Americans Evenly Split on Whether Bible, Koran & Book of Mormon Teach Same Spiritual Truths

American Bible Society Releases In-Depth Finding in Annual "The State of the Bible" Survey

On the heels of Gallup's assessment of the religiosity by state, American Bible Society is releasing in-depth findings from its The State of the Bible survey, which details Americans' beliefs about the Bible, its role in society, its presence in U.S. homes and more. [Full findings available at]

The annual state of the Bible 2012 survey, conducted by Barna Group on behalf of American Bible Society, found that:

  • 47% of American adults believe the Bible has too little influence in society today; only 16% believe it has too much influence, with the remaining adults expressing neutral opinions

  • 55% read the Bible to be closer to God, down 9% (from 64%) in 2011

  • 79% believe they are knowledgeable about the Bible but 54% were unable to correctly identify the first five books of the Bible 

  • 46% believe the Bible, the Koran and the Book of Mormon are different expressions of the same spiritual truths, 46% disagree

  • On average, 85% of U.S. households own a Bible; the average number of Bibles per household is 4.3

  • 36% of Americans read the Bible less than once a year or never while 33% read the Bible once a week or more

  • Generational patterns emerged where younger adults are less likely to perceive the Bible as relevant and useful when compared with older adults.

    • Sixty-two percent of adults age 66 and older believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know about living a meaningful life, dropping to 54% among boomers (age 47 to 65), 44% among those age 28 to 46, and dropping even further to 34% for those age 18 to 27 


"Findings from The State of the Bible 2012 survey show Americans desire to read the Bible more and turn to it for the answers to life questions but have an increasingly less reverent view of its contents," said David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group. 

Findings have remained stable since last year with a slight shift towards less religiosity particularly among young adults.

"In order to further our efforts to make the Bible accessible to people in a way that best fits their lives, it is imperative that we have a firm grasp on the views and actions of Americans around the Bible," said Lamar Vest, president of American Bible Society. "While the message of the Bible is unchanging, how we deliver it is ever changing. The State of the Bible 2012 helps us to better understand how Americans are interacting with God's Word."

Media Resources:

  • V-card to save link to The State of the Bible 2012 for quick/easy reference in the future
  • Infographic of The State of the Bible 2012 at
  • Text of full findings of The State of the Bible 2012 at
  • Poll your audience

Interview Opportunities

  • Lamar Vest, president of American Bible Society
  • David Kinnaman, president of The Barna Group

About American Bible Society:
Headquartered in Manhattan, the 196-year-old American Bible Society exists 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 oldest nonprofit organizations, today's American Bible Society provides interactive, high- and low-tech resources enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time. For more information, visit American.Bible.

Survey Methodology:
The State of the Bible 2012 report contains the findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research (a division of the Barna Group). Two research methodologies were used for the study; one included 1,016 telephone interviews with adults in the continental U.S. while the second study consisted of 1,005 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 Feb. 24 - March 5, 2012 and included U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. The online surveys were conducted between March 14 - 21, 2012.

For full survey information, please contact Amy Huffman or Katie Rouse at 770.813.0000.