This article responds to criticisms of my book, The Branch Davidians of Waco, made by other contributors in this issue of Nova Religio. I begin by addressing directly the points raised by Stuart Wright and Catherine Wessinger and suggest that in both cases these scholars have failed to do justice to the evidence. In the second part of the paper I outline my own views relating to the Waco fire. Throughout I argue that the Branch Davidians set fire to Mount Carmel themselves and that they did so for a particular theological reason: they expected that through fire would come a rebirth to life in the new Davidian Kingdom.
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