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Bible Literacy Project News

By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
November 17, 2006

In 1963, the US Supreme Court stated that "the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities" if "presented objectively as part of a secular program of education." At the same time, the decision concluded that Bible recitations were barred from public schoolrooms.

Now we have a textbook with teacherís manual that introduces the Bible into the public schools without legal and religious hassles, according to the Associated Press. Thatís good news, particularly for devout Jews and Christians who are concerned about the secularization of America which is pushed by the political and theological liberals.

Forty-one specialists in religion worked on the project. These individuals included prominent evangelicals, mainline Protestants, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Jews and secular scholars. Thatís a broad spread for working on such a sensitive subject; nevertheless, it appears as if the final product is workable without compromising the core beliefs of those holding to the Bible as divine truth.

"The Bible and Its Influence" is what Bible Literacy Project, Fairfax, Virginia, has offered the nation. Five years and $2 million dollars have been expended on the effort. Now the end result has been presented to the media, winning "initial endorsements from experts in literature, religion and church-state law experts."

What about the mention of miracles in the Bible? The text reports miracles by referring the reader to "the source rather than simply calling them historical facts." That is good. Presenting the actual biblical statement is sufficient, particularly in the perspective of those who hold those statements to speak to historical fact. The records, in other words, can speak for itself without editorial interpretation.

This is especially meaningful to devout believers who hold to a miracle-working God who has performed that which is beyond human reason. However, secularists who hold to the other end of the spectrum are now presented with religious data that goes to the source rather than "preaching" from the textbook formulators.

In other words, according to the AP report, the text presents the beliefs as original material. If the reader does not agree with that original material, that is the readerís choice but still does not take away from what the religious material presents in the original source.

American "educators know biblical knowledge is valuable ó 60 percent of allusions in one English Advanced Placement prep course came from the Bible." Further, "polls show teens donít know much about Scripture."

Yet Americaís original colonies were built upon a Judeo-Christian faith. That cannot be erased from our nationís persona, though secular, anti-God organizations are trying their hardest to do just that.

This text overviewing the Old and New Testaments is needed in American public schools. The school districts should give it itís chance to work.

Copyright © 2005 by J. Grant Swank, Jr.


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