Shame on Who?

In this week’s episode, Richard and Fr. Marc contrast biblical and worldly shame, reflecting on the central role that shame plays in the biblical tradition and the various responses to shame portrayed in the characters of Matthew’s gospel. In the Bible and in life, human shame can lead to alienation, mistreatment of those who are weaker, and in many cases, expiation by means of violence or suicide. Exploring these themes, the discussion sheds light on how biblical shame undermines these outcomes by redefining the object of our shame’s loyalty. (Episode 16)

Who is the King of Glory?

According to a 2014 survey published by The American Bible Society, the number of people who consider the Bible just a book “written by men” has doubled in just three years. In this week’s episode, Fr. Marc and Richard examine factors contributing to this trend through the lens of John 20 and the liturgical use of Psalm 24. You may be surprised where the bread crumbs lead. (Episode 15)

The Wrong Side of the Law

In this week’s episode, Fr. Marc and Richard reflect on John 12 and how the dialogue between Jesus and Judas illuminates an uncomfortable tension between Scripture and human systems of ethics and morality. Twisting a deconstructive prophetic mechanism (preaching on behalf of the poor against the rich) into a moral principle, Judas finds himself on the wrong side of the Law–in this case–the scroll of the Torah made flesh in the gospel narrative. This week’s program concludes with a special musical performance by children from the Ephesus School. (Episode 14)

Follow the Storyline

In this week’s episode of the Bible as Literature podcast, Richard and Fr. Marc reflect on Fr. Paul Tarazi’s discussion in episode 12 of a biblical storyline, elaborating on various examples of how the Bible functions as a single story and how this understanding illuminates the text. (Episode 13)

Interview with Fr. Paul Tarazi

Fr. Marc and Richard welcome their teacher and professor, Fr. Paul Tarazi, who discusses his understanding of the Bible as literature and its implications for Biblical Studies. (Episode 12)

The Merciful Father

In this week’s episode Fr. Marc and Richard discuss the parable of the Merciful Father, a story commonly (and unfortunately) known by the name of its secondary character, the Prodigal Son. Where modern hearers of the Bible expect the Father to show mercy in the face of unspeakable betrayal, Fr. Marc explains that, taken in its proper context, the Father’s act of compassion is both incorrect and unjust. This raises questions about the problems of fairness and entitlement as they relate to grace and thanksgiving in the biblical tradition. The text discussed is found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 15, verses 11-32. (Episode 11)

Harlotry and Loyalty

Richard elaborates on the concept of “harlotry” in the Book of the Twelve, explaining how this metaphor is used to highlight the disloyalty and ingratitude of God’s people. He and Fr. Marc discuss how Israel turns their back on the Lord’s generosity, repeatedly seeking self-justification and security from others. In this way, Israel insults God, not only to their own detriment, but at the expense of those in need. This week’s episode concludes with a special tribute to Metropolitan Philip Saliba, who fell asleep in the Lord on March 19, 2014. (Episode 10)

Destruction of Jerusalem

In this week's episode, Fr. Marc and Richard discuss a dominant pattern of judgment in the Bible, sometimes referred to as the “Destruction of Jerusalem.” This topic was prompted by a conversation with a friend from Nigeria, who was lamenting the problem of fundamentalism and the Muslim/Christian divide in his country. The podcast focuses on how this type of judgment works in the book of Amos, reflecting on God's unique stance against his own people in the Bible and its implications for individuals, groups, and nations–a topic relevant to the many challenges faced in Nigeria, and elsewhere. (Episode 9)

Suffer Little Children

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss their experiences reading Ezekiel with children and teens, dispelling the assumption that younger audiences are unable to wrestle with uncomfortable metaphors. In some cases, the children were able to intuit the story's intended meaning where adults often misread or misunderstand. (Episode 8)

It’s Functional!

Fr. Marc and Richard discuss the concept of "function" in biblical studies; its application in word analysis, where it is used to help uncover the meaning of words, but also its implications for discernment with respect to human behavior. (Episode 7)