Over the past 30 years, Americans’ view of the Bible as the literal word of God has been slipping.
Fewer than one in four Americans (24%) now believe the Bible is “the actual word of God, and is to be taken literally.”
According to a new Gallup survey, twenty-six percent of Americans now see the Bible as “a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.”
The pollster said, “This is the first time in Gallup’s four-decade trend that biblical literalism has not surpassed biblical skepticism.”
Forty-seven percent said they believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, but that not all of it should be taken literally.
Gallup said that “nonwhites, adults aged 50 and older, and adults with no college education said they believe the Bible is the actual word of God.
Men, whites, adults 18 to 29, as well as 30 to 49, and college graduates were more skeptical.
Meanwhile, Gallup reports that “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.”
Gallup conducted the annual survey as part of its Values and Beliefs poll May 3-7.