Word Perfect

God is Beautiful: The Aesthetic Experience of the Quranby navid kermaniwiley, 400 pages, $45According to the Islamic doctrine of iʿjāz, the Qur’an is an inimitable book, a miracle. Western scholars, pointing out grammatical errors and other infelicities in the text, have long criticized this . . . . Continue Reading »

The Bible Cause at 200

Which version of the Bible to read is an argument too precious for many who no longer read—anything! The renaissance of biblical learning at the Reformation was accompanied by the founding of schools and instruction in basic literacy. Such is increasingly our task once again. Continue Reading »

Public Scripture

In the Beginning Was the Word: The Bible in American Public Life, 1492–1783by mark a. nolloxford, 448 pages, $29.95 B iblical images, idioms, and verses are everywhere in early American historical sources, so much so that historians have often treated the Bible, in Mark Noll’s words, as . . . . Continue Reading »

The Miracle of Esther

Esther is a book of the Bible that does not refer to God explicitly even once. On the surface, it is a story about political intrigue, sex, and violence. Yet the rabbis of the Talmud lavish praise on this work, asserting that there are two portions of Scripture that would never cease to be relevant . . . . Continue Reading »

Authority, Given and Received

When Pontius Pilate warns Jesus that he has authority over life and death, Jesus reminds him, “you would have no authority over me, unless it had been given from above” (John 19:10–11). At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus assures his disciples that “all authority has been given to me in . . . . Continue Reading »

Free University Orthodoxy

During the debate over “biblical inerrancy” that raged among evangelicalism for several years in the late 1970s, I remember someone observing that Harold Lindsell’s 1976 book, The Battle for the Bible, which pretty much got that debate going, was more a theory of institutional change than it . . . . Continue Reading »

Christmas and a World Upside-Down

Biblical scholars generally agree that Luke’s Gospel was written at least a generation later than Paul’s first letter to the Christians at Corinth. Yet whatever the dating, and irrespective of scholarly disputes about whether “Luke,” the author of the eponymous Gospel and the Acts of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Enlightenment Bible, Church Bible

The following is taken from a paper that was delivered at a conference sponsored by the Center for Pastor Theologians on November 3.In his 2005 book, The Enlightenment Bible, Jonathan Sheehan describes changes in the Bible’s role in Germany and England between the late seventeenth and . . . . Continue Reading »