Is your Bible a Dust Catcher?
“ Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” Psalms 119:105 (HCSB)
The Bible is often hailed as the world’s all-time bestseller and at least 25 million copies are sold each year, it may also qualify for the dubious honor as the most-unread book! Although various studies have found that 92% of American households have at least one copy of the Bible, a poll taken by the Gallup organization in October of 2010, 59% of Americans reported that they read the Bible only occasionally. This is down from 73% in the 1980’s. They also reported that 37% of Americans claimed to read the Bible at least once a week. However, various studies have found that only 10% of professed Christians have read the Bible in its entirety. A dust catcher has been defined as, “A little used object often just kept for decorative purposes.” The above data suggest that in most American homes the Bible would qualify as a dust catcher! Its treatment as a dust catcher is especially surprising in that 67% of Americans say that the Bible holds that answers to the basic questions of life.
However, studies consistently reveal that biblical knowledge (more appropriately biblical illiteracy) is rampant. Some frequently stated examples are: “Less than 50 percent of Americans can name the first book of the Bible”; “ Only 1/3 know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount (more people identified it with Billy Graham than Jesus); “Only one-half can name even one of the four Gospels”; “Even the Ten Commandments were a mystery to the responders, only 42% could name as many of five of them correctly”; “Twelve per-cent of those surveyed identified Joan of Arc as Noah’s wife.” However, perhaps even more surprising for most Christians, who were able to recite John 3:16 before the age of six, that when then Florida quarterback, Tim Tebow put the that cite under his eyes at the championship game between the University of Florida and the University of Oklahoma in January of 2009, John 3:16 became the number one search item for Google for several days! How about that for a display of biblical ignorance, hopefully, few if any Christians were among the searchers!