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SBL Teacher Newsletter

March/ April 2012
Teaching the Bible is a bimonthly e-publication of scholarly essays on the Bible and its contexts, designed for teachers in secondary school and adult education settings.

About the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)

The SBL was founded in 1880 and is an international academic membership organization for people who teach, study, or are interested in academic study of the Bible and its related contexts and literatures. The Society's mission is to foster biblical scholarship and does not hold any denominational or confessional stance, though many of our members are religious leaders.

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SBL Interviews
Check out our SBL Interviews page, which features audio interviews with Bible scholars discussing their research and current debates in the field.

The most recent interview is with Prof. Ramsay MacMullen, of Yale University, who talks about archaeological remains and the practices of early Christians in the second through fifth centuries C.E.



Feature Essays

Teaching the Bible through Biblical Languages
By Brad Johnson

Sometimes it's a challenge to remember that the Bible was written in Hebrew, Greek, and in some cases, Aramaic. This article helps teachers become aware of how the Bible's original languages and the process of translation can aid our interpretation and understanding of the Bible--in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.


Transmission and Translation of the Bible Part I (800 BCE to 1000 CE)
By Brennan Breed

We highlight an essay from our first issue of Teaching the Bible that traces the story of how biblical texts were recorded, recognized, and translated.



The Arizona House passed a bill recently that permits schools to offer a Bible elective. See that story and more...

Arizona House OKs bill for Bible course
By Alia Beard Rau for the The Arizona Republic, 2/21/12

Bill would have Bible in schools, ban other texts
By Kellie Mejdrich for Arizona-Sonora News Service, 2/24/12

Supreme Court Declines Appeals on Religion in Public Education
by Mark Walsh for the Education Week blog, 3/26/12


Versions and Translations: A link to an overview of the major translations of the Bible.


Bible Electives GuideIf you too are concerned about legal issues around teaching the Bible in public schools, we remind you that the Society of Biblical Literature has published a helpful guide: Bible Electives in Public Schools. You can request a free copy to be mailed to you by sending an email to:

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