Jacob’s Wrestling Match
Was it an angel or Esau? By Jack Miles

In commenting on the story of Jacob and Esau, Elie Wiesel refers in passing to “the traditional teaching that portrays Esau as Jacob’s implacable enemy for all time” (“Supporting Roles: Esau,” BR 14:02). The relevant verse in Genesis is 27:41, which comes just after Jacob has defrauded his brother of his inheritance: Wayyistom ‘esaw […]

The Lost Books of the Bible

Enigmatic references to unknown books are scattered throughout the Bible. We read of the Book of Jashar and the Book of the Wars of Yahweh, but we cannot read the books themselves, for no copies are known to exist. What is surprising, however, is not how many but how few references to such […]

Dining in Heaven
The earliest Christian visions of paradise By Robin M. Jensen

Dusty skeletons in burial niches once lined the narrow passageways that lead into the Catacomb of Callistus, the earliest official cemetery of the Christian community in Rome. Deep underground, in the oldest part of the catacomb, the austere passageways open onto a number of subterranean burial chambers, including six elaborate cubicles whose whitewashed walls […]

From Storm God to Abstract Being
How the deity became more distant from Exodus to Deuteronomy By Victor Hurowitz

A spectacular sound and light show greeted the Israelites when the new nation encountered God for the first time at Mt. Sinai.1 The awesome display of divine presence and power so terrified the Children of Israel that they begged God not to appear to them again in person (Exodus 20:15). God’s initial appearance—a theophany—was […]


What Did Sarah See? By Jonathan Kirsch
Paul and Qumran
When Paul shuns the “works of the law,” is he referring to the very works commended by the Dead Sea Scroll known as MMT? By N. T. Wright
We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby (But Still Have a Ways to Go)
U.S. News’s report on feminist Bible scholarship is good—but it’s too bad it didn’t get the full picture. By Susan Ackerman
The destruction of the tablets