What is the Bible? Inspiring devotional text? Anthology of ancient literature and poetry? A collection of historical texts of debated historicity? This course will survey the ways in which the Bible, as both Jewish and Christian Scriptures, has been read over the millenia, and the profound impact it has had on Western thought and culture. We will begin with a consideration of core biblical themes and narratives, highlighting those that have been particularly formative for the Western imagination. We will then consider different hermeneutics that have been applied to the Scriptures over the centuries, and seek to understand the contours of the historical-critical method that has emerged in the last two centuries and posed challenges for orthodox believers. Students will gain a fuller sense of the conflicting ways in which the Bible has been read, and a renewed appreciation of what it means to be faithful to the authority of Scripture.