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Why Bible Reading Goes Up as the Year Winds Down

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WASHINGTON -- Bible reading suddenly spikes around this time of year every year. That doesn’t surprise Bobby Gruenewald, the pastor behind the popular YouVersion Bible App where many go these days for the Word of God.

“It’s really natural at Christmas time and New Year’s for people to begin to think about God, oftentimes for the very first time," Gruenewald told CBN News.

All over the world, in whatever translation they’re using, more people during the holiday season are picking up the Word of God or listening to an audio version of it than at any other time of the year.

It’s a fact those at Wycliffe Bible Translators are certainly aware of as they keep busy with their task of helping to get the Word put into the thousands of native tongues that still don’t have their own Bible.

As Bob Creson, president of Wycliffe Bible Translators U.S.A. put it, “Think of a world where there is no Bible and all of a sudden you have that Good News.”

“I mean, here we are at Christmas time, we’re talking about the Prince of Peace, and it’s all about reconciliation and hope, and imagine you’ve never heard that story in your mother tongue before. It’s very, very powerful,” he said.

And at the headquarters of the YouVersion Bible App in Edmond, Oklahoma, they actually document the annual sudden surge in Bible use among those who have access already.

“We’ll see as much as a 50 percent increase in the amount of people who are reading the Bible from December to January just with the influx of the holiday season,” Gruenewald said.

People are reading the Christmas story, and many are making New Year’s resolutions about getting into the Word or getting all the way through it.

But sadly it seems almost as many people break as make those resolutions.

“A lot of times, when they get into February, middle of February, if they haven’t formed a really solid habit, it really does begin to drop off,” Gruenewald stated.

But he also said if people will stick with the Word, it’ll pay not just good, but divine dividends.

“I believe that the Bible is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path,” the YouVersion Bible app founder said. “So if we engage daily with God’s Word, it’s a way for Him to illuminate His direction in our lives.”

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About The Author


As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress. Strand began his tenure at CBN News in 1985 as an evening assignment editor in Washington, D.C. After a year, he worked with CBN Radio News for three years, returning to the television newsroom to accept a position as editor in 1990. After five years in Virginia Beach, Strand moved back to the nation's capital, where he has been a correspondent since 1995. Before joining CBN News, Strand served as the newspaper editor for