Beware of the scribes

Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus has caused something of a sensation. This is no small achievement for an introduction to New Testament textual criticism, a field known for writing that is dry and inaccessible to non-specialists.

Where God Was Born

Near the end of Where God Was Born, Bruce Feiler and his wife, Linda, are sitting in an obliterated Jewish cemetery in Hamadan, Iran, reading to each other from the book of Esther.

Healing in the History of Christianity

I accept religious healing as a real biological phenomenon, although one prey to pious exaggeration,” writes Amanda Porterfield, professor of religion at Florida State University.

Rules of the road

Far from the grandstanding around stone tablets in front of an Alabama courthouse comes Losing Moses on the Freeway, a refreshing reflection on the ten great Mosaic laws that is muted yet monumental in its own right.


The 2005 edition of this series is an especially fine collection of excellent writing for armchair scientists. Essays range from a narrative about a life-threatening adventure in seeking earth’s deepest underwater caves to the story of the “mechanically elegant” Curta calculator. Some of the essays make powerful pairings: Sherwin B.