The Bible Literacy Project (BLP) has been promoting its textbook, The Bible and Its Influence, around the United States, and a visit to the BLP website informs one that their textbook does not "contain errors, use plagiarized material and claim urban legends to be scientific facts." This clearly reveals that the BLP lacks credibility, as the textbook contains a number of errors, such as a contradiction of what Jesus actually said in Matthew and Luke about parables (p. 215 in the textbook).
The BLP textbook also asks students to question traditional Biblical teaching. For example, it asks "If God allows evil things to happen, can God honestly be described as good?" The textbook doesn't leave this as a question, but then states that "This puzzle remains essentially unsolved." (p.156) And among other problems with the BLP textbook, it states that the Book of Job "provides no clear cut moral or answer to Job's situation." (p.161) But how can anyone read the last chapter of Job (Chapter 42) and still say there is no clear cut moral?
Another problem with the BLP textbook is what it leaves out. On page 50, it quotes the Mayflower Compact as stating, "Having undertaken a voyage to plant the first colony," when it actually states: "Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony...." What does it say about the BLP that it thought it important to leave out "for the Glory of God" and "Advancement of our Christian faith?
Beyond the factual and other errors in the textbook, try and figure out whether the BLP is proud of the National Education Association's support or running from it! The BLP website wants visitors to know their textbook is not endorsed by the NEA. However, the website also says its The Bible And Public Schools: A First Amendment Guide should be used with its textbook, and BLP vice-president Sheila Weber has proudly published that their Guide is endorsed by the NEA!
Dr. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries has written a letter criticizing the BLP textbook as being "extremely radical" and containing "very anti-Biblical material." Furthermore, a letter to an Alabama state legislator similarly raising concerns has been written by Dr. John C. Hagee, who holds three doctorates, including one from Netanya University in Israel. In his letter, Dr. Hagee, who is pastor of the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, remarks: "My overview of The Bible and Its Influence is that this is a masterful work of deception, distortion and outright falsehoods."
Dr. Hagee gives examples of how the BLP textbook is dangerous because it plants concepts in the minds of children which are contrary to Biblical teaching. He goes on to warn that "distortions, deceptions and falsehoods never produce moral, emotional, political or intellectual health....This book (The Bible and Its Influence) in the hands of children in public schools, whose intellect has not matured sufficiently to decipher the clever distortion of this book, would be greatly damaged. I believe this book would be of great value for advanced study in America's theological schools as an example of literary 'wolves in sheeps' clothing'."
Dr. Hagee concludes his letter by addressing the Alabama Legislature: "The acceptance or rejection of the intellectual, moral and spiritual poison of The Bible and Its Influence will be the choice of the Alabama Legislature. I pray the distinguished members of the Legislature recognize it for what it truly is...distortion, deception and utter falsehoods and disallow it to be placed in the public schools of the great State of Alabama."
D. L. Cuddy, Ph.D., has taught in the public schools and at the university level, and has been a Senior Associate in the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.