from Environment Forum:

How did Noah’s Ark float?

May 15, 2008

Greenpeace volunteers build a modern day version of the legendary Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey May 21, 2007 as part of a project to draw attention to global warming. REUTERS/Fatih Saribas (TURKEY)The story of Noah's Ark in The Bible is widely read as an allegory and discoveries of a stunning range of species of wildlife raise questions, for those who believe in the account as literal truth, about how they all crammed aboard.

Jew for Jesus could win Israel Bible quiz

May 6, 2008

An Israeli with the Jewish Bible, 27 July 2004/Gil Cohen MagenA 17-year-old Israeli girl is a leading contender to win the country’s annual youth Bible quiz, but there’s a controversial twist: She believes in Jesus.

Vienna museum reels from Last Supper uproar, blames outsiders

April 10, 2008

Vienna Catherdal Museum director Bernhard Böhler, 9 April 2008/Heinz-Peter BaderThe mainstream Austrian press has now got hold of the debate over a controversial exhibition in Vienna’s Cathedral Museum and the director is wading right in. Austrian papers have not given the Alfred Hrdlicka exhibition too much attention until recently. The celebrated 80-year-old Austrian artist’s outspokenness and bold paintings are nothing new to country with a tradition for daring art.

King David: mighty warrior, fabled monarch and…villain?

April 10, 2008

Kings III by Yochi BrandesBeloved by Jews and Christians as a biblical hero, King David is famous for slaying Goliath with a single slingshot. Despite some serious moral slip-ups — he seduced the beautiful Bathsheba then sent her husband off to war to die — David is traditionally championed as the fearless leader who vanquishes the Philistines in the name of God.

Vienna cardinal explains stand on erotic Last Supper painting

April 9, 2008

Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, 7 March 2008/Heinz-Peter BaderWe recently wrote about an exhibition in Vienna’s Roman Catholic Cathedral which has caused quite a stir — it included a homoerotic version of Christ’s Last Supper by Austrian artist Alfred Hrdlicka. The picture was quickly taken down at the request of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the archbishop of Vienna.

The Last Supper as a gay orgy? Uproar in Vienna…

April 7, 2008

Museum visitors study Alfred Hrdlicka paintings of Jesus’s scourging and crucufixion, 7 April 2008/Heinz-Peter BaderThe sketchy black-and-white picture shows the Twelve Apostles drinking, dancing, and well, getting extremely friendly with each other. It certainly isn’t the version of Christ’s Last Supper that most people are familiar with…

High on Mount Sinai?

March 4, 2008

There is no end to modern speculation trying to explain how some ancient event in the Bible may have happened. Here’s the latest, picked up by Jeffrey Heller, editor-in-charge in our Jerusalem bureau:

Google Earth “views” of Noah’s Ark, parted Red Sea, the crucifixion…

January 21, 2008

googleearth.gifIt’s amazing what you can do with Google Earth. Some Australian artists have used it to create some clever images of biblical scenes. Click here to see “God’s-eye view” shots of Noah’s Ark beached on Mount Ararat, the crossing of the Red Sea and the crucifixion of Jesus.

Bible as cheap as a cup of coffee is hot seller in France

January 14, 2008

Bibles“The treasure of humanity … for the price of a coffee.”

With an ad slogan like that and a price of only €1.50 ($2.20), the Bible has become a hot seller in France. In the last four months of 2007, French shoppers snapped up 200,000 copies of a new low-cost edition — as many as are usually sold in a year — in hypermarkets, a leading book chain and in religious bookshops. Another 300,000 have been bought in French-speaking Africa, Belgium, Canada and Switzerland.

Blasphemy and the Beast as Britain debates church-state ties

January 11, 2008

British judges leave an annual service at Westminster Abbey in London, 3 Oct 2005/Stephen HirdAmong the idiosyncrasies of British life is the fact that this secularised open society has an established church and a law banning blasphemy against it. This anomaly was back in the headlines this week when a member of Parliament tried to abolish the blasphemy law with an amendment to a bill on crime and immigration. With the issue back on the table, another MP submitted a motion to disestablish the Church of England. By a coincidence some might see as a warning, it was listed as motion #666 — the number of the Beast in the Bible’s Book of Revelation, associated with Nero, the Antichrist and other opponents of Christianity.