OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma lawmaker says he wants to bring the King James Bible into religious elective courses in local schools.
Sen. George Burns has filed Senate Bill 1161 that would ensure the King James Bible is used for elective courses on Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. It would also make sure that the King James Bible is available in school libraries.
“Our Founding Fathers relied heavily upon the scriptures in the formation of our country, and the Bible they used was the King James Bible, which makes it an important historical document,” said Burns, R-Pollard. “It influenced the writing of the major documents that created this country, including the Constitution. It’s historically accurate to use that version, and it is in the public domain, which is also important.”
Current Oklahoma law allows schools to teach elective courses on the Bible, which can teach students how the Bible has influenced law, history, government, culture, and the arts.
Under Burns’ bill, the King James Bible would be designated as the primary text for those courses.
The measure states that other texts for the courses may be a parallel translation Bible or multi-translation Bible for side-by-side comparison.
While existing law requires teachers for such courses to be certified in social studies or literature, SB 1161 would allow school districts to choose an ordained or licensed member of the clergy to teach the courses, as long as they teach as a non-compensated volunteer.