Scripture as a Totality

Fr. Paul reviews interconnected terminology, geographic references, and narrative themes in the Bible that point to Scripture as a totality. (Episode 34)

This week’s episode falls on the occasion of Fr. Paul’s 75th birthday. Happy Birthday, Abouna!

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10461823/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2034.mp3

Blessings and Insults

The suffering of others should make us feel ashamed. When we see a neighbor in need, in poor health, overcome by calamity or besieged by violence, their burden is both a call to action and a check on our ego. Honestly, what right have we to complain about anything in the face of our neighbor’s misfortune? Regrettably, we routinely appropriate such shame as a means of influence. Politicians spin suffering to promote anger and a spirit of self-righteousness while victims point to misfortune as an excuse for cruelty. So what are we to make of the words of Jesus, “Blessed are you when people insult you?”

“Do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:5)

According to St. Paul’s sternly-worded instruction, the question as to which suffering is worthy of Christ’s blessing cannot be determined before the judgment. In Matthew, the criterion for this final test is not whether or not you suffered, but whether or not your suffering was for the right reason.

You may want to hold off cashing in your blessings before the time.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 5:9-12.Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10420535/tbal%20episode%20245.mp3

Episode 245 Matthew 5:9-12; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Zap Beat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/) (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0

Shamar

Fr. Paul provides an overview of the term shamar in the book Genesis. (Episode 33)Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10400895/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2033.mp3

Clarity of Purpose

Hunger and thirst are clarifying. When you are desperate for a drink of water, or you have not eaten in days, your biological needs control your actions. In turn, your actions reorder your thoughts, and you acquire clarity of vision—you know what you want, you know it when you see it, you know what you need to do, and you see the world around you in these terms. Now imagine that your biological need for food and drink is co-opted by the obligation to hear and obey God’s teaching. Your hunger and thirst for this teaching lead you to act with mercy toward others, which, in turn, organizes your mind. Your mind, now clear of distraction (a phrase usually translated as “purity of heart”) is wholly conformed to this teaching, allowing you to see God in the world around you.

“Blessed [indeed] are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 5:6-8.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10360460/tbal%20episode%20244.mp3

Episode 244 Matthew 5:6-8; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Mystery Sax” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/) (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

The Chicken or the Egg?

Fr. Paul explains the terms flock and sheep and the problem individualism poses for our hearing of Scripture. (Episode 32)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10343166/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2032.mp3

The Fruit of the Spirit

When we hear the Beatitudes for the first time, it’s tempting to philosophize—about poverty, humility, sadness, etc.—as though the Beatitudes themselves are a bunch of Greek platitudes. But if you’ve been with our podcast from the early days, you know a couple of things: 1) that Scripture refers to itself, interprets itself, and does not look outside of itself for meaning, and 2) that Scripture is written in opposition to Greek Philosophy. To treat Jesus like a philosopher who spouts philosophical platitudes is anti-Scriptural. So what is Jesus talking about in the Beatitudes? What is he teaching? The very same thing everything in the Bible teaches and refers to: the Law of Moses.

Richard and I discuss Matthew 5:1-5.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10304031/tbal%20episode%20243.mp3

Episode 243 Matthew 5:1-5; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Twisting” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: B.y Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

Who is the Adversary of Whom?

Fr. Paul explains the meaning of the name Job. (Episode 31)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10286249/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2031.mp3

Direct My Footsteps

When we talk about behavior, we imagine that a degree of separation exists between our thoughts and our actions—as the saying goes, between mind and body—but this is incorrect. Just as a muscle integrates with fat and bone, our thoughts (themselves biological) fully integrate with our behaviors. In the Bible, there is no distinction between mind and body; both are flesh. As such, Biblical healing comes not from discussion but through obedience. Like a chiropractor, the Lord’s commandment corrects the position of your bone, and your muscle falls in place. That’s why the priority of biblical wisdom is to correct, protect, and direct your footsteps. If you can do what the Lord instructs you to do, the rest will take care of itself.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 4:23-25.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10247106/tbal%20episode%20242.mp3

Episode 242 Matthew 4:23-25; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Werq” 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 Maskilim

Fr. Paul explains the meaning of the term maskilim in the Bible. (Episode 30)Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10229220/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2030.mp3

Nets of Our Own Making

Man toils in his service, acts on his behalf, and slaves for personal gain. Even when he strives to gather food for his family, the human being does so selfishly—for his family—a community readily exploited to fulfill his personal needs. The act of gathering food, which should be a gesture of unselfish love toward those in need, is reduced to a selfish act ensnaring man in the net of his own making.

When Jesus approaches the Pillars (Peter, James, and John) with the addition of Andrew, he calls them to a new kind of service, one that has the power to make their labors productive for an unselfish purpose—a purpose that obliterates the distinction they draw between the needs of their family, and those of the entire human family.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 4:18-22.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10187602/tbal%20episode%20241.mp3

Episode 241 Matthew 4:18-22; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Loopster” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: B.y Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/