A Bible curriculum developed by the Green Scholar's Initiative chaired by outspoken Christian president of Hobby Lobby, Steve Green, is slated to be piloted in Oklahoma's Mustang Public School district high schools this fall. And if it's successful, high school students across the U.S. could soon be free to study the Bible en masse.
A release from public relations firm Demoss, said a test version of the elective Bible curriculum was recently presented to the board of the Mustang Public Schools by the Museum of the Bible, a nonprofit that will oversee an international museum focusing on a scholarly approach to the Bible. It is expected to open a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. in 2017.
A representative of Demoss, who requested not to be identified because he was not authorized to discuss the curriculum, explained to The Christian Post on Friday that although the plan was still in the draft stage, the aim is to deliver a constitutionally sound final document. The representative noted that the Hobby Lobby president, who is known for his faith fight with the government over Obamacare's birth control mandate, was not directly involved with the project in any way.
"Hobby Lobby as a company is not involved with the project, but Steve Green the president of Hobby Lobby in his personal capacity serves as the chairman of the board of the Museum of the Bible. He was not involved in the writing or development of the curriculum that was done by a team of scholars from many faiths led by Jerry Pattengale," said the representative.
Pattengale, who is the executive director of the Green Scholars Initiative, explained in the release what the curriculum will cover.
"The curriculum is a logical extension of our museum and parallels its design, which will have one floor dedicated to each of [the] following: the history of the Bible, its narrative and its impact," he said.
"We have a unique value proposition to offer with this curriculum, given our work with scholars, The Green Collection's rare biblical texts and artifacts that currently number more than 44,000, and the museum, which will open in 2017 a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol in Washington," he added.
Some 70 international biblical scholars are engaged in the development of the curriculum and the team is an interdisciplinary network of people from faith and non-faith traditions.
According to the release, the first year of the four-year curriculum will cover the Bible's literary and historical context. That will then be followed by a year each covering the history of the Bible, its narrative and its impact.
When contacted for a reaction to the proposed curriculum, Shannon Rigsby, a Mustang Public Schools spokesperson, said they would not comment publicly until they have had a chance to review the final document.
"There have been so many misrepresentations about this course in the media that our counsel has advised us to just hold off on doing any more interviews, and we're gonna wait until we get the full curriculum and the teachers' guide," she said Friday.