Source: The Huffington Post
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.
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.