The Bible

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Most Households Own A Bible, But Only Half Of Americans Have Read It

May 1, 2017

A recent survey from LifeWay Research found that about half of Americans have read little to none of the Bible, even though nine out of 10 households own one.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, nine percent of the 1,000 people surveyed said they had read the entire Bible twice, Eleven percent said they had read the whole book once, and 12 percent said they had read practically all of it.

Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett Price joined Boston Public Radio Monday to talk about these findings.

At first, Price was surprised to hear how many people had actually read the Bible. Before praising their Biblical pursuits, though, Price warned about the potential problems that can occur when you read the bible in a vacuum.

“We call that exegesis,” Price said. “It is when you read your own values, your own perspective, your own thoughts into the Bible.”

This goes against what both Price and Monroe were taught in seminary school, which is an eisegesis reading of the Bible. This allows the “original intent of the text to share with you values, morals, and virtues,” Price said.

While Monroe was enthusiastic about what reading the Bible can teach, she also recognized that some passages -- like the Sodom and Gomorrah text -- are still subverted and used to enforce hate. Monroe called these sections “text of terror.”

Click above to listen to our interview with Reverend Irene Monroe and Emmett Price.


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