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Rebekah's Ultrasound

Jacob and Esau struggled in the womb right from the start. Rebekah’s ultrasound, quite early on, revealed the embryos: yin and yang, two fat big-headed commas grappled together head to toe;Rebekah only twenty weeks along,they were duking it out in there already. The sonogram was the usual fuzzy . . . . Continue Reading »

Word for Word

The Hebrew Bible:  A Translation with Commentary by robert alter norton, 3500 pages, $125 In 1582, Catholic scholars in exile at Rheims published an English version of the New Testament prefaced by a lengthy explanation and defence of their rendering, which, they said, accorded with the rule of . . . . Continue Reading »

Marcion on the Elbe

Accusations of anti-Judaism are flying in Germany. In a 2013 essay, “Die Kirche und das Alte Testament” (The Church and the Old Testament), Notger Slenczka, a Protestant theologian at the Humboldt University of Berlin, argued that the Old Testament “should not have canonical validity in the . . . . Continue Reading »

Did Joseph Forgive His Brothers?

We still claim to think well of forgiveness, but it has in fact very nearly lost its moral weight by having been translated into an act of random kindness whose chief value lies in the sense of personal release it gives us.” So writes Wilfred McClay in a recent essay, “The Strange Persistence of . . . . Continue Reading »

David as Politician

The Beginning of Politics: Power in the Biblical Book of Samuelby moshe halbertal and stephen holmesprinceton, 232 pages, $27.95 Jews and Christians ought to be proud of having a Bible that contains pro-God and anti-God material. Not many religions can boast of sacred scriptures that provide support . . . . Continue Reading »

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