Jacob L. Wright is professor of Hebrew Bible at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He is author of Why the Bible Began: An Alternative History of Scripture and its Origins (Cambridge University Press, 2023).

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What Christian Nationalists Get Wrong About the Bible

by Jacob L. Wright 11-22-2023

Newly elected Speaker of the House, Rep. Mike Johnson is sworn in on Oct. 25, 2023 after being elected to the speakership. Image: Eric Kayne-USA TODAY

My seminary students are eager to confront the challenge Christian nationalism poses, including its simplistic use and cynical abuse of biblical texts. Christian nationalists wield the Bible as if it were a static authority, perverting its vision of peoplehood to emphasize homogeneity. Yet the biblical writings themselves are characterized by lively exchanges, competing perspectives across multiple generations, and appeals to care for the stranger.