At the risk of shocking my reader, I feel compelled to reveal my sympathy for a character that the Bible seems to treat rather badly. I am talking about Esau, the elder brother of Jacob. I feel sorry for him. I imagine him alone, always alone, bitter and unhappy. Except for his old father, […]

What Really Happened at Gethsemane?

The scene has stimulated the imagination of great painters. The light of a full moon accentuates the shadows in a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives. A lonely figure prays in anguish. Deep in careless sleep, his companions ignore his agony. The swords of the approaching soldiers appear on the […]

“More Than Any Man Has Ever Done”
Julia Smith’s search for the meaning of God’s word By Emily Walter Sampson

It was the end of 1842, and Julia Smith expected the end of the world. A believer in the apocalyptic prophecies of the Baptist preacher William Miller, Smith had allowed the plants in the conservatory of her Connecticut home to go unwatered and die. She had even prepared her Ascension robe, to be worn […]

Dreamer, Schemer, Slave and Prince
Understanding Joseph’s dreams By Arnold Ages

Dreams in the Joseph story—both those he dreamed himself and those he interpreted for others—have long mesmerized us. His arrogant boasting of his dreams to his brothers almost cost him his life. His gifts as a dream interpreter won his release from prison and slavery and allowed him to become a prince in Egypt. […]


Does the Bible refer to God as feminine? By Hershel Shanks
Human Wisdom Is Divine
Though often ignored, wisdom literature permeates the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. By Anthony J. Saldarini
The Law in the Gospel
The law is an essential precondition for the gospel: When Jesus and Paul speak, they speak the language of law. By Ronald S. Hendel