The Ancient Library of Alexandria
The West’s most important repository of learning By J. Harold Ellens

In March of 415 C.E., on a sunny day in the holy season of Lent, Cyril of Alexandria, the most powerful Christian theologian in the world, murdered Hypatia, the most famous Greco-Roman philosopher of the time. Hypatia was slaughtered like an animal in the church of Caesarion, formerly a sanctuary of emperor worship.1 […]

Jesus’ Triumphal March to Crucifixion
The sacred way as Roman procession By Thomas Schmidt

30 Scholars have long recognized that the Evangelists do not simply report the events of Jesus’ life. They select, arrange and modify material at their disposal to stress important themes—like the connection between Jesus and the Old Testament, the inclusion of gentiles in the kingdom and the nature of discipleship. Mark’s gospel was probably […]

Jefferson’s Bible
Cutting and pasting the Good Book By C. Bruce Hunter

Among his many other accomplishments, the third president of the United States rewrote the Bible. That might seem a remarkably audacious thing for anyone to do, but it was quite natural for a man of Thomas Jefferson’s complex nature. He was a true genius who often got into trouble for refusing to follow the […]

Who the Devil is Beelzebul?

Three passages in the Synoptic Gospels identify the enigmatic figure of Beelzebul as the ruler of demons (Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15). In each of these passages, Jesus’ enemies attribute his ability to heal to the powers of “Beelzebul, the prince of demons.”a No more information is given. Other verses where Beelzebul appears […]


Rediscovering the Message of Lent
Often, Lent means very little. Modern American Christianity tends to leap from a cross of ashes borne on Ash Wednesday right into the glory of Easter. By Helmut Koester
The Bible Within the Bible
Some think that congregations should be more critical in selecting scripture readings. They insist upon creating a canon within the canon. But this bases the authority of the Bible not on the Bible itself, but on the Bible as read by a particular communit By Bernhard W. Anderson