Americans are losing faith in the Bible, continuing humanity’s slow awakening from a long superstitious slumber. According to the American Bible Society’s latest “State of the Bible 2014” poll, young Americans in particular are less likely to view the Bible as sacred literature. Young Americans are also less likely to believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to lead a meaningful life, and, more likely to never read the Bible at all. The poll was conducted by an independent company called Barna Group.
According to the American Bible Society, “Now there are just as many Americans skeptical of the Bible as there are engaged with the Bible. According to the fourth annual State of the Bible survey, 19 percent said that they were skeptical of the Bible. This number is up from 10 percent in 2011.” The survey shows the number of American adults who are skeptical of the Bible grew by 10 percentage points since 2011. The shift is attributed in large part to the growing loss of faith by the millennial generation and Generation X. The poll also shows that only 79 percent of Americans have faith the Bible is sacred, down from 86 percent in 2011.
According to the poll, the number of people said to be “Bible engaged” is now equal to the percentage of people who do not have faith that the Bible is sacred. Knox News points out, “The survey finds more and more Americans consider the Bible to be teachings of men… rather than the word of God. The poll… from the American Bible Society… found the greatest increase in those opinions came from Americans between the ages of 18 and 29.”
The number of Americans who read the Bible at least four times a week and believe that it is the inspired word of God has fallen to just under 1 in 5, according to the poll.
Roy Peterson, president of the American Bible Society, told the Washington Times, “I think young people have always questioned their parents, questioned the church. In our experience, they may not necessarily be coming back like previous generations. Young people might have said, ‘God’s word is written by God, and it’s an important book.’ Today the skeptics are saying, ‘It’s just like any other piece of literature, and it’s no different from that.'”
Nineteen percent of Americans are “antagonistic” toward the Bible, reading it less than once per month and believing it to be a book of archaic teachings written by men, and containing nothing more than ancient stories and advice.