Wednesday, June 28, 2006

One in Four say the Bible is the Literal Word of God

Of course, what we believe -- or don't believe -- about God's word has nothing to do with whether it is true or not.
Quarter of Americans say Bible is literally true.

About 25 percent of Americans believe the Bible is the literal word of God -- down 10 percentage points since 1976.

According to a Gallup survey, 28 percent of Americans believe the Bible is literally true, compared to 38 percent 30 years ago. The survey included 1,002 adults 18 or older.

Nearly half, 49 percent, said the Bible was the "inspired word of God," while 19 percent called it an "ancient book of fables." Three percent had no opinion.

The survey asked respondents if they believed the Bible was the actual word of God and should be taken word-for-word; whether it was inspired by God, but should not be taken literally; whether it is a book of fables and legends; or whether the person has no opinion of the Bible.

The research considered age, geographic region, education level, political views, and religious identity as predictors to a person's view about the Bible.

Literal belief in the Bible was highest among older Americans (36 percent), those with lowest levels of education (39 percent), Southerners (39 percent), Republicans (33 percent), and Protestants and other non-Roman Catholic Christians (37 percent). The margin of error was 3 percent.