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Bible Review, December 2001



The Magi and the Star

Babylonian astronomy dates Jesus’ birth

By Simo Parpola

The wondrous star that hovered over Bethlehem at Jesus’ birth has long mystified Bible scholars and astronomers alike. Attempts to identify the star with historical celestial phenomena have been inconclusive at best, leading many to dismiss the gospel account as a beautiful but imaginative myth. Still others...Read more ›

Witnessing the Divine

The Magi in Art and Literature

By Robin M. Jensen

The magi lend an exotic and mysterious air to the Christmas story. The sweet domesticity of mother and child and the bucolic atmosphere of shepherds and stable are disturbed by the arrival of these strangers from the East. The background music changes from major...Read more ›

Was the Early Church Jewish?

By Dieter Georgi

In the twenty-third chapter of his gospel, Matthew describes Jesus speaking against the Pharisees and scribes. “Woe to you,” Jesus cries out, labeling these Jews “hypocrites,” “blind fools,” “blind men,” “serpents” and a “brood of vipers” (Matthew 23:13–36).1 In Mark’s account of the cleansing...Read more ›

Mad to See the Monuments

How ancient Assyria saved Victorian Bible scholarship

By Steven W. Holloway

In August of 1847, the British Museum mounted the first major display of Assyrian antiquities in England. For a year, the public had pored over sketches from Austen Henry Layard’s Mesopotamian excavations in the Illustrated London News. Now, it was possible to inspect the impassive, chiseled faces...Read more ›