The famous pollster, Gallup, released a poll in which it said that more Americans now believe that the Bible is a book of fables and history than those who believe it’s the literal Word of God and even fewer than a third of Christians say it’s to be taken literally. The poll follows another posted by Gallup that says that Christians are accepting of immorality more than ever.
“Over the past three decades, Americans’ view of the Bible as the literal Word of God has been declining, while their view that the Bible is a collection of fables, myths and history recorded by man has been increasing,” Gallup said.
Only 24 percent in total, said the Bible is “the actual Word of God, and is to be taken literally, word for word.” A slightly higher 26 percent said that the Bible is “a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.”
Another 47 percent said they believe the Bible is “inspired by God, [but] not all to be taken literally.” Gallup said it was the first time in its four-decade observations that biblical literalism has not surpassed biblical skepticism.
Belief in the Bible as the literal Word of God was lowest among young adults aged 18- to 29-year-olds, with 12 percent supporting such a view, and highest among the 50- to 64-year-olds, at 31 percent. College graduate students were also less likely than those with some college and those with no college to take the Bible literally.
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When it comes to Christians, Gallup recorded that 30 percent in total agree that the Bible is the literal Word of God, 54 percent said that it was inspired by God, and 14 percent offered that it was a book of fables.
“Americans in all age groups still largely accept the Bible as a Holy document, but most of these downplay God’s direct role in it. That could mean people are more willing than in the past to believe it is open to interpretation — if man, not God, wrote the Bible, more can be questioned,” Gallup said.
The poll showed that 10 percent of respondents had read none of the Bible at all; 13 percent only a few sentences; 30 percent several passages or stories; 15 percent at least half the Bible; 12 percent almost all of it, and only 20 percent said that they had read the entire Bible… “Even among worship attendees less than half read the Bible daily. The only time most Americans hear from the Bible is when someone else is reading it.”
“It is one thing to treat the Bible as a book of good moral instruction, to be heeded so far as is consistent with the spirit of the times and our position in the world; it is another thing to regard it as it really is—the word of the living God, the word that is our life, the word that is to mold our actions, our words, and our thoughts. To hold God’s word as anything less than this is to reject it. And this rejection by those who profess to believe it, is foremost among the causes of skepticism and infidelity in the youth.” Education, page 260.