A new poll shows at least six in 10 Americans believe the Bible stories of the Red Sea parting, Noah’s ark and a six-day creation are “literally true, meaning it happened that way word-for-word.”
Possible chariot wheel on bottom of Red Sea
According to the ABC poll, 64 percent say the story of God’s parting the Red Sea for the Israelites is true, 61 percent say the same about a literal six-day creation as chronicled in the book of Genesis, and 60 percent believe the details of Noah’s ark and the Great Flood.
The same poll asked respondents if the Jews today bear responsibility for the death of Jesus, a question raised by critics of Mel Gibson’s upcoming new film, “The Passion of the Christ.”
ABC reports eight in 10 do not believe the Jews are responsible, while less than 10 percent say they are. The network referred to the Bible verse: “His blood be on us, and on our children” (Matthew 27:25).
In the Gospel of Matthew, when Pontius Pilate says he doesn’t want Christ’s blood on his hands, the crowd responds, “His blood be on us, and on our children.” A scene based on this exchange was removed from Gibson’s film after complaints from Jewish groups, but some critics still contend the movie is anti-Semitic.
Twelve percent of Protestants said Jews today are responsible for Christ’s death, while 6 percent of Catholics did.
According to the network’s report, literal belief in biblical stories peaks among evangelical Protestants, and especially among evangelical Protestants who attend church at least once a week. In that group, 96 percent take the Red Sea story literally. The level lowers to 85 percent among evangelical Protestants who attend church less often.
Around half of Catholics surveyed said they believe the biblical stories of the Red Sea, Noah and the creation were literally true.
About eight in 10 adult Americans are Christians, ABC reported. A quarter are evangelical Protestants, about one in five are non-evangelical Protestants, and just over one in five are Catholics.
The network publicized results of the poll to promote an interview with Gibson scheduled to air tonight on the news program “Primetime.”