Mary, Martha and the Kitchen Maid

My mother is a Martha; her best friend, a Mary. My mother raised five children while working, for almost all of her adult life, as a schoolteacher. My mother’s best friend had, well, more fun.1 Which is why my mother, as she cooked dinner or sat correcting spelling tests while her friend cheered on […]

The Desert Tabernacle
Pure fiction or plausible account? By Kenneth A. Kitchen

The patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob invoked the Lord at simple outdoor altars apparently built for the occasion. King Solomon, however, built the Lord a permanent home, the Temple in Jerusalem. Midway between these two biblical traditions stands the portable Tabernacle that housed the Ark of the Covenant during the Israelites’ desert trek from […]

The Divine Warrior in His Tent
A military model for Yahweh’s tabernacle By Michael M. Homan

022 Yahweh could have asked Moses for just about anything—a temple, a palace, even a pyramid. Instead, Yahweh requests that Moses build him a tent (Exodus 25:8–9). Once the tent has been constructed according to Yahweh’s exacting instructions, the Israelite deity moves in. For the rest of the Israelites’ stay in Sinai, throughout […]

King David: Serial Murderer
New biography compares Israelite king to Saddam Hussein By Hershel Shanks

035 King David: A Biography Steven L. MacKenzie (New York, NY: Oxford Univ. Press, 2000) 232 pp., $25.00 (hardback) 034 I started reading this book with high hopes. Despite its title, which suggested (at least to me) a novelized treatment of Israel’s great king, the book is an attempt to find the historical […]

Now Playing: The Gospel of Thomas

One Sunday morning several years ago, a most astonishing thing happened to me. I was attending services at a local church in Claremont, California, where I was a graduate student working on a (then) relatively obscure text known as the Gospel of Thomas. I rose and began to sing the announced hymn with the […]


Paul, Leader of a Jewish Revolution
Paul’s theology—grounded in Jewish thought and scriptures—propelled him to confront the powers of Rome and the pagan gods that stood behind them. By N. T. Wright
The Scorpion