NEW YORK (JTA) — The vast majority of American Jews believe in God, but not in the God of the Bible, according to a new study.
A survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted last December and released Wednesday, showed that 89 percent of American Jews believe in God, compared to 99 percent of Christians, 72 percent of unaffiliated people and 90 percent of Americans overall.
But only 33 percent of Jews believe in a biblical God, compared to 80 percent of Christians. A majority of Jews believe in “some other higher power of spiritual force in the universe,” according to the study. Ten percent of Jews do not believe in God.
There was a large margin of error for the Jewish sample of the survey: 12.9 percent, as 155 Jews were surveyed.
Fewer Jews than Christians also believe that God is all-knowing, all-powerful and loves everyone. Seventy percent of Jews believe God is all-loving, but fewer than 40 percent believe God is all-powerful and 49 percent say God is all-knowing. Thirty percent of Jews believe God possesses all three attributes, as opposed to three-quarters of Christians; and 23 percent believe God has none of them. Half of Jews say “God determines [a] mix of big and little things.”
Sixty-three percent of Jews say they talk to God, and 9 percent say God talks to them. But only 37 percent of Jews believe God will judge all people based on their deeds, as opposed to nearly 80 percent of Christians. About six in 10 Jews believe that God has protected or rewarded them, and about three in 10 say God has punished them.