View of the Bible
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View of the Bible (Demographic Patterns)

Which of these statements comes closest to describing your feelings about the Bible? The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word; the Bible is the inspired word of God but not everything should be taken literally, word. Results weighted by WTCOMB (General Social Survey 2012 Cross-Section and Panel Combined)


View of the Bible by Age


18-2930-4445-5960-7475 or olderMissingTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.20.7%
195
29.0%
384
32.8%
435
29.9%
261
35.2%
111

12
29.0%
1386
The inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally49.3%
464
44.9%
594
46.7%
619
47.7%
416
42.5%
134

21
46.6%
2227
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.27.9%
263
23.2%
307
17.9%
238
20.0%
175
16.5%
52

4
21.7%
1035
Other0.5%
5
1.4%
18
1.0%
13
1.6%
14
1.6%
5

1
1.2%
55
Don't know1.1%
10
1.1%
15
1.3%
17
0.6%
5
2.2%
7

1
1.1%
54
No answer0.4%
4
0.4%
5
0.3%
4
0.2%
2
1.9%
6

3
0.4%
21
TOTAL 100.0%
941
100.0%
1323
100.0%
1326
100.0%
873
100.0%
315

42

4778



View of the Bible by Worship attendance


Less than once a yearOnce a yearSeveral times a yearOne to three times a monthNearly every weekEvery week or moreMissingTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.14.3%
217
17.3%
111
24.6%
121
30.8%
224
45.7%
85
51.2%
637

3
29.0%
1395
The inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally38.5%
583
55.2%
353
55.9%
275
58.2%
424
44.6%
83
42.4%
527

3
46.7%
2245
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.43.3%
656
25.8%
165
16.5%
81
9.3%
68
8.1%
15
4.3%
54

1
21.6%
1039
Other1.9%
29
0.6%
4
1.6%
8
0.4%
3
1.1%
2
0.8%
10

0
1.2%
56
Don't know1.6%
24
1.1%
7
1.2%
6
0.8%
6
0.5%
1
0.9%
11

0
1.1%
55
No answer0.4%
6
0.0%
0
0.2%
1
0.4%
3
0.0%
0
0.3%
4

10
0.3%
14
TOTAL 100.0%
1515
100.0%
640
100.0%
492
100.0%
728
100.0%
186
100.0%
1243

17

4804



View of the Bible by Political ideology


Extremely liberal or liberalSlightly liberalModerateSlightly conservativeExtremely conservative or conservativeMissingTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.18.1%
135
20.9%
113
26.7%
467
30.2%
210
45.3%
407

66
28.8%
1332
The inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally37.7%
281
45.8%
248
51.7%
905
53.4%
372
42.6%
383

59
47.3%
2189
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.41.6%
310
31.8%
172
18.6%
325
15.7%
109
9.5%
85

38
21.6%
1001
Other1.3%
10
0.9%
5
1.4%
24
0.4%
3
0.9%
8

7
1.1%
50
Don't know0.9%
7
0.2%
1
1.3%
23
0.3%
2
1.6%
14

7
1.0%
47
No answer0.4%
3
0.4%
2
0.3%
6
0.0%
0
0.2%
2

10
0.3%
13
TOTAL 100.0%
746
100.0%
541
100.0%
1750
100.0%
696
100.0%
899

187

4632



View of the Bible by Race


WhiteBlackOtherTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.25.0%
907
49.9%
351
28.9%
140
29.0%
1398
The inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally49.6%
1804
33.9%
239
42.5%
206
46.6%
2249
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.22.9%
833
13.2%
93
23.3%
113
21.5%
1039
Other1.2%
43
0.7%
5
1.9%
9
1.2%
57
Don't know1.0%
37
1.1%
8
2.3%
11
1.2%
56
No answer0.3%
10
1.1%
8
1.2%
6
0.5%
24
TOTAL 100.0%
3634
100.0%
704
100.0%
485

4823



View of the Bible by Religion


ProtestantCatholicJewishNoneOtherMissingTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.42.9%
954
21.7%
245
7.9%
7
8.2%
79
27.4%
110

3
29.0%
1395
The inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally47.7%
1061
60.7%
687
36.0%
32
28.1%
269
49.1%
197

2
46.7%
2246
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.7.9%
175
14.8%
167
55.1%
49
59.4%
570
17.5%
70

7
21.5%
1031
Other0.8%
17
1.0%
11
1.1%
1
1.9%
18
2.5%
10

0
1.2%
57
Don't know0.7%
16
1.1%
13
0.0%
0
2.2%
21
1.2%
5

0
1.1%
55
No answer0.1%
2
0.7%
8
0.0%
0
0.2%
2
2.2%
9

3
0.4%
21
TOTAL 100.0%
2225
100.0%
1131
100.0%
89
100.0%
959
100.0%
401

15

4805



View of the Bible by Sex


MaleFemaleTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.24.2%
540
33.1%
858
29.0%
1398
The inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally45.9%
1024
47.3%
1224
46.6%
2248
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.26.6%
594
17.2%
445
21.6%
1039
Other1.5%
34
0.8%
22
1.2%
56
Don't know1.0%
22
1.3%
33
1.1%
55
No answer0.7%
16
0.3%
8
0.5%
24
TOTAL 100.0%
2230
100.0%
2590

4820



Notes

The General Social Surveys (GSS) have been conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) annually since 1972, except for the years 1979, 1981, and 1992 (a supplement was added in 1992), and biennially beginning in 1994. The GSS are designed to be part of a program of social indicator research, replicating questionnaire items and wording in order to facilitate time-trend studies. This data file has all cases and variables asked on the 2012 GSS. There are a total of 4,820 cases in the data set but their initial sampling years vary because the GSS now contains panel cases. Sampling years can be identified with the variable SAMPTYPE.




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