Twenty-eight percent of Americans believe the Bible is the actual word of God and that it should be taken literally. This is somewhat below the 38% to 40% seen in the late 1970s, and near the all-time low of 27% reached in 2001 and 2009. But about half of Americans continue to say the Bible is the inspiredword of God, not to be taken literally -- meaning a combined 75% believe the Bible is in some way connected to God. About one in five Americans view the Bible in purely secular terms -- as ancient fables, legends, history, and precepts written by man -- which is up from 13% in 1976.
The latest results are from Gallup's 2014 update of its annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 8-11.
Fittingly, overall acceptance of the Bible as being divinely written or inspired closely approximates the proportion of Americans identifying themselves as Christian: 76% in Gallup's 2013 religion aggregate. Meanwhile, the 21% viewing the Bible in secular terms nearly matches the combined 22% who identify with another religion or no religion.
Ultimately, the finding that nine in 10 Christians believe the Bible emanates from God indicates that U.S. Christians are Christian in more than name only.
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The Bible is important in American political culture. Writers and orators frequently quote from it, and many see it as a source of moral guidance. Gallup reports: