Most Americans See Bible As Word Of God, Gallup Says

Three out of four Americans believe the Bible is the word of God, according to a new Gallup poll; some say the literal word, others that a supreme being inspired the text. But an increasing number also view the book as simply a collection of fables, legends and history.

In the survey, which sampled 1,028 adults aged 18 and older in interviews conducted May 8-11 of this year, 28 percent said they believed the Bible was the “actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word.” That percentage is down from the peak of about 40 percent seen in similar surveys in the late 1970s and just above the all-time low of 27 percent reported in Gallup surveys in 2001 and 2009.

According to Gallup, its questions touch on “two ongoing debates in Christian theology.”

I would call the Bible the Inspired Word of God.

In general, that is the Catholic & Orthodox theological viewpoint. The Bible is the Inspired Word of God and contains some of God’s literal Words, but as a whole is not literally Words directly from God. God did not disrupt the inspired author’s free will.

God Bless.

I wonder how many who answered that they thought it was the inspired word of God have actually *read *it?
Meaning: Many say they believe it is…and still, have never read it.
Which I find very odd.

I saw evidence of this in a college religion class I was in. The teacher literally asked that very question of the hundreds of students in the room. Of all the ones who put up their hand YES…he then asked, how many of you had read the entire book?

Hardly any.

You’d think that if someone thought THE God wrote a book…they’d wanna read what God had to say.

What we read are translations and no translation is perfect. So the second question should be are the translations inspired?

While I see your point many Catholics, myself included don’t read the Bible as much as your typical Protestant…

I should read it more. I am lazy though and would rather read other Catholics like Benedict and Francis’ thoughts about the Bible.

We also hear the Bible as Mass.

Big confession here.

I find the Bible kind of boring. :blush:

If they have an imprimatur and are endorsed by the Church, I would personally.

I find it really hard to believe that it’s that high. But then the options were skewed IMO with 3 options supporting the bible and one saying it’s a fairy tale and one option for no comment. Then there is the fine print about weighted results based on demographics. I don’t know enough about polling to know how they apply “weighted results”.

Didn’t Cranmer, a Catholic bishop, give an imprimatur, only to be burned at the stake as a heretic later? I could be wrong, though.

I don’t know. Never heard of it. :shrug:

I’m a simple guy. I just try to trust the Church. That way I can’t go wrong in the eyes of God.

I suspect the high percentage simply reflects normative bias. People tend to respond to questionnaires in a way they think is socially desirable. Since US culture is vaguely Christian, people tend to give answers which are acceptable to Christians. If you look at the percentage of people who attend church or read the Bible on a regular basis, the figures are far lower. This would cast doubt on the idea that a large percentage of Americans treat the Bible as the word of God. Their behavior betrays their claims.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit