Watch CBN News' Mark Martin's interview with Bibles for the World's John Pudiate on the biblical literacy problem in America, what's being done about it and why it's so essential. Also, hear his incredible story about how God's Word took his family literally from "headhunters to heart hunters."
Researchers are finding more and more Americans are less and less familiar with the Bible. The findings are causing some groups, like Bibles for the World, to start Bible Literacy campaigns.
John Pudiate, president of Bibles for the World (BFTW), tells CBN News this is a personal mission for him because he knows firsthand the difference the living Word of God can make in a person's life.
"Our organization goes back to when a single copy of the gospel of John came to my grandfather's village. And, at that time, my people were an unreached people group," he explained."
"We were also a headhunting tribe, one of the fiercest headhunting tribes in the British Empire and this was in the far eastern, northeastern part of India on what is now the Burma border. And, that single copy of the Gospel of John came and transformed our people from headhunters to heart hunters for Jesus Christ," he continued.
So how bad is the problem? According to Barna Research Group:
- More than half of U.S. churchgoers (51%) could not identify the correct Bible passage as the Great Commission
- The national average of Bible reading since 2009 has weakened as more and more millennials join the ranks of adulthood,
- Only about one-third of all American adults report reading the Bible once a week or more.
Pudiate says there are several reasons for the decline in Bible knowledge in America. He pointed to removing the Bible from public schools, increasing secularization, diminishing reading habits, and even de-emphasizing Bible teaching in some churches.
"We're just less of a reading culture these days. You know, with everything going electronic, we see people, less people, of course carrying their Bibles, reading their Bibles. While people have it on their phones, it's not something we engage in with the printed word anymore as we used to."
BFTW launched a program earlier in 2018 called 'Learn the Bible in a Year.' It's a two-minute, daily radio feature. It takes listeners from Genesis to Revelation during 365 programs - and it's catching on according to Pudiate.
He emphasizes this program isn't just about reading the Bible but learning it and taking God's message to us to heart.
"This is not just another Bible reading plan, rather it's a Bible learning plan," he said. "We've found that many sincere believers attempt to read through the Bible because they 'know they need to,' and with the desire to 'just get it done.'"'Learn the Bible in a Year' series can also be found at the BFTW website.
You can subscribe and listen to episodes at your own pace and download study materials that only take minutes a day to complete. It is also available as an iTunes podcast.
"Many fail to learn and be shaped by the rich content of the entire Book, how Scripture is the unfolding story of God's plan for mankind," Pudiate also said.
He told CBN News Bibles for the World is serious about this project in America but is also dedicated to taking God's word to people around the world.