(OPINION) A record-low 20% of Americans now say the Bible is the literal word of God, down from 24% the last time the question was asked in 2017, and half of what it was at its high points in 1980 and 1984.
Meanwhile, a new high of 29% say the Bible is a collection of “fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.” This marks the first time significantly more Americans have viewed the Bible as not divinely inspired than as the literal word of God. The largest percentage, 49%, choose the middle alternative, roughly in line with where it has been in previous years.
Interpretation of the Bible, the Holy Scripture of the Christian religion, has varied widely across time and across religious traditions. Gallup has been asking Americans specifically about their views on a literal interpretation of the Bible since 1976, with the latest update coming in Gallup’s May Values and Beliefs survey.