Americans’ Top Book Is…
Americans Rank Bible Most Influential Book in History
Report Finds World’s Best-Seller Has Had the Greatest Impact on Humanity
What better book to read at the beach than one with the power to introduce you to the God who made the oceans?
The history of humanity is long and the candidates for the book that has influenced it most are endless. But one book above all others has been singled out as the clear winner. According to American Bible Society’s 2015 State of the Bible research, 58 percent of Americans believe the Bible has had the most impact on human history. No other book came anywhere close, with runners-up The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin and the Koran each garnering just five percent of responses.
The research commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Group is an annual survey of Americans’ opinions of and interactions with the Bible.
“Americans recognize that the Bible’s impact on human history is incalculable,” said American Bible Society Director of Communications Andrew Hood. “From poverty to politics, environment to ethics, revolution to romance, the Bible has always addressed society’s most pressing issues and remains the best-selling book of all time.”
The majority of Americans surveyed said they could benefit from more of the Bible’s influence in their own lives. Sixty-one percent of Bible readers said 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.
“Summer is a great time for most Americans to dive into the Bible,” said Hood. “With school out and after-school activities on hold, the summertime pace of life seems to afford more time for increased Bible reading. And 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. With vacations offering time away to reflect and refresh, reading the Bible can connect you to true rest and ultimate peace.”
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 AmericanBible.org.