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The Bible has been the most influential text in all of Western culture. It's difficult to understand medieval or early modern or much of modern literature without knowing it...

Prof. Barbara Newman, Northwestern University
from 2006 Bible Literary project


It's not that it's impossible to read some writers without a Biblical background, but that you would miss a whole dimension to their work.

Prof. Steven Goldsmith, University of California at Berkeley
from 2006 Bible Literary Project


I can only say that if a student doesn't know any Bible literature, he or she will simply not understand whole elements of Shakespeare, Sidney, Spenser, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth

Prof. Robert Kiely, Harvard University
from 2006 Bible Literary Project


...there is truth in the remark. "without Tyndale[Bible translator], no Shakespeare"...

Prof. David Daniell, University College London
from The Bible in English


You can't really study Western literature intelligently or coherently without starting with the Bible.

Prof. Gerald L. Bruns, University of Notre Dame
from 2006 Bible Literary Project


...a familiar understanding of Christian doctrine in historical perspective thus contributes to a fuller appreciation of Shakespeare's art, but Shakespeare's art

Prof. Roland M. Frye
from Shakespeare and the Christian Doctrine


In English tradition and also for an American tradition begun by Puritan writers, a knowledge of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament is even more crucial than classical references.

Prof. Ulrich Knoefplmacher, Princeton University
from 2006 Bible Literary Project


There is no book more important for our culture than the Bible, and it is fundametal to the study of English literature and language.

Prof. David Jasper and Prof. Stephen Prickett
from the Bible and literature

Lesson Plan

Teaching Bible in English classes can be fun, engaging and rewarding. Lacking ideas on how to make a good lesson plan? Here, we provide lesson plans that are tried and tested at churches and colleges. These lesson plans are pitched at middle secondary to college level, depending on your students’ level of English in your country.

Launch of ACE Course 

Starting March 2010, we launched a 10-week English enhancement course – ACE Course, using the Bible to introduce Western arts and culture and everyday expressions.

Each lesson centres around a Bible passage rich with idiomatic expressions or literary devices. At the same time It carries a specific theme (e.g. temptation, love) to stimulate meaningful discussion among students. Each lesson lasts from 1 to 1.5 hours depending on the depth of discussion. Students generally become more interested in the English language, the Bible and Christianity after attending the course, according to our survey. Their creativity in using the language is also greatly increased.

We have published the course materials entitled ACE Course: Learn Arts, Culture and English Expressions through the Bible. A set of coursebook consists of the teacher’s edition and student’s edition. They are now available in Christian bookstores in Hong Kong.

To order, please call our sole agent Religious Education Resource Centre (+852 2776 6333), or email info@rerc.org.hk.Credit card payment is accepted for overseas mail orders.

Course Outline

Lesson NameTheme
Lesson 1: In the BeginningTemptation    
Lesson 2: Mark of CainSin
Lesson 3: Tower of BabelSin
Lesson 4: ExodusFaith
Lesson 5: Wisdom of SolomonWisdom
Lesson 6: Patience of JobTrial
Lesson 7: Right livingRight Living
Lesson 8: Prodigal SonLove
Lesson 9: Last SupperTrial
Lesson 10: Damascus Road ExperienceConversion

A promotional flyer of the course can be downloaded here.

Want to launch ACE Course at your school or church? You can kick off the course with a taster session using this powerpoint presentation.

Recommendations of the ACE Course:
“These lessons for the teaching and learning of English through the Bible are exemplary. They are serious, attractive and beautifully constructed. They deserve widespread dissemination and use.”
Prof. David Jasper, Professor in Literature and Theology, University of Glasgow

“The course and website (www.selbl.org) are an invaluable resource for students and scholars. Feedback on pilot testing of the course in Sandyford Henderson Memorial Church of Scotland has been very positive.”
Prof. Noel Peacock, Marshall Professor of French, University of Glasgow

“SELBL reminds us that the Bible is not only a storehouse of God’s words, it is also literature. The Bible is the source for a lot of idioms that we are using today, many beautiful songs that we are singing today. Through this course, students learn more about our Lord’s messages to us through the Bible, the interpretation of these messages by creative artists over the centuries, and the relation between the messages and ourselves.”

Julia Wan, Consultant, Creative English Teaching, Part-time Lecturer, Dept of English Language & Literature, Hong Kong Baptist University

Below are the testimonies of students taking the course:

Let’s see how David Blenkinson, an English teacher of our course, thinks about learning English through the Bible:

You can also view the video clip below to see how we taught Bible through games and activities.

Want more lesson plans ? Join us as SELBL member for free, and you can browse and share tips on learning and teaching English from other members.

Check them out now!

Search idiom or name

A lot of phrases, such as "two-edged sword" and " an eye for an eye", are taken from the English Bible. Learning the stories behind these idioms is fun, and can help boost your vocabulary. Click here to find out now!

What's in a name?

Common names such as Joseph and Rachel have their origins in the Bible. Want to know their stories before picking the right name for yourself? Click here to find out.