It’s easier than ever before to access the Bible. In addition to reading a print Bible in any of the dozens of versions and translations on the market today, you can read Scripture from any online computer, listen to it on your morning jog or commute to work, pull it up on your smartphone, and easily share it with hundreds or thousands of your social network acquaintances.
So why is Bible engagement—reading it, understanding it, embracing it—on a downhill trend?
In a new short essay at OnFaith, Rachel Barach draws on her experience as Bible Gateway’s manager to offer insight into why we aren’t engaging with Scripture despite our ubiquitous access to the Bible… and how we can rediscover the transforming power of God’s Word:
The truth is, all this digital accessibility, all the hours spent reading Scripture on our laptops and mobile devices, all of these verses broadcast out to our friends via social media may not be having the impact we might expect on Bible engagement and Christian maturity — on our understanding and application of Scripture, on biblical literacy, on our connection to church and Christian community, on our lens for seeing and serving a broken world.
Today, 79 percent of people believe the Bible is sacred literature — which is down 7 percent from 2011. And 61 percent of people say they wish they read the Bible more — down 6 percent since 2011.
With the Bible more digitally accessible and shared than ever before, why are these numbers going in the wrong direction?
Here are three possible reasons…