The Bible may not be official TN state book, but lots of Tennesseans read and believe

Noting a report that says the Tri-Cities area of Tennessee has risen from fifth to fourth place on the American Bible Society’s rankings of the nation’s most “Bible-minded” places, the Kingsport Times-News got comments from area ministers. (Chattanooga is No. 1). The report is based on polling that asks respondents about their frequency of Bible reading and belief in the Bible’s accuracy.

An excerpt:

Marvin Cameron, pastor at First Baptist Church in Kingsport, said he believes the Tri-Cities’ high ranking speaks to this region’s heritage.

“I think that’s just a part of who we are,” Cameron said. “It’s part of who we’ve been growing up, and it’s something that stays with us for a lifetime.”

To encourage Bible-mindedness at First Baptist, Cameron said he prepares a daily devotional that is sent to the congregation by email. The devotional includes a daily scripture reading and a few paragraphs of reflection.

The American Bible Society report is HERE. First paragraphs:

For the fourth time in the past five years, Chattanooga, Tennessee, topped the list of “America’s Most Bible-Minded Cities”—an annual study conducted by American Bible Society in partnership with Barna Group.

The top five cities in the report are all located within the area of the United States known as the “Bible Belt.” Birmingham, Alabama; Roanoke/Lynchburg, Virginia; Tri-Cities, Tennessee; and Shreveport, Louisiana all boasted high levels of Bible belief and engagement. The report shows that nearly 50 percent of the population in these areas reads the Bible frequently and advocates for the spiritual authority of Scripture.

Other cities that scored high in Bible-mindedness include Charlotte, North Carolina; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Knoxville, Tennessee. And some cities made significant progress in 2017. Springfield, Missouri moved up from spot 11 to 7 while Jackson, Mississippi moved up from spot 15 to 12.

2 Responses to The Bible may not be official TN state book, but lots of Tennesseans read and believe

  • Ann Lamb says:

    The question is, read and believe WHAT?

    “If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” ~ I John 4:20

  • I have often wondered how some who revere the Bible and its teachings can simp0ly ignore the parable of the Good Samaritan when it comes to issues like expanding health care to those who are uninsured. We all recall Jesus’ parable of how a citizen of Samaria, people generally reviled by the Hebrews, came to the rescue of a wounded traveler when a priest and a Levite chose to ignore him and crossed to the other side of the road. I once ask Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, a devout Christian, how he viewed his obligations to support adoption of Insure Tennessee. Gov. Ramsey thought for a minute and then allowed he would “have to think about that.” What’s to think about if you truly take the Bible seriously?

    We often forget that Jesus preceded his telling of the parable with these words in response to the question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responded, “what is written in the law? what do you read there?” The questioner responded: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus then said, “You have given the right answer; do this and you will live.”

    If one is truly “Bible-minded,” then you have to pay attention to what the Bible, and especially Jesus, have to say about real life choices.

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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