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Gallup Poll: Only 24 Percent of Americans Say Bible is the Literal Word of God

Depending on how you view the results from a recent Gallup poll that asked about biblical literalism, you might either be disappointed, or a little hopeful.


First, the bad news, for those who see themselves as devout: According to the survey, only 24 percent of Americans believe that the Bible is the “literal word” of God. As reported by, the figure represents a drop from 1976, when Gallup’s survey on the same topic revealed that 38 percent of American adults believed the Bible to be “the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word.”

However…the number of Americans who see the Bible as the “inspired word” of God is considerably higher – 47 percent – and that figure has managed to remain about where it was 40 years ago.

“This is the first time in Gallup’s four-decade trend that biblical literalism has not surpassed biblical skepticism,” said the polling firm. “Meanwhile, about half of Americans -- a proportion largely unchanged over the years -- fall in the middle, saying the Bible is the inspired word of God but that not all of it should be taken literally.”

Between the number of folks who believe the Bible is the literal word of God and those who see it at least as the inspired word of God, the good news for those devoted to Scripture is that a considerable number of Americans…71 percent of them…still see the Bible as a “holy document.”

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large