Recently Bible Society released the results of a Bible reading survey. A few comments:
Since it is not a representative sample, the results must be taken with a hefty pinch of salt. Nevertheless, some of the biblical literacy issues that surfaced here confirm what other surveys are showing, such as growing digital Bible reading.
The participants appear to have a much greater-than-average commitment to reading the Bible, probably to be explained by the large percentage of them involved in Christian leadership. According to my math 42.5% of total respondents have a leadership role in the church. If we had access to the data, we could compare the reading habits of leaders to non-leaders, as well as across the traditions.
The question about print and various digital formats of Bible engagement was interesting. If you combine all of the digital choices, the format people most often read is 63% print to 34% digital. Some recent work that CODEC has done suggests the millennials are engaging the Bible digitally as much or more than print.
One of my own questions is what effect digital devices have on reading habits. For example, for the 15% who most often read the Bible on a smart phone, do they tend to read shorter selections? Would they read the Bible less if they didn’t have the option to read on their phone? etc.
I was a bit surprised to see Revelation, Song of Songs, and Lamentations as among the five least favoured books of the Bible.
In a few months, we (CODEC) will be releasing some results of two major surveys we have done in partnership with Bible Society, including a major national one (with representative samples). Stay tuned for more!