If you asked any Christian, they would agree that it’s important to read the Bible. Sadly, very few Christians actually read their Bibles. A recent survey reveals that the number of adults reading the Bible is declining. According to the survey that was conducted in January 2023, 100 million adults (39% of Americans) said they read their Bibles more than thrice in a year. In the past ten years, this number has been the lowest. This is quite a sharp decline from the 128 million (50%) that was recorded just a couple of years back in 2021.
So, why exactly do only a few Christians have a relationship with their Bibles? And why is the number of adults that read their Bibles in decline? Well, there are a couple of reasons including:
Thinking only preachers can understand the Bible
One of the greatest lies in the Body of Christ is that only the preachers can understand the Bible. This lie has pushed the church deeper into lethargy and has prevented many Christians from having a personal relationship with their Bibles. Before the reformation in the 16th century, the Bible was only available to the priests and the rest of the Christians thought they were not good enough to interpret the scripture. It was even believed that one would go mad if they attempted to read the Bible on their own. But following the invention of the printing press and the Reformation movement, Bibles were made more available and Christians were encouraged to start reading them. Sadly, most of the church is still living as though were are still in the dark ages.
God has indeed graced the preachers differently and He often reveals mysteries to them so that they can communicate it to the church. However, every born-again Christian can still rely on the Holy Spirit that resides in them to understand the scriptures. This is the message Apostle John was trying to pass to the early church when he reminded them that they also had an anointing and did not, therefore, need a teacher to explain the word to them.
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. 1 John 2:27, NIV
Simply put, he was telling them not to wait until Sunday to read the Bible but to do it daily at home.
Lack of Time
19% of Christians who do not actively read the Bible blame it on lack of time. The digital age is a busy time to live in. There is always too much to do and very little time. From juggling career, business, and education to trying to find leisure time to have some bonding sessions with your loved ones, it would seem like the more we advance, the less time we have. From the time the alarm goes off in the morning to the time you fall back in bed after an exhausting day, it seems like there is very little time left to squeeze in anything else in our already full schedules.
The reality, however, is that however busy we get, our busy schedule is child’s play compared to the kind of schedule Jesus had. If you take a careful look at the ministry of Jesus, you will see a man who always had a full day and night. When he was not preaching, he was traveling to the next town to preach. All through the day, people were seeking him out and he rarely had time to rest. He had such a busy schedule that he often had no time left to eat (John 4:34). But however busy he got, he always prioritized his quiet time with God. In fact, the Bible says it was his custom to seclude himself on Mt. Olives to have some alone time with God (John 22:39).
We can all borrow a leaf from Jesus and start creating time for Bible study.
Lack of Understanding
A recent study shows that 8% of Christians think the language of the Bible is too hard to relate to. Some think the layout is confusing while others don’t understand the context of the Bible or the stories therein. These notions have somehow contributed to the poor stats on Bible readership in the church. New believers are often enthusiastic about reading the scriptures and they religiously keep at it with the determination of a dog. Unfortunately, some fall off along the way –especially when they realize they are having a hard time understanding scriptures. But that should not be the case.
See, God will only reveal some truths to the preachers and teachers of the word. In Apostle Paul’s words, we know in part and prophesy in part ( 1 Cor. 13:9-12). That is why a Christian needs to be a regular attendee of their local church. As you read the Bible and struggle with understanding some truths, God will use his servants to shed light on the same. A good example is given in the Book of Acts on the day of Pentecost. When Peter stood to address the crowd, he referred to the prophecy of Joel by saying, “This is that which was prophesied…” (Acts 2:16) and then he continued to elaborate. Before this, most people did not have a clue what the prophet had actually meant.
Not understanding the scripture should therefore never be an excuse for not reading the Bible.
Even though there are several reasons why most Christians don’t read their Bibles, the most prevalent reason is a lack of understanding. As we have already mentioned, God has anointed the members of the five-fold ministry to help the church to understand the Bible. Technology has made it even easier – you no longer need to travel long distances to listen to different teachers around the world. You can now leverage technology and listen to some of your favorite Bible expositors from the comfort of your living room.
We believe this app will change the narrative as it will help more Christians to understand the scriptures. Check out the app today and let us know your thoughts!