We have had an extensive (but by no means complete) discussion of the Bible in the last few postings. I would like to share with you poll results that I recently read that gave some information about how Americans view the Bible:
More than 75 percent of Americans believe that the Bible is “literally the word of God” or “inspired by the word of God.” In a series of three Gallup surveys, 31 percent of respondents agreed that “the Bible is absolutely accurate and should be taken literally word for word.” Forty-seven percent said the Bible is “the inspired word of God.” About one in five Americans believe that the Bible is a book of ancient fables, history and “moral precepts” recorded by man.
Those who attend church weekly were found to be the highest percentage of literal believers at 54 percent. High school graduates (42 percent) and Southerners (41 percent) were next. Those in the East and West are least likely to believe in a literal Bible.
According to a survey of 1,006 adults conducted in January by the Barna Group, 78 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of Democrats say the Bible is “totally accurate in all of its teachings.”
Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll, said that a literal-belief structure has influenced a number of public issues, including teaching evolution in public schools, same-sex relationships, the role of a husband and a wife in marriage, observance of a day of rest, the idea of men-only clergy and even “seemingly unrelated topics” such as immigration.
Among religious groups, beliefs vary. Protestants or other non-Catholic Christians are significantly more likely to believe that the Bible is the literal word of God than are Catholics.
From the Pastor’s Weekly Briefing, 5/31/07, Copyright © 2007, Focus on the Family, All rights reserved.