Skip to comments.Most Americans Believe Jesus Rose from Dead, David Killed Goliath Literally
Posted on 10/22/2007 2:13:05 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
A majority of Americans believe in God's power and miracles, according to a new survey.
Furthermore, most accept well-known Bible stories as literal truth, including the biblical account of Jesus Christ rising from the dead, The Barna Group found.
Three out of four adults (75 percent) said they interpreted the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Christ as literal truth. An earlier study also found that 75 percent of Americans who do not identify as born-again Christians believe Jesus literally resurrected, according to the Center for Missional Research of the North American Mission Board the Southern Baptist Conventions domestic mission agency.
Although the more highly educated respondents were less likely to take the story literally, two-thirds (68 percent) of college graduates said they believe the resurrection is literally true, The Barna Group showed.
Non-mainline Protestants were more likely to accept the resurrection as fact (95 percent) compared to mainline Protestants (83 percent) and Catholics (82 percent).
Two-thirds of adults (65 percent) also deemed the account of prophet Daniel surviving in the lion's den as literally true. Catholics were less likely to take this biblical account at face value with only 51 percent interpreting it as literally true.
When surveyed about Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, two out of three (64 percent) Americans took a literal view of the story. Four out of five Protestants (79 percent) and three out of five Catholics (60 percent) embrace a literal interpretation of the Red Sea account.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) accept the story of David and Goliath as literal truth. While 86 percent of non-mainline Protestants take the story literally, only 68 percent of mainline Protestants and 46 percent of Catholics believe the story happened just as described in the Bible.
Mainline Protestants are those associated with the American Baptist, United Church of Christ, Episcopal, United Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Presbyterian Church in the USA denominations, according to The Barna Group.
"Not only do most Americans believe in the existence of God, but they believe in His power and in the miracles He performs," said researcher George Barna, who directed the study. "Holding back the seas, walking on water, rising from the dead, surviving in a lion cage, and killing a skilled and armed warrior with a sling shot are examples of God doing extraordinary things in the lives of ordinary people. These and other Bible stories inspire people to believe that their personal trust in that powerful God is warranted. Although some people may dismiss such writings as fairy tales for children, the data indicate that the typical American has adopted these accounts as the foundation of a valued faith in God."
Fewer Americans, meanwhile, embraced the account of Apostle Peter walking on water as literally true. Overall, 60 percent of adults interpret it as literal truth. And 75 percent of all Protestants, 53 percent of Catholics believe the story is literally accurate.
Regarding the story of Creation, which has become increasingly challenged in schools, 60 percent of adults believe God created the universe in six days. The more highly educated Americans were much less likely to believe the creation account as literally true. While 73 percent of adults who did not attend college believe this story is literally accurate, only 38 percent of college graduates hold that view. Also, 74 percent of Protestants have a literal interpretation of creation compared to only 52 percent of Catholics.
Among ethnic groups, blacks were most likely to interpret biblical stories as literal truth.
Barna noted a disconnect between belief and practice.
"While the level of literal acceptance of these Bible stories is nothing short of astonishing given our cultural context, the widespread embrace of these accounts raises questions about the unmistakable gap between belief and behavior," he stated.
"On the one hand we have tens of millions of people who view these narratives as reflections of the reality, the authority and the involvement of God in our lives. On the other hand, a majority of those same people harbor a stubborn indifference toward God and His desire to have intimacy with them. In fact, a minority of the people who believe these stories to be true consistently apply the principles imbedded in these stories within their own lives, Barna continued.
"It seems that millions of Americans believe the Bible content is true, but are not willing to translate those stories into action. Sadly, for many people, the Bible has become a respected but impersonal religious history lesson that stays removed from their life."
Results are based on a nationwide survey conducted in August 2007 among 1,000 adults, age 18 and older.
Nah, David was just cracking jokes and Goliath rolled on the floor with laughter shouting, “Stop it Davy, you’re killin’ me!”
Oops! The bishops and ministers of the liturgical and “mainline” churches haven’t done their jobs!
Christians are funny that way. We actually BELIEVE what the Bible says !!!
Things are worse than I though, this is the principle doctrine of our faith.
Things are worse than I though, this is the principle doctrine of our faith.
There's a whole lotta fornicatin', shacked up, church avoiding pagans out there who call themselves Catholic because their grandparents used to go to Mass. I'd say roughly 18% of those who called themselves Catholic in this survey.
Could Jesus have literally built the temple
back up in three days?
Just as Paul said, there is no gospel unless it is true.
“Things are worse than I though, this is the principle doctrine of our faith.”
One of my CINO colleagues didn’t believe in Christ’s Divinity. Oddly enough, she insisted her unchurched teenage son receive his first communion (at age 17). He accompanied her to church, took communion along with her and she considered it appropriate.
I asked whether she considered it mere superstition or performance art and she sloughed my comments off with a smirk.
You must understand this profession is highly PC and very liberally oriented along with a leftist slant and I left long ago to pursue a career that had no possibility of being PC because of it. Perhaps she was infected.
Every religion has those who are going through the motions simply to see and be seen. I’ve known some “born again” Baptists who could make a prostitute blush along with Protestants who consider church a social club so until God pulls them up by the shorthairs and gives them a considerable box on the ears, I guess this will happen.
pgk, I suspect you are correct. but that 18% aren’t even CINO, they are not even in the cafeteria.
Could he build the temple back up in 3 days? He did. The temple Jesus was referring to was his life which he laid down at Calvary and took back up 3 days later !!!
Like many other passages it has to be read as analogy. When he rose on the third day the news flashed throughout the known world. It was big news. They didn’t have Internet or commsats, but everybody that wanted to know knew within a week.
Could Jesus have built the Jewish Temple back up in three days if it was torn down?
It does? Who is Jesus?
Oh here we go.......
Ya know, folks.........it just ROYALLY chaps my rather HIGHLY educated arse to read bovine excrement such as this. "Oh, the rubes believe this, but not the intelligentsia......of course........"
B.S. The Bible is THE word, period, end of discussion, end of argument. If it says it, I believe it....and it has never, ever been proven wrong.
Far better track record than any liberal blather, wouldn't we agree?
He resurrected in three days. Now try to keep up. Fercryinoutloud.............
Let’s see...Jesus is God. God created the Universe in six...I think he could handle the temple in three...i’m just sayin’...
On the other hand, faith is discernible from rationalism.
Just as the rich might have a more difficult time in accepting faith, likewise, those who live by rationalism alone are also counterfeiting their reason for faith and/or the object of their faith.
Perhaps a better indicator is to compare statistics of the “highly educated” and wealthiest respondents of the survey in contrast to the least worldly and poorest believers.
I would like to see how many of these also believe in a hell and in eternal judgement?
I don’t know that worldly wealth is a good indicator either way. You can think you’re rich when you’re not (e.g. pride) and that is quite independent of how much money you have.
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