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American Bible Society

Since its founding in 1816, American Bible Society has been a pioneering leader for Bible access, engagement and translation.

American Bible Society

February 2, 2021


American Bible Society’s commitment for the next 10 years is to translate the Bible into 100 percent of all languages and to equip 100 million people in the U.S. to actively engage with the Bible.

From 2011 to 2020, American Bible Society commissioned Barna Group to conduct a yearly study of the State of the Bible in the U.S. These studies, which to date include interviews with more than 22,000 U.S. adults and teens, track various angles related to Bible engagement, including Bible reading frequency, beliefs about the Bible and perceptions of the Bible’s usefulness in personal and public life. Barna has worked with American Bible Society to define four categories of Bible engagement based on people’s beliefs about the Bible and how often they read it.


Tracking perceptions of the Bible among U.S. adults from 2011 to 2020

Each year, the research project consists of two different methodologies surveying more than 1,000 adults 18 and older in the continental U.S. conducted by telephone, and a nationally representative online survey of 1,000 adults. In 2015, American Bible Society also interviewed teens ages 13 to 17 as well. Using both telephone and online survey methodologies provides a larger sample size for key questions and ensures greater representation among all age groups.

Americans overwhelmingly name the Bible as holy or sacred literature and have done so consistently since 2011.

However, although many people hold the Scriptures in high esteem, less than half of the population strongly agrees that the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life. Research findings also reveal that rising skepticism is creating an atmosphere that is unfriendly, and sometimes even hostile, to claims of faith. Moral authority is shifting away from external sources of truth toward an internal desire for self-fulfillment.

Using these robust research findings, Barna worked with American Bible Society to develop and publish a highly designed report (monograph) that includes professionally designed infographics, analysis and extensive data, available in print and digital formats. The Bible in America was released at the celebration of American Bible Society’s bicentennial on May 12, 2016.


Together, Barna Group and American Bible Society have collected numerous data to share with pastors across the globe.

In partnership with ABS, Barna released The Bible in America report in 2016. This multiyear survey of attitudes toward and perceptions of the Bible, set against the backdrop of a changing cultural landscape, represents one of the largest sets of aggregate data Barna has ever collected on any single topic.

Bible-Minded Cities was an ongoing annual partnership program that took place from 2013 to 2017. Each year during that period of time, American Bible Society and Barna looked at how the top 100 major metro areas in the U.S. viewed and used the Bible. Individuals who report using the Bible in a typical week and strongly agree that it is accurate in all of its teachings are categorized as “Bible-minded,” a definition that captures both action and attitude. The rankings thus reflected an overall openness or resistance to the Bible in various U.S. cities.

“Not in a million years did I expect you to read my mind, but you did. Thank you for everything – you have really created a fabulous image for our company.”

Edward James
Edward James
Support Specialist