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Apr 10 2014

Skepticism about Bible increases

The American Bible Society does regular State of the Bible survey and it finds that there is increasing skepticism about it, with younger people as usual leading the way. The ‘Millennials’ they describe are those in the age cohort 18-29.

Now there are just as many Americans skeptical of the Bible as there are engaged with the Bible. According to the fourth annual State of the Bible survey, 19 percent said that they were skeptical of the Bible. This number is up from 10 percent in 2011.

This trend is even more pronounced among the Millennial generation (who range in age from 18-29). According to the State of the Bible report, Millennials are

  • Less likely to view the Bible as sacred literature (64 percent in comparison to 79 percent of adults),

  • Less likely to believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to lead a meaningful life (35 percent in comparison to 50 percent of adults), and
  • More likely to never read the Bible (39 percent compared in comparison to 26 percent of adults).

The survey found that the number of people ‘engaged’ with the Bible (described as those who believe that the Bible is the actual or inspired word of God with no or just some factual errors and read it at least for times per week) is the same (19%) as the number who said that it was just another book of teachings written by men, containing stories and advice.

6 comments

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  1. 1
    Chiroptera

    More likely to never read the Bible (39 percent compared in comparison to 26 percent of adults).

    That’s too bad. I suspect that if this number went down, the other two numbers would go up.

  2. 2
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Only 19%? That seems so low. I’d be interested to see comparable stats from Canada and the UK.

  3. 3
    notyet

    @Chiroptera
    If you were dealing with rational people I would agree. Unfortunately, while you or I would read the part on slavery and discard the Bibble as irrelevant, there are plenty of examples today of people who would still use it to justify slavery.

  4. 4
    elpayaso

    intruiging how they attempt to discredit or devalue the 18-29 year old folks by stating their #s “in comparison to adults.” funny, i thought that age bracket were legally and otherwise considered adults. we execute em, send em off to war, sell em firearms and booze, etc etc.

    not-too-subtle spin there…….

  5. 5
    astrosmash

    Well the bible isn’t a work of literature for most believers. Its a fetishized object, a talisman, an incantation…Much like the US constitution is to the same demographic.

  6. 6
    khms

    believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to lead a meaningful life

    Umm … what?

    How could anybody think that?

    I mean, I’m pretty certain the bible never even talks about “meaningful life” …

    Those numbers are really appalling. Except … skeptical of the Bible: 2011, 10%. 2014, 19%. That number nearly doubled in just three years.

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