'State of the Bible': Study Shows Deeper Relationship with God's Word Leads to More Meaningful Life
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Other results also found by Barna Group researchers include:
• 21 million new people are looking to the Bible for wisdom and guidance this year.
• 14.9 million people who were disengaged in 2018 have chosen to return and interact with the Bible.
• 9.9 million "Bible-centered" adults have decreased their level of engagement with the Bible since last year.
Taken together, these changes have led to a swelling in the ranks of the so-called "moveable middle" to 41.6 million adults, those people who interact with the Bible looking for practical advice for their modern lives.
The study shows that Bible-engaged people are more financially generous than those who are unengaged. Volunteerism also increases with Bible engagement. Beyond financial contributions, Bible-engaged people are more generous with their time: 57 percent of Bible-centered adults are inclined to be more generous with their time, compared to just 2 percent of the Bible-friendly and 3 percent of the Bible-neutral.
According to the study, almost 60 percent of Americans say the message of the Bible has transformed their lives. Specifically, Bible users feel peaceful, encouraged and hopeful and have a sense of direction. Results also show that Bible engagement has a positive influence on behaviors including:
• How they treat people of a different race than themselves
• Their support for refugees
• Their decisions at work or school
"Our research shows that when people engage with the Word, their lives are bettered," Roy Peterson, president, and CEO of American Bible Society said in a press release. "They find wisdom, hope, and healing. In today's sometimes turbulent times, the Bible can provide welcome answers."
For more about the latest "State of the Bible" research, visit StateoftheBible.org.
About the Survey
The 2019 "State of the Bible" report contains findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Group. Two research methodologies were used. The first included 1,001 telephone interviews (including by cell phone) with adults in all 50 states and the second consisted of 1,012 online surveys using a nationally representative panel. The use of two methodologies provided a larger sample size for key questions and ensured greater representation among all age groups. The telephone interviews conducted Jan. 29 to Feb. 7, 2019, included U.S. adults aged 18 or older. The online surveys were conducted Jan. 15 to Jan. 30, 2019.
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