What Makes the Ten Commandments Different?

We start with a problem. And some questions. With the exception of the tenth commandment, prohibiting coveting, all the commandments in the Decalogue, as the Ten Commandments are called, appear in similar form elsewhere in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). The prohibitions against idolatry and swearing falsely, the commandments to […]

Is Everybody a Bible Expert?
Not the authors of the Book of J By Richard Elliott Friedman

It is a strange fact that we biblical scholars always seem to meet people who are surprised that we really know things about the Bible. They assume that the study of the Bible is a matter of opinions and interpretations, with few verifiable facts one way or another. Even though the archaeological revolution is […]

Sung Sermons
Melodies, morals and biblical interpretations in Byzantium By R. J. Schork

Sermons in stone,” “sermons in glass”—these multimedia figures of speech should surprise no one, since for long periods of time and in a broad range of places the largely illiterate faithful in Europe learned the Bible and the teachings of the church in ways that had nothing to do with formal, academic instruction—or […]

The People of The Dead Sea Scrolls
Essenes or Sadducees? By James C. VanderKam

Adjacent to the 11 caves on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found are the remains of an ancient settlement overlooking the Wadi Qumran. It is almost certain that the people who lived in this settlement placed the scrolls in the nearby caves. In two of […]


Bible Lands
Exploring the valleys of Jerusalem By Philip J. King