Sightings Articles


Donald Trump | Bible | George Floyd | political religion

Stop Asking What the Bible Means to the President

A historian of the bible in America reflects on what Trump’s recent photo-op in front of St. John’s Church does (and doesn’t) mean...

June 8, 2020

Bible | Bible study | politics

How Republican Politicians Get Schooled on the Bible

An investigation of the Bible study (and its teacher) influencing how Republican politicians understand the coronavirus pandemic...

April 6, 2020

Bible | Hebrew Bible

The Bible as/and Literature

W. W. Norton & Company’s recent publication of Robert Alter’s The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary is at once a cultural accomplishment of a very high order, and an opportunity to think about the places and the spaces that “the Bible” occu...

February 18, 2019

Bible | Evangelicals

Faking the Bible

News outlets widely reported last week that five Dead Sea Scroll fragments acquired and displayed by the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, are forgeries. For Dead Sea Scrolls experts, this announcement came as no surprise: a number had already r...

October 29, 2018

Bible | immigration | Jeff Sessions | Paul

The Apostle and the AG

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the Trump administration’s then policy of separating children from their parents at the southwestern border of the United States in a speech in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on June 14. Within that speech he made a brie...

June 21, 2018


Biblical Translation Leads to Tussles, Clashes

One scholar, N. T. Wright, reviewing another, David Bentley Hart, prompted a response from the latter that the former’s writing was a “catalogue of complaints” by someone whose work “suffers from a dangerous combination of the conventional and the id...

January 29, 2018

Bible | Christianity | Holy War | political religion | science fiction

“Cross”-examining the Biblical Witness in War for the Planet of the Apes

Editor's Note: With today's issue, Sightings launches a new thematic series on the relationships between religion and science fiction—both terms broadly understood. Our first installment in this series comes from returning Sightings contributor Audre...

October 19, 2017

James Tissot | Prodigal Son | meritocracy | Bible | Smart Museum

The Pitfalls of Meritocracy: James J. Tissot's "Prodigal Son" Etchings at the Smart Museum

James J. Tissot (1836-1902), a French artist best known for his paintings of society and fashion, produced a series of images restaging the parable of the Prodigal Son in 1880s England.  I used his cycle of five etchings as part of a class I taugh...

May 28, 2015

Mobia | Museum of Biblical Art | Bible | American Bible Society | right-wing | conservative | culture wars | Donatello

Bible Society Museum

“Museum of Biblical Art to Close, Despite Recent Crowds,” a New York Times headline read on April 28. The reviews of its current Donatello show were very positive, but, author Randy Kennedy explained, could do nothing to help prevent the closing. ...

May 4, 2015

Evangelicals | LGBTQ | David Gushee | Mercer University | David Bebbington | sexual diversity | Bible | God | Protestantism | Nathan Hatch

Evangelicals, LGBTQ+, and the Bible: What's (Been) Going On?

In early March, evangelical Pastor Stan Mitchell announced to his congregation, GracePoint Church in Nashville, that he fully affirmed gay members. Growing numbers of evangelical pastors in the United States are coming out in favor of full accepta...

April 16, 2015