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2006 National Bible Week Launched by Collaborative Media Campaign Between the Bible Literacy Project and the National Bible Association

Five thousand billboards present nationwide message: "An educated person knows the Bible"


Contact: Sheila Weber, VP, Bible Literacy Project, 646-322-6853, sheila@bibleliteracy.org


NEW YORK, Nov. 15 /Christian Newswire/ -- To kick off National Bible Week (November 19-26), the Bible Literacy Project and the National Bible Association  announce they are co-sponsoring a national public service billboard campaign and have partnered to produce 5000 billboards which will highlight the message "an educated person knows the Bible."  The billboards also direct people to "read the research" that was conducted by the Bible Literacy Project and funded by the John Templeton Foundation published in two national reports in 2005 and 2006, which revealed that 98 % high school English teachers and 100% of university professors surveyed agreed that students need to know the Bible in order to be well educated. Billboard can be viewed at bibleliteracy.org


On Thursday, November 16th, Dr. John Templeton, Jr., trustee of National Bible Association, will speak at the annual National Bible Week Dinner at the Essex House in New York City. He will highlight the following findings of the two recent national reports, entitled Bible Literacy Report I: What American teens know and need to know; and Bible Literacy Report II: What university professors say incoming students need to know:


  • 100% of university professors surveyed--including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford—agreed that incoming students need to know the Bible. In a survey, they listed more than 60 books taught in college which require knowledge of the Bible.

  • 98% of high school English teachers said Bible knowledge gives a distinct academic advantage to students in studying English.

  • 90% of high school English teachers said Bible knowledge was critical for a good education but that today's students are "clueless, stumped, and confused." 

  • Bible Literacy Report I included a Gallup poll of 1002 teens and revealed that students do not know enough about the Bible to properly understand British and American literature or understand the Bible's impact on art, music, history and culture. 


The idea for the Bible Literacy Project began within the board of the National Bible Association, and later spun off to become its own entity.  Among its first effort was to publish a consensus statement for how to teach the Bible in public schools, entitled The Bible and Public Schools: A First Amendment Guide, which has been endorsed by 21 educational, legal, and religious groups.


Chuck Stetson, chairman of the Bible Literacy Project, was former vice chairman of the National Bible Association, but launched the Bible Literacy Project separately as a new endeavor to facilitate academic study of the Bible in public schools, since it was a larger project than the scope of National Bible allowed. "We have a tremendous disconnect in public school education. On the one hand, national surveys show virtually 100 percent of educators recognize the importance of knowing the Bible—that it is key to understanding English literature, as well as art, music, history and culture. On the other hand, only 8 percent of public schools teach about the Bible. As The Chicago Tribune affirmed in their endorsing editorial, 'Not to teach about the Bible is failing our students,'" Stetson said.


Peter Giersch, President of the National Bible Association, stated "We are happy to partner in a media campaign this year with Bible Literacy Project. Our goal is that everyone should read the Bible."


The Bible Literacy Project is providing educators with a new tool for increasing students' knowledge of the Bible with last year's release of a new public high school textbook, The Bible and Its Influence, which has gained the respect and admiration of educators and parents across the country. 


To read the national reports or learn about the new public school textbook, go to www.bibleliteracy.org.