Majority of Americans Believe the Bible is Literally True and the Word of God

As the facts about the compilation of the New Testament become better known the Christian apologists will come up with new rationalizations.  However, here is the present demographic reality in the words of

Jews and Christians no longer believe in the inerrant nature of the Bible, unlike the Muslims who take the Quran as absolutely accurate. We are told that Jews and Christians have moved beyond the Bible (even “tossed it aside!”), whereas the primitive Muslims continue to follow their archaic holy book.  Therefore, the argument goes, invoking the Bible is hardly relevant, since “most Jews and Christians no longer give credence to it.”

This argument is not grounded in fact, however.  A poll by Rasmussen Reports found that a majority of all Americans (63%) believe the Bible is literally true and the Word of God, with less than a quarter (24%) disagreeing with this belief.  This is quite amazing when one considers that about 20% of Americans are neither Jewish or Christian! The percentage of those who believe in the literal meaning of the Bible jumps to 70% for Protestants, and becomes overwhelming (89%) for Evangelical Christians in specific.  Meanwhile, 77% of Republicans believe in the literal truth of the Bible.

A Pew Research poll bore out fairly similar results, with 78% of Americans believing that the Bible is either the actual or inspired Word of God.  This view is held by 88% of Protestants, 82% of Catholics, and 91% of other Christian groups.  Contrary to the emerging scholarly consensus that the Biblical stories such as Exodus and Conquest are “best regarded as a myth”, only a minority of the public at large (19% of Americans, 11% of Protestants, 16% of Catholics, and 6% of other Christian groups) believe that the Bible is just “ancient fables, history, and legends.”

Quite the opposite of what our opponents claim, most Christian-Americans very much believe in the accuracy of their scriptural texts.  This explains, for instance, why only a minority of Christians in America believe in evolution, with “60 percent of Americans who call themselves Evangelical Christians…favor replacing evolution with creationism in schools altogether.”

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7 replies

  1. With 1.5 billion fellow humans professing to be Christians, this subject is deserving of our special attention. President George W. Bush shocked some evangelical Christians, towards the end of his Presidency by suggesting that the Bible is not ‘literally true.’ At one time in history, majority of the Christians were literalist and took the Bible to be ‘word of God’ in a concrete and literal sense. There was the common expression ‘the gospel truth,’ implying a very high level of certainty. Christians used to constantly debate this issue with the Muslims. At one time, Reverend Jimmy Swaggart had a public debate in Louisiana with a Muslim scholar on the literal truth of the Bible, but now the priests know better.

    Here is a website to read the different Gospels side by side for the sake of comparison, also called horizontal reading as opposed to vertical or devotional reading:

    Prof. Bart Ehrman writes in his book, Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, in the chapter titled, The Invention of Scripture: The Formation of the Proto-orthodox New Testament:

    “It comes as a bit of a shock to most people to realize that the Church has not always had the New Testament. But the Christian Scriptures did not descend from heaven a few years after Jesus died. The books that eventually came to be collected into the sacred canon were written by a variety of authors over a period of sixty or seventy years, in different places for different audiences. Other books were written in the same period, some of them by the same au¬thors. Soon thereafter the Church saw a flood of books also allegedly written by the earliest followers of Jesus, forgeries in the names of the apostles, pro¬duced for decades, centuries even, after the apostles themselves were long dead and buried. Virtually all of this other literature has been destroyed, forgotten, lost. Only a fraction of the early Christian writings came to be immortalized by inclusion in the sacred canon.”

    I have a Google knol titled: The New Testament: How was it compiled:

  2. Thank you brother Rafiq for your comment. Our Muslim Times will certainly help all of us to have better understanding of our global village. Our previous website did not offer these efficiencies in communication that by the Grace of Allah, we have available to us now.

    Best Regards!

  3. Thank you. Let me quote from your links:

    “The Bible is a collection of books by various authors over many centuries.

    The Catholic Bible consists of the Old Testament containing the 39 books of Hebrew Scripture together with 7 deuterocanonical books (which are not accepted by Protestants), and the New Testament containing 27 books.”

    The more one reads on this subject, clearer it becomes that it is plain silly to take the whole of the Bible as the literal word of God. No wonder, fundamentalists like President Bush had to also eventually shy away from such dogma. Every day we see th Quranic claim that Allah sent revealation to the Jewish prophets including the prophet Jesus, may peace be on him, and the later followers introduced some of their own ideas in the scriptures and interpolated the revelations, being vindicated.

  4. It is important to document all this information as pretty soon the Christian apologists will soon deny that they ever preached that the Bible is literal word of God, and they will then emphasize only a metaphorical truth in the scripture!

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