The Aleppo Codex Mystery, Nuns vs. the Vatican, and More

The Aleppo Codex was once the most perfect copy of the Hebrew Bible – but today it’s missing about 200 pages. So where did they go?

The oldest and most perfect version of the Hebrew Bible is known as the Aleppo Codex. For Jews, a ‘people of the book,’ this was, well, the book. About 50 years ago, nearly half of its pages went missing. Reporter Matti Friedman takes us behind the scenes of his search for the most important lost text in all of Judaism.

This April, the Vatican issued a harsh assessment of America’s nuns. It said that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the group representing about 80% of American nuns, had become radicalized, and was straying from church doctrine. The Vatican called for reform, and put an archbishop and two bishops in charge of bringing the women into line. In August, the Leadership Conference met to craft a response, which calls for more “dialogue” with the church hierarchy.

In part seven of our series, “Gay in the Eyes of God,” we’re focusing on evangelicals, a diverse group of Christians that make up about a quarter of the American population. Compared with mainliners, Evangelical Christians emphasize a more personal relationship with Jesus, and believe they have a sacred duty to share the gospel message with others. They also believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.

But the fact that Evangelicals are committed to the authority of the Bible doesn’t mean they all agree on what different passages mean – and that’s why there’s room for debate on the question of being gay. Rev. Bob Stith shares the conservative view. Rev. Richard Cizik says he’s undergone an “evolution” about the place of gays and lesbians in Evangelical Christianity – and says that American Evangelicals have become too preoccupied with a handful of culture war issues.

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