Jacob’s Terrible Burden
In the shadow of the text By Gordon Tucker

21 There is scarcely a more poignant human story of love and tragedy in the Bible—if not in all of literature—than that of the Patriarch Jacob and his beloved Rachel. Sent by his father Isaac to find a wife among the daughters of his mother’s brother Laban in Haran, Jacob meets Laban’s daughter Rachel […]

Escape and Rescue—An Interview with Geza Vermes
An Oxford Don’s peregrinations

Despite the close historical links between Judaism and Christianity, few scholars cross the line to work in both Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity. One notable exception is Geza Vermes, professor emeritus of Jewish studies at Oxford University and director of the Forum for Qumran Research at the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies. […]

Why Not Idol Meat?
Is it what you eat or where you eat it? By Ben Witherington III

That food and dining in the Greco-Roman world provide the background for understanding several difficult passages in Paul’s letters is not surprising. What is surprising is that these same food and dining customs indicate that the supposed rift between the Jerusalem Christians under James and the diaspora Christians under Paul was not as wide […]

The Great Gulf Between Scholars and the Pew

Three great intellectual revolutions of the 19th and early 20th centuries have profoundly shaped and transformed the way we think of ourselves and our world. The first is Marxism and its derivative, socialism. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the changes in Eastern Europe may appear to have thoroughly discredited Marxism; such is […]


The Book of Numbers
When did it happen?
Miriam’s Challenge
Why was Miriam severely punished for challenging Moses’ authority while Aaron got off scot-free? There is no way to avoid the fact that the story presupposes a patriarchal society. By Bernhard W. Anderson
Mark and the Life—and Death—of Jesus
For Mark, belief in Jesus as the powerful messianic teacher and worker of miracles was not the point. Jesus is ultimately something very different. By Helmut Koester