The YouVersion Bible app team tracked the opening of the movie Noah, and during the three-day opening weekend, the app reported a 300 percent increase in people reading or listening to the Noah story from the book of Genesis.
In actual numbers, YouVersion reports during the opening weekend that the Noah story was read or listened to on the app 389,794 times—or about 129,931 times per day. It’s the highest number of people exploring that passage that they’ve ever experienced.
Bible Gateway, another top online Scripture site, reports similar findings, with a 223 percent increase. Geof Morin, executive vice president and chief communications officer of the American Bible Society, did a sampling among their huge number of Facebook followers and discovered that 87 percent of respondents said they were reading the story of Noah because of weekend conversations about the film. If you’d like to be part of the American Bible Society’s effort to share the Noah story, you can sign up here.
Keep in mind that these are just three sources of information, and YouVersion and Bible Gateway don’t account for all the people reading the story in print. As Benny Perez, senior pastor at The Church at South Las Vegas, told me, “Our church members are reporting over and over that the first thing they’re doing after seeing the movie is to pull out their Bibles and reread the story.”
God can indeed work with imperfect people and imperfect vehicles. In spite of the nonbiblical elements taken from Jewish and other sources, the film is still driving people to explore the real story in the pages of the Bible. This was my hope, and it’s certainly playing out.
The movie is out, and hundreds of thousands are seeing it. These reports indicate that it’s time to get off the sidelines and get into the conversation.
What an opportunity for sharing your faith with friends, family or co-workers. If you haven’t talked to someone about Noah lately, I’m encouraging you to do it today.
Phil Cooke is a filmmaker, media critic and adviser to some of the largest churches, ministries and nonprofit organizations in the world. He's the founder of the Influence Lab.