Alabama may allow public high schools to teach an elective course in Bible literacy.
It would rely on a textbook published by the Virginia-based Bible Literacy Project.
State House Speaker Seth Hammett says the organization has worked hard to develop a constitutionally sound program.
Other supporters say it would be an academic discussion of how the Bible has influenced literature, art, history, music and Western civilization.
Critics say it's the latest attempt by Christians to preach in public schools.
Joseph Conn, a spokesman for the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State, says the Bible is already discussed when allusions to it come up in art, literature and other works.