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Bible Review, February 2001



Earliest Christian Inscription

Bishop Avercius’s last words document emergence of the church

By Laurence H. Kant

Every so often, when historians find incongruities in an ancient text, they err by throwing the baby out with the bathwater: They dismiss the entire document as unhistorical. This is what happened with one of the most important documents from early Christianity, an undeservedly obscure poem commissioned...Read more ›

Reading David in Genesis

How we know the Torah was written in the tenth century B.C.E.

By Gary A. Rendsburg

For the last two hundred years, a central question in biblical studies has been the authorship of the Torah (or Pentateuch). The Age of Enlightenment led scholars to realize that the traditional Jewish and Christian belief in Moses’ participation in the creation of the first five books...Read more ›

Sperm Stealing

A moral crime by three of David’s ancestresses

By Shlomith Yaron

The Bible describes three cases of “sperm stealing,” incidents in which women seduce a man and make him an unwitting sperm donor. And all three instances involve an ancestor of David, ancient Israel’s great hero-king. Sperm stealing is a fact of human life as old as the...Read more ›