Taking Liberties With Biblical Stories
In the Christian New Testament, Saint John the Baptist and Salome never meet. Why, then, does she appear at the bars of his cell in Guercino’s moody painting?
Where Did Family-Bible Genealogies Come From?
Royal lineage tracing, British laws of inheritance, and patriarchal Protestantism all contributed to the genealogical literacy of some Americans.
Holiday Supply Chain Issues of Ancient Rome
Hey, at least we’re not trying to track down frankincense and myrrh.
Why Does the Bible Forbid Tattoos?
And have we been misinterpreting Leviticus?
Understanding a Misunderstood Bible Verse
“Judge not, lest ye be judged” comes from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7 of the King James Bible. How has it become a harmless aphorism?
Why Europe’s Oldest Intact Book Was Found in a Saint’s Coffin
The St. Cuthbert Gospel is the earliest surviving intact European book. Some time around 698, it was slipped into the coffin of a saint.
The Dream of a Plain Bible
Beginning in the late eighteenth century, many Americans experienced a crisis of religious authority. During this time, the idea of an unambiguous “plain Bible” began to gain traction.
What Good Is Knowing the Bible?
Despite the high rates of religious adherence in the United States, fewer Americans are reading the Bible than at any point in history.
The Long, Winding History of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”
Julia Ward Howe wrote her most famous poem, the legendary Civil War song, “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” in a single burst of inspiration 156 years ago.
How People Paid Their Taxes in Biblical Times
Think doing your taxes is annoying? Imagine trying it without a computer, a calculator… or even the Arabic numeral system.