Perpetual Decline

When human beings discuss society and culture, we do so with an unstated premise: that there is such a thing as a correct society and that such a society is attainable through correct ideas or actions. Unfortunately—and far from its own ideal—this assumption bolsters self-righteousness, perpetuates societal ills, and amplifies suffering in the world.

The genealogy in Matthew’s gospel undermines and opposes this premise by recounting the perpetual decline of human kingdoms in the Bible, from generation to generation. In doing so, Matthew dismantles our dangerous belief in a utopia, paving instead a path to the Lord’s kingdom: a non-utopia that gives hope in the midst of–and in opposition to–the unideal reality in which every generation finds itself.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 1:10-11.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9186390/TBAL%20Episode%20226.mp3

Episode 226 Matthew 1:10-11; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Secrets of the Schoolyard” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: B.y Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

The Language of the Biblical God

Fr. Paul discusses the scriptural language of the scriptural story. (Episode 14)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9158357/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2014.mp3

The Intent of Man’s Heart

When a person does something questionable, almost always, defenders step forward to say, “he’s a good man,” or “she has good intentions,” as if either statement can erase the outcome of a person’s mistakes. Even worse, both statements openly contradict Scripture. In the biblical tradition, no one is righteous but God, and our intentions (no matter how principled) are irrelevant, since only the intention of the Lord’s commandment has the power to bear fruit worthy of repentance. Whatever our intentions, the things we do and the things that we make demonstrate the truth of the Lord’s wisdom in Genesis, that the “intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth up.” (Genesis 8:21)

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 1:9.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9111587/tbal%20episode%20225.mp3

Episode 225 Matthew 1:9; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “On the Shore” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: B.y Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

Biblical Mashal

Fr. Paul expounds on the term mashal (Hebrew: משל) and its centrality for Scripture. (Episode 13)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9091332/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2013.mp3

Solomon the Wise?

In a tradition that mocks Greek philosophy and human wisdom, it goes without saying that the wisdom afforded Solomon in the Old Testament is central to the Bible’s critique of Hellenism. What’s not so obvious—at least at first glance—is how this critique is expressed in the foolishness of David’s son and the outcome of his life.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 1:7-8.

Episode 224 Matthew 1:7-8; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Private Eye” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: B.y Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

The Anti-Homeric Epic

Fr. Paul explains the how the biblical school undermines classical Greek literature and philosophy. (Episode 12)

Listen:https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9021822/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2012.mp3

The City of David?

ruth and naomi

In a typical Disney movie, the writers present a protagonist-coming-of-age who faces adversity (usually an identity crisis, an injustice, or both) discovers who they are, overcomes their challenge, and then, finally, realizes their true destiny…as king, queen, or a special person of sorts who can change the world. These stories are popular because they soothe our ego with reassurances of our self-importance and unique value. From the perspective of Scripture, they’re the worst kind of lie. In the ancient world, it was bad enough that kings and emperors believed in their unique value and special destiny. Now everyone is a Caesar in their own right. Yikes! Thankfully, the Matthean genealogy not only disbelieves David’s destiny but works actively to subvert it.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 1:4-6.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/8974290/TBAL%20Episode%20223.mp3

Episode 223 Matthew 1:4-6; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Mistake the Getaway” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

The Imposition of Greek

Fr. Paul explains the use of language by Alexander the Great and the reaction of the biblical school. (Episode 11)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/8955655/TBAL-T-TUE%20Episode%2011.mp3

Breaching the High Wall

In the ancient world, kingly genealogies, like kingly cities, were constructed to establish a monarch’s credibility, divinity, authenticity, and permanence. It should come as no surprise, then, that Matthew (like Genesis) deconstructs the king’s genealogy by presenting a disruptive counter-narrative. Where Judah longs to boast, Matthew ridicules. Where David seeks credibility, Matthew discredits. Where Judah strives to build a city surrounded by high walls, Matthew breaches the same, paving the way for a new kind of king, one who rules an unseen city, made without walls and without human hands.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 1:3.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/8904133/TBAL%20Episode%20222.mp3

Episode 222 Matthew 1:3; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Our Story Begins” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

Cyrus, His Anointed

 

cyrus

Fr. Paul explains anti-ethnicity in the Bible and the significance of the Lord’s favor towards Cyrus of Persia. (Episode 10)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/8881255/TBAL-T-TUE%20Episode%2010.mp3

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