Today in Christian History

May 17

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.

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August 17, 1635: Richard Mather arrives in Boston. He began the "Mather Dynasty" in New England Puritanism that also included his son, Cotton, and grandson, Increase (see issue 41: American Puritans).

August 17, 1761: William Carey, who would become a tremendously successful Baptist missionary to India, is born in Northamptonshire, England (see issue 36: William Carey).

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