Technology and the Bible in The State of the Bible 2019 Report

Technology and the Bible in The State of the Bible 2019 Report

The American Bible Society and Barna have released the 2019 State of the Bible Report. I wanted to highlight a few excerpts related specifically to the use of Bible formats:

The use of a physical copy of the Bible remains strong at 91%. More than half of Bible users have also used the Internet on a computer to read Bible content (55%) or searched for Bible verses or Bible content on their phone (56%), and another 44% have downloaded or used a Bible app on their smartphone. Roughly one-third have listened to a teaching about the Bible via podcast or listened to an audio version of the Bible.

Although there has been a significant rise in the past 8 years in the percent of Bible users who turn to alternative forms of technology to access the Bible, use of smartphones and computers seems to have plateaued in the past three years. 

Bible Engaged and Centered are more likely than average to have used all formats in the past year, compared to Bible Friendly and Neutrals, although Bible Friendlies also report similar use of the Internet to search for Bible content as do the more engaged Bible segments. African Americans and Hispanics are also more likely than whites to engage with other formats. 

As expected, younger generations are more likely to use their computers and smart phones to engage with scripture than are older generations. As many as 72% of Millennials and 69% of Gen X have used their smart phone to access the Bible compared to 40% of Boomers and just 13% of Elders. Although more Millennials and Gen X report using a hard copy to access the Bible than other Bible formats, they do so less frequently than Boomers and Elders. 

https://www.americanbible.org/uploads/content/state-of-the-bible-2019_report_041619_final.pdf – p. 29

All Bible users, regardless of age, prefer a print version of the Bible. However, one in four Millennials (27%) and Gen X adults (26%) prefers to use their phone or tablet, compared to 9% of Boomers and 2% of Elders who prefer a hand-held electronic device.

https://www.americanbible.org/uploads/content/state-of-the-bible-2019_report_041619_final.pdf – p. 32

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