Oxford £11.99 (405pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop : 08430 600 030
Oxford Dictionary of the Bible, By WRF Browning
Friday 13 November 2009
Snappy entries elucidate hazy Biblical events ranging from Naboth's vineyard, where Jezebel did the dirty, to the virgin birth: "Some modern theologians argue... if Jesus was miraculously provided with DNA by God, with no human ancestry, how did he have a human inheritance, of the house of David?"
We learn that the honey-like manna found lying in the wilderness was either a sap expelled by insects or the cocoon of a parasitic beetle.
Conveniently, a double portion fell on Fridays to prevent gatherers having to work on the Sabbath. Myrrh is contradictorily regarded as a narcotic (Mark 4:31) and as an aphrodisiac (Proverbs 7:17), though Browning firmly asserts: "The later tradition that myrrh symbolised grief is not biblical."
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre