What Really Happened at Mount Sinai?
Four biblical answers to one question By Baruch J. Schwartz

Booming thunder and bolts of lightning accompany Moses as he descends the cloud-covered Mount Sinai, bearing aloft two heavy tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. Most people know this cinematic version—à la Cecil B. de Mille—of the giving of the law on Sinai. The biblical version, however, is much less familiar, even to many […]

The Jewish Roots of Matthew’s Vitriol

The Evangelist Matthew considered himself and his followers Jews. The gospel writer saw himself as being involved in a Jewish struggle, as he and the emerging rabbinic movement vied for leadership. Anthony Saldarini, in his excellent BR article on the Gospel of Matthew 23, correctly portrays Matthew’s attack on the “scribes and Pharisees” as […]

A Biblical Spice Rack

The Bible reflects an intimate knowledge of herbs and spices, which perfumed the Jerusalem Temple (2 Chronicles 2:4), sweetened the home (Song of Songs 7:13) and seasoned meals during the Exodus (Numbers 11:5–6). Repeated references to herbs and spices indicate that the people of the Bible knew how these plants tasted, smelled and looked, […]

That Ol’ Time Religion
American folk artists depict apocalyptic texts By David Vintinner, Ginger Young

Down dusty rural roads and in inner-city housing projects, American folk art has always flourished. Folk artists may be teenagers just beginning their lives, or they may be octogenarians who knew grandparents emancipated from slavery. Some of them work as janitors in bakeries; some farm the land. One, a quadriplegic, wields a paintbrush in […]


The Two Faces of Faithfulness
At stake in Paul’s letter to the Romans is not simply “how sinners get saved,” but how God is faithful to his covenant. By N. T. Wright
Israel and Revelation
The particularity of God’s revelation to the ethnic group Israel and the universality of the Christian community need not be in conflict. By Bernhard W. Anderson