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Number Of Bible Skeptics Rises In U.S.

Number Of Bible Skeptics Rises In U.S.

A new survey shows a large increase in the number of Americans skeptical of the teachings of the Bible.

WCSC mentions "The survey finds more and more Americans consider the Bible to be teachings of men... rather than the word of God. The poll... from the American Bible Society... found the greatest increase in those opinions came from Americans between the ages of 18 and 29."

According to the American Bible Society's latest "State of the Bible" poll, the number of people said to be "Bible engaged" is now equal to the percentage of people who do not believe the Bible is sacred.

WOFL reports both groups now sit at 19 percent. The percentage of "Bible skeptics" is up from 10 percent in 2011. According to the president of the society, that's a concerning change.

Those who are engaged by the Bible are those who read it on a regular basis and believe the book is the actual or inspired Word of God. On the other hand, skeptics see the Bible merely as stories and advice. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Amandajm)

The study, which is conducted annually by Barna Research, is based on more than 2,000 interviews with U.S. adults in January and February.

It finds this trend is most pronounced among millennials, those who are range in age from 18 to 29. But why? Most say they are either too busy or significant life changes or events created doubt in their faith.

The president of American Bible Society told the The Washington Post the survey shows, "... we just can't hand them a Bible and expect them to find the answers. We have to get out the word to give God's word a chance. It's urgent."

But The Washington Post points out Bible related movies are "raking it in at the box office."

"Son of God, which opened in February, grossed more than $25 million when it first opened.

And Noah topped the box office charts when it hit theaters at the end of March, bringing in $44 million its opening weekend.

The American Bible Society of course hopes this uptake in "Bible skeptics" reverses. The president believes more people will eventually look to the Bible for answers to America's moral decline. (Via Religion News Service)

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jcolts23 April 10 2014 at 11:24 PM

You don't need the bible to have morals

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Bob Rose April 10 2014 at 8:41 PM

We are on the verge of a new world religion. It's tenets are true and simple: Some people believe that the nature of the human soul after death is a mystery, but that the Maker of the universe should none-the-less be revered. This makes earthly life better, and the belief in absolute truth; but other people don't believe this, which is their constitutional priviledge.

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business April 10 2014 at 5:03 PM

It is a win - win belief; zero sum game.

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catherinecallaghan April 10 2014 at 2:31 PM

Can someone explain why the Catholic version of the Bible left out certain parts? Isn't it rather arrogant for man to be editing God?

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4 replies
cazsue April 10 2014 at 5:16 PM

Righties see liberals with a great desire to help the least of these and say "they all want a free ride" because THEY would need an ulterior motive to help the meek, we don't. Empathy-free righties think everyone is all filled with hate and fear like them. Simply not true. Truly decent people do not fear death or hate everyone different.

PS - the media is NOT liberal, most is owned by righties = fact.

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thomcit April 10 2014 at 6:48 PM

Well, we do know there were many books of "The Bible" that didn't make the final cut.

The Roman Empire was vast. Many regions differed in the books they included in "The Bible". Rome wanted consistency (i.e. everyone on the same page). So, Rome gathered all of the representatives of the various regions to convene and hash out a compromise, which they did.

A few of the smaller, relatively isolated regions were not included in the council. They kept their versions. Today, those same, small regions (actually, a few villages in Ethiopia) still include the their original version. The Catholic Church, The Russian Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church are a few examples of larger groups who include/exclude other books of "The Bible". Various Protestants deleted certain books, revised and re-interpreted "The Bible".

Stay with me. I am getting to the point. There are (at least) a hundred Denominations. Each interprets "The Bible" differently. Like many of you, I've witnessed some really ugly arguments between Protestants from differing, mainstream denominations (none were Mormons). Many times, the differences were/are so strong, both parties are certain the other party is destined for Hell (unless one or the other "repents").

Why would an all-knowing God, allow his word to be so ambiguous. One wouldn't think a Deity, with unlimited powers, would place his/her "Stamp of Approval" on such contested, ambiguous works, especially when "Eternal Life" is at stake.

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1 reply
lidodex thomcit April 10 2014 at 7:05 PM

A great point, thomcit. But what makes you (or any of us) think that God has given "The Bible", as we now know it, a stamp of approval? I would argue that anything written, translated, rewritten and interpreted by humankind, again and again over many centuries, is suspect. A hint at the answer to that question may very well lie within scripture itself: "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." --1 Corinthians 13:12

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1 reply
thomcit lidodex April 10 2014 at 7:47 PM

Ditto. A great point. For the sake of argument (actually, just a friendly discussion): Why should we rely on any passage from a collection of accounts that contains so many contradictions and may or may not be inspired by God? Every denomination uses a myriad of "selected" Biblical passages (both New and Old Testament) as the basis for their particular interpretation. I'm sure you've endured (witnessed) disagreements between those of different denominations who, using the same version of "The Bible" to summon up the particular passages that backs their claim. It's like being stuck in an endless loop. The sentiments of the scripture you pointed out were certainly authored by a very wise individual. It's a beautiful passage. But (again, just for the sake of "discussion"), there have been many wise, beautiful passages over the eons that were not inspired by a Deity. I certainly appreciate thoughtful, intelligent replies like yours.

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Beautiful April 10 2014 at 5:21 PM


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milmediate April 10 2014 at 1:54 PM

Thank god for the Skeptics!! ;-)

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Ed April 11 2014 at 12:43 AM

Doubting the Bible is a very healthy sign! It indicates that Enlightenment is driving out the Darkness! There is hope for us yet!

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1 reply
blackcoffeeparty Ed April 11 2014 at 12:52 AM

Yes Ed, there is hope for us and his name is Jesus. And this is one reason why he is the only hope for us. If Jesus did not come and die on that cross and more importantly rise on the third day; then there is no hope for the living but to die and the dead are nothing but dust. Right or not I will say that I believe that Jesus written about in the Bible is the savior and light of the world

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Barbara Monroe April 10 2014 at 6:41 PM

You cannot change the beliefs of someone who will not listen to any other opinions, nor should you. On the other hand, if you believe something, then so be it. It is your belief and not yours to push on others. The Bible has so many contradictions. It has been re-interpreted so many times. The version we read today is not the original version plus there have been countless books found and verified that will not be accepted or added to the Bible. Within the Christian faith there is so much discord and infighting.

Most of what is written that is read today was written around the 12th and 13th centuries. Most of it was opinion and what we have today was carefully selected from many more documents that were deemed "appropriate" to be included or excluded in the final form. Men were emphasized, women were not.

One cannot be within a group, any group, and not be part of excluding others. When I lived amongst so many cultures, races, religions I never saw much prejudice. I learned so much and had a broader knowledge of the world. When I moved west I found such a narrow view of religion and intolerance of those "not in the group". There were so many misconceptions about Non-Christians. Very sad.

If for nothing else...remember this: Christ was born and died a Jew. The first part of the Bible are all about the Jewish faith. They are a beautiful people. Never are you preached to incessantly about joining the flock. Open your minds and learn about the world. It is a big, beautiful place.

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1 reply
Jive Turkey Barbara Monroe April 10 2014 at 6:50 PM

The King James Bible has not changed since it's creation. It dates back to the original manuscripts in their original languages. Yes other books were excluded because they were found later or came from another place entirely and they were written to discredit the Bible which is why they were rejected.

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1 reply
Janice Jive Turkey April 10 2014 at 11:34 PM

The KJV buybull is vile. And King James liked little Boys, sadly.

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