Teaching of Bible as Literature Hailed as Step Ahead in Florida

By Witham, Larry | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 19, 2000 | Go to article overview

Teaching of Bible as Literature Hailed as Step Ahead in Florida


Witham, Larry, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


New guidelines to teach the Bible as literature in Florida high schools, issued after complaints that a "Bible History" course taught doctrine, are being called a major step in the religion-in-schools debate.

For some, it is a step forward in cultural education. Others call it a step backward that secularizes a book many parents consider the inspired word of God.

"By law, school districts have the right to teach the objective study of the Bible," said Florida Commissioner of Education Tom Gallagher.

His action, although prompted by complaints by activist groups, is the first major shift in a state's curriculum that conforms to "The Bible and Public Schools: A First Amendment Guide."

The policy document was issued last year by the independent Freedom Forum and endorsed by a broad coalition of legal, religious and educational groups.

It states that teaching "about" the Bible is legal as history or literature but advises that a history approach risks confronting questions of the truth of Bible events such as Adam and Eve, the Exodus, the Resurrection and miracles.

Florida's curriculum guide on the Bible since 1992 had put that elective under high school history.

In January, People for the American Way, a liberal policy group, issued a report that 14 Florida school districts were teaching the Bible history course as conservative Protestant "indoctrination" rather than academic study."

"The `Bible as history' approach was hopelessly flawed and rightly abandoned," the group's president, Ralph G. Neas, said after yesterday's action by the education commissioner.

The new Florida guidelines, drafted in consultation with People for the American Way and the religion department at Florida State University, go into effect with the fall 2000 school year.

"Everyone was comfortable with the new course guidelines," said state education department spokesman Karen Chandler. "The choice of instruction materials is left up to each district."

She said the state will hold a "summer institute" for teachers who wish to prepare and will provide every district with the "First Amendment Guide" to teaching the Bible.

The guide recommends, for example, that students not have a Bible in class but use a book with Bible excerpts, because no Bible version should be taught to students as "normative," or the true Bible.

Liberal Protestants, evangelicals and fundamentalists favor different Bible translations, while Roman Catholics have a Bible with more books than Protestants and Jews recognize only the Hebrew Bible, called the Old Testament by Christians. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Teaching of Bible as Literature Hailed as Step Ahead in Florida
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.