Record Few Americans Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God

Gallup.com reports: “Fewer than one in four Americans (24%) now believe the Bible is ‘the actual word of God, and is to be taken literally, word for word,’ similar to the 26% who view it as ‘a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.’ This is the first time in Gallup’s four-decade trend that biblical literalism has not surpassed biblical skepticism. Meanwhile, about half of Americans — a proportion largely unchanged over the years — fall in the middle, saying the Bible is the inspired word of God but that not all of it should be taken literally.

From the mid-1970s through 1984, close to 40% of Americans considered the Bible the literal word of God, but this has been declining ever since, along with a shrinking percentage of self-identified Christians in the U.S. Meanwhile, the percentage defining the Bible as mere stories has doubled, with much of that change occurring in the past three years.

Still, while biblical literalism has waned, the vast majority of Americans — 71% — continue to view the Bible as a holy document, believing it is at least God-inspired if not God’s own words…”

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