Elie Wiesel, who died on July 2 at age 87, was the worldwide symbol of the memory of the Holocaust, having survived Auschwitz-Birkenau and having written Night, the classic description of the horrifying experience of a Nazi concentration camp. To BAR and readers of its then-sister magazine Bible Review (Bible Review combined with BAR in 2006), Wiesel was known as a sensitive, insightful and wide-ranging Bible commentator.
Probably the most eminent American Biblical scholar in the 1990s and 2000s was Harvard professor Frank Moore Cross, who often wrote for us. It would be a nice balance, I thought, if Elie Wiesel would do likewise from time to time. He readily agreed. He wrote more than 10 pieces for us in the 1990s and 2000s and we became friends. He wrote about Joshua, Korah and Cain and Abel, among others.
Then I got the idea of interviewing Cross and Wiesel together, hoping to catch the flavor of their contrasting approaches. They both agreed. It was a wonderful experience and we printed the joint interview in BAR (see www.biblicalarchaeology.org/giants).
After the interview we took pictures. The only picture that includes contemporary scholars that is hanging in my office is the one printed below—Wiesel, Shanks and Cross, from left to right.—H.S.