It was 1952 and as a seven year old who had a Sunday School perfect attendance record for a year, I was presented with my very own King James Bible. I still have it and still refer to it.
The Bible's Influence
A Special Report prepared by The Washington Times Advocacy Department.
There are many angles that can be pursued when thinking about the Bible as literature, but two bedrock questions underlie any discussion of the subject. Those two questions are why we should read the Bible as literature and how we should read it. These are the two questions that I have set before me in this article.
Every school that teaches American history must teach the Bible's central role. Easily said; but experience suggests that many of today's classes in English and U.S. history are stuck somewhere between useless and harmful.
Many historians over the years have tried to sift through the ages to find a single intelligible source for the great experiment in freedom and self-governance that is the American experience.
David Gergen's article in U.S. News and World Report, December 12, 2009 issue decries the lack of leadership in the U.S.
Lowell Mason, Pete Seeger, and Lady Gaga created music in vastly different eras and styles, but they hold one thing in common. Listeners cannot fully understand their music without knowing the Bible.
The influence of the Bible in works of Art has changed dramatically depending upon the time period, place, or culture that it is created in. In the early Christian church, believers used specific signs such as the anchor or the fish to identify themselves as Christians. For example, the cross could be traced in the dirt of the ground by the toe of a believer to identify himself to another believer in the times of Roman persecution.
The Bible has always been a best seller in the movies and on television from the earliest days when some of the earliest movies were representations of Jesus.
The Bible is a hot property these days. Russell Crowe's film Noah took in $360 million at the worldwide box office, and Christian Bale debuts as a big-budget Moses in Exodus this month. On television, the miniseries The Bible drew the largest cable audience for all of 2013.
The Bible produces good "hard news" stories and "soft" features, and brings good news to magazines and newspapers in terms of reader interest and resulting income.
When was the last time you heard the Bible read in Church and people applauded Jesus' actions of loving kindness or laughed wholeheartedly at the disciples' stupidity?
The desire to read the Bible is a powerful motivation for learning to read and write. At the same time, the desire that others might be equipped to read the Bible is a powerful motivation for Bible translators and others to develop literacy programs that empower people with new skills.
Every year two million visitors file past the famed Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. As they look at the cracked bell, they read these words: "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof." The inscription comes from the Bible (Leviticus 25:10).
Women of the Bible — some respectfully devout, some of ill repute, others in between — exhibited valor and inspiration not only to those at the time of the writing, but have continued to be an inspiration even today. Women in the Bible were strong and sought out justice and were held in high regard. They accomplished great things.
The Bible has always played an important role in the lives of Black Americans. It has influenced Black culture more than any book ever written.
The late professor Angus Maddison made some interesting observations in looking over what has happened to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita over the last 2,000 years. North America has been spectacularly successful economically for the average person, followed by Europe.
The Bible was once highly valued in the curriculum of the first universities founded in America. Harvard's original motto which can be seen in the front room on the third floor of the Harvard Club in New York was "Veritas pro Christo et pro eclessia" (Truth for Christ and the Church).
An Excerpt and Commentary Relating to "The Bible & Public Schools: A First Amendment Guide"
Bible Literacy Report What do American Teens need to Know and What do they know? was funded by the John Templeton Foundation and was published on April 26, 2005. The following is an excerpt from the Executive Summary:
Bible Literacy Project released Bible Literacy Report II a study of what university English professors believed incoming students needed to know about the Bible to be successful in college. The John Templeton Foundation funded this report. The following is from the Executive Summary with some quotations from the Report.
The role of the school board in public education in the United States is wide-ranging. While routine duties include setting policies, adopting budgets and hiring staff, the most critical role of the local school board is to make decisions about curriculum and to incorporate their community's viewpoint of what students should know into courses and textbook selection.
As a child I could rarely put a book down. I frequently wondered who wrote the words that came alive in my imagination? Who could construct entire languages like Elvish, Dwarvish, and Black Speech?
he kerygma and the didache provided the core teaching and laid the foundation for the formation of the New Testament canon, which would not be complete for over 100 years after this teaching was delivered to the churchesin 362 A.D. by Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria.
All times are historic and momentous. All eras filled with grand stories and discoveries, with tales of heroic acts, huge tragedies and amazing wonders. Ours is such a time as well. For Christians, the Bible is supposed to guide the way we understand our histories and sustain our hopes for the future.
In 1816, James Madison was president of the United States, Indiana became the 19th state and American Bible Society was founded. Not many aspects of life today look as they did at that time in history. Most things from 1816 have become forgotten treasures of a history long gone. But not the Bible.