28 Percent Of Americans Believe The Bible Is The Literal Word Of God


By Yasmine Hafiz, who is the former Associate Editor of The Huffington Post’s Religion section and is currently an MSc. candidate at the London School of Economics. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University, and is a co-author of The American Muslim Teenager’s Handbook. Ms. Hafiz formerly interned at the U.S. Department of State and was a founding member of the Arizona Youth Interfaith Movement. 

Many debates within Christian theology revolve around the the origins of the Bible, who wrote it, the nature of its authority, and its relationship to the Divine. According to a Gallup poll conducted in May, a solid twenty-eight percent of Americans believe that the Bible is the literal word of God and should be interpreted accordingly.

That’s a 3% decrease since 2007, when about 1/3 of the United States answered that they believed the Bible was the actual word of God. However, in the late 1970s, 38% to 40% of Americans told Gallup that they believed in the Bible as God’s word.

gallup and bible

Today, 47% of Americans consider the Bible to be “the inspired word of God- but not everything in it should be taken literally.”

According to Gallup, the aggregate figure means that in America “a combined 75% believe the Bible is in some way connected to God.”

21% of Americans consider the Bible to be “an ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man.” That percentage has only been so high once in the history of the survey- just before 2009.

Gallup asked some follow-up questions in a split-sample poll to further investigate the beliefs of people who believe in the Bible as God’s word. By providing two potential responses which included the supposition that the Bible is God’s actual word, researched determined that out of those who believe in the Bible as God’s word, 44% believe that it should be taken literally, word for word, while 56% believe that multiple interpretations are possible.

Read further

Suggested reading and viewing by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

A Slight Twist Makes David Attenborough a Great Teacher for God of the Abrahamic Faiths

1984 Rare TV Interview With Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens)

Book Review: The Bible, The Quran and Science

Video: How Jesus Became God, by Prof. Bart Ehrman?

Bringing the Leading Christian Apologist William Lane Craig to Islam

If the Atheists and the Christians Debate, Islam Wins

4 replies

  1. Isn’t that the same for the Quran, also the Torah? It’s a matter of belief, which religion is based on.

    • Dont’ quite follow your argument. Yes, of course, Muslims belief that the Qur’an is the word of Allah. The difference is that the Qur’an we have now is the same as the Qur’an that was 1400 years ago, the Bigle is a translation of a translation of a translation, written centuries after those who were supposed to have written it and even the Christian scholars agree that it is not a word-by-word revelation. Remember when the text of the bible was ‘approved’ and lots of books were discarded as unreliable.

  2. I agree that there are many versions of the Bible, but I believe that there are many interpretations of the Quran too, since language can be complex and if, for example, 10 people translate something, they will all be slightly different. And the meanings of something will also have changed to some extent over the course of time. I understand that is one reason why Muslims should learn the Quran in Arabic, but how many people really understand the actual meanings? Even scholars come up with different interpretations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.