A new poll shows that the number of American evangelicals who read the Bible literally is at a record low.
Fewer than half of evangelical and born-again Americans in the poll, conducted with a random sample of 1,007 adults, view the Bible as the “actual word of God.”
Gallup, who conducted the poll, said the figure was 40%, having dropped 24% from when the same question was asked in 2017.
Biblical literalism holds that “except in places where the text is obviously allegorical, poetic or figurative, it should be taken literally” as God’s Word, according to Got Questions Ministries, which holds this view of the Bible.
“This marks the first time significantly more Americans have viewed the Bible as not divinely inspired than as the literal word of God”, Gallup said.
The recent data shows that only 30% of Protestants say the Bible is literally true, while just 15% of Catholics do. Almost two-thirds of Catholics view the Bible as the inspired word of God.
While the number of evangelicals and born again believers believing the Bible to be literal has fallen, those believing the Bible to be “the inspired word of God, not to be taken literally” has not dramatically changed.