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The Bible in American Life$
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Philip Goff, Arthur Farnsley, and Peter Thuesen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190468910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190468910.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 August 2019

The Bible

The Bible

Then and Now

(p.331) 28 The Bible
The Bible in American Life

Mark A. Noll

Oxford University Press

This chapter makes use of the recent survey Bible in American Life, conducted by the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, to explore continuities and discontinuities in the nation’s history of engagement with the Bible. Many features of contemporary life testify to the continuing ubiquity of the Scriptures, but at the same time, no one can doubt that increasing competition from media of every kind has rendered Scripture less central in the contemporary United States than it was in previous eras. The survey does, however, helpfully disclose noteworthy facts about the nearly one-half of the population who read the Bible at least once a year (one-fourth weekly, 10 percent daily). More Catholics read the Bible outside worship services than often thought; even after intensive marketing of many other translations the King James Version remains the majority Bible of choice; African Americans read the Bible in far higher percentages than any other ethnic group; and a huge majority of Bible reading takes place for purposes of personal religious edification rather than for anything political.

Keywords:   African Americans, King James Version, Media

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