Teaching the Bible in Public School

Douglas Mangum comments at Biblia Hebraica on a USA Today op-ed piece about the inclusion of Bible related curriculum in public schools. (Thanks for the heads up.) The discussion in the section quoted by Mangum deals primarily with allusions to the biblical text, which indeed are lost on the biblically illiterate. No academic exposure to English literature can at all claim to be thorough without the inclusion of one of the fundamental ideological and literary backdrops of “Shakespeare, Sidney, Spenser, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth.”

In addition, however, early American literacy, and the language itself, was sustained and influenced laregley by the King James Version of the Bible. It is a shame that such a fundamental element of America’s literary and linguistic identity must, in the minds of many, be offered up upon the altar of “freedom of from religion.”


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