May 17, 1844: German biblical scholar Julius Wellhausen is born. His controversial theory about the Pentateuch—that it is a compilation of four literary sources (J, Jahwist; E, Elohist; D, Deuteronomist; and P, Priestly Editor), laid the foundation for most subsequent Old Testament criticism.
May 17, 1971: The musical Godspell, based on Matthew's gospel, opens at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York.
July 16, 1519: The Disputation of Leipzig, in which Martin Luther argued that church councils had been wrong and that the church did not have ultimate doctrinal authority, ends (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).
July 16, 1769: Spanish Franciscan friar Father Junipero Serra founds the San Diego de Alcala mission in California, the first permanent Spanish settlement on the west coast of America (see issue 35: Christopher Columbus).
July 16, 1931: Missionary C.T. Studd, one of the famous "Cambridge ...