Interpreting scripture

% of adults who say the holy scripture is…

Survey year Word of God; should be taken literally Word of God; not everything taken literally Word of God; other/don't know Not the word of God Other/don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 35,071. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
2014 31% 27% 3% 33% 7% 35,071
2007 33% 27% 3% 28% 9% 35,556

Learn More: Word of God; should be taken literally, Word of God; not everything taken literally, Not the word of God

Interpreting scripture by religious group

% of adults who say the holy scripture is…

Religious tradition Word of God; should be taken literally Word of God; not everything taken literally Word of God; other/don't know Not the word of God Other/don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 264. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Buddhist 5% 9% 1% 73% 12% 264
Catholic 26% 36% 3% 28% 8% 7,202
Evangelical Protestant 55% 29% 4% 8% 4% 8,593
Hindu 12% 16% < 1% 60% 12% 199
Historically Black Protestant 59% 23% 3% 9% 6% 1,916
Jehovah's Witness 47% 40% 7% 2% 4% 245
Jewish 11% 24% 2% 55% 8% 847
Mainline Protestant 24% 35% 3% 28% 9% 6,083
Mormon 33% 53% 5% 6% 3% 664
Muslim 42% 31% 10% 12% 5% 237
Orthodox Christian 22% 39% 2% 27% 10% 186
Unaffiliated (religious "nones") 10% 11% 1% 72% 7% 7,556

Learn More: Word of God; should be taken literally, Word of God; not everything taken literally, Not the word of God

DemographicInformation

Age distribution by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who are ages…

Interpreting scripture 18-29 30-49 50-64 65+ Sample Size
Sample size = 9,596. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 15% 34% 30% 21% 9,596
Word of God; not everything taken literally 24% 34% 25% 17% 9,377
Word of God; other/don't know 13% 29% 31% 27% 939
Not the word of God 29% 35% 23% 13% 11,952
Other/don't know 18% 33% 27% 21% 2,481

Learn More: 18-29, 30-49, 50-64, 65+

Generational cohort by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who are…

Interpreting scripture Younger Millennial Older Millennial Generation X Baby Boomer Silent Greatest Sample Size
Sample size = 9,596. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 9% 11% 29% 35% 14% 2% 9,596
Word of God; not everything taken literally 16% 14% 28% 30% 11% 1% 9,377
Word of God; other/don't know 8% 8% 26% 37% 19% 2% 939
Not the word of God 18% 19% 27% 27% 8% 1% 11,952
Other/don't know 9% 16% 27% 33% 13% 2% 2,481

Learn More: Younger Millennial, Older Millennial, Generation X, Baby Boomer, Silent, Greatest

Gender composition by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who are…

Interpreting scripture Men Women Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 43% 57% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 46% 54% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 43% 57% 985
Not the word of God 56% 44% 12,132
Other/don't know 50% 50% 2,601

Learn More: Men, Women

Racial and ethnic composition by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who identify as…

Interpreting scripture White Black Asian Latino Other/Mixed Sample Size
Sample size = 9,689. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 57% 19% 2% 18% 3% 9,689
Word of God; not everything taken literally 70% 10% 3% 13% 4% 9,443
Word of God; other/don't know 65% 11% 3% 16% 5% 950
Not the word of God 72% 6% 6% 13% 4% 11,955
Other/don't know 65% 11% 5% 14% 5% 2,512

Learn More: White, Black, Asian, Latino, Other/Mixed

Immigrant status by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who are…

Interpreting scripture Immigrants Second generation Third generation or higher Sample Size
Sample size = 9,645. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 17% 7% 75% 9,645
Word of God; not everything taken literally 12% 10% 78% 9,446
Word of God; other/don't know 18% 7% 75% 962
Not the word of God 14% 13% 73% 12,008
Other/don't know 15% 9% 75% 2,532

Learn More: Immigrants, Second generation, Third generation or higher

Income distribution by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who have a household income of…

Interpreting scripture Less than $30,000 $30,000-$49,999 $50,000-$99,999 $100,000 or more Sample Size
Sample size = 8,325. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 46% 22% 22% 10% 8,325
Word of God; not everything taken literally 30% 21% 29% 20% 8,409
Word of God; other/don't know 38% 20% 27% 15% 748
Not the word of God 27% 19% 29% 25% 10,957
Other/don't know 38% 20% 24% 18% 2,051

Learn More: Less than $30,000, $30,000-$49,999, $50,000-$99,999, $100,000 or more

Educational distribution by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who have completed…

Interpreting scripture High school or less Some college College Post-graduate degree Sample Size
Sample size = 9,741. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 56% 29% 11% 5% 9,741
Word of God; not everything taken literally 37% 34% 18% 11% 9,509
Word of God; other/don't know 45% 33% 14% 9% 971
Not the word of God 31% 32% 22% 16% 12,082
Other/don't know 38% 35% 16% 12% 2,565

Learn More: High school or less, Some college, College, Post-graduate degree

Marital status by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who are…

Interpreting scripture Married Living with a partner Divorced/separated Widowed Never married Sample Size
Sample size = 9,768. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 51% 5% 15% 9% 19% 9,768
Word of God; not everything taken literally 51% 6% 12% 6% 25% 9,512
Word of God; other/don't know 56% 3% 13% 11% 17% 973
Not the word of God 43% 11% 11% 4% 31% 12,085
Other/don't know 45% 9% 14% 8% 23% 2,553

Learn More: Married, Living with a partner, Divorced/separated, Widowed, Never married

Parent of children under 18 by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who are…

Interpreting scripture Parents Non-parents Sample Size
Sample size = 9,776. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 31% 69% 9,776
Word of God; not everything taken literally 31% 69% 9,506
Word of God; other/don't know 28% 72% 974
Not the word of God 26% 74% 12,099
Other/don't know 28% 72% 2,578

Learn More: Parents, Non-parents

BeliefsandPractices

Belief in God by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who say they…

Interpreting scripture Believe in God; absolutely certain Believe in God; fairly certain Believe in God; not too/not at all certain Believe in God; don't know Do not believe in God Other/don't know if they believe in God Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 88% 10% 1% 1% < 1% < 1% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 76% 20% 2% < 1% 1% < 1% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 86% 10% 1% 2% < 1% 1% 985
Not the word of God 28% 28% 12% 1% 26% 5% 12,132
Other/don't know 59% 23% 5% 2% 4% 6% 2,601

Learn More: Believe in God; absolutely certain, Believe in God; fairly certain, Believe in God; not too/not at all certain, Do not believe in God

Importance of religion in one's life by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who say religion is…

Interpreting scripture Very important Somewhat important Not too important Not at all important Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 85% 12% 2% 1% < 1% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 62% 31% 5% 2% < 1% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 81% 15% 2% 1% 1% 985
Not the word of God 16% 30% 24% 29% 1% 12,132
Other/don't know 47% 31% 12% 7% 3% 2,601

Learn More: Very important, Somewhat important, Not too important, Not at all important

Attendance at religious services by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who attend religious services…

Interpreting scripture At least once a week Once or twice a month/a few times a year Seldom/never Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 60% 27% 12% 1% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 42% 40% 18% < 1% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 54% 28% 16% 2% 985
Not the word of God 9% 33% 58% < 1% 12,132
Other/don't know 25% 40% 32% 2% 2,601

Learn More: At least once a week, Once or twice a month/a few times a year, Seldom/never

Frequency of prayer by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who pray…

Interpreting scripture At least daily Weekly Monthly Seldom/never Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 80% 12% 3% 4% 1% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 63% 21% 6% 9% < 1% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 80% 10% 3% 4% 3% 985
Not the word of God 24% 15% 8% 53% 1% 12,132
Other/don't know 51% 17% 7% 21% 4% 2,601

Learn More: At least daily, Weekly, Monthly, Seldom/never

Frequency of participation in prayer, scripture study or religious education groups by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who attend prayer group…

Interpreting scripture At least once a week Once or twice a month Several times a year Seldom/never Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 46% 13% 9% 31% 1% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 25% 11% 11% 52% < 1% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 40% 10% 9% 39% 2% 985
Not the word of God 5% 4% 5% 86% < 1% 12,132
Other/don't know 15% 8% 8% 66% 3% 2,601

Learn More: At least once a week, Once or twice a month, Several times a year, Seldom/never

Frequency of meditation by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who meditate…

Interpreting scripture At least once a week Once or twice a month Several times a year Seldom/never Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 53% 7% 3% 35% 2% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 39% 8% 4% 48% 1% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 51% 5% 3% 35% 5% 985
Not the word of God 29% 10% 5% 54% 1% 12,132
Other/don't know 39% 9% 4% 44% 4% 2,601

Learn More: At least once a week, Once or twice a month, Several times a year, Seldom/never

Frequency of feeling spiritual peace and wellbeing by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who feel a sense of spiritual peace and wellbeing…

Interpreting scripture At least once a week Once or twice a month Several times a year Seldom/never Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 75% 11% 6% 7% 1% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 60% 18% 10% 11% 1% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 72% 10% 8% 6% 5% 985
Not the word of God 42% 17% 12% 28% 1% 12,132
Other/don't know 55% 14% 9% 17% 4% 2,601

Learn More: At least once a week, Once or twice a month, Several times a year, Seldom/never

Frequency of feeling wonder about the universe by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who feel a sense of wonder about the universe…

Interpreting scripture At least once a week Once or twice a month Several times a year Seldom/never Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 46% 14% 11% 27% 2% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 42% 18% 14% 25% 1% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 44% 12% 11% 26% 8% 985
Not the word of God 48% 17% 14% 21% 1% 12,132
Other/don't know 46% 14% 12% 24% 4% 2,601

Learn More: At least once a week, Once or twice a month, Several times a year, Seldom/never

Sources of guidance on right and wrong by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who say they look to…most for guidance on right and wrong

Interpreting scripture Religion Philosophy/reason Common sense Science Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 60% 4% 30% 5% 2% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 38% 9% 45% 6% 2% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 51% 4% 32% 3% 11% 985
Not the word of God 6% 18% 57% 16% 2% 12,132
Other/don't know 21% 11% 53% 8% 7% 2,601

Learn More: Religion, Philosophy/reason, Common sense, Science

Belief in absolute standards for right and wrong by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who say…

Interpreting scripture There are clear standards for what is right and wrong Right or wrong depends on the situation Neither/both equally Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 45% 52% 1% 2% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 36% 62% 1% 1% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 43% 48% 5% 4% 985
Not the word of God 20% 78% 1% 1% 12,132
Other/don't know 27% 68% 3% 2% 2,601

Learn More: There are clear standards for what is right and wrong, Right or wrong depends on the situation

Frequency of reading scripture by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who read scripture…

Interpreting scripture At least once a week Once or twice a month Several times a year Seldom/never Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 63% 11% 6% 19% 1% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 37% 14% 11% 38% < 1% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 59% 10% 7% 22% 2% 985
Not the word of God 8% 6% 8% 77% < 1% 12,132
Other/don't know 26% 11% 9% 50% 3% 2,601

Learn More: At least once a week, Once or twice a month, Several times a year, Seldom/never

Belief in Heaven by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who …in heaven

Interpreting scripture Believe Don't believe Other/don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 91% 5% 4% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 89% 6% 4% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 82% 6% 12% 985
Not the word of God 41% 50% 9% 12,132
Other/don't know 64% 15% 21% 2,601

Learn More: Believe, Don't believe

Belief in Hell by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who …in hell

Interpreting scripture Believe Don't believe Other/don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 82% 12% 6% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 70% 23% 7% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 71% 13% 16% 985
Not the word of God 26% 66% 8% 12,132
Other/don't know 47% 32% 22% 2,601

Learn More: Believe, Don't believe

SocialandPoliticalViews

Party affiliation by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who identify as…

Interpreting scripture Republican/lean Rep. No lean Democrat/lean Dem. Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 44% 18% 38% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 46% 16% 38% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 42% 28% 29% 985
Not the word of God 25% 18% 57% 12,132
Other/don't know 29% 29% 42% 2,601

Learn More: Republican/lean Rep., No lean, Democrat/lean Dem.

Political ideology by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who are…

Interpreting scripture Conservative Moderate Liberal Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 53% 25% 15% 7% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 40% 38% 17% 5% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 47% 25% 12% 16% 985
Not the word of God 18% 37% 40% 5% 12,132
Other/don't know 28% 36% 23% 13% 2,601

Learn More: Conservative, Moderate, Liberal

Views about size of government by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who would rather have…

Interpreting scripture Smaller government; fewer services Bigger government; more services Depends Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 49% 46% 2% 3% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 58% 37% 2% 3% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 52% 31% 7% 11% 985
Not the word of God 49% 44% 3% 3% 12,132
Other/don't know 47% 35% 8% 10% 2,601

Learn More: Smaller government; fewer services, Bigger government; more services

Views about government aid to the poor by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who say government aid to the poor…

Interpreting scripture Does more harm than good Does more good than harm Neither/both equally Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 50% 44% 4% 2% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 50% 46% 3% 1% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 48% 35% 10% 7% 985
Not the word of God 36% 60% 3% 1% 12,132
Other/don't know 39% 46% 9% 6% 2,601

Learn More: Does more harm than good, Does more good than harm

Views about abortion by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who say abortion should be…

Interpreting scripture Legal in all/most cases Illegal in all/most cases Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 32% 64% 4% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 48% 49% 3% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 29% 57% 14% 985
Not the word of God 78% 19% 3% 12,132
Other/don't know 56% 31% 13% 2,601

Learn More: Legal in all/most cases, Illegal in all/most cases

Views about homosexuality by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who say homosexuality…

Interpreting scripture Should be accepted Should be discouraged Neither/both equally Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 37% 55% 4% 4% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 63% 30% 4% 3% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 35% 45% 9% 11% 985
Not the word of God 86% 10% 2% 2% 12,132
Other/don't know 63% 21% 8% 7% 2,601

Learn More: Should be accepted, Should be discouraged

Views about same-sex marriage by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who …same-sex marriage

Interpreting scripture Strongly favor/favor Oppose/strongly oppose Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 26% 66% 8% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 52% 41% 7% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 27% 55% 19% 985
Not the word of God 81% 14% 5% 12,132
Other/don't know 56% 28% 15% 2,601

Learn More: Strongly favor/favor, Oppose/strongly oppose

Views about environmental regulation by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who say…

Interpreting scripture Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost Neither/both equally Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 48% 45% 2% 4% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 40% 56% 2% 2% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 41% 41% 7% 12% 985
Not the word of God 26% 70% 2% 2% 12,132
Other/don't know 33% 54% 6% 8% 2,601

Learn More: Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy, Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost

Views about human evolution by interpretation of scripture

% of adults who say humans…

Interpreting scripture Evolved; due to natural processes Evolved; due to God's design Evolved; don't know how Always existed in present form Don't know Sample Size
Sample size = 9,811. Visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire. Sample sizes and margins of error vary from subgroup to subgroup, from year to year and from state to state. You can see the sample size for the estimates in this chart on rollover or in the last column of the table. And visit this table to see approximate margins of error for a group of a given size. Readers should always bear in mind the approximate margin of error for the group they are examining when making comparisons with other groups or assessing the significance of trends over time. For full question wording, see the survey questionnaire.
Word of God; should be taken literally 12% 22% 2% 58% 5% 9,811
Word of God; not everything taken literally 20% 38% 3% 36% 3% 9,542
Word of God; other/don't know 9% 20% 6% 47% 18% 985
Not the word of God 65% 17% 4% 12% 2% 12,132
Other/don't know 28% 26% 13% 22% 11% 2,601

Learn More: Evolved; due to natural processes, Evolved; due to God's design, Always existed in present form