A Level Praying Field

From the February 2009 Print Edition

Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought by Joshua A. Berman Oxford University Press, 264 pages, $39.95 In every nation but one of the ancient Near East, the king made the law. In Israel alone, kings were not supposed to promulgate law but to obey a law given by someone . . . . Continue Reading »

Scripture and Truth

From the November 2008 Print Edition

The Nature of Biblical Criticism by John Barton Westminster John Knox, 206 pages, $24.95 John Barton, professor of Holy Scripture at Oxford University, is a leading biblical scholar. This is not because he has written a number of leading monographs that have changed the way we read a biblical book . . . . Continue Reading »

Sure and Certain Hope

From the June/July 2008 Print Edition

Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews _ by Kevin J. Madigan and Jon D. Levenson _ Yale University Press, 304 pages, $30 The idea of the resurrection of the dead is basic to both rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity. As Paul wrote, “If Christ has not been raised then our . . . . Continue Reading »

A Marriage in Full

From the May 2008 Print Edition

In 1943, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a letter from his prison cell in Nazi Germany to a young couple who had just married: Marriage is more than your love for each other. It has a higher dignity and power, for it is God’s holy ordinance, through which he wills to perpetuate the human race until . . . . Continue Reading »

Altering the Psalms

From the January 2008 Print Edition

The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter W.W. Norton, 560 pages, $35 The appearance of Robert Alter’s translation and commentary on the Psalms is being treated as a major literary event, with a lengthy review in the New Yorker of all places. What other biblical . . . . Continue Reading »

What the Apostles Saw

From the October 2007 Print Edition

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness ­Testimony by Richard Bauckham Eerdmans, 538 pages, $32 Modern interpreters have among their chief objectives the goal of being able to read the Bible just as they would any other book”which means seeing the Bible as having been . . . . Continue Reading »

How To Think About Zionism

From the April 2005 Print Edition

Few movements are as difficult to understand as modern Zionism. In conversations with well-educated people, I often meet with great surprise when I inform them that Zionism began in the nineteenth century among secular Jews. They are even more surprised to learn that when the movement started . . . . Continue Reading »

The Risen Christ

From the November 2003 Print Edition

The Resurrection of the Son of God by N.T. Wright. Fortress. 740 pp. $39 paper. The past decade or so has produced numerous challenges to reading the Bible as a trustworthy historical witness. Scholars in the field of Old Testament studies question every detail of the pre-exilic corpus. As for the . . . . Continue Reading »