The State of the Bible 2012



There is an interesting new report out from The American Bible Society based on a survey conducted by the Barna Group.  The study explores American’s beliefs about the Bible, its role in society and its presence in U.S. homes.  Some of the findings from the report include:

  • 47% of American adults believe the Bible has too little influence in society today
  • 55% read the Bible to be closer to God, down 9% (from 64%) in 2011
  • 79% believe they are knowledgeable about the Bible but 54% were unable to correctly identify the first five books of the Bible  
  • 46% believe the Bible, the Koran and the Book of Mormon are different expressions of the same spiritual truths, 46% disagree
  • On average, 85% of U.S. households own a Bible; the average amount of Bibles per household is 4.3
  • 36% of Americans read the Bible less than once a year or never while 33% read the Bible once a week or more 
  • Americans’ beliefs about the Bible are highly varied by age. Only 34% of those age 18-27 vs. 62% age 66 and older believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know about living a meaningful life.

I was also very interested in the report of responses on the influence of the Bible by age group.  Have a look at the lower right hand corner of the inforgraphic above.  The trends are interesting and should tell those of us who work in children’s ministry something about the importance of teaching the Bible to kids.

You can download a copy of the pdf file containing the inforgraphic shown at the beginning of this article here.  Links to the complete report for 2012 and prior reports can be found here.


  1. Very interesting. I look forward to digging a little deeper into the research.

  2. Thanks, interesting post! I really appreciate you including the actual stats and links to where those stats were from as well. Ty!

  3. Interesting and informative post!