American Bible Society’s latest research reveals key findings
PHILADELPHIA — As midterm elections approach, a few often-overlooked biblical characteristics may carry more weight among voters than politicians realize. State of the Bible, a recent survey from American Bible Society, found that an overwhelming 90 percent of Americans believe elected officials should display peace, kindness, gentleness and self-control.
These qualities, known as the “fruit of the spirit,” are described in the Bible as necessary to living an exemplary life—something most Americans believe politicians should be striving to emulate, but only 26 percent believe they are actually doing.
“American Bible Society is calling lawmakers, and indeed all Americans, to look to the Bible for guidance about how to behave. The fruit of the spirit described in the book of Galatians is a clear recommendation for how one should live: peacefully, kindly, gently and with self-control. More than ever our nation needs the sense of civility and discourse that could come from more people adopting these positive attributes as goals for life,” said Roy Peterson, president and CEO of American Bible Society.
The findings substantiate Americans’ views from State of the Bible 2016 that politicians would be both more effective (53 percent) and civil (51 percent) if they read the Bible on a regular basis. For Americans who read the Bible, 82 percent say that as a result, they are more likely to show loving behavior toward others, while 41 percent of all Americans believe the Bible has too little influence on society (State of the Bible 2018).
The State of the Bible 2018 report contains the findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research (a division of Barna Group). Two research methodologies were used for the study: the first included 1,004 telephone interviews (including cellphone interviews) with adults in all 50 states in the U.S., and the second consisted of 1,063 online surveys using a nationally representative panel. The use of two methodologies provided a larger sample size for key questions and ensured even greater representation among all age groups. The telephone interviews were conducted Jan. 4 – 11, 2018, and included U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. The online surveys were conducted Jan. 9 – Jan. 18, 2018.
About American Bible Society
Since 1816, American Bible Society has worked to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation’s first and most enduring ministries, today’s American Bible Society provides resources across a variety of platforms, enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time. For more information, visit American.Bible.