2015 State of the Bible Report: According to Americans, All People Deserve Access to Scripture
Americans believe everyone should have the freedom to own and read a Bible
Whether browsing Scripture online, or flipping through passages in a print copy, Americans benefit from constant, uninterrupted access to the Bible. Nearly nine out of every 10 U.S. households owns a print Bible, with most homes owning several copies (an average of 4.4). This level of ownership supports a core belief among Americans, according to American Bible Society and Barna Group’s 2015 State of the Bible report: 98 percent of those surveyed believe every person in the world should have the freedom to own and read a Bible.
But when asked about the reality of Bible access worldwide, Americans seemingly missed the mark. An astounding 72 percent believed the Bible was already available in every language, while only 21 percent recognized the need for expanded Bible translation.
Yet in countless countries across the globe, the convenience of browsing Scripture in any format serves as nothing more than a fantasy. Of the 6,901 first languages spoken worldwide, 57 percent still do not have access to Scripture, shutting entire regions out of the Bible. The 2015 State of the Bible survey, which takes the pulse of American beliefs and behaviors surrounding the Bible, highlights the disparity between American understanding of Scripture availability and the international reality of Bible access.
Without question, this new survey sheds light on the privilege of owning a Bible. But it also highlights importance of international Bible translation. Because ultimately, whether it’s an American dusting off a Bible from the shelf or someone around the world reading God’s Word in her language for the first time, all can be transformed by the life-changing message of God’s Word.
To learn more about our State of the Bible survey, click here.
Additional resources and stories:
Click here for the TIME “The Most Bible Minded City in America” story.
Read more from President Peterson’s Op Ed in Christian Post America: “Supportive but Overly Optimistic About Bible Access.”
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