Peter: How a Flawed Disciple Became Jesus’ Successor on Earth

Before the cock crows, Peter thrice denies Jesus: “I do not know the man!” he swears as Jesus is being arrested (Matthew 26:70, 72, 74). Nevertheless, Jesus, with the simple command, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17), commissions Peter to lead the Twelve. In lists of the apostles, Peter’s name is invariably first. In art, […]

Peter in Rome

Every year millions of Christian pilgrims converge on the Vatican, the heart of Catholic Christendom, and its vast basilica bearing the apostle Peter’s name. The church, visitors are told, marks the site of Peter’s tomb. According to long-standing tradition, Peter was martyred in Rome during Emperor Nero’s persecutions of the Christians in the mid-60s […]

How Hosea Transformed the Lord of the Realm into a Temperamental Spouse

The prophet Hosea introduced a radical change in the way people understood their relationship to God. Before Hosea, God was generally seen as an omnipotent king and Israel as God’s lowly subject. Hosea introduced a much more personal metaphor: He described the human-divine relationship as a marriage, and he used his own rocky relationship […]

What’s in a Name?
Early Evidence of Devotion Exclusively to Yahweh By Jeffrey H. Tigay

Idolatry is one of Israel’s most heinous sins, according to the biblical authors. The Tablets of the Law that Moses brings down from Mt. Sinai begin with the line: “I, YHWH (Yahweh), am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods […]


The Ten Commandments and the Courthouse
Legalizing the Decalogue would destroy freedom as we know it By Ronald S. Hendel