King David

Fr. Paul discusses the meaning and development of King David’s character in the storyline of the Bible. (Episode 27)Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10027700/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2027.mp3

W.W.J.B.?

To the extent that Christians believe in the power of their actions and the value of their ethics, it’s understandable why they would interpret the Bible as a set of moral guidelines, or the life of Jesus as a moral example. But this is nonsense. The Bible does not present a philosophy of life, a set of ethics, or a set of moral guidelines. Jesus is not a role model and the question “what would Jesus do” is not Scriptural. In the Bible, there is no distance between the commandment and the steps taken by the disciple. Christ does not show us how to live. On the contrary, he demonstrates who his master is by his obedience to that master. This is what we imitate in Christ—his obedience to the Torah—with no provision for moral deliberation on our part. When you deliberate, “what would Jesus do“ you’ve already missed the bus. The real question is, “who was Jesus‘s boss?“

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 3:13-17.Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9981552/tbal%20episode%20238.mp3

Episode 238 Matthew 3:13-17; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Zap Beat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: B.y Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

Eden and the Four Rivers

Fr. Paul discusses the four rivers that flow out of biblical Eden. (Episode 26)Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9959095/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2026.mp3

The Axe is at the Root

It’s difficult for us to wrap our minds around, but the fact is, God does not need us. He does not need our abilities, our sentiments, our help, our efforts, our offerings, our deeds, our families, or our communities. God needs nothing from us yet provides everything for us. In Scripture, he freely offers Scripture to every generation. In Matthew, if we do not submit to this gift, itself presented as a judgment against us for our sake, we are warned, ominously, by John the Baptist:

”The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 3:10)

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 3:10-12.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9912489/tbal%20episode%20237.mp3

Episode 237 Matthew 3:10-12; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Failing Defense” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: B.y Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

Lost in Translation

Fr. Paul explores the versatility of the term Eden and the loss of its literary interconnection in translation. (Episode 24)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9891333/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2025.mp3

Subjugation of Identity


People assert and impose an identity from their king, their nation, their city, their tribe, and their family—all of which are dismantled and repurposed in Matthew’s genealogy. Now, in chapter 3, on the lips of John the Baptist, we come face to face with this new purpose: the adoption of all nations as brothers and sisters under the headship of Abraham. Indeed, the first two chapters of Matthew are summed up nicely in St. John’s Pauline admonition, ”that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.” (Matt 3:9)

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 3:1-9.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9863594/tbal%20episode%20236.mp3

Episode 236 Matthew 3:1-9; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Decisions” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: B.y Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

Shepherdism

Fr. Paul talks about shepherdism in Greater Syria and its significance for the Bible. (Episode 24)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9843078/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2024.mp3

A New Branch

When a person’s behavior improves, we naturally speak about how they have grown or changed, when, what has changed is not the person, but the instruction that controls their actions. Scripture bypasses human psychology to focus strictly on commandment and behavior. The Bible relieves the burden of sin by substituting one master for another. That’s it. We don’t change. We don’t improve. We simply remember that we were slaves in the land of Egypt, and the Lord our God brought us out by his mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; and that this same Lord has now commanded us to obey him.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 2:19-23.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9796402/tbal%20episode%20235.mp3

Episode 235 Matthew 2:19-23; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Not As It Seems” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: B.y Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

Judges 2:10-23

Fr. Paul discusses Judges 2:10-23. (Episode 23)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9774377/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2023.mp3

It’s Not a Fortune Cookie

Modern students of Scripture dumb down the power of the New Testament by dealing with the Old Testament as a kind of antiquated fortune cookie. They see a connection between Matthew and Jeremiah, and exclaim, “You see! Jeremiah predicts Matthew!” Even if we suspend reality for a moment (and ignore the fact that Matthew had access to Jeremiah before he wrote his book) fortune cookie theology does something far worse: it strips the New Testament of its nuance, functionality, interconnection, and narrative continuity with the Old Testament. In other words, if your understanding of Jeremiah is that he predicts Jesus, you have already shut down the meaning of Matthew’s gospel.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 2:16-18.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/9730554/tbal%20episode%20234.mp3

Episode 234 Matthew 2:16-18; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Raw” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: B.y Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/