One of the key aims of the Protestant Reformation was that every person might have their own copy of the Bible. According to a survey undertaken by CODEC in early 2009, this would seem to have been successful with three quarters of the population having access to the Bible, with over half of those being modern versions.
How many actually read the Bible?
However, although 70% of people self-designated themselves as associated with a Christian Church only 18% read their Bible that week”
Have we made the Bible inaccessible?
In enabling more people to have access to the Bible “we have also managed to professionalise (clericalise) the Bible to such an extent that some might argue we are undoing the Reformation by depriving the masses of the very text which we wanted to bring them. We do this by making the Bible the preserve of the clergy or the expert or the religious. We tell people that the Bible needs to be interpreted properly and through specific quasi-scientific approaches that normal people cannot possible understand. As such, we might as well have kept the Bible in Latin and the preserve of the Church. Instead, we have given people their own Bible but persuaded them that they still can’t read it – they still need another to interpret the mysteries whether that other is liberal, evangelical, catholic or charismatic. Biblical Literacy will need to look at ways in which we can develop Bible engagement among a much wider readership.”
Want to know more?
Download a summary report of the main findings in PDF format, which covers further questions such as:
- The Bible and The Movies/Theatre/TV
- Knowledge about some of the more well known characters in the Bible
- Knowledge about well-known Bible stories
- Festivals associated with the Bible
- Knowledge of the 10 Commandments
- Who do you think reads the Bible and why