One of March’s media stories has been the success of the History Channel miniseries, The Bible. The first episode, which premiered on March 3, had 13.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen, making it the highest entertainment (read: non-sports) broadcast of 2013.
The interest in a cable series makes it clear the American public is certainly interested in the Bible. But what do Americans actually think about the Bible? Do they believe it to be sacred, authoritative or merely nonsense? Do they try to follow its exhortations, or do they regard the Bible as antiquated literature? Does the Bible still matter—besides television ratings—to Americans?
A recent survey from the Barna Group, commissioned by the American Bible Society, provides some insight into these questions. From the results, it’s easy to see why the Bible remains a cultural force in the United States. Yet, its future role looks very different than its past.
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