“An educated person knows the Bible.”
This is the theme of a national public service campaign now underway, co-sponsored by the “National Bible Association”:http://www.nationalbible.org/ and the “Bible Literacy Project.”:http://www.bibleliteracy.org/Site/index.htm More than 5,000 “billboards”:http://www.bibleliteracy.org/Site/PressRoom/Press061114BB/em061111billboard.htm across the country are spreading the message this week.
It is an interesting question that does not get much public debate: Should the Bible be taught for its literary, cultural and historical value — apart from its religious meaning?
Scholars have been making this argument for some time, but their message gets swallowed up by the always-raging debate over church/state boundaries. It seems to me it’s not a church/state issue if you consider the undeniable influence of the Bible on American history, politics, culture and — yes — values.
Do the groups involved in this project want people to ultimately find religious meaning in the Bible? Sure. But the truth is that an educated American really does have to know something about the Bible.
The Bible Literacy Project has created a Bible textbook for schools that is being used in 28 states after one year.
The public service campaign is urging people to read two recent reports conducted by the Bible Literacy Project and funded by the “John Templeton Foundation”:http://www.templeton.org/ that deal with biblical literacy.
Among the findings:
— University professors surveyed, including those at the “secular” Ivy League, listed more than 60 books they use that require knowledge of the Bible.
— A Gallup poll of teens showed that students “do not know enough about the Bible to properly understand British and American literature or understand the Bible’s impact on art, music, history and culture.”