Americans’ Advice to Candidates: Read the Bible More Often

New Report Finds Americans Endorse Bible Reading to Boost Civility in Politics

As more and more candidates declare their intention to run in the next presidential race, a new report finds that Americans believe increased Bible reading could benefit all politicians. American Bible Society’s annual State of the Bible research found 58 percent of Americans believe regular Bible reading would actually make politicians more effective.

In addition, the research commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Group discovered that 56 percent of Americans believe regular Bible reading would make politics more civil.

“Americans are recognizing that politicians, like the rest of us, can benefit from the Bible’s wisdom,” said American Bible Society executive vice president Geof Morin. “The Bible sets a compelling vision of what we want for our leaders today—learn to be humble, seek divine guidance, demonstrate love to opponents and put the needs of others above their own desires.”

The majority of Americans say they too could benefit from additional Bible reading. Sixty-one percent of Bible readers say they wish they read the Bible more. While twice as many Americans said their Bible reading increased rather than decreased in the past year—22 percent compared with 12 percent—busyness is still cited as the most common reason for not reading the Bible more.

“It is encouraging to see Americans yearn for additional Bible reading,” said Morin. “In our hectic culture, it is understandable that busyness would be a hurdle to increased Bible reading. That is why American Bible Society is constantly looking for new ways to help people connect with Scripture throughout their daily lives. In today’s digital culture, people can engage with Scripture anytime and anywhere through social media posts, Bible reading apps and readily available online versions of the Bible.”

Survey Methodology:

The State of the Bible 2015 report contains the findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research (a division of Barna Group). Two research methodologies were used for the study; one included 1,010 telephone interviews (including cell phone interviews) with adults in the continental U.S., while the second study consisted of 1,000 online surveys using a nationally representative panel. The use of two methodologies provided a larger sample size for key questions and ensured even greater representation among all age groups. The telephone interviews were conducted Jan. 8 – 20, 2015, and included U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. The online surveys were conducted between Feb. 3 and Feb. 11, 2015.

About American Bible Society:

Since 1816, American Bible Society has worked to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation’s first and most enduring ministries, today’s American Bible Society provides resources across a variety of platforms enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time. For more information, visit