Bible Literacy Project

The Bible and Its Influence

The Bible and Its Influence, published by Essentials in Education, supports academic study of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The textbook is available in digital formats.

Student Instruction

Developed over a five-year period with input from 40 leading scholars, religious leaders, and academic practitioners, The Bible and Its Influence is an opportunity to share the contents of the Bible in an appropriate way. Used in combination with the Bible, the textbook presents biblical content - the narratives, characters, plots, poetry, letters, events, parables, prophecies, and proverbs in the Bible. The program was designed to address the fact that, without an understanding of the Bible, today's youth cannot fully understand literature, art, history, music or culture.

The textbook supports instruction in Literature and Social Sciences courses, and can be taught as a semester or year-long course. The availability of a digital format has opened the door to the international community.

Through The Bible and Its Influence, students will:

  • Develop and use appropriate reading and writing skills to express thoughts, write reports, summarize content, draw conclusions, analyze the writing of others, reflect, explore, and problem solve.
  • Produce research projects that reflect a synthesis of Bible content and works of literature, art, music, and other categories.
  • Write and discuss the correlation of Bible content with selected literacy works.
  • Analyze the imagery and thoughts of poetry, lessons, and other content of the Bible.
  • Use Bible content knowledge to study its effects on political, economic, and social conditions at different periods of history.
  • Write and discuss the correlation of Bible content with selected world events.
  • Analyze how the Bible has influenced world cultures.
  • Complete assignments that involve critical thinking and problem-solving skills that include analyzing, interpreting and inferring, evaluating, and applying information.

Teacher Support

Teacher Resources for The Bible and Its Influence include: a wrap-around Teacher Edition, a complete Assessment Program, and a comprehensive Teacher Resource CD. The Resource CD includes the following components and more: Pacing Guide, Writing Activities, Bibliographies for each unit, Projects, and People and Places of Influence Activities.

Professional Development/Training Workshops

EIE provides support to school boards, district and school administrators, and teachers by offering a one-day training session at no charge to the district. The workshop is offered either onsite or via teleconference, depending upon the specific needs of the district. While the training session is optional, it is recommended to ensure successful implementation of the course. The six-hour session is dedicated to answering the following questions:

  • Is teaching the Bible in public schools legal? Participants learn the legal basis for the course using the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court rulings, State law support, and local support. This material can be used to communicate with the parents, community, and other interested people.
  • Why should the content of the Bible be taught in public schools? Teachers will study the advantages for students based on research studies, examination of content, and applications to state curriculum objectives.
  • How should the course be taught in public schools? Instructional strategies are presented to emphasize the need to teach the course in an objective and academic method.
  • What resources are available to teach the course? Participants will spend time with the instructor detailing the use of available resources in the teacher edition and the electronic tools.
  • How do I start the class? The presenter and teachers will create appropriate lesson plans to begin the class and ensure its success.

Teachers will be given the opportunity to network with other teachers who will be sharing this experience.

For complete information, email: info@essentialsineducation.org

The U.S. Constitution Reader

The Hebrew Bible Online Course

Concordia University of Portland, Oregon, has launched a new online course, ENG 199E: The Hebrew Bible. The course is based on the first half of The Bible and Its Influence. A second course on the New Testament is in development.

The Hebrew Bible is taught by Professor Benjamin Nickodemus, as a 15-week online course. Students can earn 3 credits through Concordia by successfully completing the course. The credits will be transcripted by Concordia and should transfer to most colleges/universities and be accepted as a Humanities or Literature elective (this depends on individual colleges).

Course Description

Students will explore the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and its influence on culture: the fine arts, the performing arts and public policy. Although being a sacred text, the Bible has literary and historic merit on its own. Students will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Bible's historical and cultural contexts and its literary features as well as its pervasive impact on global architecture, art, drama, history, literature and music. The books of the Hebrew Bible are filled with adventure, poetry, songs, narratives, visions, comfort, warnings and advice applicable to contemporary life.

The Bible Down Under

How the Bible helped to shape Australian culture, history, art and everything else

Introducing an educational resource tracing the historical significance of the Bible in Australia and how its teachings have influenced legal, political, religious, and social institutions plus the art and music culture. Written in a historical approach, The Bible Down Under starts at the beginning of civilization including Aboriginal art and music and culminates in modern-day Australia plus looks to its future.

The Bible Down Under is now available. This 107-page e-book will deepen knowledge and understanding for students of all ages.

Like America, the Bible often gets quoted in everyday life, yet Australians rarely know the source! When a cricket commentator describes the losing team as 'lambs to the slaughter', they are quoting the Bible. When a dad describes his daughter as 'the apple of my eye', he is quoting the Bible. When a parliamentarian shouts across the chamber that their opponents should 'practice what they preach', they are quoting the Bible.

The Bible Down Under tests some common assumptions. A quarter to a half of convicts voluntarily attended church services in the early days of white settlement. Many prisoners read the Bible on the voyage to Botany Bay. Early preachers opposed colonist violence against Aboriginal people. Later, the Bible provided inspiration for key leaders in the land rights struggle. AMP, a large financial services company, was founded as a mutual organization to help people obey the Bible's instruction to "bear ye one another's burdens" when there was no pension.

The Bible Down Under Draws Praise

"The Bible arrived in Australia in 1788 with European settlers, but people were in Australia long before Captain Cook turned up. Indigenous Australians have both benefited and suffered from the impact of the Bible, as Meredith sensitively discusses. On the one hand, there are stories of oppression and horror where callous or misguided leaders have leant on biblical principles in ways that are completely unacceptable and have to be named so. On the other hand, the teachings of the Bible have been widely welcomed in Indigenous communities and had significant influence for good in these communities.

Meredith's book is perhaps the first attempt to outline the very broad ways in which the Bible has influenced, sometimes shaped, Australian history, culture, politics, business and the arts. It is hard to find an area of Australian life that the Bible hasn't affected. This story needed to be written, because so few of us have had the chance to hear it in our normal educational experience. It has been pushed towards the margins and as a result we have lost some perspective on who we are and how our nation developed.

There is certainly no warrant for suggesting that the Bible was the only influence on Australian life, or even perhaps the strongest influence. Australians are a mixed bunch, of varying beliefs and practices. But the Bible has certainly been, and remains, a very important influence. I'm delighted that this book is restoring some of this lost knowledge for the current generation and beyond." Greg Clarke, CEO of Bible Society Australia

About the Author

Dr. Meredith Lake, author, is a historian of Australian Christianity, with a PhD from the University of Sydney.