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American Bible Society commissions the 2016 Teen State of the Bible

American Bible Society commissions the 2016 Teen State of the Bible

The American Bible Society hired the Barna Group, a conservative research & polling organization, to examine “teens’ perceptions of the Bible, the role they believe it should play in American public life and their level of personal engagement with it.” The published research is the 2016 Teen State of the Bible.

“This study included 1,013 surveys conducted among a representative, random sample of teens ages 13 to 17 within all 50 states. The survey was conducted 6 MAY through 23 MAY 2016. The sampling error for a sample of this size is plus or minus 3 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence level.”

These are the Top 10 Findings from the 2016 Teen State of the Bible.

1. Reading the Bible in Public Is Seen as Encouraging
2. A Majority of Teens Own a Bible and Read it Regularly
3. A Majority of Teens Read the Bible for More Than 15 minutes Each Sitting
4. Growing Closer to God is the Key Motivator for Bible Reading
5. Teens Still Prefer to use a Hard Copy Bible in a Digital Age
6. The Bible Is Considered Sacred Literature
7. The Bible Is a Source of Hope and Guidance
8. The Bible Is Considered the Literal or Inspired Word of God
9. The Bible Should Have More Influence on Society
10. The Bible Influences Political Decisions

Go to the Barna Group article, Top 10 Findings on Teens and the Bible, for more detailed explanations of the top ten findings.

The information and the graphic are from the linked Barna Group article.


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Gregory Orloff

The survey’s statement “A majority of teens own a Bible and read it regularly” certainly do not jive with the percentages presented in the survey’s graphic.

Leslie Marshall

That statement, #2, had to do with ‘additional’ reading of their bible –on top of their in-church reading, bible study reading, or church event reading. [So it could be true that a majority of teens surveyed own a bible, and read it.]

Susan Moritz

It’s worth looking at the full report:

What the chart posted here doesn’t indicate is that the survey defines “Bible reader” as someone who reads the Bible “at least three or four times a year.” (See p. 14 and Table at p. 47.) By this definition, of all the teens surveyed, 56% are not Bible readers: 37% never read the Bible; 11% read it less than once a year; and 8% read it once or twice a year.

The survey did find that a majority of teens own a Bible. But by the survey’s own definition only 44% of teens are “Bible readers.” If you add in the very occasional readers (11% and 8%) that does make a majority, but it seems a stretch to say that a majority read it regularly.

The report also discusses regional differences.

Stryker Smith

Oh really?? I am having a really hard time accepting especially Findings 1 and 2 based upon my own subjective but extensive experience

Leslie Marshall

Glad to know I’m in good company with the teens. I love that age.

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