The World: The Bible: A Fallible Guide

Jimmy Carter's Bible rests on his desk in the Oval Office with a mark to the verse from Micah used in his Inaugural Address, in which the Hebrew sage admonishes the Lord's people "to do justly, and to love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God." These days, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance also keeps a Bible close by in his seventh-floor State Department office—next to a book that discusses Israeli borders and a map of the Middle East.

Obviously it would be untenable for a contemporary statesman to base concrete territorial demands on...

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