AN ACADEMICALLY ROBUST Program enriches the overall school curriculum
“Hamilton County Schools is committed to providing students with a world-class education, which includes making sure they develop abroad understanding of the events,writings, and ideas that have shaped Western society and culture.” – Dr. Bryan Johnson, Superintendent, Hamilton County Schools
"Thank you for allowing me not only to learn about history through the Bible, but also the ways that the world can be looked at through the Bible." – Bible History Student
“This class has really changed the way I view and understand the Bible. This class has improved my ability to analyze and ask questions about the things I read and to consider the context of what I’m reading.” – Bible History Student
"Bible History gives us the privilege to learn about the history of a world-wide religion. It allows an intruiging introduction to Christianity whether a student is religious or not and gives us a knowledge of the foundation of our culture." – Bible History Student – Bible History Student
"While Bible History is a robust academic subject, the byproduct of these courses reaches beyond mere academic gains as students are exposed to the hope, values, and life lessons found in the Bible; many of which are universally relevant today." – Mrs. Cathy Scott, Bible in the Schools President
“Hamilton County Schools is grateful for the continued engagement of the greater Chattanooga community in supporting the HCS Bible History elective program. This broad-based support provides robust access to a unique slate of course options for students in grades 6-12 at 28 public schools across the county. By situating the Bible within its historical context as a work of literature written by ancient peoples in an ancient time, we not only aim to increase students’ knowledge of biblical content but also their cultural literacy as related to the traditions and customs reflective of life in first-century Palestine. This non-devotional approach to studying the biblical text uses academic inquiry to promote an appreciation of diverse perspectives, the development of critical and analytical thinking, and a framework for pursuing shared values of peace and justice within a pluralistic society.” – Dr. Matt Johnson, Hamilton County Schools Bible History Coordinator
FIVE BIBLE HISTORY ELECTIVE COURSES OFFERED TO GRADES 6-12
All Bible History elective courses are not religion courses. Teachers are required to teach from a viewpoint-neutral perspective. Courses remain historical and non-sectarian. Students are given the opportunity to critically engage with the text, and gain a general understanding of the ways in which the Bible has influenced world history, literature, music, art, and culture.
Genesis - 6th Grade
In this class, students will engage in the academic investigation of the details related to the origin and development of the Bible, as well as the major story arcs from the Book of Genesis, including the creation and flood narratives, the formation of early civilizations, and the founding of the early Abrahamic and Israelite traditions.
Exodus - 7th Grade
In this class students will consider the early development of the nation of Israel, including the Israelite experience in Egypt, as well as their enslavement and eventual exodus from Egypt. This investigation of the text will include an overview of the life and leadership of Moses, as well as the early rituals, practices, and systems of ancient Israelite culture.
Life of Jesus - 8th Grade
After a brief introduction to the Old Testament background concerning Jesus, the years between the Old and New Testaments, and a general description of the Four Gospels, this course will begin an academic survey of Jesus’ life, using the Book of Luke as the primary text. This investigation will include exploration of Jesus’ early life, his work and teachings, as well as his eventual arrest and execution.
Old Testament Bible History - 9th-12th Grade
This course provides an academic overview of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, beginning with the formation of the biblical canon, the creation narratives in the Universal account through the Babylonian exile and the Second Temple Period. The course emphasizes the understanding of the thought and culture of ancient Israel. Students are introduced to the tribal, kingship, exilic, and post-exilic periods and the literature that arises from these periods such as prophetic, poetry, and wisdom literature.
New Testament Bible History - 9th-12th Grade
This course provides an academic overview of the entire New Testament, beginning with the Second Temple Period and ending with a general overview of the historical formation of the biblical canon. Students engage in a comparative study of the four Gospels and trace the development of the early Christian church. Emphasis is given to the life and teachings of Jesus. Students also investigate the various writings of Paul, as well as the many cultural challenges faced by the early church.