American views on the Bible have seen significant changes in recent times, even as Christian-Nationalist leaders, many of whom were appointed during the tenure of President Trump, push various conservative legislation. America's rapid growth as a secular country hasn't halted, as only a fifth of the country's total population (a record low) believes that the Bible is the literal word of God.
A recent GALLUP poll shows that just 20% of Americans believe that the Bible is the literal word of God. The last time a poll such as this was conducted was in 2017. At that polling, the number was at 24%. The numbers peaked at 40%, twice what it is today, in the early 80s, specifically 1980 and 1984.
The study also shows that there has been a steady increase in people's perception of the Bible as a collection of "fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man."
Almost half of America now views the Bible as “inspired” by God, not to be taken literally, with 49%, the largest percentile in the study.
The study, which has been conducted since 1976, indicates an overall decline in the religious attitudes in the US adult population. These include "declines in formal identification with a religion, self-reported membership in a church, self-reported religious service attendance, personal importance of religion, and a decline in belief in God."
The data they gathered also portrays Americans' views on whether they identify as Christians or not. Around 58% of the majority who identify as Christians believe that "the Bible is the inspired word of God, but not everything in it is to be taken literally." While 25% still think the scriptures should be interpreted as the truth. Among the Christians, 16% are convinced that the ancient text is nothing but a book of fables.
The Protestant denomination has the most believers, of which around 30% agree that the Bible is entirely accurate. Only 15% of Catholics agree that the Bible should be taken literally as the word of God.
In the 2017 study, it was noted that highly religious people with the least formal education believed the Bible word for word. Evangelical Americans are more likely to agree with this notion. However, more than 50% of evangelical/born again think that everything in the Bible should not be taken at face value.