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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Bible: Literal or inspired?

A recent Gallup poll found that those who believe the Bible is the actual word of God declined from 65 percent in 1963 to 27 percent today.

An ELCA 2001 survey shows 72 percent of ELCA members believe the Bible is either the inspired word of God, containing no errors, with verses sometimes taken symbolically (50 percent), or is the inspired word of God, but may contain historical and scientific errors (22 percent). Another 22 percent also consider it the actual word of God, to be taken literally.

"We have a high view of Scripture in the ELCA, but not a literal view," says Kenneth Inskeep, director of the ELCA Department for Research and Evaluation. "That makes us kind of an exception because it puts us between the conservatives and the liberals."


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