The Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Christianity: Part Two
What they share By James C. VanderKam

Many of the ritual and community practices of the Qumran covenanters, who lived near the Dead Sea and who produced what we call the Dead Sea Scrolls, have impressive parallels among New Testament Christians. Here are just a few: Acts describes the events of the first Pentecost after Jesus’ crucifixion. It then describes the […]

The Book of Esther
Where does fiction start and history end? By Michael Heltzer

The Book of Esther is the only book of the Hebrew Bible that describes life in the Jewish Diaspora, or dispersion. Although the book is relatively little known among Christians, it is known by Jews because it is the basis of the joyous Jewish holiday called Purim, which celebrates the reprieve of the […]

The Hidden Hand of God

The preceding article discusses historical events that may or may not be reflected in the fascinating book of Esther. The article that follows explores ways that traditional Jewish exegetes seek deeper and sometimes mystical meaning in the text. —Ed.

Did Sarah Have a Seminal Emission?

The anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews contains a justly famous panegyric to faith (see the sidebar to this article). In a series of sentences that begins “By faith,” the letter recites the accomplishments of ancient heroes—Abel, Enoch, Noah; then Abraham—and Sarah. What did Sarah accomplish by faith? The Greek contains a difficult term. Taken […]