Biblica Launches Institute for Bible Reading to Address Growing Crisis of Bible Engagement

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New think tank will collaborate with biblical scholars, pastors, and churchgoers to reverse the declining trend in Bible reading.

“The Bible is the most powerful catalyst for spiritual growth,” concluded the REVEAL Study in 2008. Yet six years later, the Christian church is facing a silent crisis of Bible engagement, as fewer people spend any meaningful time with the Bible. To address this alarming trend, Biblica announces the launch of the Biblica Institute for Bible Reading. This new think tank will:

・Conduct research on existing models of Bible reading, as well as new ones

・Convene forums of biblical scholars, clergy, and laity to pursue more effective ways of engaging people in the Bible

・Provide educational opportunities for churches and ministries on how to read (and help others read) God’s Word

・Develop new content and resources so people can read and live the Bible well

“For over 200 years, Biblica has provided millions of people with access to the Bible. But that’s no longer enough, given the crisis in Bible reading. We need to help people absorb God’s Word, so they can live transformed,” said Doug Lockhart, CEO of Biblica.

Evidence of a crisis in Bible reading has been mounting for some time. Fewer people are reading God’s Word, despite an abundance of Bibles in many places.

・In the U.S., the number of occasional Bible readers fell around 20 percent in a single generation (Gallup). That’s the equivalent of 700 people giving up reading the Bible every day.

・Nine in 10 churchgoers say they want help understanding the Bible, yet only 1 in 5 say their church provides in-depth Bible study. (REVEAL)

・Unless this trend is reversed, by 2040, two-thirds of all Americans will have no meaningful relationship with the Bible.

“We believe the answer to diminishing Bible engagement is delivering a more meaningful experience with the Bible,” said Lockhart. “There are specific challenges people face when reading the Bible, and we are committed to helping them meet those challenges.”

The idea for a Bible reading think tank was born out of the rapid embrace of Community Bible Experience. This groundbreaking new Bible reading initiative has helped over 300,000 people in more than a dozen countries read the entire New Testament holistically. “The response to Community Bible Experience convinced us the church is hungry for a deeper experience with the Bible,” said Scott Bolinder, Executive Vice President of Biblica.

The Biblica Institute for Bible Reading has already convened its first forum, attended by more than 20 leading scholars in Chicago this January. “We were delighted by the response to our invitation, and by the fruitful dialogue on how to engage Scripture as a church,” said Bolinder. “Our first task as an institute is listening to scholars, pastors, and churchgoers so we can better serve the church as a whole.”

Glenn Paauw, Biblica’s Vice President and Bible Publisher, has been named Executive Director of the Institute for Bible Reading. Paauw has 25 years of Bible publishing experience and is the author of the forthcoming book Save the Bible! with InterVarsity Press. “The Institute for Bible Reading fulfills a long-held dream to build on our first two centuries of Bible ministry,” said Paauw. “We pledge to serve the church and our ministry partners with new initiatives to encourage better Bible reading. After all, that’s how individuals and societies are transformed—through meaningful engagement with God’s Word.”

About Biblica
Biblica provides God’s Word so people can enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ and grow in Him. We work in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East/North Africa, North America, and South Asia. We translate and publish the Bible in the top 100 major languages in the world and are the translation sponsor and worldwide publisher of the New International Version® (NIV®) Bible, the most widely used contemporary English translation in the world.

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Ben Irwin
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