The ancestor of us all By Elie Wiesel

Adam fathered not only Cain and Abel but, in his old age, a third son. What lessons can we draw from the life of this youngest child, who became the ancestor of us all?


A remarkable child, his birth hailed by visitors from afar, grows into a miracle worker who spreads a faith of love and compassion. Jesus? Yes, but also Buddha. Our authors explore the uncanny parallels in their lives and whether there are any connections.

Part I

I. For more than 1,800 years, the mirrorlike natures of the Buddha and Jesus remained buried in the ancient texts of each religion. Then scholars examining these holy books began to detect remarkable patterns.

Part II

II. If Jesus did not travel to India, if the Buddha’s teachings did not enter Palestine via the Silk Road, then how can their similarities be explained? In the following essay, Marcus Borg contemplates the possibility that they derive not from cultural borrowing but from shared experiences.

Wish Upon a Stone
Discovering the idolatry of the even maskit By Victor Hurowitz

Leviticus bans the Israelites from bowing upon a maskit stone. But what is a maskit? A recently deciphered Assyrian inscription may hold the key to identifying this mysterious prohibited object.

“Thus Far the Words of Jeremiah”
But who gets the last word? By Steve Delamarter

A brief aside in the prophet’s book opens up a world of multiple authors, editors and textual strands within the Bible and provides a portrait of both Jeremiah and his faithful scribe.


The Ten Commandments on the wall By Michael D. Coogan
The God of Real Life
Our modern bias toward a nonthreatening, friendly, loving and intimate God collapses before the robust, engaged and demanding God of the Bible. By Anthony J. Saldarini
Abraham’s farewell to Ishmael