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Poll: Fewer Americans than ever believe the Bible is the 'actual word of God to be taken literally’

The percentage of Americans who believe that the Bible is “to be taken literally” has reached a record low, according to a new Gallup Poll. (Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)\n

The share of Americans who believe that the Bible is “to be taken literally” has reached a record low, according to a new Gallup Poll.

Less than one in four Americans — 24 percent — believe that the Bible is literal “word for word," the lowest percentage in 40 years, Gallup reported Tuesday.

Just 26 percent of respondents called the Bible "a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man." Gallup noted that this was the the first time in the poll's history that the view that the Bible is a book of fables surpassed the view that the Bible is literally true.

Most respondents — 47 percent — said they believe the Bible is the inspired word of God but that not all of it is meant to be taken literally.

Gallup noted that the vast majority of Americans — 71 percent — believe the Bible is a holy document, saying that it is divinely inspired if not literally God's word.

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