The Habits and Hermeneutics of Digital Bible Readers: Comparing Print and Screen Engagement, Comprehension, and Behavior

In: Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture
John DyerDallas Theological Seminary

Search for other papers by John Dyer in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


Christians in general and American evangelicals in particular are increasingly using digital media to access Scripture, but it is unclear how this shift is influencing the behaviors they value most: regular reading and in-depth study. Using survey data, assessments of comprehension, and daily reading progress, this study examines how engagement with the Bible varies between print and screens. Results indicated that American evangelicals use a combination of print and digital forms of Scripture based on the kind of engagement they want to carry out (devotional reading, in-depth study, prayer, etc.). The data also suggest readers have lower comprehension when reading the Bible on screens compared to print. Readers using mobile devices are more likely to engage scripture daily than those using printed Bibles, and these effects are more pronounced in male readers than female readers.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1963 421 24
Full Text Views 91 29 4
PDF Views & Downloads 121 62 12