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Most Americans, and Many Christians, Don’t Believe the Son of God Existed Before the Manger


There’s widespread agreement around Christmas as a historical event, but people are confused about the Trinity, per a recent survey.

Christmas is a celebration of a real event, according to most Americans. Just don’t expect them to know exactly why Jesus was born and came to earth.

A new study from Lifeway Research finds close to 3 in 4 Americans believe Jesus was born in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago. Even more say Jesus is the son of God the Father, but less than half believe Jesus existed prior to being born on that first Christmas.

“Most Americans consider Jesus’ birth a historical fact,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “It can be easy to only evaluate Jesus like you would any other historical figure—thinking about when He lived and what He did. However, the Bible also describes Jesus in a way that one must evaluate who you believe He was. Most Americans believe His origin was from God the Father, but half as many believe He existed before His birth.”

More than 9 in 10 Americans (91%) celebrate Christmas, according to a previous Lifeway Research study released this year. For most of those celebrating, Christmas is about a historical occurrence. More than 7 in 10 (72%) say the Jesus Christians believe in was born in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago, including 49 percent who strongly agree. Few (9%) disagree, while 18 percent aren’t sure.

Most Americans (80%) agree Jesus Christ is the Son of God the Father, while 10 percent disagree and 10 percent aren’t sure.

The average person isn’t quite as sure about the Son of God’s existence prior to Jesus’ birth. Around 2 in 5 (41%) say God’s son existed before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Close to 1 in 3 Americans (32%) disagree, and 28 percent say they’re not sure.

“The …

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