Earliest Christian Inscription
Bishop Avercius’s last words document emergence of the church By Laurence H. Kant

Every so often, when historians find incongruities in an ancient text, they err by throwing the baby out with the bathwater: They dismiss the entire document as unhistorical. This is what happened with one of the most important documents from early Christianity, an undeservedly obscure poem commissioned by Avercius, an early bishop of the […]

Reading David in Genesis
How we know the Torah was written in the tenth century B.C.E. By Gary A. Rendsburg

For the last two hundred years, a central question in biblical studies has been the authorship of the Torah (or Pentateuch). The Age of Enlightenment led scholars to realize that the traditional Jewish and Christian belief in Moses’ participation in the creation of the first five books of the Bible was not historically accurate. […]

Sperm Stealing
A moral crime by three of David’s ancestresses By Shlomith Yaron

The Bible describes three cases of “sperm stealing,” incidents in which women seduce a man and make him an unwitting sperm donor. And all three instances involve an ancestor of David, ancient Israel’s great hero-king. Sperm stealing is a fact of human life as old as the most ancient civilizations and as contemporary as […]


King David Loves Bathsheba
Is what the historical David did or said more important than what the Bible relates? By Ronald S. Hendel
The face of Jesus