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Early days of New Testament criticism
More than two centuries ago, it occurred to a few European intellectuals that Jesus as a figure of history may have been quite different from Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels. With the awareness of that potential difference, the scholarly quest for the Jesus of history began. At that time and in...
Bible Review, October 1994
A Secular or Theological Subject?
If we propose to study the history of the religion of ancient Israel, we must be governed by the same postulates that are the basis of modern historical method. Our task must be a historical, not a theological, enterprise. We must trace the...
Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2005
The early Christian martyrs were not reading the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas or the hypothetical sayings source that scholars refer to as “Q.” They were reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Bible Review, December 1999
A scholar rips Handel’s Messiah
Every December, concert halls and churches throughout the English-speaking world resound with the strains of George Frederic Handel‘s mighty Messiah. For centuries, music lovers have gone home humming the arias and choruses that Handel‘s...
Bible Review, December 2002
Like the stone monuments it displays, the venerable archaeological museum stands the tests of time
Now, if a king among kings, or a governor among governors or a commander of an army should come up against Byblos and uncover this coffin, may the scepter of his rule be torn away, may the throne of his kingdom be overturned, and may peace...
Archaeology Odyssey, March/April 2000
Pazuzu...Lamashtu...Khatyu...Sheseru...Sasam...Lilith...Asmodeus...Beelzebub.... Names to conjure with. Literally. Years ago, when I was a student at Harvard, my teacher Frank Moore Cross raised a puzzling question: Why do demons—so prominent...
Bible Review, October 2004
Scrolls provide a fresh understanding of apocalyptic elements in late biblical religion
In the last issue of Bible Review, Professor Cross presented a description, based on his study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, of how the text of the Hebrew Bible developed (“The Text...
Bible Review, Fall 1985
The quest for the historical Jesus began as a protest against traditional Christian dogma. But when the supposedly “neutral” historians peered into the well, all they saw was a featureless Jesus. Even when these scholars decided that...
Bible Review, June 1996
The creation mosaics of Monreale
In the Bible, God creates through speech. He says the Word, and it is. “God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). But in the various depictions of God in the Creation mosaics of the Cathedral of Monreale, Sicily, he...
Bible Review, August 2002
Edited by Anna Maria Maetzke and Carlo Bertelli...Piero della Francesca: The Legend of the True Cross in the Church of San Francesco in Arezzo
Bible Review, August 2003
During the Enlightenment, the historian’s job changed dramatically. It was no longer enough simply to chronicle events reported in earlier, authoritative texts. Tradition and authority had become suspect, as investigation and reason became the...
Bible Review, Summer 2005
How two Victorian sisters and a rabbi discovered the Hebrew text of Ben Sira
This year marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most famous letters in the history of Biblical scholarship: University Library, Cambridge May 13, 1896 Dear Mrs. Lewis, I think we have reason to congratulate ourselves. For the fragment I...
Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 1996
This is Part I of a two-part article; the second part will appear in the next issue of Bible Review. Part 2 will discuss the...
Bible Review, Summer 1985
About 40 scholars, all specialists in the study of the historical Jesus, are seated around a table. They have just completed their discussion of a saying attributed to Jesus in the Gospels. The time has come for each to vote on a simple but...
Bible Review, October 1989
After a quarter century of discovery and publication, the study of the manuscripts from the desert of Judah has entered a new, more mature phase. True, the heat and noise of the early controversies have not wholly dissipated. One occasionally hears the agonized cry of a scholar pinned beneath a collapsed theory. And in the popular press, no doubt, the so-called battle of the scrolls will continue to be fought with mercenaries for some time to come. However, the initial period of confusion is past. From the burgeoning field of scroll research and the new disciplines it has created, certain coherent patterns of fact and meaning have emerged.
Biblical Archaeology Review, March 1977
To mainline New Testament scholars, it seems highly unlikely that early Christian scenarios about the future, wrong in their own time, might nevertheless be correct about some future time.
Bible Review, August 1994