ARTEMISIA COMES TO CHICAGO

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Some months back I described how the Bible’s Deuterocanonical books had inspired so many artists through the centuries. I particularly mentioned the wonderful Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1656), who among other things was celebrated for her gory portrayals of Judith beheading the enemy general Holofernes. The Wall Street Journal recently did a piece on a [Read More...]

FORGETTING EZRA

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In October, 1555, the regime of Mary Tudor burned two former English bishops for their stubborn Protestant convictions. As they went to the flames, one of the martyrs, Hugh Latimer, addressed his comrade, Nicholas Ridley, in stirring terms that have inspired successive Protestant generations. He urged him, “Be of good cheer, master Ridley, and play [Read More...]

CORRECTIONS AND ERRORS

In a recent post on the Synod of Diamper (1599), I described how European Catholics tried to force Indian Christians into conformity with their ways. This Indian church, the Thomas Christians, had been founded in the second century (conceivably before), and throughout the Middle Ages its connections had been with the Church of the East, [Read More...]

THE FISHY FUME, AND THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN CULTURE

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I recently wrote about how Deuterocanonical books like Judith, Tobit, and Maccabees dropped out of the Protestant consciousness, and why they need to be rediscovered. One excellent argument is the astonishing influence that these books have had on Christian writers and artists. If we do not know the books, we miss the meaning of a [Read More...]

THE GREAT BIBLES

Any history of the New Testament text makes extensive use of the magnificent fourth century Greek Bibles, the “uncial codices.” We know the three greatest as Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, and Sinaiticus. These were splendid deluxe volumes intended for major churches, intended to be accessible to the Empire’s new Christian elites. They thus give an excellent idea [Read More...]

A WOMAN’S HAND

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As I recently noted, the book of Judith is not part of the Hebrew Tanakh or of Protestant Bibles, but it is recognized as canonical in other churches, especially the Catholic and Orthodox. I do understand the reasons why Protestants made the decision they did to relegate the book to the Apocrypha, although its subsequent [Read More...]

THE SECOND CANON

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Britain during the 1960s and 1970s suffered from a Prime Minister named Harold Wilson. Once, when Wilson was to read the lesson at Westminster Abbey, the clergy involved asked him which version of the Bible he would like to use – King James, Revised, which one? Flustered, Wilson supposedly replied that he would read from [Read More...]


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