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.
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.
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.