Those who took part in the survey were asked, “Which of the following statements comes closest to describing your views about the Bible? (1) The Bible is the actual Word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word. (2) The Bible is the inspired Word of God but not everything in it should be taken literally. (3) The Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man.” The second option was the most popular choice with 49 percent saying that they believe the Bible is God’s inspired Word but should not be taken literally. The statement regarding viewing the Bible as legends and fables was chosen by 17 percent of those who were polled.
The research relating to the Bible, which has been conducted since 1977, also revealed that:
- Belief in a literal interpretation of the Bible declines as educational attainment increases.
- Those who attend church more often are more likely to hold a literal view of the Bible.
- Republicans and Conservatives are more likely to take the Bible literally than Democrats and Liberals.
- A higher percentage of low-income Americans believe the Bible to be literally true.
The study was based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,018 adults. For the complete report go to Gallup.com.
(from FotF's Pastor's Weekly Briefing)