The central concern of this module is to introduce students to the importance of Bible knowledge in the study of English literature and to celebrate the work of William Tyndale, translator of most of the King James Bible and probably the most influential individual on the development of the English language. Studying the Bible both as literature and its influence on literature and language should be seen as entirely separate from studying the Bible as a religious and spiritual text. Whatever else people believe it to be, the Bible has a unique place in the study of the subject of English. Students are asked to think about why translating the Bible into English was so important to people like Tyndale and the influence his prose has had on generations of readers.

We are also keen to make sure students are aware of a range of Bible references. They read the creation story from Genesis (and compare it to some of the creations myths they read about in Year 7,) Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, Noah and the flood (which they compare to the flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh,) Samson and Delilah, the judgement of Solomon, and Daniel and the lions’ den. They also look at a selection of Biblical poetry as well as the gospels and the story of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. Alongside this they read a medieval mystery play based on the story of Noah, extracts from Pilgrim’s Progress and Paradise Lost as well as poetry inspired by the King James Bible from William Blake and Emily Dickinson as well as song lyrics from Bob Marley.