Knoxville, Tenn. tops list of Bible-minded cities in America

(Image: American Bible Society)

Knoxville, Tenn., has been named the most Bible-minded city in the United States, according to a newly released list by the American Bible Society.

In a study commissioned by the New-York-based Bible organization, 52% of the population in Knoxville are "Bible-minded," meaning residents have the highest combined levels of regular Bible reading and belief in the Bible's accuracy. 

The majority of the Top 10 of the "America's Most Bible-Minded Cities" list came from the Bible-Belt areas of the South. Shreveport, La., which has a strong Baptist influence, came in second. Chattanooga, Tenn., placed third.

Meanwhile, the least Bible-minded cities came from the New England states. Providence, R.I. and New Bedford, Mass., tied in first place for the being least Bible-minded city, with only 9% of the population reading and believing in the Bible. Albany, the capital of New York, came in second on that list, and Burlington, Vt., taking third place.

Geoffrey Morin, chief communications officer at American Bible Society, said, "Knowing the Bible landscape across the U.S. is key to helping people engage with the most-translated, best-selling book of all time. Whether you are living in the Bible Belt, the Midwest, New England or the Great Lakes, the Bible speaks to the needs, concerns and challenges of every American."

The study was conducted by Barna Group Research, which based the report on 42,855 interviews conducted between 2005 and 2012. The complete Bible-minded list has 96 cities.

David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, offered two extreme interpretations of the results.

"The least sanguine way to analyze the results would be to emphasize the lack of Bible-mindedness in America; in 91 out of 96 markets a majority of the residents are not Bible minded," he said.

"However, a more optimistic way to view those markets would be to look at those cities with at least one-fifth Bible-mindedness—meaning those areas where at least one out of five adults are open to engaging and esteeming the Bible."

Most Bible-Minded Cities

1. Knoxville, Tenn.
2. Shreveport, La.
3. Chattanooga, Tenn.
4. Birmingham, Ala.
5. Jackson, Miss.
6. Springfield, Mo.
7. Charlotte, N.C.
8. Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va.
9. Huntsville, Ala.
10. Charleston, W.Va.

Least Bible-Minded Cities

1. Providence, R.I./ New Bedford, Mass.
2. Albany, N.Y.
3. Burlington, Vt.
4. Portland, Maine
5. Hartford/New Haven, Conn.
6. Boston, Mass.
7. San Francisco
8. Phoenix, Ariz.
9. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
10. Buffalo, N.Y.

Copyright © 2013 Ecumenical News