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.
May 27, 1564: John Calvin, French Protestant Reformer, dies. He kept writing and ministering to the Christians in Geneva nearly up to his death, telling his worried friends, "What! Would you have the Lord find me idle when he comes?" (see issue 12: John Calvin).