Abraham’s Eight Crises
The bumpy road to fulfilling God’s promise of an heir By Larry R. Helyer

The Abraham cycle (Genesis 11:27–25:11) is a drama of increasing tension—a tension between Yahweh’s promise that Abram would have an heir, indeed, that he would become the father of many nations, and the threat to the fulfillment of that promise by a series of crises. The literary technique employed is what Peter Ellis calls […]

Divine Authorship?
Computer reveals startling word patterns By Jeffrey B. Satinover

Among the oft-derided Christian literalists, it is said that the Bible is the wholly inspired and inerrant Word of God, and that Holy Spirit guided the mind and hand of its human authors. Orthodox Jews are even more extreme in their literalism: Among them, tradition holds not merely that every word of the Bible […]

Julian the Apostate and His Plan to Rebuild the Jerusalem Temple

Of the Roman emperors after Constantine, only Julian (331–363) rejected Christianity in favor of the pagan gods. A nephew of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, Julian incurred the wrath of a burgeoning Christian community by deciding to rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, which had been destroyed by Roman legions in 70 C.E. Actually, […]

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Q

Eta Linnemann’s article on the Q hypothesisa takes Burton Mack and me to task not only for our scholarship, but also for what she takes to be our attack on traditional Christian beliefs. It’s a clever exercise in apologetics. However, this attempt to undergird her own very conservative understanding of Christian faith by discrediting […]


What Is—and Is Not—Inspired
Christians who want to follow the teachings of the New Testament about the Holy Spirit should discard the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture. By Helmut Koester
The Role of the Messiah
The terms “Christ” and “Messiah” do not refer to a divine being but to the function an agent of God plays in bringing the kingdom that is to come on earth as in heaven. By Bernhard W. Anderson