Is the Bible required reading before tackling most Western literature?
I've read Genesis, Exodus and Revelation but I feel like there's a lot of references I'm missing.
If you read it you can use Barth Ehrman's introduction to the New Testament (http://bookzz.org/book/1106739/cf6560) as well as the two Yale Courses and their reading materials to go along with it.
If you want to approach it from a faith based aspect the course "Jesus and the Gospels" from the teaching company (taught by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Timothy_Johnson) approaches the gospels from a theist point of study.
Be aware of Constantine's strong Orthodoxy and rejection of historical critical methodology.
that course is a waste of time for anyone who is only interested in reading the bible for its impact on literature. he literally says that in the first lecture. it's if you're interested in the historical period of the bible and early christianity.