BAR 37:01, Jan/Feb 2011
Biblical Views: Is Hershel Doomed to the Lake of Fire?
I recently received a telephone call from BAR editor Hershel Shanks. He had just returned from a trip where he had stayed at a hotel that was also hosting, quite by chance, a convention of Gideons, the organization that distributes millions of Bibles in hotel rooms worldwide. (In the United States it is the entire King James Version; elsewhere it is the New Testament plus Psalms and Proverbs.) Shanks got into several conversations with Gideons, as they refer to themselves, and enjoyed their company, although he and they differ in several respects. They are an exclusively men’s organization of evangelical Christians; Shanks is Jewish and would prefer organizations that admit women as well as men. Nevertheless, “I do respect other religious traditions,” Shanks told me, “including evangelical Christians.”