The Gospel of Thomas
Does it contain authentic sayings of Jesus? By Helmut Koester, Stephen J. Patterson

Scholars have long theorized that collections of Jesus’ sayings circulated in the decades following his death and that therefore they would be among the earliest witnesses to his message. Modern critical scholars have even been able to reconstruct one of these collections of sayings —we’ll tell you how later. In the scholarly jargon, this […]

A Woman Was the First to Declare Scripture Holy

Huldah the prophetess—let us celebrate her—holds a unique place in history. It was she who, for the first time, designated a written document as Holy Scripture. She began the process that culminated more than millennium later in the canonization of the Bible.

Kings Og’s Iron Bed
Fact or fancy? By Alan R. Millard

In Moses’ famous speech that comprises most of Deuteronomy, he describes the Israelite conquest of two kingdoms east of the Jordan—Heshbon, led by a king named Sihon, and Bashan, led by a king named Og. King Og alone survived— “Only Og the King of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim” […]

Rachel and Leah
Sibling tragedy or the triumph of piety and compassion? By Samuel Dresner

Familial tension in the Bible is typically sibling rivalry, rather than Oedipal conflict. We are hard put to find examples of a struggle between parents and children in Genesis, although the popularity of the Greek myth would lead us to expect to find this as the prototype for all family stress. Instead, Scripture offers […]


Do we deliberately try to provoke and irritate? By Hershel Shanks