PRINCETON, NJ -- three in 10 Americans translate the bible literally, saying it is the actual indigenous of God. The is comparable to what has actually measured over the last two decades, but down from the 1970s and 1980s. A 49% plurality of american say the bible is the motivated word the God but that it need to not it is in taken literally, continuously the most common view in's practically 40-year history of this question. Another 17% take into consideration the Bible an ancient book of stories tape-recorded by man.

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These outcomes are based on a may 5-8 poll. The high suggest in the portion of Americans donate a literal translate of the scriptures was 40%, taped in 1980 and also 1984. The low suggest was 27% in 2001.

Among most major U.S. Subgroups, a plurality or majority holds the check out that the bible is the motivated word of God, rather than the actual word of God or a publication of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts. Highly spiritual Americans and those who have actually less formal education are exceptions to this general pattern. A majority, 54%, that those that attend spiritual services ~ above a weekly basis believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, much more than double the portion of those that attend church much less often.


Belief in a literal interpretation of a scriptures declines as educational attainment increases. Forty-six percent that Americans v a high school education or less take the scriptures literally, contrasted with no an ext than 22% of Americans v at least some university education. The bulk of Americans with at least some university education think the scriptures to be the influenced word that God.

\"*\" has consistently found solid differences in views of the holy bible as the \"actual indigenous of God\" by religiosity and also education. The current poll additionally finds significant income differences, with 50% of lower-income respondents believing the scriptures is the actual native of God, compared with 27% the middle-income and 15% that high-income respondents. These income distinctions are larger than what has actually measured in the past, through a higher percentage the low-income american believing the bible is literally true.

Protestants Most split in translate of Bible

Protestants (including those who recognize themselves together \"Christian\" however not Catholic or Mormon) are the most likely spiritual group to think the bible is literally true. Forty-one percent that Protestants organize this view, when a slightly larger 46% take it the scriptures to it is in the inspired word the God.

Two-thirds that Catholics believe the holy bible to be the inspired word of God, when 63% that those without a religious affiliation think the scriptures is not words of God at all. Other U.S. Religious groups are too tiny in number to reliably estimate from a single poll.


Belief in a literal interpretation of the holy bible is specifically pronounced among churchgoing Protestants, as two-thirds the Protestants that attend church weekly host this view.

Conservatives, Republicans an ext Likely to Take holy bible Literally

Given the strong link in between religion and also politics in the U.S., it is no surprising that views the the bible vary through party identification and ideology. The poll finds 42% the Republicans, contrasted with 23% of independents and also 27% the Democrats, speak the bible is accurate true.

Conservatives space much much more likely than moderates and also liberals to think in a literal interpretation of the Bible. In fact, conservatives space as likely to believe the scriptures is the actual native of God as to believe that is the inspired word of God.



The portion of Americans taking a literal view of the bible has decreased over time, indigenous an median of 38% native 1976-1984 to an typical of 31% since. However, highly religious Americans -- specifically those of good news faiths -- quiet commonly believe in a literal translate of the Bible.

In general, the leading view of americans is the the scriptures is words of God, be it motivated or actual, together opposed to a repertoire of stories videotaped by man. The is continual with the findings that the United claims is a primarily Christian nation and the Americans overwhelmingly believe in God.

Survey Methods

Results because that this poll are based on telephone interviews performed May 5-8, 2011, through a random sample of 1,018 adults, age 18 and older, life in every 50 U.S. States and also the district of Columbia.

For results based upon the complete sample of national adults, one have the right to say with 95% confidence the the preferably margin the sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and also cellular phones, v interviews performed in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample contains a minimum quota that 400 mobile respondents and 600 landline respondents every 1,000 national adults, with added minimum quotas amongst landline respondents for sex within region. Landline telephone numbers are liked at arbitrarily among listed telephone numbers. Cell phone numbers space selected making use of random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondent are favored at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted through gender, age, race, spain ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, and phone status (cell phone call only/landline only/both, mobile mostly, and also having an unlisted landline number). Demography weighting targets are based on the march 2010 Current populace Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized populace living in U.S. Telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error incorporate the computed architecture effects for weighting and sample design.

In enhancement to sampling error, question wording and practical challenges in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of publicly opinion polls.

View methodology, complete question results, and trend data.

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For more details ~ above's polling methodology, visit

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