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Home > Trend Watch > 2014 > June 18 > View of the Bible Among Americans

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Perspective on the buzz

The latest results from Gallops 2014 Values and Belief poll are out, and it is surprising. 28% of Americans believe the Bible is the actual Word of God and should be taken literally. Almost another half of Americans believe the Bible is the Word of God but should not be taken literally. Revealing that 75% of Americans believe the Bible is the Word of God. 21% though see the Bible in purely secular terms—as fables, legends, history, and precepts written by man.

The second part of the poll is interesting as it concerns the interpretation of the Bible. Even The Atlantic picks up on the surprising findings. In her article Emma Green says, "In 2014 a new selection was added to the list: 'The Bible is the actual word of God, but multiple interpretations are possible.'" Here are the results: "When half the sample was asked to pick from among the three original answers, 28 percent said the Bible is the literal word of God, 47 percent said it was inspired by God, and 21 percent said it's just a bunch of stories. But when the new answer was introduced, the results changed significantly: 22 percent said it's the actual word of God, 28 said it was inspired by God, 18 percent said it's made up—and 28 percent said that while it may be literal, it can be interpreted in multiple ways."

Emma Green, concludes, "There's room for ambiguity in faith these days, it seems … one man's Bible interpretation doesn't invalidate another's." These numbers are very interesting, concerning how one is reading the Bible today.

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