The Kentucky House has passed legislation aimed at creating elective Bible literacy courses in public schools.
The bill would require the state Board of Education to establish policies for local school boards that choose to offer elective social studies courses on the Hebrew texts and New Testament.
The measure passed the House on an 80-14 vote Thursday and now goes to the Senate.
Rep. DJ Johnson of Owensboro, the bill's sponsor, said the Bible is the "single-most impactful literary document" in western civilization.
The bill's opponents said it intrudes on the principles separating church and state by sanctioning one faith.
Under the bill, Bible literacy would be an optional course for public school students, with curriculum set by Kentucky's Board of Education.