Photo by Scala/Art Resource, courtesy of The Alte Pinakothek

ON THE COVER: His dagger in midair, Abraham is stopped by the angel of the Lord as he is about to sacrifice his only son Isaac. Abraham’s left hand seems to stifle Isaac’s cries. The ram that will soon replace Isaac on the altar waits to the left. In 1636, Rembrandt van Rijn painted this interpretation of the near sacrifice of Isaac recounted in Genesis 22:1–19. William Stegner in “The Baptism of Jesus—A Story Modeled on the Binding of Isaac,” relates Jesus’ baptism to the Old Testament story of Abraham’s near sacrifice of his only son.