I'm all for biblical literacy.
I think it's embarrassing when the White House press secretary publicly misattributes a proverb to the Bible,
especially when it's such a classic of the Bible-misattribution genre: "God
helps those who help themselves."
I lament biblical illiteracy as much as anyone,
but I think surveys sometimes load the dice against scripture when illustrating
the public's unfamiliarity with the Bible. A recent example was noted by the
American Bible Society as it released The
Freedom Bible in connection with the 9/ll anniversary.
Fresh out of graduate school, in my first faculty appointment as a professor of English, I was invited to teach an undergraduate course on “The Bible as Literature.” I’ve never stopped teaching it. For over three decades I have had the privilege of guiding students in the encounter of the biblical texts.
Americans are more likely than Europeans to own and read a Bible, but Poles are most likely to have a basic knowledge of scripture, reports the Vatican, citing preliminary findings from a survey made for a synod of bishops in October.
It seems to me a wonderful irony that Christians in America are preoccupied with debates about biblical authority just when all parties to the debates are less knowledgeable about the content of scripture than many of our predecessors were.