ENG 275 : The Bible as Literature

Explores the Bible as a literary text by discussing authorship, translation, literary forms, history, and cultural context. Discusses the Bible as a point of reference for literature as well as for other works of art.

The Bible as Literature examines the way stories, characters, and idioms of the Bible become allusions and metaphors in contemporary western literature and culture. ENG 275 applies the techniques and language of literary criticism to Biblical text. The course work may include the examination of a variety of translations of the Bible and the process of canonization. The course may examine not only books from the traditional canons but also from texts not typically included in the canon such as the Apocrypha and Gnostic texts.


Equivalent placement test scores also accepted.

Course Outcomes

Upon completing this course, students should be able to…

  • Read the Bible with an understanding of its literary forms and conventions as well as its relationship to history and culture.
  • Apply concepts of literary criticism (e.g., typology, archetype, parallelism, chiastic structure) to a variety of writings including the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Apocryphal books.
  • Recognize the Bible’s lasting influence on other works of literature, art, music, and popular culture.
  • Discuss and show familiarity with selected Bible texts as well as secondary biblical scholarship.
  • Analyze a variety of English translations to understand the effects of translation from the original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek) on the meaning and interpretation of texts.
  • Write coherent and compelling essays that begin to explore the complex questions pertaining to the Bible.

Additional Information

This course fulfills the following GE requirements: Arts and Letters/AAOT, Arts and Letters/ASOT-B, Arts and Letters/AAS, Arts and Letters/AGS, Arts and Letters/AS.

Course Adoption Date

Course Revision Date





Grading Options

Letter Grades


Audit Available