From the latest issue of AFA Journal (American Family Journal), a study by Lifeway Research is quoted that says few churchgoers read their Bible every day and the most likely reason is they do not comprehend it. The study polled 2390 American Protestants who attended church at least once a month : 18% never read the Bible outside church, 27% read it a few times a week, 14% once a week, 22% once a month and 19% read it daily. Please note that AFA quotes numbers that add up to 100% while the graphic at Lifeway.com shown above adds up to 99% (unless I’m not understanding, what happened to the last 1%?).
Zondervan Publishing apparently is the one who is suggesting American Christians don’t read the Bible because it’s hard to understand. They are working on a full New International Version (NIV) text with accompanying color graphics to explain the material–in other words, someone’s interpretation of what the material means.
Add to that the numerous theological commentaries and you have a bunch of confused Christians who haven’t come to terms with the fact that their holy text is archaic and not meant as a guide for modern life.
SIDENOTE: I’m not sure I can take seriously a poll of 2390 people out of how many American Protestants? Only 2390 would be out of what may be around 50 percent of the American population if you consider that, while not professing Protestantism, most mainstream Christians follow a Protestant mindset (basically the opposite of what you see in Catholicism) with varying degrees. Still, I tend to find that the majority is woefully ignorant of what the Bible actually says except for the highlighted pleasant parts printed on T-Shirts, included in rock lyrics or stamped on a mug. The ugly portions are ignored or dismissed. The same is true of Christian history which is why you have ignorant Christians claiming nonChristians can’t celebrate the mythology of the holidays (as if there is any record that Jesus was born on December 25th and as if pagan celebrations for the holidays didn’t come first).
It’s hard to blame a working middle class for not reading enough or understanding enough of scripture. Who has the time? Unfortunately, the ignorance can result in bigotry towards gays, history denial (creationism) and a lack of understanding that morality is not guided by the Ten Commandments (again, where is Thou Shalt Not Rape, Thou Shalt Not Molest Children, and Thou Shalt Not Talk During the Movie–yes, my pet peeve).