Photo by Erich Lessing/Art Resource, N.Y.

ON THE COVER: “Let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39), an anguished Jesus pleads, as he prays in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before his crucifixion, in this painting by the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828) from the Louvre Museum. By putting a chalice in the hands of the consoling angel, Goya has represented Jesus’ words literally. But as Ben Witherington III argues (in “Let this Cup Pass!”), cups appear frequently in the Bible as metaphors—both of death and of life. And while real cups were no doubt used for the wine shared by Jesus at the Last Supper, the immortality-bestowing vessel that has come to be known as the Holy Grail is no less symbolic. Seekers of this cup as a real-life relic, rather than a metaphor for Jesus’ promise of salvation, may be missing the point.