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Patricia Heaton, the star of “Everybody Loves Raymond” took to Twitter to share that she had finally completed reading her whole Bible for the first time. “A year in the making. I finally did it!” she wrote. Her post included a video where she shared her experience. “Sunday, December 18, a year ago today, I decided I would finally, for the first time in my life, read the Bible all the way through. And I got this plan from the Gospel Coalition, and I finished it today. I can’t believe it,” she said. She stated that the experience was “revelatory,” although there were some difficult days. “… some days were kind of a slog. You know, just going through it and pushing through. Just feeling like I don’t know what any of this is about, mostly Old Testament stuff.” She also held up her worn-out reading guide and shared the list of names she’d written down for God. “He’s a Provider, Healer, Banner, Shepherd, Righteousness, Sovereign, The Beginning, The End, He Sees Me, Supreme Mighty One, Most High, Good Shepherd, Physician, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty, Everlasting, Prince of Peace, Lion of Judah, El Shaddai, God Almighty,” she said. She also stated she would begin to reread the Bible through starting in the new year.

Heaton finds herself amongst a small percentage of people who have actually read the Bible cover to cover. A 2017 Lifeway Research poll found that only 11 percent of Americans surveyed had read the whole Bible. 10 percent had read none of it. The greatest share, 30 percent, had read several passages or stories. Access to the Bible does not seem to be a prohibiting factor, as 87 percent of American households own a Bible, according to the American Bible Society. 49 percent of Americans with evangelical beliefs reported that they read a little bit of their Bible daily, and 36 percent of Protestants reported reading their Bible daily versus 17 percent of Catholics. 52 percent of those polled in the study stated that the Bible was “a good source of morals,” followed by 38 percent who called it a historical account. Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research, summed up the findings by saying, “Most Americans don’t know first-hand the overall story of the Bible—because they rarely pick it up. Even among worship attendees, less than half read the Bible daily. The only time most Americans hear from the Bible is when someone else is reading it.” 

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