The Bible is apparently losing its in influence in American culture, according to a new State of the Bible survey.
The study was conducted by the Barna group and American Bible Society and the outcome pointed to a nation that takes a book once held sacred in a casual manner viewing it more as a guidebook.
One of the most alarming statistics showed that 19 percent of American adults are skeptical about the Bible while another 19 percent are "engaged" with it. This marks that first time that the number of skeptics and readers are dead even. The number of skeptics has grown 10 percent since 2011. This shift can be attributed to groups of younger adults including those belonging to generation X and the Millennial generation holding a less sacred view of the book.
American Bible Society's Roy Peterson commented on the survey in a recent Washington Post article.
"I think young people have always questioned their parents, questioned the church," said Roy Peterson, president of the American Bible Society. "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.'"
The survey determined that those born since 1980 are less likely to own, read and respect the Bible, leading to 79 percent believing the book is sacred down from 86 percent in 2011.
It also found that 88 percent of Americans have a Bible in their home, but only 37 percent of them read it on a regular basis. 40 percent confessed to not reading it due to a hectic schedule, while others attributed it to doubting the Bible's validity after a personal experience.
The way people are reading scripture also has changed as 35 percent read it on smartphones or tablets up from 18 percent in 2011. 11 percent of people who increased their Bible reading confessed that "The Bible" miniseries was a catalyst for their enthusiasm toward it.
The survey was conducted with around 1000 adults via phone and online Jan. 8-20.