A religious archeology and language scholar suggests that the Bible says woman was created as a "power equal to man," not just as a helpmate.

David Freedman of the University of California writes in the Biblical Archeology Review that the age-old scriptural image of woman being made subordinate to man may be the result of a translation error.

He says the Hebrew word "ezer," usually translated in the Book of Genesis as a "helper" or "helpmate," has roots indicating it should be translated as "a strength" or "a power." He says "kenegdo," usually translated as "fit," should be translated "equal."

With those translations, the Genesis account would say that woman was created as "a power equal to man" instead of a helper fit for man.

Thirteen Protestant and Roman Catholic church leaders urged Washington state's congressional delegation this week to end the nuclear arms race and change federal budget priorities.

"Stated as simply as possible, our position is that these weapons are so vast in their horror that their use even as a deterrent raises profound moral questions," the 13 said in a letter to the delegation. "Continued development and deployment of nuclear weapons can no longer be morally countenanced."

The letter said continuation of the arms race will result in global instability and could result in "massive and indiscriminate destruction of human life."

The letter asks that Congress end the MX missile program, block deployment of Pershing II missiles in Europe and halt funding for the cruise missile. It also calls for an end to the Trident nuclear submarine program and endorses a "meaningful" nuclear freeze.

A teen-ager who admitted setting a fire that killed her younger brother has been sent by the Bergen County Court in Hackensack, N.J., to live with a Catholic charismatic community for five years.

Judge Fred C. Galda placed Agnes Marie O'Brien, 18, of New Milford, N.J., in the custody of the Rev. James Ferry, director of the People of Hope, a charismatic renewal community that has five centers in North New Jersey. O'Brien pleaded guilty on Jan. 7 to a manslaughter charge.

Last Nov. 21, while upset over parental restrictions on her dating, she doused the den of her home with gasoline and started the fire as nine family members slept upstairs. Her 9-year-old brother died in the fire.

Public Defender Ellen Koblitz sought a special sentence, saying she feared that the young woman, described as naive and inexperienced, would suffer a breakdown if exposed to a state prison. The prosecution, defense, defendant and defendant's family agreed to the unusual sentence.