Teaching the Bible as Philosophy


  • Philip Davies University of Sheffield




philosophy, Bible, religion, literature


Two models for the teaching of the Bible in the school system are well-known and often used: as part of a religious education or religious studies syllabus, or as literature (e.g. in the form of “Bible stories”). I propose a method that takes seriously some of the ideas of the Bible, without teaching them as religious doctrines: to analyse and discuss how the Bible deals with philosophical questions of metaphysics and ethics, such as the ideal human society, the nature of justice and evil, and the meaning of history. The Bible offers no single view on these matters, and hence can be used undogmatically as a basis for discussion, along with other sources. Since its “philosophy” is often expressed in the form of narrative, such a method of teaching the Bible will incorporate both its literary and theological dimensions.


Davies, Philip R. 1995. Whose Bible Is It Anyway? Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995.

Sherwood, Yvonne. 2006. “Bush’s Bible as a Liberal Bible (Strange Though that Might Seem).” Postscripts 2: 47–58.



How to Cite

Davies, P. (2014). Teaching the Bible as Philosophy. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 7(2), 213–224. https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v7i2.213



Biblical Literacy (co-edited by James Crossley and I.C. Hine)