The Bible Project

By Tim Mackie & Jon Collins

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god bless you 🙏 very good topics I wonder if there is any Arabic content. if not I can help you translate some my email : dramiradel2010@gmail.com


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Description

The creators of The Bible Project have in-depth conversations about biblical theology. A companion podcast to The Bible Project videos found at thebibleproject.com

Episode Date
The Restless Craving for Rest - 7th Day Rest E1
00:56:37

SHOW DESCRIPTION

The sabbath. Talking about it can be complicated and confusing, yet the biblical authors wrote about it a lot. So what’s it all about? The sabbath is more than an antiquated law. It’s about the design of time and the human quest for rest. The sabbath and seventh-day rest is one of the key themes that starts on page one of the Bible and weaves beautifully all the way through to the end.

FAVORITE QUOTE

“The seventh day is like a multifaceted gem. One of the main facets is the fabric of creation as leading toward a great goal where humans imitate God and join him in ceasing from work and labor. But there’s going to be another facet that’s all about being a slave to our labor. And so the seventh day is a time to celebrate our liberation from slavery so that we can rest with God.”

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The theme of the sabbath or seventh-day rest is a key theme in the Bible that starts on page one and goes all the way through to the end.
  • The word sabbath comes from the Hebrew word shabot, which means most simply “to stop” or “to cease from.”
  • Keeping/observing/remembering the sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. It sticks out as being a uniquely Jewish practice at the time in history when the commandments were given.

SHOW NOTES

Welcome to the first episode in our series on understanding seventh-day rest in the Bible!

In part 1 (0-6:35), Tim outlines the theme in general. He says the seventh-day rest is actually a huge theme in the Bible, even more prominent in the Scriptures than other TBP videos. Tim calls it an “organizing main theme in the Bible.”

In part 2 (6:35-23:45), Tim recounts a story from when he and Jon visited Jerusalem. They were both able to share a Sabbath meal with practicing Jews in Jerusalem. Tim shares that the Sabbath tradition is one of the longest running traditions in any culture in the world. Even the word shabat’s most basic meaning is “to stop.”

In part 3 (23:45-33:00), Tim says this series isn’t really going to be about the practice of sabbath but about the theme and symbolism of sabbath and seventh-day rest in the Bible. This theme is rich and complex, woven from start to finish in the Scriptures. The practice of the Sabbath itself is only one piece of the underlying message the authors are trying to communicate.

In part 4 (33:00-45:30), Tim and Jon discuss “keeping, observing, or remembering” the sabbath in the Ten Commandments. This command sticks out as a unique Jewish practice. The Jews are told to keep the sabbath for two different reasons according to two different passages:

Exodus 20:8-11

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested (Heb. shabat) on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

Keep the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest (Heb. nuakh) as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.

Tim notes that in the first passage, Jews are told to keep the sabbath because it is an act of participation in God’s presence and rule over creation. But in the second passage, keeping the sabbath is an act of implementing God’s presence and rule by the liberation from slavery. Tim says these two ways of viewing the practice of the sabbath are two of the core ways to think about the seventh-day rest theme in the bible.

In part 5 (45:30-end), Tim cites scholar Matitiahu Tsevat about the biblical phrase “it is a sabbath of Yahweh” (שבת ליהוה), literally, “a sabbath that belongs to Yahweh.”

“This phrase is so important, it’s easy to miss its centrality... Just as in the 7th year of release man desists from utilizing the land for his own business and benefit, so on the sabbath day he desists from using that day for his own affairs. And just äs the intervals in regard to the release year and the jubilee years are determined by the number seven, so too is the number seven determinative for that recurring day when man refrains from his own pursuits and sets it aside for God. In regular succession he breaks the natural flow of time, proclaiming, and that the break is made for the sake of the Lord. This meaning which we have ascertained from the laws finds support Isaiah 58: “If you restrain your foot on the sabbath so äs not to pursue your own affairs on My holy day…” Man normally is master of his time. He is free to dispose of it as he sees fit or as necessity bids him. The Israelite is duty-bound, however, once every seven days to assert by word and deed that God is the master of time. … one day out of seven the Israelite is to renounce dominion over his own time and recognize God's dominion over it. Simply: Every seventh day the Israelite renounces his autonomy and affirms God's dominion over him in the conclusion that every seventh day the Israelite is to renounce dominion over time, thereby renounce autonomy, and recognize God's dominion over time and thus over himself. Keeping the sabbath is acceptance of the kingdom and sovereignty of God.” (Matitiahu Tsevat, The Basic Meaning of the Biblical Sabbath, 453-455.)

Tim says the structure of the sabbath is meant to be inconvenient. God is the master of all time, and he holds all the time that we think actually belongs to us.

Show Music:

  • Defender Instrumental by Tents
  • Royalty Free Middle Eastern Music
  • Shabot Songs:
    • Psalm 121 (Lai Lai Lai) by Joshua Aaron
    • L'maancha by Eitan Katz

Resources:

  • http://joshua-aaron.com/
  • http://www.eitankatz.com/
  • Matitiahu Tsevat, The Basic Meaning of the Biblical Sabbath

Show Produced by:

Dan Gummel

Powered and distributed by Simplecast

Oct 14, 2019
Can I Get a Witness?
01:04:24

The word witness is a key word in the bible, and the theme of “witnessing” is a key theme in the bible that can be used to understand the whole story of the bible.

Key Takeaways

  • The word witness is a key word in the bible, and the theme of “witnessing” is a key theme in the bible that can be used to understand the whole story of the bible.
  • The greek word μάρτυς (mártus) is used in the New Testament as the word for “witness” it is also the root word for ”martyr:”
  • The word witness is used in a variety of different ways throughout the Bible. For example, God is described as being a witness. Israel is called to be a witness to the nations and Jesus says he is a witness about himself.

Favorite Quotes

“It’s weird how simple and how big of a responsibility being a witness is. God wants a group of witnesses who experience him and then talk about it.”

Show Notes

In part 1, (0-7:45) Tim and Jon introduce the topic and also introduce Carissa Quinn a biblical scholar on staff with the bible project. Carisa is responsible for researching and writing the script for the upcoming video on witness. The group talks about the popular usages of the word witness. Jon toes that in a Christian context, “witness” is often meant to be an activity that someone will do to try and logically convince or debate somebody (a non believer) about Jesus and the truth of the bible.

The group also notes that oftentimes ‘witness’ is best understood in a modern legal context.

In part 2, (7:45-16:50) Carissa says the word witness occurs over 400 hundred times in the bible in a variety of forms. In hebrew the word ‘witness’ is basically (1) someone who sees something amazing or important--in Hebrew, this person is an עֵד (eid) and in Greek, a μάρτυς (mártus). And (2) if this person begins to share what they’ve seen, we call this ‘bearing witness’: in Hebrew עוּד (uwd) and in Greek μαρτυρέω (marturéo).

Carissa shares the story of Ruth in Ruth 4:9, when Boaz buys land from Naomi’s family, he calls together witnesses to see the transaction, so that if there’s a later dispute about the land, they can bear witness about what they saw. Tim notes that this passage is somewhat related to Deut 25:9 a law about sandals and witnessing being used as a form of legal documentation.

The group briefly discusses the role of a public notary in modern culture. They act as official witnesses to legal signings.

In part 3, (16:50-24:50) Carissa goes to Psalm 27 and the theme of “false witnesses”. Carissa notes that God is referred to as a witness throughout the bible. For example in Genesis 31:49 ... “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. 50 If you mistreat my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no man is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.”

In the New Testament God the Father is said to bear witness to the identity of Jesus. Jesus also says he bears witness to himself in John 8:17-18 “In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”

Carissa then notes that many times Paul uses a phrase like “God is my witness” for example in Romans 1:9 “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.”

In part 4 (24:50-42:45)

Carissa continues the conversation by bringing up the fact that an object can be a witness in the bible. For example in Joshua 24: 27 And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.”

Carissa then notes that the word “witness” in the bible can be used to trace the whole story of the bible. Tim says that the word “witness” is an interesting way to think about the image of god. People are created in God’s image to “witness” god and his creation to the rest of the world.

Carissa says that israel is called to be a witness to the other nations in Exodus 19:4-6 “ ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

Carissa says that later in the bible the torah is referred to as a “witness” and is often called “the laws of the testimony”. Meaning the laws are testifying or witnessing the relationship between god and israel. Additionally, Moses writes a song in Deuteronomy 32 to bear witness to Israel about God.

Carissa points out that in John 5, Jesus says the Torah points to him in John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.”

In part 5 (42:45-49:20)

Carissa notes the theme of the word witness in the prophets. For example 2 Chronicles 24:19 "Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the Lord. These testified (witnessed) against them, but they would not pay attention.

Carissa notes that to testify against or to witness against was one of the primary roles of prophets in the Old Testament. They were warning/ witnessing to Israel about what would happen to them if they didn’t follow god.

Carissa also notes that Isiah 43:10-12 is a crucial passage to understand the role that the whole nation of Israel was to have in acting as God's witnesses.

Isaiah 42:10 ““You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
11
I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
12
I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am God.

In the last part, (49:20-end)
Carissa talks about Jesus. Jesus claims to be the “chief witness” from Isaiah 61. He was sent to open the eyes of Israel who are the blind witnesses to God and his creation. Tim notes how ironic it is that Jesus is the ultimate witness bearing witness to God's kingdom that gets him killed. Carissa note that the word “μάρτυς (mártus).” is the greek word for witness which is also the root word for martyr. So Jesus was a martus, and a martyr by staking his life on what he believes in.
In Acts followers of Jesus are called to be “witnesses”. But often times in the New Testament being a witness is directly connected to verifying or believing in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Jon notes that witness in modern context is usually more about debating ore rationalizing Jesus and Christianity to a secular world. Carissa notes that to “bear witness” is a sign of someone's character. Jon then notes that thinking about being a witness in life is actually a really important calling or job. A witness has an important role to play and “bearing witness” is what we are called to do as christians. Not to debate or convince people about the truth of Jesus but to share are own powerful moments of God in our lives.

Show Resources:
Walter Kaiser, Mission in the Old Testament: Israel as a Light to the Nations

Show Music
Can I Get a Witness: The Rolling Stones. Non Profit, Educational Fair Use. Creative Commons
Fills the Skies: Josh White
Blue Skies: Unwritten Stories
Analogs: Moby
The Truth About Flight Love and BB Guns: Beautiful Eulogy

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel

Powered and distributed by Simplecast.

Oct 07, 2019
The Obvious & Extravagant Claim of the Gospels - Gospels E4
00:52:16

Key Takeaways:

  • All the gospels are essentially saying the same thing. Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and his life, death, and resurrection fulfills the Hebrew Scriptures.
  • All four gospels climax with a detailed recounting of Jesus' death and resurrection. While this may seem like an obvious point to modern readers, this is not necessarily true for ancient readers when the Scriptures were formed.
  • Modern readers of the gospels should make an effort to familiarize themselves with how ancient Greco-Roman biography and literature worked. The four gospels are not modern texts; therefore, readers should be sympathetic and strive to view them not through a modern lens, but in light of their historic context.

Quotes: 

“The main mode that many Christians, especially Protestants, read the Bible in is the ‘lessons for my life’ approach to the Bible. The deeply held assumption is, ‘the Bible is a moral handbook and each story is giving me a life application lesson that I can apply to my life.’ And I don’t think that’s what the Gospel authors are trying to do.”

"(The gospels are) tying in Jesus’ story as the fulfillment of the Hebrew Scripture storyline which is the story of Israel and all humanity. And then all of them are saying the story leads up to the moment of a Jewish wonder-worker’s execution. It’s a simple point. But that is their main point."

In part 1 (0-11:30), Tim and Jon briefly recap the series so far. They discuss the earlier tips for reading the gospels more effectively and deeply. Tim says readers should always remember that the gospels are meant to be stories about Jesus, but they have been specifically selected to be persuasive stories about Jesus. The Gospel authors want the reader to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Sometimes they make this intent obvious and explicit, but other times, they make the claims indirectly. Tim says this method of indirect communication and indirect claims about Jesus is the primary way that Gospel authors design their portraits of Jesus.

In part 2 (11:30-22:00), Tim notes that many of the stories about Jesus, including the stories of miracles, sound unbelievable to many modern Western audiences. Whereas in other cultures, healings and miracles and those who performed them were considered an integral part of life and evidence of God or the gods’ work. Tim shares a helpful resource called The Lost Letters of Pergamum, which is a short historical novel set in ancient Roman culture during the early days of Christianity. The novel helps readers more accurately picture what the original claims of the gospel would have meant to the first followers of Christ.

Tim then says most Western Protestants read these accounts through asking, “What’s the application of this gospel story to my life and how will it improve my life?” Tim says he doesn’t think this is the best way to read the gospels. Instead, readers should learn to read the gospels as intricate and complete portraits of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that are claiming that Jesus is the promised Jewish Messiah.

In part 3 (22:00-32:00), Tim notes that every Gospel climaxes with Jesus’ death and resurrection. Tim then contrasts this with the Gospel of Thomas, which does not include Jesus’ death and resurrection narrative. To the gnostics who used the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus was a wise, divine teacher who dispensed knowledge to humanity to help them learn to be wise.

Tim then says that a good example of the gospels climaxing with Jesus’ death and resurrection would be the Gospel of Mark. Most of the book highlights the final week of Jesus’ life and does a fast fly-by of Jesus’ earlier life leading up to the week of the Passover and crucifixion.

Most stories, Tim observes, end with the good guy defeating the bad guy, thereby using force and violence to triumph. The Jesus story claims that Jesus triumphed by allowing himself to be killed by his enemies. He then was raised from the dead and gives his enemies an opportunity to enter into new life by believing in him.

In part 5 (32:00-end), Tim and Jon discuss the differences between the gospels. Tim says that some of the variances between the stories in the gospels used to bother him. Why couldn’t all the stories be the same? Aren’t the discrepancies evidence that these stories and authors might be unreliable?

However, Tim continues by sharing that over time, his perspective has changed. Now, he realizes that the Gospel authors are advancing a claim about Jesus, not recounting security camera footage of his life. The authors want the reader to understand that Jesus had a totally different way of seeing the world, so they highlight this in their own style. Tim says he would actually be highly suspicious if all the gospels’ stories are exactly identical. That would imply that the Jesus story was not authentic. It also should be taken into consideration that what many modern Christians may perceive to be untruths or discrepancies in the Bible were much more accepted by early Christians. Modern readers should attempt to understand the context and culture of how the gospels were formed instead of importing our own modern view of a biography onto an ancient text.

Show Music:

  • “Defender” instrumental by Tents
  • “Nostalgic” by junior state
  • “lacuna” by leavv
  • “Beautiful Eulogy” by Beautiful Eulogy

Show Resources:

The Lost Letters of Pergamum: A Story from the New Testament World by Bruce Longenecker

Show Produced by:

Dan Gummel

Powered and distributed by Simplecast

Sep 30, 2019
Why are there 4 Gospels? - Gospels E3
01:08:45

Key takeaways:

  • The four gospels all tell a unique perspective of the same story. They all claim Jesus is the Jewish Messiah who fulfills the Hebrew Scriptures.
  • Mark is widely considered to be the oldest Gospel.
  • The genealogies at the start of Matthew have hidden design patterns in them that unify the Old and New Testaments.
  • The story of Zacharias and Elizabeth at the start of Luke is meant to layer onto the story of Abraham and Sarah in the Old Testament. This is a key design pattern of Luke. Luke likes to create the characters in his book based off Old Testament figures.

Quote: “(The gospels) are constantly and from the first moment tying the Jesus story back into Hebrew scriptures. There isn’t a story or teaching about Jesus that isn’t packed with Old Testament allusion.”

 

In part 1 (0-5:00), Tim and Jon briefly recap the last episode. Tim says he’s going to unpack four ways that readers can better understand and uncover themes in the gospels.

In part 2 (5:00-14:00), Tim dives into advanced ways to read these accounts. One way to take your reading of the gospels to the next level is to get a Bible that shows when a Gospel is citing or quoting an Old Testament passage. For example, Tim focuses on the book of Mark. Most scholars view Mark as the oldest of the gospels.

Mark 1 shares links to both Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 4:5-6 in the first verses.

Mark 1:1-3

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,

who will prepare your way”—

“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,

‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

make straight paths for him.’”

Tim says that this should alert the reader to the fact that Mark is heavily influenced by the Old Testament. Mark is reading the Old Testament, and his Gospel is structured around and informed by the Hebrew Scriptures.

In part 3 (14:00-22:30), Tim then looks at the start of Matthew. The book begins with a genealogy. This genealogy is broken into three movements of fourteen generations: fourteen from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile, and fourteen from the exile to Jesus.

In order to stick to this pattern, Tim notes, generations would have been left out. So why would Matthew use this pattern?

There are several thoughts. One is that the number fourteen is the numerical value of the name “David.” So Matthew is disguising his claim that Jesus is a new and better David in this genealogy.

Tim also mentions that four women are mentioned in this genealogy. Each of them are non-Jewish women. Again, why does Matthew do this? He wants you to know that Gentile women in the Old Testament played a crucial role in carrying on—and in some cases rescuing—the messianic seed.

In part 4 (22:30-32:30), Tim dives into the opening of the Gospel of Luke. The story of Elizabeth and Zacharias is meant to map onto the story of Abraham and Sarah. Both couples are old and have no children or heirs. Luke then moves onto the introduction of Mary. Mary’s response to the angel’s proclamation is different than Zacharias’ response. So Luke uses a lot of character design to overlap Old Testament and New Testament characters in order to show a new act of God.

In part 5 (32:30-47:30), Tim dives into the opening in the Gospel of John. There are themes of Genesis 1 (“In the beginning”) and Lady Wisdom from Proverbs 8 in the opening lines of John. Many modern Western readers find John's writing style to be the most approachable and easy to understand. John's links and callbacks to earlier Hebrew Scriptures are more obvious to the untrained eye than in the other gospels.

In part 6 (47:30-end), Tim and Jon dive into Mathew 11.

Matthew 11:2-6

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

Tim says that this passage is heavily influenced by Isaiah 35 because Jesus quotes from this passage to answer John's question about whether he is the Messiah or not.

Isaiah 35:1-7

The desert and the parched land will be glad;

the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.

Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;

it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,

the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;

they will see the glory of the Lord,

the splendor of our God.

Strengthen the feeble hands,

steady the knees that give way;

say to those with fearful hearts,

“Be strong, do not fear;

your God will come,

he will come with vengeance;

with divine retribution

he will come to save you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened

and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

Then will the lame leap like a deer,

and the mute tongue shout for joy.

Water will gush forth in the wilderness

and streams in the desert.

The burning sand will become a pool,

the thirsty ground bubbling springs.

In the haunts where jackals once lay,

grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

Show Music:

  • Defender Instrumental by Tents
  • Mind Your Time by Me.So
  • Subtle Break by Ghostrifter Official
  • Serenity by JayJen
  • Acquired in Heaven by Beautiful Eulogy
  • For When It’s Warmer by Sleepyfish
  • Euk's First Race by David Gummel

Show Resources:

Show Produced by:

Dan Gummel

Powered and distributed by Simplecast.

Sep 23, 2019
The Gospel is More Than You Think - Gospels E2
00:55:08

In part 1 (0-19:00), Tim and Jon give a brief historical overview of Israel at the time Jesus was born. Israel had been under hundreds of years of military occupation by different empires. At the time of Jesus, that empire is Rome. Tim notes that the entire Jewish people would have had a sense of expectation. The Hebrew Scriptures taught them that the glory of the Jewish kingdom would return and a messiah would rescue them. This mindset—though difficult for us to imagine—was that of an ancient Jew under Roman rule at the time when the gospels were written.

In part 2 (19:00-25:00), Tim notes that for one to declare or be declared as “messiah” while under Roman rule would have been viewed as an act of politcal insurrrection and revolution.

In part 3 (25:00-38:45), Tim outlines the history of the word gospel, which comes from the old English word “godspel” or *good tidings*. This word in Greek is εὐαγγέλιον and Tim notes that “the euangelion” is what Jesus is said to proclaim in the beginning of Mark. Mark 1:1 *The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.* Tim then notes how Paul uses the same word at the start of Romans. Romans 1:2-4 *the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.* Tim also shared 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. *Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas,and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.* Tim notes that Paul doesn’t have a stock phrase or answer for “what is the gospel.” Instead he tweaks the message in both of these books and offers two complimentary answers. This example from Paul should make us cautious of trying to boil down the gospel to a simple formula. If Paul didn’t really do it that way, why should we? Instead we should try to learn how to articulate the whole story of the Jewish Scriptures and distill the gospel through that lens.

In part 4 (38:45-44:45), Tim also brings up Paul’s speech to the Athenians in Acts 17: Acts 17:22-34 *Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.* *“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’* *“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”* *When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” At that, Paul left the Council. Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.* Tim notes that also in this presentation, Paul does not bring up Christ’s atoning death explictly. The atoning death of Christ is part of the gospel, but it is not the whole. The larger story of the gospel is portrayed in the four books known as the Gospels. What is the larger story? It is about Jesus inaugurating the kingdom of God.

In part 5 (44:45-end), Tim gives his own definitions of the four books known as "the Gospels." "The gospels are carefully designed theological biographies of Jesus of Nazareth. They focus on his announcement of the euangelion. They are not merely historical records. They are designed to advance a claim that will challenge the readers thinking and behavior, and you are going to be forced to make a decision about Jesus after reading the book. And what is the claim? That the crucified and risen Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah of Israel and true Lord of the world." Tim closes with an insight from scholars Loveday Alexander and Richard Burridge, as well as a book called *Reading the Gospels Wisely* by Jonathan Pennington.

 

Show Resources:

* Richard Burridge: [*What are the Gospels? A Comparison with Graeco Roman Biography*](https://amzn.to/32DhKWK).

* Loveday Alexander: [*The Preface to Luke’s Gospel*](https://amzn.to/2Lz4lcI).

* Jonathan Pennington: [*Reading the Gospels Wisely*](http://amzn.to/2wOuw9n).

* [A brief overview of Jewish history pre-Christ and during Roman rule.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_history#The_Hasmonean_Kingdom_(110%E2%80%9363_BCE))

 

Show Music:

* Defender Instrumental by Tents

* Hello from Portland by Beautiful Euology

* For When It’s Warmer by Sleepy Fish

* Instrumentals of Mercy by Beautiful Eulogy

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Sep 16, 2019
What Does the Word "Gospel" Mean? Feat. N.T. Wright - Gospels E1
01:11:18

Welcome to a special episode that kicks off our series of How to Read the Gospels. In this episode, Tim sits down with Dr. N.T. Wright to discuss the historical meaning of the word “gospel.”

In part 1 (0-21:20), Dr. Wright notes that word studies are great, but it’s important to understand how words derive their meaning and live in a narrative context. Alternaitve “gospels,” including the Gospel of Thomas, typically are a collection of good advice or wise sayings from Jesus about how to live a good life, whereas the whole “gospel” or good news is the story of Jesus being crowned king and Israel being used by God to bless all the nations.

Tim shares an interesting historical ancedote: a birthday announcement from a historical source called the Calendar of Priene. It’s an old royal announcement from the Roman emporer Augustus Caesar, and it uses the Greek word for “gospel,” εὐαγγέλιον, evangelion, meaning "good news."

"Since Providence, which has ordered all things and is deeply interested in our life, has set in most perfect order by giving us Augustus, whom she filled with virtue that he might benefit humankind, sending him as a savior, both for us and for our descendants, that he might end war and arrange all things, and since he, Caesar, by his appearance (excelled even our anticipations), surpassing all previous benefactors, and not even leaving to posterity any hope of surpassing what he has done, and since the birthday of the god Augustus was the beginning of the good tidings for the world that came by reason of him.” (The Calendar of Priene, Caesar Birthday announcement)

Dr. Wright says this historical announcement reveals a very interesting historical narrative. The Roman emporers continually decreed that they had brought peace and justice to the world through violent and political power. These emporers used the same language and vocubulary as the gospel authors when they proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as the one who brings true peace and justice to the world.

In part 2 (21:20-27:10), Tim and Dr. Wright discuss that “news” is an ineffective modern word to describe the gospel. A better alternative in our day would be “announcement” or “proclamation.” Today, the word “news” is used most often to describe everyday occurences, whereas the historical word εὐαγγέλιον, evangelion, was far less common and treated with importance.

In part 3 (27:10-42:45), Tim and Dr. Wright dive into the Gospel of Mark and Matthew.

Dr. Wright focuses on the Beatitudes in Matthew. Instead of it being just an ethical to-do list, the Beatitudes are meant to model what God’s kingdom actually looks like. They represent the corporate moral ethic of God’s kingdom, showing what a world looks like when God becomes king and showing how God's kingdom spreads throughout the world.

Tim and Dr. Wright both cite Isaiah 53, one of the key bridges between the Old and New Testament in the Suffering Servant. They move on to discuss a book by Dr. Richard Hayes called, “Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels” and discuss the royal enactment portrayls in the gospels. Tim and Dr. Wright note that these are very obvious themes. Jesus is given a purple robe and crowned with a crown of thorns. These themes are meant to be picked up by the reader as evidence of the upside down nature of the kingdom that Jesus was enacting. He became king through suffering.

In part 4 (42:45-56:00), Tim and Dr. Wright talk about Paul and his perspective of εὐαγγέλιον, evangelion. Tim reads from Romans 1:1-6:

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ."

Tim also shares 1 Corinthians 15:1-11:

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”

Tim thinks this 1 Corinthians passage may be over-dominant in Western Christianity’s understanding in defining the gospel. Dr. Wright notes a historical view stemming from German and Lutheran interpretation that wants to see “the gospel” only as a salvation by faith that Christ died for our sins on the cross.

This view, Dr. Wright asserts, shortchanges the story of the Hebrew Scriptures. While this is part of the meaning of the word “gospel,” the whole story of the Hebrew Scriptures involves the signficance of Jesus being the new and exalted human, the new Adam, through whom humanity can now realize their orginal destiny that was laid out for them in the Garden of Eden.

In part 5 (56:00-end), Tim and Dr. Wright wrap up their time together by discussing how word studies are important but need to be tied into an informed understanding of the whole narrative of the Hebrew Bible.

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel

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Sep 09, 2019
Generosity Q&R: Overpopulation, Cain's Sacrifice & Manna Hoarding - Generosity E5
01:01:52

Welcome to our Q+R for our series on Generosity. Tim and Jon respond on this episode to six questions. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions!

Below are the questions with corresponding timestamps.

Raphael from Austria (1:36):
My question is, in this modern age with trending topics like overpopulation, climate change, and running out of resources in many parts of the Earth, how can we understand or apply the mindset of abundance and that God in a generous host? Thanks for everything you do and for helping me reshape my biblical paradigms so that I may now understand the biblical story in a whole new way.

Nadia from the UK (11:27):
My question is with Cain and Abel: isn't it because the Lord looked on Abel's offering more favorably because he brought the best, the fattened part of his flock and the firstborn of his flock? In comparison to what Cain brought, which was just some of the fruit; it doesn’t say it was the first fruits or the best of, it was just some, and therefore, God looked more favorably on Abel’s, which is why Cain’s was rejected. Thanks!

Seth from Cincinnati (12:03):
You guys have discussed the reasons for why God favored Abel over Cain. The author of Hebrews says, "By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks" (Hebrews 11:4). ...We can infer that by contrast that Cain's must not have been offered by faith. What do you think of this interpretation?

Lauren from Indiana (30:00):
I love the parable you have going and that we make choices based on fear that abundance will stop, and we need to hoard. That immediately took me to Exodus 16 and the manna that Moses told them to not leave any until morning. Of course, some people did anyway, and it was spoiled. To me, that's a really obvious example of your parable, but are we supposed to be mapping that onto Genesis specifically, or was that just a happy piece of serendipity?

Nathaniel from New Orleans (35:56):
You've focused on how the human self-protective instinct and greed will ruin the party for everyone. But I was curious as to how natural disasters in Scripture—whether they're portrayed as a time of punishment for the wicked or time of testing of the righteous, or or both—how those interact with the image of God as generous host. Thank you very much, and God bless.

Secret from Wisconsin (48:00):
My question was: is there a specific context that we should have in mind when Jesus tells the Young Rich Ruler to go sell all his possessions, and give them away? Just because I know that in some cases it's not very wise to give away all you have because then you become dependent upon other people to help you, and you can't really help people yourself in the way you could if you had those resources. Thank you guys so much.

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Tents

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel

Show Resources:
Christopher J.H. Wright, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God

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Sep 02, 2019
Jesus as the Ultimate Gift - Generosity E4
00:56:57

In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss the story of Jesus and how it relates to the theme of generosity.

In part 1 (0-16:40), Tim notes that God’s gifts to humans, and specifically his gift of the Promised Land to Israel, are unconditioned, but not unconditional. The gift of the land places an obligation upon Israel: the gift is unconditioned (unmerited), but not unconditional (non-reciprocal). It is not given to Israel based on an evaluation of their worthiness, but it is given with a clear expectation of obligated response.

Then Tim dives into Matthew 5:43-48 to make the point that the fundamental depiction of God in the New Testament is that of a generous gift giver whose generosity should effect a transformation of our lives.

Matthew 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
 Therefore you are to be complete, as your heavenly Father is complete.”

In part 2 (16:40-33:40), Tim dives into more passages in the New Testament that build on this theme.

John 3:16
God so love the world, that he gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life.

1 John 3:1
See how great a love the Father has given on us, that we would be called children of God; and that is what we are.

1 John 5:11

And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Romans 8:31-32

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him over for us all, how will he not also with him freely gift us all things?

James 1:17
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Tim says that the generosity Jesus dispenses exposes the heart of humanity, which is bent toward selfishness. Being generous in the way that Jesus is generous creates a different kind of security than economic security. It’s a security based on a community that truly loves each other, sharing freely with each other.

In part 3 (33:40-45:15), Tim dives into 2 Corinthians 8.

2 Corinthians 8:1-11

Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.
 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the grace of participation (Greek: koinonia) in the service of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.
 So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this grace as well. But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this grace also.
 I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.
 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
 I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it.
 But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.

Tim notes that the word for grace is the same word for gift in Greek (charis, noun: “grace, gift” and charizomai, verb: “to give a gift, forgive”).

In part 4 (45:15-end), the guys wrap up their conversation. Tim notes that the themes of scarcity and abundance or selfishness and generosity are woven from start to finish in the Bible. Why? Because it’s a fundamental part of our human existence.

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Paul and the Gift by John Barclay: https://amzn.to/2Znueja

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Migration by goosetaf

Murmuration by Blue Weds (feat. Shopan)

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Aug 26, 2019
The Abraham Experiment - Generosity E3
01:04:05

In this episode, Tim and Jon trace this theme through the Old Testament.

In part 1 (0-19:45), the guys briefly recap their discussion so far. Tim notes that Eve’s reaction in Hebrew between the birth of Cain and the birth of Seth are decidedly different. Tim says that Eve takes an arrogant stance by naming Cain, seeming to place herself alongside God. However, she takes a humble stance when she names Seth, seeing that God has granted her a son. Tim quotes scholar Umberto Cassuto:

“The first woman in her joy at giving birth to her first son, boasts of her generative power, which in her estimation approximates the divine creative power. The Lord formed the first man, and I have formed the second man. Literally, ‘I have created a man with the Lord,’ by which she means, ‘I stand together equally with the Creator in the rank of creators.’”
(Umberto Cassuto, Commentary on the Book of Genesis: Part I - From Adam to Noah)

Tim notes that in the Bible, there are many stories of parents who abuse the gifts that God gives them in the ability to reproduce and have children, or they take undue parental pride in the gift of children.

In part 2 (19:45-25:45), Tim and Jon discuss the theme of God choosing one over another. Tim points out that God’s choosing of one over another is actually a desire to bless all through the exaltation of the one. God says Cain will be exalted if he only obeys. Instead, Cain chooses to bow to his sinful desires.

In part 3 (25:45-32:30), Tim moves onto the story of the Tower of Babel. Humans were called to spread out and rule the earth. Instead of embracing that gift, the humans decide to build a towering city.

In part 4 (32:30-44:15), Tim dives into the story of Abraham. God chooses one family, the family of Abraham. Tim says that the Promised Land is God’s “gift” to Abraham’s family:

Genesis 12:1-3

Now the Lord said to Abram,

“Go forth from your country,
And from your family

And from your father’s house,

To the land which I will show you;

And I will make you a great nation,

And I will bless you,

And make your name great;

And you shall be a blessing;

And I will bless those who bless you,

And the one who treats you as cursed, I will curse.

And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

Genesis 12:7
“To your seed I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to Yahweh who appeared to him.”

Jon points out that sometimes famines come along. Sometimes, there isn’t enough. This tension does exist in the Bible, Tim notes, between God’s abundance and the existence of chaos. God didn’t create a perfectly safe world. He created a world where humans were to learn to co-rule with him, creating order from chaos.

In part 5 (44:15-end), Tim notes that God keeps giving the Promised Land to Israel, and they keep misusing the gift. He cites two passages from Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 11:8-14
“You all shall therefore keep every commandment which I am commanding you today, so that you may be strong and go in and possess the land... so that you may prolong your days on the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. For the land, into which you are entering to possess it, is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you used to sow your seed and water it with your foot like a vegetable garden. But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.


“It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul, that he will give the rain for your land in its season, the barley and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil.”

Tim then cites scholar Joshua Berman, saying that Israel’s economy was an “Exodus-style” economy:

“A key theological claim at work in these laws is that of God’s identity as the liberator of slaves. He forms a people out of those who were deemed to be people of no standing at all by the political and economic leaders who oppressed them. The egalitarian streak within Pentateuchal law codes accords with the portrayal of the Exodus as the prime experience of Israel’s self-understanding. Indeed, no Israelite can lay claim to any greater status than another, because all emanate from the Exodus—a common seminal, liberating, and equalizing event… This notion of God’s sovereignty as creator and liberator animated the biblical laws aimed at preventing Israelites from descending into the cycle of poverty and debt.”
(Joshua Berman, Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought, 88)

Deuteronomy 24:19-22
“When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the immigrant, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the immigrant, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.”

Thank you to all our supporters!

Have a question for us? Send an audio recording around 30 seconds to our team at info@jointhebibleproject.com.

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Tents
Quietly by blnkspc_
Mind Your Time by Me.So
The Pilgrim by Greyflood

Show Resources:
Umberto Cassuto, Commentary on the Book of Genesis: Part I - From Adam to Noah
Joshua Berman, Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel

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Aug 19, 2019
God as the Generous Host - Generosity E2
00:39:54

In part 1 (0-15:00), Tim presents God as an amazing and generous host to humanity. Tim then dives into Genesis and re-examines the stories through the lens of generosity. The biblical portrait of evil, Tim shares, begins with a desire for what is not rightly mine and then taking it for oneself.

Genesis 3:1-6
Now the snake was more shrewd than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ ”

The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable for making wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Beginning in verse 1, Tim notes, “You shall not eat from any tree of the garden” is an act of subtly undermining God’s generosity. Again this subtlety is seen in verses 4-5: “You will not die. For God knows that in the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like elohim, knowing good and evil.” In other words, the serpent is portraying God as holding out on humanity, withholding knowledge and good things. Finally, in verse 6, the word “desirable” (Heb. nekhmad, “the object of covetous desire”) combines with the action “take.” Humans become aware that there is something they can desire and take, presumably for their own benefit.

Tim and Jon hypothesize that the tree is placed in the middle of the garden to represent that the human choice to do what is wrong is always in the center of our lives. We are always only one or two decisions away from ruining our lives and the lives of many others.

In part 2 (15:00-26:45), Tim notes that humans don’t know what to do with abundance. We bend abundance to hoard and act selfishly. Tim then pivots to the story of Cain and Abel. Jon explains that he feels God is more generous with Abel than with Cain. Tim says this seems to be an intentionally ambiguous gap in the narrative. Tim says he thinks Genesis is developing a theme of the ‘mystery of election.’ God does seem to choose or favor one person over another, but that doesn’t mean it’s at the complete expense of the other person.

In Genesis 4, Cain’s jealous anger at his brother compels him to take life instead of give. The narrative tells us in 4:2 that Cain was “a worker of the ground” but denies his role as a “keeper of his brother.” This is why murder is such a heinous crime in the Scriptures: to take life gratuitously is to act as if it is yours to “take,” rather than recognizing that your role as a human is to “give” life and participate in its flourishing.

In part 3 (26:45-end), Tim and Jon continue to discuss the Cain and Abel story and how the traits of “taking” continues in the following stories in Genesis. In Genesis 6, the sons of elohim “see” the daughters of humanity are “good” and they “take” what they want. Then in Genesis 11 in the story of Babylon, the people say, “let us build for ourselves a city and a tower, and it’s head will be in the skies, and we will make a name for ourselves.”

In the story of Cain and Abel, Tim notes, God tells Cain that if he does good, he too will be exalted. Instead, Cain chooses to take his brother’s life, rejecting God’s generosity and claiming the life of his brother.

Thank you to all our supporters!

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Show Produced by:
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Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Tents
Spiral by KV
Twin Moon by Ashley Shadow

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Aug 12, 2019
Abundance or Scarcity - Generosity E1
01:08:50

In this series, Tim and Jon trace the theme of generosity and abundance through the Scriptures.

In part 1 (0-7:45), the guys quickly introduce the conversation. Tim explains that generosity is both a theme and a concept that is found throughout the Scriptures.

In part 2 (7:45-32:10), Tim shares from a famous passage in the gospel accounts.


Luke 12:22-34

"And He said to His disciples, 'For this reason I tell you, don’t be anxious about your life, what you will eat; and don’t be anxious about your body, what clothes you put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Ponder the ravens, for they don’t sow seed or reap a harvest; they have no storerooms or barns, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add an hour to his life’s span? And if you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Ponder the lilies, how they grow: they don’t toil or spin clothes; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You who trust God so little! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and don’t foster your anxiety. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be granted to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'"

Tim points out that freedom from anxiety is rooted in a conception of the universe, like a safe place where I’m welcomed by a generous host. The same overabundance we see in nature comes from a Creator who shows that same generosity towards us. This mindset frees us from a scarcity mentality, releasing us to freely give resources to others. Jesus observed this not primarily as a religious principle but as one written on the DNA of the universe. Jesus sees the birds and flowers and grass and notices God’s generosity and overabundant love.


The words of Jesus sound almost irresponsible to Type A, hardworking people. Yet with these words, Jesus articulates a way of seeing the world rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures and their depiction of God’s generosity. Tim notes that often we’re the ones who need our eyes opened to see God’s generosity in creation.

In part 3 (32:10-36:30), Tim points out Jesus’ view of creation, that God created a good world that always produces enough, as long as humans live in accordance with the image of God.

In part 4 (36:30-53:20), Tim asks: What kind of tradition and culture did Jesus grown up in that allowed him to have this mindset? One passage Tim offers is Psalm 104:10-17 and 24-28:

He sends forth springs in the valleys;
They flow between the mountains;
They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
They lift up their voices among the branches.
He waters the mountains from His upper chambers;
The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works.
He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the labor of man,
So that he may bring forth food from the earth,
And wine which makes man’s heart glad,
So that he may make his face glisten with oil,
And food which sustains man’s heart.
The trees of the Lord drink their fill,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,
Where the birds build their nests,
And the stork, whose home is the fir trees.

O Lord, how many are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your possessions.
There is the sea, great and broad,
In which are swarms without number,
Animals both small and great.
There the ships move along,
And Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it.
They all wait for You
To give them their food in due season.
You give to them, they gather it up;
You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good.


Tim points out that this is a Psalm Jesus would have grown up hearing in synagogue. Jesus believed creation is an expression of the generous, creative love of God. Genesis 1-2 shows us that God brings order out of chaos (Gen. 1) and a garden out of a wasteland (Gen. 2). These God gives as a gift to humanity.

One way of thinking of the biblical storyline, Tim points out, is as a story of giving and taking. Yahweh God creates a wonderful world, full of potential, and he gives it to humanity to rule with him through wisdom. Humanity then desires to rule on their own terms and takes creation for themselves.

In part 5 (53:20-end), Tim points out the human problem, not only on a societal level, but on a heart level. By default, we act to benefit ourselves. In the midst of this, Tim notes, the Bible’s view on wealth is complex. Jesus talks about wealth and money more than most topics—a top-three subject of conversation. Scripture is suspicious about wealth, knowing how affluence and abundance can make humans indulgent and arrogant.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Find our resources at www.thebibleproject.com

Show Produced by: Dan Gummel, Tim Mackie

Show Music:
• Defender Instrumental by Tents
• Conquer by Beautiful Eulogy
• Shot in the Back of the Head by Moby
• Scream Pilots by Moby
• Analogs by Moby

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Aug 05, 2019
Wisdom Q&R - Wisdom E7
01:12:49

Wisdom Q+R

Welcome to our Q+R on the Wisdom Literature in the Bible!

In this episode, Tim and Jon respond to seven questions. You can read those questions with their timestamps below.

Toonna from Canada (1:55):
Hi, Tim and Jon. My name is Toonna and I am calling from Canada. I'm Nigerian, but I currently live in Canada. I just got done listening to the podcast of the tree of knowing good and bad. Towards the end of the podcast, I was really interested in the conversation around the fear of the Lord and wisdom, how Adam and Eve were afraid of God after they ate of the fruit of the tree of good and bad but not afraid before, enough to not eat of the fruit. So I was curious if you have any thoughts on how we as Christians today can be possessed or consumed by the fear of the Lord enough to not commit sin today. Thank you very much.

Jan from Texas (21:10):
I was especially interested in your commentary on the role of the woman as the 'ezer, implying that she's someone provided for the adam to address the "not good" situation of his being alone and which then allows him to fulfill his mission "as designed" (so to speak). I'm curious, though, about how to reconcile this with Paul's statements in 1 Corinthians 7 regarding his wish that church members would remain unmarried (as he is). Typically, I've been taught that Paul was better able to fulfill his mission because of his single status, which seems a little at odds with the ideas discussed in these recent podcasts. So my question is: What's the best/most accurate way to handle Paul's teachings, especially viewed through the lens of the wisdom literature in particular? I feel like there's probably something my 21st-century Western mind is missing.

Wesley from California (45:45):
Hi, Tim and Jon, this is Wesley from Chowchilla, California. In your video on the Books of Solomon, you mentioned that Ecclesiastes is like Solomon as an old man reflecting on his life. In 1 Kings 11, Solomon dies apostate as king. I've been reading Tremper Longman's New International Commentary on Ecclesiastes, and in it he argues that Solomon did not write Ecclesiastes but that Collette is taking on Solomon's persona to make his point. And he seems to abandon this persona after three chapters. Can I get your thoughts on this idea? Also, I just want to say that I love The Bible Project. Thank you for everything you guys do.

Taylor from Tennessee (49:23):
Hey guys, this is Taylor from Knoxville, Tennessee. I'm trying to gain a better understanding of wisdom, and it appears that the opposite of wisdom is doing what is right in your own eyes. It seems that that's the underlying theme of the book of Judges, and I was curious to see if there was any correlation or relationship that the authors try to make there with wisdom.

Brad from Wisconsin (53:10):
My question came up about midway through the series, and it has to do with David. Does he play any role in the Wisdom Literature of the Bible, or is the major theme of wisdom attributed to Solomon exclusively? I see Solomon's portrayal of wisdom to be a piece of what it means to be an image bearer. Does King David share a similar motif?

Micah from Oregon (56:35):
Hi, my name is Micah Sharp. I'm from Newberg, Oregon. Here's my question. If we're switching from the wisdom literature to the classification of the books of Solomon, where does the book of Job now fit in the wider Hebrew Bible? Thank you.

Kayleigh from South Africa (1:02:47):
My question is about the Song of Songs. I was wondering if there's a connection between the two lovers in the Song of Songs who never get to fully consummate their love for each other and the New Jerusalem as a bride of the Lamb in Revelation? Could this be, in a sense, when the two lovers get to completely unite with each other in Revelation? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Find out more at www.thebibleproject.com

Show Resources:
Our video on How to Read the Books of Solomon: https://youtu.be/WJgt1vRkPbI
An Obituary for Wisdom Literature by Will Kynes

Show Music: Defender Instrumental by Tents

Show Produced by: Dan Gummel

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Jul 29, 2019
Did Jesus Really Think He Was God? - Feat. Dr. Crispin Fletcher-Louis
01:07:43

Crispin points out that in modern academia, it is often assumed that Christ didn’t
consider himself divine. Instead, academics consider that Christ’s divinity was
later imposed on him by the early church.
Crispin points to some weaknesses in this argument and offers some refreshing
critiques.
Included in his points are:
• The high priest is a new Adam.
• The high priest as “God’s image” is tied to the idea of the temple as a
microcosm.
• The high priest is, in a sense, “Israel.”
• Because the high priest is a representative of Israel, he is also a royal figure,
because one of the tribes of Israel is the royal line (the tribe of Judah).
• The high priest is an office, not a person.
About Dr. Fletcher-Louis:
Dr. Crispin Fletcher-Louis is a biblical scholar and teacher. He studied at Keble
College, Oxford as an undergraduate when E.P. Sanders and N.T. Wright were
University lecturers, and for his doctorate, under Chris Rowland (on angelology in
Luke’s Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles). He then taught in the Theology and
Religious Studies departments of King’s College, London, Durham University, and
Nottingham University. From 2004–2006 he served as Resident Theologian at St
Mary’s Bryanston Sq., a thriving church in Central London. With growing demand
for deeper theological teaching across the region, in 2006 he spearheaded the
creation of Westminster Theological Centre (WTC).
In July 2012 Crispin stepped down as Principal of WTC and is now engaged in
research, writing, and the development of new teaching material. He continues to
provide informal teaching to local churches and consultancy to businesses
interested in the optimization of material and spiritual value creation. His research
and teaching focuses on the overarching shape of the biblical story (its key
themes and theological questions). In particular, he writes about the nature of our
human identity and purpose, temple worship and spirituality, apocalyptic and
Jewish mysticism, Jesus’ identity (Christology) and the Gospel accounts of his life.
Crispin is currently engaged in a four-volume book writing project on Jesus and
the origins of the earliest beliefs about him (Jesus Monotheism). The first volume
(Jesus Monotheism. Volume 1. Christological Origins: The Emerging Consensus
and Beyond) (hard copy: Eugene, Or: Wipf & Stock; digital copy: Whymanity)
appeared in 2015.

There is a blog dedicated to the Jesus Monotheism project. For more on
Crispin’s academic work you can visit his webpage at academia.edu.
Crispin is married to Mary and has two children, Emily and Reuben.

Resources:
• http://www.whymanity.com/
• http://www.crispinfl.com
• http://jesusmonotheism.com/usd/
• https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Monotheism-Christological-Emerging-Consensus/dp/1620328895

Show Produced by: Dan Gummel

Show music:
• Defender Instrumental by Tents
• Acquired in Heaven by Beautiful Eulogy

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Jul 22, 2019
Solomon the Cynic & the Job You Never Knew - Wisdom E6
01:05:26

In part 1 (0-24:15), Tim and Jon discuss the book of Ecclesiastes. This book can most easily be
described as a portrait of “foolish Solomon,” who looks back at his accomplishments as failure
and hevel.

Tim points out that the start of the book begins by creating a “Solomon-like” persona.
Ecclesiastes 1:1
“The words of the preacher son of David, king in Jerusalem...” (NASB, ESV, KJV) “The words
of the teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem...” (NIV, NRSV)
However, there is a translation problem: This word does not mean “teacher” in the original
Hebrew. Hebrew noun (קהלת (qoheleth, from the verb qahal (קהל ,(meaning “to assemble,
convene.”

The Hebrew word is Qoheleth—the one who holds or convenes an assembly, i.e. the “leader of
the assembly” (Heb. qahal). So this word is best understood as an assembler or convener. The
word is also used in 1 Kings 8:1, “Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the
heads of the tribes... to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the city of David, which
is Zion. All the men of Israel assembled themselves to King Solomon at the feast.”
Tim’s point is that there are multiple leaders who assemble or convene Israel in the Bible.
Who holds assemblies in Israel’s story?
• Moses (Exod 35:1; Lev 8:1-3)
• David (1 Chron 13:5; 15:3; 28:1)
• Solomon (1 Kings 8:1; 2 Chron 5:2-3)
• Rehoboam (Solomon’s son, 1 Kings 12:21; 2 Chron 11:1)
• Asa (2 Chron 15:9-10)
• Jehoshaphat (2 Chron 20:3-5)
• Hezekiah (2 Chron 30:12-13)

Tim cites scholar Jennie Barbour for additional clarification:
“The name Qoheleth ‘the one who convenes the assembly’ is a label with royal associations—
after Moses, only kings summon all-Israelite assemblies, and those associations take in more
kings than just Solomon. Qoheleth’s name casts him as a royal archetype, not an ‘everyman’ so
much as an ‘everyking.’” (Jenny Barbour, The Story of Israel in the Book of Qoheleth, p. 25-26)
Any generation of Jerusalem’s kings could be called “son of David,” and the author tips his hat
in Ecclesiastes 2:9, “I increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem.” (And the only
person who reigned before him in Jerusalem was his father David.)
Tim explains that the jaded king-author of Ecclesiastes brings a realism in light of Genesis 3,
framing the world as life “under the sun,” or life outside of Eden. This king is realizing the curse
of Genesis 3: painful toil and dust to dust.

Tim further points out that Ecclesiastes offers a Solomon-like profile of the wealthy sons of
David, who discovered that riches, honor, power, and women do not bring the life of Eden.
Further, while many people assume that the descriptions solely describe the life of Solomon,
Tim points out that they also map very closely onto the life of Hezekiah.
Take a look at these two passages:

Ecclesiastes 2:4-8 I made great my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for
myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made
ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and
female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds more abundant
than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the
treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the
pleasures of men—many concubines.

Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 32:27-30 Now Hezekiah had immense riches and honor; and he
made for himself treasuries for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields and all kinds of
valuable articles, collection-houses also for the produce of grain, wine and oil, pens for all kinds
of cattle and sheepfolds for the flocks. He made cities for himself and acquired flocks and herds
in abundance, for God had given him very great wealth. It was Hezekiah who stopped the upper
outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them to the west side of the city of David. And
Hezekiah prospered in all his works.

Tim cites Jennie Barbour again:
“In all of these ways [building projects, riches, royal treasuries, pools, singers] the royal boast
in Eccles. 2:4-10 displays a king’s achievements in terms that show an author of the Second
Temple period reading an interpreting the earlier stories of Israel’s kings...the writer has pulled
together texts and motifs from Israel’s histories...to show that the paradigm king, Solomon, set
the mould that was continually replicated through the rest of Israel’s monarchy down to the
exile.” (Jennie Barbour, The Story of Israel in the Book of Qoheleth, 23-24)
In part 2 (24:15- 31:45), Jon asks how the narrative frame of Ecclesiastes being about all of
Israel’s kings—not just about Solomon—affects someone’s reading? Tim says he thinks it
makes the story more universal. All rulers and all humans struggle with the same things that
Solomon and other rulers have felt throughout history.

In part 3 (31:45-50:15), Tim and Jon turn their attention to the book of Job. Tim notes that he’s
recently learned of some new and fascinating layers to the book. Tim notes that Job is
positioned as a new type of Adam. He actually is portrayed as being righteous and upright. So
he’s an ideal wise person who has prospered during his life. Tim focuses on the beginning and
end of the book. Specifically the ending of the book, Tim finds new insights to ponder.
Tim notes that Job is portrayed as the righteous sufferer. Everything that has happened to him
is unfair. Then Tim dives into Job 42:7-10:
“And it came about after Yahweh had spoken these words to Job, and Yahweh said to Eliphaz
the Temanite, “My anger is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you
have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has. “And now, take for yourselves
seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for
yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will lift up his face so that I may not
commit an outrage with you, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant
Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went
and they did as Yahweh told them; and the Lord lifted the face of Job. And Yahweh restored
the fortunes of Job while he prayed on behalf of his companions, and Yahweh added to
everything that belonged to Job, two-fold.”

The operative phrase Tim focuses on is “while he prayed.” Tim says this is a better translation of
the original Hebrew phrase. Tim notes that it’s as if Job’s righteous suffering has uniquely
positioned him to intercede on behalf of his friends to God.
In part 4, (50:15-60:00) Tim shares a few quotes from scholar David Clines regarding Job’s
intercession in 42:10.

“[W]e must remember that Job has not yet been restored when the friends bring their request
to him for his prayer. He is presumably still on the ash-heap. He has no inkling that Yahweh

intends to reverse his fortunes. All he knows is that he is still suffering at Yahweh’s hand, and, if
it is difficult for the friends to acknowledge the divine judgment against them, it must be no less
difficult for Job to accept this second-hand instruction to offer prayer for people he must be
totally disenchanted with; he certainly owes them nothing... Is this yet another ‘test’ that Job
must undergo before he is restored?
“The wording of Job 42:10 makes it seem as if Job’s restoration is dependent on his prayer on their behalf, as if his last trial of all will be to take his stand on the side of his ‘torturer-
comforters.’ It is true that this prayer is the first selfless act that Job has performed since his misfortunes overtook him—not that we much begrudge him the self-centeredness that has
dominated his speech throughout the book. Perhaps his renewed orientation to the needs of
others is the first sign that he has abandoned his inward-looking mourning and is ready to
accept consolation. In any case, in the very act of offering his prayer on the friends’ behalf his
own restoration is said to take effect: the Hebrew says, “Yahweh restored the fortunes of Job
while he was praying for his friends” (not, as most versions, “when (or after) he had prayed for
his friends”).” David J. A. Clines, Job 38–42, vol. 18B, Word Biblical Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2011), 1235.

Tim notes that the point of the story of Job is that he suffers unfairly, but the righteous sufferer is
someone that God elevates to a place of authority, someone who God listens to when they
intercede for others.

In part 5 (60:00-end), Tim and Jon briefly recap the series as a whole.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Send us your questions for our Wisdom Q+R! You can email your audio question to
info@jointhebibleproject.com.

Show Produced by: Dan Gummel, Tim Mackie

Show music:

Defender Instrumental by Tents
Sunshine by Seneca B Surf Report by
Cloudchord
Soul Food Horns levitating by intention_ In Your Heart by Distant.Io

Show Resources:

Jennie Barbour, The Story of Israel in the Book of Qoheleth.
David J. A. Clines, Job 38–42, vol. 18B, Word Biblical Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson,
2011).

The Bible Project video: How to Read the Wisdom Books of the Bible (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJgt1vRkPbI)

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Jul 15, 2019
Destined for Glory - Feat. Dr. Haley Jacob
00:57:31

Welcome to this special episode of The Bible Project podcast! In this episode, Tim and Jon sit down with theologian and scholar Dr. Haley Goranson Jacob and discuss her book, Conformed to the Image of His Son: Reconsidering Paul's Theology of Glory in Romans.

Haley is an assistant professor of Theology at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington.

The guys and Haley discuss different lenses used to understand Paul’s theology around the word “glory” and different ideas of what it means to become Christlike.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Show Resources:
Haley's book:
https://www.ivpress.com/conformed-to-the-image-of-his-son
Haley’s bio: https://www.whitworth.edu/cms/academics/theology/newsletter/profiles/haley-goranson/

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents

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Jul 11, 2019
Song of Songs: Semi-Erotic Love Poetry - Wisdom E5
01:04:39

In part 1(0-15:50), the guys discuss the first major question about this book: Is Song of Songs truly wisdom literature?

Tim notes that there are multiple levels of interpretation. The most obvious one views Song of Songs as semi-erotic love poetry. While this isn’t wrong, Tim notes that a deeper reading can metaphorically map the man and woman’s sexual love for one another onto the human pursuit and quest for wisdom.

Jon says that this view of interpreting Song of Songs is new to him. The reason, Tim notes, is because modern biblical scholarship often tends to see only what it wants to see. Tim adds that multiple historical scholars note the double and triple meanings throughout the book.

In part 2 (15:50-33:30), the guys dive into the book. Tim outlines a few basic facts about the book: 

•	The poems go back and forth between a man and woman: The man is called “king” (1:4, 12) and “shepherd” (1:7).
•	The name “Solomon” is never marked as a speaker, and the main question is whether the lover (“my beloved”), who is called “king” and “shepherd,” is Solomon or a distinct figure. Notice the word “beloved” (dod, דוד), spelled with the same letters as “David” (דוד), who was both a king and shepherd (whereas Solomon was only a king).
•	The woman is called “whom I love” and “the Shulamite” (which is the feminine of Solomon’s name. It would be similar in English to “Daniel” and “Danielle”).

Tim cites Roland Murphy:

“On one level, the [Song of Songs] is a collection of love songs. However, as edited [to be part of the Hebrew Bible], do these poems have a wisdom-character on another level of understanding? First, there is the fact that ancient Jewish tradition...attributed this work to Solomon (Song 1:1)... it was mean to be read as a work in the Solomonic wisdom tradition… [T]here is an affinity between wisdom and eros in the wisdom literature. The quest for wisdom is a quest for the beloved…. The language and imagery used to describe the pursuit of Lady Wisdom [in Proverbs 1-9] are drawn from the experience of love. The Song of Songs speaks of love between a man and a woman...it is by that very fact open to a wisdom interpretation. Wisdom is to be “found” (Prov 3:13; 8:17, 35), just as one “finds” a good wife (Prov 18:22; 31:10).... [Both] Wisdom and a wife are called “favor from the Lord” (Prov 8:35 and 18:22). The sage advises the youth to “obtain Wisdom,” to love and embrace her (Prov 4:6-8). The youth is to say, “Wisdom, you are my sister” (Prov 7:4), just as the beloved in the Song of Songs is called “my sister (Song 4:9-5:1)... It is precisely the link between eros and wisdom that opens the Song of Songs to another level of understanding. While it is not ‘wisdom literature,’ its echoes reach beyond human sexual love to remind one of the love of Lady Wisdom…” (Roland Murphy, The Tree of Life: An Exploration of Biblical Wisdom Literature, pp. 106-107.)

In part 3 (33:30-47:00), Jon notes with this interpretation that the female character is the “divine” character. In most popular interpretations, Solomon is closer to the Christ figure, and the woman is as the Church—making the male the “divine” character.

Tim then dives into the literary design of the book. The Song is designed as a symmetry (see the work of Cheryl Exum and William Shea).

The Literary Macrostructure of Song of Songs:

1:2-2:7 Mutual Love
B. 2:8-17 Coming and Going
C. 3:1-5 Dream 1: Lost and Found
D. 3:6-11 Praise of Groom 1
E. 4:1-7 Praise of Bride 1
F. 4:8-15 Praise of Bride 2
G. 4:16 Invitation by Bride
G. Acceptance and Invitation by Groom and Divine Approbation
C. 5:2-8 Dream 2: Found and Lost
D. 5:9-6:3 Praise of Groom 2
E. 6:4-12 Praise of Bride 3
F. 7:1 Praise of Bride 4
B. 7:11-8:2 Going and Coming
8:3-14 Mutual Love

(Chart by Richard M. Davidson)

Tim points out that the first half explores the engagement, passion, and constant desire and pursuit of the lovers, though their embrace is cut short multiple times. The second half mirrors the first, but this time it depicts the royal wedding of Solomon and his Solomon-ess bride. The beloved is described in precisely the language of Lady Wisdom in Proverbs 1-9, the God-given wife in Proverbs 5, and the woman of valor in Proverbs 31 (see Claudia Camp, Wisdom and the Feminine in the Book of Proverbs).

Verses like this can show how the corresponding language maps onto each other.

Lady Wisdom in Proverbs

Proverbs 4:5-9
“Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

The Beloved in Song of Songs
Song 2:3-4, 6
“Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
So is my beloved among the young men.
In his shade I took great delight and sat down,
And his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He has brought me to his banquet hall,
And his banner over me is love….
Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”

Song 3:11
“Go forth, O daughters of Zion,
And gaze on King Solomon with the crown
With which his mother has crowned him
On the day of his wedding,
And on the day of his gladness of heart.”

Tim notes that conversely, the beloved is also described in the language of the wayward woman in Proverbs 1-9.

Wayward woman of Proverbs 1-9

Proverbs 5:3
“For the lips of the strange woman drip with honey (נפת תטפנה שפתי זרה), and her mouth (חך) is smoother than oil.”

Proverbs 7:6, 8
“The strange woman... the foreign woman whose words are smooth… A man passes through the street (שוק), and takes the way (דרך) to her house.

Proverbs 7:13, 15, 17
“She grabs him and kisses him… ‘Therefore I have come out to meet you, to seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you…. I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloe, and cinnamon.’”

Compare those verses with the beloved in Song of Songs.

Song 4:11
“O bride, your lips drip with honey (נפת תטפנה שפתותיך), honey and fat are under your tongue…”

Song 3:2
“I arose and went around in the city, in the streets and squares, I sought the one my being loves…”

Songs 3:1, 4
“On my bed at night, I sought the one my being loves, I sought him but could not find him… No sooner did I pass by them, then I found the one my being loves, and grabbed him and I did not let go….”

Songs 1:16
“Behold, your beauty my companion...behold your beauty my beloved, so lovely, indeed our couch is luxuriant.”

What is the point? It’s as if the beloved represented the healing of the wayward woman into one ultimate lover. The ideal Solomon is converted from a lover of many women into a lover of one, reversing the fall of Adam and Eve, Yahweh and Israel, Solomon and his many wives. Lady Wisdom (who we met in Proverbs) is finally embraced by the son of David. She is constantly searching for her lover (as Lady Wisdom searches in Prov. 1-9).

In part 4 (47:00-52:30), Jon comments that to him, the human sexual drive is confusing, especially when viewed in a Christian lens. How do you map a biological longing for sex onto a book like Song of Songs?

Tim says that the desire is sexual, but it’s also more than sexual. It’s a desire to know and be known., to become one with something and someone. It’s a desire for unity. Humanity’s desire for sex, Tim compares, is analogous to our desire for wisdom and unity.

In part 5 (52:30-end), Tim cites scholar Peter Leithart as a helpful resource to learn more about Song of Songs. Tim closes the episode with a quote from scholar Ellen Davis:

“Loss of intimacy is exactly what happened in Eden. Eden was the place where God was most intimate with humanity. Witness God “taking a walk in the garden in the breezy part of the day” (Gen. 3:8), obviously expecting to have the humans for company, and calling out—“Where are you?”—when they do not appear. There is good reason to imagine that God intended to impart wisdom to humanity on those walks, little by little. But when Eve and Adam disregarded God and tried the direct route to “knowledge of good and evil,” the immediate result was not literal death. Rather, it was distrust breaking into the relationship between God and humanity. It was blame erupting between man and woman (Gen. 3:12) and the onset of a long-term imbalance of power between them (Gen. 3:16). It was a curse on the fertile soil and enmity between the woman’s seed and the snake’s (Gen. 3:15, 17).... The exile from Eden represents the loss of intimacy in three primary spheres of relationship: between God and humanity, between woman and man, and between human and nonhuman creation. Correspondingly, the Song uses language to evoke a vision of healing in all three areas. More accurately, it reuses language from other parts of Scripture; verbal echoes explicitly connect the garden of the lovers with the two earlier gardens, that of Eden and of Israel’s temple.” (Ellen Davis, “Reading the Song of Songs Iconographically,” pg. 179)

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show Resources: 
• Peter Leithart Podcasts on Song of Songs (https://www.theopolispodcast.com/episodes)
• Ellen Davis, “Reading the Song of Songs Iconographically”
• Claudia Camp, Wisdom and the Feminine in the Book of Proverbs
• Cheryl Exum, Song of Songs: A Commentary
• Roland Murphy, The Tree of Life: An Exploration of Biblical Wisdom Literature

Show Music: 
• Defender Instrumental by Tents
• Identity by B-Side
• albatros by plusma
• faces by knowmadic
• Aerocity by Cold Weather Kids
• Some music brought to you by the generous folks at chillhop music. Chillhop.com

Show Produced by: Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

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Jul 08, 2019
Proverbs: Lady Wisdom & Lady Folly - Wisdom E4
00:45:44

In part 1 (start-17:45), the guys briefly recap the series so far. Jon summarizes by saying that the overarching theme is the human calling to rule, as outlined in the Genesis and garden of Eden narrative. The question is, will humans rule wisely or foolishly?

In part 2 (17:45-27:00), Tim and Jon discuss how Proverbs lays out two paths, which are the same two paths outlined in Genesis. A person can either choose to live wisely, depicted as listening to “Lady Wisdom,” or a person can choose to live foolishly, depicted as listening to “Lady Folly.”

Early in Proverbs, the “Solomon” narrator warns the “seed of David” about how to live in the fear of Yahweh and discover true wisdom. The wise and righteous man embraces Lady Wisdom (Proverbs 1, 3, 8, 9).

The goal of finding “a woman of valor” (Prov. 5, 31) avoids the wicked and violent man, avoids Lady Folly (Prov. 9), and avoids the “wayward woman” (characterized as an adulteress).

Tim notes that there are four speeches each that talk about Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly, for a total of eight speeches. The components of these speeches are designed to mirror each other.

In part 3 (27:00-39:00), Tim outlines Proverbs 9, which is an example of the two women mirroring each other.

Proverbs 9:1-6
"Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine;
She has also set her table;
She has sent out her maidens, she calls
From the tops of the high places of the city:
‘Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!’
To him who lacks understanding she says,
‘Come, eat of my bread
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
‘Forsake your folly and live,
And proceed in the way of understanding.’”

Proverbs 9:13-18
“The woman of folly is boisterous,
She is naive and knows nothing.
She sits at the doorway of her house,
On a seat by the high places of the city,
Calling to those who pass by,
Who are making their paths straight:
‘Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,’
And to him who lacks understanding she says,
‘Stolen water is sweet;
And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’
But he does not know that the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of Sheol.”

Tim notes that accepting divine wisdom is the way to discover the blessings of Eden. Consider Proverbs 3:

Proverbs 3:1-8, 13-18
“My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from ra’.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.”

“How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
She is more precious than jewels;
And nothing you desire compares with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast."

Tim cites Proverbs 3 because he notes that the wise woman metaphorically becomes the tree of life. This maps onto the Garden of Eden narrative. Tim says that the book of Proverbs is designed to be a reflection on Genesis 1-3.

In part 4 (39:00-end), Tim outlines Proverbs 31. Tim notes that the woman outlined here could be said to be a sort of real-life version of the metaphoric “Lady Wisdom” depicted earlier in the book. Tim notes that while Proverbs views the pursuit of wisdom from a male perspective of choosing between two metaphorical women, the next book, Song of Songs, flips it, and views the pursuit of wisdom from a female perspective.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Send us your questions for our upcoming Q+R on the Wisdom books in the Bible! Please include an audio recording of your question (about 20 seconds or so) and make sure to include your name and where you're from. Email questions with attached audio files to info@jointhebibleproject.com

Show Resources:
www.thebibleproject.com

Show Music:
• Defender Instrumental by Tents
• Hideout by Tesk
• Sandalwood by J. Roosevelt
• Mind Your Time by Me.So
Some music brought you by the generosity of Chillhop Music.

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Powered and distributed by Simplecast.

Jul 01, 2019
Solomon: The Wisest of the Fools - Wisdom E3
01:00:51

Welcome to our third episode discussing the theme of Wisdom in the bible.

In this episode, Tim and Jon zoom in on the character Solomon. Was Solomon really the wisest person who ever lived?

In part 1 (0-8:30), Tim and Jon quickly recap the conversation so far. Tim explains how the English word “help” is inadequate when used to describe Eve’s or woman’s role in relationship to Adam. Instead of an unnecessary addition, it’s more of an essential completion, even a “saving” role that the woman fills. Tim also explains that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil isn’t the perfect translation in the Hebrew. More accurately, it’s “the knowledge of the tree of good and bad.”

In part 2 (8:30-19:20), Tim begins to trace the human story after Adam and Eve, through Abraham and arriving at Solomon. Tim says that God promises to restore the blessing of Eden to all humanity through the family of Abraham.

Here is God’s promise to Abraham:

Genesis 12:1-3
“And I will make of you a great nation,
and I will bless you,
and make your name great,
so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and him who curses you I will curse;
and in you will be blessed all the families of the earth.”

Genesis 12:7
“The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your seed I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.”

In Genesis 16, God promises Abraham and Sarah seed and land to be a blessing to the nations. But when they’re unable to have a child, they turn to their own wisdom and power. This is a clear design pattern from the fall narrative of Genesis 3. See below the breakdown of this passage and it’s reflection of the the Eden story.

Genesis 16:1-2 tells us, “Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar.” So Sarai says to Abram, “Go now into my female servant, perhaps I will be built up from her.”

(This language of being “built” from Hagar suspiciously reminds us of Genesis 2:22, “and Yahweh God built the side which he took from the human into a woman, and he brought her to the man.”)

Genesis 16:2b
“…and Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.”

(In Genesis 3:17, God says to Adam, “Because you listened to the voice of your wife…”)

Genesis 16:3-4
“Sarai, the wife of Abram, took Hagar the Egyptian her female slave… and she gave her to Abram her husband as a wife (Gen. 3:6, “and she gave also to her husband with her”). And he went into her and she became pregnant and she saw that (ותרא כי) she was pregnant, and her mistress became less in her eyes” (Gen. 3:6, “When the woman saw that [ותרא] the tree was good…”).

Genesis 16:6
“And Abram said to Sarai, ‘Look, your female slave is in your hand. Do to her what is good in your eyes (טוב בעיניך).’

(Gen. 3:6, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes…”).

Genesis 16:6b-7
“So Sarah oppressed her, and Hagar fled from before her. And the angel of Yahweh found her by a spring of waters in the wilderness.”

(Gen. 3:24, “So [God] drove the man out….”)

In Genesis 22, when God provides a son from Sarah, God demands his life. God does not take lightly to the oppression of Egyptian slaves (the entire Exodus slavery is an inverted consequence for this sin). Also because of this sin, Ishmael is cast out from Abraham’s family, which grieves God, so he demands that Abraham give Isaac back to him.

God is looking for people who will trust Yahweh’s word and command over their own wisdom, that will reverse the folly and fear of Adam and Eve. The first character to demonstrate this Abraham in Genesis 22:4-6:

“And Abraham lifted his eyes (עיניו) and he saw (וירא)… and he took (ויקח) in his hand the fire and the knife/eater(מאכלת), and the two of them (שניהם) walked on together (יחדו).”

This releases the blessing of Eden through Abraham’s fear of Yahweh out into the nations.

Genesis 22:15-18
"Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have listened My voice.”

The point is this: When humans don’t live by their own wisdom regarding good and bad, but instead trust God’s wisdom and obey his commands (the fear of the Lord), it leads to blessing and life. This is true wisdom: to live in the fear of the Lord.

In part 3 (19:20-36:45), Tim begins to outline the story of Solomon.

Tim says Solomon is presented as a new Adam. He has an opportunity to rule the world, and he actually asks God to give him wisdom to rule. Solomon is a complex character, depicted as both a new, ideal Adam—but also as a failed, foolish Adam. In one narrative thread, he is depicted as a new Adam/Abraham, meeting God in a new high-place, and living by God’s wisdom/Torah.

1 Kings 3:3-15
“Now Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David... The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, ‘Ask what you wish me to give you.’

“Then Solomon said, ‘You have shown great covenant love to Your servant David my father...You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know to go out or come in.

“‘Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant a heart that listens in order to govern Your people, in order to discern between good (Heb. tov) and bad (Heb. ra’). For who is able to govern this great people of Yours?’”

“It was good (tov) in the eyes of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to hear justice, behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a heart of wisdom and discernment, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.’ Then Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream.”

Tim shows how Solomon was blessed after he began to walk in the fear of the lord.

1 Kings 4:20-21, 25, 29-34
“Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance; they were eating and drinking and rejoicing. Now Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life….”

“So Judah and Israel lived in safety, every man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.”

“Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was known in all the surrounding nations. He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that grows on the wall; he spoke also of beasts and birds and creepers and fish (do you hear Genesis 1 in there?). Men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom."

Solomon is portrayed as a new Adam, wisely ruling a garden with trees for everyone, fruitful and multiplying, boundaries expanded to Eden-like proportions. He knows the plants, beasts, birds, and creepers. He is more wise than “all the sons of the East” (link to the book of Job). He spoke thousands of proverbs (link to the book of Proverbs). He wrote over a thousand songs (link to Song of Songs).

Tim’s point is that Solomon is beginning to to fulfill the original call of mankind to rule wisely. However, Solomon’s story has another side as well.

In part 4 (36:45-52:50), Tim outlines the foolish side of Solomon’s life. Solomon enslaved people to help him build Jerusalem up. He imported and exported arms, chariots and horses to other countries. He had hundreds of wives and concubines. Solomon demonstrates wisdom but isn’t fully committed to following the laws of Yahweh.

1 Kings 5:13-17
“Now King Solomon levied forced laborers from all Israel; and the forced laborers numbered 30,000 men. He sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in relays; they were in Lebanon a month and two months at home. And Adoniram was over the forced laborers. Now Solomon had 70,000 transporters, and 80,000 hewers of stone in the mountains, besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief deputies who were over the project and who ruled over the people who were doing the work. Then the king commanded, and they quarried great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with cut stones.”

1 Kings 9:17, 19
“So Solomon rebuilt Gezer and the lower Beth-horon... and all the storage cities which Solomon had, even the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen….”

Solomon, for all his wisdom, implemented policies which directly violated the laws of the king as outlined in the Torah.

Deuteronomy 17:15-20
“you shall surely set a king over you whom Yahweh your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman. Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since Yahweh has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’ He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.

“Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this Torah on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear Yahweh his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.

Tim has found scholar Daniel Hays to be helpful here:

“We as readers are given a tour of a fantastic, spectacular and opulent mansion, the house of Solomon. Everywhere we look we see wealth and abundance. However, without changing the inflection of his voice the tour guide also points out places where the façade has cracked, revealing a very different structure. Continuing with the standard speech which glorifies the building, the guide nonetheless makes frequent side comments (forced labor, store cities, horses from Egypt, foreign marriages) that make clear that his glowing praise for the structure is not really his honest opinion of the facility, and he wants us also to see the truth. Finally, at the end of the tour in chapters 11, he can restrain himself no more, and he tells us plainly that the building is basically a fraud, covered with a thin veneer of glitz and hoopla, and soon will collapse under its own weight. This is the manner in which the narrator of 1 Kings leads us on a tour of the House of Solomon.” (Daniel Hays, “Narrative Subtlety in 1 Kings 1-11: Does the narrative praise or bury Solomon?”)

Tim points out that Solomon violates every rule that Israel’s king was supposed to follow. A Bible reader should ask why the narrator is giving us a dual portrait of Solomon?

In the New Testament, Jesus says, “something greater than Solomon is here.” (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31). Jesus positioned himself as the true example of the ideal human who learns wisdom correctly by learning from Yahweh God.

In part 5 (52:50-end), the guys discuss the seeming asymmetry of male and female portrayals in the Bible. Why is it that a woman is portrayed as a “wise and foolish woman” in Proverbs? Why are women often portrayed with seductive and illicit behavior?

Tim points out that throughout history, men have been the ones translating the Bible, so they have default and built-in blind spots to understanding and accurately portraying a better view of man and woman’s portrayal in the original Hebrew context.

Tim notes that women have been making great strides in contributing to and furthering academic and scholastic work on biblical texts and that their voices need to be heard.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show Resources: 
• www.thebibleproject.com
• J. Daniel Hays, “Narrative Subtlety in 1 Kings 1-11: Does the narrative praise or bury Solomon?”

Show Music:
• Roads by LiQwyd
• Yesterday on Repeat by Vexento
• Moon by LeMMino
• self reflection by less.people
• Defender Instrumental by Tents
Some music for this episode brought to you by the generosity of Chill Hop Music.

Show Produced by: 
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

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Jun 24, 2019
The Jesus Creed - Feat. Dr. Scot McKnight
01:08:43

In part one (0:00-12:00), the guys discuss Scot’s academic background and writing habits.

In part two (12:00-27:10), Tim shares how important Scot’s book, Interpreting The Synoptic Gospels, has been to him.

In part three (27:10-39:30), the guys talk about Scot's most well-known book, Jesus Creed.

In part four (39:30-54:10), Tim shares his thoughts on Scot’s book, A Community Called Atonement.

In part five (54:10-end), Tim shares how impactful Scott's book, A Fellowship of Differents, has been to him

Show Resources:

Scot's Wikipedia page with links to all his books:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scot_McKnight
Scot's bio:
https://www.seminary.edu/faculty/scot-mcknight/
Scot's podcast, Kingdom Roots:
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/kingdom-roots-with-scot-mcknight/id1078739516

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel

Show music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
The Truth about Flight, Love, and BB Guns, Foreknown
Bird in Hand, Foreknown
Excellent, Beautiful Eulogy
Scream Pilots, Moby

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Jun 20, 2019
The Tree of Knowing Good & Bad - Wisdom E2
00:48:52

In part 1 (0-19:15), Tim and Jon quickly review the last episode. Tim says the entire scriptural
canon is to be viewed as “wisdom literature,” but the books that specifically pertain to Solomon,
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Job are considered to be the classic wisdom
books.
Then they dive into examining the trees in the garden of Eden. Specifically the “Tree of the
Knowledge of Good and Evil.” Tim notes that the Hebrew word radoesn’t necessarily imply “evil;” it only means “bad.” Tim shares some other examples of the Hebrew word ra in the Bible.
Good/Bad condition or quality:
Jeremiah 24:1-2
the Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed in front of the temple of the Lord. One basket
had very tov figs, like those that ripen early; the other basket had very ra’ figs, so ra’ they could
not be eaten.
Proverbs 25:19
a ra’ tooth and an unsteady foot, is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.
Pleasant/unpleasant, beneficial/harmful:
1 Kings 5:4
But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no enemy or ra’.
Judges 16:25
It so happened when they were tov of heart, that they said, “Call for Samson, that he may
amuse us.” So they called for Samson from the prison, and he entertained them. And they made
him stand between the pillars.
Ecclesiastes: 2:16-17
For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both
have been forgotten. Like the fool, the wise too must die! So I hated life, because the work that
is done under the sun was ra’ to me.
Tim’s point is that to use the English word “evil” loads in too many ideas about moral issues
between good and evil. Because of this, a more accurate translation would be “the tree of the
knowledge of good and bad.”
In part 2 (19:15-30:00), Tim notes that Adam and Eve are depicted as being in their moral
infancy in the garden. They don’t know what is right and wrong. They need God to teach them
how to be wise and how to choose what is right from wrong. Here are some other passages that
use the Hebrew phrase “tov and ra’” or “good and bad” to illustrate this moral infancy in the
Bible.
“Knowing tov and ra’” is a sign of maturity. The phrase appears elsewhere to describe children:
Deuteronomy 1:39
“...your little ones... and your sons, who today do not know good or evil, shall enter there, and I
will give it to them and they shall possess it.
1 Kings 3:7-9
“Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am

but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. So give Your servant a heart that
listens, to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this
great people of Yours?”
Isaiah 7:15-16
“[Immanuel] will eat curds and honey at the time He knows to refuse evil and choose good. For
before the boy will know to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread
will be forsaken.
The narrative in Genesis 1-2 has shown that God knows what is “pleasant/beneficial,” and he
will provide tov (the woman) when something is not tov (man being alone), that is, ra’. So the
tree represents a choice: Will they live with God, allowing him to know/define tov and ra’?
Presumably they need this knowledge as they mature, but the question is who will teach it to
them? Will they learn from watching God’s knowledge at work?
Adam and Eve are portrayed as “children.” The tree of knowing tov and ra’ represents two
options or modes for how to know and experience tov and ra’: Will they “take” this knowledge for
themselves, so that they “become like elohim,” knowing what is tov and ra’? Or instead, will they
allow God to teach them wisdom? The gift of God to the man and woman became the means of
the downfall. Instead of waiting for God to teach them “knowing good and bad,” they chose to
take it for themselves, in their own time and way.
Genesis 3:6
When the woman saw that the tree [of knowing good and bad] was good for food, and that it
was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise (Heb. śekel), she
took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
“Wisdom” = śekel (להשכיל:(
“śekel refers to a kind of wisdom. Its core meaning is “insight,” the ability to grasp the meanings
or implications of a situation or message. Śekel is consequently discernment or prudence, the
ability to understand practical matters and interpersonal relations and make beneficial decisions.
It later comes to include intellectual understanding and unusual expertise.” (Michael V. Fox,
Proverbs 1–9: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, vol. 18A, Anchor Yale
Bible [New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2008], 36.)
In part 3 (30:00-39:45), Tim and Jon discuss the fallout of Adam and Eve’s decision to eat from
the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. When God holds “trial” with Adam and Eve, their
response is to “fear” Yahweh, but in a way that drive them away from him.
Genesis 3:8-10
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man
and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the
sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
Then they blame each other: man and woman, united in their rebellion and divided by the
fallout.
Genesis 3:16
“Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”
This is the opposite of the ideal vision in Genesis 1:26-28 where man and woman rule together.
The two are no longer one, but rather two, trying to gain leverage over one another.
In part 4 (39:45-end), the guys discuss how God acts mercifully after Adam and Eve eat of the
tree. Tim then starts to look forward to the stories of Solomon and how it hyperlinks back to the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show Resources:
Michael V. Fox, Proverbs 1–9: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, vol.
18A, Anchor Yale Bible (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2008), 36.

Show Music:
• Defender Instrumental
• The Size of Sin by Beautiful Eulogy
• Come Alive by Beautiful Eulogy
• The Size of Grace by Beautiful Eulogy

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Powered and distributed by SimpleCast.

Jun 17, 2019
The Quest for Wisdom - Wisdom E1
00:46:04

In part one (0:00-15:20), Tim goes over what books are considered wisdom literature: Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs.

Tim says there are different ways to classify the books in the Bible, but the books are primarily grouped into two categories.

Wisdom of King Solomon
-Proverbs
-Ecclesiastes
-Song of Songs

The themes of wisdom, the "good life," and the fear of the Lord
-Proverbs
-Ecclesiastes
-Job

In part two (15:20-31:50), Tim clarifies exactly what wisdom literature is. In short: the entire Hebrew Bible. Tim uses Psalm 119:98-99 and 2 Timothy 3:15 to illustrate this point.

Psalm 119:98-99:
"Your instructions make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation."

2 Timothy 3:15:
“From childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Tim points out that the entire Bible can be used to gain wisdom. Jon says that there are many different lenses to view the Bible through. Seeing it as a book of wisdom is perhaps a very universal one.

The guys discuss how messy life is, just like the book of Genesis is messy. Humans in their desire to live are constantly faced with difficult choices.

Tim shares a quote from Rolan Murphy:
“Within the Hebrew Bible, the wisdom literature is exciting, because it deals directly with life. The sages of Israel were concerned with the present, how to cope with the challenges provoked by one’s immediate experience… The choice between life and death which Moses dramatically places before Israel in Deuteronomy 30:15-30 is re-echoed in the sages emphasis on wisdom that leads to life. The life-death situation is expressed in the image of the “tree of life.” Proverbs 3:18: “Wisdom is a tree of life to those who grasp her; how fortunate are those who embrace her.” This image is well-known from its appearance in Genesis: the first dwellers in the garden were kept from that tree lest they live forever (Genesis 2:9, 3:22-24). In a vivid turn of metaphor, wisdom in Proverbs has become the tree of life and is personified as a woman: “Long life is in her right hand, in her left, wealth and honor. She boasts that the one who finds find life (Prov 8:35) and the one who fails is ultimately in love with death (Prov 8:36)... One must hear wisdom obediently, but one must also pray for the gift that she is…. Embracing the gift of wisdom is precarious, however, because, according to the sages, we are easily deceived: “There is more hope for a fool, than for those who are wise in their own eyes” (Prov 26:12)” -- Roland Murphy, The Tree of Life: An Exploration of Biblical Wisdom Literature, pp. Ix-x.

In part three (31:50-40:20), Tim dives into Genesis 1-3 and discusses the human quest for wisdom.

Tim notes that you can trace the thread of God discerning what is “good and bad” in the creation narrative:

God is the provider with all knowledge of “good and bad” (tov and ra in Hebrew). God the creator provides all that is “good” (Heb. tov). Seven times in Genesis 1 "God saw that it was tov.” God is the first one to identify something as “not good:” a lonely human in the garden. God sees the problem and asks how humanity can “be fruitful and multiply and fill the land and rule the creatures” alone, and sees the need for human companionship.

In part four (40:20-end), the guys continue the conversation. What does God do? He "splits the adam" and creates man and woman.

Genesis 2:21-25:
"So Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the human, and he slept; then He took one of his sides and closed the flesh at that place. And the Yahweh God built the side which He had taken from the human into a woman, and brought her to the man. The human said,
'This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman [issah]
Because she was taken out of [ish].'
For this reason, a ish shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his isshah; and they shall become one flesh. And the two of them were naked, the adam and his wife and were not ashamed."

Tim notes that God provides humans with what they cannot give themselves: blessing, fruitfulness, and dominion over the land (Gen 1:26-28). God divides the human in half (the word means "side" in Hebrew) and makes two humans who are unique and yet designed to become one. This relationship of man and woman becoming one, with no shame, no powerplays, no oppression, to know and be known in pure naked vulnerability before God and before one another, nothing hidden, everything revealed and loved, this is Eden. And Eden is where humans become kings and queens of creation.

Show Resources:
Roland Murphy, The Tree of Life: An Exploration of Biblical Wisdom Literature, pp. Ix-x.
Derick Kidner, The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job & Ecclesiastes
William P. Brown, Wisdom's Wonder: Character, Creation, and Crisis in the Bible's Wisdom Literature

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Drug Police, Moby
Heal My Sorrows, Beautiful Eulogy
Where Peace and Rest are Found, Beautiful Eulogy

Show produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Jun 10, 2019
Law Q&R - Law E6
00:56:32

Tim and Jon respond to several questions, listed below.

Isaiah from Georgia (1:40):
Hey Jon and Tim! My name is Isaiah and I am from Lawrenceville, Georgia. I have a question concerning biblical law and God's nature. I've talked to some friends on this issue for some time, and their view is that God's nature was not fully revealed in the Old Testament. So God's will was not fully revealed. They believe this is why the Israelites thought they had to live under the law. They use Paul's writings to back that up. They also believe that the New Testament is the full revelation of God and his nature. And so we can see his full intent was to have a personal relationship instead of a list of rules to follow. What would you say to this worldview and why it should be changed?

Rich from New York (13:10):
I'm a pastor in upstate New York. Your series on the law is just outstanding. And yet I have a question. As you folks talked about the common law understanding of law that existed until the last few centuries, I found myself wondering about the understanding of law among the Pharisees of the first century, for example. It seems that their understanding wasn't just that the mosaic law was a snapshot in time but that it described how the law needed to be lived out in any age, whatever possible, more like statutory law. Or am I wrong about that?

Victoria from Tennessee (21:45):
Hey Tim and Jon, this is Victoria in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I've been really inspired by this conversation about the law, particularly the relationships of the New Testament to the Old Testament. I'm sure you're getting here, but I wanted to ask how we’re asked to understand our broad call to obedience when Jesus says something like in Matthew 5, “therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” What commands is he referring to, and is the spirit of the law or commands a filter for interpretation, or is there a place where we need to draw a line in the sand? Thanks.

Joe from Cleveland (22:15):
What I’m still at tension with are Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:18-19 where he states not a dot or iota will pass away from the law, and those who relax the least of these will be least in heaven. It seems we had agreed the Hebrew Torah showed itself to be flexible and not necessarily the final word in judicial cases. I interpret Jesus “dot and iota” statement as a more literal or explicit command to the letter of the law so to speak. Does Jesus’ statement raise that tension for you or is there another way of understanding it?

Petra from the Netherlands (39:30):

Hi Tim and Jon my name is Petra, I'm from the Netherlands. A lot of people consider the law as a guidance to obey God and to eternal life. As I have listened to your podcast, I get the assumption that you do not agree with that way of seeing the law, which I understand. What are your thoughts about a practical way to obey God through the Holy Spirit, by the Law, what are your thoughts about that? Thank you, bye!

Laura from Iowa: (47:20)

Is it important to differentiate between passages that are referring to the 611 laws, the Torah, the whole Old Testament, or the entirety of Scripture? And if that's important, how can an average Bible reader go about this?

Show Music: Defender Instrumental by Tents

Show Produced by: Dan Gummel

Check out all our resources at www.thebibleproject.com
Our video on how to read biblical law: https://youtu.be/Sew1kBIe-W0

Jun 03, 2019
Jesus Fulfills the Law - Law E5
00:48:26

In part one (0:00-25:30), the guys discuss the series so far, and Tim dives into the final two perspectives to keep in mind when reading biblical law. The fifth perspective is that the purpose of the covenant laws is fulfilled in Jesus and the Spirit.

The dual role of the laws––to condemn and to point the way to true life––is fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and in the coming of the Spirit to Jesus’ new covenant people. Jesus was the first obedient human and the faithful Israelite who fulfilled the law yet bore the curse of humanity's punishment so that others could have life and the status of covenant righteousness. Tim references Matthew 5:17-20:

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Tim notes that Jesus is the embodiment of the point of the law, the ideal person who doesn’t need the law because they are abiding with Yahweh by nature.

In part two (25:30-35:00), Tim asks who or what is being punished on the cross. Tim references Romans 8:3:

“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

Tim notes that Paul doesn’t mean that God hated humanity and punished Jesus instead of punishing humanity. Instead, God loved humanity in its weakness and failure and punished sin and condemned sin through Jesus dying on the cross.

Tim notes that Paul thinks of sin as a cosmic tyrant. It's not just an individual problem, but a problem of essential mode existence for the world. The law, or divine command, was supposed to be an opportunity for humans to realize their true calling of acting in God’s image voluntarily. Instead, we chose and choose to disobey and now live “enslaved” to our decision(s).

In part three (35:00-end), Tim discusses the last perspective: The laws are a source of wisdom for all generations.

The Torah is viewed as a source of wisdom within the Hebrew Bible

The tree of knowing good and evil is the pathway to the tree of life. In Proverbs, learning wisdom is the pathway to the tree of life. Tim uses the following proverbs to illustrate his point.
Proverbs 1:7:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowing;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction."

Proverbs 3:13, 18:
"How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast."

Proverbs 15:3-4:
"The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.
A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit.
Tim notes that Wisdom is the way to fulfill the Shema."

Proverbs 6:20-23:
"My son, keep the commandment of your father
And do not forsake the instruction of your mother;
Bind them continually on your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
When you walk about, they will guide you;
When you sleep, they will watch over you;
And when you awake, they will talk to you."

Time compares the preceding passage with Deuteronomy 6:4-8:
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

Tim notes that these two passages mirror each other, as they teach that acting wisely fulfills the law.

Tim then discusses the apostle Paul to show how he continued to use the laws as wisdom literature.
1 Corinthians 9:9-12:
"For it is written in the Law of Moses, 'You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.' God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ."

Tim quotes Richard B. Hays to understand Paul's continuation of Jewish law.

“This is often cited as an example of arbitrary prooftexting on Paul’s part, but closer observation demonstrates a more complex hermeneutical strategy at play here. First of all, Paul is operating with an explicitly stated hermeneutical principle that God is really concerned about human beings, not oxen, and that the text should be read accordingly (vv. 9–10). Second, a careful look at the context of Deuteronomy 25:4 lends some credence to Paul’s claim about this particular text. The surrounding laws in Deuteronomy 24 and 25 (especially Deut. 24:6–7, 10–22; 25:1–3) almost all serve to promote dignity and justice for human beings; the one verse about the threshing ox sits oddly in this context. It is not surprising that Paul would have read this verse also as suggesting something about justice in human economic affairs.” -- Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997), 151.

So to summarize our series on reading biblical law:

Read each law (1) within its immediate literary context, and (2) within the larger narrative strategy of Torah and Prophets.

Read the laws in their ancient cultural context in conversation with their law codes.

Study related laws as expressions of a larger symbolic worldview.

Discern the “wisdom principle” underneath the laws that can be applied in other contexts.

Refract every law through Jesus’ summary of God’s will: love God and love people.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Email us your questions for our Q+R at info@jointhebibleproject.com

Show Music:

Defender Instrumental, Tents
Psalm Trees x Guillaume Muschalle, Clocks Forward. Chillhop.com. Used with permission.
Toonorth, Effervescent. Chillhop.com. Used with permission.

Show produced by:

Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

May 27, 2019
God's Wisdom in the Law - Law E4
00:51:45

In part 1 (0-17:00), The guys quickly recap their conversation so far. Tim then dives into a third perspective on the Hebrew laws in the Old Testament.

The third perspective is that the laws embody and revolutionize ancient Eastern conceptions of justice. The laws are formulated in the language and categories of ancient Near Eastern law, so that Israel’s law was comprehensible to their neighbors while also representing an irreversible cultural revolution.

Tim notes that in all the other ancient covenant documents (Hittite, Assyrian) only one is between a king and a people, while dozens of others are between one king and another king. Covenants are agreements between kings. But the Biblical story depicts the laws as stipulations between God and all the Israelites: “I will be their God and they will be my people.” This is the same kind of language we find in the Song of Solomon, “I am my beloved’s and he is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3). This is marriage covenant language.

Tim uses some quotes from Joshua Berman to make his points.

“In the ancient near east, various gods had consorts and goddess wives, while the common man was subject, a slave and servant of the king and the tribute-imposing class. For these cultures to conceive of the marriage between a god and a group of humans, would have been as unthinkable as for us to imagine the marital union of a human and a cat… The Bible’s most revolutionary idea… is the idea of God as a personality who seeks a relationship of mutuality with human agents. In the neighboring cultures of the ancient Near East, humans were merely slaves of the king. In the Bible, they are transformed into a servant king who is married to a generous sovereign, a wife in relation to her benefactor husband. When God seeks “love” from Israel, it involves both the political sense of loyalty between parties to a treaty as well as the kind of intimacy known in a faithful, intimate relationship between a man and woman.” (Berman, Created Equal, 46)

This concept of a human family married to God is founded on the concept of humanity in Genesis 1-2. All humanity, male and female, is the divine royal image over all creation. And while the Davidic king could be called the “son of God,” it was only as the representative of all Israel who is the “son of God” (Exodus 4:22). The king and all the Israelites are themselves equals under their “divine king” Yahweh. Tim again cites Joshua Berman:

“While in Egypt and Mesopotamia, the bridge figure between the divine and human was the king, deified (as in Egypt) or more of a demi-god (Mesopotamia). He was the top of the socio-religious structure with the economic elite, and this was mirrored by the hierarchy of the gods. NOT SO in biblical Israel. God’s covenant was with the entirety of Israel, focused on the “common man.” I maintain that it is in the covenant, properly conceived in in ancient Near Eastern setting, that we may discern a radically new understanding of the cosmic role of the common man within the thought systems of the ancient Near East, one that constituted the basis of an egalitarian order.” (Berman, Created Equal, 29)

In part 2 (17:00-25:15), Tim explains why Israel’s law codes consistently downgrades the role of the king in contrast to their neighbors. The king is not the sole, chief, divine authority; rather, Yahweh is king, and the human king is subservient to the Scriptures (Deuteronomy 17) and to prophets who speak on Yahweh’s behalf. He is a leader in war, but he is not the chief. He can participate in the temple, but he is not the high priest. He is subservient to the law, but he is not the lawgiver. This is all in contrast to Egypt and Babylon.

Tim also explains that the laws allowed Israel’s economy to be oriented toward landed families, which were called to include the immigrant, poor, and orphans. It is the first ancient example of “welfare society.” You can see examples of laws about not maximizing profit to allow work in the fields in Ruth chapters 2-3.

Other examples include laws about the seven year debt release, Jubilee land and debt release, not charging interest on loans for the poor, giving a tithe for local loans for failing farmers.

Tim again cites Berman:

“The biblical laws about land and assets introduce a reformation of the ancient worldview aimed at achieving a social equality, but of a very specific king. It is not the egalitarianism developed since the French Revolution with its emphasis on the individual and inalienable human rights… Rather, it takes the form of an economic system that seeks equality by granting sacred value to the extended family household, where people assist one another in farming labor and in granting relief to other households in need. Ancient Israel was a tribal association of free farmers and ranchers, living in a single and equal social class with common ownership of the means of production. This system was a rejection of statism (= the nations state owns all land) and feudalism (= military lords own all land), demonstrated by the fact that it was free of tribute to any human king, and their tribute was a shared burden of funding the temple. Israel defined itself in opposition to the empire of oppression embodied by Egyptian slavery, and also in opposition to the centralized monarchies that surrounded and took up residence in Israel.” (Berman, Created Equal, 87)

Tim points out that a scholar named David Bentley Hart has influenced his thinking on this subject. Tim says that the Judeo-Christian heritage is the most beautiful thing about Western civilization.

In part 3 (25:15-30:00), Tim teaches through a specific law that is usually very disturbing to modern readers.

Deuteronomy 21:10-14
10 When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.

Tim points out that this law does not promote the practice it seems to promote. Instead, it creates boundaries for a common cultural practice, which are eventually designed to obliterate the practice all together. This law is in reaction to other ancient cultures that didn’t have any rules or give any thought to how soldiers should treat their captives.

In part 4 (30:00-43:10), Tim brings up an important point to keep in mind when reading biblical law: The laws play an important but ultimately subordinate role in the plot of the larger biblical storyline that leads to Jesus. Humanity’s failure to obey the divine command is part of the plot conflict that prevents them from being God’s image-partners in ruling creation. The laws illustrate the divine ideal while also intensifying that conflict, creating the need for a new human and a new covenant.

Tim notes that the first divine command is in the garden of Eden:

Genesis 2:16-17
16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of knowing good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

Tim says the failure to “listen to the voice of God” (breaking the divine command) results in exile from the Eden-mountain, leading to death.

Genesis 3:17, 24
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
24 So He banished the human; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

In part 5, (43:10-end) Tim notes that this theme of listening or not listening to the divine command continues through the Bible.

Exodus 19:4-6
4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. 5 ‘Now then, if you will listen listen to My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”

Tim notes that the story immediately after this story is the story of the golden calf, which shows Israel’s obvious failure to listen.

Tim points out that Israel’s covenant choice is the same as Adam and Eve and all humanity.

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil; 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may have life and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 “But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. 19 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the Lord your God, by listening to His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

Tim notes that Israel’s inability to “listen to the voice” of God, leading to death and exile, traps humanity in the power of death, which necessitates the messianic age and the new covenant.

Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Ezekiel 36:26-28
26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 “You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

Tim concludes by sharing that the law isn't about an "Old Covenant or New Covenant" question. Instead, the law illuminates and explores the portrait of humanity repeatedly failing to listen to the divine voice.

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins.

Show Music:
“Defender Instrumental” by Tents
“Cartilage” by Moby
“All Night” by Unwritten Stories
“Good Morning” by Unwritten Stories
The Pilgrim


Show Resources:

Our video on the law: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sew1kBIe-W0

Joshua Berman: Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought


May 20, 2019
The Emergence of Sin with Dr. Matt Croasmun
01:01:28

In this show, Tim and Jon sit down with Dr. Matthew Croasmun. Dr. Croasmun is Associate Research Scholar and Director of the Life Worth Living Program at the Yale Center for Faith & Culture as well as Lecturer of Divinity and Humanities at Yale University. He completed his Ph.D. in Religious Studies (New Testament) at Yale in 2014 and was a recipient of the 2015 Manfred Lautenschläger Award for Theological Promise for his dissertation, "The Body of Sin: An Emergent Account of Sin as a Cosmic Power in Romans 5-8."

He discusses his new book, The Emergence of Sin. It was a resource that Tim drew on heavily as he wrote and prepared for The Bible Project’s Spiritual Beings video series.

Part 1 of the episode (0-53:15) is the interview with Dr. Croasmun. Dr. Croasmun discusses some of the highlights of scientific research, theology, and philosophy, pointing out how they overlap. Dr. Croasmun also discusses dualism and reductionism. Tim and Dr. Croasmun briefly touch on the nature of reality.

Then they dive into a discussion on the nature of sin. What is the exact nature of sin or of evil? Dr. Croasmun uses a few examples from nature, including the example of a bee and beehive. He posits the idea of sin or evil as a “super organism.” That is to say, not only do humans “sin” individually, but we are members of larger sin structures and systems. These are systems that create death and pain in the world.

Dr. Croasmun shares Romans 6:6 (New American Standard Bible):
“knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.”

Dr. Croasmun asks what Paul means by this phrase, “the body of sin.” Or does Paul have multiple meanings in mind?

Tim notes that C.S. Lewis and other writers have spoken of sin as a “parasite on the good,” meaning that sin does not exist on its own but always exists as a distortion of the good.

Instead of people having total autonomy over their lives, Dr. Croasmun notes, they are always in service to something. We are either in service to systems of sin or to systems under Christ.

The systems of sin would be examples of rampant, violent nationalism, racism, or discrimination against vulnerable people, animals, and nature.

Dr. Croasmun shares that it’s important to think of sin on three levels: an individual level, a large, super-organism and corporate level, and on a cosmic, supernatural level. All three ways will help a person to more fully understand these issues.

In part 2 (53:15-end), Tim and Jon recap their conversation with Dr. Croasmun. Tim says that all theologians are in a constant state of forming and reforming their ideas. He adds that sometimes, in our quest to simplify things, we actually do reality a disservice. Reality is complex, and so are the ideas surrounding God, man, nature, good, and evil.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show Resources:
Dr. Croasmun’s book: The Emergence of Sin

Show Music:
“Excellent Instrumental” by Propaganda
“Defender Instrumental” by Tents

Show produced by:
Dan Gummel

May 16, 2019
The Law as a Revolution - Law E3
01:02:15

In part 1 (0-21:30), the guys recap their conversation so far. Jon says that often the law is the first place people go who look to take issue with the Bible, saying it’s archaic or barbaric. Tim points out that too often, we don’t understand how cross-cultural it is to read the Bible. Instead, we often impose our own cultural mindset on the Bible.

Jon recalls from their discussion that the ancient law code of Israel was not the supreme authority, but instead illustrative of the relationships between the parties involved.

In part 2 (21:30-26:30), Tim talks about the wisdom of the laws in the Hebrew Scriptures. Tim shares this quote:

“The Hebrew Bible strongly suggests that the earliest forms of disputes… were resolved… by intuitions of justice against a background of custom, rather than appeal to formulated rules. The biblical sources which talk about the establishment of the judicial system in Israel give no indication that judges were to use written sources. Rather, judges are urged to avoid partiality and corruption and to ‘do justice.’ But what was the source of such justice? The version attributed to king Jehoshaphat is the most explicit, ‘God is with you in giving judgment’ (2 Chronicles 19:6). Divine inspiration is also attributed to the king in rendering judgment: Proverbs 16:10, ‘Inspired decisions are on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment.’ Solomon’s judgment (1 Kings 3:16-28) is presented as an example of just such a process…. This is not to say that judges were expected to go into some kind of trance or function as an oracle. Rather, they were called to operate by combining local custom with divinely guided intuitions of justice…relying on the ‘practical wisdom’ that existed within the social consciousness of the people as a whole.” (Bernard Jackson, Wisdom Laws, 30-31)

In part 3 (26:30-40:30), Tim says the laws embody a set of ideals. Laws related to similar topics work together as a symbolic ritual system. They embody a set of ethical, social, and theological ideals for God’s ancient covenant people, “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” living out the Garden-of-Eden ideal in the world. He shares five ideal “buckets” or categories to help readers understand different laws:

Ritual Calendar: The 7-day Sabbath cycle is all about the anticipation and re-enactment of new creation (note the literary design of the days in Genesis 1: There is no end to the seventh day).
Ritual sacrifices: sacrifices involved offering the life of a blameless representative who would “ascend” to the heavenly mountain on behalf of the offerer (Leviticus 1 begins with the “‘olah” or “ascent” offering)
Ritual holiness: symbolic purity boundaries embodied the conviction that God’s presence is the source of all life, and health is separate from the mortal and immoral
Civil law: creating a new-creation community structured to carry the poor and prevent injustice toward the vulnerable
Criminal law: zero tolerance for those who corrupt the holy covenant family: no blood feuds, theft, idolatry, or sexual behavior that disrupts the social web

In part 4 (40:30-end), Tim goes over the sacrifices in the “ritual sacrifices” bucket. He cites a book by Michael Morales called Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? A biblical theology of Leviticus. Tim also goes over civil and criminal laws in ancient Israel. Jon asks Tim for a few specific examples. Tim goes to these passages:

Deuteronomy 24:21-22
“21 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. 22 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.”

Deuteronomy 25:1-4
“1 When people have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty. 2 If the guilty person deserves to be beaten, the judge shall make them lie down and have them flogged in his presence with the number of lashes the crime deserves, 3 but the judge must not impose more than forty lashes. If the guilty party is flogged more than that, your fellow Israelite will be degraded in your eyes
4 Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”

Deuteronomy 25:11-15
“11 If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, 12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.”

“13 Do not have two differing weights in your bag—one heavy, one light. 14 Do not have two differing measures in your house—one large, one small. 15 You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 16 For the Lord your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly.”

Tim admits that these laws are very hard to understand. He points out that there are no narratives of these laws actually being put into practice. Regarding verses 11-12, Tim points out that the woman would have been endangering the entire family and bloodline by seizing a man’s genitals. Tim also notes that the differing weights are about not counterfeiting money.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:

“Defender Inst” by Tents
“Good Morning” by Amine Maxine
“I don’t need you to say anything” by Le Gang
“Shipwrecked” by Moby


Show Resources:

Bernard Jackson, Wisdom Laws
Michael Morales, Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? A biblical theology of Leviticus


May 13, 2019
The Law as a Covenantal Partnership - Law E2
01:13:13

In part 1 (0-21:00), Tim points out that the laws are not a “law code” but terms of a covenant relationship. The laws are not a “constitutional code” (i.e. a divine behavior manual) dropped from heaven. Rather, they illustrate the official terms of the covenant relationship between Yahweh and the people of ancient Israel. The 613 laws all fall within the ceremony of God’s covenant with Israel in Exodus 19-24.

Tim asks the question: If these laws aren’t a judicial code, then what are they?

The laws are the shared agreement between God and Israel that was put forth in their covenant ceremony. We witness this relationship between Israel and Yahweh, Tim shares, as outsiders. People today were not at Mt. Sinai when the covenant was ratified. Instead, the law is used as “torah” for us, or “instruction,” meaning they reveal more about ourselves and God and the human condition. The Torah, Tim says, is a narrative about a covenant relationship, not a law code. He points out that there would have inevitably been more rules and laws governing ancient Israel than the 613 laws included in the Bible.

In part 2 (21:00-26:00), Tim expresses how the law served as “relational authority” between Israel and God. The laws served as a witness to Israel’s difference from other kingdoms, that they were a “kingdom of priests” who all had a relationship with God.

Ancient Law: Examples from History

In part 3, (26:00-41:30) Tim explains that to best understand the ancient laws of Israel, one should also understand how other ancient laws worked. Tim brings up the Code of Hammurabi, the most well known ancient law code. Tim shares the start of the law code of Hammurabi:

“When lofty Anum, king of the Anunnaki and Enlil, lord of heaven and earth, the determiner of the destinies of the land, determined for Marduk, the first-born of Enki, 6 the Enlil supreme powers over all mankind, made him great among the Igigi, called Babylon by its exalted name, He made it supreme in the world, established for him in its midst an enduring kingship, whose foundations are as firm as heaven and earth—

“at that time Anum and Enlil named me to promote the welfare of the people, me, Hammurabi, the devout, god-fearing prince, to cause justice to prevail in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil, that the strong might not oppress the weak, to rise like the sun over humankind, and to light up the land.

“Hammurabi, the shepherd, called by Enlil, am I; the one who makes affluence and plenty abound; the one who relaid the foundations of Sippar; who decked with green the chapels of Aya; the designer of the temple of Ebabbar, which is like a heavenly dwelling.

“When the god Marduk commanded me to provide just ways for the people of the land (in order to attain) appropriate behavior, I established truth and justice as the declaration of the land, I enhanced the well-being of the people.”

The Epilogue and Prologue to the Law Code [From Martha Tobi Roth, Harry A. Hoffner, and Piotr Michalowski, Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor]

Here are a few laws in the code of Hammurabi:

#196: "If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye. If one break a man's bone, they shall break his bone. If one destroy the eye of a freeman or break the bone of a freeman he shall pay one gold mina. If one destroy the eye of a man's slave or break a bone of a man's slave he shall pay one-half his price."

#250 (xliv 44–51) “If an ox gores to death a man while it is passing through the streets, that case has no basis for a claim.”

#251 (xliv 52–65) “If a man’s ox is a known gorer, and the authorities of his city quarter notify him that it is a known gorer, but he does not blunt(?) its horns or control his ox, and that ox gores to death a member of the awīlu-class, he (the owner) shall give 30 shekels of silver.”

Here is the epilogue of the law:

“May any king who will appear in the land in the future, at any time, observe the pronouncements of justice that I inscribed upon my stela. May he not alter the judgments that I rendered and the verdicts that I gave, nor remove my engraved image. If that man has discernment, and is capable of providing just ways for his land, may he heed the pronouncements I have inscribed upon my stela.”

The Epilogue and Prologue to the Law Code [From Martha Tobi Roth, Harry A. Hoffner, and Piotr Michalowski, Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor]

Tim brings up some interesting observations, puzzles and problems that ancient laws present.

This code is one of the most frequently copied texts from the ancient world, copies ranging over 1500yrs, and yet, as he quotes:

“Of the many thousands of Mesopotamian legal documents in our possession, not one of them cites the Code of Hammurabi, or any other ‘code’ as a source of authority. This in spite of the fact that the code of Hammurabi was esteemed and recopied for more than a millennium. All of this suggests that ancient near eastern law codes were of a literary, educational, and monumental nature, rather than legal and juridical.” (Joshua Berman, Created Equal: 84)

The code of Hammurabi was copied and recopied for over a thousand years. But across the centuries, none of the dozens of monetary fines were changed (which they would have if consulted and used for legal purposes). The code is nowhere near comprehensive—you won’t find any laws concerning inheritances, one of the most important features of landed-agricultural life in Babylon. Copies of the Code of Hammurabi have been found in royal archives but never in the sites of local courts, and never with caches of legal documents (receipts, divorce certificates, etc.).

Additionally, there are no ancient legal texts that ever cite or even refer to the Code as a source of law. In the thousands of ancient legal texts that do exist and address the same topics as the code, they are usually at odds with the sentences and fines given within it.

So, if these compositions were not legal codes, (1) where could the law of the land be found? And if they were not legal codes, (2) what was their purpose?

Tim shares this quote:

“Archaeologists have unearthed thousands of law-practice documents from the ancient near East, documents such as land transfers, financial contracts, and court rulings where law was applied to actual situations (divorces, civil disputes). There have also been discovered dozens of ancient law codes (Hammurabi, Ur-Namma, Lipit-Ishtar, Eshnunna). A curious problem emerges when these practice documents are compared with the law collections. The law as practiced in those cultures often differed from, even contradicted, the laws as stated in the collections. Penalties found in court decisions are repeatedly inconsistent with the penalties inscribed in the collections. Prices established in contracts don’t match those given in the law codes. This has raised important questions about the purpose of these collections. Whatever their purposes were, they do not appear to have dictated actual legal practice. Scholars have come to see that these law codes as academic and monumental collections, but not the source of law in these societies.” (Michael Lefebvre, Collections, Codes, and Torah, 1)

Two Kinds of Law

In part 4, (41:30-49:30) Tim explains that the ancient world would have been known as a common or customary law society, whereas our modern world is largely known as a statutory law society. He shares more quotes:

“The scholarly consensus is that law in Mesopotamia was customary/common law. A judge would determine the law at the moment of adjudication by drawing on an extensive reservoir of custom, accepted norms, and principles from the legal texts with which he was educated. The law would vary from place to place, and neither the Code of Hammurabi nor any other text was ‘the final word’ on what law should be applied. Indeed, the association of “law” with a written collection of statutes and rules is a modern anachronistic imposition from our own culture. It is no surprise, therefore, that neither Mesopotamia, Egyptian, or Hittite culture has any word for ‘written law,’ that we find in later Greek as thesmos, or nomos.” (Joshua Berman, Inconsistency in the Torah, 112-113)

“The law collections, instead, are anthologies of judgments from times past, snapshots of decisions and customs rendered by judges or even by a king. The collections were a model of justice meant to educate and inspire…. They were records of precedent, but not of legislation….they instilled in later generations of scribes a unified legal vision.” (Ibid.)

Tim says this has helped him understand three main purposes of the law:

Judicial Education texts: Collections of the most common representative decisions from a culture, compiled to train the moral-instincts of leaders, not to legislate actual practice.
Monumental Propaganda: Like the Code of Hammurabi, the code praises the king’s wisdom and justice and claims that his decisions are in fact divinely inspired.
Educational texts: These are compilations for training the scribal class, introducing them to a literary tradition of justice. 


In part 5 (49:30-63:00), Tim further delineates the differences between common law and statutory law:

Statutory Law
The law itself is contained in a codified text, whose authority combines two elements: (a) the law emanates from a sovereign (a king or legislative body, etc.), (b) the law is a finite and complete legal system, so that only what is written in the code is the law. The law code supersedes all other sources of law that precede the formulation of the code. Where the code lacks explicit legislation, judges must adjudicate with the code as their primary guide.

Common Law
With common law, the law is not found in a written code that serves as a judge’s point of reference or limits what they can decide. Rather, the judges make decisions based on the mores and spirit of the community and its customs. Law develops through the distillation and continual restatement of legal doctrine through the decision of courts. Previous legal decisions are consulted but not binding, and importantly, a judge’s decision does not create a binding law, because no particular formulation of the law is binding. The common law is consciously and inherently incomplete, fluid, and vague. Under common law, legal codes are not the source of law, but rather a resource for later judges to consult.

Tim shares a helpful metaphor from Sir Matthew Hale (“the greatest British common-law judge of the 17th century”): The common law can change and yet still be considered part of the same legal “system” just as a ship can return home after a long voyage and still be considered the “same” ship, even though it returns with many repairs, new materials, and old materials discarded and replaced. In the same saw, law collections create a system of legal reasoning that a judge accesses to apply in new and unanticipated circumstances.

A Helpful Illustration from History

Common law traditions flourished for most of human history, because they require a homogeneous community where a common story and common values are assumed and perpetuated by all members of a society. 19th century German legal theorist Carl von Savigny called this the Volksgeist, “the collective spirit and conscience of a people.” Where social cohesion breaks down, it becomes more difficult to anchor the law in a collective set of values, and this is what happened in 19th century Europe with the rise of immigration, urbanization, and the modern nation-state.

Nineteenth-century Germany faced transition from a historically tribal state into a modern state (Otto von Bismarck and Carl Savigny continued to advocate the common law tradition of their past). One of his most famous students was Jacob Grimm (1785-1863), best known for his collaboration with his brother Wilhelm. These brothers did exhaustive research into their cultural folklore and produced comprehensive editions of Germany’s moral heritage in their anthology called “Kinder und Hausmarchen” = “Children’s and Household Tales” (2 volumes in 1812 and 1815), including the classic tales of Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, and the Frog Prince.

The Brothers Grimm established a methodology for collecting and recording folk stories that became the basis for folklore studies. Between the first edition of 1812-15 and the seventh and final edition of 1857, they revised their collection many times so that it grew from 156 stories to more than 200. In addition to collecting and editing folk tales, the brothers compiled German legends. Individually, they published a large body of linguistic and literary scholarship. Together in 1838, they began work on a massive historical German dictionary (Deutsches Wörterbuch), which, in their lifetimes, they completed only as far as the word Frucht, 'fruit'.

Tim points out that the Grimm brothers bridged the gap between folklore and common law in German society into a society of more statutory law in Germany. In many ways, Tim says, this is how Israel came to treat the law. The stories surrounding the laws allowed Israel to illustrate what happens when the rules are or are not followed.

Examples of Law Implementation in Scripture

In part 6 (63:00-end), Tim points out that many times in the Bible, the actual implementation of the laws are totally different from the given or written laws. There are many cases where narratives about legal decisions either differ from the statements of practice in the biblical law codes, or the decision is offered without any recourse to a law code.

For example, in 2 Samuel 14, David gives a ruling contrary to every law and principle in the biblical law codes concerning murder. David simply excuses his son Absalom (who murdered Amnon) with no appeal or defense of his actions and no mention of a law code.

Another example is found in Jeremiah 26, the most detailed description of a trial in the Old Testament. Jeremiah is accused of treason for announcing the temple’s destruction. His defense is that another prophet before him, Micah, announced the same message and he was never imprisoned. This is an argument from precedent, not from a law code. The arguments advanced against him are offered on theological grounds (“he speaks in the name of Yahweh”) and political grounds (“he prophesied against our city”). No law codes are ever consulted to defend or accuse him.

A third example is Solomon’s famous “decision” about the two women in 1 Kings 3. Solomon listens to the witnesses (the two women), and uses his intuition (which is divinely inspired according to the previous narrative) to make a decision. The concluding statement shows the real source of legal authority: “When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had decided, they revered the king, for they saw the wisdom of God in him to do justice.” (1 Kings 3:28)

Here is a helpful quote to understand why the implementation may have been different.

“The Hebrew Bible strongly suggests that the earliest forms of disputes… were resolved… by intuitions of justice against a background of custom, rather than appeal to formulated rules. The biblical sources which talk about the establishment of the judicial system in Israel give no indication that judges were to use written sources. Rather, judges are urged to avoid partiality and corruption and to ‘do justice.’ But what was the source of such justice? The version attributed to king Jehoshaphat is the most explicit, ‘God is with you in giving judgment’ (2 Chronicles 19:6). Divine inspiration is also attributed to the king in rendering judgment: Proverbs 16:10, ‘Inspired decisions are on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment.’ Solomon’s judgment (1 Kings 3:16-28) is presented as an example of just such a process…. This is not to say that judges were expected to go into some kind of trance or function as an oracle. Rather, they were called to operate by combining local custom with divinely guided intuitions of justice…relying on the ‘practical wisdom’ that existed within the social consciousness of the people as a whole.” (Bernard Jackson, Wisdom Laws, 30-31)

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
“Defender Inst.” by Tents
“Shot in the back of the head” by Moby
Synth Groove
“Scream Pilots” by Moby
“Shine” by Moby
Third Floor 


Show Resources:
Joshua Berman, Inconsistency in the Torah
Bernard Jackson, Wisdom Laws
Martha Tobi Roth, Harry A. Hoffner, and Piotr Michalowski, Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor
Michael Lefebvre, Collections, Codes, and Torah

Thank you to all our supporters!

May 06, 2019
The Purpose of The Law - Law E1
01:02:48

Welcome to our first episode looking at laws in the Bible!
In part 1 (0-4:00), Tim explains how this set of conversations will be different than the previous podcast episodes that looked at biblical law (the first two episodes of this podcast).
In parts 2 and 3 (4:00-17:45 and 17:45-35:00), Tim and Jon discuss ancient law vs. modern law. They talk about the importance of biblical law, but how these laws often cause hang-ups for modern readers. Tim notes that for centuries, interpreting biblical law has been a major point of debate among Christians, Jews, and everyone else.
In part 4 (35:00-end), Tim explains a debate over the number of laws in the Old Testament Torah. Some say there are 611 commands; others say 613. So which is it?
This is one small but significant example that illustrates how important interpreting the law was in Israel. Here’s a glimpse into the debate to give you a fuller picture.
A few centuries after Jesus, rabbis still firmly held to both views. The main disagreement came down to two passages where a commandment could be implicitly read. Consider:
Exodus 20:1, “I am Yahweh your God” = Believe that Yahweh exists.
Deuteronomy 6:5, “Yahweh your God, Yahweh is one” = Believe that Yahweh is one.
Yet even though the number of laws in the Torah can be debated, early rabbis recognized the ability to “reduce” many laws to just a handful that fully captured the spirit of the law. A famous passage illustrates this in the Babylonian Talmud (one of the primary sources for interpreting Jewish religious law and theology). It states:
Six hundred and thirteen commandments were given to Moses.
David reduced those commandments to eleven. (Psalm 15)
Isaiah reduced them to six. (Isaiah 33:15-16)
Micah the prophet reduced them to three. (Micah 6:8)
Isaiah again reduced them to two. (Isaiah 56:1)
Amos reduced them to one. (Amos 5:4)
Habakkuk further reduces to say, “But the righteous shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)
Throughout the episode, Tim highlights differences in the law. For example, Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 (both presenting the Ten Commandments) talk about the Sabbath in slightly different ways.
Or consider another instance, where Moses gives two different commands about how to prepare the Passover. Should you roast it or boil it? According to Exodus 12:8-9, you should roast it and not boil it. But in Deuteronomy 16:6-7, Moses tells the people to boil it.
These problems we see in the law are more than just ancient interpretation. To modern readers, some of the laws seem noble and inspiring, while others seem odd, primitive, or even barbaric.
We encounter all three of these examples in two adjacent chapters in the Torah:
In Leviticus 19, we read about God’s command to leave the extra gleanings of the harvest for the needy and stranger. God shows his care for the least of these.
A few verses later, we find laws about tattoos and beard etiquette. Weird!
One chapter later, we read the command that “a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:27)
Now these laws leave us feeling a tension around how to understand the idea of “biblical authority.” What does obedience to the laws of the Torah mean? Do we obey all of them, some of them, or none of them?
This issue has caused many conflicts in both Jewish and Christian history. For example, what is a Jew supposed to do about sacrificial ritual laws when the temple is destroyed in 586 B.C.? Or for a follower of Jesus, how do these laws relate to us as the messianic new covenant family?
We see that Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17) So what can Paul mean when he says, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4) Yet Paul still quotes from the Ten Commandments in places like Ephesians 6:1-3.
Overall, Tim makes the case that the law presented to us in the Old Testament is not a “code” in the same way modern readers often think of a law code. Instead, we see how Moses, the prophets, Paul, and even Jesus handled the laws. Each held a deep respect for the underlying meaning and ideals presented by the law to the people of God. Though times and customs changed, God’s law served as a bedrock of guiding ideals to help the people of God (both then and now) live in such a way as to love God and love neighbor.

Thank you to all our supporters!
Visit our website: thebibleproject.com
Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel
Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Tents
Pilgrim Instrumental
Roads by LiQWYD
Skydive Loxbeats
Show Resources:
Jacob Neusner, The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary, vol. 17a (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2011), 120–122.

Apr 29, 2019
Prophets as Provokers - Prophets E2
00:56:22

Welcome to Episode 2 in our series on How to Read the Prophets.

In the introduction, Tim says that the books of the prophets can be set up in different ways, but in most cases they are anthologies. These are the greatest hits or most important points of the prophets.

There are five parts to this episode where Tim outlines several buckets or themes that are important to understand when reading the prophets.
(6:00-25:00) Introduction
(25:00-33:00) Bucket 1: Accusations
(33:00-37:00) Bucket 2: Repentance
(37:00-52:00) Bucket 3: Day of the Lord Announcements
(52:00-end) Conclusion

Biblical prophecy frequently deals with the following themes:

Accusations that Israel and the nations have rebelled against Yahweh.
Israel/Judah has (1) broken the covenant, (2) worshiped other gods, (3) allowed social injustice, and (4) made alliances with the foreign nations. The covenant lawsuit is the key rhetorical device. And the key metaphor is idolatry as adultery. So the nations are accused of injustice, cruelty, and arrogance.

A second bucket or theme is the calls for repentance and admonition to turn from wicked ways and return to faithful obedience to Yahweh. The prophets call for religious devotion to Yahweh alone and no other gods. They also call for social justice and care for the most vulnerable (widow, orphan, immigrant).

The third theme is the announcements of the Day of the Lord that will address injustice and rebellion. This refers to historical events that God will use to judge evil and vindicate the righteous, all leading up to the great future day when God will do this for all creation—a cosmic “house-cleaning.”

The bad news the prophets deliver is that Yahweh will bring his justice against human rebellion. Because of human hard-heartedness, future punishment becomes inevitable. The punishment will be upon Israel and Judah, resulting in disaster, defeat, and exile upon individual nations (especially Assyrian, Babylon, Egypt) and upon all nations.

The good news is that Yahweh will bring about the restoration of his covenant people on the other side of exile. This is a hope for a righteous remnant. The prophets say that God will preserve a faithful remnant, an important minority who remain faithful. There is hope for restoration from exile (captivity), and God will restore their “fortunes.” Finally, there is hope for a new covenant. Yahweh will renew his covenant with his people.

The prophets say that the Kingdom of God will appear and Yahweh will establish his peaceful, universal Kingdom over all nations, ruled by the future messianic King.

They use the imagery of a new temple, new Eden, and new Jerusalem to represent God’s personal presence that will permeate his people in a new cosmic temple.

Helpful tips: How to Read the Prophets

Look at the first sentence of the book to see when the prophet lived, then go read the corresponding section of 1-2 Kings to get the context of the prophet’s day.

Pay attention to the three main themes and how they connect to the book’s design. Some prophets put all their poems of accusation together (as in Ezekiel 3-24), while others weave poems of accusation and of future hope together (see Isaiah 1-2).

These books are mostly poetry, so read slowly and thoughtfully. They use tons of metaphors, so pay attention to repeated words and images.
Isaiah uses metaphors from the plant world more than any other prophet (vines, trees, branches, stumps, flowers, grass) and often in creative ways to make different points (See Isaiah 11).

Key Insights from the prophets:
God loves justice. Israel had been called to a higher level of justice than the nations around them, especially in the treatment of their land and the poor (See Isaiah 1:10-20).

God gets angry at evil. The prophets give a lot of space to God’s exposure of evil among Israel and the nations. It’s intense, but it reveals how much God cares about the goodness of his world (see Hosea 13).

God has hope for our world. He refuses to let Israel’s sin get the last word, and so all the prophetic books contain profound images of future hope and restoration for God’s people and for the entire world (see Isaiah 11:1-9).

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel

Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven
Look, KV
Ocean, KV
Saturdays, Lakey Inspired
Yesterday on Repeat, Vexento

Resources:
Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Prophets by J. Gordon McConville
The Prophets by Abraham Heschel
The NIV Compact Bible Commentary by John Sailhamer
Read the Bible for a Change by Ray Lubeck

Apr 22, 2019
What Prophecy is For - Prophets E1
00:58:04

The books of the prophets are often the most difficult and misunderstood books in the Bible.

In part one (0:00-10:00), Tim and Jon briefly go over a few reasons why reading the prophets can be so challenging. Tim shares quotes from Martin Luther and fJohn Bright:

The challenge of reading the prophetic books:
“The prophets have an odd way of talking, like people who, instead of proceeding in an orderly manner, ramble off from one thing to the next, so that you cannot make head or tail of them or see what they are getting at.”
Martin Luther, quoted in Gerhard von Rad, Old Testament Theology, Vol. 2 (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), 33.

“What makes the prophetic books particularly, and one might say needlessly, difficult is the very manner of their arrangement — or, to be more accurate, their apparent lack of arrangement… All seems confusion… The impression that the reader gains is one of extreme disarray; one can scarcely blame him for concluding that he is reading a hopeless hodgepodge thrown together without any discernible principle of arrangement at all.” — John Bright, Jeremiah (Anchor Bible Commentary, 1965), p. lvi.

In part two (10:00-18:40), Tim asks Jon what he thinks a modern definition of prophets and prophecy is. Jon says he believes it has to do with fortune telling. A prophet is someone who can look into the future and predict an event.

Tim explains that while this is part of the role of a prophet, it is not the central focus, and predicting future events only occurs occasionally in the Bible.

Tim explains that the definition of a prophet in the Old Testament is actually very simple. A prophet is simply a messenger or a herald giving a message to people on God’s behalf.

Tim says that most people understand the term prophecy as the prediction of future events. This definition is inadequate and does not account for the huge amounts of the material in the prophetic books. While there are certain passages within the prophets which do contain predictive elements, most of these poems and narratives don’t present themselves as predictive prophecy.

In the Bible, a prophecy is a message that God speaks to his people through a human prophet. So prophecies often contain the quoted speech of God himself.
Jeremiah 2:1-2:
Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
“Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying,
‘Thus says the Lord: “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth…”

In part three (18:40-33:30), Tim outlines the character of Moses. Moses is portrayed as the archetypal prophet. He’s the first divine spokesmen sent to Israel and the nations (Exodus 3). He’s the first figure to mediate between Yahweh and Israel and establish his covenant with the people (Exodus 19-24, the Sinai narrative). He’s the only figure allowed to enter the divine presence directly (Exodus 19-20, 33-34). He’s the key intercessor for Israel when they have violated the covenant (Exodus 32-34). He suffers because of Israel’s failures (Numbers 11-21) and accuses them of present and ongoing rebellion against Yahweh that will result in exile (Deuteronomy 28-32).
And his death is marked as the end of an era. “Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face…” (Deuteronomy 34:10).

Tim says that Moses fails as a prophet. But in the Pentateuch, he is cast
as the ideal prophet, someone whom all other Jewish prophets should follow after.

In part four (33:30-end), Tim says the prophets are best understood as “covenant watchdogs.” They assume the larger covenant story of Yahweh, creation, and Israel. Yahweh is the creator and King, and his image-bearing stewards have rebelled and corrupted his good world (Genesis 1–11).

In the covenant he makes with Abraham, Yahweh says he will use Abraham’s family to restore his divine blessing to all nations (Genesis 12).

In the covenant with Israel (the Sinai or Mosaic covenant), Israel is called to become a kingdom of priests to the nations by adhering to the laws of the covenant. Obedience will result in covenant blessing, and rebellion will bring covenant curses (Exod 19, Lev 26, Deut 28–30).

In the covenant with Israel’s priesthood, Yahweh promises to provide a perpetual priesthood through the line of Aaron to intercede on Israel’s behalf and atone for their covenant failures (Numbers 25).

The covenant with Israel’s monarchy states that Yahweh will raise up a king from the line of David who will bring God’s Kingdom and blessing to all the nations (2 Samuel 7, Psalms 2, 72, 89, 132).

Israel was unable to fulfill its side of the Sinai covenant and was sent into exile. But in the new covenant, Yahweh will transform their hearts so they can truly love and obey their God (Deuteronomy 30, Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 36).

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Mind Your Time, Me.So
Morning, LiQwyd
Erhrling, Typhoon

Show Resources:

Martin Luther, quoted in Gerhard von Rad, Old Testament Theology, Vol. 2 (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), 33.

John Bright, Jeremiah (Anchor Bible Commentary, 1965), p. Lvi.
Our Video on How to Read the Prophets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edcqUu_BtN0

Apr 15, 2019
N.T. Wright Interview #2: Paul and the Powers
01:03:55

Welcome to a special episode of our podcast. In this episode, Tim and Jon interview the prolific theologian N.T. (Tom) Wright. They discuss Paul’s perspectives of spiritual evil and spiritual powers.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Mind Your Time, Me.So

Show Resources:
www.ntwrightonline.org
www.thebibleproject.com

Apr 08, 2019
To the Ends of the Earth - Acts E7
00:35:45

In part 1, (0-11:40) Tim notes the ways that Luke has mapped the story of Paul on top of the story of Jesus. He quotes from Charles Talbert.

“In Luke-Acts we find an architectural pattern of correspondences between the career of Jesus and the life of the apostles. In this way, Luke portrays the deeds and teachings of Jesus as the pattern for the acts and instruction of the apostolic church in the book of Acts. It is near impossible to avoid the conclusion that these correspondences between Jesus and his followers serve this purpose: Jesus is the master and the source of the Christian way of life that is imitated by his disciples.” — Charles Talbert, Literary Patterns and Theological Themes in Luke-Acts.

Tim points out several interesting symbolic ways that Luke and Acts are similar. For example, when Jesus and Paul initially go to Jerusalem. They are both greeted warmly, and they both immediately go to the temple. Both Jesus and Paul stand before someone named Herod. In both cases a Roman centurion is given a positive portrait.

In part 2 (11:40-21:30)
Jon asks why would Luke be so interested in comparing Paul and Jesus together? Tim says that the parallelism isn’t meant to lessen Christ’s status, but instead to show that Christ’s work is continuing in regular humans who are now being grafted in, being created new as a new humanity following in Christ’s example and life.

Tim shares a quote from scholar Michael Goulder:
“Luke is writing a typological history, the life of Jesus providing the template for the life of the church. It is the Pauline doctrine of the body of Christ which is finding here a literary expression in the patterns and cycles of Luke’s narrative. Christ is alive and continuing his own life through his body, that is, his church.” — Michael Goulder, Type and History in Acts, 61-62.

In part 3, (21:30-end)

The guys discuss how the book of acts concludes. To many modern readers it is an abrupt ending.

Tim shares a scholar Ben Witherington: “The ending of the book of Acts makes it clear that Luke’s purpose wasn’t simply to chronicle not the life and death of Paul, but rather the rise and spread of the gospel and of the social and religious movement to which it gave birth. Luke has provided a theological history that traces the spread of the good news from Jerusalem to Rome, from the eastern edge of the Roman Empire into its very heart. Rome was not seen in Luke’s day as the edge of the known world, and so the reader would know very well that Jesus’ mission to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8) was still ongoing in his own day. However, for Luke it was critical and symbolic that the message reach the heart and hub of the Empire, as a challenge to Caesar and a gateway into to the ends of the earth.

The open-endedness that the modern reader senses in the ending of Acts is intentional. Luke is chronicling not the life and times of Paul (or any other early Christian leader), which would have a definite conclusion, but rather a phenomenon and movement that was continuing and alive and well in his own day. For Luke, Paul’s story is really… about the unstoppable word of god, which no obstacle, no shipwreck, no snake-bite, and no Roman authorities could hinder from reaching the heart of the empire and the hearts of those who lived there. -- Adapted from Ben Witherington III, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998), 809.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show produced by:
Dan Gummel

Show Resources:
Ben Witherington III, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998), 809.
Michael Goulder, Type and History in Acts
Charles Talbert, Literary Patterns and Theological Themes in Luke-Acts.

Show Music:

Defender Instrumental: Tents
Where Peace and Rest Are Found
Polaroid: Extenz

Apr 01, 2019
Paul in Prison - Acts E6
00:51:43

In part one (0:00-13:30), Tim and Jon discuss the motives Paul had for putting himself in harm's way. Tim says that Paul's priority was to show a unified world between Jew and Gentile through belief in Jesus.

Tim then outlines Paul's time in Jerusalem and his arrest. Tim points out that there are six cycles that begin with Paul being arrested, then Paul is given a platform to speak, then the authority figure saying that Paul doesn't deserve death, but he is never released.

Tim says Luke is portraying Paul as a model for how Christians should relate to the powers and cultural structures of the world. Christianity is not a movement that is political, or social, or anything else, but it does encompass those things. It is an entirely different movement of an entirely different nature.

In part two (13:30-30:00), Tim continues to outline Paul's trials.
Tim quotes from Kavin Rowe: "The Christians are not out to establish Christendom. A new culture, yes, a new political movement, no." Tim points out that Paul submitted to the Roman authorities despite the flaws. It's a stance of loyalty and subversion.

Tim points out that Luke is laying Paul's story on top of Jesus' story of also being on trial by the Jewish and Roman authorities.

Luke wants the reader to think intelligently about how Christians should relate to the government. God's Kingdom is not a human kingdom; it is a vision of a new and better humanity. There is no such thing as being a Christian in private in the ancient world, nor should there be that option today.

In part three (30:00-35:00), Jon points out that Christianity is a movement that doesn't need the same type of power that the Romans had. It's a groundswell, not a top-down approach. Tim says that Luke is trying to communicate that the Jesus movement is its own thing that doesn't fit any other type of movement in human history.

In part four (35:00-end), Tim points out that Paul always seemed to interact with corrupt Roman politicians. But when he did, Paul encouraged that official to follow the road of high integrity that they aspire to.

Show Resources:
World Upside Down: Reading Acts in the Graeco Roman Age by Kavin Rowe
https://www.amazon.com/World-Upside-Down-Reading-Graeco-Roman/dp/0199767610/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=kavin+rowe&qid=1551724935&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Mar 25, 2019
Paul's Journey to Jerusalem - Acts E5
00:52:39

In part one (0:00-13:20), Tim and Jon briefly recap the series so far. They discuss Paul’s complex background. Paul was a Jew but was living primarily among Gentiles in different cities in the Roman Empire. Tim points out that because of his background, Paul’s reputation as a controversial figure continues to grow. He doesn’t fit into the normal social categories of the day.

In part two (13:20-33:00), Tim dives into Acts 11:27-30:
“During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.”

Tim says that this is hugely symbolic. Paul is arriving back in Jerusalem with a group of international Christians bearing a gift of money to help give relief to the Jerusalem famine.

Jon points out that it's really remarkable that Paul was able to raise these funds, before the days of Kickstarter. Tim says that for Paul, the gift was a symbol of the unity of the Church. There was no class system and no division across racial, ethnic, or economic lines. The gift was a representation of all that Paul believed was possible in the communities of Christians.

In part three (33:00-end), Tim shares a passage from Ephesians:
"Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace.” – Ephesians 2:12-15.

Tim says that this passage is more evidence that Paul really wanted Jews and Gentiles to be united as one Church.

Then in reference to Ephesians 3, Tim says that for Paul, the creation of the new humanity through Christ is the way that God also chooses to demonstrate his wisdom to the divine council.
“Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 3:8-10.

Tim says that Paul believed he was participating in a cosmic story and that working to unify Jews with all other ethnicities through Jesus was what Jesus was praying for in John 17:21: “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.”

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Show Resources:

World Upside Down: Reading Acts in the Graeco Roman Age by Kavin Rowe

Show Produced by:

Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:

Defender Instrumental, Tents
Carelessness
Acquired in Heaven, Beautiful Eulogy

Mar 18, 2019
Q+R: Son of Man - Son of Man E9
00:57:06

Show Notes:

Welcome to our Q+R on the Son of Man! Thank you to everyone who sent in questions. Here are the questions we responded to:

Matt from Australia: (0:55)
I've got a question about humans and animals. It seems like animals get a really bad rap. You've been talking about when humans don't pass the test or live as they're made to live, they're not truly the image of God, they act less than human or to be true, they act like animals. And I'm wondering what about animals is so bad or so wrong? Or are you trying to communicate about a different reality than an animal? Thanks!

Petra from the Netherlands: (6:20)
In the podcast (The Empty Throne), Tim refers to the Empty Throne in Daniel 7, but if I read Daniel 7 in different translations, vs 9 says "thrones" and vs 10 "the court place." So I get the conclusion that thrones are set for the court. In Matthew 19:28, Jesus tells his disciples that they will sit on the 12 thrones and judge the 12 tribes of Israel. I don't assume that's specific because in Revelation it says 24. My question is, where do you get the conclusion that the empty throne refers to the Son of Man because I come to the conclusion that it refers to the court. Thank you!

Rachel from Delaware: (12:35)
This is a question I've always had: where is Daniel in Daniel 3?

Stephanie from Virginia: (21:05)
My question is, why is Daniel portrayed as a new human, a new Adam, when he is not THE new human, the Messiah to come?

John from North Wales: (21:20)
I've found this series on the Son of Man really exciting. I have a question about Daniel. I was struck when you were taking us through those first chapters in the book of Daniel that Daniel himself actually seems to be a flawless human being. My working paradigm was that there are no heroes in the Old Testament except for God himself, but Daniel does actually seems to pass the test (or at least to not really fail the test at any particular point). So how do you interpret the figure of Daniel? Thanks!

Sam from Ohio: (26:04)
In Daniel 7:18, 22, 27, it speaks of the saints being given the dominion and kingdom to possess forever. Verse 27 ends by saying, "All dominions shall serve and obey them." But the ESV footnote says it might end by saying, "All dominions shall serve and obey him." Is it a possible interpretation to view the Son of Man as a figurative representation of all the saints of the Most High rather than a specific individual? Or what is the connection between the individual and the collective groups of saints? Thanks!

Douglas from Rwanda: (40:15)
I was curious about the use of the word "son of man" in other Old Testament books such as Ezekiel. Ezekiel appears to be written before Daniel and they use the exact same word "son of man." I wonder if you know if it has a different meaning, and if not, how is it related to Daniel's use of "son of man?" Thank you!

Ivan from El Salvador: (43:20)
I love the conversation about the Son of God and how he's someone God gave that title. How, with that definition, do we read John 1:12 that whoever receives him will be called a son of God? How do we understand that, or does John have a different definition in mind?

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Find more resources at www.thebibleproject.com

Show produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Theme music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents

Mar 11, 2019
Thieves by the Throne - Son of Man E8
01:07:58

In part one (0:00-13:15), Tim and Jon briefly recap the series so far. Then Tim says that there are three different nuances that Jesus uses when describing himself as the Son of Man.

The first nuance is Jesus calling himself the Son of Man when saying that he has divine authority. Here’s an example from Mark 2:8-12:
"Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

Tim says that when Jesus says, “The son of man has authority on earth,” it is recalling Adam/humanity's forfeited authority over the land/earth in Genesis 1.
In the story, Jesus steps in as an Adam figure and also a high priest figure. The major part of the priests' job is to intercede for sinners and offer sacrifices of atonement for them. Jesus picks up the Adam-priest mantle in this story.

Tim quotes from scholar Joel Marcus: “Adam was created to be the terrestrial representative of the heavenly king, to rule on earth as God rules in heaven… Jesus here emphasizes that his authority to forgive sin on earth derives its ultimate authority from God’s prerogative to forgive sins in heaven… The first Adam is associated with both royal rule and with sin and death, and so here Jesus is portrayed as the royal human who has power over both sin and death.” -- Joel Marcus, Son of Man as Son of Adam, 372-373.

In part two (13:15-26:30), the guys dive into another example from Mark 2:23-28:
"And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And He *said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?” Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made because of the human, and not the human because of the Sabbath. So the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Tim observes that the Sabbath in Genesis 1 is an ideal of new creation that the first Adam never fully attained, and so it remained to be attained by a future son of man. Jesus is claiming to be that one. Tim quotes from Joel Marcus again: “From Genesis itself, to be sure, one might get the impression that the Sabbath was not created “because of the human,” but “for/because of God.” God rested on the seventh day from the labor of the preceding six, and therefore hallowed the seventh day in perpetuity… However, in Jewish tradition, scholars went to great pains to make clear that God wasn’t tired...but that the purpose of the Sabbath was for humanity, to provide rest for them… A similar line of thought is found here in Mark 2, the Sabbath was created for Adam’s sake and for the humanity he represents, not the other way around. The Sabbath was built into the structure of the world that was made subject to Adam. Therefore, Adam’s final son (the son of man), who has recovered dominion that his great forefather had forfeited, is the Lord not only of the world in general, but of the Sabbath in particular.” -- Joel Marcus, The Son of Man as the Son of Adam, 375-376.

In part three (26:30-36:00), Tim talks about the second nuance that Jesus uses when referring to himself as the Son of Man; he describes himself as suffering. The guys examine Mark 10:35-45:
"James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, *came up to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.” And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” They said to Him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. “But to sit on My right or on My left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

“Hearing this, the ten began to feel indignant with James and John. Calling them to Himself, Jesus *said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. “But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Tim cites Joel Marcus again saying that Mark 10:45 may be paraphrased as such: “Like his great ancestor Adam before the fall, the Son of Adam had the right and authority to be served, as ruler of all creatures on earth. But instead of exercising this right, the Son of Man has become the slave of all humanity, even to the point of dying for them. In so doing, he has reversed the effect of Adam’s sin, the death which he passed onto his offspring; the one Son of Adam has given his life as a ransom for the many children of Adam who were deprived of their life by the transgression of “the human.” -- Joel Marcus, Son of God as Son of Adam.

In part four (36:00-43:15), Tim continues examining this story by Jesus. Jesus believes that he, as the Son of Man is going to rule by serving and suffering. Tim says that this idea becomes significant when thinking about the Christian tradition of baptism. It is a symbolic representation of following Christ through the veil of death to be resurrected to new, real, eternal life after.

In part five (43:15-59:50), Tim points out the third nuance that Jesus uses to show himself as the Son of Man: the Son of Man will be vindicated after death. Jon notes that understanding these nuances really helps to fill in a lot of the blanks that round out Jesus' identity and actions.

In part six (59:50-end), Tim and Jon recap the whole series. Tim shares a final quote from Joel Marcus:
“The Son of Man” is an apocalyptic symbolic figure. It the Son of Man is a new Adam, then the Jesus of the Gospels presents himself as the founder of a new humanity. This is why the Gospel authors depict Jesus as carrying out his ministry in the “last days”, as the recapitulation and perfection of “the beginning.” In this context, the good news of Jesus’ opening message in Mark 1:15 (“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near!”) is not simply that time of waiting for a new event to happen is over. Rather, he means that the old universe is dying and a new creation is being born.” -- Joel Marcus, Son of Man as Son of Adam, 385.

Thank you to all of our supporters!
Have a question? Send it to info@jointhebibleproject.com

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Tim Mackie

Show Music:

Defender Instrumental, Tents

Royalty Free Spanish Guitar

Amber, The Loyalist

Heal My Sorrows

Where Peace and Rest are Found

Moon, Lemmino

Show Resources:

Brandon Crowe, The Last Adam: A Theology of the Obedient Life of Jesus in the Gospels

Joel Marcus, The Son of Man as the Son of Adam

Our video on the Son of Man: https://bit.ly/2D3wD9o

Mar 04, 2019
Jesus With Wild Beasts - Son of Man E7
00:54:21

In part one (0:00-19:00), the guys introduce Jesus and the Gospels into the conversation. Tim remarks that there is a whole field of scholarship dedicated to studying how Christ is portrayed as a new Adam or a new Son of Man.

Tim focuses on Jesus in the Gospel of Mark.
Mark 1:12-13:
“Immediately the Spirit cast out into the wilderness. And He was in the wilderness forty days being tested by the Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.”

Tim notes that the phrase “cast out” (Grk. εκβαλλω) is first used in the Old Testament account of Adam and Eve’s explusion from the garden of Eden (Gen 3:24). He also says that both of these stories are meant to be analagous to each other. Jesus is in the wilderness (garden) with the wild animals (Adam and Eve) in the presence of the angels (cherubim and cosmic mountain).

Tim cites a quote by biblical scholar Brandon Crowe: “Whereas Adam failed the temptation in the garden and was cast out, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness, a setting associated with Israel’s testing and failure. Unlike Adam, Jesus does not fail the test, and in both stories of Adam and Jesus “expulsion” the same Greek word ekballo is employed. In the wilderness, Jesus is with the wild animals, but remains unharmed [T.M. like Daniel], which is supposed to strike the reader as unusual. Jesus’ peaceful coexistence with the wild animals signifies his authority over them, and recalls Adam’s original dominion over the animals in the garden. Like Adam, Jesus has been granted the worldwide dominion, becoming the instrument of God’s dominion over the world.” -- Brandon Crowe, The Last Adam: A Theology of the Obedient Life of Jesus in the Gospels, 24

Tim points out that the temptation of Jesus in Mark, specifically the details of the angels serving him and him being with the wild beasts, is meant to show that Jesus is the new Adam, the perfect Adam who can coexist peacefully with animals in the wild.

Further, Tim points out that Jesus is portrayed as having authority over the other spiritual beings (angels) to show that Jesus is the ideal Son of Man figure.

In part two (19:00-18:30), Tim and Jon take a side tour and discuss how in Hebrew there are places where the Hebrew word adam can refer to either a specific character, Adam, or to humanity as a whole. The guys also discuss the nuances between the terms Son of Man and Son of God. Tim notes that Psalm 2 is a key passage for understanding how both of these terms link together.
To be called the image of God as humanity means to be the creatures where heaven and earth are bound together.
Psalm 2: “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.’ The One enthroned in heaven laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.’ I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have become your father.
Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.’”

In part three (18:30-end), Jon asks why heaven and earth are supposed to be ideally imaged in humanity. Tim replies that humanity is meant to be related to the elohim. We are not elohim, but we are to share in a similar status of having a divine ability to rule.

Tim and Jon then dive into the temptation of Jesus portrayed in Matthew 4:8-11:
“Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ ” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.”

Tim notes that there is only one other time in the New Testament where Jesus utters the phrase, “Get behind me Satan” or “Go, Satan” (in the NIV). It’s in Matthew 16:23: “Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns."

Tim notes that Jesus obviously sees that a satanic mindset is one where the mindset is human-focused and set on how a beast would rule the world, one of power and strength not of sacrifice.

Tim points out that after these temptations, you are supposed to see Jesus as a new Adam. He peacefully coexists with animals. He’s a new Daniel; he doesn’t bow down to the rulers. He’s a new David because he rules righteously. Jesus is the full package.

Thank you to all of our supporters!
Have a question? Send it to info@jointhebibleproject.com

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Tim Mackie

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Yesterday on Repeat, Vexento
Morning, LIQWYD

Show Resources:
Exodus 4:22
Matthew 4:8-11
Psalm 2
Brandon Crowe, The Last Adam: A Theology of the Obedient Life of Jesus in the Gospels
Joel Marcus, “The Son of Man as the Son of Adam”
Our video on the Son of Man: https://bit.ly/2URk3BH

Feb 25, 2019
The True Human - Son of Man E6
01:04:04

In part one (0:00-12:00), the guys quickly recap the biblical story leading up to Daniel 7. There are many models of the Son of Man in the Old Testament: Noah, Moses, David, Joshua. They all get close, but they ultimately fail and are not able to be the perfect “seed of the woman” that will crush the snake and fulfill the prophecy given in Genesis after the fall.

In part two (12:00-29:30), the guys dive into Daniel 7:
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea. “The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it. “And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’ “After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.

After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
As I looked,
thrones were set in place,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
and its wheels were all ablaze.
A river of fire was flowing,
coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
and the books were opened.

Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Tim makes the following observations: The animals are like an anti-creation. They are extremely non-kosher animals. They are mutants, and they come out of chaotic, watery darkness. They are chaos creatures. Daniel sees the same throne room (v 9) that Ezekiel saw in his vision in Ezekiel 1. What Nebuchadnezzar had wanted, to be praised and worshiped by everyone, happens to the Son of Man when God exalts him.

In parts three and four (29:30-52:00), Tim and Jon cover the interpretation of the dream in v15-27:
I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this.
So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’
Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.
He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.
‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.'

Tim makes the following observations: The “holy ones” has a double meaning. It represents both the “holy” sons of God/elohim, that is celestial beings in the divine council, and it represents a true human race who are “holy” to God and fulfills their calling by following the true Son of Man.
Daniel 7 is a symbolic and cosmic depiction of a real, historical conflict (Antiochus’ attack on Jerusalem and defilement of the temple in 167 B.C.), that is part of an ancient pattern going all the way back to Genesis 1-3.

In part five (52:00-end), Tim observes that somewhere in Daniel 7 is a storyline that was crucial to Jesus and how he thought of his identity. So if someone wants to understand more about Jesus, they should invest the time to learn more about the Son of Man storyline in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Thank you to of all our supporters!
Have a question for the upcoming Q+R? Send it to us!
info@jointhebibleproject.com

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Pilgrim, Instrumental
Going Up, Lakey Inspired
Model Planes, Hands of a Craftsman
Show Resources:

Our video on the Son of Man: https://bit.ly/2URk3BH

Morna Hooker, "The Son of Man in Mark."

John Goldingay, "Daniel" (Word Biblical Commentary)

Crispin Fletcher-Louis, "The King, the Messiah, and the Ruler Cult" (ch. 6 of "Jesus Monotheism")

Michael S. Heiser, Ch. 30 of "The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible."

Feb 18, 2019
The Beastly King - Son of Man E5
00:59:53

In part one (0:00-6:30), the guys briefly go over the previous conversations from the Son of Man series. Tim explains that in order to fully understand the Son of Man imagery in Daniel 7, Daniel 1-6 needs to first be unpacked. Daniel 7 is significant because it’s a culminating vision of the whole Hebrew Bible imagery told in one very dense chapter.

In part two (6:30-25:50), the guys go over the history of the Babylonian Empire and King Nebuchadnezzar. He was a king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, a sort of resurgence of the previous Babylonian rule. Babylon had long been dormant while Assyria was the world superpower, but Babylon had a brief rise to prominence again under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar. He dominated Jerusalem and took their promising youth with him to Babylon. Daniel was in this group.

Tim points out a few hyperlinks to other parts of the Hebrew Bible at the beginning of the book of Daniel. Daniel is the "royal seed" carried away to Babylon who replays the test of Adam and Eve and succeeds!

Daniel 1:3-4: "And the king of Babylon told his officers to bring from the sons of Israel and from the royal seed… youths...who were good of sight and wise with all wisdom, and knowing knowledge, and understanding knowledge…"
Dan 1:5-7: "And the king assigned for them a daily ration of the king’s choice food and his wine, to raise them for three years so they could stand in his service. Among them were sons of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah...but Daniel set it upon his heart to not defile himself with the king’s choice food or his wine…"
Dan 1:12: "Daniel said, 'Let there be given to us from the seeds, and we will eat, and water, and we will drink.'"

Daniel is depicted as a new Adam, who is brought into Babylon already having great knowledge. He refuses the forbidden food (Daniel ch. 1) and only increases in wisdom! Instead, he adopts an Eden-diet of veggies and water and is elevated to serve in the king’s court.

Tim’s point is that Daniel is the forbidden fruit that the king of Babylon has just taken. Daniel has an opportunity to eat the forbidden food of the king and break his kosher diet. He refuses the forbidden food and therefore passes the test.

In part three (25:50-end), Tim and Jon go over the two dreams that Nebuchadnezzar has leading up to Daniel 7. In Daniel 2, the king has a dream. Once Daniel gives the interpretation, the king worships Daniel.

Daniel 2:46-49:
"Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and worshipped (sagid) Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and incense.
Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.
And Daniel made request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel was at the king’s court."

Then Daniel 3 is an inversion of Daniel 2. The king wants everyone to worship an image of him. This is the story of the blazing furnace.

Daniel 3:10-12:
“You, O king, have made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe and all kinds of music, is to fall down and worship the image of gold.
“But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. “There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve (palakh) your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”

So Daniel 2 and 3 are inversions of each other, and then in Daniel 4, the king has another dream. In the dream, a "watcher” appears. Tim notes that this is the only time that specific word appears in the Hebrew Bible. However, it also appears in the book of Enoch, a Jewish book written in the same time period.

The king calls Daniel again to interpret the dream.

Daniel 4:20-25:
"The tree that you saw, which became large and grew strong, whose height reached to the sky and was visible to all the earth and whose foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt and in whose branches the birds of the sky lodged— it is you, O king; for you have become great and grown strong, and your majesty has become great and reached to the sky and your dominion to the end of the earth. ‘In that the king saw a watcher, a holy one, descending from heaven and saying, “Chop down the tree and destroy it; yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze in the new grass of the field, and let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him share with the beasts of the field until seven periods of time pass over him,” this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: that you be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes."

Tim notes that when the Babylons of this world acknowledge that God is truly the wise sovereign, then they can become the true human rulers they’re intended to be. But when they do not, when they turn their national power and glory into an idol (as in Daniel chs. 2 and 3), God shows them what they are: beasts.

The narrative contrasts the beastly Babylon with the human Daniel who submits to God’s rule and is elevated to rule by God’s wisdom.

So to sum up the episode: The king of Babylon’s worship of the divine image of Daniel in Daniel 2 is ironically reversed in Daniel 3, where his friends are forced to worship the false image of Babylon. These twin stories set up the tension of the book: What humanity will be exalted as the divinely appointed ruler of the world? Babylon or the “royal seed” represented by Daniel and his friends? The king’s worship of Daniel becomes a narrative image of the worship of the son of man in Daniel 7. And Daniel 7 is a symbolic and cosmic depiction of a real, historical conflict (Antiochus’ attack on Jerusalem and defilement of the temple in 167 B.C.) that has been depicted as part of an ancient pattern going all the way back to Genesis 1-3.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Bloc, KV

Show Resources:

Our video on the Son of Man: https://bit.ly/2URk3BH

  • B. Mastin, "Daniel 2:46 in the Hellenistic World," in Zeitschrift für alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, volume 85 (1973), pages 80-93.

  • Crispin Fletcher-Louis, "Jesus Monotheism" chapter 6, "High Priestly and Royal Messianism,"

Feb 11, 2019
Power Over the Snake - Son of Man E4
01:02:41

In part one (0:00-13:10), Tim recaps the series so far. He says the Son of Man title is Christ’s favorite title to use to describe himself, and it originally comes from a dream in Daniel 7. Tim then recaps Genesis 1 and 2. Humans are created after the animals but are then called to rule over the animals. So the creation and power order is inverted. Humans are overcome by the animals when they listen to the serpent, and humans embrace an animal-like state. Tim emphasizes that flowing out of Genesis are two lineages: a human lineage, the seed of the woman, and an animal lineage, the seed of the serpent. And at some point, a Son of Man will deliver the seed of the woman from the seed of the serpent.

In part two (13:10-18:30), Tim and Jon dive into the imagery of animals in the Bible. Jon asks what is the proper relationship with animals for people to have. Tim speculates that animals are meant to be in a peaceful relationship with humans. And a peaceful connection with the animals is an image the prophets use to describe a new creation. (Lions, lambs etc. )

In part three (18:30-33:50), Tim dives further into Genesis. He examines the inverted first born/second born relationships in the book. Abraham has two children, Isaac and Ishmael. Ishmael is the firstborn but is not chosen by God. Instead, God chooses Isaac. Then later in the story, Isaac has two sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob is the second born and is chosen by God. Tim points out that the pattern is intentional.

In part four (33:50-end), Tim then moves into the account of the Exodus. Pharaoh says he wants to deal “shrewdly” with the Hebrews. This is a synonym of the snake saying it is the “crafty” beast. Pharaoh is now embracing an animal-like tendency and seeking to harm the Hebrews.

Then Tim dives into the story of the burning bush. God tells Moses to turn his staff into a snake ( snake (נחש) ). Many western readers see this story as some sort of magic trick that God is telling Moses to do. That's far from what's happening. Tim says the story is actually meant to portray Moses as a successful “son of man” who has power over the snake. This point is further emphasized when Moses and his brother Aaron go before Pharaoh to demand the release of the Hebrews. Aaron throws down his staff and it becomes, in Hebrew, a sea serpent. This is a different word than the previous word used for snake.

Exodus 7:8-13:
"Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Perform a sign,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a sea serpent (תנין).’" So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and thus they did just as the Lord had commanded; and Aaron threw his staff down before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a sea serpent (תנין).
Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. For each one threw down his staff and they turned into sea serpents (תנין). But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said."

Tim says the point is Moses and Aaron becoming associated characters. They are humans who have power over the snake. Literally. They grab snakes and symbolically they prevail over Pharaoh. This theme is picked up by later biblical authors who see the symbolism and use the same word, “sea serpent,” to describe Israel’s enemies.

Isaiah 51:9-11:
"Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; [// the arm of Moses with the staff]
Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, [= Israelite name for the god of Egypt]
Who pierced the sea-monster (תנין/tanin)
Was it not You who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
Who made the depths of the sea a pathway
For the redeemed to cross over?
So the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion"

Ezekiel 32:2:
“Son of man, take up a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him,
‘You compared yourself to a young lion of the nations,
Yet you are like the monster (tanin) in the seas."

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Have a question about the Son of Man? Send it to us as we begin preparing for an upcoming Q+R episode.

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Where Peace and Rest are Found, Beautiful Eulogy
Conquer, Beautiful Eulogy
Mind Your Time, Me. So.

Show Resources:
Son of Man Video: https://bit.ly/2D3wD9o
Gerhard von Rad, Genesis: A Commentary
Crispin Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism
Richard Bauckham, Living with Other Creatures

Feb 04, 2019
The Snake in the Throne Room - Son of Man E3
00:48:30

Welcome to episode 3 of our series on the Son of Man! In this episode, Tim and Jon dive deep into the history, the story, and the ideas surrounding one of the most famous figures in the Bible: the Serpent.

In part one (0:00-8:00), Tim and Jon briefly recap the previous episode. Humanity is supposed to live in peaceful coexistence and be responsible for the animals.

Tim says that Daniel’s vision in Daniel chapter 7 of the Son of Man shows us that humans are meant to be over the animals, but instead they end up behaving like animals.

In part two (8:00-24:30), Tim dives into Genesis 3 and begins examining the serpent. The snake is presented as crafty. This is the Hebrew word "arum.” In other cases in the Bible, this word has a positive connotation, but in this context, it means a negative use of intelligence. Gen 3:1:
"Now the serpent was more arum than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made."
In the following Proverbs, arum is used to demonstrate a positive character trait.
Proverbs 14:15: "The naive believes everything, but the sensible man considers his steps."
Proverbs 27:12: "The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty."

So in Genesis 3, arum is translated as “crafty.” This is the only time it's translated with a negative sense, but usually arum means sharp, quick thinker, problem solver etc.

Tim also briefly says that in other ancient religions, especially in Egypt, snakes were symbolically significant. Tim says the snake is presented as a creature alongside the humans. It uses its divine blessing (wisdom) to twist the divine command by telling the humans that they can be like-God (or “like gods”). But the humans already are God-like, having been made in God’s image.

Tim observes that after Adam and Eve take the serpent's advice, eat the fruit, and are expelled from the Garden, the very next story is one where Cain also listens to “sin” that is described as “crouching” at his door. Both of these narratives portray humans being ruled by beasts, instead of ruling over them. Death is the result. Once humans choose to redefine good and evil, they become beastly.

In part three (24:30-28:00), Tim quickly goes over the Messianic promise that God gives in Genesis 3:15:
“And I will set hostility
Between you [serpent] and the woman,
And between your [serpent] seed and her seed;
He [seed of woman] shall strike you [serpent] on the head,
And you [serpent] shall strike him [seed of woman] on the heel.”

Tim says that this sets up the main plot conflict for the biblical story. Humans must recover their ability to rule over the beasts, and this will be done by the true Son of Man who strikes the serpent.

In part four (28:00-end), Tim overviews the whole biblical fall narrative. Tim says that the story of Noah is significant, as it represents a failed restart of creation. Noah was set up to save the animals from the flood. He did so, and seemed to act as a true son of man. Noah gets off the boat, and God recommissions Noah to “be fruitful and multiply” and fill the earth. Then God pivots and gives humanity a new diet:
“The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given.
Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.
Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood" (Genesis 9:1-4).

Noah eventually falls away from following God’s blessing. And one of his son’s (Ham) descendants Nimrod is mentioned as being the first “hunter” in the Bible. Nimrod was also the founder of Babylon. Why are we told both of these details about Nimrod’s life? Because it represents an archetype that is developing. Humanity is now choosing to become part of a cycle of acting like beasts, creating a violent, killing culture.

Since humanity has chosen this path, they now must be saved by the true Son of Man. He will be the seed of the woman, but instead of giving in to the violence of humanity, he will choose to overcome it.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Pilgrim, Instrumentals
The Size of Grace, Beautiful Eulogy

Show Resources:
Our video on the Son of Man: INSERT LINK
Gerhard von Rad, Genesis: A Commentary
Crispin Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism
Richard Bauckham, Living with Other Creatures
James Hamilton, With the Clouds of Heaven: The Book of Daniel in Biblical Theology
Brandon Crowe, The Last Adam: A Theology of the Obedient Life of Jesus in the Gospels

Jan 28, 2019
Humans & Animals - Son of Man E2
01:00:33

Welcome to episode two of our series discussing the biblical theme of the Son of Man. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss humanity's role in relation to other parts of creation, specifically animals.

In part one (0:00-30:15), the guys briefly recap the first episode and quickly go over Daniel’s dream in Daniel 7, where he has a vision of the Son of Man appearing.

Tim then dives into the language and ideas presented in Genesis 1 and specifically focuses on the order of creation and how the days are paired.
Genesis 1:1-2:
In the beginning God created the skies and the land
and the land was wild and waste, and darkness was over the face of the watery deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Wild (tohu) = unordered
Waste (vohu) = uninhabited
Day 1 - Light: Separated from dark, day and night.
Day 4 - Lights appointed to rule the day and night.
Day 2 - Waters above separated from waters below.
Day 5 - Creatures in waters below, creatures in waters above.
“And God created the great sea monsters..." (1:21)
“And God blessed them, saying be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters…” (1:22)
Day 3 - Water separated from dry land.
“Let the land bring forth (ותוצא) plants and vegetation and seed-producing plants and trees producing fruit.” (1:12)
Day 6 - Creatures on the land.
“Let the land bring forth (ותוצא) living beasts by their kinds.” (1:25)

“Let us create the human (ha-adam) in our image and as our likeness…
And God blessed them, and said, (1) be fruitful and multiply and fill the land and subdue it, and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the beasts on the land.” (1:26-28)

Gen 2:1-3: God rests on the seventh day, which does not end.

Tim then focuses on humanity's relationship with animals. Tim notices that humans are the “second comers” to creation, who are given the responsibility to rule over the animals who came first. This is a pattern that shows itself many times in Genesis. (Think about Joseph’s sons later in the story.)

Tim then asks what it means for humans to be called to rule over the animals. Tim cites Richard Bauckham’s book Living with Other Creatures,

“It is not often well enough noticed that the command God gives to humanity refers to two rather different matters. It refers first to the relationship of humans to the earth, secondly to their relationship to other living creatures...and they are not the same thing. Humans are not alone in being told to be fruitful and to multiply and to fill, the first and birds were given the same blessing on day 5. Only humans are told to fill and to subdue the land. In the narrative this refers clearly to agriculture, taking possession of the soil and working it in order to make it yield more food for humans than it would otherwise do.

But what about all the other land animals? How does humanity’s role of subduing land relate to God’s blessing of the animals to fill the land? Notice God’s next words to the humans:
See, I have given you (humans) every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food. (Gen 1: 29– 30)

Why does God tell humans that he has given every plant for food for the other living creatures? Surely, the reason is that it is the humans who need to know that the produce of the earth is not intended to feed them alone, but also all the living species of the earth. The clear implication is that the earth can provide enough food for all creatures. Humans are not to fill the earth and subdue it in a way that leaves no room and no sustenance for the other creatures who share the earth with them. God has given them too the right to live from the soil. So the human right to make use of the earth, to live from it, is far from unlimited. It must respect the existence of other creatures.

The biblical portrait of human dominion over the animals must be filled out by the Bible’s vision of “royal rule.” Since Genesis depicts the image of God as a kind of royal function, the rule of a king over others, it is worth recalling the only passage in the law of Moses that refers to the role of the king in Israel (Deut. 17: 14– 20). There it is emphasized that the king is one among his brothers and sisters, his fellow-Israelites, and should not forget it. He should not accumulate wealth or arms or indulge in any of the ways kings usually exalt themselves above their subjects. Only if they remember their fundamental solidarity with their people will kings be able to rule truly for the benefit of their people. Similarly, only when humans remember their fundamental solidarity with their fellow-creatures will they be able to exercise their distinctive authority within creation for the benefit of other creatures.” (pp. 226-228)

In part two (30:15-41:30), Jon asks about carnivorous animals like lions. Tim says that life survives at the expense of other lives right now, but apparently, in the new creation, that will fundamentally change.

Tim says that humans bear responsibility for animal’s destiny; that’s why we are called to rule them. This is humanity acting in their identity of the divine image.

Tim shares this quote:
“The close relation of the term for God’s image with that for the commission to exercise dominion emerges quite clearly when we have understood selem as a plastic image. Just as powerful earthly kings, to indicate their claim to dominion, erect an image of themselves in the provinces of their empire where they do not personally appear, so man is placed upon earth in God’s image as God’s sovereign emblem. He is really only God’s representative, summoned to maintain and enforce God’s claim to dominion over the earth.”
Gerhard von Rad, Genesis: A Commentary, ed. Peter Ackroyd et al., trans. John H. Marks, Revised Edition., The Old Testament Library (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press, 1972), 59–60.

Tim says that a human making an idol is an oxymoron. Humans are the image of God, so why would they make one?

Tim then posits that in Genesis 3, an animal (the snake) is the one who deceives Adam and Eve. Humans end up getting ruled by the animals instead of ruling them.

In part three (41:30-53:00), the guys discuss Psalm 8:

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have shown Your splendor above the heavens!
….When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is human that You take thought of him,
And the son of man (human) that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than elohim (God or angelic beings),
And You crown him with glory and majesty! [kavod va-hadar ‘divine attributes’]
You make him to rule [mashal] over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!
Notice how God’s exaltation and glorification of humans is set within an inclusion frame about God’s own majesty and reputation. An exalted humanity doesn’t compete with God, rather it increases God’s own honor, because humans are an expression of the divine beauty and creativity.

In part four (53:00-end), Tim shares this quote:

“One point of saying that God is the absolute sovereign (as the biblical texts say time and again) is to say that he is free: free to exalt and share his own power and divine power with those whom he wills, through a transformation of their nature and identity; free to create entities that in various ways share in his identity as ruler and judge, and who manifest his presence within the world… The God of the biblical story is able to enter into and take on the nature and identity of the very reality he has created, taking it up into his very self. God’s identity is, apparently, “sharable.” … God’s identity is not a zero-sum game. To say that God shares his identity with humanity does not mean he suffers a loss of being; on the contrary, it is actually a way of saying that his identity is magnified and his glory extended.” [Tim’s note: “and, we may add, this is the way the divine love is extended as well.”] - Crispin Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism, 310-312.

Tim says that for God, relationship with creation means entering into a shared relationship with it.

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
The Cave Resides Deep in the Forest, Artificial Music
Talking with You, Copyright free
Very Chill Saxaphone, Copyright free

Show Resources:

Gerhard von Rad, Genesis: A Commentary
Crispin Fletcher-Louis, Jesus Monotheism
Richard Bauckham, Living with Other Creatures.
Our video on the Son of Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6cWEcqxhlI&t=113s

Jan 21, 2019
The Empty Throne - Son of Man E1
00:51:31

In part one (0:00-19:30), the guys discuss what “son of” means in our current culture. They bring up certain phrases like “Sons of Anarchy,” “Sons of Liberty,” etc. Tim says this means that someone identifies with an idea or ideology.

Tim then offers the fact that historically people have referred to Jesus as Christ. Christ is actually a Greek word meaning Messiah. Messiah in Hebrew means the anointed one.

Tim then says that Jesus never referred to himself as Christ or Messiah, and when others would refer to him as this, he would reply that he is the “Son of Man.” Why is this?

For example in Luke 9:18-22:
"Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, 'Who do the crowds say I am?' They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.' 'But what about you?' he asked. 'Who do you say I am?' Peter answered, 'God’s Messiah.' Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, 'The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.'"

Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man in the third person immediately after Peter called him the Messiah.

Tim then posits that Paul doesn’t use the phrase “the Son of Man” in his writings. Instead, he uses phrases like “the firstborn of all creation” or “the new humanity.” Tim says this is because Paul is taking the message of Jesus to an international audience that isn’t familiar with what the Son of Man means.

So what does the Son of Man mean? And where does it come from?

Well in part two (19:30-32:00), Tim takes us to Daniel 7, a famous dream that Daniel had where the Son of Man appears. Tim says that this dream is very iconic and well known in Jewish history. Everyone would have known about it.

Daniel has a dream about a succession of beasts that trample humanity. There are thrones established in the heavens over the earth, but only one of them is filled. It’s filled by the Ancient of Days, which is Daniel’s phrase for God/Yahweh. So there is an empty throne, then a figure called the Son of Man rides up on a cloud to the Ancient of Days. The Son of Man is presented to the Ancient of Days and then is given dominion. The Son of Man then sits down on the empty throne.

In part three (32:00-end), the guys break down the phrase the Son of Man. If someone refers to themselves as “the Dark Knight,” people automatically know that they are referring to Batman. Similarly, if someone calls themselves “the Son of Man,” they are referring to a certain character in the Hebrew storyline. They discuss what it means for Jesus to be comfortable inserting himself into Daniel’s dream.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Someday Be Free, Copyright Free Instrumental.
Miss Emili, General Vibe

Show Resources
Our video on the Son of Man: https://bit.ly/2FvYzGb

Jan 14, 2019
God Series Recap - God E22
01:02:59

In this episode, Tim and Jon revisit the different ideas and themes that have been discussed in our podcast series on the identity of God in the Hebrew scriptures.

In part one (0:00-27:30), the guys briefly outline some of the ideas in the series. Jon asks Tim if in the garden of Eden is the serpent’s offer to the humans of becoming “like God,” or in Hebrew, “like elohim.” Does it actually imply that humanity was looking to be in a different class of being than the one they were created to be? Tim says he thinks this is right. It’s about an overreach from what your created realm of authority is supposed to be.
Tim reflects on the story of the Hebrew Bible as a whole saying that it’s a commentary on God’s intention for humanity to rule as his images. And while they may be lower in class than the spiritual beings/elohim. They are the image of the elohim of elohim (Yahweh) and are therefore entitled to rule. Tim says the question is whether humanity will choose to know good and evil by grabbing it out of turn, or if they will learn it relationally by being in relationship with Yahweh.

Tim says that these stories are designed to be elusive and allusive. They are supposed to be somewhat vague and not to be read like a textbook. They are also supposed to allude to other stories in the Bible.

In part two (27:30-49:00), the guys continue to reflect on the takeaways from their discussions in the God series. Jon says that he wishes he could arrive at more closure around the idea of the Trinity, but he wonders if that’s even possible. Tim sympathizes and says that the idea to some degree lacks language and human ability to comprehend it. Tim says that Peter says people are made to be “participators in the divine nature.” 2 Peter 1:3: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

In part three (49:00-end), Tim says there are a few other things that he learned in the series. For example, in the ancient world, the concept of giants is a huge idea. Giants are always connected to being divine or semi-divine. Tim says the Hebrew word nimrod actually means rebel in Hebrew. Tim also says that he realized how huge Daniel 7 is. It’s a chapter that is crucial to understanding Jesus’ worldview and who he thought he was. Tim also mentions two books (see resources) that helped him understand the ancient Hebrew view of God/Yahweh among other gods.

The guys wrap up the conversation by talking a little bit about the upcoming Q+R and looking forward to the Son of Man series premiering next year.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Show resources:
The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel by Benjamin D. Sommer
The Two Powers in Heaven by Alan Segal
Our video on God: https://bit.ly/2CycuKe

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental. Tents
Faith, Tae the Producer
Praise through the Valley, Tae the Producer

Jan 07, 2019
Merry Christmas & Thank You from The Bible Project
00:06:08

Thank you to every single one of our podcast listeners. Because of your generous support, we were able to release over 40 episodes this year!

We also wanted to mention our #EveryDollarDecember campaign. We are raising support for our translation teams across the world. Every single dollar raised this December will be used to fund the translations of our videos. You can find out more about this campaign at thebibleproject.com/donate.

Merry Christmas from Tim, Jon, and The Bible Project team!

Dec 31, 2018
The Trinity & God's Identity - God 21
00:55:22

Welcome to the final episode in our series on God! Today Tim and Jon discuss the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

In part one (0:00-31:00), Tim and Jon briefly discuss how identity is always contingent upon things revealed by that individual. At any point in time, we are never aware of a full identity of something or someone because our knowledge of that thing is always partial.

Tim says that God’s identity as a community of love represented in the Trinity is mirrored when humans choose to live in a community of love as well.
Tim cites Michael Reeves and asks what God was doing before Creation? Tim says the Apostles offer an answer to this question with John 17:24 and Jesus claiming “you loved me before the creation of the world.” So the eternal state of God is as Father loving the Son through the Spirit. What does it mean that God is a “loving father?”
Well, Yahweh is occasionally described as Father in the OT (Exod 4:22; Hosea 11:1; Isaiah 63:16), and Jesus used "my father" as his fundamental title for God.

In part two (31:00-42:15), the guys continue to break down the doctrine of the Trinity. Tim expands on the identity of God as a father and shares a quote from Reeves addressing why Jesus used the word father to describe his relationship.
“Jesus called God ‘Father’ because he is a father. It’s a name rich with meaning. A father is someone who gives life, who ‘begets’ children… If, before all things, God was eternally a father, that means “God” is an inherently outgoing, others-centered, life-giving God. The Christian God did not give life for the first time when he decided to create the universe. We’re asked to consider that from eternity God in his essence is life-giving… This is why in 1 John 4, he says “God is love,” because in the next sentence he says “This is how God revealed his love among us: he sent his One and Only Son, that we might live through him.” The God who is love is the Father who sends the Son. To be Father means to love, to give out life, to the Son and through him to others.” – Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity, 24.

Jon says that things get very metaphorical very quickly because God’s relationship with Jesus is not a one-created-the-other relationship. Instead, their relationship is a symbiotic one. They give and receive love as a father and son should give and receive love.

Tim goes further and points out that biblical writers say that God is not only father but also love. The guys both agree that when discussing this, you quickly find yourself at the limits of language. There is an inability to articulate the identity of God, and that is the point.
Tim also shares Gregory of Nyssa's commentary on Hebrews 1:3: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s being. As the light from the lamp is of the same nature as the flame which shed the brightness and is united with it [where does the light “begin”?], so the Son is of the Father and the Father is never without the Son; for it is impossible that glory should be without radiance, as it is impossible that the lamp should be without brightness.” – “On the Faith,” in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2.5, p.338

In part three (42:15-end), Tim shares the Baptism of Jesus as seen when looking for the Trinity. The Father loves the Son through/by the Spirit. Tim cites Reeves again:
“The way the Father, Son, and Spirit, related at Jesus’ baptism was not a one-time only event. The whole scene is full of echoes of Genesis 1. There at creation, the Spirit also hovered, dovelike, over the waters. And just as the Spirit, after Jesus’ baptism, would send him out into the lifeless wilderness, so in Genesis 1 the Spirit appears as the power by which God’s word goes out into the lifeless void… In both the work of creation (Genesis 1) and in the work of new creation (the Gospel stories), God’s word goes out by his Spirit. It’s all revealing what God is truly like. The Spirit is the One through whom the Father loves, blesses, and empowers his Son. The Son goes out from the Father by the Spirit.” – Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity, 30.

Tim then shares 2 Corinthians 13:14: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship [Grk. koinonia] of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”

Jon says that the word “God” becomes a stand-in for Father. Tim says that’s correct and can be confusing at times, but it should be examined contextually to see what it’s referring to. Tim then shares Galatians 4:4: “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

Tim closes the episode by sharing a final quote from Reeves:
“This ‘God’ simply doesn’t fit the mold of any other. The Trinity is not some inessential add-on to God, some optional software that can be plugged into him. At bottom, in essence, this God is not first of all Creator or Ruler or even “Deity” in some abstract sense. He is Father, loving his Son in the fellowship of the Spirit. A God who is in himself a community of love, who before all things could never be anything but love. And if you trust and come to know such a being, it changes absolutely everything.” – Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity, pp. 36-38.

Show Resources:
Our video on God: https://bit.ly/2Pr6qpJ
Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity
Gregory of Nyssa “On the Faith,” in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2.5, p.338
James Kugel, "The Great Shift: Encountering God in Biblical Times."

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Tae the Producer, Eden
Tae the Producer, Faith

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Dec 17, 2018
Jesus' Identity in John's Gospel - God E20
00:51:41

This episode continues our series on the portrayal of God as a character in the Bible. Today Tim and Jon dive into the Gospel of John and how it portrays the relationship between God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

In part one (0:00-13:30), Tim says that reading John is similar to watching a remake of a movie, only with a different director. The Gospel of John was the Gospel that was written the latest, and John himself seems to have been the last living disciple of the original twelve. Tim says that John feels like a reflective retelling of the story of Jesus. This means the language used in the book is slightly different than in other Gospels and books in the Bible.

Tim says that John specifically hones in on using the language of “oneness.” It echoes the Shema. For example, Tim cites Richard Baukum, saying that in John 5:16 (Healing the crippled man on the Sabbath):
“For this reason, the Jews were persecuting Jesus because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” For this reason, therefore, the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God."

Or again in John 10:30-31: “'I and the Father are one.' The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him.”

And again in John 14:10: “Philip, do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.”

Tim says that the point is that John has reflected the Jewish Shema in Jesus and God the Father’s relationship intentionally.

In part two (13:30-23:30), Tim and John look at the divine name.
John 8:56-59" “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to Him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.' Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him.” Tim says that this is taken directly from Exodus 3:14.

In part three (23:30-28:10), the guys look at John 17. Tim calls this chapter the climatic summary of the themes in the book.
John 17:1-3: “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
Tim says to notice the Daniel 7 echoes: Son, authority over all flesh, etc.

John 17:5: “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” Tim says that Jesus was the pre-existent word and wisdom of God and the embodiment of his divine glory.

In part four (28:10-end), Tim shares John 17:11. "Holy Father, keep them in your name, the name which you have given me, that they may be one even as we are one.” Tim says that Jesus and the Father bear “the name” showing that they are one.

John 17:20-26: “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that also they may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as we are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in one-ness, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Tim says that the true nature of God the Father’s relationship with Jesus is mirrored in how people relate with each other through love.

Tim shares a quote from scholar Larry Hurtado: “The Gospel of John draws on a rich, almost interchangeable association of God and God’s name to express a uniquely intimate relationship between Jesus and the Father. Indeed, for the author of the Gospel of John, for whom the biblical traditions provided the authoritative store of vocabulary, images, and themes by which to express the significance of Jesus, this divine-name tradition constituted the most profound way to portray the relationship of the “son” to the “father.” To speak of Jesus as invested with the divine name, as given the name, as manifesting God’s name in his own words and actions, as coming with and in the name of God, was to portray Jesus as bearing and exhibiting God in the most direct way possible in the conceptual categories of the biblical tradition and within the monotheistic commitment of that tradition. In the centuries following the Gospel of John, Christians began using terms and conceptual categories from Greek philosophical traditions (words like: being, essence, person). But it’s important to see that the use of the divine-name tradition in John is on it own terms an equally radical and direct claim about the relationship between Jesus and God.” -- Larry Hurtado, The Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Early Christianity.

Jon comments that the Gospel of John seems to be the most Jewish of all the Gospels. Tim says he agrees. John speaks directly to all of the Old Testament Jewish “shelves” of who God is. All these shelves are difficult for many modern people to fully understand without learning how an ancient Jew would have thought and acted. Jon says there are not only other languages to deal with when reading the Bible (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, English etc) but also foreign ways of thinking. Ancient people thought differently than modern western people.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Show Resources:
Larry Hurtado, The Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Early Christianity.
Richard Baukum
Our video on God: https://bit.ly/2Pr6qpJ

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Tae the Producer, Praise Through The Valley
Tae the Producer, Another Chance
Tae the Producer, He’s Always There

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen.

Dec 10, 2018
Jesus and God's Spirit - God E19
00:37:49

Welcome to another episode in our series on God as a character in the Bible! Today, Tim and Jon dive into Paul’s understanding of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The passages that Tim shares are commonly referred to as the “Trinitarian texts” of Paul. These passages were fundamental to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

In part 1(0-11:00), Tim uses an example out of Galatians 4.
“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Torah, so that He might redeem those who were under the Torah, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

Here, Paul invites people to see that the same Father-Son love that was communicated by the Spirit at Jesus’ baptism is inviting us into the community of divine love as well. Tim says you quickly reach the point in Paul’s letters where all the terms are interchangeable. Jesus’ Father becomes “Our Father”.

In part 2(11:00-21:50), Tim shares another example, this time out of
Jesus, the Spirit, and God’s Life [Romans 8:9-11]
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. [Romans 8:14-15] For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

Tim points out that this statement is very similar to the Shema. Paul has taken the God/Spirit unity and put Christ in the middle of it. Paul and the early Christians believed that Jesus was divine from the very beginning. Christ’s divinity, identity as God, and the doctrine of the Trinity, are beliefs that the earliest Christians shared, it was not an idea later imposed on Christianity.

In Part 3 (21:50-end),
Tim outlines part of his own personal journey of faith. He shares that when Paul says we are known by God more than we actually know God. Fundamentally, Christianity is experiencing God, living in a relationship with God. It is secondarily about arranging facts and knowledge. To us the metaphor of a parent and child, a child never truly knows a parent. But a parent knows a child.

Resources:
Our Video on God: https://bit.ly/2Spyf3H
N.T. Wright’s course on the Apostle Paul: https://bit.ly/2Qwqrzy
Gordon Fee, Paul the Spirit and the People of God.

Music:
Defender Instrumental: Tents
Praise Through the Valley: Tae the Producer
He’s Always There: Tae the Producer

Produced by:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins.

Dec 03, 2018
Acts E5: N.T. Wright Interview - Getting to Know The Apostle Paul
00:55:24

This is a very special episode of our podcast. Today Tim and Jon talk with N.T. Wright, a well-known biblical scholar. Wright has heavily influenced many areas of theology, especially through his work outlining the Apostle Paul.

Dr. Wright outlines his childhood and his original introduction to the Bible (0:00-9:40). Dr. Wright discusses Paul’s mindset as a Jew, especially before his transformation on the road to Damascus (9:40-18:20).

Dr. Wright explains what he thinks happened to Paul on the road to Damascus. He thinks Paul was meditating on the vision in Ezekiel 1 while on the road. He also explains what he thinks happens during the decade after Paul’s transformation. Dr. Wright also mentions that it’s unusual that Paul never returns to Tarsus in Acts (18:20-31:50).

Dr. Wright then discusses Paul’s balance between being loyal to his Jewish roots but also believing that the Jews and their God were supposed to be a blessing to all the nations. Dr. Wright says that for Paul, the whole point of the Gospel was to give Abraham his single worldwide family and that through the Jews, God would redeem all humanity. Paul believes that ultimately all people are God’s people, not just the Jews (31:50-end).

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Tim Mackie, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents.

Show Resources:
Our video on Paul in Acts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiVAbkINtRU
Paul: A Biography, N.T Wright.

N.T. Wright’s online classes: www.ntwrightonline.org/thebibleproject

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Nov 26, 2018
Who Did Paul Think Jesus Was? - God E18
00:38:40

This episode continues our series on God as a character in the Bible. Today Tim and Jon dive into the writings of Paul in the New Testament.

In part one (0:00-7:25), Tim explains that Paul’s writings are actually chronologically written earlier than the Gospels, even though they come toward the end of our modern Bibles. Tim says this is important because it shows that the theology expressed by Paul wasn’t something that developed years later after the Gospels. Instead, Paul’s stance on Jesus actually predates the accounts.

In part two (7:25-22:10), Tim and Jon examine Romans 10:8-9, 12-13: “The message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved…. For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”

Tim’s point is that the Greek word “kurios,” when translated through the Hebrew, equates to Paul calling Jesus Yahweh. So in the quote from the book of Joel, the logic would be: Jesus = Kurios = Yahweh.

Joel 2:32: Hebrew: “Everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved.”

Joel 2:32 Greek Septuagint: “Everyone who calls on the name of Kurios will be saved.” “Jesus is Lurios”

Romans 10:9, 13: “Everyone who calls on the name of Kurios will be saved.”

Tim moves on and talks about Jesus and the Shema in 1 Corinthians 8:4. “Therefore concerning the eating of foods sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”

Tim says that Paul has basically inserted Jesus into the Shema.

The Messianic Shema in 1 Corinthians 8:6:
For us, there is one God (theos),
the Father,
from whom are all things
and we exist for Him;
and one Lord (kurios),
Jesus Christ,
by whom are all things,
and we exist through Him.

The Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4-5:
Hebrew: “Listen O Israel, Yahweh is our Elohim, Yahweh is one.
Greek Septuagint: “Hear O Israel, Kurios is our theos, Kurios is one.
κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν κύριος εἷς ἐστιν

Tim says the analogy of 1+1=1 is a mathematical analogy to show how Paul reasons that Jesus and God the Father can be one and separate at the same time. With this logic, he can fit both Jesus and God the Father in the Shema comfortably.

In part three (22:10-end), Tim outlines Colossians 1:15-20:

And He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For by Him all things were created,
[both] in the heavens and on earth,
visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created through Him and to himself.
And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

And He is head of the body, the church;
and He is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead ones;
so that he might have first place in everything.
For in him it was the [Father's] good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell
and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself,
having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him,
whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Tim points out that this is a sort of summit of Paul’s ideas on Jesus. In Paul’s mind, Jesus unites all of the Old Testament themes, and all of the labels and titles Paul gives Jesus in this passage trace back to Old Testament ideas. Tim says Paul breaks with the meanings of the words and how they had been used in the Hebrew scriptures. Tim says that this passage is originally formatted as poetry, which makes sense because there are so many complex ideas being presented that poetry is the only proper way to appreciate it.

Thank you to all of our supporters! You can check out all our resources at www.thebibleproject.com

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen

Show Music:
Eden, Tae the Producer
Faith, Tae the Producer

Show Resources:
Our video on God: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAvYmE2YYIU&t=1s

Nov 19, 2018
Q+R: Your Questions About Jesus' Identity - God E17
00:53:18

This is our fourth Q+R related to our series outlining the character of God in the Bible. Tim and Jon responded to seven questions related to Jesus and His part in the divine identity in the Bible.

Here are the questions and timestamps:

Q1: (1:00)
Evan from Suwanee, Georgia:
You've talked about the wisdom, glory, word, and spirit of God and how biblical authors treat them as Yahweh but also distinct from Yahweh. Similarly, the angel of Yahweh is also written about in the same way. Trinitarians suggest God is three persons in one essence yet we see these four additional attributes and the angel of Yahweh treated in a similar manner. So my question is, how did the biblical authors treat the Father, Son, and Spirit differently that would lead to the Trinitarian viewpoint vs. a multi-faceted God who is more than just a triune Godhead? Thanks!

Q2: (11:25)

Lindsay from Breman, Indiana:
I was wondering, you guys just spoke a little bit about how in the Gospel of John we see all of those threads coming together, such as God's wisdom, glory, and the word of God as distinct from Yahweh but Yahweh. Is there anything like that in the synoptic gospels? Thanks!

Q3: (28:55)
Chris from Orange County, California:
If the idea of the Trinity is based on commonly held views by the Hebrews of a complex God then why were the Jews in Luke 22 and John 10 so incensed by Jesus' claim to be the son of God and why is that a common objection by Jews today?

Q4: (33:10)
Andrew from Gresham, Oregon:
I have a question regarding Jesus as God. At the beginning of the Gospel of John, I've heard Jehovah's Witnesses say the church has always misunderstood that reference to the Word being God and it truly is saying that the Word was a god. With all the talk we've had about the various Elohim I'm wondering if there's some credence to that or if it really was saying that the Word was God proper. Thanks, guys!

Q5: (36:55)
Brandon from Provo, Utah:
In previous podcasts, you talked about how personified wisdom and Jesus Himself are tied to Yahweh's transcendent nature by means of creation and exaltation imagery. What does it mean for Jesus to grant "the one that conquers" in Revelation 3 to sit with Jesus on His throne just like He conquered and sits with His Father on His throne? Is this part of what Jesus was praying for in John 17? Thanks!

Q6: (43:10)
Joel from South Carolina:
While you guys were discussing the different attributes of God, it reminded me of how love is often described in the New Testament, specifically in 1 John 4:7-8. In verse 7 it says love is "from God" while in verse 8 it says God is love. So I was wondering whether love is considered to be a part of these attributes that are separate from God while at the same time being a part of God. Thank you!

Q7: (46:45)
Michael from Bangkok, Thailand:
My question is about the identity for of mission of Jesus. When I was younger, I assumed that because Jesus was God He was aware of that His whole life. But when I see things like Jesus asking questions as a boy in the temple or Luke saying Jesus grew in wisdom it seems to me Jesus didn't start out with this inherent self-awareness of being God but went through a process learning about God and even His own identity as Messiah through the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. So what does the Bible show us about Jesus' process of understanding His own identity? Thanks, guys.

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Resources:
Blass, Debrunner, and Funk, "A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature." https://www.amazon.com/Greek-Grammar-Testament-Christian-Literature/dp/0226271102/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541805528&sr=8-1&keywords=blass+debrunner+funk&dpID=51XBFCCXMRL&preST=SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40&dpSrc=srch

Herbert Smyth, "Classical Greek Grammar."
https://www.amazon.com/Greek-Grammar-Revised-Herbert-Smyth/dp/1614275238/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541805590&sr=8-1&keywords=smyth+greek+grammar&dpID=410jB6H23RL&preST=SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40&dpSrc=srch

Our video on God: https://bit.ly/2CycuKe

Nov 12, 2018
Who Did Jesus Think He Was? - God E16
00:53:47

Next week is a Q+R! Get your questions ready and send them to info@jointhebibleproject.com. Please keep the audio file to about 20 seconds and let us know your name and where you’re from.

This episode continues our series on God. Tim and Jon dive deeper into the portrayal of Jesus as a character in the New Testament. They ask the big question: Just who did Jesus think he was?

In part one (00:00-12:15), Tim and Jon briefly recap the conversation so far. As depicted in the Hebrew Scriptures, God is a “complex unity.” Tim says it’s a fundamental mistake and a case of cultural imperialism to read the Bible expecting the biblical authors to use language and words the same way that you do. He offers an example: Would you travel to another country and expect them to speak the same way, eat the same things, and have all of the cultural norms you are accustomed to? Of course not. You travel to see other cultures. So when reading the Bible, the reader needs to be trained to think as a Hebrew author would think.

In part two (12:15 - 24:15), Tim breaks down some of Jesus' more inflammatory claims, including that “all the things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son reveals him.”

Tim says that when Jesus says this it's another way of Jesus proclaiming he is the Son of Man, but he doesn’t use Daniel 7 Son of Man language. Instead, he uses Father/Son language. Jesus is saying that just because people may not recognize who he is, doesn’t change his identity as the Son of Man. Tim says there was a point in Jesus' human development where he became aware of his identity as the Messiah. The only window into this is the short story in Luke where Jesus is twelve years old and wants to stay in the temple because he’s aware of his identity.

In part three (24:15- 40:40), Jon asks how ancient Jews thought of the Son of Man coming? Tim says that the Son of Man figure in Daniel 7 inspired a lot of different ideas. Jesus is claiming that he is opening up a way to relate to the God of Israel as “Father.”

Tim outlines Matthew 26. The high priest demands to know if Jesus is the Messiah. Tim makes a key distinction. For the Jews, the title Son of Man is much more blasphemous than the title Son of God. To be a Son of God is a royal title that says you’re a descendant of King David. To be the Son of Man means you are claiming divinity, sharing in God’s own identity.

Jesus’ response to the high priest is a response from Psalm 110 and Daniel 7. He says “from this moment,” meaning that as soon as he is condemned to death, it is actually the beginning of his installment or coronation as the Son of Man, who will now be sitting at the “right hand of the Father.” Jesus is then given a robe and a crown of thorns and is crucified. This is his coronation as King of the universe.

In part four (40:40 -44:35), Tim gives a historical example of “Alexamenos of Rome,” an ancient piece of Roman graffiti depicting Christ being crucified, only in the image he has the head of a donkey. The graffiti is the Romans mocking someone named Alexamenos for worshiping Jesus, saying that it’s completely absurd.

Tim offers an example of twenty-one Christians in the Middle East who were slaughtered and beheaded for their faith in Jesus. The apostles would have you believe that while they were being brutally murdered, they were the ones in charge, not their captors. How counterintuitive.

In part five (44:35-end), Tim and Jon briefly discuss Christian baptism. Baptisms bookend the book of Matthew. At the beginning, Jesus is baptized, and at the end, he tells his disciples to baptize new believers. Tim says that, unfortunately, baptism has been controversial and divisive in Christian history. Because the apostles didn't seem to be interested in explaining baptism to the degree that it would solve debates about what baptism actually means and symbolizes. Tim says that regardless, all Christians agree that it is an important motif in Christianity. Why? Because you get to identify yourself with the Jesus story, going through the same ritual he did to identify as a child of God.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Have a question? Next week is a Q+R. Send it to us!
info@jointhebibleproject.com. Please keep the audio file to about 20 seconds and let us know your name and where you’re from.

Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen

Show Music:
La Rentree Des Classes, Lohstana David
Another Chance, Tae the Producer
He’s Always There, Tae the Producer
Moments, Tae the Producer
Defender Instrumental, Tents

Show Resources:

Check out our video on God here: https://bit.ly/2PyKGwc

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexamenos_graffito

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Enoch

Nov 05, 2018
Is Jesus God? - God E15
00:56:22

This episode continues our series examining God as a character in the Bible. Today Tim and Jon dive deep into the story of Jesus of Nazareth.

In part one (00:00-12:30), Tim outlines the historical path of Jesus. He says that within Jewish culture, Jesus stands unique. For example, in early Christian culture, there were hymns singing songs of praise to Jesus, not just about Jesus. Christians can “praise the name of Jesus” and Paul can use the phrase “maranatha,” which means “our Lord come” in Aramaic. Tim says the point is that Paul can write to a Hebrew or Greek audience with an Aramaic phrase and have it apparently make sense. The significance is that what Jews would have said about Yahweh––“our Lord come”––Christians were then saying about Jesus in Paul’s letters. Tim says that by doing this you are essentially equating Jesus to Yahweh. Tim cites Larry Hurtado and his book One Lord, One God.

In part two (12:30-22:45), Tim outlines the most common exalted claim made about Jesus by the first Jewish Christians. It was to use the language of Psalm 110:1-2 combined with Daniel 7.
Psalm 110 A poem of David:
Yahweh says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”

These lines are the most-quoted Old Testament text in the New Testament. It describes God taking a “master/lord” of King David and placing him on a throne that is next to the divine throne. It’s quoted by Jesus himself inMark 12:36 and 14:62, by the apostles in Acts 2:33-35; 5:31; 7:55-56, and by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Ephesians 1:20; 2:6; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3, 13; 8:1; 10:12-13; 12:2. It's also used in a Jewish context to claim that a human figure had been exalted to share in the divine rule over creation, which was equal to a claim that this figure shares in God’s unique identity.

Tim asks the burning historical question: How did this configuration of beliefs and practices come into existence? The New Testament offers an account for the origins of this exalted view of Jesus and their experience of him through the Spirit.

In part three (22:45-37:00), Tim lays out more accounts of Jesus and says that Jesus positions himself as “Yahweh returning” from the Old Testament. For example in Mark 1:1-3:
“The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You,
Who will prepare Your way;
The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
‘Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.’”

“Lord” here is in Greek (kurios), the Greek Septuagint translation of “Yahweh.”
In Mark 1:4-8, John the baptist is introduced as the messenger voice in the wilderness. So In Mark 1:9, we’re introduced to Jesus as kurios. Tim continues and says that with Jesus’ baptism, the story is a Father, Son and Spirit love-fest.

Mark 1:9-11:
"In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens [God as Father]. 'You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.'"

Tim says the point is to demonstrate the unity of the triune God. Jesus is sent forth from God/Yahweh in the power of the Spirit.

In part four (37:00-end), Tim says after the baptism that Jesus does “Yahweh alone” things, such as forgiving people’s sins. Mark 2:5-7: "And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.' But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 'Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?' [lit. “the one God”]"

Jon asks about the relationship as a son and father. Why does Jesus call God his father? Tim says it’s not like Yahweh gave birth to Jesus. It carries forward Old Testament ideas that the son, specifically the eldest son, is the chosen one who will carry on the father’s mission.

Tim says that while the title “Father” or “my Father” or “our Father” can be confusing to modern readers, Jesus was fundamentally trying to show an intimate, precious relationship between him and Yahweh. Father is used in the Old Testament in Exodus when Yahweh refers to Israel as “my son.” Further, Christians get this language uniquely from Jesus’ own choice of that word to use it to describe Yahweh.

Tim says that there is always a point in these type of conversations when things seem mysterious and confusing and people lack language to describe this aspect of God. Tim says he thinks that this is part of the beauty of the topic.

Show Resources:

Larry Hurtado One Lord, One God.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maranatha
Our video on God: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAvYmE2YYIU&t=3s

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Praise Through The Valley, Tae the Producer
Eden, Tae the Producer
Moments, Tae the Producer

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen

Oct 29, 2018
Who is the "Son of Man?" - God E14
00:53:20

This is another episode in our series on God’s portrayal as a character in the Bible. In this episode Tim and Jon finally (finally!) begin to talk about Jesus. But in order to talk about him, they need to unpack a confusing phrase in the Bible, “the Son of Man.” What’s the story behind this phrase? It comes from a famous vision from Daniel chapter 7.

In part one (00:00-19:45), the guys quickly review their conversation so far. Tim reiterates that God’s portrayal in the Bible is extremely complex, and that’s on purpose because God is complex. The biblical writers want to leave the reader with a sense of mystery about God’s identity. Jon says that it’s fundamentally impossible to completely understand a being that is other than you.

Tim shares a quote from biblical scholar Mehrdad Fatehi, saying that for the biblical authors, “Yahweh cannot be reduced to any one of the manifestations of his presence (Word, Spirit, Wisdom, Angel, etc.). Yahweh is not completely identified with any one of these, but rather dynamically related. Yahweh is the Spirit, in so far as he is relating himself to creation. This is why the biblical writers prefer to speak of Yahweh’s 'spirit,' or 'arm,' or 'glory,' or 'word,' rather than to refer to God himself in a more direct way. By adopting such a procedure, they manage both to express the objective reality of God’s contact with his creation, and at the same time maintain that God himself is always greater than any specific act of revealing himself to someone.” -- Mehrdad Fatehi, The Spirit’s Relation to the Risen Lord in Paul’s Letters, 57-58.

In part two (19:45-38:10), Tim introduces the dream that Daniel has. He notes the design of the book of Daniel by saying that Daniel’s dream is related to the other dreams and events in the book. The dream begins in verse 7:9-10:

I kept looking
Until thrones were set up,
And the Ancient of Days took His seat;
His vesture was like white snow
And the hair of His head like pure wool.
His throne was ablaze with flames,
Its wheels were a burning fire.
10 “A river of fire was flowing
And coming out from before Him;
Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,
And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;
The court sat,
And the books were opened.

7:11-12: The super-beast is killed and thrown into the fire before the throne

Daniel 7:13-14:
I kept looking in the night visions
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a son of human was coming,
And he came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
“And to him was given dominion,
glory and ba kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations
and languages Might serve (or “worship”) Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.

Who is this Son of Man? Jon asks if it’s a physical child. Tim explains that it's actually biblical imagery to depict a class of being. This is a “son” similar to the “sons of the prophets/Elijah” depicted in the Old Testament. Tim says the point of the vision is that Daniel represents a summary of the future hope of the Hebrew Bible, and it envisions the coming of God’s Kingdom as the coming of a human figure (“a son of humanity”), who will sit beside God, share in his rule over the beasts (remember the plural “thrones”), and receive worship from all nations.

In part three (38:10-end), Tim says that the Christian claim of God existing “three in one” and the divine complexity is a thoroughly Jewish idea, but Jews have long debated who the actual "Son of Man" is. Tim says there’s a ancient Jewish author called Ezekiel the Tragedian, who believed that the vision of Daniel’s Son of Man was actually referring to Moses. Tim also says that it’s clear that the New Testament authors believed Jesus is the Son of Man, and they combine all of God’s attributes (word, spirit, wisdom, etc) with the idea of a human being elevated to God’s status.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Praise Through The Valley, Tae the Producer
Moments, Tae the Producer

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Resources:
Mehrdad Fatehi, The Spirit’s Relation to the Risen Lord in Paul’s Letters, 57-58.
Ezekiel the Tragedian, "Exagoge"
See: http://jewishchristianlit.com/Texts/OT/EzekielTheTragedian.html
www.thebibleproject.com

Oct 22, 2018
What is God's Name? Feat. Dr. Michael Heiser - God E13
00:59:18

This is a special episode in our series exploring the portrayal of God as a character in the Bible!

In this episode, Tim and Jon host a friend of the Bible Project’s, Dr. Michael Heiser. Dr Heiser is a Ph.D. in Hebrew studies from the University of Wisconsin. He’s a well-published author whose work has been mentioned on this podcast before. He also runs his own podcast called “The Naked Bible Podcast”.

In part 1 (0-18:05), the guys begin to talk about God’s “name”. This is a motif that is found throughout Scripture. Tim says that the Old Testament well primes the observant reader to expect an incarnation of God. The guys zero in on the commandment to not take God’s name in vain. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord God in vain.” What does this actually mean? Is it about cussing or something more? Dr. Heiser says the commandment is much more significant than most modern readers think.

Tim shares a quote from Gerhard Von Rad’s Old Testament Theology.
“The name Yahweh was committed in trust to Israel alone among the nations… In it alone lay the guarantee of Yahweh’s nearness and of his readiness to help… This name shared directly in Yahweh’s own holiness, for indeed it was, so to speak, a double of his being. And so it had to be treated as holy in the very heart of Israel’s worship, to 'call on the name of Yahweh' was equivalent to true worship.” -- Gerhard Von Rad, Old Testament Theology, Vol. 1, p. 183.

Dr. Heiser says that to represent someone’s name is a big deal. He says that to “not take the name in vain” would be better translated to, “do not misrepresent the name."

In part 2 (18:05- 33:00), the guys dive into more stories of God’s name. Dr. Heiser makes a point that God incarnating happens repeatedly in the Old Testament, so it was expected that God would incarnate in the New Testament as the Messiah. Heiser says the question for an ancient Hebrew was not, "Is it possible for God to incarnate in a human?" but rather, "Is Jesus the chosen one whom God has incarnated in?"

The guys zero in on some stories of the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament.
Dr. Heiser says that in the Exodus 23, the Angel has God’s name “in him”. Then in Joshua 5, “the ruler of the Lord’s army” or “captain of the hosts of the Lord” appears to Joshua. Joshua is told to remove his shoes, for the ground is holy. This is the same language that appears in the story of Moses and the burning bush. In the burning bush story, it is the angel that is in the bush. Dr. Heiser says this is the same figure in all the stories. The angel is both an angel and Yahweh, yet is distinct from Yahweh.

In part 3 (33:00-44:30) Tim and Dr. Heiser continue to make the point that God was known to incarnate in physical form. Dr. Heiser references Dr. Alan Segal, saying that ancient Judaism had a duality in it. God could be both Yahweh and distinct from Yahweh.

Tim refers to Jesus’ brothers who didn’t believe Jesus was the Son of God when he was alive, but after his resurrection they did.
Tim and Dr. Heiser also refer to John 17. Dr. Heiser says that when Jesus claims to have “manifested God’s name” he is claiming in other words, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus is the one who carried the name faithfully, doing the job Israel was supposed to.
Tim says the claim being made in John 17 is behind the whole universe being in unity, a community of eternal love.

In part 4 (44:30-end) The guys talk about the “name” or the “mark” of the beast in the book of Revelation. Dr. Heiser says this is also much more significant than modern readers realize. To carry the name of the beast means to have a willful alignment with evil.

Jon comments that he still feels a little confused. “The name” of God operates so complexly.
Dr. Heiser says this is intentional and that there is a whole “matrix of ideas” in the Bible. A key to reading the Bible well is to understand how the vocabulary used in the Bible all interconnects.

Show Resources:
Gerhard von Rad, "Old Testament Theology," Vol. 1, p. 183.
Peter Ellis, "The Genius of John: A Composition-Critical Commentary on the Fourth Gospel"
Michael Heiser, "The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible" and "Angels: What the Bible Really Says about God's Heavenly Hosts"
Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Tents
Faith: Tae the Producer
In the Distance: Tae the Producer
Moments: Tae the Producer

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins.

Oct 15, 2018
God, Abraham, Demons, & Giants Q+R - God E12
01:01:35

This is our third Q+R in our God series. Thank you to everyone who sent in questions! Tim and Jon discussed four of the questions we received. Here are the questions and timestamps:

Q1: (1:05)
Bryce from Chicago
I'm currently studying in Chicago at the Moody Bible Institute. A bunch of guys from my floor were watching the Season 5 premiere, and we had a specific question for the God series: How does God's interaction with the world, that is, wanting to co-rule with celestial and terrestrial creatures, relate to God's transcendence and sovereignty? And to all of you at The Bible Project, your work is inspiring and helpful every day––thanks so much!

Q2: (11:42)
Linda from Portland, Oregon
I've heard a Tim Keller podcast sermon on Abraham's conversion with the three visitors he entertains in his tent before they go down to bring judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah as being an intercession like the one between Moses and God. Can you comment on how this earlier Abraham story contributes to the intercession paradigm you talk about from the example of Moses?

Q3: (25:15)
Brian from Cleveland
In God E7, you mentioned Christopher Wright's commentary and explanation of Moses' intercession and the purpose of the narrative. Moses is counting God's consistency despite God's threat. When God relents or changes His mind, He's actually showing Himself to be consistent. My question is this: Is something similar happening in Genesis 22 when Abraham is asked to sacrifice Isaac? There's no explicit mention of Abraham praying or interceding, but his faith in God's consistency is evident. Thanks!

Q4: (43:45)
Maggie from Wisconsin
Tim said that people that are interested in the spiritual realm today usually disconnect it from the political power structures, even though the biblical authors saw the two as intertwined/mirrors. However, it seems that the majority of the demons that Jesus was casting out within the New Testament were in individuals that were not politically powerful people.

Show Resources:
Archie Wright, "The Origin of Evil Spirits: The Reception of Genesis 6:1-4 in Early Jewish Literature"
Clinton Wahlen, "Jesus and the Impurity of Spirits in the Synoptic Gospels"
Brian Doak, "The Last of the Rephaim: Conquest and Cataclysm in the Heroic Ages of Ancient Israel"
Michael Heiser, "The Unseen Realm."

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel

Oct 08, 2018
God’s Word, Spirit, & Wisdom - God E11
01:08:43

This episode continues our series on the development of God as a character in the Bible. This week Tim and Jon have part two of their conversation on God’s attributes used as a character. They discuss God’s Spirit, God’s wisdom, and God’s word.

In part one (0 - 33:05), the guys briefly recap last week’s discussion on “God’s Glory.” Then Tim outlines the attribute of God’s word. Tim outlines the first story where “God’s word” is used. Genesis 15:1: "After these things the word of Yahweh came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.'"

“The word” is the subject of the verbs (“came” “spoke”). it is “seen” in a vision, and it speaks in first-person divine speech. Tim says that often this nuance gets overlooked, that God’s word appeared in visible form. It’s depicted as a character that can appear to someone. Tim says the point is that often times the weird wording is intentional and should not be overlooked.

Tim shares another story in the Old Testament about God’s word. 1 Samuel 3:1-7: "Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord before Eli. And the word of Yahweh was rare in those days, visions were infrequent… and Samuel was lying down in the temple of Yahweh where the ark of God was… then Yahweh called Samuel; and he said, 'Here I am.' Then he ran to Eli and said, 'Here I am, for you called me.' But he said, 'I did not call, lie down again.' So he went and lay down. Now Samuel did not yet know Yahweh, nor had the word of Yahweh yet been revealed [lit. “made visible”] to him…. Then Yahweh came and stood and called as at other times, 'Samuel! Samuel!' And Samuel said, 'Speak, for Your servant is listening.'"

Tim shares a final story on God’s word. Jeremiah 1:1-9: “The words of Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah...to whom the word of Yahweh came… [v.4] Now the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…' [v.6] Then I said 'O Yahweh Elohim, I don’t know how to speak, I’m just a youth…' [v.7] Then Yahweh said to me, 'Don’t say ‘I’m just a youth…’' [v.9] Then Yahweh stretched out his hand and touched my mouth and Yahweh said to me, 'Look I have put my words in your mouth.'"

Tim says the point is that in all of these passages, Yahweh and Yahweh’s word are the same, and yet distinct. Yahweh’s word is a physical embodiment (it can appear, be seen, it has hands, etc.).

So in light of all of this new information, let’s go back to Genesis 1:1-3: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God spoke, 'Let there be light'; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness."

God’s identity has three facets in this opening scene:
God, God’s ruakh (breath, invisible presence), and God's word. Tim then draws attention to Psalm 33:6, 9: “By the word of Yahweh the heavens were made, all their hosts by the ruakh of his mouth… For he spoke, and it was, He commanded, and it stood.”

Tim moves on to discuss God’s Spirit. God’s Spirit is his invisible personal presence, that is God himself as he is experienced by people and personally present in the world. God’s Spirit influences and works through human agents, especially these type of people in the Bible:

Prophets: Micah 3:8: "On the other hand I am filled with power—with the Spirit of Yahweh—and with justice and courage, to make known to Jacob his rebellious act, even to Israel his sin."

Kings: 1 Samuel 16:13: "Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of Yahweh came mightily upon David from that day forward."

Wise people: Genesis 41:38-39: (Joseph) “Pharaoh said to his servants, 'Where else can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of Gods? … There is no one with wisdom or understanding like him.'”

Artists and Leaders: Exodus 31:1-4: (Bezalel) “Then Yahweh said to Moses, 'Look I have chosen Bezalel...and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom and understanding, with knowledge and skills, to make designs in gold and silver…'"
Deuteronomy 34:9: (Joshua) “Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the Spirit of Wisdom.”

God’s Spirit = the divine thoughts and purposes = “mind”
Isaiah 40:13-14: "Who has measured the ruakh of Yahweh, And who has informed him with advice? With whom did He take counsel, to be given knowledge? Who taught him...knowledge, or who informed him with understanding?" Notice this close connection between God's Spirit and God’s wisdom.

Jon makes a fun analogy by pretending he’s a gerbil. If he was a gerbil and he were to see Tim as a human, he would only understand limited ways that Tim interacted with him. So similarly, when biblical authors experienced God through one of his attributes, they recognized that it wasn't God in his entirety but rather an aspect of him with which humans have been able to interact.

In part two (33:05-46:10), Tim continues to outline God’s Spirit. Jon says that he doesn’t think of his presence or mind as an attribute. So why is God’s presence/Spirit considered an attribute?
The guys have a brief discussion on the different ideas in philosophy and science asking, “Is our mind distinct from our ourselves, or is it ourselves?" Tim comments that it’s hard for a modern person to have an understanding of God, a being with a mind, but with no known “hardware.”

In part three (46:10-52:30), Tim outlines God’s wisdom. Tim says that all of the attributes are designed to flow in an out of each other. So when someone acts under or with God’s Spirit, they are also acting with God’s wisdom.
Tim says in the Bible, God’s wisdom is depicted as an influential urban woman who calls out to humanity. This is literary personification. Proverbs 8: 8:1-2: “Doesn’t wisdom call out, and understanding offer her voice. At the top of the heights, by the crossroads she stands…” 8:15-16 “By means of me kings reign, and leaders make just laws. By means of me rulers rule, and officials, and all those who rule with justice.” 8:22-23: "Yahweh possessed me at the beginning of his way, before any of his works of old. From ancient times I was appointed, from the beginning, from the oldest times…" 8:30" “I was beside him as an ‘amon’, I was delighting day by day, rejoicing before him.”

"Amon" is an ambiguous word, used only here in ancient Hebrew and is capable of multiple interpretations. It could mean “workman," "apprentice,” but also “child," "nursing-child.”

In part four (52:30-end), the guys jump into the New Testament, specifically John 1. Tim says God’s word, Spirit, wisdom, and Genesis 1 are all creatively retold in John 1, but now Jesus is the central character.
In this first chapter, John says as clearly as he can that Jesus is Yahweh, but he is also distinct from Yahweh.

Jon asks what "only begotten son" means in the Bible? Tim answers that there have been lots of debates over time. The phrase comes from the Greek phrase, "monogenís gios." Some have suggested that it means “the only born son," whereas other theologians have suggested it means “only of its kind.” Tim suggests that people shift their language away from “only begotten” to something like “Jesus is the one and only unique son of all the spiritual beings because he actually shares in God’s identity and is one with God.”

Tim offers that in pop culture, often times people are skeptical of the idea of “the trinity.” They think that because the word “trinity” doesn’t appear in the Bible, it might be a later invention of Christianity.

Show Resources:
Frederick Danker Dictionary.
Find all our resources at www.thebible.project.com

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Praise Through The Valley, Tae The Producer
Another Chance, Tae the Producer
He’s Always There. Tae the Producer
Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel

Oct 01, 2018
God's Name is a Character - God E10
00:34:08

This episode continues our series on the development of God as a character in the Bible! Today Tim and Jon zoom in on a confusing part of the Bible: God’s attributes, specifically, God’s name, glory, word, spirit, and wisdom. Today Tim and Jon will be covering the first two attributes, God’s name and his glory.

In part one (0-7:15), Tim outlines God’s name in the Bible. Think of God’s name as his “reputation,” and his name is a big deal in the Bible. Tim briefly outlines and says that God’s attributes take on a life of their own. Literally. The attributes play a similar role in the story of the bible that the Angel of Yahweh does. The attribute can be both distinct from and be Yahweh.

Tim says that the first time God’s name is revealed in the Bible is at the burning bush in the story of Moses in Exodus 3. God reveals his divine name to Moses, and it is utterly unique and undefinable: “I am who I am.” Yahweh = he is who he is.

Tim shares a quote from scholar Gerhard Von Rad: “The name Yahweh was committed in trust to Israel alone among the nations… In it alone lay the guarantee of Yahweh’s nearness and of his readiness to help… This name shared directly in Yahweh’s own holiness, for indeed it was, so to speak, a double of his being. And so it had to be treated as holy in the very heart of Israel’s worship, to 'call on the name of Yahweh' was equivalent to true worship.” Von Rad Old Testament Theology, Vol. 1, p. 183.

In part two (7:15-25:55), Tim continues and says that in Deuteronomy we see a fascinating repeated phrase. Moses says that when Israel crosses into the promised land, God will lead them to set up a place of worship, a temple: Deuteronomy 12:4 says, “You are to worship at the place Yahweh your God will choose from among all the tribes to place his name there for it to dwell/take up residence. That’s where you will seek him and go there.” Deuteronomy 12:11 says, “And the place where Yahweh your God chooses to cause his name to dwell, that’s where you will bring your offerings…”
Tim says the point is that the unique name of Yahweh in this phrase is personified like a person or being who “lives/dwells” in the temple.

Tim moves on and outlines another attribute, God’s glory. God’s kavod = the physical manifestation of God’s important status. Tim highlights Exodus 24:9-11 and God's glory on Mount Sinai. "Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel; and under his feet there appeared to be a pavement platform of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. Yet he did not stretch out his hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they saw God, and they ate and drank."

While this passage doesn’t use the word kavod, they see a physical manifestation of God. This isn’t the only story of a physical manifestation of God. In 1 Kings 22:19, the prophet Micaiah says, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right and on his left."
Then again in Isaiah 6:1-3, "In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of his robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said: “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of gis glory (kavod).”

Tim says the point is that there is uniformity in these stories. Everyone sees a glorious seated royal figure. Then Tim expands the point with a crazy story in Ezekiel chapter 1.
“Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God...
As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire.
Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like a platform (Hebrew word, raqia, from Genesis 1), like the awesome gleam of crystal, spread out over their heads.
Now above the platform that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like sapphire in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a human. Then I noticed from the appearance of his loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of his loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around him. As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yahweh. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking."

Tim’s point is that the Ezekiel story is a culmination of this theme. God’s glory and God can be both distinct and indistinguishable from each other. Tim also offers Psalm 26:8. “O Yahweh, I love the house where you dwell, the place where your glory (kavod) dwells.” As a final point, Tim says that all the attributes can weave in and out of each other. God’s glory can also dwell somewhere, just like his name can.

In part three (25:55-end), Tim takes a sneak peak at how these themes of God’s attributes pay off when reading the New Testament. Tim dives into John 17. This passage is often called Jesus’ “high priestly prayer.”

John 17:1-3, 5: “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son, that the Son may glorify you, even as you gave him authority over all flesh, that to all whom you have given him, he may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent...Now, Father, glorify me together with yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was.” Tim says the point here is that Jesus was the pre-existent word and wisdom of God, and the embodiment of his divine glory.

Then in John 17:11, we see, “Holy Father, keep them in your name, the name which you have given me, that they may be one even as we are one.” Tim says that Jesus and the Father bear “the name” showing that they are one.

John 17:20-26: “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in me through their word; that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that also they may be in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. The glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as we are one; I in them and you in me, that they may be perfected in one-ness, so that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, although the world has not known you, yet I have known you; and these have known that you sent me; and I have made your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Thank you to all of our supporters!
Check out all our free resources on www.thebibleproject.com

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
He’s Always There, Tae the Producer
Another Chance, Tae the Producer

Show Resources:
Von Rad Old Testament Theology, Vol. 1, p. 183

Sep 24, 2018
The Angel of the Lord - God E9
00:38:49

In part one (0:00-7:35), Tim outlines the biblical authors' idea that God is totally transcendent and above creation, but they also work hard to show that God gets involved in human activities through mediators. Tim briefly mentions that there are a lot of old Hebrew traditions surrounding different beings like “the watchers.” These figures are often portrayed in movies like the new Noah movie by Darren Aronofsky. and much of the literature written about them comes from other Hebrew literature and tradition.

In part two (7:35-17:25), Tim says that the Hebrew word “malak” means “messenger,” and it's the word used for “angel.” In the New Testament, the Greek word “aggelos” is used, which is then translated as “angel.” Jon asks if they have wings, and Tim says there is no winged angel depicted in the Bible.

Tim says there’s a particular elohim/spiritual being depicted in the Bible that is called “malak Yahweh,” or “messenger of Yahweh.” One notable appearance of this character is in the story of Hagar in Genesis 21. The story starts out with Hagar conversing with the Angel of the Lord, but then later she says she had conversed with God (Yahweh).

Jon asks if this is a sign of the literary seams of different sources as this story was told throughout the years. Tim says this is possible, but he also wonders if it’s intentional. Is the Angel of Yahweh Yahweh, or is it distinct from Yahweh? Tim thinks it's both.

Tim mentions the story in Exodus 23. Yahweh says, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my name is in him.”

Jon asks what it means to have Yahweh’s name in someone. Tim says this is a really unique phrase in the Bible. Tim thinks the point is that there’s a balance beam the biblical authors are walking. They want to present Yahweh as distinct from the Angel of God, but also they can be the same.

In part three (17:25-26:55), Tim outlines the story of Gideon in Judges 6:11-23.
"The Angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, 'The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.' 'Pardon me, my lord,' Gideon replied, 'but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.' The Lord turned to him and said, 'Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?' 'Pardon me, my lord,' Gideon replied, 'but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.' The Lord answered, 'I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.' Gideon replied, 'If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.' And the Lord said, 'I will wait until you return.' Gideon went inside, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak. The Angel of God said to him, 'Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.' And Gideon did so. Then the Angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the Angel of the Lord disappeared. When Gideon realized that it was the Angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, 'Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face!' But the Lord said to him, 'Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.'"

In this story, the character keeps alternating between “the Lord” and “the Angel of the Lord.” Why is this? Is this just lazy writing, or is it a biblical contradiction? Tim says he thinks this is a strange story on purpose. Tim thinks that this is a human figure that can appear, a figure that is Yahweh but also distinct from Yahweh. The point of this story is to form a mental shelf in the reader's mind that there is a human figure, a messenger who acts as God and also on behalf of God. This figure has “my name in Him,” according to Exodus 23.

In Part four (26:55-end), Tim outlines the history of the ideas surrounding this figure. Some traditions and scholars think that this figure is Michael, archangel or chief angel. Tim says there’s a book called “The Apocalypse of Abraham.” It's a second temple Jewish text that tries to give more background on this figure. In that text the figure is called “Ya-ho-el.”

In other Jewish traditions, the Angel of the Lord is known as Metatron. The early church fathers believed that this being was a pre-incarnated Jesus. Tim says there are lots of ideas, and the biblical authors, especially the New Testament authors, consider Jesus to be “greater than an angel.” This theme is especially noticeable in the book of Hebrews. To a modern reader, the meaning slips past us, but to an ancient Jewish reader, saying that Jesus was “greater than an angel” or that he was the Angel of Yahweh was equivalent to saying that he was Yahweh.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Show Music
Defender Instrumental, Tents
He’s Always There, Tae the Producer
Another Chance, Tae the Producer
In the Distance, Tae the Producer
He’s Always There, Tae the Producer

Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins.

Show Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metatron
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse_of_Abraham

Sep 17, 2018
God Series Live Q+R - God E8
00:47:13

Show Notes:
This is our 100th podcast episode! We hosted a live Q+R before an audience of our friends and supporters in our studios in Portland, Oregon. We also had our good friends, the band Tents, play our podcast theme music live for us. You can find the video release of this Q+R here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh2Xwja6M4s

Tim and Jon responded to three questions:

Q1: (7:40) Parker from Twitter: Why does God in Genesis 1 say let us make humanity in "our" image instead of saying let us make humanity in "my" image if he is speaking to the divine council? And how does this affect the imago dei?

Q2: (22:04) Andrew from Nottingham, UK: Does an emphasis on the heavenly council lead people away from a trinitarian view of God and rather see Jesus as one of the lesser elohim? For instance, from my limited understanding, that's how Jehovah's Witnesses view. Thanks for everything you do I find it really helpful!

Q3: (29:30) Ryan Craycraft from Middletown, Ohio: Tim, you mentioned that elohim only refers to a non-physical spiritual being. However when reading John 10:34-35, when being accused of blasphemy by the Jews for making Himself God, Jesus appears to quote Psalm 82, "Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods," when speaking directly to Jews. What is your take on Jesus' response here? And how do both the Scriptures of John 10 and Psalm 82 relate to elohim used in Exodus 22, where the word "judges" was translated from elohim? Thank you so much!

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Music by Tents
Learn more about Tents here: https://www.facebook.com/tentsband/

Get all sorts of free resources at www.thebibleproject.com

Here are the two videos we released in our season five premier:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1zkwkI9oAw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9W5afjndtU

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen

Sep 10, 2018
God's Fusion With Humanity - God E7
00:59:45

This episode continues our series on the development of the character of God in the Bible. In this episode, the guys discuss one of the strangest stories in the Bible: Israel and the golden calf in Exodus 32.

In part one (00:00-09:45), the guys review the idea that God primarily interacts with the world through a human mediator. Understanding how God interacted with Israel through Moses is key to understanding this important theme in the Bible. Tim points out that in the Old Testament, the two most important personal portraits to understand are David and Moses. They are the two people who get the most page length in the Old Testament. Tim says that Moses' story should be creating a role, an expectation that the world would be a better place if there were more Moses-like characters who are intimately tied with Yahweh.

In part two (09:45-21:20), the guys talk about the story of the golden calf in Exodus 32. Moses represents Israel to God and he represents God to Israel. Tim points out a strange detail of the story. God says he wants to destroy Israel, but then it seems as though God changes his mind after Moses implored him to reconsider.

Tim says this story has puzzled all Bible readers over thousands of years. Does God change his mind based on human input? Tim quotes from biblical scholar Christopher Wright's commentary on Deuteronomy:
“This story explores the mystery about prayer in general and intercession in particular, and raises questions: Was God really serious in this declared threat? If Moses had not interceded, would God have carried out the destruction of Israel? If God was not really planning to destroy the people (10:10b), did God only “pretend” to listen to Moses’ prayer? Did Moses actually change God’s mind?
It seems important first of all to say that there is not much point in wrestling with alternative hypothetical scenarios posed by such questions. Asking “what if” serves little theological purpose. Both God and Moses appear to be behaving straightforwardly. There is nothing in the text to suggest that God’s anger was overdone for mere effect; no suggestion that God’s threat was a bluff intended to secure a hasty repentance. The threat of destruction was real. Likewise, Moses’ reaction to the divine wrath was not a patronizing dismissal of authority, like saying, “You can’t be serious!” Rather, Moses recognized that this was a sincere threat that could be countered only with appeal to prior words and actions of the same God. The paradox is that in appealing to God to change, he was actually appealing to God to be consistent —which may be a significant clue to the dynamic of all genuine intercessory prayer.
Yet perhaps there is a hint of the divine intention in God’s fascinating words, Leave me alone… (v. 14). The discussion of this line in Jewish scholarship has sensed deep meaning here. After all, God need not have spoken such words, or indeed any words at all, to Moses. In wrath God could have acted “immediately” without informing or consulting Moses in any way. God pauses and makes the divine will “vulnerable” to human challenge.
The fact is that, far from human intercession being an irritating but occasionally successful intrusion upon divinely prefabricated blueprints for history, Moses’ prayer becomes an integral part of the way God’s sovereignty in history is exercised. That does not totally solve the mystery, but it puts it in its proper biblical perspective. God not only allows human intercession, God invites it and builds it into the decision-making processes of the heavenly council in ways we can never fathom. “God takes Moses’ contribution with utmost seriousness; God’s acquiescence to the arguments indicates that God treats the conversation with Moses with integrity and honors the human insight as an important ingredient for the shaping of the future”
Intercessory prayer, then, flows primarily not from human anxiety about God but from God’s commitment to covenant relationship with human beings…. Moses was not so much arguing against God, as participating in an argument within God. Such prayer, therefore, not only participates in the pain of God in history, but is actually invited to do so for God’s sake as well as ours. This is a measure of the infinite value to God of commitment to persons in covenant relationship.
The Point: The figure of Moses in the Torah creates a portrait of the kind of figure necessary for God and humanity to exist together in successful covenant relationship. Moses’ eventual failure in the wilderness (Numbers ch. 21) disqualifies him for the role he filled. His story creates a “Help Wanted” sign in the biblical narrative.”

In part three (21:20-33:30), the guys continue to discuss the story of the golden calf. Jon summarizes Tim’s position. Tim draws another parallel to the story of the great flood in Genesis. God destroys all of humanity except for Noah and his family. Then God says that “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil, from his youth” (Genesis 8:21). This is a paradox; God has just pronounced mankind as evil, but he refuses to destroy them or break relationship with them. Tim says that the Hebrew Bible is pointing forward to a person who they want to be a “better Moses.”

In part four (33:30-39:50), Tim shares a quote from The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis.
“One must face the fact that all the talk about His love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe) mere propaganda, but an appalling truth. He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself—creatures, whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His. We want cattle who can finally become food. He wants servants who can finally become sons. We want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are
empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over. Our war aim is a world in which Our Father Below has drawn all other beings into himself: the Enemy wants a world full of beings united to Him but still distinct.”

In part five (39:50-end), Tim shares the evolution of the portrait of Moses in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah says that the hoped for figure who can save Israel is a mashup between the best characteristics of David and Moses. Israel needs a priest and a king; this person is Jesus. But Jon makes a point that if the idea is that Israel only needs an “exalted human” to save them, then theology like a Jehovah’s Witness that claims that Jesus was only an exalted human begins to form.

Tim sees this point. Many people throughout history have thought that Jesus was only an “exalted human,” but the apostles and authors of the New Testament believed that Jesus was also divine. For example in 2 Corinthians 3-4 and the book of Hebrews, the claim is that Jesus was not just “another Moses,” he was greater than Moses. Tim says that the New Testament author's claims that Jesus is divine can sometimes be hard to see to modern readers because they make the claims in very Jewish ways. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2 that Jesus is “the wisdom of God.” This sounds nice to modern readers, but to an ancient Hebrew rabbi, it would be blasphemous because claiming to be his wisdom is equivalent to claiming to be one with God. Ancient Jews would have no problem claiming that Jesus was a mediator “like” Moses, but saying he was greater eventually leads to the split between the Messianic Jews and other Jewish communities.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Next week is a big episode for us. It’s our 100th episode!!!! To celebrate, we’re going to do a live Q+R at our studio in Portland. Want to participate? Send us your question and it might be read during the show. The show will stream live on our YouTube channel starting at 7pm (PST) on Thursday September 6th. You can watch it live by going to youtube.com/thebibleproject/live
We’ll release the show right here on our podcast feed the following week. We want to say thank you to all our listeners of the past 99 episodes. Thank you for your wonderful questions, support, and encouraging words. We love reading the reviews and hearing your thoughts. It has been such a wonderful ride, and we’re looking forward to the next 100 episodes. Thanks for being a part of this with us.

Send your questions to: info@jointhebibleproject.com

Show Resources:
The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
Deuteronomy (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series), Christopher J. H. Wright
Check out all our resources for free at www.thebibleproject.com.

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Another Chance, Tae the Producer
Faith, Tae the Producer
In the Distance, Tae the Producer

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen

Sep 03, 2018
Experiencing God Through Humans - God E6
00:50:44

In part 1 (0-20:20), Tim shares a insight from biblical scholar Richard Baukham. Baukham outlines the differences between ancient Judiasm and other ancient religions of that time period. Specifically a “Binary view” vs. a “gradient view” of reality. A “gradient view” can be characterized as: polytheistic worldviews (like Israel’s ancient neighbors, and the Greek and Roman world) draw distinctions of degree between the most powerful divine being and other divine beings and humans.

A “binary view” can be characterized, by looking at this quote from Richard Baukman “Monotheism understands the uniqueness of the one God in terms of an absolute difference in kind from all other reality. We could call it ‘transcendent uniqueness… understanding the uniqueness of the God of Israel as that of the one Creator of all things and the one sovereign Ruler of all things. In ancient Judaism, this binary distinction between their God and all other reality was observed and promoted by monolotry -- their worship and allegiance and prayers were offered only to the one God of Israel. In a gradient worldview, many beings are accorded honor, to the degree appropriate to their rank on the cosmic scale. Judaism turned their monolotry into a powerful symbol of exclusive monotheism.” -- Bauckham, Jesus and the God of Israel, 109.

Why is this important? Because a binary view of reality eventually sets the stage for Israel’s belief that God can be both transcendent and personally knowable. And the biblical authors paint a picture of God who can be relatable to the world most often through a human mediator, but at the same time can be utterly unknowable. Tim says that these overarching thoughts set the stage for Christian beliefs like the incarnation and the trinity.

In part 2 (20:20-25:20), Tim outlines “God’s complex relationship with the world”. When you pick up the Bible you first notice that God is portrayed as very relatable, with human like qualities. In Genesis, God is portrayed as walking around the garden. Other times, God’s attributes becomes personified, his wisdom, his justice etc all have stories where they act as a character.

In part 3 (25:20-40:00), Tim outlines portrayals of God through humans. When Genesis starts, God self limits himself by willingly wanting to partner with humans who are made in his image and commissioned to rule the world on his behalf. What’s the problem with that? Humans rebel. But God continues to work through humans who he uses to accomplish his purposes. The first person that is a great example of this is Moses.

When God calls Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3, God says he will deliver Israel out of Egypt, but then he tells Moses to go do it. Tim says this is a good example, that most stories in the Bible show God acting through a person, or a mediator and its actually very rare to see God doing something without a mediator.

In part 4 (40:00-end), Tim expands on this point by illustrating the biblical theme of “God’s outstretched arm”. Where does this image come from? Does God actually have an arm? Tim says this theme starts in the plagues in Egypt (Exodus 7). “Then Yahweh said to Moses… “Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he is going out to the water, stand on the bank and take in your hand the staff… and say “Thus says Yahweh the God of the Hebrews, ‘By this you will know that I am Yahweh, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile and it will turn to blood.’ Then Moses did as Yahweh commanded… he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile.

Tim says the point is Moses arm with the staff = Yahweh’s arm. Moses’ physical actions become merged with Yahweh’s actions. Moses is not God. Moses is an image of God. Jon says that this is really interesting because it seems that Moses is becoming conformed to the image of God, their seems to be a fusion of God and Moses. It makes Moses truly human and brings justice and life for the Israelite slaves in Egypt.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show Resources:
Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the God of Israel.

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert Howen

Show Music:
He’s Always There - Tae the Producer
Eden - Tae the Producer
Another Chance - Tae the Producer
Defender Instrumental - Rosasharn Music

Aug 27, 2018
Q+R: Nephilim, Enoch, Satan and Demons - God E5
01:21:40

This is our first full Q+R for our ongoing podcast series on the development of the character of “God” in the Bible. Thank you to all of our listeners who sent in questions! Have a question? Send it in to info@jointhebibleproject.com. Don’t forget to give us your name and where you’re from.

Tim and Jon responded to four questions.

(0:40) Felipe from Brazil: “Hi Tim and Jon! My name is Felipe. I am from Brazil, and my question concerns the rebellion of the Sons of God in Genesis 6. Supposing this story talks about actual divine beings as opposed to human kings, do we know for sure the author’s version of the story is the same as 1 Enoch’s, that the divine beings had actual sex with human girls and had actual super-human kids?”

(36:12) Bradley from Kentucky: “A passage that's always been interesting to me is 1 Samuel 16:14, where God sends an evil spirit to torment Saul. It's connected to a passage you mentioned in 1 Kings 22, one of the only other places where this spirit type is mentioned. I was just wondering how your understanding of the Divine Council helps us understand God's sovereignty through this passage.”

(42:20) Jeremy from California: “I'm hoping you can shed some light on Luke 10: 17-20. This is the passage where the 72 disciples return from preaching and report to Jesus that even the demons submit to them in his name. Jesus then responds by alluding to Isaiah 14 regarding the fall of the king of Babylon, but he connects it to the fall of Satan. What's going on here? Does this passage refer back to the fall of the Elohim you mentioned that takes place in the early chapters of Genesis? And does this confirm that "The Satan" is the chief of all of the fallen Elohim just like the king of Babylon is the chief of fallen rulers?”

(1:04:52) John from Houston: “My question is about the term "Son of God" and how that is used in the New Testament. If we look at Romans 8, we can see that we can accept adoption as sons of God in relation to the only begotten son of God, but this seems like a totally different usage of what you guys described from Genesis. So is there any connection that can be made there?”

Show Resources:
Check out all our resources at www.thebibleproject.com

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen.

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Rosasharn Music

Thank you to all our supporters!

Aug 20, 2018
Origin of Spiritual Beings & Mini Q+R - God E4
01:08:01

In part one (00:00-14:00), the guys quickly go over the previous three episodes on God and identify one of the shortcomings of those discussions. Mainly, they never discuss the origin of the other Elohim/gods/ spiritual beings in the Bible. Where do they come from? Where and how are they created? Tim begins to outline an idea to explain the origin story of the other Elohim, and it starts where everything else starts in the Bible––Genesis 1.

Tim explains that there is no wasted or careless word, phrase, or idea placed in the creation story. Tim zeroes in on the “lights” created in Genesis 1 in the heavens. On day four of creation, “the great light” and “the lesser light” are created. Tim’s point is that these lights have roles to play in creation; they are for “signs and symbols.”

"Then God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,' and it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day." – Genesis 1:14-19

In part two (14:00-54:17), Tim continues to expand the analogy. His point is that in the ancient Hebrew worldview, the sun, moon, and stars were very central in their worldview. To the Hebrews, they were symbols of Yahweh’s love and rule. Tim explains how this is supported in passages like Psalm 36.

"Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like a great deep.
O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house;
And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.
For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light." – Psalm 36:5-9

Tim says that verse 9 is important. The Hebrews believed that physical light (photons, electromagnetic, waves, etc) is a symbol, a representation of the creator behind it. Jon says he is struggling to understand this. Tim expands on the point by illustrating that in the new creation, John says, “the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” – Revelation 21:23.

Tim goes back to Genesis 1, saying that it’s important to understand that God is delegating authority to the “lights” (sun, moon, and stars) by giving them authority to rule in the heavens. Tim says only two things are given ruling ability in the creation story: humans on earth, who are God’s image to rule on the earth, and the lights in the heavens, that are God’s symbols to rule in the heavens. Jon remarks that he has never seen this idea in the creation story of Genesis before.

Tim says that he thinks the biblical authors believed that the “lights in the heavens” were “spiritual beings,” so the other Elohim would have been created and given authority when God created the “lights in the heavens” in Genesis 1. Tim makes a distinction saying that whereas an ancient Canaanite or Egyptian would have worshiped the actual sun, moon, and stars and have heavy habits of astrology, the Hebrews would have insisted that the being to worship is the being behind it all, Yahweh. Tim makes an additional point that in Genesis 1, humans are the ultimate symbol of the divine, whereas the stars are symbols. Tim says this can be seen in Psalm 8.

"Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!" – Psalm 8:1-9

Tim offers Genesis 6 as a recount of the spiritual rebellion where the “sons of god” rebel by taking human women. In Psalm 82, God confronts the Divine Council.

"God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
'How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.'
They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
I said, 'You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.'
Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations!" – Psalm 82:1-8

Tim says this is a key passage to understand that God/Yahweh is talking to the spirit realm here, to the other Elohim. God promises that he will render his judgement on them.

At 54:15, the guys transition to a mini Q+R.

Here are the questions and timestamps:

Q1. (54:47) Cole from North Carolina: “My question is in regard to episode 2 of the God podcast where you discuss the idea of "other Elohim," and so my question is kind of two-part. 1. Are the other Elohim timeless and uncreated like God? 2. And if they aren't, does that mean that God created these inferior Elohim to oppose him?”

Q2. (57:33) Brandon: “When God says, 'Let us make man in our own image and our own likeness,' who's the us' he's referring to in Genesis 1?”

Q3. (59:25) Ivan from El Salvador: “I have a question about the deity of Christ. Tim spoke in the podcast that Christ said (that Jesus said) that he was God in a very Jewish way, and in John 8 when he said to the pharisees that before Abraham "I AM." I just have one question. I was looking at your video about the word LORD in the Shema, and he says that the word was "Ech Yeh," and I want to know if Jesus said that before Abraham, "Ech Yeh" that means that only God can say that. I've been thinking about this question. I know that it was written in Greek, but Tim said that even though it's in Greek, think in Hebrew and think in Aramaic. So when Jesus said "Ech Yeh," did everyone just freak out?! Or did we lose something in translation? What do we think that Jesus said?”

Q4. (1:01:50) John from Colorado Springs: “When you discussed Saul and the medium, you used her explanation of calling Samuel's spirit an Elohim as evidence that Samuel's spirit was in the same class as the rest of the gods. I've always read that as her being more surprised at seeing a spirit come to her. I'd always assumed that the author was telling us what she said, not agreeing with her declaration. Is there evidence in the text that I'm missing suggesting the fact that Samuel's spirit was indeed an Elohim and not just a case of mistaken identity by the medium? And if Samuel's spirit is in fact in the Elohim class, wouldn't that imply that there's no difference in between humans and the rest of the Elohim in the spiritual world, since we would all have some of the same Elohim within us?”

Q5. (1:05:12) Matt from Kansas City: “You mentioned that you do not think there is a way to put the Old Testament Divine Council vignettes into a coherent narrative, but as I was listening to your podcasts, one of your explanations sounded to me like a clear and coherent narrative. Elohim rebelled before the fall of man, and later God gave man over to his rebellion by appointing over them (Deut. 32) the Elohim that they desired. This is also consistent with the point that Paul makes in Romans 1. What do you see as the shortcomings of the harmonization?”

Thank you to all of our supporters! Have a question? Record it and send it to info@jointhebibleproject.com. Next week, Tim and Jon will respond to questions in a full Q+R. There are other Q+Rs scheduled for the future as well.

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Rosasharn Music

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen

Aug 13, 2018
Spiritual Warfare - God E3
01:12:43

This is episode three in our series outlining the development of the character of God in the Bible! In this show, Tim and Jon walk through the big ideas of the “Divine Council” and spiritual warfare.

In part one (00:00-23:40), Tim outlines a strange story in 1 Kings 22:19 about the prophet Micaiah. Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left." Jon asks what a “host” is in the Bible. Tim explains that "host" is used to describe an army or a set of advisers. Tim says the point is that God is depicted as a military captain with a set of lower ranking officers. This theme continues in other passages like Job 1:6 and 7:6. "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and the satan also came among them." "The Lord said to Satan, 'From where do you come?' Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”

Jon asks who are the "sons of God are. Tim explains that it is a turn of phrase used to represent a class of spiritual beings. Followers of Old Testament prophets were often called “sons,” not to demonstrate physical sonship, but to demonstrate a sort of relationship where the greater power was in a position of authority over a lesser power. Tim says the point is that the Bible portrays God as having a sort of staff team, or mediators, that do his bidding in order to interact with the world. This is God’s “divine council.”

In part two (23:40-49:48), Tim outlines a very strange section in the Old Testament: Deuteronomy 32:8-9
When the Most High [Yahweh] allotted the nations,
and set the divisions for the sons of humanity,
He fixed the territories of peoples
According to the number of sons of God [Heb. sons of elohim]
For Yahweh’s portion is his people
Jacob his own allotment.

Tim says there is a large biblical scholarship debate over the interpretation of this passage. To explain this passage, Tim quotes from Jefferey Tigay:

“Deuteronomy 32:8-9 refers to an early tradition, that when God was allotting nations to the delegated authority of other divine beings, he made the same number of nations and territories as there were such beings. Verse 9 implies that He then assigned the other nations to those divine beings, and states explicitly that He kept Israel for Himself. This seems to be part of a concept hinted at elsewhere in the Bible and in postbiblical literature. When God organized the government of the world, He established two tiers: at the top, He Himself, “God of gods (ʾelohei ha-ʾelohim) and Lord of lords” (Deut 10:17), who reserved Israel for Himself, to govern personally; below Him, seventy angelic “divine beings” (sons of ʾelohim), to whom He allotted the other peoples. The conception is like that of a king or emperor governing the capital or heartland of his realm personally and assigning the provinces to subordinates.”

Jon seems flabbergasted. God put other gods in charge of other nations?
Jon asks how this view can be reconciled with actual knowledge of world history and human development.

Tim says this is a theme in Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy 4:16-19, Moses says to Israel, “Don’t act corruptly and make a image for yourselves in the form of any figure… And don’t lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. But the Lord has taken you...to be a people for His own possession, as today."

Tim says this hints at a concept in Hebrew culture that portrayed a spiritual rebellion against God that coincided with a human rebellion. Tim says the human rebellion is told in detail in the Bible, but the spiritual rebellion is only hinted at. The complex story of the “sons of God” sleeping with human women in Genesis 6 could be viewed as them going into rebellion and crossing a line.

Tim says this theme reaches its culmination in the Old Testament in the book of Daniel and the story of the Prince of Persia.

In part three (49:48-1:01:26), Tim says the Jesus carries these themes of other elohim forward into the New Testament. The greek word for “demon” in the New Testament is connected to the word “daimonion” (δαιμόνιον). Demon is a word that means “demi” or lesser god. In Hebrew categories, it would be a son of elohim.

Tim says he has a tough time reconciling this with a western “rational” worldview. He says Jesus and the authors of the New Testament clearly believed in a world that included unseen spiritual forces. Tim says that the New Testament passage in Ephesians 6, referring to the "armor of God," shouldn’t be appropriated as passages about spiritual warfare of demonic attack; rather, they should be seen as warnings against elevating differences above unity in the body of Christ. The point of Ephesians is for the church to learn how to live in unity with a group of diverse people. Therefore a spiritual warfare attack is when Christians are not living in unity.

In part four (1:01:26-1:07:18), Jon asks how to interpret all of this with a modern view of human development. Tim says the purpose of the Bible is not to tell me about the origins of the physical universe, but to be a unified story that leads to Jesus. Tim says that attempting to place spiritual and human rebellion narratives into a chronological order that makes sense to modern people can be dangerous because you lose the context of the original stories.

Jon says his temptation is not that, but to think that there is no spiritual realm, not that there is a complex one ruled by a divine council. Tim agrees and says that all of the same idols that existed in other cultures exist in our culture, but modern people worship money, sex, and power, not as named deities like Mammon, but just as objects in themselves.

In part five (1:07:18-end), Tim previews the next part of the – God’s complex relationship with the world. If God is portrayed as having a set of staff, these staff interact with the world consistently throughout the Scriptures. One example is how the Angel of the Lord appears many times acting on behalf of God.

Next episode we will have a Q+R. Send us audio recordings of your questions to info@jointhebibleproject.com. Please mention your name, where you're from and keep your questions to about 20 seconds. Thanks!

Resources:
“The Divine Council,” The Lexham Bible Dictionary.

Larry Hurtado:

  • Books: "One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism" and "Ancient Jewish Monotheism and Early Christian Jesus Devotion"
  • Interviews: "Early High Christology on Trinities Podcast"

Michael Heiser:

  • Books: The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, and Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World and Why it Matters
  • Podcast: The Naked Bible Podcast
  • Videos: "The Divine Council" and "Divine Council Introduction"

Produced By:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert Howen.

Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Moments: Tae the Producer

Jul 30, 2018
No Other God - God E2
00:37:58

This is episode 2 in our series discussing the character and theme development of “God” in the Bible.

In part 1, (0-17:25) the guys discuss the meaning of Monotheism in the Bible and Ancient Judaism. Tim offers a modern definition of monotheism as - “The belief or doctrine that there is only one God” -- Dictionary.com Tim says this is different than an ancient definition because last week, we’ve already seen that the biblical authors do not believe there’s only one Elohim. Rather, Biblical/Jewish Monotheism could be defined as = “The belief that there is one supreme Elohim (Creator and Ruler) who has no rivals among all other Elohim: Yahweh the God of Israel.”

So, Tim offers resources for more accurate definitions of what the ancient Hebrews believed. William Horbury has proposed a nuanced definition: Inclusive Monotheism: Yahweh is the supreme deity in association with other divine spirits and powers. Exclusive Monotheism: Denies the existence of any divine beings other than Yahweh. However, there is no evidence that any ancient Israelites or Jews or Christians believed in that definition of “Exclusive Monotheism.”

In part 2, (17:25-end) Tim continues to express his frustration with the current definition of exclusive monotheism. Tim cites several Old Testament examples. (NIV) Deuteronomy 4:35 “You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; beside him, there is no other.” In Hebrew it literally says …”know that Yahweh, he is the Elohim, there is not another besides him.” In these passages, Elohim has the Hebrew word “the” attached (ha-elohim), which means the claim being made is that Yahweh alone is the chief God, not that Yahweh is the only elohim that exists. Tim cites Michael Heiser on this point saying “ A close reading of these passages in Deuteronomy and Isaiah shows… that the denials are not claiming that other אֱלֹהִים (elohim) do not exist, but that Yahweh’s has unique and incomparable qualities in relation to other gods: Yahweh’s pre-existence, his role as creator of all things, including other elohim, his ability to save, and national deliverance. The focus is on Yahweh’s incomparable status and the impotence of the other gods. It would be empty praise to compare Yahweh to beings that did not exist. The biblical authors assume they do exists, but that they are “nothing” compared to Yahweh.” -- Michael Heiser, “The Divine Council,” The Lexham Bible Dictionary.

Next week on the show, Tim and Jon discuss “The Divine Council” It will be an exciting and mind-bending episode!

Show Resources:
William Horbury, "Jewish and Christian Monotheism in the Herodian Age."
Paul Jouon & T. Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew
Michael Heiser, “The Divine Council,” The Lexham Bible Dictionary.
Michael Heiser: The Naked Bible Podcast
Psalms 97:9

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Another Chance: Tae The Producer

Produced by:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert Howen.

Jul 23, 2018
God or gods? - God E1
01:08:06

This is our first episode in our new series on the Bible’s portrayal of God! We are currently working on a theme video about God that will be released later in 2018.

In part 1, (0-8:33) Tim overviews the whole subject. He says later on in the discussion they will talk about the Trinity in the Bible, but for now, they will just focus on the development of the word God in the Bible.

In part 2, (8:33-37:34) Tim outlines the problems of modern conceptions with God compared with ancient Hebrew conceptions of God. Tim says that it comes down to how people use the word ‘God’. Today people use the word ‘God’ to refer to a personal being that exists. ‘God’ is both a title for a kind of being and a name for a specific being: the Judeo Christian God.

Tim says that if you look up “monotheism” in the dictionary, they define it as “the belief there is only one God, specifically in Judeo Christianity.” Tim asks how can this be the case if the Bible says things like “Lord of lords” and “God of gods”. How did monotheism today come to mean something that it didn’t mean to the ancient Hebrews?

Tim says the Hebrew word for “God” is ‘Elohim’. The short forms of this word is “el” and also “eloah”. Tim says that in Hebrew “Elohim” is plural.

In part 3, (37:34-54:05) Tim outlines a unique use of the word “Elohim” the story of Saul in 1 Samuel 28:12-13: Saul has a spirit-medium conjure up the presence of the deceased Samuel: “And the woman saw Samuel, and she cried out...and said ‘I see a elohim rising up from the ground.”
This refers to a human who exists apart from their body. This is not saying Samuel is “God” or a “god.” Rather, the word elohim apparently refers to the mode of existence: a member of the non-physical, spirit realm.

The later biblical authors developed vocabulary to talk about these beings to more clearly distinguish between them as elohim and the one elohim: Angel, demon, spirits, etc… The implications are Yahweh is an elohim, but not the only elohim (= spirit being). He is the most powerful, and authoritative, and he alone is the creator of all things, including the other elohim.

Tim cites this quote by theological scholar Michael Heiser: “Yahweh is an elohim, but no other elohim is Yahweh. Elohim is a place-of-residence term. The word tells you what the proper domain is for that being. By nature, the God of Israel, the many elohim of God’s council, demons, angels, the departed human dead like Samuel, they are part of a non-physical domain, that’s related to, but distinct from the physical, embodied domain. An elohim is by definition and by nature a disembodied entity, so the word can refer to many different beings who inhabit that realm.”

In part 4, (54:05-end) Tim outlines a New Testament example. 1 Corinthians 8:4-6: Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”

Tim says Paul is telling the Corinthians that there are other “Elohim” but for the Hebrews, their is “one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ.” What does this mean to the Hebrews? Find out next time in episode 2!

Thank you to all our supporters!

Resources:
Paul Jouon & T. Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew
Michael Heiser: The Naked Bible Podcast
1 Samuel 28:12-13
Check out all our videos and resources at www.thebibleproject.com

Produced By:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert Howen

Music By:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
In the Distance: Tae the Producer
Nocturne: Nomyn 2.

Jul 16, 2018
What’s Next for the Bible Project
00:27:09

In this episode, Tim and Jon take a break from discussing theology to talk about some exciting developments at The Bible Project.
The guys talk about upcoming theme videos and podcast series, transitioning to a season-based format, and a brand new initiative called “Classroom.”

Say hi to us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram:
https://www.facebook.com/jointhebibleproject/
https://twitter.com/JoinBibleProj
https://www.instagram.com/thebibleproject/

And find all of our resources for free at thebibleproject.com

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Loudness and Clarity: Joakim Karud
Love Mode: Joakim Karud

Jul 09, 2018
Poetry Q+R
00:48:25

This is our Poetry and Metaphor Q+R! Thank you to everyone who submitted questions! We responded to seven questions:

(1:20) Ivan from El Salvador - “How do you identify poetry? For example, in Genesis 1, some people say Genesis 1 is poetry, some people say Genesis 1 is actual history. How can you identify if it's poetry? I know there's a lot of poetry in the Bible, and there's also a lot of narrative.”

(14:45) Chris from Illinois - “You talk about the metaphor of time as a possession and used it as an example of a modern metaphor, then you say that the Bible doesn't view time in this way. However, in Psalm 31:15 David says, "My times are in your hand," and in Ephesians 5:16 Paul writes, "We should redeem the time." Don't these phrases suggest that both David and Paul view time as figuratively, as a tangible and valuable possession?”

(21:55) Jackson from San Luis Obispo, California - “Can you provide a short list of other commonly used metaphor schemes throughout the Scriptures? Sort of like the base layer metaphors to have in my mind while I'm reading through Scripture. I think this would be very beneficial.”

(29:45) Tyler from Vancouver, Washington - “You talked about how the biblical authors are using metaphoric imagery to describe the abstract ideas of the new heavens and the new earth, and it seemed like you were talking about that in regards to Eden and Creation. So my question is: Should we think about things like Eden and the new heavens and the new earth as symbolic places, or are they actual real places? And if they are, how do we understand them if the imagery is metaphoric as opposed to descriptive?”

(35:25) Kerrie from Australia - “Christians consider the Bible a book that influences the way we live. In the realms of creativity, how should biblical poetry influence Christians today in their writing and creative writing?”

(39:30) Clayton from Alabama - “Your conversation about metaphors seem to include a painstaking process of proving and affirming the driving metaphors and schemes that you've focused on. Are there any "guardrails" you suggest for communities of lay people, like college students, that may discover schemes beyond the two that you mentioned, or is there a list or a resource that could serve or help us catch these essential schemes as we engage Scripture?”

(42:35) Maggie from Wisconsin - “Can you share any other stories from the New Testament that continue the metaphors that were covered in the Old Testament? Thanks!”

Thank you to all of our supporters! Check out everything we're up to at thebibleproject.com

Show Resources:
Our video on poetry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9yp1ZXbsEg
Umberto Eco, The Name of a Rose
Books by George Lakoff and Mark Turner:

  1. More Than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor
  2. Metaphors We Live By
    William Brown, Seeing the Psalms: A Theology of Metaphor

Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen

Show music:
Rosasharn Music, Defender Instrumental

Jul 02, 2018
Metaphor E3: Chaotic Waters
01:11:35

In part one (00:00 - 25:35), Jon reviews the image of the ideal state of humanity and postulates it as a garden mountain fortress. He asks Tim why this is so different from a more familiar one of a heaven full of clouds and angels. Tim says that it’s important not to mistake the image of a metaphor for the reality of what the image points to.
Tim also quotes TS Eliot saying that poetry is a “raid on the inarticulate.” In other words, poetry is meant to describe things that can’t be described in normal, factual use of language.
Tim begins to outline the use of the metaphor of chaotic water in the Bible. Chaotic water is the first image given in the Bible. It’s meant to convey a state of un-creation, a state that is uninhabitable and unwelcoming of life. Tim begins to contrast the dark chaotic water that is present at the start of Genesis with the river of life that flows through Eden and is created later in the creation story.

In part two (25:35 - 40:25), Tim explains that chaotic waters often become personified as evil. For example, in the story of the Exodus, Pharoah and his army is made equivalent to the chaotic waters in Exodus 15. This story runs in parallel with Psalm 18. "O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. You rule the swelling of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them. You Yourself crushed Rahab like one who is slain; You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm." (Rahab is a Hebrew word for Egypt).

In part three (40:25 - 52:25), Tim outlines Isaiah 17:12-14.
12 Woe to the many nations that rage—
they rage like the raging sea!
Woe to the peoples who roar—
they roar like the roaring of great waters!
13 Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters,
when he rebukes them they flee far away,
driven before the wind like chaff on the hills,
like tumbleweed before a gale.
14 In the evening, sudden terror!
Before the morning, they are gone!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
the lot of those who plunder us.

The metaphor of chaotic waters further expands to equate the warring nations with chaotic waters.

Then Tim begins to outline the new creation prophecies and their relation to the chaotic water metaphor.

Joel 4:18:
18 And in that day
The mountains will drip with sweet wine,
And the hills will flow with milk,
And all the brooks of Judah will flow with water;
And a spring will go out from the house of the Lord
To water the valley of Shittim.

Zechariah 14:6-9:
6 On that day there will be neither sunlight
nor cold, frosty darkness.
7 It will be a unique day, known only to the Lord
with no distinction between day and night.
When evening comes, there will be light.
8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem,
half of it east to the Dead Sea
and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea,
in summer and in winter.
9 The Lord will be king over the whole earth.
On that day there will be one Lord,
and his name the only name.

Isaiah 2:1-4:
2 Now it will come about that In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream [lit. “river”] to it….
3 And they will hammer their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war.

He says that new creation means the restoration of the cosmic mountain and the reunification of the waters.

In part four (52:25 - 57:35), the guys try to crystalize their thought process. Danger and death in the Bible are described as chaotic waters and love, peace and security are described as a river of life. Tim says these images are fundamental to understanding the Bible, especially the prophets.

In part five (57:35 - end), the guys recap their conversation on metaphor and talk briefly about creating the video on metaphors in the Bible. Tim briefly touches on the story of Jesus walking on the water. Why is this story in all the gospels? Because in the Jewish tradition, it represents Christ’s command over the chaotic waters that threaten human life and originally appear in Genesis 1.

Thank you to all our supporters!
Next week we will have a Poetry and Metaphor Q+R episode. Send us your questions at info@jointhebibleproject.com by June 25th!

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Rosasharn Music

Show Resources:
Books by George Lakoff and Mark Turner:

  1. More Than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor
  2. Metaphors We Live By
Jun 25, 2018
Metaphor E2: The Mountain Garden & the Human Ideal
00:46:30

In the first part of the show, the guys quickly review some common metaphors used in our everyday language. “Time is money,” “life is a journey,” etc. Tim quotes again from George Lakoff saying that in every metaphor, there are elements contained within a metaphor. For example, in the “life is a journey” metaphor, there is embedded vocabulary like viewing people as “companions” and viewing obstacles as “bumps in the road.”

Tim posits four main metaphors in the Bible:
God is a dryland/mountain/rock.
Waters are danger/evil/chaos.
Humans are either at peace or at war with animals.
The Garden of Eden river and the Tree of Life.

In part two, the guys begin to break down the first metaphor listed above. Why is God thought of as “dryland?” To find out, Tim and Jon dive into Genesis 1 and 2, outlining creation.

Tim says the imagery found later in the Old Testament is rooted in imagery in Genesis 1 and 2. For example, in Genesis 15, “you plant them in the mountain of your inheritance” shows that the Hebrews viewed their cosmic mountain Garden of Eden as paradise, and the Jewish temple is considered the symbol of paradise, which is man in communion with God.

Jon makes a comment about a Fuller Projection map. This is an alternative geographic map of the world that lays out the continents in a different order. The guys discuss how different points of view lead to different thoughts and imagery used in a person’s worldview.

In part three, Tim outlines the imagery in Joel 2 and Psalm 48. Here the writer(s) uses some of the imagery originally found in Genesis (holy hill, holy mountain, citadels, the city). Jon asks how critical the imagery of God as a rock/fortress/refuge is in the Bible. Tim points out that these images are fundamental to the Hebrew worldview. To prove his point,
Tim does a quick word search and finds 78 hits of the words rock, fortress, and refuge in just the book of Psalms!

Tim crystalizes the thought by saying the ideal state of humanity is in a relationship with God, working in a stable garden that acts as a fortress or mountain in which all of humanity can securely dwell.

Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Rosasharn Music
Josh White, Pilgrim Instrumental

E2 Resources:
www.thebibleproject.com
William Brown, Seeing the Psalms: A Theology of Metaphor
Fuller Projection of Globe
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dymaxion_map

Jun 18, 2018
Metaphor E1: Metaphor & Our Imagination
00:59:06

This is our first episode in our three-part series on the use of metaphor in the Bible!

In part one, the guys discuss the metaphors used in Psalm 46.

1 God is our refuge and protection,
found to be a great help in times of distress
2 Therefore we won’t be afraid when the land shifts
when the mountains totter into the heart of the seas;
its waters roar, they churn,
mountains quake at its swelling.
Selah.
4 A river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High God
5 God is in its midst, it will not totter;
God will help it when morning dawns.
6 The nations roar, the kingdoms totter;
He raised His voice, the land melted.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our tall fortress.
Selah.
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations in the land.
9 He makes wars to cease to the end of the land;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the land.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our tall fortress.
Selah.
————————————-

In this Psalm, there are some obvious metaphors used. Specifically,
God // protective refuge (v.1) // tall fortress (v.7)

God // Jerusalem temple // river
Chaotic, pounding ocean waves // nations at war

God melting earth // God breaking nations // God’s exaltation.

These are vivid images, but what is going on here? Every culture has its own way of developing metaphors and imagery unique to their history and experience. Biblical poetry is drawing on a core “encyclopedia of production,” from which the poets draw to develop images and metaphors.

In part two, the guys go over the core images that are presented above. Why would a poet use these image pairings and combine them in this specific way? Jon comments on how metaphors change over time and within each culture. For example, when the steam engine was popular and represented a huge change in society, people would say things like, "he’s hot-headed” or “my gears are turning.” Then once computers came along, our cultural metaphors shift to sayings like, “let me process that.”

In part three, Tim and Jon discuss the differences between these figures of speech:
Metaphor: Describing one thing as if it were another. Example: "She is a ball of fire."
Simile: Explicit comparison between two things. Example: "She is like a ball of fire."
Metonymy: Referring to something by naming what it’s associated with. Example: "The pen is mightier than the sword." "Hollywood produces so many films."
Synecdoche: Naming a whole thing to refer to part of it, or naming part of a thing to refer to the whole of it. Example: "The U.S. won a gold medal today!" "Portland is a quirky town." " My hands were tied in this situation." "Let’s do a head-count."

Thank you to all our supporters!

You can find our more about The Bible Project and get free resources at www.thebibleproject.com

Show produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
Defender, Instrumental
Magnificent Defeat, Josh White

Show Resources:
Umberto Eco, The Name of a Rose
Books by George Lakoff and Mark Turner:

  1. More Than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor
  2. Metaphors We Live By
Jun 12, 2018
Art of Biblical Poetry E2: God Speaks in Poetry
00:44:02

Show Notes:

In part one (00:00-08:30), Jon gives a brief recap of the conversation on biblical poetry so far. The guys summarize the first part of the conversation with the idea that reading great poetry, like the kind found in Scripture, can change you. How things are communicated in Scripture is important, and the biblical poets have a series of tools they use to connect on a deeper level with readers. To understand and fully appreciate this brilliant poetry, there are three key aspects to understand: rhythm, terseness, and parallelism.

In part two (08:48-23:00), the guys break down Psalm 51, the poem David wrote after his affair with Bathsheba, and Isaiah 11. Both of these poems are tremendous examples of classic Hebrew poetry. In Psalm 51, David uses parallelism and descriptive language that communicates the fullness of his guilt and repentance. In Isaiah 11, Tim explains that the seemingly mixed metaphor of a stem and a root points to the coming Messiah, a “new David,” that will come from the existing family line of Jesse. Tim then explains the well-known image of seven spirits resting on the savior. He explains that this is poetic imagery used to illustrate the seven-fold spirit of God resting on Jesus.

In part three (23:01-35:34), Tim shares a quote from Adele Berlin regarding the use of creative language pairing in Hebrew poetry. This poetic principle of pairing creates an infinite number of ways to communicate creatively. For example, there are 29 times in the book of Psalms where the poet asks God to hear their prayer (example from Berlin, Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism, 127-130), and none of them are identical. Tim mentions the following examples:
Ps 54:4 O God, hear my prayer // listen to the word of my mouth
Ps 61:2 O God, hear my cry // pay attention to my prayer
Ps 66:19 Truly God has heard // he paid attention to the sound of my prayer
Ps 84:9 Yahweh, hear my prayer // listen, O God of Jacob
Ps 102:2 Yahweh, hear my prayer // may my cry come to you
Ps 88:3 may my prayer come before you // incline your ear to my cry
Ps 88:14 to you, Yahweh, I cry out // in the morning my prayer meets you
Ps 28:2 Hear the voice of my petition // when I cry out to you

The guys also cover juxtaposition in film and how it relates to poetry. Tim mentions the film Baraka by Ron Fricke; the whole film is set up with juxtaposition. Jon comments that humans have an innate ability to recognize patterns, so when an author sets things up in juxtaposition, it allows a person to use their ability to search for patterns and meanings. Filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein says that the pairing of two unexpected scenes or images makes a new creation, and, like poetry, it’s an abundant form of communication. Tim comments that perhaps more church gatherings should use poetic imagery and juxtaposition in their services to encourage people to dive deeper into the Scriptures and their meanings.

In part four (36:11-40:29), the guys briefly summarize the discussion with a quote from Robert Alter. Tim paraphrases the quote to say that 99% of divine speech in the Bible is presented as poetry; when God talks to the prophets, he talks in poetry. Tim goes on to further explain Robert Alter’s belief that this use of poetry to communicate the voice of God in Scripture has allowed these texts to stand the test of time and touch people far removed from the original audience.

Resources:

Chip Dobbs-Allsopp, On Biblical Poetry
Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Poetry
Russian filmmaker, Sergei Eisenstein
Ron Fricke, Baracka

Music:

Chilldrone

Jun 04, 2018
Art of Biblical Poetry E1: The Thunder of God
01:18:45

This is episode 1 in our series on Biblical Poetry!

In part 1 (0-4:43), the guys discuss the fact that about one third of the modern biblical text is poetry. But what exactly is poetry? Tim explains that every culture has its own definition of poetry. Tim prefers this definition from Laurence Perrine: “Poetry is a kind of human language that says more, and says it more intensely than does ordinary language.” (Laurence Perrine, Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry)

In part 2 (4:43-27:00), Tim and Jon dive into Psalm 29. Tim offers the poem as a biblical meditation on a storm moving over the landscape. The guys pause on the image in verse 6 of a “wild ox.” This was a species now extinct called an “auroch” (see the show resources). Tim comments that in the Bible, the most dangerous animals are depicted as a lion or a wild ox or auroch.

In part 3 (27:00-35:30), the guys discuss the use of cadence, metaphor, and meter in poetry. This varies from culture to culture. The guys note that rhyming and syllable structure allows a person to memorize the lines more easily. Additionally, Tim says that a core concept is that poetry always carries an overabundance of meaning. The limited use of words expands the meaning of them.

In part 4 (35:30-54:25), Tim and Jon discuss that the ancient Israelite poetry preserved for us in the Bible doesn’t fit any kind of master “system” like meter (though some think so). However, the Israelites were aware of a certain kind of speech that was poetic, dense, and distinct from normal speech. They even have vocabulary for it.

“Song” (Heb. shir / shirah): Exodus 15:1, “Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song…"
“Psalm” (Heb. mizmor): Many headings to the Psalms have these: Psalm 3, “A mizmor of David.”
“Lament” (Heb. qinah): 2 Samuel 1:17, “David lamented this qinah over Saul and Jonathan.”

There are three keys to reading Hebrew poetry:

  1. Rhythm: Hebrew poetry is shaped into a “line-rhythm” or “verse.” It is not metrical (based on syllable counts), but a form of “free verse.”
    The line in Hebrew poetry is most often:
    a. A complete sentence or subordinate clause
    b. Consisting of 3-5 words
    c. Marked by repetition and clear end-stop signals
    The Dead Sea Scrolls show the earliest divisions of Hebrew poetry into line-columns.

  2. Terseness:
    This poetry is often concise and uses as few words as possible to communicate as much as possible.
    “The terseness of biblical poetry gives the impression that each word or phrase is more loaded with meaning, since fewer words must bear the burden of the message.” (Adele Berlin, Introduction to Biblical Poetry)

  3. Parallelism:
    Robert Lowth's Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews and a commentary on Isaiah created the first comprehensive synthesis of features in Biblical poetry. In his words:
    “There is a certain conformation of the sentences, which is chiefly observable in those passages which frequently occur in Hebrew poetry, in which they treat one subject in many different ways, and dwell upon the same sentiment; when they express the same thing in different words, or different things in a similar form of words: and since this artifice of composition seldom fails to produce an agreeable and measured cadence, we can scarcely doubt it must have imparted to their poetry an exquisite degree of beauty and grace.”

In part 5 (54:25-59:24), Jon asks whether or not more people should make an effort to learn to read and understand Hebrew. He says he feels discouraged. Why would God hide himself in a language that is so hard to understand and takes so much effort to learn? Tim says that every serious community of Bible followers should have someone in it who’s committed to studying the scriptures in their Hebrew form.

In part 6 (59:24-end), the guys continue to discuss parallelism in Hebrew poetry.
All the Proverbs are cast in this poetic form. In fact, the word “proverb” in Hebrew (mashal) means “a comparison.” In Proverbs 16:32, both lines are positive, “better than” sayings.

  1. Being slow to anger is better than being a warrior,
  2. And being one who rules their passions is better than one who captures a city.

Show Resources:

Adele Berlin, Introduction to Biblical Poetry
Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Poetry
Extinct species of wild ox: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurochs
Laurence Perrine, Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry
Psalm 29

Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
J Cole Type Beat, Thunderstorm Instrumental (Educational and Non Profit Fair Use)
Rosasharn Music, Defender Instrumental
Unwritten Stories, All Night
Miss Emeli, General Vibe

May 28, 2018
Acts E4: Saul & Subversive Christianity
01:11:51

In part 1 (0- 14:00), Paul was a zealous Pharisee before he converted to following Jesus. Tim says this “zeal” that Paul showed as a Pharisee is a hyperlink to an Old Testament story in Numbers 25 where the priest Phineas exercised “zeal” to preserve the Jewish law. Jon comments that zeal is an interesting emotion that is complicated to understand in religious movements. Tim comments that Paul never lost his zeal; he just redirected it upon his conversion to Jesus.

In part 2 (14:00-25:30), the guys discuss Acts 13 and the missionary journeys. Tim explains that there were more missionary journeys going on than just those recounted in the book of Acts. He references a book called “The Lost History of Christianity” by Philip Jenkins. Regarding Paul’s missionary journeys, Tim recounts that Paul bridged the gap between Jews and Gentiles, and Luke recounts this with all these short stories about converts like Lydia the Gentile purple merchant, Timothy the child of a Jewish mother and Greek father, the Philippian jailer, a rough and tough character, and Dionysius the Areopagite an ancient intellectual aristocrat. Luke desires to portray Paul as a person who reaches a diverse group of people with the message of Jesus.

In part 3 (25:30-36:00), the guys discuss the circumcision controversy portrayed in Acts 15. Should Gentile converts to Christianity be required to observe traditional Jewish customs? This is one of the fundamental questions underpinning the whole New Testament, but it’s largely missed today because Christianity is now majorly non Jewish. Tim says the disciples determined what to do by using a passage from the Old Testament prophet Amos found in Amos 9:11-15.

In part 4 (36:00-48:45), the guys discuss what ancient Rome was like and why Christianity was viewed as a threat to the Roman empire. The Roman economy was made up largely of indentured servants and slaves. Roman religion was polytheistic. Tim cites quotes by scholars Kavin Rowe and Larry Hurtado saying that Christians posed both an economic and religious threat to the Roman society. Why?

Because they refused to participate in communal worship of the Roman gods or in the economy built on violent nationalism. Tim says this is evident in the stories Luke shares, like the one about the silversmith Demetrius in Acts 19. He views Christianity as a threat to the entire religious and economic system of the world and incites a riot in Ephesus against Paul.

In part 6 (48:45-53:05), Tim shares a few quotes from NT Wright.
The guys discuss how modern Americans’ lives look very similar to Roman lives. We tend to worship sex and money as a culture, but without the mythology wrapped around it. Are Americans or modern westerners that much different from our historical Roman predecessors? Perhaps we’re more alike than we care to believe.

In part 7 (53:05-59:50), the guys cover Acts 17. Wherever Christianity spread, there tended to be riots as the local communities felt the Christians were disrupting their way of life. Tim says that Luke was purposefully portraying the Jesus movement on a collision course with the Roman world. Paul and other Christians would create disruption wherever they went, yet they were preaching a gospel of peace.

In part 8 (59:50-end), the guys make an interesting historical observation that the foundation for religious liberty and the separation of church and state comes from the ancient church fathers like Tertullian arguing for their right to worship the Jewish God, but serve a Roman emperor.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen

Resources:

Philip Jenkins, Lost Christianity
Kavin Rowe, World Upside-Down: Reading Acts in a Graeco-Roman Age
Larry Hurtado, Destroyer of the Gods
Larry Hurtado, Why on Earth Did Anyone Become Christian?
N.T. Wright, Paul and the Faithfulness of God

Music:

Beautiful Eulogy, The Fear of God
Beautiful Eulogy, Come Alive (Hidden)
Beautiful Eulogy, Come Alive
Moby, Shot in the Back of the Head
Shipwrecked, Noah Dixon
KV, Wild
Rosasharn Music, Defender Instrumental

May 21, 2018
Acts E3: Global Christianos
00:54:54

This is episode 3 in our series outlining the book of Acts!

In part 1 (0-11:00), the guys briefly discuss the other Jewish messianic sects that were also in the ancient world. Jon comments that in his imagination, there were just two sects of Judaism, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Tim responds saying that in fact, Judaism was extremely diverse. There were more sects and messianic movements than just the ones that were explicitly covered in the Protestant Bible, and ancient Judaism had a whole spectrum of beliefs with nominal to radical followers.

In part 2 (11:00-34:00), Tim outlines Acts chapter 8-11. This section is known as the persecution and scattering of the ancient church. Luke (the author) intentionally weaves stories of Peter and Saul/Paul together. Peter and Paul both wake up to the reality of the risen Jesus in two different ways. Peter’s vision on the rooftop, where God shows him that the kosher food laws no longer apply, would have been extremely offensive and destabilizing for ancient Jews. Jon says that it’s difficult for him to imagine the lives of ancient Jews and their customs. Jon asks if there are any modern cultural symbols that we hold to be true that could be equivalent to how the ancient Jews saw these laws. Tim comments that every culture has their norms, their accepted beliefs, and those who choose to break away or live outside of those cultural norms will be thought of as strange and potentially undermining the culture they live in. This is exactly how the early Christians were viewed.

In part 3 (34:00-44:00), Tim outlines a few famous stories in Acts, like Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch and Paul visiting Antioch. Antioch was a melting pot city, a kind of San Fransisco of the ancient world. While Jerusalem was the symbolic center of Christianity, Antioch became the hub from which the first missionary journeys were launched.

In part 4 (44:00-end), Tim explains that fundamentally Christianity is an ancient eastern, multiethnic religious movement. This is unique among other world religions. Christianity is the largest multiethnic religious movement in history. The guys discuss how this places Christians in a unique position in their respective cultures.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Resources:

Rodney Stark: Cities of God.
Eckhard J. Schnabel, Acts, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Alan Thompson, The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus,
Kavin Rowe, World Upside-Down: Reading Acts in a Graeco-Roman Age
Christopher Nolan: Dunkirk (The Movie)

Produced By:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert-Howen

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Reveur: Pyrus
Lights: Sapphiros
Ehrling: Typhoon

May 14, 2018
Acts E2: Pentecost and the Expected Unexpected Spirit
00:35:37

This is Episode 2 in our series on Acts!
In part 1(0-10:50), the guys cover the story of Pentecost in Acts 2. Jon notes how remarkable this story is. Tim agrees, but responds that the Jews had been waiting for a promised outpouring of God’s spirit. And the way that it happened, with tongues of fire hovering over peoples’ heads and a violent rushing wind, is different than what was expected. Jon asks a question about the difference between “tongue” and “language” in the original Greek.

In part 2 (10:50-23:45), Tim asks, where the the other places are in the Bible where fire is used to show God’s presence. The burning bush with Moses, the fire in the Tabernacle, and several others. Tim says the point of “tongues of fire” in the Pentecost story is to show that God’s presence is dwelling in men and women. God has chosen to tabernacle himself with people. Paul later writes “you are the temple of God” meaning that quite literally, Heaven and Earth now meet in the bodies of God’s people.
Then Luke chooses to outline all the different Jews in Jerusalem from Pentecost. He specifically names 15 different places the Jews are from. Tim points out that many times this scene gets mistaken for “multi-ethnic” when at this point, it is not just “multi-cultural” but “mono-ethnic”. Meaning they are all Jews, but from different cultures around the world.

In part 3 (23:45-30:45), Tim continues to outline the Pentecost story. He says Peter’s sermon is evidence that God has answered the question the disciples asked Jesus, “when will the kingdom be restored to Israel?”. Peter is now declaring that God’s kingdom is here in Jerusalem and it will begin spreading outward as Jews leave Pentecost and return to their homelands.

In part 4 (30:45-end), the guys briefly cover the references between this story and other stories and lists in the Old Testament. For example, the list of 15 different regions in Acts 2 overlaps with a list of the exiles in Isaiah 11. Tim says that next up in the story is “The Tale of Two Temples”. The physical Temple of Judaism is now in direct conflict with the spiritual temple of God dwelling in humans.

Thank you to all our supporters!
more at www.thebibleproject.com

Show Resources:
Eckhard J. Schnabel, Acts, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Alan Thompson, The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus

Produced By:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert-Howen

Music:
Color Pallette 90: Dan Koch
Do it Right: Dan Koch
Fall Back: Dan Koch
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music

May 07, 2018
Acts E1: The Startup of Christianity
00:40:40

This is episode 1 in our series on the book of Acts! In part 1 (0-19:20) Tim and Jon cover the opening verses in Acts 1. Acts 1 is designed to seamlessly connect with the end of the book of Luke. Tim comments that Luke has laid the plot line of the book of Acts on top of the plot of the book of Luke. There are three main movements in both books. 1) The Galilee mission of Jesus with the disciples mission in Jerusalem, 2) the missionary journeys of Jesus with the missionary journeys of Paul, and 3) the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem with the arrival of Paul in Rome.

In part 2 (19:20- 24:40) Tim makes a point that the title of the book is “The Acts of Jesus through the Holy Spirit” because Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the only two characters that are consistent throughout. Jon asks a question about titling of ancient scrolls.

In part 3 (24:40-35:55) the guys discuss the question the disciples ask Jesus “Is it at this time you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” and Jesus answer in Acts 1:7-8 ““It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Was this a dodge answer from Jesus?

Tim says no. But in fact this verse unlocks the structure of the entire book of Acts. The disciples will start by being Jesus witnesses in Jerusalem, then moving into Judea and Samaria, then moving to other parts of the world.

In part 4 (35:55-end) the guys discuss the use of the phrase “the kingdom of God.” Tim says this phrase frames the entire book: Acts 1: (repeated 2x): Jesus spends 40 days teaching the disciples about “the kingdom of God” (1:3) generating their question about arrival of “the kingdom” (1:6).
Philip goes to Samaria to “announce the good news of the kingdom of God” (8:12). Paul and Barnabas challenge the disciples in Antioch that entering the kingdom of God requires suffering (14:22. Paul arrives in Corinth “bearing witness to the kingdom of God” (19:8). Paul describes his ministry in Ephesus as a period of “preaching the kingdom” (20:25)
Acts 28: (repeated 2x): Paul under house arrest in Rome “bears witness to the kingdom of God” (28:23) and ends the book “announcing the kingdom of God” (28:31).

Thank you to all our supporters!
more info at www.thebibleproject.com

Show Resources:
Eckhard J. Schnabel, Acts, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Alan Thompson, The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus,

Produced By:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert-Howen

Music:
Acquired in Heaven: Beautiful Eulogy
Excellent: Beautiful Eulogy
Conquer: Beautiful Eulogy
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music

Apr 30, 2018
Design Patterns in the Bible Part 4: Chaotic Waters & Baptism
01:02:56

In part 1 (0- 18:10), Tim and Jon continue to recap key stories in Genesis and the Old Testament. The key themes in these stories are chaotic waters and salvation through them.

In Joshua 3, Joshua is getting ready to lead Israel across the Jordan river into the promised land. This story maps onto the story of Israel getting ready to cross the Reed/Red Sea in Exodus as they are fleeing Pharoah. Tim says this story is an example of the “salvation template” being used in Biblical stories.

Tim gives another example of Mary’s song that she sings at the birth of Jesus in Luke 1. Tim says this song is a remix of older songs in the Hebrew scriptures. Mary uses the same words, images and phrases used in other parts of the Bible to express her feelings. The guys discuss how these stories allow people to create metaphors and analogies and help people construct a worldview.

In part 2 (18:10-25:21) Tim describes the famous passage in Isaiah 11 describing the stump, root, and shoot of Jesse’s descendants. In this part of Isaiah, a “remnant” is being redeemed. Where else in the Bible does a “remnant being redeemed” occur? In the story of Noah and the flood. Noah and his family were the remnant. Tim says Isaiah is using this story in an analogous way to say that God will rescue his scattered nation of Israel from the “chaotic waters” of exile among the nations.

In part 3, (25:21-32:34) the guys move to a New Testament story, The Baptism of Jesus in Mark 1. Tim and Jon uncover the similarities in this story and the foundational stories of the Old Testament. Tim asks, "when looking for similarities in biblical stories, what are the controls? What should a person be looking for or be guarded against?"

In part 4, (32:34-50:10) the guys move further into the New Testament and discuss Pauline passages in 1 Corinthians 10. Paul describes “our fathers were under the cloud and passed through the sea, and all were baptized into moses in the cloud and in the sea.” What does this mean and why would Paul include it?

Tim says Paul is writing to a Gentile audience but views them as being directly related to ancient Jewish fathers. The Corinthians fathers are the fathers of Israel. Therefore the Jewish story of salvation is the Corinthians story as well.

Tim shares another example in Romans 6. Here, Paul compares people being “slaves to sin.” Paul borrows language and imagery from the Exodus. Slavery of Israel, Pharoah, death, chaos, and liberation/salvation.

Paul also outlines the purpose of Christian Baptism. When a Christian gets baptized, they are reenacting the salvation story, being saved “through the waters” and brought to new life on the other side.

Jon ponders why all of this seems so complicated, when he thought salvation should be simple. What does it mean to be “saved from chaos” today?
Tim offers that this perhaps means people should be willing to wrestle with the ambiguities and mysteries that these stories present. Everyone has their own slavery, their own salvation story, but the biblical stories provide templates. God conquers chaos and brings order. He sets people up in his image to do the same.

In the final part (50:10 -end), Jon asks a question related to the rainbow in the flood story and the future of the world. “Is God going to totally destroy the earth and start fresh? Or will God fundamentally restructure and reorder the earth? In other words, is God not going to flood the earth, or is he not going to let creation collapse back in on itself again?”

Tim points Jon to 2 Peter ch. 3 which is the biblical text Jon is thinking of. There are challenges of translation, interpretation, and also a textual variant in the ancient manuscripts of 2 Peter 3. When read closely, the text is clear that God's "fire" is a moral purification that will remove evil from his creation rather than completely destroy the earth itself. 2 Peter is adapting imagery from Zephaniah 3 saying that the evil will not be allowed to pass through the Day of the Lord. In the Old Testament prophets intense, fiery imagery, was not trying to predict future events by giving us “video camera footage”, but instead using provocative imagery to encourage the reader to imagine a purified creation.

Thank you to all our supporters! You can learn more about what we’re up to at
www.thebibleproject.com

Resources:
George Lakoff: : Metaphors we Live by
George Lakoff: More Than Cool Reason
The Bible Project Video on Design Patterns in the Bible : https://thebibleproject.com/videos/design-patterns-biblical-narrative/

Show Music:
Rosasharn: Defender Instrumental
Dan Koch: Blooms
Dan Koch: Caramel
Dan Koch: Chop Shop
Dan Koch: El Capitan

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Tim Mackie. Matthew Halbert-Howen.

Apr 23, 2018
Design Patterns in The Bible Part 3: Crossing the Chaotic Waters
00:51:32

This is another episode in our How to Read the Bible Series. Today Tim and Jon discuss literary design patterns in the Bible.

In part 1 (0-12:27), the guys discuss the ways Bible stories often pattern after each other. Tim explains that he is working on a project with other Bible scholars studying how many biblical stories build on each other.

Tim says many Bible stories are set up in parallel, to replay key themes the writers are trying to make. Jon provides a real life example of Toy Story 3. The Toy Story 3 writers watched dozens of prison break movies in order to write the “daycare/prison break out” scene in Toy Story 3. Tim says that’s a good example of a layering technique being used in modern day. The classic prison break is layered into a children’s movie.

In part 2 (12:27-19:15), Tim says the biblical authors were very intentional about building an entire universe of meaning in the biblical stories themselves. There are thousands of hidden “hyperlinks” of key repeated words, phrases and repeated characters that link all Bible stories together. There is no such thing as an isolated story in the Bible. An example of Bible stories linking together is David and Bathsheba and the eating of the apple in Genesis. In Hebrew, it says “(Bathsheba) was good of sight, very.” Tim says this links back to Adam and Eve seeing the “fruit was good of sight” which links back to God saying things were “good, very good.” So the reader is supposed to ponder upon who decides what “good” is in these stories. David? God? Adam and Eve?

In part 3 (19:15-26:46), the guys dive into the creation story at the beginning of the Bible. Tim says Genesis 1 is set up in a very unique way. Tim says the fundamental image of chaos is dark, untamed waters. Jon offers an interesting comment about a new shark species that was recently discovered in the dark ocean. Tim outlines the first three days as the separation of realms. (Day 1) separating light from dark, (day 2) separating water from water, (day 3) separating water from dry land. Then the next three days, 4,5,6 are the creation of inhabitants of the realms in the first three days.

In part 4 (26:46-35:18), Tim says, the creation account is presented in such a way that God separates the chaotic waters to create a stable habitation where humans can live. Thinking about the Biblical authors desire to layer stories on each other, Where else does this theme of God separating waters appear in the Bible?

All over the Bible.

The story of Noah is depicted as the “de-creation” of the world. The world sinks back into “chaotic waters.” God remembers Noah and causes a “ruach to to pass over the land” just like the original creation story, he is separating the waters from the land and re-creating a habitation for humans.

In part 5 (35:18-end), Tim asks Jon “what was God doing with all this separating?” Jon and Tim discuss how the cause of creation descending back into chaos is human evil. Humans choose violence, bringing the world back to a place where God turns it over to chaos.

The next story where God tames the waters to rescue his people is the Exodus story. God “remembers Israel” when they cry out about their oppression in Egypt just as he “remembers Noah”. Tim says when Israel crosses the Red (Reed) Sea, it merges days 2 and 3 in creation. Moses splits/separates the waters to reveal dry land. Israel also passes through the waters, saved by God, just as Noah passed through the waters, saved by God.

Jon asks what’s the purpose of telling stories like this is. Jon is confused, is salvation really this complicated? What does all this mean for the modern person? Tim tells Jon to be patient, and that the ultimate end of the flood and water imagery in the Bible is the Christian tradition of baptism.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show Resources:

Our video on “Design Patterns in The Bible”: https://thebibleproject.com/videos/design-patterns-biblical-narrative/
The new species of shark discovered: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/prehistoric-frilled-shark-bycatch-deep-sea-spd/
George Lakoff: Metaphors We Live By
George Lakoff: More Than Cool Reason
Jon Walton: The Lost World of Genesis 1

Show Music:
Rosasharn: Defender Instrumental
Tae The Producer: Cocoa
Tae The Producer: Fujiyama
Tae The Producer: Mom
Great Scott: Don’t Hold Back

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Tim Mackie. Matthew Halbert-Howen.

Apr 16, 2018
Design Patterns in the Bible, Live from Milpitas! Part 2
01:18:44

This is part 2 in our live conversation from Milpitas California! Tim and Jon continue their discussion on design patterns in the Bible.

Tim outlines the layering of Adam and Eve’s story with Cain and Able’s story. In both stories, there is a change agent that tempts the humans. In the first story it is “the serpent”, in the second story it is “sin crouching at your door.” God calls out to both Adam and Eve and Cain saying “where are you?” and “what have you done?” Both of these stories mirror and reflect each other in many, many ways. The pattern that sets up in these first two stories becomes a template that other biblical stories use.

Tim shares another example of Eve mapping onto Sarah. Eve shared the fruit with her husband Adam, and later God reprimanded Adam saying “because you listened to your wife.” Similarly, at Sarah’s suggestion, Abraham “listened to his wife Sarah” and slept with Sarah’s servant Hagar. Tim says these stories are meant to mirror each other as well. Abraham is struggling with the same human condition, the same inclination to sin that Adam was.

Tim shares more examples of Israel at Mt Sinai and Israel at Jericho. Israel is told not to make any idols. The first story told after they are given this command is the story of the golden calf. This story is a combination of the earlier stories. Aaron listened to the people like Adam listened to Eve and Abraham listened to Sarah, Aaron shifted the blame like Adam shifted the blame.

Then in a later story, when Joshua leads Israel to overthrow Jericho, Achan takes and hides a “gold tongue” after having been explicitly told not to take any of the plunder. Joshua asks Achan, “What have you done?”

Why do the Biblical authors record this story? Because they want to continue to drive home the point that when humans listen to a voice that tempts them to “take” after they were explicitly told to not take, it leads to death.

Q1. (56:15) In light of word repetition do you recommend a particular translation?
Q2. (57:55) How would you approach reading the Bible with reluctant readers?
Q3. (1:00:25) How do you talk about the humanity of the Bible while still honoring the divine?
Q4. (1:05:55) How does a non Phd stay current with this topic? (Part of Tim’s answer was later recorded in studio)
Q5. (1:12:10) How do you know that any patterns you find are real? And that you’re not just seeing things and reading things into the text.

Show Resources:
Robert Alter: The Art Of Biblical Narrative
John Sailhamer: The Pentatuch as Narrative
Seth Postell: Adam as Israel: Genesis 1-3 as Introduction to the Torah and Tanakh
Jerome Walsh: Style and Structure in Biblical Hebrew Narrative
Michael Fishbane: Text and Texture: A Literary Reading of Selected Texts

Our video on Design Patterns in the Bible: https://thebibleproject.com/videos/design-patterns-biblical-narrative/

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music

Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen

Apr 09, 2018
Design Patterns in the Bible, Live from Milpitas! Part 1
01:16:53

This is a special episode in our podcast series on “How To Read The Bible”. Tim and Jon went on the road to do this podcast live before an audience in Milpitas, California! Tim and Jon discuss literature design patterns in the Bible and answer questions from the audience.

The guys do a brief recap of the How to Read The Bible series. There are key elements to reading the Bible well. Understanding plot, character, setting and biblical narrative style. (We have videos on each of these, you can see the links below in the show notes.)

In this episode, the guys combine all of these elements to talk about “patterns and design elements” in the Bible. Tim and Jon use the “hyperlink” analogy, saying that all the stories in the Bible link to each other in subtle and creative ways. People can learn to see these links and see the stories layering on top of each other by understanding key design patterns and techniques.

Below are timestamps of questions and examples:

(36:16) Jon asks the question, "Is understanding design patterns in the Bible an “elite” way to read the Bible?" Isn’t the Bible supposed to be user friendly? It seems like studying to understand the historical context of the ancient Hebrew biblical literature is a time consuming task that some people might not be able to do.

(40:38) A gentleman asks a question about the city of Joppa being mentioned in both the book of Jonah and in Acts. Is this intentional and a reference to a hidden theme in the Bible?

(42:25) A gentleman asks a question about the creation of stories in the Bible. What’s the role of historical accuracy, retelling and condensing of events in the writing of the Bible?

(49:58) A gentleman asks a question: If the Bible is a magnificent piece of timeless art and literature, How do you explain the Bible to people who value brevity and directness, not artful literature and analogy?

(52:40) Tim gives an example of word plays and repetition in the Bible. The hebrew word “Tov” means good. Tov/Good is used in the creation story as a key repeating word. It develops first to describe creation. Then it describes humans (very good). Then it describes the “tree of the knowledge of good and not good/evil.” This theme culminates when the woman “sees that the tree is good” when the serpent tempts her, she has effectively switched places with God. God was the original one who “saw things as good”.

(1:03:05) Tim gives another example in Luke. The baptism of Jesus culminates with God speaking from heaven declaring Jesus is his son. Then the next story is not a story, it’s a genealogy that works its way backward to Adam being declared “the son of God”. Then Jesus is tempted, with the devil asking him if he “really is the son of God”. Then Jesus goes to his first town and people ask “Who’s son is this?” Then Jesus casts out a demon who declares that Jesus is “the son of God”. Luke uses repetition to make a point to the reader, that Jesus is indeed who he has been declared to be, he is the Son of God.

(1:07:10) Tim gives an example of the selection of Saul to be the king of Israel. The hidden word in the story is “see or seeing.” At the start of the story, we are told Saul is tall. This is a strange detail. Most Bible characters have no physical attributes described about them, but here, Saul is tall, which is later used as a symbol in the story. Saul looks for a “seer” or a “prophet” when searching for his father’s donkeys. Why would the word “seer” be used in the story? Because it is a hidden key word in the story. Samuel “sees” Saul. Samuel tells Israel to look upon Saul and “see” their king. Samuel and Israel “see” Saul and they are impressed by his height. But Saul is not a good king and God rejects him. God sends Samuel to anoint a new king. God says he has “seen a new king.” Samuel “sees” Jesse’s son Eliab and thinks one of these is to be the new king. But God speaks to Samuel and says “God doesn’t ‘see’ as humans ‘see’, humans ‘see’ with their eyes, God ‘sees’ the heart.” This line is the climax of a whole trail of breadcrumbs that started at the introduction of Saul.

Show Resources:
Robert Alter: The Art Of Biblical Narrative
Our How To Read The Bible Video Series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak06MSETeo4&list=PLH0Szn1yYNedn4FbBMMtOlGN-BPLQ54IH

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental - Rosasharn Music

Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen

Thank you to all our supporters!

Apr 02, 2018
Understanding Settings in the Bible
00:35:47

This is Part 7, in our “How To Read The Bible Series.” Tim and Jon discuss the importance of understanding “Setting” in Bible stories.

In the first part (0-15:37) of the show the guys talk about how in the Bible, locations and directions are a big deal. For example, after the fall, man is banished to the east of the Garden of Eden. The direction east, is generally associated with exile and banishment in the Bible. This is reinforced in other stories in the Bible. Tim says when a direction or a place is repeated, it becomes a symbol.

In part 2 (15:37-23:48), the guys discuss the use of “time” in the Bible. When reading a story, there can be a speed up or slow down timing process. In the books of Kings and Chronicles the author generally presents episodic events in a paced, chronological order. Yet in the book of Mark, Mark chooses to race through the earlier parts of his life in 10 chapters by briefly recounting key events and then slowing things down immensely when Jesus arrives in Jerusalem. He takes 6 chapters to recount the stories surrounding the crucifixion.

In part 3 (23:48-27:33), Tim continues to outline the use of timing in the Bible. Some moments, speeches or books are expanded into real time. For example, Tim says the whole book of Deuteronomy took place in one day. Whereas, other moments are condensed, such as the speech Paul gave to the Greek philosophers in Acts. Paul would have given a longer speech, but it has been condensed for literary purposes.

In part 4 (27:33-end), the guys briefly discuss the usage of days, times, and years. For example, the number “40” is associated with a period of waiting. 40 days, 40 years, etc...40 is associated with “expected waiting.” Israel was waiting to go into the promised land for 40 years. Jacob was embalmed for 40 days.

Jon asks about distinguishing Biblical time from “bible code” meaning and searching the bible for hidden references, meanings, or numeric/alphabetic codes. Tim says that while it is true the Hebrew alphabet and numerical system were the same, and both used in reading and writing the Bible, he doubts the Bible writers would try to intentionally hide information.

More Bible Project resources are here on the website: thebibleproject.com
Watch the accompanying video to this content here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FuT8WtoAK0

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Wings: Nicholai Heidlas
Thule: The Album Leaf
Acoustic Instrumental: Hyde

Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen

Mar 26, 2018
Exile Q+R
01:03:08

This is our Exile Q+R! We loved doing this series and are so grateful for everyone’s questions and interest. Our Exile video is currently in production and is due out later this year (2018).

We answered 6 Questions:

(2:00) Austin: My question is about the lines "this is my home, but not my home" and the concept of the new heavens and the new earth. Now y'all have used this to make the point that we should take care of this earth because we're going to be living on it for the long-haul, but doesn't the fact that it is going to be renewed mean that no matter how good or bad of stewards we have been, God is going to make it hospitable for the long-haul, for all of eternity?

(18:37) Rebecca: My question is about the 12 tribes of Israel, especially post-exile, so much of the history of Israel revolves around tribe identity. But other than Paul identifying as a Benjamite, and the temple priestess, Anna from the tribe of Asher in Luke, not much is mentioned in the NT. I just wondered, how important was tribe identity both right after the return from Exile, and if it still exists today?

(27:50) Jonathan: Does the concept of exile also apply to our whole beings? Physical bodies, and consciousness. In the sense that, I am who I am, but I am not fully myself as I'm awaiting renewal.

(37:45) Jonathyn: How does repentance play into the theme of Exile? In the OT, we see the prophets constantly speaking to Israel, telling them that God was communicating to them that if they repent and turn back to Him, that He would bring them back to Himself. John the B (baptist) and Jesus constantly preached repentance, and it's also all across the Apostles writings. Does exile play into this theme at all, and if so, how?

(46:30) Mike: 2 Questions. 1. Could you talk about how the ideas of Exile and Return (from exile) form a foundation of understanding death and resurrection, specifically in Ezekiel's vision of the Valley of Dry Bones. 2. The Israelites are told to seek the peace "Shalom" of the city, during one of the least peaceful contexts, namely exile. Could you talk about how the coexistence of peace and exile affects the way in which we understand these individual concepts?

(56:10) Wade: In the book of Daniel, I noticed that even King Nebuchadnezzar had a time of exile during his life, and he came out of it praising God. I had a question about Exile and sanctification. Namely, is there any time in the Bible where someone went through exile and did not come out praising God for who He is?

Thank you to all our supporters! All of this is possible because of you :)

Show Resources:

The On Script Podcast: http://onscript.study/
www.thebibleproject.com

Produced by:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert-Howen

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music.

Mar 19, 2018
The Exile and the Way Home
00:31:39

This is our last episode in our Exile series. In part 1 (0-9:50), Tim and Jon summarize the conversation. Tim shares an insightful quote from C.S Lewis found in the Weight of Glory. Lewis believed that un-fillable human longings are a clue that there is another future reality that will one day be realized.

In part 2 (9:50-14:50), the guys discuss the differences between “home” and “Home.” “Home” is the ultimate paradise of humanity. Man is at “Home” in all aspects. Tim says that ancient Israel called on the nostalgia of their past kings of Solomon and David to give vocabulary for what a future kingdom ruled by God will look like.

In part 3 (14:50-26:10), Tim and Jon discuss how today people are considered exiles in time. Christians should consider themselves exiles of an age. Christians are loyal to the kingdom of God and King Jesus. But they currently live in an age where Christ’s kingship is not always recognized.

Tim says the ultimate story of the cross is that God is willing to take the consequences of humanity’s creation of “babylon” upon himself in order to create a world where all can be at “Home.”

In part 4 (26:10-end), Tim revisits how the ethic of the wisdom warrior leads a person to a constant state of “radical doubt”. Christians should be grateful for and enjoy their lives. But their ultimate hope is in God re-creating the physical world as a “Home” for all who choose to abide in him.

Thank you to all our supporters!

We're doing a Q+R on Exile!
Do you have a question on the biblical theme of exile? Send it to us!
info@jointhebibleproject.com

Show Resources:

The Weight of Glory: C.S Lewis
The Religion of the Landless: Daniel Smith Christopher
A Biblical Theology of Exile: Daniel Smith Christopher

Show Music:

Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
I Know The Way Home: Andrew Garlucki
The First Day: Tell The Story
At Humanities Core is the Need for Grace: Tell The Story
Restless: Tell The Story

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert Howen

Mar 12, 2018
The Ethic of an Exile
00:40:57

This is our fifth episode in our series on Exile. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss the theme of Exile in the story of Jesus and the New Testament.

In part 1(0-10:23), Tim outlines the historical context of Jesus’ life. Israel was occupied by Rome. Rome was an oppressive military ruler who disenfranchised the Jewish people. Many Jews were waiting for a Messiah to come overthrow the Romans and restore the kingdom of Israel. When Jesus began performing miracles and declaring a new kingdom, “the kingdom of God” he quickly made a name for himself. But was he the ruler the Jews were hoping for? In Matthew 22, the Jews want to test Jesus and find out if he wanted to overthrow the Romans and ask him if it's lawful to pay taxes to Rome. Jesus replies with his famous saying “Give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s. Give to God that which is God’s.”

Tim says Jesus is the ultimate expression of the “wisdom warrior” that is outlined in the Old Testament books and characters like Daniel and Jeremiah. It seems the way Christians are supposed to interact with their government is one modeled after Jesus and Daniel. Be subversively loyal to your rulers. Work for the peace of your “Babylon” but realize there will be times when your allegiance to the kingdom of God is more important than allegiance to a country or people group.

In part 2 (10:23 - 28:21), Tim and Jon discuss 1 Peter 2. Christians are supposed to “submit themselves to worldly institutions… and act like they are free.” Tim and Jon briefly discuss the movie Hacksaw Ridge, a true story where a Christian joins the US Army in WWII as a medic and refuses to carry a gun because it goes against his beliefs.

Tim postulates that perhaps the reason “the exile ethic” in the Bible is overlooked is because many Christians in western countries have grown up with a government that has a layer of civic religion. This civic religion is usually based on Judeo-Christian teachings. But this civic religion is not a substitute for following Jesus. Tim says at the end of the day, God has chosen to redeem and form an international people, his new-covenant family, not the various kingdoms and empires that rise throughout history.

In part 3 (28:21 - 34:06), Jon asks about how New Testament writers used the Garden of Eden analogy. Tim says there’s no indication the writers believed humanity would return to the “original garden.” Tim cites Romans 4:13 “Abraham will become an inheritor of the world.” Tim says this means the original promised land of Abraham was an image of what God wants to do for the whole world. Tim and Jon discuss the difficulties of thinking in this way. Modern Christians living today are actually exiles in time, not necessarily exiles in location.

In part 4 (34:06 - end), Jon and Tim discuss Hebrews 11 and the image of the “new Jerusalem” in Revelation. Tim says the new Jerusalem is supposed to be the anti-Babylon image. It is a picture of humanity’s civilizations working together as was originally intended. Humanity will finally no longer be in exile but will have truly returned home.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Have a question about the theme of “Exile in the Bible”? Record yourself, keep it less that 20 seconds with your name and where you currently live (in exile :) ) and send it to info@jointhebibleproject.com.

We will be collecting the questions for our upcoming Q+R podcast!

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Fills The Sky: Josh White
I’ve Been Surprised: Josh White
Only Your Presence: Pilgrim

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert-Howen.

Feb 26, 2018
The Exile and the Wisdom Warrior
00:56:46

This is part 4 of our conversation on the biblical theme of exile. In Part 1( 0- 18:10), Tim summarizes the conversation so far. Then Tim explains that John the Baptist lived in the physical promised land of Israel, but he would quote from Isaiah when baptizing his followers because for John it was a symbolic rebooting of return from exile. Before baptism, a person was symbolically in exile. After baptism, the person has returned and entered into a new way of life.

Next, Tim explains that in 1 Peter, by referring to believers as "immigrants and exiles in Babylon" (even though the kingdom of Babylon had ceased to exist for hundreds of years), Peter is continuing the exile metaphor as a way to think of the Christian journey as a whole.

In part 2 (18:10 - 30:40) Tim explains that there’s a surprising twist in the story of exile. When the Hebrews are exiled, they spread and bless the nations in a way that would not have happened had they remained centrally located. Tim outlines the books of Ezekiel and Isaiah and explains how both of those prophets used exile imagery in their own unique ways.

In part 3 (30:40 - 38:35 ) Tim talks about the book of Jeremiah, Tim quotes Jeremiah 29. This is the famous passage where the “for I know the plans I have for you” verse is. But Tim says that before that verses about Israel working for and doing good on behalf of Babylon.

Tim says this passage mirrors the imagery of the Garden of Eden and life in the Promised Land. Israel is supposed to make the best of the exile situation and make homes and gardens and work for the peace of Babylon.

In part 4 (38:35 -end) Tim shares a quote from a Hebrew scholar Daniel Smith Christopher. Tim says there was conflict in the Jewish community in Babylonian exile. Some wanted to hear Jeremiah’s call for a peace ethic in Babylon, but others wanted to hear Hananiah’s call to a resistance ethic. Should Israel just accept their fate as an exiled and broken nation and absorb completely into Babylon? Or should they resist their overlords and actively work to undermine Babylon? Or should they do something in between?

Tim also outlines the book of Daniel. The story of Daniel is a perfect example of limited cooperation with Babylon. Daniel was loyal to Babylon to a point. He was a faithful and esteemed government official, but there were times when Babylonian interests conflicted with his Jewish beliefs. Daniel’s posture toward Babylon is a mix of loyalty and subversion. Daniel is considered a “wisdom warrior.” A person who wisely works for Babylonian good and peace, but who also has an ethic that he will stand for if Babylon chooses to defy the Jewish God Yahweh.

Tim summarizes Daniel Smith Christopher’s ideas on the peace ethic, saying the peace ethics of the wisdom warrior is a practice of radical doubt toward empires and kingdoms. Wisdom warriors should believe that God’s ultimate work in the world comes from his people, not through empires and nations.

Jon comments that this type of stance is difficult in modern western democratic governments. Tim says he thinks this is because there is a layer of civic religion in many countries that often have Judeo Christian vocabulary, but it’s not an excuse to be fully committed to whatever government we live under. Instead, Christians should follow the subversive peace ethics of people like Daniel.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Resources:

The Religion of the Landless: Daniel Smith Christopher
A Biblical Theology of Exile: Daniel Smith Christopher

Show Music:

Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Magnificent Defeat: Josh White
Outrageous: Pilgrim
Surrender: Pilgrim

Produced by:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert-Howen.

Feb 19, 2018
Exile From The Cosmic Mountain
00:44:31

This is our third episode discussing the Biblical theme of exile. In this show Tim and Jon breakdown famous Old Testament stories and how the exile theme is often an overlooked aspect of many Bible stories.

In part 1 (0-10:27), Tim begins in Genesis 1 and 2, explaining that Eden is depicted as a “cosmic mountain”. This is in reference to other ancient religions that believed their gods lived on mountains. For example, the Greeks believed in their storytelling that the gods lived on Mt Olympus. The Canaanites believed their gods lived on Mt Zaphon. The Hebrews believed in Mt Zion. (See Psalm 48:2 “Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth, like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King.” )
Tim’s point is that the writers of Genesis 1 and 2 placed Eden and Zion as their idea of paradise which directly competed with their pagan neighbors religious ideas.

In part 2 (10:27-29:15), Tim outlines the depiction of peace in the garden. There is peace with the created order, depicted as the fruit being abundant and easy to harvest. There is peace with animals and nature, depicted as man naming animals. Tim explains that in Isaiah 11, part of the vision of the new creation is when humans and animals will live at peace with each other. (A baby playing with a snake.)

Tim outlines the history behind the two trees placed in the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. After Adam and Eve eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they are banished to the East of the garden. Tim says this is the first use of exile language in the Bible. They are exiled to the East, which is later the direction where Babylon is placed. Then in the next story, Cain is also banished/exiled to the East after he kills his brother Able. In Genesis 11, all of humanity is depicted as migrating to the East, and then scattered from there.

Tim’s point is that the biblical authors are intentionally developing a theme that humanity is banished/exiled to the East. Tim quotes from Joseph Blenkinsopp saying that biblical authors intentionally placed humanity’s story of fall from the paradise of Eden as a foreshadowing of the coming fall of Israel.

In part 3 (29:15-36:56), Tim outlines the story of Abraham. Tim says Abraham is a wandering nomad originally from the geographical area of Babylon. Abraham is called and given a promise of his own land for him and his descendants.

Tim explains that Abraham only owns one plot of land in the Bible when his wife Sarah dies and he buys a burial plot. Abraham refuses to be gifted the land and buys it outright. In the story, Abraham uses the phrase “I am a stranger and sojourner in this land among you.” That phrase is adopted in Psalm 31 and 1 Peter to describe the human experience of living in exile. The story of Abraham becomes an archetype that other biblical authors use to say that humanity is rightful home, meaning we are supposed to live on the earth, but it is not in its promised state of existence.

In part 4 (36:56-end), Tim outlines the story of the journey of the nation of Israel. Israel inherited Abraham’s promise. But they chose to disobey God and not cross over the Jordan into the promised land. As a result, God exiled them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

Resources:

Joseph Blenkinsopp - Exile

Show Music:

Take Off With Me: JGivens
So Fly: JGivens
Faherenheit 99: JGivens
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music

Produced by:

Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert-Howen.

Feb 15, 2018
The Exile Of All Humanity
00:43:38

This is part 2 of our new podcast series prepping for our video release on the Exile theme in the Bible. In part 1 (0 - 5:30), Jon and Tim recap their earlier conversation in the first episode. Tim explains that when the Hebrews returned from exile to Jerusalem under Persian rule, their empire and city was in shambles, but they kept clinging to this promise that God had given their ancestral father, Abraham.

In part 2 (5:30 - 18:10), Tim explains that the exile metaphor became a theme that runs through the entire Bible. The Hebrew bible authors wrote Genesis believing that humanity has been exiled from the Garden of Eden and perfect unity with God. The Hebrews believed that their exile represented all humanity’s exile of heaven and earth being separated from each other.

Jon comments about how often times people feel displaced in life. Many people feel melancholic, knowing they should be at home here on earth, but often times wondering why life can be so hard and why humans make it harder with how they behave. Tim summarizes Walker Percy and says the fundamental mystery of the universe is why we feel so alone in the world.

Tim explains that the Bible states that the solution to both Israel’s exile problem and humanity’s exile problem is the same solution. A king who will come and deliver them and reunite heaven and earth for all.

In part 3, (18:10 - end) Jon comments that this conversation is totally different than how he thought of it growing up. He recalls a book by Randy Alcorn, Heaven On Earth, and says that the point is not to magically escape the world to an ethereal heaven, but to work for and hope for a new heaven and a new earth.

Tim explains the oddity of the 1 Peter introduction. Peter chooses to address the people in the letter as “immigrants and exiles.” Peter chooses to identify Christians as exiles in a world that is waiting to be redeemed. Tim explains when a person becomes a Christian they shift their allegiance to the kingdom of God, not the earthly kingdom of Babylon. Tim says that words like “immigrant, and exile” and “citizens of heaven” becomes a type of code language that the Bible writers use to continue the metaphor and theme of the exile of humanity.

Tim and Jon recap the biblical idea of evil - a force that both rules the world and is somehow engrained in human nature. The biblical hope is that Jesus has come and broken that power. Tim says that Jesus modeled for humans what it’s like to live in and build the kingdom of God on earth.

Thank you to all our supporters!

SHOW RESOURCES:

Walker Percy: Lost in the Cosmos: Humanity’s Last Self Help Book.

Randy Alcorn: Heaven.

SHOW MUSIC

Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music

Luvtea: Autumn Leaves

JGivens: 10 2 Get In

SHOW PRODUCED BY:

Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert-Howen.

Feb 05, 2018
The Jewish Exile: How It Made The Bible
00:42:56

The Exile. It’s one of the biggest, but least discussed themes in the Bible. And it’s the subject of our new podcast series and a theme video that will be coming out later this year (2018).

The exile is a foreign concept to many modern people. Tim and Jon break down what and how the Jewish exile impacted our modern Bible.

In the first part of the episode (0-20:00) Tim shares a background story of John Newton, the writer of Amazing Grace. Newton’s own personal story is one of exile and return from exile and led him to write Amazing Grace. Tim explains he thinks this is a good example of how trying experiences shape and color someone’s worldview.

In the second part (20:00-25:50), Tim explains that our modern Bible was shaped by the Jewish people who were exiled from their homeland in 586 BC by the Babylonian Empire. The cultural trauma of that event influenced the writings that Christians hold dear today. The 586 exile colors all of the Bible, start to finish.

In the third part (25:50-37:50), Tim does an overview of the whole Bible outlining Abraham’s nomadic roots, how his family originally immigrated from Babylon, how they lack a true home but Abraham has a promise from God that he will have a “promised land.” Tim quickly explains the divide of the nation of Israel into two smaller kingdoms after the death of Solomon. And how eventually both of those kingdoms were conquered by foreign invaders. Many of the Old Testament books like Ezekial are written in exile. Tim explains the Persian Empire coming to power and allowing the Jews to begin to return to their homeland, Jerusalem, but it was nothing like it had been before. Instead of returning independent, Israel was now living in their homeland but subject to a foreign ruler.

In the final part (37:50-end), the guys discuss how the Hebrew authors who wrote the Bible used the exile experience to prophecy of a new king, a king who would deliver them from their occupiers.

Show Resources:

The Murashu Family (archeology documents): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murashu_family
More info on our website: thebibleproject.com

Show Music:

Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Amazing Grace Guitar Solo: Rick Graham. (Fair Use)
Miss Emile: General Vibe
Mellow Relaxed Background Music: Jonathan Dennill

Show Produced by:

Dan Gummel and Jon Collins

Thank you to all our supporters!

Jan 30, 2018
Nephesh/Soul Q+R
00:55:04

Here is our Nephesh/Soul Q+R! Thank you to everyone who sent in questions! We love doing these and hearing what others are thinking.

Q’s and Timestamps:

  • (7:19) Sam: Why did Paul write that each of us has a soul, spirit and body in 1 Thessalonians 5?
  • (18:57) Johnny: In Hebrews 4:12, it seems man is dual natured, physical and spirit, but how can we reconcile this by understanding man as a single natured being, meaning that man is a soul?
  • (24:45) Daniel: In Psalm 63 it says that David’s Nephesh/Soul thirsts after God. What does that mean practically?
  • (33:20) Kevin: What’s the biblical writers perspective on the future state of being? And how does that relate to burial practices like cremation?
  • (45:47) Natalia: What do we actually know from the biblical writers and first century believers saying what our bodies will be like in the new creation?

Resources / Books:

John Cooper: Body, Soul and Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the Monism/ Dualism Debate
Joel Green: Body, Soul and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible
Ronald Rolheiser: The Holy Longing
Ronald Rolheiser: Against An Infinite Horizon
The Bible Project Video on Nephesh/Soul: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_igCcWAMAM

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel and Jon Collins.

Jan 22, 2018
Characters In The Bible
00:48:33

Have you ever wondered what Jesus looked like? Or maybe why the Bible rarely tells us what a person what thinking? Characters in Bible stories are described and portrayed very differently compared to characters in modern stories.
In this episode Tim and Jon discuss character design in the Bible.

The guys start out (0-9:50) showing how our modern tradition of telling every detail about a character in a story, where they are from, what they look like, what their inner thoughts are, comes from Greek story telling tradition. This is the exact opposite of ancient Jewish storytelling. The biblical authors didn’t rely on telling you about a character, instead, they would tell you what they did. The characters themselves remain very mysterious. Tim says this lack of detail is done intentionally so the reader has to work for an interpretation.

In the second part of the episode (9:50-21:13), Tim explains the two ways biblical authors use character details. One, a narrator will use “direct characterization.” A specific detail will be given because it is useful in the story. We are told Saul is tall because later, we find out that David is short. We are told Joseph is handsome because later, Potiphar’s wife attempts to seduce him. Jon asks if this technique is used because the of the constraints of passing stories on pre printing press.
The second way is the names of characters. In Hebrew literature, a character’s name represents the very essence of their being and shows their role in the story. Saul means “The one who was asked for” because Israel asked him to be king. The two sons of Naomi in the book of Ruth, their names are Mahlon and Chilion mean “one who is sick” and “to die”. Their only role in the story is to die and set up the plot conflict.

In the third part of the episode, (21:13-25:56) Tim explains that just because a character does something in a story, doesn’t mean the author is endorsing the action. Many authors use a minimalist technique of telling the reader the character’s choices but not saying why the character made these choices. A famous is example is when Moses kills the Egyptian who was beating the Hebrew. We don’t know why Moses killed him, we only know that he did. Biblical narrators refuse to tell us if a character is “good” or “evil” instead they let us decide for ourselves.

In the fourth part of the episode (25:56-end) Jon asks why. Why would biblical authors take the risk of their work being misinterpreted? Tim says the Biblical authors want readers to puzzle over the ambiguities of their stories because it is meant to represent the ambiguities that are inherent in life. The big narrative of the Bible puts meaning and purpose in the world, but individual stories are meant to create a feeling of opaqueness and mystery.

More Bible Project resources are here on the website: thebibleproject.com
Watch the accompanying video to this content here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EQDGax19xk

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show Resources:

Shimon Bar-Efrat, ​Narrative Art in the Bible​
Adele Berlin, ​Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative​
Meir Sternberg, ​The Poetics of Biblical Narrative: Ideological Literature and the Drama of Reading​
Robert Alter, ​The Art of Biblical Narrative​
Yairah Amit, ​Reading Biblical Narrative
Cormac McCarthy, ​The Road​ and ​The Border Trilogy: ​(1) All the Pretty Horses, ​(2) The Crossing, ​(3) Cities of the Plain.

Music Credits:

Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Educated Fool: Jackie Hill Perry
Ruby: CJBeards
Flooded Meadows: Unwritten Stories

Produced By:

Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert Howen.

Jan 15, 2018
Justice Q + R
01:05:07

This is our last episode for 2017! Thank you to all our supporters! All of this is because of you. We’ll be back in 2018 with a full slate of exciting podcast episodes, videos, and some surprises as well!

We discussed four questions in this episode:

Questions:
Jenn (3:25): “How does Jesus’ death work to satisfy God’s ‘justice’?
Corey (23:08): “How do we distinguish ‘doing justice’ from being an issue of the church or the state to address?
Logan (39:05): “How do we determine who is oppressed and who isn’t? And how do we stand up against people who refuse to see the oppressed? Also, 2 Thessalonians 3:10 has been used as a case against helping the homeless… is this correct?”
Vic (57:15): “What’s the relationship in the Bible between justice and power?”

Resources:
Michael Sandel: Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?
You can check out our video on Justice here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A14THPoc4-4
More resources are at: thebibleproject.com

Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music

Show Produced by:
Jon Collins, Dan Gummel and Matthew Halbert-Howen

Dec 18, 2017
What Happens After We Die?
00:31:30

Want to participate in our Nephesh Q+R? Have a question about your “soul”? Send us your question info@jointhebibleproject.com. Don’t forget to tell us your name and where you’re from!

What happens to our souls after we die?
This is our third episode on the Hebrew word “Nephesh”. It usually gets translated as “soul” in modern bibles. But to the hebrews the word often meant “throat”. This episode Tim and Jon discuss the Hebrew concepts of an afterlife. The Hebrews would often use the word “Nephesh” when talking about eternal life in the Scriptures.

In part 1 (0-7:00), the guys talk about the difficulty of getting the nephesh concept across in a short video. They discuss the possible gradients of ways to read the Shema.

In part 2 (7:00-17:30), Jon asks “Isn’t there some sort of non material part of me that survives death?” To which Tim replies “Yes.” But it’s not necessarily what you think. Tim says the biblical authors refuse to speculate about what happens after death, only that the authors say we are “with the Lord.”
He uses Psalm 16 and Psalm 49 as an example.

Psalm 16:8-10:
I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely.
For You will not abandon my nephesh to the grave;
Nor will You ballow Your Holy One to see the pit.
You will make known to me the path of life;

Tim says Bible scholar NT Wright calls it “life after life after death.”

In part 3 (17:30-end), the guys discuss the concept of Nephesh in the New Testament. Nephesh is translated with the Greek word “psuche.”
It’s often used to describe a person as an embodied, living organism.

A few of Jesus’ famous sayings with the word “psuche” include:

Matthew 6:25
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your psuche, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Luke 17:33
Whoever tries to save their psuche will lose it, and whoever loses their psuche will preserve it.
Psuche can also be used to describe the animating life-energy of a person (very similar to pneuma/ruakh)

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of psuche and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

1 Thessalonians 5:23
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, psuche and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show Resources:
Our video on the word Nephesh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_igCcWAMAM
More resources on our website www.thebibleproject.com

N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God.

Music Credits:

Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn
Scream Pilots: Moby
Boost: Joakim Karud
Back To Life: Soul II Soul: Non-Profit and Educational Fair Use

Produced by:
Jon Collins and Dan Gummel

Dec 12, 2017
Let's Get Physical
00:27:55

According to the Bible, we don’t have souls, we are souls. And people will live forever not in a disembodied existence as a soul, but in an embodied existence. So what do we do with physical/body desires like hunger and sex?

In part 1 (0-9:00) Tim outlines some other uses of the word "nephesh" in the Old Testament including translating the word as “person” or “people” and calling kidnappers and murderers “nephesh thief” and “nephesh slayer.”

In part 2 (9:00-17:25) the guys discuss the uses of “nephesh” when referring to the human physical desires for food or water (like in Psalm 42) and sex. In Song of Solomon, the erotic love poetry book in the Old Testament, in the original Hebrew, the writer expresses physical desire for their lover using the word “nephesh.” Tim and Jon discuss why we’ve spiritualized the physical sexual desires of people.

In the third part (17:25-end) of the episode, Tim explains that animals and immigrants are described as “nephesh” in the Bible and the “righteous” people are called to respect their “nephesh.” Tim outlines Psalm 35 and explains that the author uses the word “nephesh” in seven different ways in this Psalm. Tim says it’s a great example of the diversity and depth of the word.

You can view our video on the word Nephesh here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_igCcWAMAM&index=5&list=PLH0Szn1yYNeclOdfwWBawnNT5ZkGFHxBf

Thank you to all our supporters! Check out more free resources on our website: www.thebibleproject.com

Produced by:
Jon Collins and Dan Gummel

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental- Rosasharn Music
The Darkest Night - Alert 312
Pop Romantic - The Bluest Star

Nov 22, 2017
You Are A Soul
00:55:44

This is our first episode related to our new word studies video on the Hebrew word “Nephesh” which often gets translated as “soul” in English bibles. In Hebrew the most basic meaning of the word is “throat.” Which seems weird to us. So how did we get “soul” from “throat”? Tim and Jon discuss.

In the first part of the episode (0-12:30), Tim and Jon outline where the word “soul” comes from (Old English), and why most people think that a core teaching of the Bible is people “having souls.” Jon asks how much you can really separate the ideas of a person’s “mind, soul, and body.”

In the second part of the episode (12:30-41:20), Tim explains that the Hebrew word “Nephesh” is an extremely common word in the Hebrew Old Testament. It occurs over 700 times, but less than 10% of the time is it translated as “soul.” It also gets translated as “life”, “heart”, “you”, “people” and several other words.
Tim outlines some famous verses in the Old Testament that use the word soul. Like Psalm 42 “ As the deer pants...My soul thirsts for you” the original meaning is Hebrew is “my throat thirsts for you.”

Tim explains that the word Nephesh is designed to show the essential physicality of a person. Whereas “soul” connotes the non-physicality of a person.

In the third part of the episode (41:20-end), Tim says “Nephesh” isn’t just used to describe humans, but also used to describe animals and what the land produced in Genesis. “And God said ‘Let the waters teem with living Nephesh.’”

The bottom line, biblically, is that people don’t have souls. They are souls. They don’t have “nephesh” they are “nephesh.” And the ultimate hope for Christians is not a disembodied existence living as souls, but an embodied existence living in their Nephesh.

You can check out our new word studies video on Nephesh here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_igCcWAMAM

Thank you to all our supporters! Check out more free resources on our website: www.thebibleproject.com

Show Resources:
The Shema: Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Original uses of the word Nephesh meaning throat:

Psalm 23
Psalm 42:1-2
Isaiah 58:11

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
River Deep: Retro Soul (Danya Vodovoz, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B1tVfm832w)
Lotus Lane: The Loyalist
Herbal Tea: Artificial Music

Show Produced By:
Jon Collins and Dan Gummel

Nov 13, 2017
Jonah Q + R
00:51:09

This is our final episode in our Youtube Q+R Series. In this episode, Tim and Jon respond to questions on the Old Testament book of Jonah. Below are the questions and time marks they appear.

You can view the original video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLIabZc0O4c&t=1s&list=PLH0Szn1yYNeeVFodkI9J_WEATHQCwRZ0u&index=21

Want to learn more about the ancient empire of Assyria and how it impacted the Bible? Tim references the "Lachish Carvings" in the podcast, check out more info here! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lachish_reliefs

Thank you to all our supporters!
Learn more about what we're up to and sign up to receive more free resources from us at: www.thebibleproject.com

   Jonah Overview  - 0-6:30
  1. Is Jonah a real person or a parable? (6:30)
  2. If God is interested in choosing upright people to work with, why would God choose Jonah, who doesn’t seem to be an upright man? (16:10)
  3. Why is Jonah so angry about God showing compassion on Nineveh? (20:00)
  4. Why do we think Jonah’s five word sermon in Jonah 4 is the whole thing? How do we know the rest wasn’t lost? (28:45)
  5. How do you know that Jonah is “angry” with God? (32:55)
  6. What happened between the book of Jonah and Nahum? Was the Nineveh's repentance a fluke? (36:43)
  7. What is Jesus talking about in Matthew 12 and the sign of Jonah? (39:35)
  8. How does Jonah describe God’s character and how does that compare to how Job describes God’s character? (44:25)

Show Resources:
Lachish Carvings: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lachish_reliefs

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music.

Show Produced by: Jon Collins and Dan Gummel

Nov 06, 2017
Justice Part 3: Jesus and His Mission of Justice
00:31:12

This is part 3 in our Justice series where we discuss Jesus and his mission for justice. Tim and Jon begin the episode (0-12:30) discussing why its a big deal to think of humanity being made in the “image of God.” Tim and Jon speculate on what separates man from animals. And whether there were vegetarians in the ancient world.

In the second part of the show (12:30-23:40), Jon ponders the juxtaposition of viewing life as a competition vs viewing it as an opportunity to do social justice. Tim discusses the social justice themes of Jesus in the gospel of Luke. Tim also outlines, the unique justice of Jesus dying on the cross.

The final act of the show (23:40-end) the guys discuss what the Christian response is after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Tim says the people of Jesus should be at the forefront of creating and doing social justice to create a better society in which all people are honored as sacred and divine images of God.

Thank you to our supporters!

If you would like to participate in our Justice Q+R episode next week, record your question (keep it less than 15 seconds) and email it to us support@thebibleproject.com . Deadline: Weds October 25th, 2017. Don’t forget to include your first name and where you’re from.

Show Resources:
Bruce Waltke: Proverbs Commentary

Show Music:
Rosasharn Music: Defender Instrumental
Hang Massive: Once Again
Beautiful Euology: Blessed are the Merciful

Oct 23, 2017
Justice Part 2: What is Social Justice and Righteousness in the Bible?
00:39:01

Show Notes:
This is episode two of our Justice series. Tim and Jon discuss the twin ideas of Justice and Righteousness in the Bible. Those two words are often paired together in the Bible. The guys start the episode (0-18:10) by finishing up the discussion from episode 1 on retributive and restorative justice. Jon shares a story about some of the difficulties in practices community justice.
In the second part (18:10-25:30) of the episode Tim shares a poem in the book of Jeremiah 9 and says it’s ideally captures the biblical vision of justice, mercy and righteousness. Tim and Jon speculate what they would do if they won the lottery.

In the third part of the episode (25:30-end), the guys discuss the word “righteousness” in the Bible. Tim explains that the root word of righteousness is a word that means “to be in right relationship with someone” Tim talks about how Job is described as righteous, and how those descriptions are words that describe his efforts in social justice, defending the poor and the widow.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show Resources:
Nicholas Wolterstorff: Justice, Rights and Wrongs.
Gustavo Gutierrez: A Liberation Theology
Moshe Weinfeld: “righteousness and justice”

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Organized Religion: Beautiful Eulogy
According to God: Beautiful Eulogy

Oct 17, 2017
Justice Part 1: What's the Biblical Vision of Justice?
00:58:06

This is our first episode in our new series on the theme of Justice in the Bible. When most of us hear the term "justice" we think of courtrooms, judges and cops. Some of us might think of biblical justice as “God’s Judgement”.
What did the Hebrews believe justice looked like? And what was the biblical vision for a “just society?”

In the first part of the conversation (0-22:50) Tim outlines where the words “Justice” and “Righteousness” come from in the Bible and what they meant in their original context. The guys speculate about why every person seems to have an ingrained idea of “fairness”.

Tim shares three common perspectives of Justice from a Harvard professor (Brian Sandel) book Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?
Justice is Maximizing Welfare
Justice is Respect of Individual Freedom
Justice is Promoting Virtue

In the second part of the show (22:51-44:45)
Tim outlines the famous verse in Micah “do justice, love mercy” and what that verse originally meant to Hebrews. The guys talk about the differences between retributive justice and restorative justice.
Tim shares the prophets ideas of the quartet of the vulnerable: widows, orphans, immigrants, the poor.

Finally, (44:50-end) the guys discuss the story of the Hebrew Exodus, and how that story framed many images in the Bible about justice.

Thank you to all our supporters!

You can learn more about the bible project on our website: https://thebibleproject.com/

Resources:
Books:
Annie Dillard: Pilgrim At Tinker Creek
Michael Sandel: Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do?

Show Music:

Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Flooded Meadows: Unwritten Stories
You Can Save Me: Beautiful Eulogy
Exile Dial Tone: Beautiful Eulogy

Oct 09, 2017
How to Read the Bible Part 7: Understanding Plot and Narrative in Bible Stories
00:51:40

This week we continue our series on How to Read the Bible. How should we read stories in the Bible? Tim and Jon discuss how understanding the unique ways plot and narrative are used by the Hebrew authors to write Bible stories can impact how we read the Bible.

When most people read a Bible story, they might just dive in and expect Bible stories to be exactly like modern stories. But they aren’t. They are thousands of years and many cultures removed from each other.
The first half of the show (0-23:20) Tim and Jon outline biblical narrative and talk about how sometimes Bible stories can seem overly simplistic, but they are actually extremely sophisticated.

The second half of the show, the guys discuss specific plot techiques Bible stories use to deliver their message. (24:00-end). Tim outlines the purposes of plot, place, time and people in Bible stories. Each tool is used differently at different times for Biblical authors. Tim uses the Old Testament story of Gideon to illustrate some of the literary design techniques that are used in that story.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show Resources:
Our How to Read the Bible video series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH0Szn1yYNedn4FbBMMtOlGN-BPLQ54IH
The Treachery of Images by Rene Magritte
John Sailhammer: Introduction to Old Testament Theology
Sean McEvenue: Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
NT Wright: The New Testament and the People of God

Show Music:
Alone: Beautiful Eulogy
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music

Oct 02, 2017
The Christian Ideal Part 2: Our Divine Nature
00:37:43

This is part two of our discussion on the Christian Ideal. Tim, Jon and their colleague Paul Pastor continue their discussion on redefining and reimagining holiness.

In the first part of the episode (0-11:45), they discuss what divine life looks like according to Old Testament authors and Peter in 2 Peter 1.
The guys ponder on whether holiness is an attribute someone has, or if it is someone's nature.

Then (12:00-20:00 ) they ask how are people supposed to participate in the divine life? They discuss how to best reframe holiness, from a word that conjures up stiff, uptight religion (like SNL's Church Lady), to a word that excites and inspires people with the possibility of living a transcendent and abundant life.

Finally, (20:01-end) the guys talk about why we often stand in awe when we meet celebrities and some words that could be used as synonyms instead of holiness. They also ask what does living spellbound or enchanted with God's spirit look like?

Thank you to all our supporters!

Resources:
Our theme video on Holiness: INSERT LINK
Subscribe here and get an update when our workbook on Holiness will become available: INSERT LINK

Music Credits:
Defender Instrumental : Rosasharn Music
Heal My Sorrows : Greyflood
Where Peace and Rest Are Found : Greyflood

Sep 21, 2017
What’s the Christian Ideal? Part 1: Defining Holiness
00:38:36

This is the first episode in a two part discussion on the Christian “Ideal.” What is the Christian Ideal? That’s exactly what we ask. Why does it seem that humanity has an inner drive to find something transcendent? What is it that we’re all searching for and hoping to attain? In other words, why aren’t things a little more rad in our day to day?

The ancient Hebrew authors of the Bible also wrestled with these questions. They often used the word “holiness” to describe the quest for the ideal life. But today “holiness” is a confusing and loaded word. Spoiler alert: The way the Hebrews understood holiness is not how we do in modern times.

Tim, Jon, and a special guest, Paul Pastor hold an honest discussion asking why we all strive for something that seems just out of reach, and what that might have to do with God’s holiness.

Thank you to all our supporters! None of this would be possible without you.

Show Resources:
The Bible Project Theme Video on Holiness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9vn5UvsHvM
Dictionary of the Old Testament by IVP: Holiness: J.E. Hartley.
New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis: Jackie Nowdeh (Rudolph Otto)

Show Music:
Where’s Love: Jackie Hill Perry
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music

Sep 15, 2017
How to Read the Bible Part 6: Jewish Scripture Meditation vs. Modern Meditation
00:40:11

This is part 6 in our How to Read the Bible series.

In this episode Tim and Jon continue discussing the story of Cain and Abel in the Bible and why its a good example of Jewish Meditation Literature. The Cain and Abel story is famous for its lack of detail, mysteriousness and brevity. Most of the things that modern readers find frustrating in this story are actually key features of ancient Jewish literature.

The first half of the show, (0-25:30) the guys finish the discussion on Cain and Abel.
The second half (26:00-end) Tim outlines Psalm 1 and how it describes the ideal reader of the Hebrew scriptures.
The guys also have a brief discussion on the differences between modern meditation practices and ancient Jewish meditation practice. Tim talks about the Jewish community that gave us the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, and how their habits of Scripture meditation give us a window into the kind of meditation described in Psalm 1.

This episode is designed to accompany our How To Read The Bible video series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhmlJBUIoLk

Thank you to all our supporters! You rock :)

Show Resources:
Jordan B Peterson Podcast
Jerome Walsh Books

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Capital by Silent Partner
Voyage by Lemmino

Aug 11, 2017
How to Read the Bible Part 5: Why isn't there more detail in Bible stories?
00:44:26

Why aren't there more details in Bible stories? Many of us have wondered something like this and sometimes walk away from the Bible confused. We don't know why a character did what they did, or what they looked like, or even what the "moral of the story" is.

And this is frustrating to modern readers because we like lots of detail. We want to know everything about a character and the setting and the story background.

This week Tim and Jon take a look at why so many of the stories in the Bible are perplexing. It's because they were intentionally designed that way, in an ancient style of writing known as Jewish Meditation Literature.

Using the story of Cain and Able, the guys ask why are so many of the details in the story left out? Is this lazy writing or is there a purpose behind it?

Watch our video on Jewish Meditation Literature here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhmlJBUIoLk&t=209s&list=PLH0Szn1yYNedn4FbBMMtOlGN-BPLQ54IH&index=4
This podcast series is partnered with our Youtube series on "How to Read the Bible" you can view the series here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH0Szn1yYNedn4FbBMMtOlGN-BPLQ54IH

Thank you to all our supporters!

Show Resources:

Jordan B Peterson: https://jordanbpeterson.com/jordan-b-peterson-podcast/
Jerome Walsh: Old Testament Narrative: A Guide to Interpretation.​

Show Music:

Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Lifepainting by Musciojad
Color Grade Agape by ALERT312

Aug 04, 2017
How to Read the Bible Part 4: Poetry, Narrative and Prose Discourse Genres.
00:45:17

This is part 4 of our How to Read the Bible series. Jon and Tim discuss the different literary styles used in the Bible. (It's not just a history book!)

In the first part of the show (0-28:00), the guys go over an example of both poetry and narrative in the Bible, Exodus 14 and 15. Its the Hebrew Exodus story told in both narrative style and then Hebrew poetry.

In the second half of the show (28:00-End), Tim shares an example of prose discourse in one of Paul's epistles.
Tim discusses how Paul's writing style was heavily influenced by philosophers like Seneca.

This series is designed to accompany our video series on Youtube called "How to Read the Bible.
You can view the accompanying video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUXJ8Owes8E

Show Resources:

"Introduction to Poetry" by Billy Collins
Thomas Long, ​Preaching the Literary Forms of the Bible​.
"Jabberwoky" by Lewis Carroll

Music Credits:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Take It Easy by Beautiful Eulogy

Jun 23, 2017
How to Read the Bible Part 3: Intro to Literary Genres and the Stories We Tell Ourselves
01:00:50

This is part 3 in our series of how to read the Bible. In this episode, Tim introduces us to the three main times of literature styles found in the Bible. Narrative, poetry and prose discourse.

The first half of the show (0-28:15), Tim introduces us to the three forms of literature in the Bible and how they are laid out using the analogy of a grocery store. The guys talk about the challenge of reading the Bible. Wishing that they had UN automatic translation headphones.

In the second half of the show (28:15-40:00), the guys talk about some of the inner psychological stories we tell ourselves. And how stories are a way to make sense of the world. Tim shares a quote from CS Lewis talking about the importance of reading expanding our worldview. Tim explains that many people expect the Bible to be a set of moral instructions, but actually the narrative structure of the Bible is much more open-ended.

The last part of the show (48:00-End), the guys discuss how our brains are hardwired for narratives and how the stories of the Bible work in our brains. Jon muses about maybe all of life and the Bible can be distilled down to asking “What do I desire?” and Tim breaks down the structure of Psalm 19.

Next week the guys will dive into the Scriptures and talk about some examples of the different types of literary styles.

This show is designed to go with our new youtube video series, “How to Read the Bible” you can check it out here: "we will update this Thursday, June 22 when it launches"!


Additional Resources:
An Experiment in Criticism by C.S. Lewis
The Skeptical Believer by Daniel Taylor
Read The Bible For A Change by Ray Lubeck
The Secular Age by Charles Taylor

Music Credits:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Good Grief by Beautiful Eulogy
Respect, Power and Money by Eshon Burgundy

Jun 19, 2017
How to Read the Bible Part 2: Is Reading The Bible Together Just a Form of Group Think?
00:48:19

This is our second episode in our How To Read The Bible Series.
At the beginning (0-21:40) Tim and Jon start the episode talking about how the ancient Hebrew practice of reading the Torah aloud spun out into the New Testament. Jesus himself participated in public readings of Hebrew scriptures, and actually announced his public ministry at one.
The second part of the show (21:40-34:36 ) the guys have a fascinating discussion on the sociology and group identity formation elements of Christianity. They discuss ideas by famed sociologist Peter Berger about how humans both create environments and are created by environments. Jon wonders if Christianity is just a social construct or if there is something real to gather around.

In the final part of the show (34:36-End) Tim shares part of an essay by N.T. Wright called “How is the Bible Authoritative?” Tim and Jon discuss the differences between stories and facts, how stories have a different kind of power than facts, and why it’s more powerful to view the Bible as a story, not as a rulebook.

This show is designed to accompany our new video on reading Scripture together in a community. You can check it out on our Youtube page here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO1Y9XyWKTw

Show Resources:

The Didache - early Christian manual on discipleship. Wikipedia Resource.

Desiring The Kingdom. By James Smith.

The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. By Peter Berger

The Sacred Canopy: Elements of A Sociological Theory of Religion. By Peter Berger.

Essay: How Is The Bible Authoritative? By N.T. Wright

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. By Yuval Noah Harari

Show Music:

Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
The Size of Grace by Beautiful Eulogy
Conquer by Propaganda

Jun 09, 2017
How to Read the Bible Part 1: Reading the Bible Aloud in a Community?
00:59:24

This is our first episode in our series "How To Read The Bible." Tim and Jon discuss the differences in ancient and modern ways of reading scripture, including why the Hebrew people would read scripture together as a group. The guys also talk about how challenging it can be to read the Bible by yourself.

In the first half of the show (0-34:00) the guys talk about the differences between modern day emphasis on application the reading of God’s word, and the Old Testament emphasis on “responding” to hearing God’s word.

The second half of the show (34-50:00) Tim exposits on the ancient Hebrew practice of reading the Torah out loud together. A practice that was instituted in the Old Testament and has continued all the way through to modern times in today’s synagogues. Tim also talks about an interesting piece of Jewish history, the Dura Europos Synagogue. Jon asks why is it so important to read the Bible together as a group.

The last ten minutes of the show the guys ask what the origins of the sermon are and why ancient Israel had such a difficult time remembering what God had done for them.

We have a video coming out later this month that will accompany this podcast series. You can view all our videos on our youtube channel: youtube.com/thebibleproject

Additional Resources:
The Word Of Promise: Dramatic Reading of The Bible App.
Dura Europos Synagogue in Syria [see Wikipedia]
Jeffrey Tigay, ​The JPS Torah Commentary: Deuteronomy​
Mesha Stela [see Wikipedia]

Music Credits:

Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Acquired in Heaven by Beautiful Eulogy
The Truth about Flight, Love and BB Guns by Foreknown

Jun 02, 2017
How to Read the Bible Intro: What is the story of the Bible?
00:59:40

The Bible can often seem like a weird ancient book that many people use to say different things. These things can even sometimes lead to using the Bible to oppress or hurt others or the world. And on top of the confusion, reading the Bible can also be tedious and confusing, so most of us just stick to the parts we know and understand.

But what is the story of the Bible? Like the big, meta story? The ideas in this episode might surprise you.

In this episode Tim and Jon discuss the big, narrative arcs of the Bible. What is the Bible really talking about? Sin? Salvation? Judgement?

Tim and Jon first discuss the importance of the, oftentimes overlooked, Old Testament, which is essential in understanding the overall narrative of the Bible.

They then discuss the centrality of the texts (the Bible) to second temple Jews, Jesus, and the early Christian church, and the uniqueness of such texts.

The Bible is BIG and can be confusing. Tim and Jon cover the major movements of the Old Testament, and the over-arching point!

What is this Kingdom of God Jesus is talking about, and how is this in contrast the default condition humanity finds itself in?

This episode is designed to accompany our new video series and our new video called "The Story Of The Bible". You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_CGP-12AE0

Book References:
The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence by Dacher Keltner
The Prince by Nicollo Machiavelli

Show Music:

Defender by Rosasharn Music
Good Morning by Unwritten Stories
All Night by Unwritten Stories
Chilldrone by Unwritten Stories

May 19, 2017
Day of the Lord: Q + R
01:39:27

This is our Q+R episode for the Day of the Lord theme.

Thank you to all the people who submitted questions!

Q's and Timestamps:

  1. The Day of the Lord can be a sensitive subject, so how do you have good and respectful conversations with others about the Day of the Lord? (2:40)
  2. What is the spectrum of views that Christians have on the Day of the Lord and what is the view the Bible Project is presenting? (12:30)
  3. What is the role of divine violence in the Bible? Why does Jesus seem so nice and peaceful in the New Testament but God seems mean and violent in the Old Testament? (17:20)
  4. In Revelation 19, The blood on Jesus’ robe is before the battle. This seemed to be a main point in the Day of the Lord video by the Bible Project. Why is this significant? (47:45)
  5. What is Jesus talking about in Matthew 24? And what is the deal with people disappearing? (121:13)
  6. How should Christians think about staying or migrating in different parts of the world that may be more oppressive than others?(132:25)

Links:
Original video conversation:
youtube.com/thebibleproject.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBc2gSSW04

Additional Resources:
Gregory Boyd, "Divine Aikido" chapter 15 in Crucifixion of the Warrior God.
Ian Boxall, The Book of Revelation.
Leon Morris, The Book of Revelation.
Dale Allison and W.D. Davies, The Gospel according to Matthew.

Music Credits:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music

May 18, 2017
Day Of The Lord Part Six: Revelation and Jesus in Modern Politics
00:50:42

This is our final episode in our Day Of The Lord series. In this episode Tim and Jon discuss the book of Revelation. It's perhaps the most famous and obvious thing people think about when talking about a future “Day Of The Lord.”

Tim and Jon dive in and tackle some of the tough imagery in Revelation. The guys also pose another penultimate question: When will Jesus come back?
Spoiler alert: no one knows.

The first ten minutes of the show talks about some of the New Testament and Pauline ideas on the Day of the Lord. Specifically coming from 1 Thessalonians. Then Tim and Jon move on and discuss Revelation. The last part of the show, beginning at 28:30 is dedicated to discussing modern political implications of following Jesus. How are Christians supposed to live in a world that has Babylonian tendencies?

This episode is designed to accompany our new Day of the Lord video on our youtube channel. Check it out and let us know what you think: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBc2gSSW04&t=3s

EPISODE RESOURCES
Joshua Ryan Butler - The Skeletons in God's Closet
http://joshuaryanbutler.com/books/the-skeletons-in-gods-closet/

Mere Fidelity Podcast - "The Righteous Mind": Jonathan Haidt’s thesis that
conservatives and liberals are divided
https://mereorthodoxy.com/mere-fidelity-righteous-mind/

EPISODE BIBLE REFERENCES

1 Thessalonians 5:1-4
Revelation 5:1-10 and 19:11-19
Isaiah 63:1-4

EPISODE MUSIC

Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Where Peace and Rest are Found by Greyflood
The Butler’s Son by Greyflood

Next episode we will do a Day of the Lord Q+R. Have a question? Record it and send it to support@jointhebibleproject.com. Deadline 9am May 23rd 2017.

May 17, 2017
Day Of The Lord Part Five: Jesus and the War Against Evil
00:56:32

In this episode Tim and Jon finally get to Jesus. Ancient Israel was being occupied by the Roman Empire. A brutal military power that used violence and war to bring "Pax Romana" or "Roman Peace." But Ancient Israel has a hope, long ago they were promised a Messiah. Someone would come and lead them out of oppression into true freedom.
Jesus of Nazareth shows up and begins performing miracles and speaking of a new kingdom, the Kingdom of God. Many people think this is the man who will lead them in war against the Romans. But instead, Jesus goes to war with something else entirely.

Tim and Jon also discuss a story that is often misunderstood in modern Christianity, the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness.

This podcast series on the Day Of The Lord is designed to accompany our new video. You can check it out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBc2gSSW04

We're a nonprofit animation studio in Portland Oregon. Thank you for being a part of this!
www.thebibleproject.com

Show Music

Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories.
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories.

Show Produced by
Dan Gummel
www.dangummel.com

May 10, 2017
Day of the Lord Part Four: The Evil Behind Babylon
01:04:48

How do books like Amos, Habakuk and Zephaniah fit in the story of the Bible? These books can be really confusing and their violent imagery is disturbing to many readers. Tim and Jon discuss these books, their original context and some of the challenges that come when reading them, including the origins of evil. The Bible believes evil is real but often seems confusing when readers ask questions like "where did evil come from?" and "why does evil exist?"

These episodes are designed to accompany our Day Of The Lord Video, that we just released. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBc2gSSW04 Take a look and let us know what you think!

P.S. Have you been enjoying this series and have some questions? We're going to be hosting another Q+R episode at the end of the series. So, get your question ready and send it to us! support@thebibleproject.com

Show Music:

Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music

Radio Station by Moby
Cartilage by Moby

FYI Bible Passages Referenced In This Episode:

Amos 4
Isaiah 33
Habakuk 3
Revelation 12
Isaiah 14: Isaiah's poem about the Babylonian God Marduk

May 04, 2017
Day of the Lord Part Three: Solomon, the Richest Man in Babylon?
01:01:46

In this episode, Tim and Jon cover a lot of ground on the biblical theme, Day of the Lord. As God’s chosen people, Israel is supposed to be a nation set apart, a counter-nation to Babylon. But we’ll see how God’s people make their journey from an oppressed people to the oppressors. God’s commitment is to dismantle human empires that rise to power and redefine good and evil, even if that means that God will have to defeat his own chosen nation. The story picks up with King Solomon in ancient Israel. He is considered to be one of the richest and wisest men who ever lived. But as Tim and Jon discuss, things aren't always as they seem.

In the first part of the episode (02:25-23:42), the guys unpack the rise and fall of King Solomon. Solomon had a great beginning and good intentions as Israel’s king, but he got caught up in power and no longer thought of himself as under the authority of God. The story of Solomon is about the oppressed becoming the oppressors, and to the ancient prophets, Solomon's downfall is viewed as a "Day of the Lord."

In the next part of the episode (24:07-1:01:46), the guys look at how leaders like Pharaoh and Solomon are made. Solomon is a prime example of how even good intentions can become corrupted. The guys wrap up this episode by setting the stage for the Roman empire and Christ's coming to earth.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Day of the Lord.” You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBc2gSSW04

References:
What is the Hope for Humanity? A discussion of technology, politics, and theology with N.T. Wright and Peter Thiel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9Mlu7sHEHE

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Ready to Make Way by Greyflood

Apr 21, 2017
Day Of The Lord Part Two: Pharaoh vs. The Warrior God
00:42:27

In this episode, Tim and Jon continue their conversation on The Day Of The Lord. The guys will build on their discussion on Babylon from part one as they try to get at what the biblical authors think about technological advances. Why did God seem to disapprove of man's invention of the brick in the story of the Tower? The guys will also spend some time talking about the exodus of the Hebrew people from ancient Egypt. It's one of the key events in Scripture, and it’s where the term Day of the Lord comes from. Thinking about God as a Warrior God is a little hard for us to swallow in our modern context, but it’s undeniably a part of his attributes, and he shows up in Scripture, time and time again, to fight for the oppressed.

In the first part of the episode (01:46-13:37), the guys talk about technology in the Bible. Are technological advances bad? Does technology really detract from God’s glory? Tim brings this back around to the idea of subduing creation in Genesis 1. Technology can bend towards evil or exalting humans, but it can also be used to carry out the task that God gave in the garden. If humans realize that they live under God’s authority and reign, they can use whatever their realm of influence and opportunity is and bend towards the common good and in the name of Jesus.

In the next part of the episode (13:56-42:27), the guys continue the story of the Old Testament and pick up in Egypt, where God’s people are being enslaved by Pharaoh. In the Bible we see that the enemy of God’s people is the ruler or nation who doesn’t acknowledge God as authority and who redefines good and evil based on their terms. Pharoah is doing this, but we’ll see it throughout the rest of Scripture as well. In this story, God defeats and Moses tells the people to remember the day. That same day is celebrated in the feast of Passover. The celebration and remembrance of Passover as a day, a moment in time, is where the term, Day of the Lord, comes from. This biblical theme is all about a moment of time where God confronts human evil on a large scale and brings down the oppressor.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Day of the Lord.” You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBc2gSSW04

References:
What is the Hope for Humanity? A discussion of technology, politics, and theology with N.T. Wright and Peter Thiel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9Mlu7sHEHE

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Ready to Make Way by Greyflood

Apr 14, 2017
Day Of The Lord Part One: What's The Deal With "Babylon"?
01:04:39

The End Times. The Tribulation. Judgement. All of these buzz words can be sensitive subjects for Christians. But how do the Bible authors deal with the future of the world? They use a phrase called "The Day of the Lord."
This is the first episode in our new series on that phrase. Tim and Jon talk about this phrase, its origins, and some of big questions attached to it. Where does the Bible think history is going? What is God going to do about evil?

This series will accompany a new theme video on The Day of the Lord that will be released later this year.

Music Credits
Defender (Instrumental) by Rosasharn Music
Thule by The Album Leaf
Shot in the Back of the Head by Moby

Apr 07, 2017
Deuteronomy Q + R
00:48:25

This week is our second to last release in our Old Testament Q+R series.
We talk Deuteronomy. It's an interesting read. Moses is delivering his farewell address, a soliloquy urging Israel to follow God and his commandments. But some of his commandments seem pretty strange, especially to modern Westerners. Why did God have commandments about how slaves should be treated? Did he approve of slavery? And what about Israel's treatment of other nations when they would invade?

Tim and Jon discuss these questions and many more.

Thank you to all our supporters! You are so meaningful to us!

Q's and Timestamps:

  1. What does "love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind mean"? (8:25)
  2. What does “the Lord is one” mean in the Shema? (20:40)
  3. Is there the Holy spirit in the Old Testament/ in Deuteronomy (22:45)
  4. Why did ancient Israel have slaves? (23:30)
  5. Giants in the bible? Deuteronomy mentions giants, are these connected to the Nephilim in Genesis 6? (31:05)
  6. What do the laws in Deut 20 mean about taking a wife as a captive from war? (36:53)
  7. Does obeying the law teach you to love God? (40:35)
  8. What is the true context of Deuteronomy? (44:30)

Links:
Original video conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ANVZLvXfvc
Deuteronomy videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMhmDPWeftw and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5QEH9bH8AU

Music Credits:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music

Apr 06, 2017
Numbers Q + R
00:45:50

This is our Q+R on the book of Numbers in the Old Testament. This audio originally came from a Youtube series of Q+R's that Jon and Tim did. You can view the original Q+R video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTwaNoZ35NA
And our videos on the book of Numbers here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zebxH-5o-SQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp5MIrMZFqo

Thank you to all our supporters! You are so meaningful to us!

Q's and Timestamps

  1. It seems like the pagan sorcerer Balaam has an awareness or a relationship with the Lord, the god of the Hebrews. Is this possible? (2:50)
  2. Did Balaam really have the power to bless and curse people? (9:09)
  3. Does Balaam predict Jesus as the coming king and Messiah of Israel in his final prophecy in Numbers 24? (10:35)
  4. What is the deal with the story of the bronze snakes in Numbers 21? (15:43)
  5. What is the "Book of the Wars of the Lord" in Numbers 21? (21:50)
  6. What does it mean to "bless" in Numbers? Especially the priestly blessing in the Old Testament? (26:58)
  7. Why is Moses unable to enter the promised land as a punishment when he strikes the rock in Numbers 20 ? Doesn't that seem harsh? (32:20)
  8. What is the difference between being ceremonially impure/unclean and being sinful? (41:04)

Music Credits:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music.

Apr 05, 2017
Leviticus Q+R
00:43:25

This summer we've been releasing a Q+R series we did on Youtube covering hard questions in the Old Testament. This week we are in the book of Leviticus, a very confusing, very ancient book. Tim and Jon discuss issues about being "unclean" in the Old Testament, whether Christians should get tattoos and many other things.

Thank you to all our supporters! You are so meaningful to us!

Q's and Timestamps:

  1. What’s the deal with the law against tattoos in leviticus? And how should modern christians interpret these ancient, obscure laws? (6:34)
  2. What’s the deal with the law against tattoos in leviticus? And how should modern christians interpret these ancient, obscure laws? (6:34)
  3. Would the original readers of Leviticus have known the divisions between ceremonial and moral laws? (14:50)
  4. Would the original readers of Leviticus have known the divisions between ceremonial and moral laws? (14:50)
  5. Why animal sacrifices in the old testament? Why not tree or grain sacrifices? (19:00)
  6. What is the deal with menstruation and uncleanness? (30:23)
  7. Urim and thummim in the Bible? Casting lots and flipping coins? (35:08)
  8. In what ways should Christians who are referred to as priests in the new testament emulate the priests in the old testament? (38:55)
  9. How does the offering model in the Old Testament relate to tithing and the giving practices in the new testament? (41:57)

Links:
Original video conversation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgs_287IGKo
Leviticus videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJ-FekWUZzE and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmvyrLXoQio

Additional Resources:
Eric Zanger, German theologian. "who died tragically before he completed his work on the psalms"

Apr 05, 2017
Exodus 19-40: Q + R
00:45:44

This summer we are re-releasing a Q+R series we did on Youtube. Tim and Jon discuss questions in front of a live Youtube stream about different books in the Old Testament. In this episode the guys discuss stories in the second half of the book of Exodus.

Thank you to all our supporters! You are so meaningful to us!

Q's and Timestamps:

  1. What is the relationship between the Sinai Covenant and the rest of the Bible? (3:27)
  2. Is there any symbolism in the tabernacle that’s recognizable? (9:10)
  3. Why do the ten commandments appear more than once in the Torah? (13:50)
  4. Did other cultures adopt Hebrew laws? And what is the relation between Hebrew laws and other ancient laws like the code of Hammurabi? (24:34) and (26:15)
  5. Did God change his mind about destroying Israel? (27:15)
  6. What is manna in the Old Testament? (38:28)
  7. Did God actually expect Israel to follow all the laws in the Old Testament? (42:20)

Links:
Original video conversation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNpTha80yyE&t=5s
Exodus videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0GhR-2kPKI

Music Credits:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music

Apr 04, 2017
Exodus 1-18: Q + R
00:38:59

This is our Q+R on Exodus 1-11. This show was originally a Youtube live video of Tim and Jon discussing questions about Exodus stories.

Thank you to all our supporters! You are so meaningful to us!

Q’s and Timestamps:

  1. Why does God harden Pharaoh's heart? (1:30)
  2. What’s the deal with Zipporah circumcising her son in the middle of the night to save Moses in Exodus 4? (15:00)
  3. Is there any significant pattern to the order of the ten plagues? (17:42)
  4. Why would God do the plague of the firstborn and kill kids? (22:50)
  5. Is Exodus actual history or just myth? (27:45)
  6. Is Pharaoh a type of "anti christ"? (35:37)

Links:
Original video conversation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13aiCmGkp0c
Exodus videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH_aojNJM3E&t=7s and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uf-PgW7rqE&t=5s

Additional Resources:
Tim Mackie Exodus hand out link on his website: http://www.timmackie.com/torah-crash-course/
Handout: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l08zmyz1mqk7si9/AABay29E28EADW8NF7MPnEiXa?dl=0

Music Credits:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music.

Apr 03, 2017
Genesis 12-50: Q + R
00:42:25

This summer we are re-releasing audio of a Youtube Q+R series we did on Old Testament books. This week we are in the book of Genesis.
We cover a lot of questions in this episode like why would God ask for a child sacrifice from Abraham and Isaac, when he forbids child sacrifice?

Thank you to all of our supporters! You are so meaningful to us!

Q's and Timestamps:

Genesis 12-end

  1. How do you approach the theme that God’s approach to solving the mess, is a mess itself? Why does God keep working with screwed up people? (0:56)
  2. Who is “the Angel of the Lord” in Genesis? (9:07)
  3. Why would God request child sacrifice of Abraham/Isaac? (14:37)
  4. Why is Isaac limited in what he can bless Esau with after he blessed Jacob earlier? (21:27)
  5. Who is the author of Genesis? (27:38)
  6. Is Joseph in Genesis a type of Christ? (32:06)
  7. What is the deal with Melchizedek? (38:32)

Links:
Original video conversation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r-lOaDXrFE
Genesis videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOUV7mWDI34&t=156s & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQI72THyO5I

Additional Resources:
Tim's lecture on the origins of the Bible.
www.timmackie.com

Music Credits:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music

Apr 02, 2017
Genesis 1-11: Q + R
00:46:01

This summer we're releasing audio of Q and R's that we did on our Youtube channel talking through different books in the Old Testament. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss Genesis 1-11, and the video they made on it.

Thank you to all of our supporters and listeners. You can find more resources, all free here at our website. www.thebibleproject.com

Q's and Timestamps:

  1. Why did we leave out the snake in the video? (1:00)
  2. Why did we leave out the snake in the video? (1:00)
  3. What is imagery of serpent in ancient culture? (3:14)
  4. Does it matter if we read Genesis literally or not? (7:15)
  5. What is the deal with genealogies in the Genesis? (14:07)
  6. Did God create the earth twice in Genesis 1 and 2? (18:28)
  7. Did God create the earth twice in Genesis 1 and 2? (18:28)
  8. What would have happened if Adam and Eve had not chosen the fruit in the story? (27:19)
  9. Who are "the sons of god" in Genesis 6 and the book of Enoch? (33:16)

Links:
Original video conversation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAGkL2MDyfk

Additional Resources:
John Walton, ​The Lost World of Genesis One​
John Walton, ​The Lost World of Adam and Eve​
John Walton, ​Genesis​, The NIV Application Commentary
Michael Heiser, ​The Unseen Realm​ [for the "sons of God" in Genesis 6]
John Sailhamer, ​Genesis​ [in volume 1 of ​The Expositor's Bible Commentary​]

Music Credits:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music

Apr 01, 2017
Word Study: Shema - "Listen"
00:28:00

This week on the podcast we do something a little bit different. We try to look inside the biblical writers’ imaginations and think about what they were trying to picture when they used certain words.

The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. For thousands of years its been passed down through translators. And sometimes the words that we read today in our Bibles don’t fit with the context the authors were originally using. Tim and Jon have a quick discussion on a popular Hebrew word “Shema.” It originally meant "to listen" and to the ancient Hebrew it was one of the most powerful words in the Scriptures, but today its importance is mostly lost.

This podcast accompanies the first in a new video series called "Word Studies." For more info, check out our YouTube channel and the video called "Word Study: Shema - Listen". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KQLOuIKaRA

Thanks for being part of this!

Music Credits

Defender by Rosasharn Music
Shine by The Album Leaf

Mar 24, 2017
The Holy Spirit: Question and Response
01:27:03

This is our very first Question and Response episode and we had a blast doing it! Thank you to everyone who submitted questions.

In this episode we fielded questions on the Holy Spirit.

  • What is the difference between spirit and soul in the Bible?
  • How do the New Testament authors portray the Holy Spirit in relation to Greek spiritual ideas?
  • Are Paul's list of spiritual gifts in the New Testament comprehensive, just examples, or something else?
  • What are some of the different interpretations and ideas of the 1 Corinthians passages on the Holy Spirit and Paul's writing saying all should desire spiritual gifts?
  • Why did the Holy Spirit come at Pentecost? And what exactly did Pentecost and associating feast mean to the Jewish people?
  • How do we know who has the Holy Spirit and who doesn't?
  • How do you hear from God through the Holy Spirit?
  • What are some good resources to learn more about the Holy Spirit?

Music Credits:
Defender by Rosasharn Music

Mar 16, 2017
The Holy Spirit Part 3: Holy Spirit in the New Testament
00:48:16

This is the final part of our conversation on the Holy Spirit. Tim and Jon look at how the Holy Spirit is discussed in the New Testament.

They talk about the ways the gospel authors say The Holy Spirit guided Jesus and some of the Holy Spirit rich events in Jesus life (e.g. virgin conception, baptism and resurrection).

They talk about Pentecost, and how Paul envisioned the Holy Spirit interacting with believers. Tim and Jon discuss what does it mean to "keep in step with the Spirit" or "to be guided by the guided by the Spirit?"

Do you have a question about the Holy Spirit?
Tim and Jon will be hosting a FAQ episode on the Holy Spirit next week. Send us your questions! Message us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jointhebibleproject) or send an email to support@jointhebibleproject.com . If you have the ability to record the audio of you asking the question that would be great! Deadline to submit questions. Noon PST 3/13/17.

Music Credits:

Defender by Rosasharn Music
https://www.facebook.com/rosasharnmusic/
Heal My Sorrows by Greyflood
Hiding by Hammock by Greyflood
https://www.facebook.com/greyfloodmusic/

Mar 10, 2017
The Holy Spirit Part 2: God's Ruakh
00:51:31

In this episode, Tim and Jon continue to unpack the concept of the Holy Spirit. Last time, they focused on the spirit of God. This time, they’ll look at what the word spirit means and the difference between God’s spirit and human spirit. Scripture is full of examples of God’s spirit influencing and empowering people, but is this really still happening? What does the spirit of God have to do with us today as followers of Jesus, and how will God use his spirit and use people to fulfill his purpose for creation?

In the first part of this episode (01:33-18:36), the guys look at the Hebrew word for spirit, “ruakh.” They track the ruakh of God throughout Scripture, so that we can begin to understand the purpose of God’s spirit. They also talk about what it means for humans to have a spirit.

In the next part of the episode (19:00-40:43), Tim and Jon break down the four different definitions of ruakh. They look at the way God’s spirit empowers people in Scripture, working with their human spirit to accomplish God’s will in the world. God uses some pretty bad guys in the Bible, but understanding the different aspects of God’s ruach can help make this a little more clear.

In the final part of the episode (41:26-51:38), Tim and Jon look at the Hebrew prophets and the way they spoke about the ruach of God. God’s ruach and the new creation are directly connected. The Messiah is described as one who will be fully permeated by the ruach of God, and his coming will completely change the way creation operates. The prophets reiterate what so much of the Hebrew Scriptures are pointing to: The only hope for creation and humanity is for God to recreate humans through his spirit.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video, "Holy Spirit." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNNZO9i1Gjc

Scripture References:
Psalm 33
Psalm 51
Genesis 41
Exodus 31
Deuteronomy 34
Micah 3
Isaiah 11
Ezekiel 37

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Mar 03, 2017
The Holy Spirit Part 1: Spirit of the Old Testament vs. The Spirit of Christianity
00:57:37

The Holy Spirit is a tough subject in Christianity. It seems everyone has their own experiences of how the Spirit works. Or doesn’t. Tim and Jon talk a little bit about their own Holy Spirit experiences growing up. Jon grew up in a Baptist church where the Holy Spirit was largely theoretical. Tim grew up with the opposite experiences in a community that got really dramatic about the Holy Spirit.

The guys also talk about what the ancient Hebrews believed about the Holy Spirit and the differences between their ancient beliefs and the modern Western view.

To the Hebrews, the Holy Spirit was the essential, mystical force of life. An all encompassing energy that created the world and kept creating the world over and over, right before their eyes. For Hebrews, creation and sustaining the creation were not two separate ideas.

Tim and Jon reflect on what it might look like if we adopted a similar worldview the ancients had. How it might invite us to become re-enchanted with creation. That we would begin to see God’s personal presence animating and energizing all of the world.

Music credits:
Defender (instrumental) by rosasharn.bandcamp.com
Look Back In by Moby. album 18.
Chord Sounds by Moby. album Every Day.

Feb 23, 2017
What's in your Bible?
01:10:42

In this episode, Tim and Jon give an overview of the entire Bible with a focus on the Hebrew Scriptures. They also spend some time going deep into the structure of the book from beginning to end. The Bible, like any other book, experienced human revision. The guys talk about what it means for the Bible to be a work of literary genius created by humans and also the divine word of God. There’s a lot to unpack here––let’s go.

In the first part of the episode (01:25-54:15), the guys talk about the structure of the Old Testament. In its earliest form, the Hebrew Bible is broken up into three sections called the Tanak. This is the structure that Jesus would’ve been familiar with, and understanding this helps us to better interpret the way Jesus talked about and referenced Scripture.

In the last part of the episode (54:45-1:10:51), the guys talk about the New Testament. The New Testament is structured much differently than the Old Testament. Some of the books were meant to be taught in a church setting, and some were targeted at a specific group of people. The guys will explain why it’s important to understand the New Testament in this light.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called "What is the Bible?" You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak06MSETeo4

Book References:
Complete Jewish Bible: An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament) by David H. Stern

Scripture References:
Jeremiah 37

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Feb 14, 2017
The Bible as Divine Literary Art
01:03:22

What does it mean for the Bible to be both divine and a work of literary genius? The Hebrew Bible is a sophisticated piece of literary art that has a theological message, and that message is communicated through a nuanced literary medium. On this podcast, Tim and Jon spend plenty of time talking about the literary structure and design of the books of the Bible. They examine the themes in the Bible that are found throughout the entire narrative arc of Scripture. But for this episode, they back up and talk about what the Bible is in the first place.

The Bible didn’t drop out of heaven, it was produced over hundreds of years by many different authors that came from one particular people group of ancient Israel.

The story of the Bible emerged from the history of God’s people. The Bible tells a story with Israel at the center, but the main focus is the story of all of humanity.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “What is the Bible?” You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak06MSETeo4&t=3s

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Feb 08, 2017
Story: Friend of Sinners
00:35:43

In this episode, Jon talks to Harvey Turner, a youth group flunkie turned drug dealer, who encountered God in an unexpected way. As a wayward kid searching for meaning and majesty in life, Harvey was fascinated by the way Jesus loved and pursued the outcasts and people like him. Having grown up going to church, this Jesus he found in the Bible was nothing like the Christians he was used to. His life was transformed. He saw Jesus as a friend of sinners who valued relationships above everything else, and he began to try to live as Jesus did.

In the first part of the episode (02:14-06:39), Harvey describes himself as a kid who was always searching for life’s greater meaning. He was fascinated with majesty, and he saw some of that in Jesus, but he couldn’t get past the heavy message of morality that he found at youth group.

In the second part of the episode (06:39-20:44), Jon talks to Harvey about how he dealt with his anger after the church had let him down in his search for something more. He found release from his anger through drugs and hip hop. He was deep into a rough scene, selling drugs on the streets of Reno. After a rap concert took a violent turn, Harvey ended up in jail.

In the final part of the episode (20:49-35:48), we see how the Gospel drastically transformed Harvey’s life. Harvey found Jesus and his radical message of love for all people in the midst of a rock bottom moment. He was totally changed by the message of the gospel, and he has dedicated his life to sharing this message.

Book Credit:
Friend of Sinners: An Approach to Evangelism by Harvey Turner

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories.
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories.
I Got 5 On It by Luniz
It’s All Bad by E-40

Jan 29, 2017
Luke Part Four: Jesus, Rebels, and Resurrection
01:02:53

In the fourth part of their discussion on the gospel of Luke, Tim and Jon talk about the strange story in Luke 9 of the transformation of Jesus on the mountain. In this travel section, we find many parables of Jesus, and the banquets and parties he attended. Jesus is fascinated with parties, and he even used them to talk about what the Kingdom of God is like. These stories continue to reinforce that Jesus’ mission was first for the outsiders, a message that gets him into trouble with religious leaders of the day.

Tim and Jon continue to discuss many more parts of Luke’s account.

The final meal Jesus had with his disciples, followed by his arrest and execution.
Two disciples who unexpectedly run into Jesus but don’t recognize him until he reveals himself to them.
The transformation of Jesus on the mountain calls back to Mount Sinai as he becomes like the ancient of days enthroned in heaven, gleaming like shiny metal and fire.
A series of parables about two things: money and dinner parties. Luke is clearly trying to make a point with what he chooses to include in his account.
The contrast between Jesus’ arrival to Jerusalem and his eventual execution as a rebel.
Jesus using the Passover meal with his disciples to talk about his death. In Luke’s version of the last supper, the innocence of Jesus is emphasized.
And lastly, what is Luke trying to teach his readers by including the encounter on the road to Emmaus?
Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video series on the Gospel of Luke. You can view the first two videos on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OLezoUvOEQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k4GbvZUPuo

Scripture References:
Luke 9-24
Daniel 7

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

This is the last episode on the Gospel of Luke. If you haven’t listened to the previous three, we’d recommend listening for context to this episode.

Luke Part 1: An intro to reading the Gospels - https://thebibleproject.simplecast.fm/episodes/51526-luke-part-1-an-intro-to-reading-the-gospels
Luke Part 2: An overview of Luke - https://thebibleproject.simplecast.fm/episodes/53624-luke-part-2-an-overview-of-luke
Luke Part 3: Good News for the Poor - https://thebibleproject.simplecast.fm/episodes/55068-luke-part-3-good-news-for-the-poor

Jan 06, 2017
Luke Part Three: Good News for the Poor
00:56:00

In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss the first six chapters of the gospel of Luke. Luke stands out among the other gospels because it is all about Jesus’ message being first for the poor and outcasts. This made the religious leaders of the day mad, and Jesus’ ministry was totally revolutionary in a culture that was all about status and wealth. Luke’s gospel is constantly calling back to the Hebrew Scriptures, and it emphasizes, again and again, that Jesus is the Messiah that the prophets talked about.

In the first part of the episode (02:01-11:10), the guys talk about the literary genius of the gospel of Luke. Luke’s account oozes with Old Testament allusions, and he did this so that his audience would see how connected Jesus is to Israel’s story and history.

In the next part of the episode (11:41-19:28), the guys spend a lot of time talking about why Luke included the story of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. The symbolism between Jesus’ baptism and the crossing of the children of Israel into the promised land is unmistakable! Jesus was making a bold statement. He was here to usher in a new age for Israel.

In the next part of the episode (19:59-25:55), the guys continue to talk about the unique quality of Luke’s gospel. Even the structure of the book is different than the other gospels. Luke continues to use Old Testament imagery, specifically the exodus motif, so that his audience can’t ignore the connection between Jesus and Israel’s story.

In the next part of the episode (26:25-42:14), Tim and Jon talk about Luke 4. This is the story of Jesus reading from Isaiah 61 proclaiming that he is the Messiah that the prophets talked about. This is another incredibly bold statement from Jesus. He goes on to describe this new age and his upside-down Kingdom that will mean freedom for the poor and oppressed.

In the final part of the episode (42:44-56:08), the guys discuss the honor/shame culture of Israel during Jesus’ ministry. It was this context that made his ministry to the outcasts so scandalous. This is the main point of Luke’s gospel. In Jesus’ new Kingdom, God’s mercy rules, and no person is exalted above another.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our first two videos on the Gospel of Luke. You can view them on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OLezoUvOEQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k4GbvZUPuo

References:
Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels by Richard B. Hays

Scripture References:
Luke 1-6
Isaiah 40
Isaiah 61

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Dec 13, 2016
Luke Part Two: An Overview of Luke
00:28:42

Following up on part one of their discussion on the gospel of Luke, Tim and Jon continue to unpack the main themes of Luke’s unique account of Jesus’ life. The book of Luke makes clear that Jesus’ story is the continuation of the hope of the Hebrew Scriptures. Luke wants the reader to see how Jesus’ mission is for the outsiders, the poor, and the marginalized. As Jesus went around preaching about the Kingdom of God, he left behind people who were changed by him, and he called these people to live radically new lives of justice and peace.

Luke uniquely highlights the social implications of these communities that Jesus wanted to form. The gospel of Luke is a rich account that comes together to give a vision for who Jesus was and what he taught.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our new video series and our new video called "The Story Of The Bible." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_CGP-12AE0

Scripture References:
Luke

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Nov 22, 2016
Luke Part One: An Intro to Reading the Gospels
00:41:59

In this episode, the guys give an introduction to the gospel of Luke. What does it mean for Luke, and all of the gospels, to be historical accounts? All history is interpretation, and all of the gospel accounts have different a different focus as they tell the story of Jesus’ life and ministry. But how do we make sense of all of this information? If you’ve ever wrestled with being able to trust the gospels, then this dialogue is for you.

The guys spend the majority of the episode (02:13-40:46) talking about what it means for an ancient historian to write history. Do we impose standards that would’ve been foreign to the gospel writers? Tim unpacks the cultural context of the gospels and explains why we can look at them as faithful historical accounts.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our first two videos on the Gospel of Luke. You can view them on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OLezoUvOEQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k4GbvZUPuo

Scripture References:
Luke 1-6
Isaiah 40
Isaiah 61

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Oct 28, 2016
The Wisdom of Job Part 3: Job Vs. Elihu
00:59:03

In this episode, Tim and Jon try to tackle some of the glaring questions about the story of Job. They talk about the surprise friend, Elihu, who seems to show up out of nowhere towards the end of the story. They also spend some time discussing Job’s speech in chapter 28. There’s a lot to unpack in that chapter, and understanding it may give us clues as to what this book is all about. Finally the guys look at Job’s final showdown with God and how God responds to Job’s accusations of being unjust and unfair.

In the first part of the episode (01:53-07:29), the guys talk about Job’s surprise friend, Elihu. He comes into the story and reaffirms for Job that God is just, but he also hints at a more complex understanding of God’s justice. Yes, he is just, but he’s also God, and he’s capable of disciplining someone to avoid future suffering.

In the second part of the episode (07:51-17:22), the guys discuss Job’s speech in Chapter 28. This chapter is all about God’s divine wisdom. Job talks about humans as creative and ingenious, but they also can’t fully access God’s wisdom or understand his ways.
In the next part of the episode (17:43-30:41), Tim and Jon talk about God’s response to Job’s accusations. God basically gives Job a virtual tour of the universe, describing all of the incredible things that he has created. We see here that Job doesn’t really have the vantage point by which to accuse God.
In the next part of the episode (31:04-46:20), the guys talk about the Behemoth and the Leviathan, ancient creatures that God brings up during his tour of the universe. Why would the author choose to include this? We can see that even in God’s good world, there can be suffering and tragedy only because the world is a raw and wild place.
In the final part of the episode (46:47-59:11), the guys talk about Job’s repentance and humility before God at the end of the book. Job’s story teaches us that God doesn’t always run the world on the principle of just recompense.
Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video on the book of Job. You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GswSg2ohqmA

Scripture References:
Job
Psalm 74
Isaiah 27
Revelation 12

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Sep 10, 2016
The Wisdom of Job Part 2: Where on Earth is "Uz"?
00:41:31

In this episode, Tim and Jon continue their discussion on Job. How exactly does Job fit in with the other wisdom book of the Bible? It’s kind of a weird book. Job takes place in Uz, a non-Israelite town, and it features non-Israelite people. It seems out of place, but it’s also a book that other biblical authors refer to throughout Scripture. We have to wonder about the differences between Job and the other books of the Bible. Is Job a literal account, or is it a wisdom parable that is intentionally fiction?
In the first part of the episode (02:14-09:42), the guys talk about the first two chapters of Job. In this section, God’s justice is questioned, but the story is not trying to teach about the origins of human suffering. The guys try to get at what this first part may be trying to teach us.

In the second part of the episode (09:57-22:50), Tim and Jon talk about the heavenly scene in Job and discuss why the author chose to include it. The point of the heavenly scene isn’t to tell us how God makes decisions. It asks the question of whether or not it is a good policy for God to always reward the righteous.

In the next part of the episode (23:09-26:57), the guys break down the structure of the book, specifically chapters three through twenty-seven. These chapters are the poetic core of the book called “the cycles.”

In the final part of this episode (27:12-41:30), the guys spend some time discussing Job’s friends. His friends are working within a human framework that says that God rewards the righteous and brings wrath upon sinners, yet Job continues to defend his innocence throughout the book. What is really going on here?

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video on the book of Job. You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GswSg2ohqmA

Scripture References:
Job
Ezekiel 14
Numbers 22

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Aug 29, 2016
The Wisdom of Job Part 1: Suffering Well
00:51:06

In this episode, the guys take a bird’s eye view of the book of Job. Job is considered wisdom literature, and it aims to teach the reader about justice, suffering, and the role of God in the lives of humans. The author is intentionally trying to ruffle some feathers. This book is all about calling into question the reader’s views of God and the world.

In the first part of the episode (02:15-09:02), Tim and Jon give an overview of Job and talk about what it’s trying to communicate. The book doesn’t give us a clear answer as to why Job is suffering, but it does teach us about the character of God and offers a model for how to handle suffering.
In the second part of the episode (09:30-13:05), the guys talk about the problem of evil and why bad things happen to good people. Job is an excellent study on this question. If a good and powerful God created this world, then why do people, including good people, suffer?

In the next part of the episode (13:34-23:03), the guys talk about the order that humans try to impose on the world. This is a major theme in the book of Job. This is a book where we see things happening that don’t fit our category of order, but God has wisdom and a way of ordering the world that is beyond our understanding.

Next (23:34-34:24), the guys talk about how Job comes to understand God’s divine wisdom and judgement. In Job, we see that the world can’t be run by a system, it has to be run by God’s judgement.

In the next part of the episode (34:53-46:34), the guys talk about some of the overarching themes in Job that connect to the larger narrative of Scripture. This story is teaching its readers to trust God’s way of running the world.

In the final part of the episode (47:03-51:13), Tim and Jon wrap things up by giving an overview of all of the wisdom literature in the Bible and look at how Job fits into the larger story.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video on the book of Job. You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GswSg2ohqmA

Book References:
Job (The NIV Application Commentary) by John H. Walton

Scripture References:
Job

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Aug 03, 2016
Story: God and Money
01:02:40

In this episode, the guys explore the story of two Harvard Business School graduates who were confronted with a biblical view of money that changed their lives.

In the first part of the episode (01:12-09:51), Tim and Jon talk about what the Bible says about money. On one hand it says it’s the root of all evil––kind of intense. But on the other hand it also talks about ways to use your money to bless others. How does the Bible ask us to view money?

In the next part of the episode (10:08-22:15), Jon talks to John Cortines and Gregory Baumer. John and Gregory were two young, successful Christians making more money than most of us can dream of. They were faithful Christians tithing to their church regularly, but when they took an elective class at Harvard Divinity school about God and money, everything changed for them.

In the next part of the episode (22:42-37:26), John and Gregory talk about how God completely flipped the way they think about money on its head. For a project in their class, they sent out an anonymous survey asking how much people make, save, and give. The project took on a life of its own, and they were left with some startling results and convictions.

In the final part of this episode (37:58-1:02:40), we get to see how John and Gregory walked out their newfound convictions. They acted in faith and trusted God with their money in an extreme way. Their obedience wasn’t always easy, but when they trusted God beyond just cutting a ten percent tithe check every month, they experienced true joy and freedom.

References:
God and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School by Gregory Baumer and John Cortines

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Jul 14, 2016
Wisdom of Ecclesiastes Part 2: The "Teacher" vs. Jesus
01:07:01

Hanging out with Ecclesiastes isn’t fun. We need to be exposed to the Teacher’s words as a helpful exercise to have our illusions dismantled. His words are like a Goad (a pointy stick to get Sheep to go in the right direction). The endless march of time that results in death for everyone. Everything dies. Humans and Animals. From our point of view (under the sun) humans don’t seem to be any better than animals. We can see that all living creatures go to the dirt and we don’t have any concrete proof of what happens after that. We can’t prove that humans have any advantage over the animals. As a follower of Jesus we have a worldview based on the claim of the Apostles that Jesus raised from the dead so we see this differently than the Teacher in Ecclesiastes.

Music Break

More on the March of Time and death from a cosmic scale.

Ecclesiastes has a whole poem about aging. We are all going towards old age and old age is miserable.

Ecclesiastes also talks about chance. Life is unpredictable. Chance screws with all of us. You can’t guarantee that when you do the right thing it will work out.

Death, Time and Chance

Music Break

The Teacher, surprisingly, still wants us to be wise. The Teacher realizes that being wise is the right thing to do. There are no guarantees but better odds.

What does it mean to be overly righteous and overly wise?

It is good to be righteous and strive to live an upright moral life. But when that is your sole focus and mindset and you believe you deserve things you have the wrong perspective.

The one who Fears God will avoid all extremes.

Being overly righteous will destroy you. There is so much good to be done in the world if you try to do it all you will destroy yourself.

Music Break

What are we suppose to do with all of this: Death, March of Time, Chance, Be Wise but no guarantees. Acknowledging all of this isn’t becoming an atheist or agnostic but it is the secret to enjoying life.

Come to terms with your inability to control all your life circumstances. This mindset is the silver bullet for enjoying your life.

Blaze Pascal
"We do not rest satisfied with the present. We anticipate the future as too slow in coming, as if in order to hasten its course; or we recall the past, to stop its too rapid flight. So imprudent are we that we wander in the times which are not ours and do not think of the only one which belongs to us; and so idle are we that we dream of those times which are no more and thoughtlessly overlook that which alone exists.

For the present is generally painful to us. We conceal it from our sight, because it troubles us; and, if it be delightful to us, we regret to see it pass away. We try to sustain it by the future and think of arranging matters which are not in our power, for a time which we have no certainty of reaching.

Let each one examine his thoughts, and he will find them all occupied with the past and the future. We scarcely ever think of the present; and if we think of it, it is only to take light from it to arrange the future. The present is never our end. The past and the present are our means; the future alone is our end.

So we never live, but we hope to live; and, as we are always preparing to be happy, it is inevitable we should never be so.”

Remember to live.

Music Break

Life is full of things that are out of your control and don’t always make sense. Death and Chance and Time put those in your face all the time. Well then what should we do? Be wise. Fear the Lord. Be present. Enjoy what is in front of you. Don’t try to control it. Just enjoy it.

It hurts you to hear these things but you need to hear it. Don’t go any further. We’ve gone far enough.

Here is the conclusion of the matter. Fear God and keep his commandments. Even though this doesn’t make sense to me know I still will be held accountable to it. Justice will come. Life won’t always be shrouded in Hevel. One day the fog will be lifted.

The teacher is talking about "life under the sun” or our metaphor “life in the fog”. Life still has a meaning long into the future even amidst my inability to see it in the present.

Jul 07, 2016
Wisdom of Ecclesiastes Part 1: Not Another Proverb...
00:51:20

In this episode, Tim and Jon begin their discussion on the book of Ecclesiastes. This is an interesting book in Scripture, and the author is relentlessly trying to get the reader to rethink their black and white mindset. It can be a bit depressing to read, and it doesn’t quite give you the same type of feel-good wisdom that the book of Proverbs does. The guys will try to get at what this book is trying to teach us and what the author thinks it means to live a good and godly life.

In the first part of the episode (02:14-09:57), the guys talk about the two distinct voices in Ecclesiastes. We know that it was written by a son of David, which could mean an actual king, or it could mean someone who wrote in the tradition of the wisdom of the kings. Getting a little bit of context about the author will help us to figure out what this book is trying to say.

In the next part of the episode (10:18-17:28), the guys discuss the Hebrew word, “hevel,” used thirty-eight times in this short book. “Hevel” is roughly translated to “vanity,” but as Tim points out, this is not the best translation. Hevel technically means smoke or vapor, but it is also used metaphorically to mean absurd or an enigma.

In the next part of the episode (17:51-34:46), the guys talk about the way Ecclesiastes stands out among the other books in the Old Testament. Is this book scandalous among the Jewish Scriptures?

In the final part of the episode (35:09-51:20), the guys unpack the concept of the “good life” that Ecclesiastes is teaching about. What does it mean to live a good life? What are our motives for pursuing the good life if there is so much hevel?

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video on the book of Ecclesiastes. You can view it on our youtube channel here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeUiuSK81-0

Scripture References:
Ecclesiastes

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Jun 18, 2016
Wisdom Series: Proverbs
00:48:48

In this episode, Tim and Jon talk about the ancient wisdom found in the book of Proverbs. The author of Proverbs is this incredible teacher who offers guidance for just about everything humans will encounter in their lives, but is it just a book of wisdom sayings that we can memorize and put on our walls? The guys will go on to explain that wisdom, and the Hebrew concept of “chokmah,” is much more than that.

In the first part of the episode (01:52-10:00), the guys talk about the Hebrew word for wisdom, “chokmah.” In the Bible, God uses chokmah to design the entire universe, and humans can access this divine wisdom. But it’s not just about using wisdom to know the pattern of the universe; we can use it to design our life.

In the next part of the episode (10:25-22:00), the guys talk about chokmah as more than an impersonal force. The wisdom found in Proverbs is not just about goodness and reality, it’s also about street smarts. This is the second nuance of chokmah. In English, wisdom is something that we think of as intellectual. Chokmah can mean a type of knowledge or moral law, but it also implies application. Proverbs is trying to persuade you to use this chokmah to change your life.
In the next part of the episode (22:22-31:13), Tim and Jon talk about how we can apply chokmah in our lives. Chokmah is an attribute of God that we can actually interact with and use in our lives. But it’s not about passively gaining knowledge; it leaves us with a responsibility.

In the next part of the episode (31:45-41:13), the guys talk about some of the warnings in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs warns against becoming “wise in our own eyes.” We can think we’re using chokmah and making wise decisions, but we’re not. This is where the concept of the fear of the Lord comes in.
In the final part of the episode (41:42-48:55), the guys talk about what it looks like to fear the Lord. Sometimes a wise decision in our culture can look different from making a decision using chokmah. It’s about staying aligned with our moral compass and the heart of God in every aspect of our lives.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video on the book of Proverbs. You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gab04dPs_uA

References:
What is the Hope for Humanity? A discussion of technology, politics, and theology with N.T. Wright and Peter Thiel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9Mlu7sHEHE

Scripture References:
Proverbs

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Jun 08, 2016
Intro to Wisdom Literature
00:31:52

In this episode, the guys give an overview of wisdom literature in the Bible. Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes are considered wisdom literature. Each book has unique ideas and ancient wisdom about the world, but all of the books are trying to teach the audience what it means to live a good life.

In the first part of the episode (01:31-05:28), Tim and Jon discuss the purpose of wisdom literature. These books are full of ancient wisdom that has been passed down for centuries. They’re the insights of wise, God-fearing people accumulated throughout the generations to become God’s word to his people. There is a specific context in which the books were written, but they are universal and still totally applicable to us today.

In the next part of the episode (05:40-12:22), the guys talk about the differences among the wisdom books of the Bible. The books come from distinct time periods in Israel’s history, and each one offers a unique perspective that we need to interpret as a whole.

In the final part of the episode (12:34-31:52), the guys talk about how these books stand out against the rest of the Old Testament. The wisdom authors express doubts and questions about other parts of the Bible. These doubts are not to discredit the rest of Scripture––it’s about compelling the readers toward an honest faith. We have to be willing to acknowledge and wrestle with doubts and questions, and the wisdom books can guide us in this.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our wisdom series of videos. You can view all of the videos in this series on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH0Szn1yYNeeKPNIy7YXjO3MGD8h8ifhr

Scripture References:
Proverbs
Job
Ecclesiastes

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

May 25, 2016
Image of God Part 4: Glory of God
00:52:33

In this episode, Tim and Jon talk about the glory of God and what it means for humans to glorify him. Does glorifying God simply mean singing songs or acting a certain way? Why is God so interested in his glory? This all connects back to the image of God. The glory of God is one of those terms that is thrown around a lot in Christian culture, but what does it really mean?

In the first part of the episode (01:10-08:46), the guys talk about how the image of God is connected to the glory of God. Does glorifying God mean that we need to get out of the way or remove ourselves? We as humans bear the image of God, and we’re going to represent God in the world simply because of who we are. But can choose to represent God well, and this too can be glorying.

In the next part of the episode (09:13-17:00), Tim and Jon talk about what it looks like to glorify God in our everyday activities. It doesn’t always have to be about singing praise songs. Paul talks about how everything we do, we can do to the glory of God.

In the next part of the episode (17:20-29:21), the guys talk about the Hebrew word, “kavod,” one of the words used for “glory” in the Bible. Kavod literally means “heavy,” but metaphorically it means one’s reputation or significance. Humans have our own kavod, but the image of God that we bear is also kavod.

In the next part of the episode (29:51-40:07), the guys continue to unpack this idea of kavod. The verb version of this word is, “kaved.” Kaved means to speak or act in a way that brings kavod to someone. This is an interesting nuance, and it’s best understood as respect or honor.

In the final part of the episode (40:38-52:37), the guys talk about why we glorify God––why does God need us to do this? This is a question that we get tripped up in as Jesus followers, but we’re losing sight of what kavod really means. We’re not just trying to help God look important. We are invited to increase God’s kavod, his reputation and honor. Whatever we do, we can do it to God’s honor and glory.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, "Image of God." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbipxLDtY8c&t=2s

Scripture References:
Psalm 71

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

May 04, 2016
Image of God Part 3: The Garden Was Not Perfect
01:07:08

In this episode, Tim and Jon wrap up their discussion on the image of God. Scripture tells us that humans are made in the image of God, but what does that actually mean for our lives? Do we exist simply to glorify God, or does bearing the image of God mean we have a greater responsibility? As Christians, we tend to think we have to divide secular and sacred, but as the guys will unpack, this doesn’t have to be the case and we can choose to reflect God and his image in all that we do.

In the first part of the episode (01:15-04:48), Tim and Jon talk about why the garden shouldn’t be considered perfection. The garden was good, but it is only the beginning of the story! God’s story will be complete when humans are fully united to God and his creation is redeemed.

In the next part of the episode (05:15-16:58), the guys talk about the parent/child relationship between God and humans. It’s crucial to understand that God wants to share his creation with us! Just like in the garden, humans will one day reign with God.

The Westminster Confession of Faith is a well-known confession of the church of England. You may be familiar with it: “Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” In the next part of the episode (17:19-35:16), the guys unpack this a little bit and point out the problems with taking this bystander approach to humanity’s purpose on earth. Glorifying and enjoying God is only a small part of bearing the image of God.

So what does it mean for humans to bear the image of God? In the last part of this episode (35:45-1:07:14), the guys will talk about the implications of the image of God for followers of Jesus. We’re not simply a representation of God, we get to work with him to bring about his purpose on earth! But we have to realize that we are image bearers who don’t always represent God well. What does it look like for us to renew our hearts and minds to better represent God to the world?

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video on the image of God. You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbipxLDtY8c

Book References:
The Westminster Confession of Faith by the Westminster Assembly
Why Business Matters to God: (And What Still Needs to Be Fixed) by Jeff Van Duzer

Scripture References:
Genesis 1-2
Psalm 86
Psalm 8

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Mar 12, 2016
Image of God Part 2: God and Human's Makeover
00:47:14

In this episode, Tim and Jon talk about what it means to be remade into the image of God. This is a different Christian narrative than we usually hear, but it’s all right there in the Bible. The guys will talk about the image of God throughout the New Testament and how humans reigning on God’s behalf is part of the gospel.

In the first part of the episode (02:15-5:52), the guys confront the familiar Christian narrative that says humans are terrible and screwed up and God just puts up with us. Humans are sinful, sure, but they’re also treasured by God and a crucial part of his plan for humanity. The biblical story is not about how terrible people are. It’s about God’s plan for the world and how he will restore and heal the image of God in humans and fulfill the original calling he gave in the garden.

In the second part of the episode (06:19-12:10), Tim and Jon talk about God’s plan for humans to reign on his behalf as the image is repaired. Paul picks up the language of the image of God to talk about Jesus and the process of becoming new humans and being renewed according to the image of God.

In the next part of the episode (12:29-19:24), the guys discuss what our divine purpose is as humans. Do we try to advance the human project (moral progress), or do we withdraw (remove ourselves) as we wait for God’s new creation?

In the next part of the episode (19:46-29:50), the guys talk about what went wrong with the image of God in humans and why it’s in need of repair. How does the image of God connect to the garden and the knowledge of good and evil?

In the final part of the episode (30:21-47:19), the guys talk about the garden of Eden as it relates to God’s image. There is a familiar narrative that the garden was perfect and then humans came in and ruined everything, but as Tim will point out, it’s more complex than that. The garden was only the beginning; it had potential for perfection, but it wasn’t God’s plan for creation fully realized––not yet. Genesis is not the end of the story. As image bearers of God, there is still hope for the completion of the story and the fullness of God’s Kingdom.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, "Image of God." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbipxLDtY8c&t=2s

References:
What is the Hope for Humanity? A discussion of technology, politics, and theology with N.T. Wright and Peter Thiel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9Mlu7sHEHE

Scripture References:
Psalm 8
Genesis 1

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Feb 29, 2016
Image of God Part 1: Humans as Middle Managment
00:44:53

What does it mean that humans are created in the image of God? In this episode, the guys discuss the biblical theme of the image of God and its implications for Jesus followers. As humans, we bear the image of God, but what is the purpose of this for us––what is the purpose for God? Creating images of gods was a fairly familiar concept in the ancient world, but representing the image of God, not through a statue or idol but through your very being, has profound significance.

In the first part of the episode (01:31-13:58), the guys talk about Genesis 1. This passage tells us that humans were created in God’s image and then given the task to rule over creation. Compared to the Babylonian creation myth, the biblical story of creation gives a worldview and social order that is pretty unique.

In the second part of the episode (14:14-26:10), Tim and Jon talk about the purpose behind God creating humans in his image. After God creates Adam and Eve, he tasks them with subduing creation? What does this mean? How should we be “subduing” God’s creation?

In the final part of the episode (26:26-44:50), the guys talk about the ancient context of creating images of gods. What were images of gods in the ancient world? Statues or idols were viewed as a special connection to the god they represented. This is true of humans too. Humans are the realization of God’s presence––his temple on earth. God’s rule here on earth is not through elite kings, it is through humans multiplying, gardening, and making neighborhoods.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, "Image of God." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbipxLDtY8c&t=2s

References:
The Babylonian Creation Story (Enuma elish) from Grand Valley State University
http://faculty.gvsu.edu/websterm/Enuma_Elish.html

The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis by Lynn White, Jr.
https://www.uvm.edu/~gflomenh/ENV-NGO-PA395/articles/Lynn-White.pdf

Scripture References:
Genesis 1-2

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Feb 18, 2016
Holiness: Q + R
00:50:19

We’ve gotten requests to take the live Q+R’s on our YouTube channel and put them here on our podcast. That way people can listen to it without having to watch a video. This is our Q+R on Holiness.

Thank you to all our supporters! You are so meaningful to us!

Q's and Timestamps:

  1. In the Bible, does holiness mean “perfection” or does it just mean separated and cut off from? (4:05)
  2. Moses and Joshua have encounters with God on “holy ground” but if God is always present in all of creation, isn’t all ground holy all the time? (15:02)
  3. In the New Testament, is the focus on holiness a call to moral purity? What is the difference between ritual and moral purity? (18:28)
  4. Does holiness only have to do with separation of heart? Or separation of lifestyles? (29:23)
  5. Since God’s holiness is dangerous, how were people in Genesis able to interact with God before the laws were given? (33:05)
  6. John says God is love, but Isaiah says God is holy holy holy. Is this a contradiction? (37:50)

Links:
Original video conversation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqDBCl-5C4c
Holiness video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9vn5UvsHvM

Music Credits:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music

Feb 18, 2016
Heaven + Earth: Q + R
00:44:31

We’ve gotten requests to take our Q+R Youtube sessions and put them on the podcast for people to enjoy listening to, without the hassle of watching a Youtube video :)
This is a Q+R on our Heaven and Earth video.

Thank you to all our supporters! You are so meaningful to us!

Q's and Timestamps:

  1. Why does the Bible Project video only talk about heaven and earth and not hell? (1:15)
  2. Could people have gotten injured in the Garden of Eden before the fall? (4:09)
  3. Uniqueness of Hebrew temples v other culture temples in the ancient world (8:15)
  4. Is there a disembodied state? What does Jesus mean when he says “you will be with me in paradise today” to the thief on the cross? (10:24)
  5. What is the relationship between the “thousand year reign” of Jesus and heaven? (14:30)
  6. At the end of the world, does Jesus come here? Or does he take us away and then bring heaven to earth. (17:50)
  7. In the Old Testament God seems to say “just be a good person, love your neighbor etc” but in the New Testament, it seems like God wants to “save you from hell.” Why the change? (21:06)
  8. What was the Old Testament Hebrew Kings’ knowledge of Heaven/Hell/Sheol. (30:25)
  9. Is or Isn’t there marriage in heaven? (34:45)
  10. Is love the meaning of the universe? What does the Lord’s Prayer mean “on earth as it is in heaven?” And what does it look like for Heaven and Earth to unite? (39:45)

Links:
Original video conversation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH55c_GfPO0
Heaven and Earth video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k&t=1s

Music Credits:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music

Feb 12, 2016
Heaven and Earth Part 4: What Did The Biblical Writers Think Happens After You Die?
00:55:19

This episode is the backstory to a question that we ask ourselves a lot at The Bible Project. Maybe you ask yourself this question too. What happens when we die? Where did the biblical authors think a person went after they died? Do we go to heaven, and what does the Bible tell us about heaven? This is a question that is really helpful to work and think through, and there’s a ton to unpack. We put all of our thoughts into a new workbook we created called, "Heaven and Earth." Look for the link to download in the credits below.

In the first part of the episode (02:22-37:10), the guys talk about some of the confusing language in the Bible about heaven. In the Gospel of John, Jesus talks about "his Father's house" and him "going to prepare a place for you." What ideas were Jesus and John trying to communicate with these sayings? The ideas might surprise you.

In the second part of this episode (37:27-55:19), the guys talk about what it means for heaven and earth to overlap. In his gospel, John talks about Jesus followers being “not of this world.” What does this mean? Is Heaven wholly other? And what is the purpose of heaven and earth meeting if we are just going to fly off to heaven when we die? Tim unpacks the way John uses language in his gospel and what this phrase might mean. God’s world is good, and it’s worthy of being redeemed, and this is crucial to grasp in how we think about heaven.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Heaven & Earth." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k

References:
Heaven & Earth workbook by The Bible Project: https://thebibleproject.com/product/heavenbook/
The Gospel of John and Christian Theology by Richard Bauckham

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Analogs by Greyflood

Feb 12, 2016
Heaven and Earth Part 3: Jesus, The Ultimate Heaven & Earth Meeting Place
00:41:54

In this episode, the guys wrap up their discussion on heaven and earth. The guys will solidify the idea that Jesus is the meeting place of heaven and earth. He is God’s temple presence on earth, and his resurrection is the first part of God’s plan for a new creation. Not only do the New Testament authors draw on temple imagery to talk about Jesus, but they also use it in reference to people and communities of believers. What does this mean for followers of Jesus? And finally, what happens to us after we die?

In the first part of the episode (03:06-15:28), the guys look at the story of Pentecost and the start of the Jesus movement. Because of the events in the book of Acts, we know that God’s presence exists in followers of Jesus. We’re not just humans; we’re like little mobile units of God’s presence.

In the second part of the episode (15:50-27:52), Tim and Jon talk about the implications of Christians having the presence of God within them. God’s presence in us means that we are able to see glimpses of his Kingdom now while holding out hope for the fullness of his Kingdom that is coming. This is what the now-and-not-yet Kingdom of God is all about.

In the last part of the episode (28:26-41:57), the guys try to shed light on the question of life after death. Though we’re given few specifics about the afterlife in the Bible, we know that both Jesus and the New Testament authors fully believed that some part of us would be in the presence of God awaiting the new creation after we die.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Heaven & Earth.” You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k

Scripture References:
Acts 2
Colossians 1
1 Corinthians 6
1 Corinthians 11
Luke 23
Philippians 1
2 Corinthians 5
Revelation 6

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Feb 10, 2016
Heaven and Earth Part 2: When Heaven Meets Earth
00:36:53

In this episode, Tim and Jon continue their discussion from last time about what it means for God to be in “the heavens” and transcend humans. They’ll go a little bit deeper and talk about what it looks like for God’s space and human space to overlap. The biblical story begins with the mingling of these two spaces, and it was only after human rebellion that they became separated. The guys take a look at what Scripture says about heaven and earth and the future hope that one day God’s presence will permeate all of creation again.

In the first part of the episode (02:19-19:43), the guys discuss the imagery of cherubim in the Bible. The picture that most of us have of cherubim––chubby babies with wings––is pretty far off from what the Bible is trying to tell us about God’s heavenly space. Eden was a picture of God’s ideal––human and heavenly space intermingling––and Jesus is a representation of that. In fact, you can’t separate Jesus from God’s presence and holiness. There are little explosions of Eden everywhere that Jesus goes.

In the second part of the episode (20:11-24:34), the guys talk about the concept of resurrection and new creation. The redemption of creation that is promised is completely wrapped up in the idea of God’s presence once again filling human spaces.

In the last part of the episode (25:08-36:58), Tim and Jon look at the symbolism behind temples in the Bible. Kings built temples as symbols of hope for restoring God’s presence among his people, but Jesus declared that he was the new temple and God’s bodily presence on earth.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Heaven & Earth.” You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k

Book References:
The Resurrection of the Son of God by N.T. Wright

Scripture References:
Genesis 1-2
Isaiah 2
Isaiah 11
Psalm 73
Isaiah 26
Daniel 12
Ezekiel 37

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Feb 04, 2016
Heaven and Earth Part 1: What is the Old Testament referring to as "Heaven"?
00:40:53

In this episode, Tim and Jon begin their conversation about heaven and earth starting in Genesis 1. This is the first time “heaven" appears in the Bible. “The heavens” literally means “the sky.” Did the ancient Israelites think God lived in the sky? Maybe. The guys will talk more about this and what it means for God’s space and human space to overlap.

In the first part of the episode (01:27-08:57), the guys talk about the idea that heaven is in the clouds. How did we get there? Tim will break down the Hebrew word for heaven and explain a bit more about what the ancient Israelites believed about God’s heavenly space.

In the second part of the episode (09:17-18:59), the guys will talk about the significance of temples for the ancient Israelites. Temples were the place where the divine and human space overlapped, and this was incredibly important to the ancient Israelites.
In the next part of the episode (19:19-25:15), Tim and Jon talk about Jesus as the ultimate meeting place of heaven and earth. Throughout the gospels, Jesus calls himself the temple of God and makes clear that he is God’s temple presence made accessible for humanity.

In the final part of the episode (25:45-40:57), the guys talk about the ways we see this overlap between heaven and earth throughout Scripture. We see it through Jesus, through visions of heaven, like Jacob has in Genesis 28, and ultimately we see it in the garden of Eden.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Heaven & Earth." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k

Scripture References:
Genesis 1
Genesis 28
Psalm 11
Psalm 103
1 Kings 8
Isaiah 6

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Analogs by Greyflood

Jan 28, 2016
The Kingdom of God Part 3: God Vs. Kings
00:22:49

In this episode, the guys wrap up their discussion on the Kingdom of God. The biblical story ultimately becomes a clash between God’s Kingdom and human kingdoms. God responds to this rebellion throughout the Old Testament, but the good news of Jesus is that he came to bring the Kingdom again. What does this mean for us as followers of Jesus?

In the first part of the episode (02:36-16:40), Tim and Jon talk about Jesus as King. What does it look like for Jesus to invite his followers to live under his reign in the upside-down Kingdom?

In the last part of the episode (16:55-22:48), the guys continue to unpack this idea of the “now and not yet” Kingdom they introduced last time. There is incredible hope in the reality of God’s Kingdom. Death, injustice, and human failure are not the way the story ends! But joining in God’s Kingdom means resisting the kingdoms of the world and allowing Jesus to fully reign.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Gospel of the Kingdom." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmFPS0f-kzs

Book References:
How God Became King by N.T. Wright
Simply Christian by N.T. Wright

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Nov 15, 2015
The Kingdom of God Part 2: Co-Ruling with Jesus
00:43:37

In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss Jesus’ authority over heaven and earth and what it means for humans to rule with Jesus. The guys talk about what it will be like for God’s Kingdom to be fully realized. The Bible tells us that God’s Kingdom arrived in Jesus, but the fullness of that Kingdom is yet to come. What went wrong with the establishment of God’s Kingdom, and how does he plan to fix it?

In the first part of the episode (01:22-13:20), Tim and Jon talk about Jesus as the one who has authority over heaven and earth. What does this mean exactly, and how are humans invited into this with Jesus?

In the next part of the episode (13:40-17:29), the guys talk about the New Jerusalem that’s introduced in Revelation 22:1-5. This is a key passage in understanding how humans will serve and reign with Jesus in God’s Kingdom.

In the next part of the episode (18:02-23:22), the guys look at how God responds to humans setting up their own kingdoms. In the book of Genesis, we see that humans keep getting in the way of God’s plan. God’s covenant promise with Abraham and the children of Israel was all about trying to correct what went wrong with God establishing his Kingdom on earth.
In the final part of the episode (23:45-43:37), Tim and Jon talk about Israel’s many rebellions––their rejection of God’s Kingdom and the creation of their own kingdoms. They take a look at God as King and how he challenges human kingdoms throughout the Bible. Finally, the guys talk about the tension between God being a King now but also one who will bring his Kingdom later. This is the “now and not yet” theology of the Kingdom of God.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Gospel of the Kingdom." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmFPS0f-kzs

Scripture References:
Revelation 22
Genesis 3
Exodus 15
Deuteronomy 17
Psalm 96
Isaiah 52

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Nov 10, 2015
The Kingdom of God Part 1: The Kingdom of God Is the Gospel, starting from Genesis 1
00:29:18

In this episode, Tim and Jon look at a key Biblical theme that traces throughout the entire Bible––the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is central to Jesus’ message, but it can be confusing to understand completely. The guys will discuss why Jesus talked about the Kingdom so much and what that should mean to us as Jesus followers. Before they dive into the discussion, Tim will give a brief explanation of the concept of the Kingdom and its introduction into Scripture in Genesis 1.

In the first part of the episode (01:05-07:00), Tim and Jon talk about Jesus’ message in the Gospels. The New Testament authors boiled down Jesus’ message to, “repent, for the Kingdom of God is near.” We tend to think of Jesus as a moral teacher, but his lessons on morality and love only make sense if the Kingdom of God and his reign are coming to change the world.

In the next part of the episode (07:20-14:02), the guys talk about what it means for the reign of God to arrive in Jesus. The image of God is an idea in Scripture that is connected to this Kingdom, and both of these ideas are anchored in Genesis 1.

In the final part of the episode (14:24-29:18), the guys look at what it means for God’s Kingdom to be seen through humans. Psalm 8 is a poetic reflection on Genesis 1 and humanity’s role in God’s creation. God rules the world through humans, and human rule is tied to being made in God’s image.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Gospel of the Kingdom." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmFPS0f-kzs

Scripture References:
Genesis 1
Psalm 8

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Nov 03, 2015
Understanding The Law Part 2: The Prophets
00:50:05

In this episode, the guys continue their discussion of the law with a look at the prophets. The prophetic books in the Bible are an interesting follow up to the Torah. The prophets seemed to really be getting at God’s heart behind the law, and they were desperate to see Israel come out of their rebellion. Tim and Jon will wrap up their discussion by looking at Jesus’ response to the law. He was the answer to Old Testament prophecies, but he didn’t come to get rid of the law, Jesus came to fulfill it. As Jesus followers, we have to wrestle with what this means for us.

In the first part of the episode (00:56-12:18), the guys talk about Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s response to Israel’s disobedience. They warned of consequences to rebellion, but their primary message was the radical heart change that needed to take place.

In the next part of the episode (12:33-21:30), Tim and Jon talk about Jesus challenging the common interpretations of the law in the Gospels. He boiled down all of God’s commands to the great command: love God and love people. Jesus wasn’t focused on the letter of the law, but the heart behind it. The religious leaders of the day had becoming totally wrapped up in legalism and had lost sight of the purpose behind the laws.

In the next part of the episode (21:46-33:57), the guys discuss the central debate of the New Testament: should Jesus followers have to follow the commands even if they aren’t Jewish? The apostles were divided on this, and it’s a question that Paul comes back to throughout his letters.

In the final part of the episode (34:12-50:05), the guys wrap things up with a discussion on what the law should mean for Jesus followers today. Though these laws likely won’t affect our day-to-day lives, there is profound wisdom to be gained, especially when we understand God’s purpose for giving them. When we look at the context the laws were given in, we can see God’s heart for his people and his creation.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, "The Law." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BGO9Mmd_cU

Scripture References:
Matthew 5
Deuteronomy 6
Galatians
Romans 14

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Oct 20, 2015
Understanding the Law Part 1: The LAW
00:48:03

In this episode, Tim and Jon go deeper into the themes introduced in our video, “The Law.” What is the purpose of the Old Testament law, and what does it have to do with Christians today? The guys will talk about how the laws were given to the ancient Israelites and how they contribute to a larger narrative about human nature and God’s plan for creation. There’s a lot to unpack here, and there’s definitely something we can learn by understanding these ancient commands.

In the first part of the episode (01:28-22:02), the guys talk about some of the issues with calling the first five books of the Bible, or the Torah, “the law.” These books contain laws for the people of Israel, but “torah” actually means teachings or guidance. Even the laws that you do find are usually in a narrative structure.

In the last part of the episode (22:16-47:03), the guys talk about the purpose of the law. The law wasn’t given to the whole world; it was given for the covenant people of Israel. The reason they exist was so that Israel would be set apart from other nations and God could bless all of the nations through them.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, "The Law." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BGO9Mmd_cU

Book References:
The Pentateuch as Narrative by John H. Sailhamer
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs
Scripture References:
Exodus 20-23
Numbers 14-15

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Oct 19, 2015