Mary, Simeon or Anna
Who First Recognized Jesus as Messiah? By Ben Witherington III

Being first to hear doesn’t always mean being first to understand. In Luke’s birth narrative, Mary is the first to be told that Jesus will be the messiah. Luke adds that she “treasures the words” the angel Gabriel speaks to her. But Mary is also puzzled by the divine message; she is “perplexed” when the […]

Did Jesus Get Angry or Agonize?
A Text Critic Pursues the Original Jesus Story By Bart D. Ehrman

Christianity is a religion of the book. From the outset, it has stressed specific texts as authoritative scripture. Yet not one of these original, authoritative texts exists today. We have only late copies, dating from the second century to the sixteenth. And these copies vary considerably. Indeed, the 5,700 manuscripts of the Greek New Testament […]

What America Believes About the Bible

Late th century and (thus far) early 21st century Americans are surely the most prodded, probed and polled people in history. Pollsters contact, calculate and communicate Americans’ views on every topic imaginable (and some that, frankly, I couldn’t imagine), from political persuasions to sexual positions. Thus, it should come as no surprise that statistical studies […]

Song of Songs: Not Just a Dirty Book

Pornography! This is the label some scholars give to the Song of Songs. They dismiss the book as nothing more than a source of lewd entertainment for the ancient male power elite. These lusty men slipped the salacious Song into the canon of Scripture by claiming it was only an allegory describing the relationship between […]


Genesis and the Cathedrals
Like a French cathedral, Genesis was built over time. By Ronald S. Hendel