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 WTCOMBNR (General Social Survey 2010 Cross-Section and Panel Combined)


View of the Bible by Sex


MaleFemaleTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.26.1%
588
35.5%
939
31.2%
1527
Tthe inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally44.9%
1013
46.1%
1218
45.5%
2231
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.26.2%
592
15.2%
403
20.3%
995
Other1.3%
30
1.6%
42
1.5%
72
Dont know0.9%
21
0.9%
24
0.9%
45
No answer0.6%
13
0.7%
18
0.6%
31
TOTAL 100.0%
2257
100.0%
2644

4901



View of the Bible by Political ideology


Extremely liberal or liberalSlightly liberalModerateSlightly conservativeConservativeExtremely conservativeMissingTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.23.4%
182
22.5%
135
28.9%
499
32.1%
215
42.7%
339
51.0%
98

59
30.9%
1468
Tthe inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally36.9%
287
46.2%
277
50.8%
875
50.8%
340
44.1%
350
33.3%
64

38
46.1%
2193
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.36.5%
284
28.7%
172
16.9%
292
15.8%
106
11.3%
90
13.0%
25

26
20.4%
969
Other2.6%
20
1.0%
6
1.3%
22
0.6%
4
1.4%
11
2.6%
5

5
1.4%
68
Dont know0.4%
3
1.3%
8
0.9%
16
0.6%
4
0.1%
1
0.0%
0

12
0.7%
32
No answer0.3%
2
0.2%
1
1.2%
20
0.0%
0
0.3%
2
0.0%
0

6
0.5%
25
TOTAL 100.0%
778
100.0%
599
100.0%
1724
100.0%
669
100.0%
793
100.0%
192

146

4755



View of the Bible by Age


18 to 29 years old30 to 44 years old45 to 59 years old60 to 74 years old75 years or olderMissingTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.28.6%
277
27.8%
362
33.4%
471
32.5%
269
36.6%
126

22
31.0%
1505
Tthe inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally46.2%
447
46.7%
609
45.6%
643
45.5%
377
40.4%
139

16
45.7%
2215
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.22.6%
219
21.5%
280
18.8%
265
19.9%
165
18.0%
62

6
20.4%
991
Other1.4%
14
1.2%
15
1.3%
18
1.3%
11
3.2%
11

3
1.4%
69
Dont know0.4%
4
2.1%
27
0.4%
5
0.5%
4
1.2%
4

1
0.9%
44
No answer0.6%
6
0.8%
10
0.5%
7
0.2%
2
0.6%
2

2
0.6%
27
TOTAL 100.0%
967
100.0%
1303
100.0%
1409
100.0%
828
100.0%
344

50

4851



View of the Bible by Region


NortheastMidwestSouthWestMissingTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.24.6%
207
29.6%
312
39.7%
745
23.2%
262

1
31.1%
1526
Tthe inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally47.4%
400
47.4%
499
43.7%
820
45.3%
511

0
45.5%
2230
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.23.5%
198
20.3%
214
13.8%
258
28.9%
326

0
20.3%
996
Other2.0%
17
1.3%
14
1.5%
28
1.2%
13

0
1.5%
72
Dont know1.2%
10
1.0%
11
0.9%
17
0.6%
7

0
0.9%
45
No answer1.3%
11
0.3%
3
0.4%
8
0.8%
9

0
0.6%
31
TOTAL 100.0%
843
100.0%
1053
100.0%
1876
100.0%
1128

1

4900



View of the Bible by Religion


ProtestantCatholicJewishNoneOtherMissingTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.44.2%
1031
24.1%
300
15.1%
14
8.1%
66
28.9%
111

4
31.3%
1522
Tthe inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally46.6%
1087
60.0%
747
39.8%
37
26.0%
211
36.5%
140

9
45.7%
2222
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.7.7%
180
14.5%
181
40.9%
38
60.6%
491
25.8%
99

7
20.3%
989
Other0.9%
22
0.4%
5
4.3%
4
3.1%
25
3.9%
15

1
1.5%
71
Dont know0.3%
8
0.5%
6
0.0%
0
2.0%
16
2.6%
10

4
0.8%
40
No answer0.3%
7
0.4%
5
0.0%
0
0.1%
1
2.3%
9

9
0.5%
22
TOTAL 100.0%
2335
100.0%
1244
100.0%
93
100.0%
810
100.0%
384

34

4866



View of the Bible by Race


WhiteBlackOtherTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.26.9%
1001
55.5%
367
30.9%
159
31.2%
1527
Tthe inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally49.0%
1827
30.1%
199
39.9%
205
45.5%
2231
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.21.6%
803
12.1%
80
22.0%
113
20.3%
996
Other1.2%
46
1.2%
8
3.5%
18
1.5%
72
Dont know0.8%
30
0.5%
3
2.3%
12
0.9%
45
No answer0.5%
19
0.6%
4
1.4%
7
0.6%
30
TOTAL 100.0%
3726
100.0%
661
100.0%
514

4901



View of the Bible by Church attendance


Less than once a yearOnce a yearSeveral times a yearOne to three times a monthNearly every weekOnce a week or moreMissingTOTAL
The actual word of God...to be taken literally, word for word.14.6%
207
16.3%
111
26.7%
136
36.2%
284
41.6%
87
50.2%
459

243
28.4%
1284
Tthe inspired word of God but not everything ...taken literally39.5%
559
55.5%
379
55.9%
285
51.3%
402
49.8%
104
43.3%
396

107
47.1%
2125
An ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts.40.8%
578
25.2%
172
14.5%
74
11.9%
93
7.2%
15
5.0%
46

17
21.7%
978
Other2.5%
36
1.6%
11
1.0%
5
0.3%
2
1.4%
3
1.1%
10

6
1.5%
67
Dont know1.8%
26
1.3%
9
1.0%
5
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0

4
0.9%
40
No answer0.7%
10
0.1%
1
1.0%
5
0.4%
3
0.0%
0
0.3%
3

8
0.5%
22
TOTAL 100.0%
1416
100.0%
683
100.0%
510
100.0%
784
100.0%
209
100.0%
914

385

4516



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 2010 GSS. There are a total of 4,901 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.