percent in 2019. In 2016, 81 percent preferred a print copy.

The survey found a major generation gap in preferences.

Print copies are favored by a majority of elders (84 percent), baby boomers (72 percent) and Generation X members (56 percent). They are less popular among Millennials (47 percent) and those in Generation Z (44 percent).

A majority of Millennials and those in Generation Z prefer either a Bible app, a website/computer program, or an audio Bible.

“Smartphone or tablet use of the Bible among younger generations is increasingly popular,” an American Bible Society analysis said. 

Among other findings in the survey:

•21 percent of Bible users say reading the Bible brings them comfort. Other top emotions include feeling peaceful (19 percent), encouraged (17 percent) and hopeful (16 percent).

•Only 12 percent of Americans say they are “highly” knowledgeable of the Bible. Thirty-one percent say they are “moderately” knowledgeable, while another 31 percent say they are “somewhat” knowledgeable. One-fourth (26 percent) say they are “not too” knowledgeable.

A majority (54 percent) of Americans say the nation would be worse off without the Bible. That’s an increase from 2020 (49 percent).

“This belief in the Bible’s value to the United States aligns with a sense that the Bible upholds American values,” the analysis said. “Faith (72 percent), hope (71 percent), and love (69 percent)   are widely agreed upon as values the Bible is essential for sustaining.”

The percent of Americans who say they never use the Bible fell to 29 percent – its lowest point since 2016.

According to a recently released   American Bible Society/Barna poll t’s not only Christians who read the Bible: 37 percent of those “who self-identify with other religions” read the Bible at least three to four times a year, an analysis of the survey said. -Christian Headlines

(image  challenger news archive )