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When controversial issues find their way to the table of ethical discussion, it usually isn’t long before the Bible is called to testify on behalf of whichever side is making its case. A commitment to biblical authority seems to be pretty central to Christian ethics, and it is not surprising that it is appealed to […] Read More

(RNS) God may hold the whole world in his hand, but persecuted Christians can now hold an entire seminary library on a fingertip. Bible League International is working with the Digital Bible Society to carry the thumbnail-sized chips to Christians in countries, such as China or Saudi Arabia, where possessing unapproved religious materials can result […] Read More

A person identifying himself as a professor of biblical studies sent me an email in which he said he was going to use my recentarticle in his class on biblical interpretation as a demonstration of “the fallacy of the liberal hermeneutic and mindset.” I took that as a complement, and not as a criticism, which […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) How would you feel about taking a razor blade to a Bible? Thomas Jefferson, apparently, didn’t have any qualms about it. In his retirement, the nation’s third president carried out a project he had contemplated for years: he literally cut and pasted passages from the four Gospels into one integrated narrative of Jesus’ […] Read More

Two items arrived at about the same time yesterday morning that made for interesting dialogue on the voice of the Bible in our current context. One was Drew Smith’s excellent article on reading the Bible theologically, with a careful study of the ancient assumptions that accompany its writing and our modern assumptions that accompany its […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) Five of the Dead Sea Scrolls that have been stored for decades in a climate-controlled exhibit at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem are now available in digital form to anyone with an Internet connection. A website ( developed by the Israel Museum and Google allows online visitors to examine the scrolls in minute […] Read More

(RNS) Pop quiz: Who said “We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up”? According to a recent poll, more Americans attributed the passage to comic book hero Captain America, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and former President George W. Bush than its […] Read More

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Working in a cluster of offices above a LifeWay Christian Bookstore, Bible scholars are buried in a 20-year project to codify the thousands of changes, verse by verse, word by word—even letter by letter—that crept into the early New Testament during hundreds of years of laborious hand-copying. Their goal: to log them […] Read More

(RNS) As Christians worldwide prepare to celebrate Easter, they will follow a familiar chronology: Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead on “the third day,” in the words of the ancient Nicene Creed. But if Jesus died at 3 p.m. Friday and vacated his tomb by dawn Sunday morning—about 40 hours […] Read More

(RNS) A Smithsonian museum is restoring the “Jefferson Bible,” a unique volume the third president cut and pasted himself—omitting lots of theology—from portions of the New Testament. Thomas Jefferson assembled the book in 1820 when he retired after two terms as president. “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth” resembles a scrapbook that puts […] Read More