Robert M. Price

The Bible Geek Show

The Bible Geek Show
The Bible Geek Show


Dr. Robert M. Price answers questions submitted to him at This Podcast was created using



The Bible Geek Podcast 19-014

May 1, 2019


What does the Geek think? Is Canaan the victim of some mixed up sources, a hidden castration story, or some other possibility that I’m missing? We see a historical pattern of vilification of a wartime enemy, the vanquishing of that enemy, and the subsequent romanticization, extolment, and assimilation of the subdued culture by the victor. Don’t we also find it in the Bible? Would you please comment on how shifting attitudes toward Jews and Jewish culture are reflected in the new testament, its development, and early Christian history?  How and why does the new testament both vilify and extol Jews?  A listener asked about Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”. Your interpretation of bar-wielding angels inspired me to a slightly different interpretation. A skolops can be any pointed thing from a splinter to a thorn to a pike to a palisade log. In between those extremes, it could also be a spear. We have Paul, speaking of journeying to the Heavens, Satan afflicting him, asking Kyrios (“Lord”) thrice that it might pass from him, and Kyrios refusing to lift the burden. That sounds to me a little like a condensed version of the Garden of Gethsemane with the Longinus spearing from John. Is it possible that John and Paul took this concept from a common (now lost) motif of the suffering servant? How can you reconcile the work of Robert Eisenman, Charles Cutler Torrey and the mythicism movement? Can you list any books, chapters, or portions of the New and Old Testament that are likely borrowings from texts from older civilizations?

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-013

Apr 14, 2019


Does 1 Corinthians 12:3 mean that no one can come to believe in Christ apart from a special revelation direct from God? Are there Gnostic and/or Calvinist implications? Is it impossible for God to exist? Are there any good alternative theories to the single authorship of Luke-Acts?  I notice that John the Baptist was executed by Herod, while Jesus was executed by Roman authority, why the difference?

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-012

Apr 1, 2019


Is it true that "by Hebrew tradition when the day of the month is not specifically stated, it is given to be the first day of that month"?  April 6th 32 A.D. is a Sunday, and not even Nisan 14 but Nisan 6? Given that Jesus died on a Friday, and Nisan 14 in 32 A.D. is on a Monday, how can Misler claim 32 A.D. is an "exact" fulfillment of the prediction in Daniel 9?  Ever read Asimov’s Guide to the Bible? Is Deuteronomy 22:28-29 talking about rape or seduction? Is it possible that the original "Jesus" was not called Jesus and that was the name they gave him later, as was the case wirh many many OT Hebrew characters have their names changed to fit meanings, including Jacob (Israel) Esau (Red), Abram, Sarah.  After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, who do Lot’s daughters think they’re the only ones left alive on Earth? Why would we Gentile Christians have to keep the Ten Commandments when, according to James & Co. in Acts, all we had to do was avoid bloody meat, fornication, animals that had been strangled, and food sacrificed to idols? I’d be interested to hear your current thinking on Gnosticism and it’s place in the world.

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-011

Mar 17, 2019


What are the biblical limits of divine revelation? If God nis omniscient, and “we have the mind of Christ,” why do we not know everything? Why do some prophecies remain unfulfilled? Why does the Bible know nothing of modern science? Please recommend a book on the origins and evolution of religion(s). Richard Carrier talks about the possible early dating of Hebrews as a pre 70 statement of a fully mythic Christ who had not yet been historicized. What do you think of that idea? Do you know of anyone else who has talked about Melchizedek as a pre 70 cult figure? Is there any other evidence for an early date of Hebrews which would support the Christ myth theory? Can you can expand more broadly on some historically prominent Christian concepts of what it meant to be inspired when writing scripture? How can the biblical writers have exhibited their own personal style if God was simply revealing their text to them?

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-010

Mar 11, 2019


In Luke baby Jesus is presented at the Temple 40 days after Jesus's birth.How do apologists handle this contradiction, as compared to the events described in Matthew (the flight to Egypt)? After all, the holy family could not both flee to Egypt and present at the Temple 40 days later. Does the author of John identifies himself in John 21:24? The idea of a dying Messiah appears to have gained popularity during the 2nd century A.D. particularly since the death of Simeon Bar Kokhba. Therefore, why is it impossible that the idea a dying Messiah actually came in earlier than the 2nd centuary A.D, say, 50 years earlier with the new cult of Christianity? I know that the supposed OT "prophecies" were never intended to be about Jesus or the Messiah at all. But, as you can easily use them in a Messianic way (like Early Christians did), why can’t they have made the entire thing up? Is it possible that the entire Jospehus passage on Jesus was a interpolation by Christian scribes, and could the same be true of Tacitus? Isn’t “Do you believe in God?” a loaded question? Better to say “do you believe in any gods?” Exactly what kinds of “morals” are actually set out in the Bible (stoning to death, massacres, collecting heaps of foreskins as a dowry, and so on)?   Aren’t those who say “but without heaven and hell what’s to stop you from (raping and pillaging and murdering) implying that’s what they’d be busy doing if they didn’t believe? Have you read Asimov’s Guide to the Bible and what do you think of it? What non-canon books do you think are most interesting/worth reading? What would you suggest as the simplest and most potent way to explain why one doesn’t believe there was a historical Jesus? What would be perhaps the top 3 “must read” for people interested in Higher Criticism? In Matthew 8:5-13, the story of healing the centurion's leprous servant, how does the centurion show the faith that apparently amazes Jesus so that he says "I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith"? All he did was ask for healing. And what was the content of that faith? Not faith in the Pauline gospel certainly! What does Jesus mean by "follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead"?

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-009

Mar 5, 2019


Could you outline the work of Thomas J. J. Altizer, his work, the context of his contribution, the significance - and how it has influenced your own thinking and work? How did “Lucifer” turn into “Satan”? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us not to pray, fast, etc., in public because then they will have “received their reward in full.” What sort of reward? Private piety brings reward in heaven. But doesn't the idea of a reward contradict the idea of the good deed in the first place?  How old is the apologist claim that “microevolution” occurs only within “kinds,” and there is no “macroevolution” from one “kind” into another?

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-008

Feb 17, 2019


What is the oldest textual reference for John the Baptist? Did Mark describe John the Baptist as wearing a camel-hair shirt and eating locusts? Could Mark be a redacted version of the Marcion gospel? Are you aware of anyone who has tried to apply a Marcionite lens to Mark and what is the best secondary source on Marcionite theology? Have you ever heard of the 'Recovery Bible' (translated from Polish) and what are your thoughts on bibles with excessive annotations? Could the name Peter (Cephas) in the bible be a mistranslation? Please comment on Arthur Darby Nock and the current view of his work. What is the true meaning of the parable of the Prodigal Son? In the end of Mark (chapters 15, 16), why are there different descriptions for Mary the mother of Jesus? Did Bruce Metzger believe Gnosticism influenced Christianity, and what does that mean for Bart Ehrman?

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-007

Feb 2, 2019


Is Mark 9:42-50 necessarily talking about a heavenly afterlife?. What on earth does this mean? "Everyone will be salted with fire.” In the feeding of the 5,000 and the 4,000, do the numbers of loaves at the beginning and afterward mean anything, especially as relates to disciples and their relative success or importance? Recently, it occurred to me that the apocryphal gospel of Peter has some strangely close parallels with the Sumerian myth of Inanna in the underworld. I have a question about Matthew 5:25-26. Matthew 5:21-32 are basically saying, "not only can you not do X, you shouldn't even THINK about X!" But all of a sudden verses 25 and 26 sound more like a first-century version of "hey, resolve your issues quickly or the doggone court system will bleed you dry." Unlike what precedes and follows, there doesn't seem to be anything especially moral about it, and it doesn't follow the format of "avoid [sin], yes, but also avoid [minor version of sin]”. Is it an interpolated proverb? Would the hypothetical gospel sources Mark, Q, L, M, etc., count as independent sources for a historical Jesus? Why didn't Jerusalem play a bigger role in the growth of Christianity? When did the idea of a canonical Bible occur to people? Did such an idea exist prior to the Septuagint? Or was it thought of more as an evolving collection? Bruce Metzger speculates that, if a new Pauline letter were to be discovered, the church would have to determine if it added anything to what our familiar Pauline epistles teach. If so, it might be added to the canon. But by this criterion, should we drop any familiar Pauline writings that are redundant? And if a new one did add something important, wouldn’t it be rejected, its novelty considered heresy? Is there a way to reconcile the spiritual resurrection of Jesus in 1 Corinthians 15 with the fleshly resurrection in Luke 24?

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-006

Jan 31, 2019


Supposedly, today among western scholars, there's agreement that we know more about the historicity of Jesus than we do about the historicity of Mohamed. What does Dr. Price think about that? Luke 23:43 (NIV): “Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise," but the New World Translation has: “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.” The position of the coma changes the meaning. Yet, there was no punctuation when the gospels were written. Which is the correct translation? You’ve downplayed the research of Karen King who said there was no such thing as Gnosticism. Have you changed your opinion? Doesn’t the notion of a fiery Hell come from the reference to Gehenna, a physical location near Jerusalem where bodies were burned in a pit.  Over time this came to refer to a pit of damnation for sinners.This along with the "devil" presiding over it seem to be fairly modern ideas which were written about much later than the original bible. In Holy Fable, Vol. 1, speaking of the plagues of Egypt, "The story-tellers have thus retained some 'local color' without realizing that these were fairly common and altogether natural events. They assumed these disasters were unique, miraculous occurrences. This means that the stories were told very far away from Egypt. It’s as if someone did not know what had actually destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki and said it was Godzilla." Might the Japanese have come up with all those silly monsters to process feelings/memories of the horrors of the war while not openly attacking their conquerors? If Christianity began as a mystery religion, with adherents being told the secret once they rose high enough, who is to say Catholicism isn't STILL a mystery religion? Do we really know what bishops and cardinals say among themselves about the historicity of Jesus? I was recently asked by a co-worker what the Holy Spirit was as a member of the Trinity and I must say I do not have a good answer. Do you? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-005

Jan 26, 2019


Producer's Note: There is a lot of noise and buzz in this episode. I did what I could without distorting the good Doctor's voice too much, but I do apologize for the poor audio quality. Concerning Papias's comments on Mark using Peter as a source, you suggest Papias may have not been referring to canonical Mark but to "the Ebionite work The Preachings of Peter.”Are you referring to Kerygmata Petrou which was written about A.D. 200? When you mention the Infancy Gospel of Matthew, do you mean the Infancy Gospel of Matthew the same as The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew from the 7th century?  Is 1 John a coherent work or a patchwork quilt of successive redaction? Just how gnostic is 1 John? Does Paul's famous teaching in Romans 5:18-19 support or contradict any of the historic theories of the Atonement? Is it the major influence on Christian soteriology?: Hebrews 5:8 says of Jesus, “he learned obedience through what he suffered.” But when I think of various NT writings, including what I recall of the rest of Hebrews itself, I don't recall anything about Jesus having "learned obedience" through his suffering. But elsewhere in the NT we get the impression that he suffered because he was obedient. What gives? You’ve compared Galatians 1:11-12, where Paul says that he learned his gospel through revelation, with 1 Corinthians 11:23, where Paul tells the Corinthians that he delivered to them what he also received. You seem to accept the view that these two passages do in fact contradict each other. But Earl Doherty and Richard Carrier read the 1 Corinthians passage in light of, and as consistent with, the line from Galatians, such that in 1 Corinthians, when Paul speaks of receiving a teaching, Doherty and Carrier argue that this reception was through revelation. Why do you think different? You said you were persuaded by John Dominic Crossan's argument about the Cross Gospel. Yet since then, you’ve made no mention of the Cross Gospel at points when doing so would have logically fit. What is your current thinking on the proposed Cross Gospel? What do most mainstream biblical scholars make of Crossan's proposal? What did you mean when you said that even if you accepted various alternative synoptic source theories, it wouldn't make much difference regarding Q? When Catholics pray that the sacrifice of Christ be made present in the Mass, are they asking that Jesus be killed again? Please explain how Zoroastrianism influenced Judaism.

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-004

Jan 20, 2019


Is there much genuine Higher Criticism being done today? Is SATAN! a kind of mythological Frankenstein monster and if yes what parts was he sown together from? In the first few chapters of the book of Genesis, does God create the first humans or his version of humankind, a sort of prototype of what humans should be based on his will/desire, unlike the humans other gods have created before him ? What do you know of the work of Dr. Ashraf Ezzat, who argues that the translators of the Septuagint changed the setting of the Old Testament from Arabia to Egypt? Did the writer of 2nd Timothy 2:4 leave us a clue about division in the early church or even worse reveal that not everyone thought Jesus had returned? Was the idea that Paul hailed from Tarsus really borrowed from 2 Maccabees 3:5 and 4:4? What was the purpose of the Deuteronomic Reform? Was this where Judaism decided it needed an Orthodoxy, and went with the most mainstream books, and eliminated what might of band "Sect books, in other words books belonging to a smaller Jewish group not part of the mainstream, and this is why things like Enoch,Jubilees,Tobit,Baruch and others are not part of the cannon today? What is your opinion on Enoch 2 and 3? Are the very old books or more later forgeries? Would things such as Horoscopes count as blasphemy against the holy spirit? What are the Local Church and the Plymouth Brethren?

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-003

Jan 17, 2019


In a recent (or, recent to me) episode, you said the Reformation was, to some extent, based on how one shouldn't read secret meanings into the Bible.  Can you elaborate on this?    Can you shed any light on Passover terminology in Hebrew and Greek?: Is there any historical reason to think that John the Baptist was beheaded on Herods birthday? It seems to "foreshadowed" by Pharoah beheading the cupbearer on his birthday. I know that the gospels often say events in the OT "foreshadow" events in Jesus life.  What can we know or surmise about the Jerusalem Church led by James? What does Paul mean by “Lord?” He often writes “the Lord Jesus Christ.” What is this word “Lord” in Greek and its meaning? What if Q was none other than one of the Jewish Christian gospels (The Gospel of the Hebrews, The Gospel of the Ebionites, The Gospel of the Twelve, or The Gospel of the Nazarenes)? Why do the lists of 10b Commandments in Exodus 20 and 34 differ? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-002

Jan 12, 2019


Did children really play at mourning? Do you happen to know of any references, preferably from the seven authenticated letters of Paul which can be used to support/confirm the consensus dates of 35 to 56 for Paul?   Isn't there a non canonical gospel that has a transfiguration like scene that actually is a resurrection appearance? And bwhy do some think the canonical transfiguration story was originally a post resurrection appearance?   I recently reread the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.   I can understand how stories of the young Jesus could come about but why in the world would someone that was a Christian of any stripe go to the trouble of writing something that makes kid Jesus look like a brat?  I mean this thing reminds me of the Twilight Zone "It's a Good Life".   Re the NRSV, aside from the absurd inclusive language thing do you have any other problems with it?  Why do mainstream scholars say that 1 Thess. was written around 50CE?  I'm curious as to what the apologetics are regarding badly answered prayers. John 4:22 says the Samaritans worship what they do not know, while the Jews worship what they do know. What do we think the authors trying to say about Samaritan beliefs exactly?  Is that believed to be historically accurate, or a mischaracterization of 1st/2nd-century CE Samaritanism? Can you explain exactly which components of rapture theology are identifiable in the Bible using historically appropriate hermeneutics, and which components are truly "not in the Bible"?   

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-001

Jan 4, 2019


What do you think of Jordan Peterson’s definition of “truth” as any notion that, if believed, increases survival value? Could you enlighten us as to the Book of Enoch and the ubiquitous Watchers? And does this book and it's narrative turn into being about Satan somehow? What do you think of the Young Earth creationism apologetic that God created Adam, Eve, and earth with artificial signs of a long past? Was Jesus’ teaching about heaven and hell news to his listeners, or were they all familiar notions? Has any Christian group ever taught that infants go to hell? Wouldn’t the Book of Revelation make more sense if it had been written by and for Ebionite Christians? Assuming Luke used Matthew as a source, any idea why the Genealogies are different?  Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 19-001

Jan 4, 2019


What do you think of Jordan Peterson’s definition of “truth” as any notion that, if believed, increases survival value? Could you enlighten us as to the Book of Enoch and the ubiquitous Watchers? And does this book and it's narrative turn into being about Satan somehow? What do you think of the Young Earth creationism apologetic that God created Adam, Eve, and earth with artificial signs of a long past? Was Jesus’ teaching about heaven and hell news to his listeners, or were they all familiar notions? Has any Christian group ever taught that infants go to hell? Wouldn’t the Book of Revelation make more sense if it had been written by and for Ebionite Christians? Assuming Luke used Matthew as a source, any idea why the Genealogies are different?  Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-036

Dec 24, 2018


What does the Geek think would happen if we really did find something new (in the recovered Library of Herculaneum) that should objectively count as scripture rather than apocrypha? How would this affect various notions of the canon? Might Jacob’s stone pillar actually be intended as a divination dolmen? Why does Saul/Paul have two (alternative) names? In which circumstances would  each be used? Jews read Kaballah and Gematria-based interpretations into the Hebrew Bible and Catholics read references to Jesus Christ into some Old Testament phrases - do followers of other sacred texts - Hindu and Buddhist, for example - do the same? What happens in the case of priests who have been laicized, due to appalling criminal behaviour? As 'once a priest, always a priest' means that the ex-priest could administer the sacraments if he wanted to but has been told not to, does this also mean that the ontological change too cannot really be withdrawn, such that a child abuser is, effectively, an Alteri Christus? Might Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” have been his incredible guilt over having persecuted those who are now his brethren? Is Christianity now in the process of another reformation? Was it common for critical scholars to publish anonymously or pseudonymously? Were the risks legal, or social/reputational? When did this change? Could you list fellow theologians and historians of the New Testament and early Christianity with a degree PhD who claim that Jesus Christ is a mythical figure and that the New Testament is unreliable historically? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-035

Dec 10, 2018


Could you please provide the definition for "abomination" as used in the Bible? Would you please review the history of the concept of having a personal relationship with Jesus/God? I wonder if you know of any analysis of the similarity between the sayings of early Cyrenaics and the gospels. Explain Transsubstantiation? Do John the Baptist, Peter and others have some connection with the god Oannes? On the Gnostic notion of Christ first becoming incarnate in the awakened pneumatics.

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-034

Dec 5, 2018


Is there a connection between 1 Timothy 1:7 and Plutarch’s "Bruta Animalia Ratione Uti” (Book 4)? In addition, based on the theory that you have mentioned - that Paul’s struggles against the beasts of Ephesus was spiritual (I believe) rather than physical - is it possible that 1 Cor 15:32 is also playing on this juxtaposition of the natures of both beasts and men? Is Matthew 27:46-47 dependant on an earlier version in which Elijah has become the pilot of the sun chariot every day, and that once the sun darkens, Jesus is calling for it to reappear? Can you explain how or why the hypothesis of the gnostic redeemer came to be prominent, as Margaret Barker indicates it had been in the past, and how or why it became discredited? Is there some connection between Paul’s letters and John’s Gospel? Was Hamaan said to have been hanged from a tree/gallows or impaled on a stake? Could you please tell me what the approximate populations of Jerusalem and Galilea were after the first Roman war ending in approx. 70 CE and the third Roman war ending in approx 133 CE or point me to a good source for this information?  I was wondering what the punishment for taking the lord's name in vain was in Jesus's time and how does than mix with the narrative structure of John's gospel? If, for example, it was something serious, wouldn't the Jews punished him long before the Romans got to their hands on him or even heard about the guy?  What can you tell me about the role of Minos in the Inferno and in Christian extra-Biblical traditions? I was wondering if you could recommend any books that speak to the issue of the claim that the Catholic Church is God's Church from a free thought perspective?   I'm not sure how much Celibacy plays a role in the scandal, and I'm curious to know more about the Biblical perspective on celibacy. Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-033

Nov 18, 2018


Might Mark 6:24ff mean that Herodias used John's severed head as a magical oracle device? Could Moses and Joshua have been variant (Canaanite and Egyptian) versions of an older mythic deity, subsequently harmonized? To what scriptural evidence do Pre- and Postmillennialists appeal? Ricky Gervais says he is an "agnostic-atheist." What does that mean? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-032

Nov 2, 2018


Would you care to comment on the pre-Jesus environment, especially the book of Daniel and Enoch? Was Jesus on the cross actually petitioning Elijah to come and rescue him? Or appealing for the sun (Elijah’s fiery chariot) to rise? Might the “young men” who seized him have been angels or archons trying to prevent the ascension of Jesus? The young man who fled away naed, leaving behind his garment: was this the Christ spirit escaping the flesh-body and leaving it behind? Or might the young man have been the resurrected Lazarus? Did the Ark of the Covenant even exist? What saith the Bible about animals? Can you recall any case of God overtly lying? The “existence” of God. Recap of Mythicism. Was Hitchens correct that, had Jesus been sheer invention, early Christians would have created a simpler Nativity story? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-031

Sep 13, 2018


On whether mainstream acceptance of Mythicism would end Christianity. How is Arminianism any less deterministic than Calvinism?  If God knows how all future events would come to pass, then how can human beings act contrary to God's foreknowledge?  My wife is an evangelical believer and raises our kids in her faith. I don’t object, but after much internal debate, I’ve chosen to expose my kids to facts regarding other faiths in the world. My only real beef with the evangelical faith is the reliance on the threat of eternal damnation. How would you approach this? What passages in the Bible would you use to promote alternative eschatologies?  Is Jerusalem the 3rd-holiest site for Islam? And is Muhammad’s ascent to heaven apocryphal or Koranic? Does the Koran promise 72 virgins or 72 raisins?  If none of the four Gospels had survived but only Tatian's Gospel Harmony, would academics have been able to discover there were at least four Gospels and the Q document behind it? What methods can be used to find out if the Quran was originally several different sources?  Why were four Gospels included in the New Testament? Was each aimed at refuting a particular heresy? In the Bible, what is "usury," charging excessive Interest or the charging of any interest? What is a "familiar spirits"? Please comment on the nearly pornographic Ezekiel 23:20?  Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-030

Sep 11, 2018


Some Afghani Muslims believe Ali was a prophet after Muhammad. How can they reconcile this with Muhammad being “the Seal of the Prophets”? Why wasn’t the Acts of John included in the canon? Would you have included it? Is there a consensus among modern Christian theologians regarding the need for salvation for extraterrestrial aliens? Is Heaven hotter than Hell? Was Adam an androgynous being much like Manu in the Rig Veda? Is it possible that Caiaphas blackmailed Pilate into crucifying Jesus, knowing that Pilate used funds from the Temple for building an aqueduct?  Barbara Thiering argues that Jesus was the "Man of a Lie" mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, Robert Eisenman contends that it was St.Paul who is given this title. Which seems more likely? The story in Matthew about a Roman centurion who asks Jesus to heal his "young servant" uses the word pais, "boy" and that this has sexual connotations. Is this an effort to make Jesus appear to be friendly to Romans and vice versa?  The Mandeans are gnostics. They hold John the Baptist in high regard and Jesus in low regard. Might this indicate that John was actually gnostic, or with gnostic influence?  Was there a conflict between Jesus' followers and followers of John?  Might the Gospels have been scripts for screen plays? What do we know about the use of Greek words that are translated as the proper noun "Satan" in the New Testament? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-029

Sep 3, 2018


Morton Smith mentions the notion that Jesus had magical tattoos from his time in Egypt that empowered him to cast miraculous spells. Where does this idea come from? What is the point of Matthew’s device of pushing the nativity sequence forward by means of dreams? Do any modern Christians emphasize the significance of dreams? In Malachi, there is a stern warning about God smearing dung on the faces of the high priests of Israel. What's this all about? When roughly did Jews and Christians begin to see the Genesis One creation story as suggesting humans are created in the Image of God and that this should be seen as the origin of human dignity and all human rights?  Given your dislike for inclusive language in Bible translations, why did you translate "an individual" instead of "a man" in Galatians 6:1? Many OT passages involve cups of judgment, especially ones containing wormwood. Num 5: 18, 24, 27; Eze 23:31-34, Hab 2:15, Jer 8:14; 49:12; 51:6 +; Psa 60:2, 75:8; 116:13; Zec 12:2; Obd 1:6, and others. Might the Gethsemane scene be based on such texts?  Anew reading of the death of Absalom in 2 Samuel.

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-028

Aug 23, 2018


Whether the original Hebrew of Genesis implies the loincloths of Adam and Eve were animal hides—or the physical bodies newly clothing their spiritual bodies. Might Genesis 6:4 have originated as propaganda for the policies of Ezra and Nehemiah?   Might the Greek phrase 'οἱ γίγαντες οἱ ἀπ᾽ αἰῶνος' mean the Genesis 6:1-4 Nephilim were avatars of the Gnostic Aeons?   Is the supposed influence of Hinduism & Buddhism on Gnosticism and Christianity rendered unlikely by the absence of any Sanskrit texts in Egypt or Palestine? My question relates to the overall idea the New Testament gospels are Midrash. Why would a group of individuals sit down one day, grab a random name out of a hat, then start writing Midrash in Greek? Why would Paul (in Galatians) refer only to James as the Lord's brother while not so describing Cephas? It seems obvious to me that "brother" here can have only its literal, primary meaning. I'm interested in your take on how the Prosperity Gospel has developed over the decades and its relation to those American Christians who have accumulated economic and political power. Does Romans 13 mean, as many hold, that God rubber stamps the actions of any and all government? Or that he has charged them with righteous administration, implying he will replace them if they fail? Is the Catholic refusal to inform the police of crimes learned of in the confession booth based on the Bible? What do you think of Jordan Pederson’s approach to the Bible? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-027

Aug 19, 2018


In Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, Walter Bauer says: "the catastrophe in Palestine forever erased the demand that gentile Christians of the diaspora should be circumcised and should to some extent observe the ceremonial law. ... [F]ellowship between Jewish and gentile Christians in the outside world became really possible." Was it really so consequential and immediate an event as to erase that line? Is it racist for Walter Bauer to write that Rome was "by nature and custom least inclined or able to yield to seemingly fantastic oriental ways of thinking and oriental emotions that becloud clear thought"? In the Pauline epistles, many statements are tied together by words such as "If", "For", and "Thus".  It looks as if he's trying to construct logical arguments, but the statements are often non sequiturs.  Why do his writings have the trappings of rationality, but not the substance?  Do you think Jordan Peterson is on to something when he says that the Judeo-Christian tradition is exceptional among religions in preserving the wisdom Nature (or God) has written into us through evolution? Is the Swoon Theory compatible with Christ Mythicism? Does the Infancy Gospel of James portray Jesus as theophany of Yahweh descended direct from heaven?

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-026

Aug 10, 2018


What about the apologetics argument that the resurrection of Jesus could not have been fabricated because of the fact that gospel writers claim that women were witnesses to the event. As women were not thought to be competent witnesses, why would the gospel author state that women saw the resurrected Jesus unless it were the truth? Is it true that the Roman empire generally had a policy of religious tolerance, provided that the religion in question makes a reasonable claim at being an ancient tradition? In Acts 17:16-34, Paul is dragged in front of the Areopagus, because some people thought he was a "babbler", while others said he was "a setter forth of strange gods." But the Areopagus lost the power to prosecute religious matters in 462 BC. Is this an anachronism? Wendy Doniger mentioned in one of her books the possibility that Jesus was raised by wild animals. What are your thoughts? Do you think it's possible that the rich young ruler was the "beloved disciple" in John's Gospel? What do you think of the family tomb of Jesus Christ? Does the Bible contain examples of utilitarian entreaty to sacred powers for no other reason but one’s own ends? I remember hearing of a theory of a hidden messiah where the messiah would come (and leave) without anyone knowing until being revealed some time later. Was this belief current before the Jesus era?

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-025

Jul 18, 2018


When in Mark 5:43 Jesus tells Jairus and his wife not to tell anyone about “this,” something impossible given that they would have to pretend henceforth that she was dead in an empty grave, Mark mean s that Jesus means not to disclose the method of healing/resurrecting the girl, not to the fact that she was alive. Maybe he wanted everyone to think he was simply an effective doctor, not a miracle worker? This set of questions was inspired by a YouTube video, "If Atheists Talked About The Hulk Like Jordan Peterson Talks About The Bible." Does the Bible ever rename characters for discernible literary of theological reasons? Preacher often say the body and the flesh are not the same thing, but is there an actual Greek basis for this distinction? Is the Hulk a decent representation of the Paulinist or Marcionist "Fleshly Man"? What reason is there to posit the existence of a Signs Source underlying John? I regularly hear that many modern critical scholars are both Christians and hold certain mainstream positions regarding the suspect history of books such as the Pastorals, at least one of the Epistles of Peter, etc. Do you know whether, as Christians, they tend to accept the books as pious forgeries and still somehow inspired as scripture? If you were a somewhat conservative Christian what one book of the Bible would you consider the most problematic to your belief, the most embarrassing, the most open to attack from the outside? And why? When you write a scholarly book or paper, do you typically just write out the entirety of your argument, and add in the relevant references later? Or do you stop and start, inserting references as you go? Or some mixture of the two? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-024

Jul 10, 2018 00:00:00


It has been claimed that the genealogy in Matthew 1 contains 14+ features of sevens, said to collectively defy probability.  From a textual standpoint, how plausible is this?  Could the Samaritan woman in John 4 be a reference to the last Seleucid monarch, Cleopatra Selene, who just so happens to have been the ruler of Galilee during 70s BCE when the Toledot dates Jesus? What are the covenants? How were they broken? What did they add or take away from the human race?  My father told me as a child that faith and prayer power is limited because God cannot lie, and his words create laws, laws that even God himself cannot break. Is there any passage of the Bible where God breaks his law? Did God create animals in Eden so man might offer them in sacrifice?   The Synoptics depict John the Baptist predicting the imminent apocalyptic judgment to be rendered by the Coming One (Jesus). It didnâ??t happen. How do inerrantists deal with this? Or do they even notice? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-023

Jul 2, 2018 00:00:00


Pastors seem often to give parishioners answers that will satisfy them even if the pastor doesnâ??t really have an opinion. He doesnâ??t want to look bad. How did you deal with this situation? In the depictions of the crucifixion in Mark and Matthew, why are Jesus' cries to Eloi and Eli misheard by onlookers? What purpose does this detail serve in the narrative? What do you make of the Freemasonsâ?? allegorical interpretations of the Bible? How large were the stones covering ancient sepulcher tombs? You know how you can separate the Pentateuch into four sourIs there a book that delineates the various â??hereticalâ?? elements or sources on the gospels? Could you speak to what lead to your atheistic stance? Is speaking of the Holy, the ineffable, et cetera. merely speaking in the abstract of the mystery of existence or the idea there may be something out there, but perhaps it is just beyond human understanding? What seems to be the most prevalent idea of the fate of the unfortunate after death according to the Bible? How could something like Christianity get off the ground, especially if Jesus was a myth?

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-022

Jun 17, 2018 1:30:10


Nature is horrible, and civilization allows animals such as a cows, pigs, sheep, and humans to live in comfort and safety.  Why, then, the persistent mytheme of humans being the defective additions to an otherwise perfect world? Jesus never baptized anyone with water so how did this become a staple of the Christian church, especially the Baptists? What do you make of the fact that there is zero evidence that the Arab conquerors of the 7th century were Muslims? I personally am convinced that they were most likely a Syriac Christian sect, a sect that had a lot in common with the Ebionites.  Do you have any suggestions on books that you could recommend on Martin Luther or the Lutherans in general? Is it fair to say that "Christianity defined itself in the context of Neo Platonism neo-platonic philosophy as a religion of truth"? Might Jesusâ?? cursing the fig tree reflect the folk custom f cursing/rebuking a barren tree in order to produce fruit the following season? Can you shed some light on the dating of the book of Daniel and what we can determine whether these are predictions of the future or reflections on the past? Is there any textual evidence anywhere that Matthew's birth narrative with the Oriental Kings paying respect to infant Jesus a subtle attempt at recognizing the Alexandrian Buddhist influence on new Christianity?   Could Christianity survive in some form if it were proved there was no historical Jesus? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-021

Jun 7, 2018 1:13:12


Doesnâ??t the mention in Galatians of Paulâ??s meeting with â??James the Lordâ??s brotherâ?? count against mythicism? Was Thomas Didymus in some sense Jesusâ?? twin? Does the NT refer anywhere to a shape-shifting Jesus? I'm wondering if you have any thoughts on how to discredit Papal Infallibility.  How much of the poem Father Brennan recites to Robert Thorn in THE OMEN is based on Revelation or any of the apocrypha or any other biblical prophecy? What do you think of Islam and the Koran? I would like your take on the parallels that exist between Paul and Stoicism - both intentional and accidental. How much actual influence existed there, and precisely what of Paul's writings best exemplify this? Is Theophilus (lover of God) just the Christian reader of the Gospel of Luke? Why does only Mark mention Pilate's astonishment at Jesus' quick death? Is there any scriptural warrant for the Doctrine of Inclusion, whereby there is no Hell and all are saved, whether they believe or not, whether they do good works or not. Indeed: whether they are Christians and accept the divinity of Jesus or not? Adventures in tongue-speaking. Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-020

Jun 5, 2018 58:06


Do you think Isreal and Judah were ever a single nation? Any biblical recollections of two major asteroid impacts of 12000 and 13000 years ago? What are your thoughts on humor in the Bible and humor as a factor in a life well lived? Are the moral concepts in the Bible unique and proof of divine inspiration? What is the relationship between esoteric Buddhism and esoteric Judaism? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-019

Jun 1, 2018 1:16:11


I was hoping you could spend a few minutes speculating on the future of American Evangelical Christianity following President Trump. Also, would you mind informing us about the differences between American Christianity and Christianity from other countries. In your translation of Mark you refer to Gethsemane as a "plot of ground" instead of a garden. Any particular reason you didn't call Gethsemane a "garden?" Granting that Matthew 24:29 is prophecy after the fact, why would the author write something he knew had not happened?   Might â??the knowledge of good and evilâ?? in Eden refer to learning what food is healthful or deadly? I've observed that Jesus Myth debates and lectures are almost always hosted by a small group of atheists.  Why do they feel the need to constantly be retold things they already know about an issue that may not really be a scholarly issue?  And do you feel this is really an important debate? I thought it might be a good idea to read through the New Testament in the order in which the books were written.  What do you think of this approach?  How well do you think a courtroom analogy of Christianity holds up?  How do we know that God makes â??severalâ?? humans at once in Genesis chapter 1? Is that somehow hidden in the original Hebrew? Would citing the Infancy Gospel of Thomas as a source for an essay be as valid as say the Gospels of Mark or John?  What is the best history of the King James Version of the Bible? Do you know how pages of Codex Sinaiticus came to be waste paper bin liners at the monastery at which they were discovered? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-018

May 28, 2018 1:22:46


A Christian was saying that Justin Martyr was listing parallels between the Jesus story and earlier pagan stories to somehow woo pagans to the Christian faith. I said no, Justin was responding to common objections raised by Trypho and others about comparisons they were making against Jesus by comparing him to similar themes found in pagan god stories. Which is true? Where does the Augustine/Calvin view that humans are the enemy of God due to their sin nature come from? What did Mark mean by â??faithâ?? when talking about the woman who touched Jesus robe and stole his power?  What is the path to salvation per Mark?  How great an influence did Egypt have on Israelite religion? Where the hell did the prosperity gospel come from? Does it have historical roots or is it a relatively new, uniquely American invention? How have protestant Christians historically addressed the irony of teaching "faith without works" while simultaneously requiring a work (i.e. a profession of faith or a sincere belief in Christ) to achieve atonement and forgiveness of sin? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-017

May 26, 2018 1:04:03


Which of three explanations for the Messianic Secret do you prefer? Dr. Price in your experience, was Robert W. Funk's work with the Jesus Seminar in any way related to his tendency (on display in his A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek) to strike out on his own and redo the scholarship in a way that was new ? Could Isaac be an alternate name for Ishmael?  Perhaps an attempt to merge stories from different traditions? I'm curious as to your view on the Secret Gospel of Mark. Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-016

May 9, 2018 53:56


What do you think of Roger Parvusâ??s theories on the identification of â??Ignatiusâ?? with Proteus Peregrinus and the possibility that Theophilus of Antioch had been a follower of Apelles? What support does the New Testament provide for the importance of the nuclear family in raising children?  Whatâ??s your view on who all the gospel â??Marysâ?? are and why Jesusâ?? mother pops in and out of the stories? Isnâ??t the church discipline procedure in Matt. 18 pretty bad and unworkable advice: forcing someone to apologize by doing a gang-up if they don't "hear you," etc.? I wonder if you have any thoughts on Walter Kaufmann and his translation work on Nietzsche. Ezekiel makes mention of Daniel. I was under the impression that the book of Daniel was a rather late product, perhaps dating to the Hasmoneans. What does this say about the dating of Ezekiel? Or might it be that Daniel was a figure of Hebrew folklore before there was a â??book of Danielâ??? I believe that, if we view the Bible as manâ??s search for God rather than a direct revelation from God, a lot of the contradictions and mysteries disappear. If you know of any books that explore this theory please let me know. Is the notion that two distinct gods, Yahweh & El Elyon, were merged into â??Godâ?? a fringe theory or is it widely accepted?

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-015

May 8, 2018 38:12


Examples of the growth of urban legends as â??oral tradition.â?? Paul both engages in â??boastingâ?? and warns against it. A contradiction? Do you think the city of Nazareth existed before the time of Jesus, and why?  Why is it easier to trace a family tree of â??hereticsâ?? and Gnostics than to reconstruct a succession of orthodox teachers and thinker? What do we know about the origins of the tradition that Polycarp was a student of the Apostle John? Is John the Baptist said in chapter 54 of Book 1 of the Clementine Recognitions to have been claimed "the Christ" by his followers and accused by others as the founder of heresies and schisms within the spectrum of diverse early Christianity? If so, doesn't this really sound much like to how early Church Fathers described Simon Magus as the founder of Gnosticism and subsequent heresies, or similarly Paul the apostle of the Marcionites and Gnostics?

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-014

May 4, 2018 51:13


Why we cook meat: revisited. What does the Bible tell us about singing vs. instrumental music? What do we know from other sources about first-century worship?   Any thoughts about the proof-text method of arguing and teaching, and its place in church history?   Is it wrong to believe that even with Roman roads, communication between churches would have been slow and spotty and thus uniformity of practice and creeds would be doubtful? Will the Catholic church ever stop protecting the institution and actually take action to end the child-abuse and remove the abusers?   Would you mind reviewing the evolution of the god-concept?  How did he go from a genocidal humanoid to a loving, vaporous bystander? Are there any of god's actions that may be considered unequivocally good -- that is, not made possible by, or intended to fix, a problem that he himself created; and not for any secondary gain, such as increasing the number of his followers, the status of his followers, or his own personal standing among other gods or people? Whether Jesus said he would â??lift upâ?? or â??cut offâ?? vine branches that produced no fruit: revisited. Does the minority view of Jesus as the final sacrifice that now permits Gentiles to become genuine members of the family of God have a historical, albeit much different, mundane basis, that grew into something bigger, requiring a God-Man to save all humanity in order to compete with the ubiquitous similar stories in the surrounding regions?

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-013

Apr 28, 2018 47:13


Mustnâ??t God be condemned for crimes against humanity, e.g., the murder of the Egyptian firstborn in Exodus? In the Garden of Eden did animals have the ability to achieve immortality if they had access to the Tree of Life? Why were they punished with death due to the misdeeds of Adam and Eve? In the flood stories, why did Yahweh cause so much death and suffering among animals? Since animals are incapable of sin, why were they punished along with humans? Is the Wellhausen thesis still used today? Did the gospel writers know of the epistles? What did Simon Magus claim for himself?

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-012

Apr 19, 2018 55:34


About Jesus' supposed 'harrowing of Hell' - the time between his death and resurrection when he supposedly traveled to Hades/Hell and freed the poor captive spirits there: why were there any spirits in Hades/Hell anyways?  Christian dogma says souls go to Hades/Hell only after the Day of Judgement which won't occur for more than a thousand years after Jesus returns to Earth so there shouldn't have been any souls to harrow.  In fact, as Satan and his demons supposedly have full range over Earth, why would any of them be in Hades/Hell either. Any idea how such a heretical idea became dogma? In the Ignatian Epistle to the Ephesians describing the apparition of the bright star that heralds the newly revealed secrets of Jesusâ?? birth and death, his resurrection isnâ??t mentioned. Could it be, then, that the bright star was Jesusâ?? resurrection appearance, according to an archaic tradition dating from before the Gospel resurrection narratives had taken hold? Did they imagine Jesus as a star ascending visibly in triumph for all the world to see, holding court with the angels (the sun, moon and stars) and taking his rightful place at the top of the heavens? What does the Ignatian Epistle to Smyrna Chapter 18 mean? â??He was born and was baptized that by His passion He might cleanse water?â?? Cleanse water? In your debate, what did Bart Ehrman mean with all the â??outer spaceâ?? talk in reference to the crucifixion?   Is there anything dishonest about participating in a religious group for the experience and the fellowshipâ??if you are an atheist? If Stephenâ??s martyrdom in Acts is fiction, why make a noby for the job? Why not an apostle? Why is it that Jesus an immortal being is tortured, killed and 3 days later resurrected is considered a sacrifice at all? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-011

Mar 31, 2018 1:19:40


Hereâ??s how Catholics harmonize the liturgical date of Christ's conception with the date of His birth. What should I be looking for in Deuteronomy to show that it was written last and used the first four books of the Pentateuch? Could the Ark of the Covenant could have been a drum? How did the Queen of Sheba get to be a judge of "this generation" in Matthew 12:42? Is it true that some (many? most?) relevant scholars have abandoned the categorization â??Gnosticismâ?? just because of the differences between the specifics sects? Is it feasible to think that at least some early Christians believed that Christianity is older than modern Christians believe it to be?  Why did Absalom publicly have sex with his dadâ??s harem girls? What is your opinion re the Reformation and Martin Luther? I was readying Genesis 1 and 2, and I was wondering which of these stories emerged first in history.  I am interested in knowing when the Samaritan Pentateuch was written. Are apologists correct in arguing that Daniel could not have been written 165 BC because the Aramaic it uses is too early a form of the language? What sort of social ramifications have arisen for Mythicists, short of legal trouble? Was Carl Jung a Christ Mythicist? How important to your own work are Arthur Drews and/or Albert Kalthoff? Your opinion of Bruno Bauer? Your thoughts about the book Zealot by Reza Aslan? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-010

Mar 21, 2018 59:01


The fact that the character of Aaron exists in the Bible is fairly confusing to me. If Moses had a speech impediment why not just heal him instead of roping one more guy into the whole plot? How do Christians handle the holy pregnancy? The celebratory date of the conception is in early December and the birth in the end of the same month. Was it a super quick or really long pregnancy?   What does the word "begotten" as in "only begotten son" mean? Why do you think the doctrine of the Trinity is such a cornerstone doctrine even among Protestants and Evangelicals? It seems like it should have been a doctrine they might have wanted to jettison after breaking with the Catholic Church. Do you think the crucifixion story might have been invented as a away to console early Christians over the persecutions and martyrdoms they experienced? Watching a commentary on the Jack Chick tract "Earthman," I noticed that Chick specifically used the term "little animals" to describe God giving Adam and Eve skins to wear. Could he have been thinking of foreskins? Can you talk about the history of literal interpretation of scripture in Christianity and Judaism? Have there always been strains of it, or is it more--as I initially suspected--more of a Protestant development? What does Paul mean by â??braggingâ?? or â??boastingâ?? which he sometimes condemns, other times approves? Did the Book of Tobiut influence the NT? And might the gospels be other examples of overt edifying fictions? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-009

Mar 18, 2018 1:05:40


In your latest Bible Geek podcast, you wondered if there were cobras in the ancient Near East. Sure there were! How does Marcion factor into the Q hypothesis?   In Job 42 God rewards Job with 7 sons and 3 daughters. In verse 14 the daughters are named and in verse 15 it says "nowhere in the land were there found women as beautiful as Job's daughters and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers." Why do you suppose the author of Job showed such deference to the daughters, as it seems counter to my understanding of ancient Hebrew tradition? You've laughed at the passage that apparently gives parents the right to have their children stoned to death if they act up. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). Is it possible that the passage actually restricts the freedom of ancient parents to treat their kids with arbitrary cruelty? In the cleansing of the Temple where Jesus chased out the money changers, what would be the punishment for such an action? Wouldnâ??t it be great for a movie to depict Jesus overturning the Temple tables single-handedly by telekinesis? There are several â??blank checkâ?? promises in the NT that any prayer will be granted. If anyone can so readily debunk the truth of these sayings, why were they included at all? Doesn't it seem counter intuitive for the church to have put itself on the line like that?  [A reading of Priceâ??s essay â??The Retreat from Radical Prayer.â??] Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-008

Mar 13, 2018 1:07:11


Could you speak more to the differences between monolatry and henotheism? Could you explain the clues scholars use to date ancient texts but with modern examples? The Gospel of Philip says, "When we were Hebrews we were orphans, with only a mother, but when we became Christians we had a father and a mother."  It doesn't make much sense that a Valentinian Gnostic would regard the god of the Hebrews as female, but there it is. Or is he referring to Sophia? I want to know what your thoughts in general on Jung's work and his idea of the "spiritual problem" which the best I can make right now is that without religion there is nothing to hold back humankind's most evil and murderous tendencies. I don't see how it accounts for the evil caused by religion.  An angel, from what I understand, is a messenger.  For God to make two people with no intention of making any more, and walking and talking with them in his garden, he wouldn't need messengers.  Milton, though, has the whole Rebellion of the Angels happen before the creation of the physical world.  That's like building the Internet before computers. And why is the serpent of Eden never depicted as a cobra?. I know that Genesis 1 and 2 are two distinct creation narratives, but how did some of the contradictions slip past redactors? Do we know more about the suggested location of the Garden of Eden, or is there some kind of mythological significance to those markers named that have never been found? Is there something in the text that signals a shift from prose to poetry? Genesis 5:1 calls itself "The Book of the Generations of Adam." Do you think this means that this was a separate book (apart from Genesis) that just got compiled into a larger collection later called "Genesis"? Genesis 30:3 has Rachel saying that Jacob should sleep with her maid "that she may bear on my knees, that through her I too may have children." Does this mean what it sounds like? In Mark 5:19 Jesus tells the cured Demoniac to go back to his people and tell them about what the Lord has done. What about the Messianic Secret? And why do the locals beg Jesus to leave them? A fusion of two stories? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-007

Mar 3, 2018 1:13:01


2 Samuel 12:14 says God killed the newborn son of David & Bathsheba to punish Dave for engineering Uriahâ??s death. But Deuteronomy 14:16 declares that no one will be killed for his parentsâ?? sins! How do apologists explain this contradiction? What is the origin of Mandaeaism? What do they believe? Do they have scriptures? Did the lack of spaces between words cause much potential for confusion? How reasonable would it be to imagine Jesus, as depicted in the Gospels, as a Greek speaker? Re the wilder fringes of fundamentalism that can still be seen today: where did this stuff come from?  1 Thess., at 1:1, purports to be written by Paul, Silvanus and Timothy. Throughout the letter "we" and "us" are used as the first person. However, at 2:17-3:6 the letter starts referring to "I, Paul" and to speak of Timothy in the third person. I understand that 2:14-2:16 is thought to be an interpolation because of an apparent anachronistic reference to the destruction of the temple as punishment of the Jews for killing Jesus. Is it also thought that this longer section wherein "I, Paul" and "Timothy" are spoken of is part of the interpolation also? Ephesians 4:11 lists "apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.â?? Since apostles, by definition, were gospel preachers, doesnâ??t the (otherwise redundant) addition of â??evangelistsâ?? imply authors of written gospels? How can a believer, once he recognizes the artificiality of the symbolic names of biblical characters, not realize that such people are most likely made-up characters in a work of fiction? What does scripture actually say about homosexuality? What do you think the Catholic Church, the Protestant churches, and other faiths like Judaism, Buddhism and Islam will be like 2000 years from now? Is there any predictability about the way that religions develop over time?

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-006

Mar 1, 2018 1:00:47


Does the NT ever call Jesus â??Godâ??? If not, why are supposed â??Biblicistsâ?? so adamant that you must believe he is? Is Acts 14, 12, where Barnabas is called Zeus and Paul is called Hermes, based on a well known story among the gentiles? Why didn't Jahve just cure Moses of his speech impediment? Isnâ??t Aaron a useless addition since it is not he who leads the people into the promise land but Joshua? What if there was no â??Qâ?? Document, but the Marcionite Gospel contained the so-called Q material? And that Matthew expanded Mark with this material which he took from the Marcionite Gospel? Then Luke used Mark and Marcion? How much of a role did the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE play in the development of the atonement theory of Jesus' death? Is there any evidence that any Christian prior to 70 CE believed that Jesus' death was an atoning sacrifice? For that matter, were there Christians at all prior to 70 CE?

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-005

Feb 25, 2018 39:50


Producer's Note: This episode cuts off abruptly at around the 39 minute mark due to some technical difficulties, my apologies. Is Bart Ehrman minimizing the piety of pagans as well as the extent of Christian persecution of them? Does the NT ever call Jesus â??Godâ??? If not, why are supposed â??Biblicistsâ?? so adamant that you must believe he is? Is Acts 14, 12, where Barnabas is called Zeus and Paul is called Hermes, based on a well known story among the gentiles? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-004

Feb 9, 2018 49:47


A very special episode of the Bible Geek as Dr. Price interviews author and new testament scholar Dr. Bart Ehrman on his new book The Triumph of Christianity. Dr Ehrman is currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and you can find more of his work at his wonderful blog:

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-003

Jan 31, 2018 1:11:47


How do we verify any early church claims since the gospels and the epistles along with "Church history" all point towards being propaganda? Why didn't Jesus stone Mary Magdalene?   I know Jesus calls out the stone throwers  (John 8:7), but wouldn't Jesus be without sin and therefore be able to throw the first stone?  Would it be a sin in His fatherâ??s eyes not to follow the laws of the OT?  I was wondering what did Judas betray in the first place?  Jesus was a local celebrity, his views were pretty much out there, known to anyone who wanted to be familiar with them. What kind of inside info did Judas have? Concerning the age of Jesus at the start of his mission: Why thirty? I think the Bible has its own internal logic so Jesus's age had to be thirty for some reason right? Mt 28:19 has an explicitly trinitarian formula for baptism, which contradicts the Jesus-name formula from Acts 2:38. Might the Matthean text be an interpolation? In whose name did John the Baptist baptize? Cannot one can believe in God, and see the Bible as moot? Some say that "He cuts off every branch that does not produce fruit" in John 15:2 could be translated as "He lifts-up every branch that does not produce fruit." Is that true? Are biblical scholars really so entrenched or fearful for their jobs that they really wonâ??t even consider the idea of Jesus as a myth?  What does that say about New Testament scholarship?  Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-002

Jan 23, 2018 1:27:56


How strongly did Platonism influence Paulâ??s understanding of the Fall? Which scholars propose a mid to late second century date for the Gospels and Pauline letters? Might Jesus have been a Samaritan or influence by them? Is it possible that Jesus and/or his followers knew about the 70 weeks prophecy in Daniel and took it as a Messianic prophecy and expected the Messiah around that time (see Luke 3:15)? What do you think of the â??family tomb of Jesus Christâ??? Of the frescoes of two fish on two ossuaries? Of the names that are engraved on the ossuaries? Could â??Holy spiritâ?? as "sacred breath" mean acetone breath produced by fasting? Neal deGrasse Tyson says that Scriptural Literalism was the only viable option for individuals before the scientific revolution.  However, others claim that the Biblical Literalsim that opposes science today really came into existence in the early 1900s. What sayeth the Geek? Please talk about the development of the publishing industry in the ancient world and its relation to religion. Could you comment on the gospel writerâ??s tendency to shuffle the narrative context and chronology around certain sayings? Are the Gospel authors relying on a sayings collection like Q and creating narrative structure as they go? Do we have any idea where the New Testament notion of Armageddon comes from? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 18-001

Jan 8, 2018 1:05:39


Evangelicals and fundamentalists interpret the veil of the temple being torn in half as a symbolic transition from God dwelling in the physical temple built by humans to God dwelling within believers' hearts in spirit. Special note was made in regard to the veil being torn from top to bottom, a feat that only God could accomplish, as a human would need to tear it from the bottom to the top. Is this the original meaning of this portion of the crucifixion narrative, or is this a later theological interpretation added on to the passage? What exactly led to and/or caused Jewish Christians to begin proselytizing (preaching the gospel to) Gentiles? How much of a role might the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in AD 70 have played in this development? Youâ??ve discussed how the idea of penance evolved when it was realized that Jesus ain't coming back anytime soon. Prior to this, per the book of Hebrews and then the Shepherd of Hermas, Christians were expected not to sin at all, because Jesus' arrival was just around the corner. How does 1 John 1:8-9 fit into this development? Theme music provided by: Peter Benjamin - composer for media

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-054

Dec 20, 2017 1:02:52


Do you agree that the experience of encountering the transcendent/sacred/numinous/ineffable, or of trying to induce that encounter, is the original or ultimate goal of the religious impulse? If something like this idea is true, do you think it is legitimate to talk about the "true" meaning of religious language in these terms, even if religious people (ancient or modern) would not necessarily recognise or even understand such an interpretation?  Do you think there is a value in retaining the religious language to approach these ideas, a value that cannot necessarily be had through using the language of science, philosophy, or art? How do you personally interpret the subject matter of the world's religions and mythologies, such that they don't simply appear as records of mankind's ignorance and superstition throughout the ages?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-053

Dec 17, 2017 1:22:33


How much of what we think of as Christmas is biblical and how much of it is some kind of syncretism? Someone claimed that the Talmud is a 4th faith/is not a Jewish text. What could this mean? Does Numbers 5:11â??31 describe an abortion?  Whence the notion of Peter as the bouncer at the Pearly Gates? Does Mark 4:11-12 contradict Mark 4:22? Does the Jerome Bible Commentary really say that Romans 9-11 is an interpolation? Why do scholars think 1st Clement (1:1) refers to persecutions under Domitian? And why does the author refer to the Corinthian church as "ancient?" (in 47:6) Wasn't the Corinthian church relatively recent when this was written? Is it possible that the generally accepted dating (AD 80 and AD 140) could be incorrect? Might Simon Magus might have been the actual historical Jesus? Do you see a link between Simon Magus/Paul and 'The Egyptian' mentioned in Josephus and confused with Paul in the Book of Acts?  Assuming that a Pauline mythic-Jesus worship was spread over Asia minor/Greece first, what is the most likely geographical origin for historical Jesus tale? Do you think the author of Colossians wants us to think that he is writing from Heaven, that he is not Paul the itinerant preacher, but, dead and walking with Christ on some other planet/heavenly place?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-052

Nov 28, 2017 1:08:02


Do we have any concrete sources or proof that Romans chapters 9-11 were not original? What is the point of Matthew 22:1-14, the Wedding Banquet? Isnâ??t â??Itâ??s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brownâ?? filled with biblical allusions to end-times and second coming prophecy and the Delay of the Parousia? In the Tower of Babel story God seems to lamenting the fact that humanity decided to work together and build something worth noticing! Yahweh's petty, Zeus-like nature is on full display, knocking down any attempt at advanced human civilization. What possibly could have been the intended moral of this story? When in Rev 12:4 the Dragon cast a third of the stars of the heavens down to Earth, isnâ??t this best understood as the Dragon defeating those stars / angels and casting them to Earth as defeated enemies? Might Jesusâ?? healing of the blind man with spit (Mark 8:22-26) have a more mystical meaning than generally acknowledged? Perhaps the â??men as trees, walkingâ?? might have been a spiritual vision of the blind man prior to his regaining physical eyesight? As for how long the Man and the Woman were in the Garden, you suggested that it might not have been very long. But maybe they did eat of the Tree of Life, which enabled them to live for hundreds of years afterward, outside the Garden. Maybe God had created other humans elsewhere, and that post Eden interbreeding with them eventually caused the immortality of Adam & Eveâ??s descendants to peter out?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-051

Nov 16, 2017 1:23:11


Doesn't it strike you as a bit strange that the person of the Trinity involved in the conception of the human Jesus is not the Father, but the Holy Spirit? Mark 1:14 says "After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God." Does the lack of any context or detail about John being put into prison mean that he assumed readers knew about John's fate without being told? And does the author intend to say that the reason Jesus began preaching was the event of John's imprisonment? What do you know of the Khabouris Manuscript, said to be a copy of the oldest known (2nd Century) Eastern Canon of the New Testament in the original native language of the Scriptures, Aramaic?  Why you think Mormons are Christian? Navigating a marriage between an atheist and a KJV-only fundamentalist. Is Acts 2:42-4 supposed to be a pattern typical of similar religious beginnings? Into what stage of the myth-making process does this fall? What is Satans role in the temptations in Matthew and Luke? Finding the Bible more interesting once one abandons belief in its divine inspiration. Is it dishonest to take Mormon missionaries time to discuss the Book of Mormon with no intention to convert, when that is their goal in spending the time with you? What do you think about the parallels between Lot and Noah? How does mythicism deal with Catholic claims that the Church and certain beliefs existed before the Bible was written?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-051

Nov 15, 2017 00:00:00


Doesn't it strike you as a bit strange that the person of the Trinity involved in the conception of the human Jesus is not the Father, but the Holy Spirit? Mark 1:14 says "After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God." Does the lack of any context or detail about John being put into prison mean that he assumed readers knew about John's fate without being told? And does the author intend to say that the reason Jesus began preaching was the event of John's imprisonment? What do you know of the Khabouris Manuscript, said to be a copy of the oldest known (2nd Century) Eastern Canon of the New Testament in the original native language of the Scriptures, Aramaic?  Why you think Mormons are Christian? Navigating a marriage between an atheist and a KJV-only fundamentalist. Is Acts 2:42-4 supposed to be a pattern typical of similar religious beginnings? Into what stage of the myth-making process does this fall? What is Satanâ??s role in the temptations in Matthew and Luke? Finding the Bible more interesting once one abandons belief in its divine inspiration. Is it dishonest to take Mormon missionariesâ?? time to discuss the Book of Mormon with no intention to convert, when thatâ??s their goal in spending the time with you? What do you think about the parallels between Lot and Noah?   How does mythicism deal with Catholic claims that the Church and certain beliefs existed before the Bible was written?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-050

Nov 8, 2017 1:25:58


You said that some of the early patristic writers believed that John the Baptist was a heretic and even the spiritual mentor of Simon Magus and Dositheus. Might this version imply the canonical gospels had not yet been written? Why do you think Matt changes Mark to make the fig tree wither away immediately rather than over the course of a day?  If Mark is a Paulinist Gospel how can the baptism be adoptionistic which seems to be a doctrine popular among Jewish Christians like the Ebionites?  I wondered if the baptism might not better be seen as the point where the man Jesus is possessed w/ the spirit (the Christ) which some Gnostics believed, what Bart Ehrman calls separationism.  What say ye? What does the Geek think is going on with Jacob and Laban's flock in Genesis 30? Why would the gospel writers in the second century have to embellish the Jerusalem siege and/or the Bar Kochba revolt and not have Jesus describe in detail what will happen just like how Josephus described it since the evidence is strong that the gospel writers have Josephus in front of them while writing the four gospels. Also, why would the writer of Luke dismiss the death of James? Is there any real proof for Burton Mackâ??s hypotheses re Q?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-049

Oct 30, 2017 56:34


My question comes from the book of Numbers, chapter 5:11-31. The Test for Adultery. What is going on here? Also, what is this â??spirit of jealousyâ?? that comes upon the man? Why does Catholicism making itself over into Protestantism? Doesnâ??t 2 Samuel 7:5-6 imply that there was a Yahweh temple before the Exodus? How might we account for traditions of Jesus that clearly do not fit with the Christian agenda, i.e., those that would not have been made up by Christian storytellers, and are so quite likely historically accurate accounts?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-048

Oct 26, 2017 1:14:11


Does the first sentence of the Naassene Fragment refer to the creation story in Genesis? You've mentioned that Matthew tends to double the characters and events of Mark. Could this same thing be going on in Matthew's genealogy, where it says there were fourteen generations between Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen from the exile to Christ, double the lucky number seven so often mentioned in earlier books? Can you elaborate as to why you think biblical studies as we see it today is or is not functioning correctly and should really be taken up outside of seminaries? Robert Eisenman identifies Paul as a Herodian. He also suggests Simon Magus and Paul may be indistinguishable . How does your theory work with Eisenmans?   Would Markâ??s readers have recognized the illegalities of the Sanhedrin trial?? Why does the high priest tear his clothing when he is expressly forbidden from doing so in Leviticus 21? When the slave of the high priest loses an ear, does this disqualify him from temple service? Why was it necessary to have Judas as a betrayer of Jesus for a bounty? Do you think Mark 16:8, " they will pick up snakes with their hands", is a reflection of Paul being bit by a viper in Acts? In Matthew 27: 52-53, he doesn't tell us is what happened next.  He just leaves it to the reader to draw his own conclusion.  Why? Why was it necessary to have Christ ascend to Heaven in the crucifixion story? Why not stick around (more than 40 days)? Wouldn't it be easier to convert Jews to Christianity with Jesus as Exhibit 1? As Paul only knew the "gospel" from "scripture and revelation" wouldn't it follow then that the Jesus revealed to him was the magisterial Christ, and that he being so would not bother to  relate to him (Paul) matters of his earthly existence? If you could clarify what exactly Paul meant by the gospel? If only Q had survived and the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John had not survived how much would we know about the context, events and locations of the life of Jesus?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-047

Oct 16, 2017 1:13:31


Besides Jesus historicism and Mythicism, is there a "third way", whereby the Jesus of the gospels is a composite of stories originally told of several historic figures?  Several ancient sources remember Jesus as a teller of parables. Doesnâ??t this imply there was such a teacher? I would like your thoughts on creatio ex nihilo and the opening verses of Genesis. Is there any New Testament passage that references the Masoretic texts instead of the Septuagint? Why does history seem to belie Deuteronomyâ??s promises for Godâ??s protection and forgiveness for the Jewish nation? Burton Mack tells us ancient students commonly had to try to write what a well known philosopher might say on this or that topic. Does this contradict Bart Ehrmanâ??s claim that the ancients frowned on pseudepigraphy? Does Mark 4:11-12 contradict Mark 4:21-23? Does an early date for the Didache depend on an early date for the canonical New Testament? How much of the New Testament does it predate--if any?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-046

Oct 5, 2017 1:04:54


The Korean terms for God and Jesus. Why are Korean Christians so inclined to Western Protestant theology, specifically Calvinism? â??How were animal sacrifices and shamans excised from the Judeo-Christain tradition? Why was Western Christianity more successful than Eastern in suppressing polygyny?  Please recommend some sources on â??deconversion,â?? the process of â??converting" out of a religion and into non-belief.  Can you suggest resources on the evolution of Sophia into Christ? Suggestions on textual criticism. I would be greatly interested in knowing what your reasons may be for thinking all of the gospels were likely written in the 2nd rather than the 1st century. Suppose Gideon had a large army but divided them into groups of 300 which engaged and defeated the Midianites in various places, so that the credit for defeating â??the Midianitesâ?? (as a whole) was given to this or that 300 depending on where the tale was told? Reasons for thinking the Vedic Soma drink was not the juice of the Amanita Muscaria mushroom.

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-045

Oct 4, 2017 48:19


When Jesus was tempted by Satan on the mountain top, why didn't he simply say "all creation is mine already, I made it, so it's not yours to give me"? Isnâ??t this Manichean? What do you know of the accusation that Count Tischendorff maybe forged part of the Codex Sinaiticus? Does the Samaritan Pentateuch have a different version of Deuteronomy? Why your pronunciation of â??Yahwehâ?? is mistaken. What do the terms â??spirit, soul, body;â?? â??mind, body, spirit;â?? â??soul, body, mindâ?? denote in the Bible? Was Lukeâ??s Theophilus Theophilus of Antioch in the 2nd century? Was the holy oil used by the priests in both the First and Second Temples a hallucinogen? Julian Jaynes suggests that people in the Bronze Age hallucinated stones speaking to them, and thought that the stones were actual gods. Does this bear on various stone stories and texts in the Bible? I've heard it said by "preservationists" (King James only preservationists at least) that Psalms 12:6-7 is the proof that God has providentially preserved the words of the Bible through the ages. But isnâ??t this a gross misinterpretation?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-044

Sep 29, 2017 1:07:38


Donâ??t ongoing theological developments inadvertently produce contradictions with earlier forms of the beliefs? What exactly was the place of Hercules in Ancient Greek popular devotion? And does it figure at all into positing an originally mythic Christ? Why does Christian iconography customarily depict Jesus as long-haired, if Paul considers long hair for a man dishonorable (1 Corinthians 11:14)? I would like to hear your comment about a recent argument touting supposed evidence of Joshuaâ??s destruction of Hazor. Does the Duhem Quine thesis salvage theodicy against the falsification argument? Why do the Abrahamic religions have such strong taboos about sex?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-043

Sep 19, 2017 47:03


The genealogy in the Bible goes from Adam to Jesus in some 6000+ years. Does this force Christians into a young earth stance? Could you comment on what is meant by â??wineâ?? in the Bible? What do you make of the theory that Paul was Jesusâ?? choice to repace Judas and that the eleven jumped the gun when they picked Matthaias? What did Albert Schweitzer mean by calling baptism an â??eschatological sacrament"? Why is it that baptism is and always seems to have been included in Christianity? John baptized. Essenes baptized. But did Jesus ever baptize? Did he ever instruct others to baptize? Or was this just part of bringing the Baptistâ??s flock into the fold? Can you talk a little bit about the different things that baptism (and the Eucharist, for that matter) mean to different sects of Christians?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-042

Sep 13, 2017 1:15:30


Why do even critical scholars resist the conclusion that the gospel stories are plainly rewrites of OT stories, not traditions of what Jesus said and did?.   Is there anyway to harmonize the god of the Old Testament and the story line of the Old Testament with Jesus and the New Testament ? Can we honestly call creation "good" or "perfect" if there is a dog gone crafty serpent in there? Given that the gospels are legendary anyway, could the idea of Peter as an ignorant fisherman be complete fiction, and perhaps the original Cephas/Peter was in fact highly educated and thus could have written 1 Peter? Please explain the â??filioqueâ?? controvery. Matthew 19:12 has Jesus endorse celibacy. In 1 Cor. Paul says something similar but without quoting Jesus. Doesnâ??t this support Mythicism? Hamon, in the Septuagint, is called a 'Macedonian' instead of a Persian. Could the translator have been trying to avert blame from the Persians?   What is the intent in Acts 15 when the Gentiles are urged to avoid â??bloodâ??? Revelation 6:6 has the Black Horseman commanded not to harm or destroy the oil. Might this refer to adulterating it? How does Paul fits into the orthodox account of the origins of Christianity? Why would Jesus not teach everything to his followers while on earth? And why not impart any new teaching to his original circle rather than some outsider?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-041

Aug 30, 2017 37:35


The best evidence for God's existence is that there IS NO evidence for God's existence. That is to say, if he were to be measured he would no longer be transcendent, infinite, etc. A good, if ironic argument for Godâ??s existence in the face of no evidence? Might the two feeding, one with 7 baskets of leftovers, the other with 12, symbolize the Gentile and Jewish churches respectively? What would it have been like for ancient Jews in Palestine to see a total solar eclipse? If Paul did in fact know the apostles and James the brother of Jesus would that be considered reliable evidence that Gospel accounts are more or less accurate? Why do critics recognize the post-apostolic standpoint of Lukeâ??s prologue but not of 1 Cor. 11:2?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-040

Aug 25, 2017 28:15


Can you recommend some good books on the historical John the Baptist or on early understandings of or religions based on him? Is there an approach you'd recommend for someone trying to get a more robust self-education on the origins of Christianity? When Jesus tells Peter, â??Get behind me, Adversary!â?? might he have been asking Satan to â??back him up,â?? reinforcing his resolve in the face of his coming Passion? In Mark 15:7 Barabbas is described as having committed murder during "the insurrection." Is there any historical evidence, Josephus perhaps, that can describe this insurrection? Please comment on the work of Stephan Huller and that of Roger Pearse on Mithraism in the Roman world. One listenerâ??s childhood vision of God fighting Godzilla!

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-039

Aug 21, 2017 1:13:19


How did the idea of demons and demon possession come into Judaism and Christianity? In Mark 14:47 the disciples try to resist Jesusâ?? arrest. Why do the Synoptic Gospels move from "one who stood by", to â??a companion" to â??a follower" and John seems to feel it necessary to name the one eared man? Just because the fragment P52 has text that matches what we currently identify as John 18, how can we presume that the missing pieces, if they were to magically appear, would in fact be a complete copy of the Gospel of John? If God existed, wouldnâ??t the Hubble Telescope have spotted him by now?   Who introduced the â??nomina sacraâ?? into NT manuscripts, and how can we be sure what names are intended in these abbreviations? What do you think of the most common arguments offered for the existence of God? Might the stars that fall to earth in Mark 13 refer to fallen angels? Might the episode of the young man in Mark 14 be a vestige of a version in which Jesus escaped his captors?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-038

Aug 17, 2017 59:00


Opening the Transfiguration episode, Mark and Matthew state that "6 days had passed" before this event while Luke states "8 days" had passed. Why the difference in the days? What, if any, is the textual evidence that some Gnostics believed Judas Iscariot was specifically commissioned by Jesus to "betray" Jesus, in order to liberate the Christ aeon from his body? What do you think of the parallels between Jesus Christ and John Conner from the terminator series?  What are the main arguments/pieces of evidence that, in your view, prevent historicity from being completely thrown off the table? Can you give me some historical insight into what Blaise Pascal thought of the Wager?  If you were a psychologist how could you actually prove a patient who thought he was God that he was mistaken? Does Matthew 5:17-20 leave room for the â??least in the Kingdomâ?? are still saved? Would Acts 10-11 contradict Matthew 28 if â??make disciples of all the nationsâ??refers to the nations of Israel, rather than to the gentiles? Does the NT oppose secret knowledge and esoteric interpretation or not? In short, is new testament ecumenicalism fatal to historicity? Re whether Judas's betrayal is really necessary to Gospel narrative. In days before photography, would it have been that easy to recognize a famous person on street like that? If the Persiansâ?? Jewish protégés were Zoroastrianized, how did the Sadducees get in charge of Judea? I'm hoping you can clarify something about your stance on abortion. What do you think about instances of ectopic pregnancy, rape, incest, and victims of human trafficking? Are there circumstances which you'd say it's a moral imperative to allow an abortion?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-037

Aug 16, 2017 1:15:56


How long did Adam & Eve live in Eden before being kicked out? Why do you think the â??personal relationship with Jesusâ?? was an invention of the German Pietists? Did the â??Tzadikâ?? concept in Judaism imly the possibility that a very holy man might qualify for adoption as Messiah? Also, would you comment generally on the meaning and use of the word â??zedekâ?? in the Old Testament?   During the Transfiguration, why does Almighty God appear with only a single line to say? Fill us in on the Rastafarians? Is it reasonable to think that "Christianity according to Matthew" is an attempt to advocate the Galilean, rather than Judean, approach to the law? In this framework, Jesus's mission would be neither to abolish the (Judaic) law nor to fulfill it, but rather, to pare it down to its "true" (Galilean, Pentateuch-only) size, so that it could be further condensed into the gospel of Matthew, which would then form the basis of the new law for some group of Hellenized Galileans or Galilean-leaning Jews. Why are some people disturbed more by questions than by answers with which they disagree? "Bartimaeusâ?? actually means â??son of Timaeus,â?? so why does Mark tell me his name is Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, and then tell me he is the son of Timaeus? Also, why is the character named at all when no other miracle recipients are? What is the origin of the apocryphal story about Eden's Tree of Life being cut down and the wood used to make the Staff of Moses, then the Cross?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-036

Aug 11, 2017 2:01:46


Is it possible that Zechariah 6:9-15 implies a proto-Christian religion existed around the time Zechariah was written?�  If even believing Christian scholars accept that two out of the four gospels are based on earlier gospels, how could they claim to the pulpit or their congregation that the NT is an accurate representation of Jesus's life? Since the 2 Source theory is the most accepted theory from both conservative and liberal scholars, are there any other scholars who came up with different alternate theories on how the four canonical gospels are written? Discussing Colossians 1:24, you paraphrased David Scholer thusly: "When there are loads of different interpretations of a Bible verse, itâ??s probably because the meaning is obviousâ??that is, so obvious, and offensive, that people will try to make it mean anything else." Can you can give us some other verses to illustrate the point further? In my book Unlocking the Puzzle, I proposed that the Christological difference between Paulâ??s Christ and the Messiah of the Jerusalem apostles was that Paulâ??s Christology claimed that Jesus was crucified as the suffering servant, while the Jerusalem apostles were awaiting Danielâ??s â??one like a son of manâ?? directly from God, no crucifixion necessary. Dr. Eisenman says that Islam adopted the Jamesian theology of salvation by works as opposed to Paulâ??s justification by faith. � My theory might fit in with Dr. Eisenmanâ??s when you remember that in Islamic theology Jesus was not crucified. Right? Might the temptation narrative have been originally the second half of the Baptism story as written by Adoptionists? The temptation of Jesus by Satan as a test to see if he is really the Son of God makes a lot more sense to me if it were intended to serve as proof that the adoption really â??workedâ??. 1 Corinthians� 6:19� says that the body is the "temple" of the Holy Spirit. Could this be an anachronistic interpolation done by a scribe after the fall of the Jerusalem temple in 70 AD.? In Matthew 2:3 the Magi have spoken to Herod about the newly born King of the Jews and Herod is "disturbed and all of Jerusalem with him." Why is "all of Jerusalem" added to this passage? Seems highly unlikely Jerusalem would know or care about the Magi and their message. If what you suggest regarding the imposition of "resettled" Zoroastrian "Jews" to Israel is true, wouldn't the priests of the temple cult--the Sadducees--be the Zoroastrians, while the popular laypeople--the Pharisees--be the traditional Jews? Do you agree or disagree with Bart Ehrman in locating Gnosticism as a post-Christian development rather than a prior influence upon Christianity? Am I right to interpret the gospels as saying that the power behind the things we expect from faith is the faith itself? Does the warning to keep the Transfiguration secret occur in all 3 Synoptics? Is it a device to introduce a new story concocted long aftedrward? After the Romans destroyed the Jewish temple which made the practice of everything Jewish near impossible, Jews needed a way to continue practicing their faith/culture. Was Christianity invented as a substitute? Mythicists hold that in 1 Corinthians 2:8, when Paul refers to Jesus being crucified by "the rulers of this age," these are heavenly beings in the outer/upper realms of "this world," but others defend the traditional translation implying earthly rulers. Why are the latter wrong? Can you either explain or point me to further reading on the German pietists who introduced the idea of a personal relationship with Jesus? I understand that the Gospel of Mark is also a Paulinist gospel, so is there any sign of the messianic secret concept in the Pauline epistles?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-035

Aug 10, 2017 1:33:48


Can you recommend an order in which to read your books? Why is the Bible THE fundamental text of Western Civilization and culture, its themes, stories, and values permeating our moral codes, our artistic expressions, and indeed our shared consciousness? The story of the modern creation of â??Saint Odysseus.â?? How credible do you find the notion that Marcion's gospel might have been a version of the Gospel of Mark? Isnâ??t the negative treatment of Peter in Mark inconsistent with the tradition that Mark got his Could you recommend a work/s dealing with the theme of 'conflict resolution' passages in the New Testament: refutations of so-called heretical ideas by having someone, typically Jesus, say something that refutes a given idea? What does it mean to say that something is 'taught in the Bible'? Is something that is extrapolated from the text, for instance trinitarianism, to be seen as 'bible sanctioned' given it does not appear explicitly in the text? Is there any link between the Nazarenes of the New Testament and the Nazirite tradition of the Old Testament? What events in the history of Christianity (or religious history in general) could have easily turned out differently, with big implications? Mark often seems to borrow OT texts, only to split them and reverse the halves. Furthermore, these passages are always associated with his â??sandwichesâ?? (the intercalation of two Jesus stories originally separate). Is Mark calling attention to his having derived the Jesus versions via Spirit-inspired esoteric reading of scripture disclosing, originally, events undergone by Jesus as he descended through the celestial spheres to earth? How long did Adam and Eve live in the Garden? Why are so many Biblical characters renamed?  Was this the result of the ancient writers trying to fuse two characters together? And is Saul becoming Paul really a renaming, or is Paul just a Hellenization of Saul? If evangelicals are so keen on "eyewitness testimony," shouldnâ??t they accept Mormonism, since the Book of Mormon begins with "The Testimony of the Three Witnesses" and "The Testimony of the Eight Witnesses" who supposedly saw the golden plates from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon? Why would Mark make sure to include both â??feeding the multitudeâ?? stories seeing they are so much alike? Was there really such a huge fan base of the Feeding of the Four Thousand which would have compelled "Mark to include it?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-034

Aug 9, 2017 1:09:55


Why do the descendants of the founders of sectarian groups rarely remain members after a few generations?  Revelation 12 seems to place the Fall of Satan in the End Times, but otherwise it is understood to have occurred at the dawn of timeâ??why? Luke 15:23 has the son return and the father say: Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat, and celebrate.The word for â??killâ?? is widely used to refer to a sacrificial offering. Might it mean that here? What do you think of typology and the actual act of crucifixion in the New Testament? Does the likely cultivation of wealthy donors at the start of a new religion imply that, e.g., Mark, composed for a literate audience, would have been written right at the start? Donâ??t Genesis 1-3 and the Enuma Elish share a theological hierarchy of divine forces of nature, personal deities, and kings as their deputies on earth? Should the last part of Judges, where society is in chaos, really be at the beginning, with the system of judges turning early chaos into later order? Given the similarities between the story of Saul and the ghost of Samuel (1 Samuel 28) and Odysseus and the ghost of Teiresias (The Odyssey Book XI), might there have been any connection between the two?  Also, just how common a belief was it that the dead could be summoned to predict the future?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-033

Aug 7, 2017 51:34


Do you think the Shroud of Turin is authentic burial cloth of Jesus Christ? What problems are there with the following scenario? Matthew combines Mark with a Q-like source. Luke uses Matthew and Mark. I was wondering, based on reading the first five books of the Bible, if Jahve was a mountain or thunder God? What, if any, historical evidence do we have of the Council of Jerusalem presumably held circa 48 CE? I'd like to get a handle on whether any of the NT is based on translations of Hebrew or Aramaic passages or even lines. Can you suggest any readings (or podcasts or videos) that will clarify this issue for me? Why does Solomon pardon his brother Adonijah for attempting to capture the throne, but then orders him killed when, via Solomonâ??s mother Bathsheba, he asks for King Davidâ??s recent virgin bed-warmer Abishag? What is your opinion on the Church politics between the Anglican Church in North America and the Episcopal Church? Do you see one's stance as more grounded in scripture? 1 Corinthians 6:19 says that the body is the "temple" of the Holy Spirit. Could this be an anachronistic interpolation done by a scribe after the fall of the Jerusalem temple in 70 AD? I wonder if you could summarize your understanding of the different agendas of the Synoptics.

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-032

Aug 7, 2017 1:16:07


Are there any plausible arguments that Paul actually wrote one or more of the four Gospels? Does the NT avoid using the Hebrew name for God, using the more generic â??Godâ?? in order to cater to all god systems from all nations? Might â??Jesusâ?? have been merely a name chosen to cover all the various OT and pagan characters whose stories were borrowed and combined in the gospels? If Judas was already dead, why does 1 Corinthians 15 say Jesus appeared to â??the twelveâ??? Might â??Cephasâ?? the apostle of Jesus have been Caiaphas the high priest? Why is there an almost unanimous agreement on the early dating of the Iliad, but so much debate over that of the Bible, given they have similar spurious evidence for said early date? Could they have influenced each other at all? Might the story of King Arthur have been a Christianizing rewrite of the David story? Could Assyrian henotheistic precedence of Ashshur, and the parlance surrounding worship of him, have influenced ancient Israelite religion? Might the â??angel of the Lordâ?? be a mask for various polytheistic Israelite or other deities? I have a question about the names of the members of the Godhead in different languages. Do you believe Jesus was ever buried in a tomb? What's your opinion of Dennis R. MacDonald's Two Shipwrecked Gospels: The Logoi of Jesus and Papias' Exposition of Logia About the Lord? Has anyone put together a version of the OT as it might have been without the Deuteronomic Reform? Might the womenâ??s silence on the message of the angel at the tomb imply that no one else would have known where it was? Does the Didache actually condemn abortion? Does any other early Christian text? Some say that reading Paul as believing in only a celestial Jesus requires â??mental gymnastics.â?? Does it? The fact that Jesus was from Nazareth, while the Old Testament says the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, shows that a real Jesus was from Nazareth and everybody knew it. Does it? Because "crucifixion was especially offensive to the Jewish people,â?? no one would have told such a story as Jesusâ?? crucifixion if they werenâ??t stuck with it as a fact, right? Do you have such a wealth of knowledge of all things Biblical that you pull every fact out of your memory?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-031

Aug 6, 2017 1:40:51


Could you talk a bit about 1. Logical problems with Christian theology 2. The morality of Christian theology 3. How diverse Christian theology is with its liberal churches (universalism) to its exclusive churches(fundamental) and are they reconcilable? What do you think of Rob Bellâ??s idea when bad things happen, people try to control the balance, by making sacrifices to the gods. The codification of these sacrifices in Leviticus stops the bigger-and-bigger effect, and finally Jesus is there to provide a way for humans to stop their self destruction in an attempt to appease God. He goes on to argue that the only acceptable sacrifice is to give up one's time and money to help others. Do you know why the question of who the Historical Jesus really was always mirrors the person asking the question? Does 1 John 4 refer to the OT prophets when it says, "many false prophets have gone out into the world", and "Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God"? In Acts 13:2-3, Paul (Saul) and Barnabas are designated by the Spirit to go on a missionary journey. It says nothing about John Mark, who we later hear did accompany them, after which Paul refused to work with him again. Does this imply the Spirit did not choose Mark? And does John Mark stand for Marcion? Doe the passage imply an attempt to distance Marcion from his favorite apostle, Paul? Acts 12:20-23 reports that Herod was struck down by the angel of God and eaten by worms and died. Is there any reliable record about how this Herod died? Does Luke 7:28 ("I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.") imply John has no free will and has to follow a narrowly scripted fate given to him by God, and that, not having acted by free choice, John would be last in the Kingdom of God? â??Holy Mackerel:â?? was it derived from Holy Immaculate? Suppose there is, as you often jokingly suggest, a "fourth person of the Trinity." I nominate Melchizedek.  I'm really interested to hear your take on the disparity between archaeological evidence for scribal activity in Jerusalem during the Persian period, vs the fact that so many scriptures are conventionally dated to that period. What are we doing in saying grace?  And when we say a â??blessing,â?? just who is blessing whom, or blessing what?  My question is whether or not the OT idea of the firstborn sacrifice may have plausibly played into the actual conception and reason for creating this archangel, Jesus, who would become the ultimate sacrifice. Before I commit to the effort of reading "Did Jesus Live 100 years BC?" could you please briefly outline the hypothesis, in terms of what the best evidence for and against it is? Was Yahweh circumcised? I noticed that Methuselah died in the same year that the Great Flood began. Did YHWH postpone the flood until Methuselahâ??s death, or did Methuselah actually drown in the flood? I find the idea that 'the birth of Christianity could have been a hoax to help create a better world' fascinating. Is that plausible? Might Paul (or one of the other first Christians) have derived the belief that Jesus was the first fruits of the general resurrection at the end of days, so the end times were imminent, from a hallucination of Jesus whom they inferred had risen? And, Mark could have learned this apocalyptic stuff from Paul, and simply invented the apocalyptic material in his gospel. Therefore, there is no reason to suppose, as Ehrman does, that the historical Jesus, if there was one, was an apocalyptic prophet. How about this? The first Christians invented a story of an atoning Christ, keeping the philosophy of love paramount, but substituting the temple cult with, to use Paulâ??s words, a simple and pure (2 Cor 11:3-5) faith in Christ? Do you think that the whole idea of Paulâ??s inability to physically write might have been a rationalization for all the letters from Paul coming in with different handwriting?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-030

Aug 5, 2017 1:01:42


How far back does the earliest narrative of a great commission and ascension go? Which account--Mark's, Matthew's, or Acts'--is likely the earliest? Is any of this in anyway likely traceable to any historical figure? Is Paul responsible for turning Jesus into more of an historical, rather than mythical, figure? Why are Christians not seeing Zoroastrianism as a sort of ancestor to their tradition, similarly to the way the Muslims look at Christianity? How did the concepts of Zoroastrianism catch on so well in the Jewish world, and why? How and why did the mythos surrounding Jesus appeal to so many non-Jewish people to the point of becoming the official religion of the Roman empire? Do you think that Christianity would've spread as massively as it did without the institutionalization of Christianity by the Roman Empire?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-029

Aug 4, 2017 1:01:18


With the repeated failure of predictions of a mortal, human â??warrior-king-priest Messiah,â??might early Jewish Christians, perhaps inspired by Danielâ??s Celestial â??Son-of-Man,â?? have scrapped the old concept in favor of a new-and-improved spiritual, immortal, eternal version that would come straight from Heaven? Combine Matthew 14, where Herod says "This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead" with the crucifixion scene in John where Jesus says to Mary, "Woman, behold your son." Might this not mean that the spirit of the Baptist transferred to Jesus and, upon his death, into the Beloved Disciple? I know that in theory Islam is totally opposed to idolatry, but is this really true in practice?  Today I saw a video on the internet that appears to show one of the London terrorists worshiping an Isis flag.  Am I misinterpreting this?  Also, why do Muslims have to face toward the Black Stone when they pray.  If venerating a rock is not idolatry, then what is? A purely celestial Jesus, being invulnerable to harm and following a predestined plan of action, is boring, isnâ??t he? To create a more interesting story, did they bring him down to earth as a human being? How does the dynamic of you being an atheist and still attending a church work? Trilogies seem to be the standard in books and movies so what is your opinion on whether Luke/Acts was part of a unfinished trilogy? What if Christians began with a concept of a purely celestial Jesus acting in heaven and teaching, via revelation, from there, but later Christians lost sight of this and filled in a supposedly earthly life by rewriting material from the OT. This would not be a scheming conspiratorial hoax as some Mythicists seem to imply.

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-028

Aug 3, 2017 57:42


Catholic apologist Peter Kreeft says, "You can't write fiction about Jesus. The figure of the Gospels makes every attempt at imaginative fiction look silly." But donâ??t the gospels read like fiction, with their studied omission of mundane events and detailsâ??just a sequence of wise sayings and super-feats, and their utter lack of character development? Do you think the author of Matthew put an anachronism into Jesus' mouth with the phrase in Matthew 11:12? That the "from the days of John the Baptist" presupposes the later era of the evangelist himself? Mark 6:4 is usually translated as something like the King James Version, "But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house." That means that Jesus is modestly saying that he has been honored elsewhere, in contrast to his reception at home. But others render it as "A prophet is not dishonored except in his own country, among his own kin, and in his own house." In this rendering, Jesus is emphasizing the dishonor he receives at home. This does not imply that he was honored elsewhere. Which one is correct? In the wilderness, isnâ??t Satan tempting Jesus, essentially, to become equal to Godâ??which he already was? Can you recommend an online resource where I would be able to search the Septuagint for correspondences? Why do you suppose Mark has the man in white tell the women at the tomb to go and tell "his disciples and Peter." Would it have anything to do with 1 Corinthians 15:5? Why do you think Luke has two different time frames for Jesus's life after the resurrection? Luke shows one week while Acts says 40 days. In old translations of Isaiah 45:7, we have Yahweh virtually admitting to creating â??evil.â??Everywhere else in the OT, the same word is translated as "evil" or "bad". Are newer translations obfuscating the meaning of this verse by translating it as "calamity" instead of "evil"? Apologists claim the stories of women as witnesses of the empty tomb and resurrection appearances canâ??t be fabrications since testimony was not accepted from women. But might women characters have been made up since they couldnâ??t have been physically able to roll away the stone and steal the body? Isnâ??t it true that we don't have witnesses to the resurrection, we have (contradicting) stories about (likely unreliable) witnesses to the resurrection? You always talk about people using the Bible as a ventriloquist dummy. Would you say that (some) liberal judges do that with the U.S. Constitution?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-027

Aug 2, 2017 50:17


Amy Jill Levine says that Jews do not think that Jesus Christ was the messiah because he did not usher in the messianic age. What do you think? Regarding Jesus cursing the fig tree: might it be a condemnation of Rome for failing to embrace Christianity? What do you think the "real" meaning of Matthew 16:23 (Jesus rebuking Peter as Satan) could be? Christian Lindtner on Capernaum and Kapilavastu. Did Christianity make the world a better place than it had been, or not? Midrash vs pesher â?? which is the better term?  Or, how to use the terms properly if they differ on shades of meaning? Since many people in the Mediterranean believed in 2 Gods (an evil creator God and a "version 2.0" good God) isn't it likely that Jesus was created to be the good god then he was historicized?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-026

Aug 1, 2017 1:03:15


Could you elaborate your understanding of the difference between atheism and agnosticism? Does the Bible tilt more toward predestination or free will? If belief were truly the sole requirement for salvation, belief in WHAT, exactly? What is the meaning of â??the marrow of saltâ?? in the Ninth Enochian Key? What happened to the different levels of heaven in Christian thought? Reza Aslan says: â??I am not a Muslim because I think Islam is right or that Islam is true, whereas other religions are not. All religions are merely languages.â?? It seems to me that Aslan is just speaking what my parents would call a watered down, "love everybody, there is no right or wrong" kind of inclusive religion, which is separate from the reality of historical Christianity or Islam. Am I missing something?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-025

Jul 30, 2017 1:12:30


A new study suggests that the Lebanese are descendants of the ancient Canaanites. How does this affect, if at all, the theory that the ancient Canaanites were just a literary device to illustrate the old ways of the Jews that they were abandoning? As I understand 1 John 4:1-3, it says that 'true' prophecies agree with what the Johannine community already believes! Then whatâ??s the use? Did Ecclesiastes, so different from the rest of the Bible, survive against the odds because of their profundity? Might the biblical stories of God changing his mind intend to instruct monarchs, showing that even God listens to his priests sometimes, implying that the ruler needs to listen to the priests who are recording these stories? Is entering the Christian heaven any different from entering the Borg collective? If you had to pick one of the two which would you join? In the movie The Ten Commandments, at the parting of the Red Sea, the Israelites fear God but worship him.   Does fear become love in any other Bible stories?  In view of the Render unto Caesar story, why would any denomination of currency have political imagery in a Christian country i.e. England?  How is it that Jesus of Nazareth was considered Jewish but the good Samaritan and the Samaritan woman were not? A professor stated that Bible inerrancy is a fairly new concept, a backlash against a growing secular movement in the mid to late 1700's to 1800's. Is this true?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-024

Jul 29, 2017 1:01:46


Should we just understand the Eden story as about kings and subjects and the former wanting to keep their power and position, and the later wanting freedom? How different was Israelite religion from Canaanite paganism? When major characters in the NT such as apostles have multiple names, is this simple a device to combine different characters? Were the originally sinless Mary and Jesus like the sinless Eve and Adam and thus capable of falling into sin? What are we to make of modern miracle reports? Should we dogmatically reject them a priori?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-023

Jul 20, 2017 57:28


Is the first person narration in Nehemiah an actual memoir? Was the Gospel of Mark possibly a satire? When Mosesâ?? spies report that the Canaanites are unconquerable giants, are they just making phony excuses, â??tall talesâ??? What is going on with Saul, Samuel, and the Witch of Endor? Was it a demon impersonating Samuel? Donâ??t conventional theologians have to do a lot of text-twisting to escape the implications of passages in which God "repents" or "changes his mind" or is otherwise convinced of an argument by one of his prophets? Do the gospels ever depict Jesus as gradually discovering his own divinity? Are modern Pentecostals like ancient Montanists? Jehovahâ??s Witnesses like ancient Arians? Have the "heresies" of the early church always carried on, just morphing from one sect to another with a new face? Was the ancient rabbinic decree that prophecy ceased with Malachi motivated by the desire to demean more recent writings with ideas that didn't please the Jewish orthodoxy then emerging?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-022

Jul 18, 2017 1:20:13


Why does Islamic tradition identify the Prophet Idris (the Biblical Enoch) with Hermes Trismegistus? What is the significance of the number 144,000 (Rev 7:4)? Can you give a quick run-down on the history of ideas of salvation in Christianity? Could you please give a survey of the topic of Christology, including both orthodox and heterodox perspectives? I have read that early opponents of Christianity claimed Jesus was a magician who learned his tricks in Egypt. Who were these opponents?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-021

Jul 4, 2017 1:07:15


Do you have a book that goes in detail about the theory that the ancient Israelites were the Canaanites? Is there a possibility that the ancient Israelites were black people? And what are your thoughts about the current Jews in Israel being Khazars? Does the Star of David survive from ancient Israelite star worship? When did the geometric designs known as star polygons, primarily the pentagram and the hexagram, actually become associated with the celestial bodies we call stars? Was Yahweh circumcised? What do you make of Gurdieffâ??s student Maurice Nicoll and his approach to the Bible? If Christianity sprang from disparate groups, might their founders have been amalgamated into the gospel Jesus with all his incompatible features? Do you think it possible that early Christians shot themselves in the foot, when in their zeal to rid themselves of texts that might lead to heresy, they destroyed genuine evidence, even if negative, for the existence of a historical Jesus? What would you make of the passages that seem to show Jesus advocating for a life of voluntary poverty?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-020

Jun 21, 2017 1:03:00


If Mark meant us to understand Jesusâ?? baptism as the messianic anointing by Elijah, wouldnâ??t this fend off the â??criterion of embarrassmentâ??? What would have happened if the Marcionite sect became the dominant and orthodox version of the church and how much different would Christianity today be because of it? In John 19:26 + 27, Jesus, on the cross, says to his mother "Woman, behold your son" and to a disciple standing by Mary "Behold your Mother". These two statements sound so human and vulnerable in their utterance, can this be the Son of God? Kim Lewis on the Synagogue of Satan. Galatians uses "Kephas" in 1:18, 2:9, 2:11 and 2:14, but "Petros" at 2:7 and 2:8. Are 2:7b and 2:8 are an interpolation, adding Peter's credentials as an apostle to the Jews? If Jesus hadn't been put to death on the cross, but had instead died of old age, would God have still raised him from the dead? And if so, would that death and resurrection have had the same supposed effect? Was Polycarp a student & colleague of John? What do you think about UFOs? Some say that it says in the "original manuscripts" that when Jesus says, "in my fatherâ??s house are many mansions (John 14:2)," the original words "house" and "mansions" were actual "cosmos" and "worlds," respectively. Is this true? Do you think John the Baptist ate locusts (egkrides), or pancakes (akrides)?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-019

Jun 1, 2017 1:18:44


Could Jesus have fasted for 40 days if he did it the way Copts do today; eating after sundown? Might Markâ??s pericope â??Leaven of the Phariseesâ?? (Mark 8:13-21) be rebuking Jewish Christian readers for not accepting Pauline doctrine? How tenable is the Christian worldview with the Arts, since so much of it is predicated on the world being sinful? Someone contended that theology has not advanced at all in the last 100 years. But is that true? Please comment on the Orthodox Church. Why was Noah needed to save the human race when at least one other man, the righteous Enoch) had the credentials to stay God's wrath? And why did Enoch not die but Noah does? Was Terah was alive or dead when Abram left Haran? If it does imply he died than the math doesn't add up. Why does Abram pray only at groves of trees? Though Lot tells his family to flee the city, he himself lingers. Why? In Genesis 24:24 Rebecca answers the servant, â??I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Micah, whom she bore to Nahor.â?? Did people really introduce themselves in such a grotesquely long manner? In Gen. 31:13 how can the God of Bethel be the God of Abraham & Isaac when this same God of Bethel was with Jacob this whole time? In Gen. 35:1 God tells Jacob to go to Bethel to the God who appeared to him and make an alter. Doesn't this imply polytheism? In Gen. 39:9 how could a slave actually be greatest in the house? In Gen. 39:22-23 how does a prisoner end up being in charge of the prison essentially? In Gen. 40:8, why would they seek an interpreter of dreams in a dungeon to begin with? Is the point of the Joseph story to urge Jews to live as â??a light unto the Gentilesâ??? How come in Mark 13 Jesus does not know the time of the End but in Revelation he does?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-018

May 22, 2017 57:21


If the gospels are not trustworthy historical accounts of Jesus, what did the early church fathers think they were talking about? Ignatius is said to have been a disciple of the Apostle John; surely Ignatius would know the real truth behind the gospel narratives, and therefore not treat them as being true accounts?  1 Samuel 5:9 of the Douay-Rheims translation adds to the end of the story of the hemorrhoid plague in Gath: â??And the Gethites consulted together, and made themselves seats of skins.â?? What is the manuscript evidence for this? Was there a real point to the testing of Jesus in the desert?  Re Luke 19:23-28, I have always read the line â??Bring hither, and slay them before me,â?? as meant to be spoken after the close of the parable; in other words, by Jesus in his own voice, and not Jesus as narrator. What do you think? In your opinion, who is The Beloved Disciple? I have heard that Philo of Alexandria and Paul knew one another. If so, doesn't this lend credence that Paul's Jesus is in fact the celestial Jesus to which Dr. Richard Carrier attests? What are the odds that the Paul of "The Acts of Paul and Thecla" is closer to the real Paul than the one portrayed in "Luke/Acts" Dr. Natalie Houghtby-Haddon said that many scholars think the apocalyptic aspects of Jesus probably weren't applied to him until the fall of Jerusalem in 70, and thus would not have been a part of any historical Jesus' message or ideology. Does that sound correct to you? Could you recommend a book or books that do a good job explaining the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and any other groups or subgroups: where they come from, what they believed and practiced, how influential they seemed to have been and with whom, etc.?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-017

May 17, 2017 1:43:50


How could a copyist, seeing a body of text in the center, and notes in the margins, possibly confuse the two and combine them in his own copy? Would such things not be clearly delineated in ancient manuscripts? What about Michael S. Heiserâ??s Reversing Hermon: Enoch, the Watchers, & the Forgotten Mission of Jesus Christ, which, e.g., argues that 1 Corinthians 11:10 means to warn prophesying women to cover themselves lest they attract the lustful leer of evil angels who might beget in them a new race of Nephilim? Do you think that at least some of the NT authors believed that Jesusâ?? death provided salvation for every creation? Was Paul seeking theological approbation from the Pillars, thus acknowledging their superiority? Is it possible that universal education (including girls!) in the 3 Rs was available to Galileans?   Is it possible that Paul and Mohammed were working from the same source tradition that Mary, mother of Jesus, was Miriam, sister of Moses and Jesus was Joshua? Q and Thomas don't have a passion narrative, being merely lists of sayings. Does this imply that some Christians knew nothing of his death? How could Jesus have been fully human yet avoid all sinning? In your opinion which political philosophy would "Christianity" most be applicable to? I recently read "Is Lucianâ??s 'On the Death of Peregrinus' a Satire on Marcion?" by Hermann Detering and would like to hear your thoughts about Deterings speculations. Might the figure of Jesus have had such a sway on the imaginations and emotions of so many people throughout history because of his malleability, his dialectical ability to include opposites? In "The Synoptic Apocalypse (Mark 13 par): a document from the time of Bar Kochba" Hermann Detering claims that Mark 13:14-19â??s use of the phrase "when God created the world" is a refutation of the Gnostic and Marcionite belief that the Demiurge, not the most high God and the father of Christ, created the material world. What are your thoughts? Are there any instances in the NT of early Christians praying to a goddess?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-016

May 16, 2017 1:18:42


Why would God not make himself known by some still-evident means rather that a highly dubious story of a 2000 year old story of events in a far-off land? Please explain again how 1 Timothy 2.12-15 refers to fallen angels and Gnostic writings. Maybe the Jubilee Year custom was based on historical practice after all. Is Mark implying that the youth at the tomb in the white robe is Jesus? Whence your pronunciation of Yahweh as â??Yakwehâ??? Is my impression correct that the earliest documentation we have of a formed Christian movement shows multiple and varying Christian sects? Does the possible historical priority of Mark over Q threaten the Christ Myth theory?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-015

May 7, 2017 1:18:37


What do you make of William Klassenâ??s attempt to minimize the connection between the Matthean Judas story and Zechariah? If the Dead Sea Scrolls really do come from the 1st or 2nd century BCE but they are referring to John the Baptist & Jesus, doesnâ??t that imply they were earlier figures â??updatedâ?? after â??Christianityâ?? had caught on? Might â??Jesus Christâ?? have been a title or a role, not an individual? What do you think of the hypothesis that Christianity was invented by the Flavians in an effort to create a tamer, more peaceful, version of the Messiah prophecy, more friendly to Rome? Are there any attempts by Christian scholars to prove the existence of Jesus Christ by using philosophical arguments?  Apologists often insist that Suetonius is speaking about Christians because even during those times up to the current modern Greek speaker, "Î?η" which is pronounced as long "e", and "Î?ι" sound the same. Is their argument valid? Might Suetonius, in his Life of Claudius, be talking about Gnostics being expelled from Rome? If John was reworking the creation story in Genesis 1 might his equivalent to the division of the waters via the firmament be Jesus calling â??Peter the son of Jonahâ?? (John 1:42), the prophet who was held in the body of a great beast in the Deep for three days before being spit out on land? Can you supply any insight into the ancientsâ?? concept of heaven? On your March 20 podcast you suggested that eliminating the ego leaves one dead for all intents and purposes. Have you considered that, since matter and energy cannot be destroyed, our atoms go on into another form after death?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-014

Apr 29, 2017 47:34


Is the depiction of Jesus in the Catacombs valid archaeological evidence for the historical Jesus? How does the absence of Nazareth in any first century contemporary writings, including Flavius Josephus relates to the late date of the gospels? If Nazareth didn't exist just yet during the time Jesus lived, why would the gospel writers pick a non-existent place to begin with? Does the place Nazareth relate to cults the Mandeans and Nazoraeans? Isnâ??t it a sign of Mythicism when Christ is called â??the firstborn of the dead,â?? contradicting all the stories of his raising Lazarus, et al., as if there were as yet no such stories? What did the NT Christians think they were being saved from? Hell? In light of Revelation 1:1, how do the Christians who believe Revelation is describing events that are happening today or will happen in the future defend their theories and dogmas? While there may be objections to drunkenness in the Proverbs, isnâ??t it the critics of the drunks who come off badly in the stories of Noah and Lot? From my understanding, after the Exile, the Hebrew religion had a major shift from a polytheistic Canaanite religion to the monotheistic Yahweh cult. Was that transition made in an effort to make the Hebrew captives more "acceptable" to their overlords? Can we also see Christianity as an effort to make Second Temple Judaism into something more acceptable to the Romans? If Jesus began as a non-Jewish myth, why such an effort to make Jesus Jewish in the gospels?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-013

Apr 15, 2017 1:09:05


When did the phrase "word of God" come to be associated with the Bible? Whatâ??s the deal with the King James Only movement? The Trees of Knowledge and of life were set aside for the gods. Humans were exiled from Eden and prevented from partaking. But the Serpent already has knowledge and is not condemned to die, unlike Adam & Eve. Nor is he said to have been excluded from Eden. Doesnâ??t all this imply he was one of the gods? Why were Enoch, Jubilees, etc., excluded from the Bible? Did any eastern religious ideas end up in Christianity? Is organized religion just an elaborate scam? In view of the incantational use of words printed in all caps in the Greek Magical Papyri, might Gal 6:11 denote occult purposes? Can you account for the variation in the saying about how to pray, in which there seems to have been a variation in using 'Holy Spirit' (in Marcion and early Luke) and 'Rule of God' (in Matthew and later Luke)?. Why were the important prayers â??Abba Your Name be Hallowedâ?? and â??Your Will be Doneâ?? left out in Marcion and Luke as well as the texts surrounding the prayers? Is the story of the â??hanging upâ?? of Saulâ??s male relatives in 2 Samuel 21:8-10 a neglected case of human sacrifice in the OT? By making Jesus the generated son of the Almighty, does not the Christian mythology rule out his being the Davidic Messiah? God, after all, is certainly no descendant of David. Is the â??synagogue of Satanâ?? reference in Revelation a reference to Paulinst congregations of so-called Jews? An alternative interpretation of the Absalom story.

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-012

Apr 5, 2017 1:05:25


What of the similarity between Jesusâ?? being betrayed at super and Osirisâ?? betrayal at supper? Aren't the gospel writers tipping their hands when they proclaim that Jesus did such and such "to fulfill the scripture"? Prophecy is supposed to be predictive, not prescriptive.�  You do not do a thing because it was predicted, but rather it was predicted because it is what you will do.�  If we somehow could confirm that Jesus did really did get resurrected and we found that he was really the son of God, would what is written in the Old testament make any sense? Do you think the religious right if they ever do get religion and the bible back in public schools would be happy without their specific denomination's teacher teaching their child the bible/about god? �  Does 1 John 3:1-2 substantiate the Mormons believe that God was once like man, and that we are on the path to God hood ourselves?�  Has someone assembled a color-coded version of synoptic gospel texts to indicate which passages are midrash/parallels/citations/allusions to Hebrew scripture? It seems to me that the NT-as-OT-midrash� claim applies most aptly to the gospels, and then most clearly to the synoptics� specifically.�  Do you agree? Why do we think the Judeans didn't write anything on tablets during or after exile? Why did the Marcionites adopt "Paul" as their theological founder? Also, why did the emerging 2nd century Catholocism co-opt "Paul"? �  In Genesis we read that God, the creator, rested on the 'seventh day.' Why, if this being is the timeless, limitless, mysterious Creator as per Christian theology? Animal sacrifices were omnipresent in the ancient religion, in both Jewish and Hellenistic culture. But Christians changed that. To what do we owe this prohibition?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-011

Mar 21, 2017 1:02:24


The racist context and legacy of 2nd Nephi 30:6. In Sun of All Ages William Tyler Olcott suggests that the Canaanite deities were all personifications of the sun - representing the strong fierce summer sun, explaining why they were cruel gods. Could this explain the cruel and harsh nature of YWHW in the Old Testament? Do you believe Nimrod and Semiramis were actual historical characters? I have heard that they may have a fragment of Mark dating back to the 80's? Is this true, or debunked? Is it true that they found pieces of chariots in the Red Sea? Can you speak about the Christian idea of "Eternity" being time-less, a constant now? When, in Judges, the Levite says the men of Benjamin intended to kill him, are we perhaps supposed to infer he is lying? I'm curious why you think Mark choose Nazareth rather than Bethlehem as Jesus' hometown?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-011

Mar 20, 2017 1:02:24


The racist context and legacy of 2nd Nephi 30:6. In Sun of All Ages William Tyler Olcott suggests that the Canaanite deities were all personifications of the sun - representing the strong fierce summer sun, explaining why they were cruel gods. Could this explain the cruel and harsh nature of YWHW in the Old Testament? Do you believe Nimrod and Semiramis were actual historical characters? I have heard that they may have a fragment of Mark dating back to the 80's? Is this true, or debunked? Is it true that they found pieces of chariots in the Red Sea? Can you speak about the Christian idea of "Eternity" being time-less, a constant now? When, in Judges, the Levite says the men of Benjamin intended to kill him, are we perhaps supposed to infer he is lying? I'm curious why you think Mark choose Nazareth rather than Bethlehem as Jesus' hometown?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-010

Mar 20, 2017 1:31:22


The early Christians seemed completely absorbed with the coming of Christ, and weren't interested in taking part in rebellions against the Roman state. How does this compare to the character of Jesus in Luke, who tells his disciples to sell their cloaks to buy swords? Was Wellhausen correct that the Jubilee law originated after the Exile as a way to allow the so-called returnees to claim land in Palestine as their own, long lost, inheritance? Could you discuss the various Atonement theories and terminologies and lay out some differences? The â??Open Theismâ?? view of Greg Boyd would get fundamentalists out of some tight spots but it seems to really take Yahweh down a notch or two. What are your thoughts and do you think this view can be squared with the Bible? God in essence replaces both the High Priest (Eli) and the King (Saul) with people that arenâ??t their proper successors (Samuel and David respectively) because they have displeased Him in some way. Do you think this could be a theological plot device to set the reader up for the eventual Assyrian destruction of the Northern Kingdom and the Babylonian Exile, a way of saying, â??Yep, even though you're Godâ??s anointed, if you cheese him off in the right way youâ??re done for.â?? Am I seeing a pattern where there is none or might I be onto something here? Is your only beef with the NRSV the gender inclusive business or do you have other gripes with it? Is the Arminian reading of Romans 9; that it deals with the â??predestinationâ?? of groups, not of individuals, plausible? Isnâ??t Calvinism more or less Gnosticism? You say that prominent figures in the Old Testament were originally celestial deities later rewritten as humans, for instance, Elijah, or Samson. What would have prompted people to take these existing sun gods, or moon gods, and write them into stories as humans? How could Jesus, as God incarnate, have asked God why he had forsaken him?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-010

Mar 19, 2017 1:31:22


The early Christians seemed completely absorbed with the coming of Christ, and weren't interested in taking part in rebellions against the Roman state. How does this compare to the character of Jesus in Luke, who tells his disciples to sell their cloaks to buy swords? Was Wellhausen correct that the Jubilee law originated after the Exile as a way to allow the so-called returnees to claim land in Palestine as their own, long lost, inheritance? Could you discuss the various Atonement theories and terminologies and lay out some differences? The â??Open Theismâ?? view of Greg Boyd would get fundamentalists out of some tight spots but it seems to really take Yahweh down a notch or two. What are your thoughts and do you think this view can be squared with the Bible? God in essence replaces both the High Priest (Eli) and the King (Saul) with people that arenâ??t their proper successors (Samuel and David respectively) because they have displeased Him in some way. Do you think this could be a theological plot device to set the reader up for the eventual Assyrian destruction of the Northern Kingdom and the Babylonian Exile, a way of saying, â??Yep, even though you're Godâ??s anointed, if you cheese him off in the right way youâ??re done for.â?? Am I seeing a pattern where there is none or might I be onto something here? Is your only beef with the NRSV the gender inclusive business or do you have other gripes with it? Is the Arminian reading of Romans 9; that it deals with the â??predestinationâ?? of groups, not of individuals, plausible? Isnâ??t Calvinism more or less Gnosticism? You say that prominent figures in the Old Testament were originally celestial deities later rewritten as humans, for instance, Elijah, or Samson. What would have prompted people to take these existing sun gods, or moon gods, and write them into stories as humans? How could Jesus, as God incarnate, have asked God why he had forsaken him?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-009

Mar 19, 2017 51:28


Could the early Jewish and Christian religions have originated in Africa? Along the same lines, could the Ten Commandments be a rip off of the Egyptian 42 Negative Confessions? You cannot say if there definitely was a Jesus, even after a lifetime of research, so how you say there is no reason to posit a Creator? Whence the impossibly long life spans of Genesis 5? Did Paul believe in an â??Earthlyâ?? Jesus? And assuming he did, did Paulâ??s Christ â??liveâ?? 900 years B.C.E?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-009

Mar 18, 2017 51:28


Could the early Jewish and Christian religions have originated in Africa? Along the same lines, could the Ten Commandments be a rip off of the Egyptian 42 Negative Confessions? You cannot say if there definitely was a Jesus, even after a lifetime of research, so how you say there is no reason to posit a Creator? Whence the impossibly long life spans of Genesis 5? Did Paul believe in an â??Earthlyâ?? Jesus? And assuming he did, did Paulâ??s Christ â??liveâ?? 900 years B.C.E?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-008

Mar 11, 2017 1:47:18


In the beginning of Luke we find that the Greek does not read â??bookâ?? (biblos) but rather â??logon.â?? Does Luke call his gospel a â??logonâ?? because it was, in its original form, a collection of the sayings of Jesus like the gospel of Thomas or Q? Perhaps later Marcion re-worked the text into a traditional narrative gospel with Polycarp sprucing it up in the second century? Could â??Marcion" have been the founder of gentile Christianity? Is there a set of assumptions shared by non-mythicist scholars about Jesus? If there are, why do you not find those compelling? A couple of Matthew-Luke agreements against Mark: can they be adequately explained by proposing scribal errors or harmonization? The O.T. laws specified stoning for blasphemy so how come the zealous Chief priests didn't just have Jesus stoned as they did to Stephen according to Acts 7:54-59? For the crucifixion to have been Godâ??s plan from the start, doesnâ??t that presuppose Roman rule over Jews? And if so, mustnâ??t the OT promises of victory and independence have been charades? Why do we assume Q is a collection of sayings rather than a narrative like the other gospels? Couldn't it also tell the story of Jesus' ministry and have the parables, etc. peppered throughout? Please expound on the theology of Unitarian Universalism. Does the total ban on alcohol consumption that some Protestant denominations like the Baptists espouse have solid biblical support?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-008

Mar 10, 2017 1:47:18


In the beginning of Luke we find that the Greek does not read â??bookâ?? (biblos) but rather â??logon.â?? Does Luke call his gospel a â??logonâ?? because it was, in its original form, a collection of the sayings of Jesus like the gospel of Thomas or Q? Perhaps later Marcion re-worked the text into a traditional narrative gospel with Polycarp sprucing it up in the second century? Could â??Marcion" have been the founder of gentile Christianity? Is there a set of assumptions shared by non-mythicist scholars about Jesus? If there are, why do you not find those compelling? A couple of Matthew-Luke agreements against Mark: can they be adequately explained by proposing scribal errors or harmonization? The O.T. laws specified stoning for blasphemy so how come the zealous Chief priests didn't just have Jesus stoned as they did to Stephen according to Acts 7:54-59? For the crucifixion to have been Godâ??s plan from the start, doesnâ??t that presuppose Roman rule over Jews? And if so, mustnâ??t the OT promises of victory and independence have been charades? Why do we assume Q is a collection of sayings rather than a narrative like the other gospels? Couldn't it also tell the story of Jesus' ministry and have the parables, etc. peppered throughout? Please expound on the theology of Unitarian Universalism. Does the total ban on alcohol consumption that some Protestant denominations like the Baptists espouse have solid biblical support?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-007

Mar 7, 2017 59:27


Has anybody done a study of the Luke-Acts theology of the Holy Spirit and baptism? Do you think John the Baptists leaping in the womb by the holy spirit is a indicator that infants should be baptized? Do you think the eschatology of Matthew and the book of revelation is consistent? Do they share a common source? Might Judas have ratted out Jesus in the belief he was helping ignite a messianic, apocalyptic overthrow of Rome? Is uncertainty the price of building oneâ??s own scholarly synthesis, or is it essential to it? Is Mark 12:35-37 actually denying Jesusâ?? Davidic lineage? Besides, as the royal heir, wouldnâ??t the messiah have to be the firstborn son of the firstborn son all the way back, not just somebody with Davidic DNA? You have stated your belief that the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree is an infancy story transplanted into the life of the adult Jesus. But were there infancy gospel tale already in Markâ??s day? Mark isn't above showing Jesus as a magician (fingers in ears, spittle on tongue / eyes, magic word "ephphatha," etc.) and even as an imperfect magician (seeing trees instead of people). Maybe the fig tree tale originally had him (or some other magician) casting a spell on the tree to bring forth fruit out of season, and then castigating it when his spell fails. Any thoughts on Martin Scorsese's Last Temptation of the Christ? Why hasn't there been a proper Job movie? Would you give an overview of how many different religions are promoted by the New Testament?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-007

Mar 6, 2017 59:27


Has anybody done a study of the Luke-Acts theology of the Holy Spirit and baptism? Do you think John the Baptists leaping in the womb by the holy spirit is a indicator that infants should be baptized? Do you think the eschatology of Matthew and the book of revelation is consistent? Do they share a common source? Might Judas have ratted out Jesus in the belief he was helping ignite a messianic, apocalyptic overthrow of Rome? Is uncertainty the price of building oneâ??s own scholarly synthesis, or is it essential to it? Is Mark 12:35-37 actually denying Jesusâ?? Davidic lineage? Besides, as the royal heir, wouldnâ??t the messiah have to be the firstborn son of the firstborn son all the way back, not just somebody with Davidic DNA? You have stated your belief that the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree is an infancy story transplanted into the life of the adult Jesus. But were there infancy gospel tale already in Markâ??s day? Mark isn't above showing Jesus as a magician (fingers in ears, spittle on tongue / eyes, magic word "ephphatha," etc.) and even as an imperfect magician (seeing trees instead of people). Maybe the fig tree tale originally had him (or some other magician) casting a spell on the tree to bring forth fruit out of season, and then castigating it when his spell fails. Any thoughts on Martin Scorsese's Last Temptation of the Christ? Why hasn't there been a proper Job movie? Would you give an overview of how many different religions are promoted by the New Testament?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-006

Feb 15, 2017 56:50


If the epistles precede Mark, and if Mark chose to historicize Jesus, and if Mark based his Jesus character on some individual Cynic sage, would that individual qualify as the historic Jesus? An explanation for how Pythagoras knew there were 153 fish, based on 153 as a â??triangular number.â?? What if anything can be the â??moral lessonâ?? taught in the last 3 chapters of Judges with their gang-rapes and massacres? Why was Christianity, after the supposed death of Jesus, based in Jerusalem? Are there any reports of Jesus having appeared in other parts of the world after his death to people who would have no expectation of seeing him?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-005

Feb 11, 2017 48:35


Is it possible that the â??young menâ?? who grabbed hold of the fleeing â??young manâ?? in Gethemane (in Mark) were the basis of the hypothetical â??12 legions of angelsâ?? in Matthew? What are your thoughts on Danielâ??s 70 weeks prophecy that apparently was fulfilled by Jesus to the day? And if we are to imagine that Jesus actually was a historical figure could he hit have self-fulfilled this himself? Since so many denominations of Christianity claim they are saved by grace alone, how do Christians get around all the works righteous passages? How do you suppose Lutherans are able to keep Lutherâ??s treatise "On the Jews and their Lies" under wraps? When Luke says "Jesus was the first to rise from the dead" in Acts, is he talking about rising out of hell, which is what I've heard at least one apologist say, or did he actually mean the first to rise from the dead, forgetting about all of the previous folks that were raised in the OT and the people Jesus raised himself? Why is liturgy important, and also, why are there seasons to the church year, like Advent, Lent, Pentecost, and so on? I recently read your article â??Was Jesus John the Baptist Raised from the Dead?â?? How have your thoughts about this idea changed since you wrote the article? What type of reaction have you received from other critical scholars? It's my understanding that Marcion believed in the dual Gods like the Gnostics and that Jesus was sent by the "Good" God as a spiritual entity. He felt that Paul was Godâ??s chief apostle and Marcion collected Paulâ??s letters into a canon. In my opinion this is damning evidence that Marcion felt Paul believed in a spiritual Christ and not a human one, i.e. Mythicist's are right! Why do you suppose Matthew, writing for a Jewish audience, does not mention the circumcision of Jesus but Luke, writing for a Gentile audience, places it at the proper 8th day? Seems to me it would be the opposite of this. Could you talk about the Gabriel Revelation stone?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-004

Jan 28, 2017 28:04


Doesnâ??t the "Jesus Mythicism" hypothesis posits too high a Christology (Jesus as a dying/rising God) to interpret the Jesus of our oldest sources? Isnâ??t the eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil a fable about human consciousness, ie why are we different from other animals, feel shame, guilt, fear for the future, etc.? Isnâ??t it as silly to casually assume one can use the New Testament gospels as evidence for the historicity of Jesus as it would be to assume one could use THE ODYSSEY as evidence for the historicity of Odysseus? If Jude says he is the servant of Jesus and brother to James then can I make the assumption that James is not the biological brother of Jesus but his servant also? Might Lukeâ??s â??diagnosisâ?? language mark him as an exorcist rather than a physician?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-003

Jan 25, 2017 29:46


Might Honi the Circle Drawer have been the true founder of Christianity? See: Assyrian estimates of the size of earth, heaven, and the Abyss. Is there any absolutely literal bible translation, one so literal as to render the names into their meanings, e.g., Jesus isn't merely rendered as Yeshua but as "savior"? I'd love to hear your thoughts on how to create spaces for discussions where people disagree, sometimes passionately, while still respecting each other as people, citizens, and siblings.

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-002

Jan 17, 2017 43:18


Arenâ??t preachers who start talking in the first person as if they were Jesus doing the same thing biblical critics said early Christians did, resulting in the gospel sayings? As someone who has been involved in the Neo-Pagan movement for two decades, I used to encounter the idea that Jesus was a "Great White Witchâ?? the meaning that he was a healer and magic user. What do you think is the strongest argument for this? In Moses and Minimalism, are your mentions of dugong hides being used to decorate the Ark of the Covenant a joke I'm not getting? Doesnâ??t the similarity of Galatians with passages in the Dead Sea Scrolls imply Pauline authorship, not pseudepigraphy? Is it really possible that in John 19:26-27 Jesus means to say Mary is henceforth the Mother of all Christians? Does reciting the Rosary count as â??vain repetitionâ??? The newest edition of the English Standard Version of the Bible, in Genesis 3, changes â??your desire shall be for your husbandâ?? to something like â??your desire shall be contrary to your husbandâ??s.â?? Is this legit? What is the best argument for Jesus having been a magician? I'm curious as to your membership status with the Episcopalians. Jesus is often understood as a Sun God, but has there been any work done to align the character of Jesus with Water deities?

The Bible Geek Podcast 17-001

Jan 11, 2017 57:22


Can you tell me what the arguments against the Q theory are? Christian Lindtner argues that â??The New Testamentâ?? decodes to â??The New Tathagatha.â?? Is there an anachronism / error in the Parable of the Talents where one servant is told that he should have at least invested the money so that the master could have earned some interest, instead of burying it for safe keeping? St. Paul does speak about Jesus being â??born of a womanâ?? and some other albeit minor things that do indicate that Jesus was on earth. So, I am wondering how those Scriptures might relate to your â??Heavenly Realmâ?? theory. What is the evidence for human sacrifice in biblical Israel? Why could the gospel & resurrection stories not be understood as â??noble lies,â?? approved by both the OT and classical thinkers? Can you explain the difference between a Charismatic and an Evangelical church, and how do they intersect with the Pentecostal movement? What might be a good source for a good direct conservative scholarly take on Bultmann's John Commentary?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-031

Dec 19, 2016 1:25:52


Are Yahweh and Allah supposed to be the same deity? Might early Christians have believed Jesus and John the Baptist were both messiahs? Might James the Just and John the Baptist be identified with the brothers James and John in the gospels, the so-called â??sons of Zebedeeâ??? Do we have any non-Biblical, non-controversial examples of scribes interpolating rejoinders to the text into the texts? Is there an anachronism / error in the Parable of the Talents where one servant is told that he should have at least invested the money so that the master could have earned some interest, instead of burying it for safe keeping? I was under the impression that charging interest on a loan was not allowed in the bible. Often people cite the bible for vegetarianism and veganism, but when Jesus drove the demons into swine and thus off the cliff Matt 8:31, was Jesus in effect a butcher? Biblical scholars before the 1970s considered the Old Testament character of Moses as a historical figure. Was it a â??Professional Tabooâ?? to seriously question Mosesâ?? historicity prior to this period? Was it the same way that today it is taboo to question the historicity of Jesus? How do we know Jesus spoke Aramaic? Does Hebrews 9:27 rule out reincarnation? Someone commented: "Price takes the outdated dying-and-rising god theories of James G. Frazer seriously.â?? What do you think of his response? Wouldn't a New Testament vs. Lovecraft Mythos Annual be at least plausible? What is the difference between an apostle and a disciple? Assuming that Paul was writing about a celestial instead of a historical Jesus, what did the word "Apostle" mean to him? I'm wondering how the idea developed that the nation of Israel had been delivered out of Egypt. We know from archaeological evidence that key parts of the biblical narrative concerning Israel in Egypt never happened, but the Old Testament is full of references to deliverance from Egypt anyway.

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-030

Dec 10, 2016 42:51


What have you to say about the Jordanian codices? About the disappearance of Deists and the Reign of Terror.

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-029

Nov 23, 2016 45:37


Was there an OT prototype for the Zaccheus episode in Luke 19? What is the Griesbach hypothesis? In Bible times, how high up did people assume the firmament was from the earth? In the 1st centuries BC and AD around the Mediterranean, especially in the city of Rome, was Greek the lingua franca? Did Roman citizens in Rome talk with one another in Greek? How do Christian apologists deal with the fact that the Gospels disagree on the names of the 12 Disciples? Would you please restate the case for there being an error in the traditional dating of the Gospels and Acts, that putting these events at the turn of 1st centuries BC and AD puts the Gospels and Acts in the wrong century because they occurred decades earlier or later? Jacob wrestles with an angel, or maybe with God. The next day he reconciles with his brother Esau and says that Esau's face is like unto the face of God. Was Esau the wrestler? On the subject of Esau, doesn't he get a bad rap? The reunion with Jacob is a touching example of forgiveness. Moses and Aaron, as sons of an incestuous union, are mamzers (children of a married woman and a man other than her husband, or a child of incest). So aren't all the Hebrew priests, the Levites, mamzers?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-028

Nov 18, 2016 48:23


What does the number 40 signify in biblical symbology? Might Mark originally end at 15:39 with the centurion's exclamation, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"? Why do scholars neglect the work of Alfred Loisy? To what extent do you agree with the theory of Lena Einhorn? What is the difference between the â??birthrightâ?? and the â??blessingâ?? which Jacob cheated Esau out of? Does the term 'sons (or children) of Belial', mentioned a number of times in the OT (Hebrew, from 'beli' (without) and 'yaal' (value)) mean merely 'worthless men' or instead of 'sons of Belial,â?? a devil? Has the Westcott and Hort edition of the New Testament become outdated? What if Christians of the 2nd century and encoded their belief that YHWH didn't send Iesou to redeem our sins, but his own crimes?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-027

Nov 8, 2016 55:45


What do you think of the arguments in the Eastern Orthodox Bible for the originality of Markâ??s long ending? How synoptic are the synoptic gospels really? Why are the monotheistic religions so obsessed with the Apocalypse? Were the Greeks and Romans the same way? The Christadelphians deny that the biblical terms â??devilâ?? and â??satanâ?? generally refer to a supernatural evil entity as most readers think. Are they right? Whatâ??s your opinion of Kenneth Wuest's New Testament translation? How can Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:8, refer to himself as â??one untimely bornâ?? if he was a contemporary of Jesus? I was wondering if Matthew and Luke's genealogies had any real link to anything. Can you recommend a good introduction to the Bible for an interested novice?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-026

Oct 21, 2016 30:51


What are your thoughts on the Parable of the Talents, and could you offer me a more erudite, exegesis, than my Sunday school teacher gave? Are the stories of Saul and Ahijah parallel, and if so is it an intentional parallel to establish continuity in the pre-Omride rulers of the north? Or is it, as I suspect, the merging of two different legends who had similar stories told about them in a less nationalistic tribal past in the north. Care to comment on when and where you think the monotheistic idea came from? I think Jerusalem represented by Aaron and Moses were priesthoods of different gods. Moses represents a priesthood of the snake god Nahushtan/Leviathan and perhaps even a remnant of a cult of Set that remained in Canaan after the Bronze Age collapse and the withdrawal of Egypt during the 13th century BCE or so. Aaron then is the Yahwistic priest who represents the more rural Jerusalemite/Jebusite/Melchizedek priesthood that overtakes the snake cult with their bull god sometime around the end of the northern kingdom. Is that a fair interpretation of the evidence do you think? Why do mainstream critics reject the notion that the whole Jesus story is rewritten from the Old Testament? Has anyone proposed that the religious leaders had the soldiers steal the body of Jesus and destroy it to keep people from worshipping it (e.g. Lenin) or hiding it and then saying it was risen? John 21:15-17 uses two different Greek words for â??love.â?? Does Aramaic have analogous pair of terms? And if not, what does this imply about the origin of the story?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-025

Oct 20, 2016 59:15


If Jesus himself knew about the betrayal, and knew that it was needed for his eventual execution, why isnâ??t Judas eventually seen as a saint or at least a non-disgraced Apostle by Christians? What is your take on the visionary experiences at the heart of the Old Testament, and could they be a description of the visionary experience as induced by psychedelics? Might the various 'episodes' in the life of Jesus have started not only as midrash of the Old Testament but as incantatory texts for healing and exorcism? Might Mark in its earliest form have been a Simonian document? If Paul were Simon Magus, with â??Paulâ?? himself being a later proto-Catholic creation, wouldn't it be better to stop using the term Pauline Christianity and instead speak of Simonian Christianity? If one were to pick one of the early Christian, proto-Christian, and ancient Christian-offshoot cults to use as the basis for a Cthulhu Mythos cult, which cult would you pick and why? What are some of the more credible theories behind the importance of the number seven in the ancient world?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-024

Oct 19, 2016 47:31


What would be the most probable rendition of the phrase â??end of the worldâ?? in the canonical gospels? How does the â??closure of the ageâ?? relate to Gnosticism? According to Diogenes Laertius, 360 jurors voted for death to Socrates, 140 for a fine. However, before this, when voting on if he was even guilty, when the ballots were counted, 280 jurors had voted to find Socrates guilty, 220 jurors for acquittal. This means that there were jurors who said to themselves, "yeah, he's innocent, but let's kill him anyway." Ditto Joseph of Arimathea re Jesus? What markers point towards a late date for John? Given Paulâ??s letters, why would Mark have had what seems to be an undeveloped theology? Is there astrological symbolism in the NT? Did Paul never refer to the Son of Man because his Jesus was not a human man and Mark and Matthew used the phrase because they wanted people to think their creation was human? Is there any evidence that Thomas evangelized India? Why would a predominantly Hindu people convert based on the teachings of a man who preaches of Jesus? Does Islam ever acknowledge that God's name is / was once Jehovah? How do they deal with that?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-023

Oct 18, 2016 56:31


Michael Heiser suggests the gospel story of the raising of Jairusâ?? daughter (Luke 8) is intentionally drawn from the story of the death of Jephthahâ??s daughter (Judges 11), but with a happy ending. What about it? Why didn't the early copyists and redactors fix Matthewâ??s erroneous attribution of Zechariah 11 to Jeremiah? Might Revelation be envisioning the events of the Bar Kochba Revolt? â??Church of Christâ?? (HQed in the Philippines) insist that most of the translations of Isaiah 43 are corrupted when they read, â??I will bring your offspring from the east.â?? It should, they say, read â??from the far eastâ?? (cf., the Moffatt translation) because Isaiah is talking about the Philippines. Bogus, right? Why would a scribe (Eusebius?) choose Josephus to insert a forged passage about Jesus? Why not some other historian and writer like Philo of Alexandria? Why would anyone venerate an empty tomb? Lourdes gets something like 5 million visitors every year on so-called apparitions witnessed by schoolkids! Revelation 3:10 speaks of an hour trial about to come upon the whole world.â?? Sometimes this phrase seems to denote the Roman Empire in ancient usage. Could this Revelation passage be a rhetorical polemic against the Romans? Did Jesus have brothers? It would seem so since there is an allusion to James the brother of Jesus in Galatians, thus an actual firsthand testimony. Stephen H Smith shows how Mark evidences the structure of a dramatic tragedy. Is it reasonable to suggest that perhaps Matthew (or Luke) came first and then another author came along and attempted to rewrite those gospels into a script for a tragedy/closet drama; stripping out the long sections that we call Q material, because they interrupt the narrative flow?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-022

Oct 17, 2016 55:21


What is the impact on Christianity if the Pauline doctrines were merely the product of a temporal-lobe epilepsy sufferer? What do you think of the suggestion in The Mythology of Eden by Arthur and Elena George that the forbidden knowledge was really the awareness of the chaos of the primordial waters that existed prior to creation, the order of the world that Yahweh created, and the responsibility that humans would have to participate in keeping the chaos (i.e. evil) from entering back into the orderly world (i.e. good). Looking at Luke's nativities of John and Jesus, I wonder if there's a connection between the quasi-simultaneous miraculous births of John and Jesus (Elizabeth barren, Mary a virgin) and the conception of Castor and Pollux? Is Peter denying Jesus three times another instance of making Jesus a new/better Elijah/Elisha/Moses? Isnâ??t Richard Dawkins right in claiming that "theology isn't even a subject"? How might one reconcile Lena Einhornâ??s theory with mythicism? Though Acts has Paul surviving a viper bite on Malta, prior to the fourth century there is no evidence of Christianity there, nor did any species of poisonous snakes ever inhabit the Islands! Wouldn't everyone in Heaven be terribly depressed and horrified at all times because of what they knew was happening to their loved ones who didn't check the right theological box? What do you think of Michael Heiserâ??s explanation of Exodus 4:24-26? Cain was avenged seven-fold; Tubal-cain was avenged seventyseven-fold, and Jesus forgave seven times seventy. Is there anything in the new testament that isn't "my scripture's bigger than your scripture"? Were Elijah and Elisha really two separate characters, or is it possible we're seeing a doubling as in twice-told tales of Genesis?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-021

Oct 15, 2016 1:02:20


Have The Christ Myth by Arthur Drews (1910) and Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions by TW Doane (1882) been superceded? Where have all the Deists gone? Do the numerous Moses-Jesus parallels imply that Moses was already viewed as a Messiah? Irenaeus in his Against Heresies (III,11.1) says, "John, the disciple of the Lord, preaches this faith, and seeks, by the proclamation of the Gospel, to remove that error which by Cerinthus had been disseminated among men..." What he is saying here is that John was written after to refute Cerinthus which is one smoking gun for the late date of John. There are scholars before and now that contend that it is the case and that John was the judaized and historicized version of Cerinthus' gospel. Are there any scholarly attempts to reconstruct the Cerinthus gospel just like scholars before and now have reconstructed Marcion's gospel of the lord which is being called as the "ur-lukas"? Can we consider the Cerinthus gospel as an "ur-john"? If 1 Corinthians 15:3-11 is not an interpolation, does it really back up the gospelsâ?? Easter stories? The listed appearances sound more like visions, while the rest of the chapter seems to understand the resurrection of Jesus as spiritual rather than physical. Is Mark 16:9-20 more Marcionite or Gnostic? Are the â??hate your familyâ?? passages in the gospels a reflection of the period when the Early Church Fathers are battling the heresies of Gnosticism? Reading the apocryphal "Life of John the Baptist" text recently, I noticed a present-tense reference to Theophilus, who identified as being in office. Is this the same Theophilus mention in Luke, eh? Is it reasonable to suggest that the Passion narratives are not meant to implicate and condemn Jews but rather to say that all humanity must be depraved if even the best of them, Jews, could be so blind to the truth? Iâ??m curious to hear what you might have to say about Lena Einhornâ??s new book, â??A Shift In Time: How Historical Documents Reveal the Surprising Truth about Jesusâ??? Are there links between the NT passages and Isaiah 65, which mentions eating unclean pigs and living in tombs? Is there a correlation between one not being able to look at the face of God and not being able to stare directly at the sun? Is the Deuteronomic prohibition of cross-dressing the product of the ancient Israelite taxonomies discussed by Mary Douglas?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-020

Oct 11, 2016 1:16:35


I can't recall exactly where I got this inchoate understanding of the history of the Jesus thing; I believe it was from you or Carrier. Basically, this ill-formed understanding is that people believed that Jesus had done his thing during different times in history, with references in his stories that pinned him down to different historical periods, and those dates kept getting moved up. Is that the case? Was the Jesus mythology a wholly mutable east(sic), dancing forward through history until it got pinned down by scripture to the times of Herod and Pilate? Obviously, if that were the case, those are the sorts of documents that medieval Christians wouldn't bring forward to us, making it difficult to verify, but if it's the case, how do modern Christian cognoscenti deal with it? Do you have a suggestion on reading material that addresses the claim that Jesus fulfilled hundreds of messianic prophecies? You mentioned that Dan is excluded from the tribes in their enumeration in Revelation because Jewish scribes calculated that the antichrist would come from the tribe of Dan. Could you elaborate on this? Could you please outline the "Pantera is Jesus' father" theory and describe its strengths and weaknesses? What resources do you recommend for me as I prepare to do my own NT translation? Given all the hoopla about the Eucharist being a version of Passover, why if Jesusâ?? body represented by bread and not lamb chops? What sayeth the Geek? Was God bound by some rule that only a blood sacrifice could entitle him to forgive sins? Doesnâ??t this entail the Socratic Euthyphro dilemma? Were there factions that disagreed about faith vs works as they wrote it into the Bible, or is this just a minor contradiction that was made into a big deal by later factions? Did the superstition about 666 increase dramatically after The Omen movie? What is the meaning of â??the prince of the power of the air" from Eph 2:2?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-019

Oct 10, 2016 54:15


If God is â??pure actâ?? and does not move from potentiality to actuality, how can God ever act, speak, love, etc.? Why is there so little genuine intellectual curiosity among most religious people? You once said the Bahá'í Faith was the only other religion that you "seriously considered converting to." What appealed to you? Hereâ??s a recent dream: God changes his own â??Wordâ?? from YHVH to YHSVH, and this changes his underlying character and essence. This idea unifies the God of the Old Testament with Jesus, yet preserves Marcion's realization that these are two different people. Has anyone else has this idea? Re the story of Jesus and the coin in the fish's mouth (in Matthew 17), wouldnâ??t there have been many much simpler ways for Jesus to have had his and Peter's taxes paid? Why the miracle? Youâ??ve described the character Joseph of Arimathea evolving from a merely pious person into a disciple of Christ. But already in Mark he is already called â??of Arimathea,â?? meaning, according to Richard Carrier, "best disciple town." Compatible theories or not? If I am in no way a believer, can I still aspire to be a theologian? What would it mean to be a theologian in that case?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-018

Sep 2, 2016 1:03:53


The Bible Geek, Robert M. Price, answers your Biblical bafflements and scriptural searches.

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-017

Aug 12, 2016 37:09


Episode 704 of The Bible Geek with Robert M. Price.

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-016

Aug 9, 2016 49:17


Would the Birth Narratives of Jesus be evidence for an oral tradition of Jesus? If Calvinists are correct and there is nothing the reprobate can do to be saved and the elect can do to be unsaved, what further value can theology have? If one is punished eternally in hell, doesn't that mean that person has everlasting life, albeit a miserable one?. The deuteronomistic list of Davidâ??s â??mighty menâ?? has the feel of a "gathering of heroes" list of the sort familiar from myths like Arthur's gathering the round table or Jason with is Argonauts. Would these mighty men have been the heroes of their own sagas, now lost? Might Matthew 23:8-12 be an interpolation into a Qumran style polemic against rival Jewish authorities? Could John son of Zebedee have been the original hero in the stories where we now see him as Peterâ??s mute sidekick? And could he have originally have been John the Baptist?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-015

Jul 25, 2016 1:07:39


What do you think of the theory that, since in Romans 1:3-4 Jesus is said to become Godâ??s son via resurrection, and 1 Cor 15 says Christians will share that resurrection, hence sonship, thus becoming Jesusâ?? fellow-sons, brothers, that James the brother of the Lord simply means James was a martyr awaiting resurrection? You once proposed the formation of a modern secular Lyceum. I was fascinated by the idea, and wondered if you could expound on it. Is there any possible basis to the crazy-sounding theory that the Canaanites deserved to be exterminated since they were the offspring of demons and mortal women? What do you make of John w21:1:19, in which Jesus speaks of love as "agape" and Peter uses the word "philea"? Eisenman says that Paul was a Herodian and created a version of Christianity aimed at discrediting James-Christianity. Why would he go to that trouble? Why not just argue against it? Did the judaizing/historicizing efforts of emerging Catholicism invent the concept of the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, or can this concept be traced to nearby pagan religions? Ignatius's Epistle to the Ephesians says that "as [Christ] represents the mind of the Father, so our bishops ... represent the mind of Jesus Christ." Thus the "conduct and practice" of church members should correspond with the mind of their bishop. Certainly this seems to place Christ lower in the hierarchy than the Father, doesn't it? Either that or it seems to indicate the bishops actually have insights into the mind of the Father, through Christ, in which case it seems to raise the bishops' stature. Is there any religious practice, either in an early Christianity, competing mystery school, or other religion from the time where the transmission of holy power is as described in John 20:22, through breathing it out onto the assembled devotees? Do you have any idea how the book of Luke can end so nicely and the book of Acts end like a television series does when the budget is cut without notice?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-014 Part 2

Jun 30, 2016 56:47


It seems awfully bold of Moses to step in to thwart Yahweh's punishments upon Israel. Does the author intend to elevate Moses to such a level, almost like an equal to Yahweh? Moses just can't stand by and watch Yahweh hold the whole people accountable for the transgressions of a few; isn't that literally the founding premise of Christianity? No synagogues in Galilee? What if the word simply denoted â??meetingsâ??? Might â??Mosesâ?? have been a â??sanitizedâ?? version of Ramses II? What does it mean, in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus chastises his disciples three times for sleeping. Jesus was mad because they weren't "keeping watch," and because of this they also risked "falling into temptation"? In Paul's 'authentic' letters, does he truly feel Jesus is equal to God? By â??Christâ?? does he mean â??Jewish Messiahâ?? or just a proper name? How would James the Just, if he were brother of Jesus the Galilean, become high priest, since he would be of low birth and a Galilean to boot? How can we think he has ANY relation to the Jesus of the New Testament? Do you think that the author of Acts had read the epistles? If so, why are there such blatant contradictions between his story and the epistles? Is this a viable interpretation? "And he {the man} honored Jesus. And the daemon departed from him {the boy}. And the boy was cured from that very hour." What is known about the Christians immediately following the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension? When Pharaoh's magicians pulled off their "secret arts", where did the source of the magic come from? If God outlaws idols, why did he tell Moses to build one: the Brazen Serpent? Lee Stroebel claims there is an overwhelming number of sources "proving" the Biblical story of Jesus is true. How do apologists get away with such claims? Was the Jesus mythology a wholly moveable feast, dancing forward through history until it got pinned down by scripture to the times of Herod and Pilate? How do modern Christian cognoscenti deal with it? Do we know Pliny is referring to Jesus when he says Christians sing hymns to â??Christâ??? Is there really any important difference between Christ Mythicism and the idea that a human Jesus became largely mythologized? What do you think of the often heard Christian theological idea that Jesus' mission included personally living a life fully in accordance with the (Jewish) law so (essentially) we don't have to? Was baptism any part of Jewish law or practice? How could Matthew have been a learned Jew if he failed to recognize the poetic parallelism in Zechariah 9:9? Does Mythicism depend upon a conspiracy theory?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-014 Part 1

Jun 30, 2016 56:53


After a hiatus due to some technical issues, everyone's favorite Bible Geek returns to answer your quandaries and questions! The overflowing mailbag was too stuffed to fit in just one episode, listen to part one now!

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-013

Jun 11, 2016 1:19:14


In Revelation one of the churches is congratulated for resisting the teachings of a false apostle, is that a veiled reference to Paul? What do you think of The Complete Jewish Bible? Does non-orthodox Messianic Judaism change anything about what you've learned or studied or what conclusions you have produced? Any thoughts on LA Marzelli, "The Watchers, and the "seed of the Nephilim"? If the Tower of Babel produced diversity in language, than what produced diversity of race (color/bone structure, etc)? What is referred to by â??the branch of the Lordâ?? in Isaiah 2? Might Psalm 71:20 be referring to resurrection at all or is it more likely they only denote that Yahweh helps the righteous when their down and brings them back up on their feet? What do you think about the theory of R.G. Price that the young man in Mark 14:52, based on Amos 2:16, forms the culmination of three Markan allusions to Amos, the others being 2:6 and 2:12? Couldnâ??t we solve a lot of source-critical puzzles if we posited that â??Qâ?? was first an expansion of Mark? Where does Paul explains how remembered oral communications from Jesus were subject to distortion, substitution, and deletion of meaning, not to mention that any concepts communicated were bound within the context of language, unlike his teaching, based on a direct, non-linguistic transmission of information directly from Jesus? Doesn't a blatantly provocative, vulgar and literal image like a crucifix lend itself to not merely state sanction, but enforcement? When did this image become common?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-012

May 19, 2016 1:14:26


What do you think of Kenneth A. Kitchen? The recently discovered "Seal of Hezekiah" features Egyptian symbols like the Ankh and the winged sun disc. Does this mean the king was a polytheist? Are there regional idioms of speech in the Bible that might help track down the origin of this or that text? Would the virgin-born Jesus resemble only Mary and not Joseph? What exactly are the theological differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy? What do you think the mid- to long-term prospects are for Islam to be widely studied from a humanistic approach like Christianity often is? Is there any connection between the psalmist Asaph and fable master Aesop? Are there any sections of the Bible that are supported by extra-biblical historical evidence that you are aware of; and, if so, what is it? I read somewhere that the IHS we see on Catholic ritual equipment, such as chalices, is the IHS known as the "Bacchus monogram". Is it true? Why do modern Christians emphasize the inherent complexity of God as a proof of his existence as creator, while Islamic philosophers emphasize the simplicity of God as a proof of his existence?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-011

May 8, 2016 1:37:44


What are some core books you would suggest to supplement a read-through of the whole Bible? Since Genesis 5 begins with the line, "This is the book of the generations of Adam," might this chapter have once been its own book? Does Genesis 5 offer a third creation story, or perhaps an alternative continuation of the second creation account that ignores the Cain and Abel story? Are there more extrabiblical stories of Seth out there, similar to the various apocrypha and apocalypses centered around Adam? I s there is any etymological connection between the Biblical character of Seth and the Egyptian god Set? Could canonical Luke be later than John? Suggestions on numerological coded messages re Mary Magdalene, Jesus, David, etc. How common is the error of thinking that "Lord of Hosts" refers to communion wafers? Can you offer any insight into Stoicism and its presence in the Bible? Might the Parable of the Shrewd Manager be Gnostic meaning that "Even if you don't have the gnosis, at least go ahead with ecclesiastical Christianity, because that's better than nothing"? What's your interpretation of the story of David and Goliath? What is the proper pronunciation of erudite/erudition? Could you expand on your theory that Hegesippus is actually just Josephus? What do you think of theories that Josephusâ??s work was reworked or even commissioned by a cabal within the Flavian household and instrumental in the creation of Christianity? Are traditions like Gnostic mystical pantheism gone from modern Christianity? Some translations of Matthew 18:22 say "seventy-seven times," others "seventy times seven." Which is more accurate translation? Could you please explain why the translators of the LXX changed the order of the Hebrew Bible and then also added more books to the canon? If Simon Magus is the basis for the "historical" Paul, does any of the material in the Pauline Epistles go back to the mid-to-late 1st century, even if it's in a garbled form? If all the Gospels are comparatively late, wouldn't we expect a great deal more "Pauline" influence even in Mark?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-010

Apr 22, 2016 1:32:58


Where do the mythologies surrounding the Roman soldiers Longinus and Tiberius Pantera come from? The Yezidis say Satan fell but then was redeemed and restored to his place. Might we consider him a Dying and Rising God? What might the Yazidi faith have to tell us about the origins of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity? What are your thoughts about Vesuvius being a basis for Revelation 8? Why are New Years and Christmas a week apart? Is the reference to Lilith in Isaiah retrofitted to be a name, or is the translation into "screech owl" in the King James a deliberate obfuscation? On a recent Bible Geek, there was a suggestion that boiling a kid in its mother's milk could be a reference. Can you provide a recap of books of the New Testament where multiple books have, or are purported to have, the same author, and is that actually the case? Jesus makes it clear that it is not what we eat that makes us unclean but what comes out (Mark 7:18-23). Does this conflict with Leviticus 11? Does 1 Timothy 4:3? Is it possible that the Mark passage is a reflection of the Gnostic dietary laws? Matthew says Joseph of Arimathea was a disciple of Jesus. Luke says he did not consent to the vote to condemn Jesus. Do these differences imply reliance on earlier oral traditions? Can you explain the ancient belief in two messiahs and how it may be reflected in the NT? If the canonical Pauline epistles were heavily interpolated, why did Marcion seemingly not have access to the originals? Or do you think he did?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-009

Apr 17, 2016 55:43


Is learning the original Greek, Latin, and Hebrew truly essential in learning the meaning and context of the Bible? Bart Ehrman, in his Misquoting Jesus, says that the earlier the manuscript, the more errors you find. Which ones is he talking about? Please describe the process of translating Hebrew and Greek manuscripts into modern English. Is the Letter of Mara ben Serapion an independent attestation of a historical Jesus? What exactly does Daniel 9 mean to predict? Why does the Talmud curse anyone who reads Daniel 9:24-27 to calculate the coming of the Kingdom? What do you think are the best books/articles to read on Exodus? E.A. Speiser suggests that chapter 14 was an independent, foreign, "quasi-historical" document that was imported into the rest of the Genesis material, and he takes this as evidence that Abraham was a real historical figure "who was attested in contemporary sources." What do you think of this claim of historicity? Are there any theories about the identity of the "man carrying a jar of water" in Mark 14:13? Why does the pregnant Elizabeth stay in seclusion for 5 months (Luke 1:24)?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-008

Apr 11, 2016 50:02


In Gilles Deleuze's essay, "Nietzsche and Saint Paul, Lawrence and John of Patmos," he writes "John of Patmos deals with cosmic terror and death, whereas the gospel and Christ dealt with human and spiritual love. Christ invented a religion of love (a practice, a way of living and not a belief), whereas the Apocalypse brings a religion of power--a belief, a terrible manner of judging. Instead of the gift of Christ, an infinite debt." and goes on to write "...this bearer of glad tidings [Christ] is doubled by the black Saint Paul, who keeps Christ on the cross, ceaselessly leading him back to it, making him rise from the dead, displacing the center of gravity toward eternal life...." What are your thoughts on this, and why do Christians tend to fixate on the death and resurrection of Christ and talk less about things He supposedly said and taught (this has been my experience at least)? Please talk about the importance for biblical studies of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Please give a brief explanation of how the Bible was put together and who wrote it. Re "Lord of Hosts": does one say "a host" or "an host"? Exodus 4:18-31 seems to indicate that Moses was not circumcised. Then how did the daughter of Pharaoh know that baby Moses was a Jew? Why is Elijah is given such preeminence among the Hebrew prophets? Why does the Gospel of John omit the 40 day sojourn in the desert?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-007

Mar 28, 2016 1:26:55


Can you tell me anything about about the origin, authorship, geography or dating of the Meqabyan (or Ethiopic Maccabees) books? Does Galatians 3:1 refer to an early Christian Mystery Play? Is Harold Bloom correct in his derivation of Mormonism from sectarian and kabbalistic sources? Why does the anointing at Bethany make Jesus look like a bit of a jerk? And could the reference to "the poor" denote the Ebionites? Which of your books would be good to cast doubt on the infallibility of the Bible, to account to friends for my loss of faith in it? Does the gospel story of the discovery of Jesus' empty tomb rest upon older Buddhist accounts of the discovery of "Yasa" having disappeared from his bed? Regarding apocryphal gospels and other New Testament-era books that didn't make it into the canon, is it reasonable to assume that we have better access to books that date from the later eras of early Christianity (say, 3rd through 6th centuries) than those from earlier dates?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-006

Mar 18, 2016 46:08


What if Mark was signaling that it was actually Simon Peter who was crucified and Andrew was the young man who fled naked from Gethsemane? What are our sources for the story that Antiochus forbade Hebrew worship? Do we have anything substantive beyond The Book of Maccabees, or Josephus -- who himself was probably echoing Macabees? Do you accept the opinion of Dr. James (Mickey) Efird and Bruce Metzger that Revelation was NOT about the end of the world but simply a book written in a well-known genre for that day to give people hope that their persecution under Emperor Domitian would soon be over if they just waited it out? Is it possible that the Synoptics used Marcion's Gospel, the Gospel of Peter, and the Infancy Gospel of James? Do you think the Masoretic text may have been edited in response to Christian doctrine? John's gospel never names Jesus' mother. Might he have been trying to de-objectify her by keeping all portrayals minimalistic, including the obscuring of a name?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-005

Mar 15, 2016 48:07


Why does Matthew 5:17-19 say that if anyone should annul the Torah would be called "the Least," implying a single person? Does he mean Paul? Does "witch" in Exodus 22:18 actually mean something like "Poisoner"? Did these "witches" belong to pagan religions? Could you provide evidence from the Pauline letters which may refer to the celestial (i.e., non-historical) Jesus? Acts tells us that Paul was Pharisee and that before his conversion he hunted down and arrested Christians. Can you tell me what type of Christians they were? Origen says the gospel resurrection stories conceal a very advanced esoteric truth. Any idea what it might have been?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-004

Feb 16, 2016 2:03:30


Can Karl Popper's philosophical analysis that all induction is "deductively invalid" and strict reliance on falisification be applied to the question of the historicity of New Testament material? Is the Jehovah's Witnesses idea correct that "Jehovah" is the actual name of God, and everything else, including "Yahweh," are merely titles? Bible Geek standup comedy. What is the OT minimalist understanding of 40 years of wandering in the desert? In Luke 2:1, the shepherds hear that Bethlehem is the "city of David"; wasn't that supposed to be Jerusalem? When did people begin to refer to their canon as the "Bible," rather than "scriptures"? Can you explain the significance of R. G. Collingwood's The Idea of History, and its impact on Biblical studies? Is G. R. S. Mead's theory that Marcionites followed Chrestus, not Christos, valid? Are there any 1st century examples of literature similar to the Gospels, i.e., historical fictions about known mythical figures? When was December 25th established as Jesus' birthday? What are the differences between a theophany and an avatar? Does sorcery require a powerful magic or intention to work, or are just the words enough? Is it possible that Luke's and Matthew's nativity stories were specifically written as polemic against an early version of the Toledoth Jeschu? Thus, neither based on Christian traditions in common? Doesn't the gradual pruning of the branches of Christianity from many diverse sects to orthodoxy point more toward a mythical origin? Possible error: questioner cites R. G. Price: "The Gospel of Mark as Reaction and Allegory" ( as "The Gospel of Mark as Theological Allegory" (, found online, by Jonathan Rutherford. Why, if Jesus was not historical, did Christianity rise to such popularity? Multiple observations from the Trickster. When did the first signs of "supersessionism" of Christianity over Judaism appear and what was its history of progression? A recommendation for the Skeptic's Annotated Bible and website. Should the idea that high Christology requires a long development time, e.g., John's Gospel, also be applied to such Gnostic works as The Apocryphon of John, making such works much older in origin? Is the ICHTHUS symbol specifically Christian (acronym), not pagan, in origin? Are all religious figures euhermized historical individuals? Are the mentions of synagogues in the NT really an anachronism? Can you comment on the origin of Wisdom literature, how they became incorporated into the Tanakh, and why the chapter divisions seem so arbitrary? What is your perferred moniker? Can God be "artistically pictured" in a such a way that does not force corporeality on the viewer? Did visual arts affect the perceived historicity of Jesus for early Christianity? How does your mythicist theory differ from Richard Carrier's?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-003

Feb 4, 2016 1:01:30


Can you say something about the Greek words used in the NT for "spirit" and "ghost"? In the Salem Witch trials, the accused could not defend herself by saying she was nowhere the scene when someone claimed to be afflicted by her hex, because it was believed that a witch did not need to be there when it struck. Where would devout Puritans get such a notion? Are there any theories as to why the ancient Hebrews created a day of absolute rest? Have you heard anyone suggest that Abraham failed his test when God asked him to kill Isaac, because he was hoping Abe would use his free will and refuse? Is there real evidence to prove the Epistle of James is not really the work of James the Just? Might the two rival gospel genealogies reflect Mary's laiasons with two different guys named Joseph, one of the Jacob's son, the other Heli's? Has anyone ever researched how many prayers, myths, and stories took root in different cultures in antiquity? Why does everyone say John the Baptist called himself unworthy to tie Jesus' sandals? It says "untie"! Does the New Testament continue the Old Testament use of "feet" as a metaphor for that which YVHV demanded be circumcised? With such varied reporting of a trial of the most important figure in Christianity, how can it all be true? Also, does this prove that Mark's gospel was written first due the brevity of his trial narrative which then Matthew, Luke, and John embellished in their gospels? Is there any uncontaminated reminiscence of the belief system of Simon Magus? How likely is it that the Vatican does hold some of the ancient source material they worked so hard to suppress?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-002

Jan 17, 2016 1:36:36


Dr. Richard Carrier says the very first Christians were probably Jewish-Christians who doubled as literate Rabbis. Is there any evidence to corroborate this? What is the main evidence leading most scholars believe the New Testament was originally written in Ancient Greek, not Aramaic. Why have scholars retreated from Baur's restriction of genuine Pauline Epistles to Romans, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians? Why was The Shepherd of Hermas not included in the New Testament? Is it likely that Matthew used more of Q than Luke did? Are there any hints of possible Q material in Matthew that wasn't used by Luke? Do you think Strauss's arguments against the rationalists in The Life of Jesus Critically Examined are relevant at all today? And would his book be much different had he known of the Two document hypothesis? Would you please recommend a book/author to read for info on Isaiah? How on Earth were Noah and his family able to pass on the information about the history prior to the Flood? Does the 117th Letter of Pliny offer any real information about Jesus? And might it be a forgery anyway? Where does biblical mythology deal with the rainbow? You've defended several translations from the Jehovah's Witness New World Translation. If they have the truth, why don't you join? Re: Philip K. Dick & Reza Aslan. Re: the relationship between Christianity and Science Fiction.

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-001

Jan 9, 2016 29:30


Is the account of the martyrdom of James the Just historical or a conflation of three different versions? Millions of birds starve to death every year, so how do apologists deal with Matthew 6:26? How best to deal with ventriloquists who allege that the Bible predicted things discovered by science only millennia later? What is the real dividing line between the religious believer and those who look at existential questions through a secular prism? The Delay of the Parousia motif in Lovecraft and the NT.

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-062

Dec 21, 2015 59:34


How would Christianity (and the world) be different if Jesus and the Book itself were EXPLICITLY the revealed messenger/word of god, a la Islam? Conversely, how would Islam (and the world) be different if it wasn't explicit? In John 20:17 Jesus tells Mary Magdalene, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father." Does this denote Docetism? Don't the raisings from the dead of Lazarus and others make Jesus's resurrection a bit anticlimactic? Is there anything to the claim that these were merely operating-table resuscitations and not resurrections? Since Matthew used significantly more of Mark than Luke did, do you think it's safe to assert the same re: Q? Is some of the "M" material also Q material? If Psalm 16:10 is not about some person whose body doesn't decompose, to what is it referring? Might the healing of blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52 really refer to a spiritual awakening? Might the apocalyptic predictions of the Bible be timeless predictions of an everlasting opposition between good and evil?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-061

Dec 16, 2015 52:38


How does the Jewish notion of Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David influence the New Testament? Is the presence of Joshua as one of the scouts in Numbers 13 a later editorial redaction? What's the deal with Caleb's ancestry? He is called both a representative of the tribe of Judah, but it often mentions that he is a Kenizzite. What does it mean by saying that Caleb "hath another spirit in him"? Fascinating stuff from Dr. Barton on Moses' burning bush and the Garden of Eden! Ditto on the Parable of the Dishonest Steward and the "leaven of the Pharisees." Was the Bible written "to convert the masses"? Is it proper to refer to the Christian community of any nation as "The Church"? Is El Elyon a Caananite god that eventually morphed into the Hebrew god? Did Yahweh/God sit down to dinner with Abraham in Genesis 18? Are modern Christians right in interpreting such "God as human" Old Testament sightings as Jesus?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-060

Dec 2, 2015 59:29


Is the Angel of Death used for reasons similar to the Angel of Yahweh: an appearance of a God too holy to appear on stage himself? What is your theory as to how or why religion developed at all? What is the purpose of Mark's Transfiguration story? Is it possible to discern any potential "pre-Markan" agendas for this one story? Does the familiar system of Bible citation (BOOK, CHAPTER, VERSE) distort the meaning of the text? In Mark 14:51 who is the young man who flees away naked? Is John's gospel more concerned with John the Baptist's movement than the synoptic are? Isn't the temptation narrative most compatible with an adoptionist Christology? What do we know about the Gnostic Cerinthus? Is the scene with the youth who fled naked in Mark derived from Joseph fleeing from Potipher's wife?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-059

Nov 24, 2015 53:35


Why do Matthew and Luke change Markâ??s picture of Joseph of Arimathea? Why does Jesus assume you would be slapped on the right cheek first seeing that most people are right-handed and would therefore slap the left cheek? How can so many people believe the Bible to be the inspired book of God? If, as Bart Ehrman says, Luke can be read as an adoptionist, does that mean Polycarp was an adoptionist? What do we know about the Ebionites? What do you think Mark believed regarding Jesus' resurrection? What are the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus? Why do many of the surviving ancient histories seem to have gaps in them around the time that Jesus supposedly walked the Earth?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-058

Nov 15, 2015 1:22:39


Revelation 1:1 seems to say that God gave the Revelation to Jesus to give to the church. Does this undermines any doctrine of Jesus' divinity, particularly the implications for his omnipotence, and oneness with the Father? Does Revelation 1:7 indicate a belief that Jesus is going to return during the lives of the people who actually executed him (Pilate, Caiaphas, etc.) or just a belief that the Jews would see him? Acts 19 says some Jewish exorcists who tried to imitate Paul's miracles were sons of a Sceva, "a Jewish High Priest." Were there numerous high priests at the same time? Is there any consistent position on eating meat offered to idols in 1 Corinthians? Might the Eden story enshrine a historical memory of the switchover from "Paleo" to agriculture? Luke 3:23 says, "So Jesus ... was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli," Is the "(as was supposed)" supported by any of the manuscripts or is it a later addition added after Jesus had been raised to the status of the Son of God? Where do you and other scholars stand on the question of the authenticity of the James ossuary now? Are there any scholars on board with the claim that the Syriac Peshitta is the basis for Hebrew and Greek versions? With which (if any) of the Synoptic Gospels do you think "John" the evangelist was familiar? Is there anything to suggest that the Gnostics were better educated than the early "proto-orthodox" church, or were various early Christian groups literate and reading a range of materials? Philip K. Dick & Bishop Pike. How did the "good" thief know that Jesus was innocent?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-057

Nov 5, 2015 2:34:48


In Exodus 1:8, we read about a change in Egyptian leadership from one unnamed pharaoh to another, "who knew not Joseph." So soon? Were there other pharaohs between them? Might the longevity of the Patriarchs be lingering after-effects of Adam & Eve sneaking a bite of the Tree of Life? Is it possible that Mt. Vesuvius was the inspiration for the apocalyptic material in Mark? How do you answer the anti-intellectual verses that suggest that you are suppressing the truth? Secondly, what are some of the major reasons that you reject the truth claims of the Bible and its followers? What are the similarities between Jesus and the Greco-Roman god Serapis? What do you know or suspect about where and for whom each Gospel (and, what the heck, any non-canonical gospels or other particularly interesting books that come to mind) was written? Eisenman argues that Paul attacked James in the 40s, and that this event became the model for the canonical stoning of Stephen. If this were true, how would that fit with Paul's statements in Galatians 1:18-19? Is there any parallel between the Jesus Christ of Revelation 22:16 and Lucifer the fallen angel? If Satan was such a minor figure in the Jewish religion and the Old Testament, and even at times an almost benevolent figure, how or why did he get to be such a major villain in the Christian religion? Since Satan doesn't fall from Heaven until right before J.C. is due for his Second Visit then just who in the hell are these unclean spirits/demons that pop up in the New Testament? Is there really a contradiction in Matthew 11 when John asks if Jesus is the Messiah after having already recognized Jesus when he had baptized him earlier in Matthew? Is there necessarily a contradiction between 1Cor 15:22-23 and Mark 12:18-27, the former saying that the dead will rise when Christ returns, while the latter says that at least some saints already live with God, e.g., Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Might Jesus mean simply that God remains their God and therefore will not leave them dead? Can you explain how Oneness theology and Trinitarianism originated and came to diverge? Valentinus believed in the tripartite nature of man, being made up of body, soul and spirit. Most evangelical Christians believe that the soul and spirit are interchangeable. But Paul speaks of these three separate parts of man in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. I know that Valentinus claimed to be a disciple of Theudas, one of Paul's own disciples. Do you think that Valentinus' strange anthropology is an indication that he may actually reflect Paul's theology more closely than the orthodox church? 1 Samuel 13:1, about Saul's age at his coronation, is variously translated as "one year," "was thirty years old," "was forty years old and a son of one year." What was the original intent of this verse? In his Church History Eusebius outlines his Christology. God is of two natures, Father and Son. Why no mention of the Holy Spirit and Trinity? Who divided scripture into all its chapters and verses? When was it done and how did the worldwide church all agree to adopt these divisions? Re: the possibility of Joseph moving Jesus from his tomb to the criminals' graveyard, William Lane Craig stated that according to Jewish law it was illegal for Joseph to use his family tomb as a temporary holding spot for Jesus. How would you answer this? What is your reasoning concerning the Jewish allegation that the apostles stole the body? What do you know about controversy around Genesis 4:1 implying God begat Cain? What's the most interesting development or revelation in Biblical scholarship/Biblical criticism to come out this year? Jesus and stepdad Joseph are referred to in English bibles as carpenters, but the Koine Greek term is 'tekton', which I believe has a more general meaning of a skilled craftsman or builder. Is there a Koine Greek word specifically for carpenter, which was oddly not used? Can you please provide a handy thumb-nail sketch of Macion's theology? The way some left leaning Christians speak about Christianity, it's as if the religion is about nothing but giving away everything to poor people. Are they correct? What is your opinion of the doctrine of Annihilationism? Are there any Bible Atlases that are particularly well done, or are so laughably wrong? If we don't believe what Acts tells us about Paul, what are the grounds for disbelieving that an individual by that name wrote several principle letters? He could be called Paul, Polycarp, or Paulycarp, for all it matters. Or is the point more to argue that no single person wrote any major portion of what has come down to us in the post gospel New Testament? If there was a mythical Jesus what do you think the point of the relatively short time on the cross is? And much more ...

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-056

Nov 1, 2015 47:33


A special Halloween treat! The Geek reads his story "The Righteous Rise", originally recorded as part of the 1/29/2013 episode.

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-055

Oct 29, 2015 1:00:52


The possible origin of Matthew 27's resurrection of the saints in the Lotus Sutra. I hear a lot of claims of Jesus being similar or a copy of pagan gods, as well as rebuttals from others about these claims. What is your professional opinion of these claims? Is Eisenman's theory about James derived from Hyam Maccoby? Any thoughts on if there are any indisputable data we have about the historical Jesus? Possible allegorical interpretation of the miracle of loaves & fish. When Luke borrows the story of Jacob & Esau striving in the womb for use in his episode of the fetus John leaping in Elizabeth's womb at the approach of the pregnant Mary, are we meant to understand the Jesus, though younger than John, will usurp the right of the elder as Jacob did Esau? Why isn't Jesus named "Emmanuel"? I am wondering if you have ever heard of any scholar suggesting that The Acts of the Apostles was redacted from a shorter Acts of Paul, written by Marcion or Marcionites? Is there evidence for a violent Jesus? Mark's use of thematic sets of 3, 6, & 9 texts. Where did the risen Jesus get the clothes he was wearing? Should we assume that Revelation was written by a follower of Marcionite Christianity since the book talks about secret knowledge being passed on to favored disciples? What is the latest critical analysis on the author and time period of Revelations? Mad Men TV show as a parallel to the gospels' mixing of history and fiction. More on the Jesus artwork in the Jehovah's Witnesses publications. In Luke 1:32 the angel tells Mary how she will give birth to a son who will be the heir of David, even though she does not know a man. Doesn't that imply that Mary has David's blood? Is there any evidence that is anywhere near contemporary that Paul actually persecuted the Christians?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-054

Oct 25, 2015 59:35


Given that demons are supposed to be fallen angels, can we assume that unfallen angels would have the same ability to possess people? I'm wondering if any of the pre-Christian cults made such an effort at "historicizing" their divine figures as the developing Christians did. Parallels between Mark & 1 Maccabees suggesting Mark used it as a source. What in the world does Mark 9:49-50 mean, what with salt and fire and all that? What of Frank Zindler's theory that the Therapeutae of Egypt are evidence that "Christianity" was already in development during Philo's lifetime, and that Jesus was likely a later addition to a pre-existing branch of Jewish mystery religion? Whence the notion that the proverbial "eye of a needle" was a gate through which a camel could not pass without stripping off everything but the essentials? In Genesis 15:7-12, 17-21, how did Abraham arrange the animals? And is the ceremony some Sumerian divination practice? You mentioned in an article that Joseph Smith was willing to die for his made up religion, but wasn't he killed trying to escape out the window from assassins? So, is this a bad example? If Christ may not have lived at all: what happened at Year Zero? When was the C.E. dating system adopted?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-053

Oct 22, 2015 1:15:09


Can you discuss the zombie story in the Book of Matthew? I always thought that Acts of the Apostles didn't mention the Pauline Epistles because they were Marcionite (and Acts is anti-marcionite in nature). If you are saying that the author of Acts also wrote the Pastoral, then what reason would the author have to not mention the Pastorals within Acts? Hebrews 8:10-11 says, "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts... And they shall not teach very man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." Wouldn't this imply that proselytizing and preaching to the gentiles was against this covenant? "You have the right to work only, but never to its fruits. Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction" (Bhagavad Gita 2:47). Is there a similar verse in the Bible? Wouldn't it have been more likely that Jesus would have been crucified on a tree? Is Noam Chomsky correct that the word "prophet" originally meant "dissident"? Might we not call one who believes Jesus existed but most of the stories are mythical a Jesus minimalist? What does it mean to say, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword"? In Lk 1:3, is Theophilus supposed to be a particular historical person? What do you know about the origin and the meaning of the belief that the world came into being "through" Christ? What translation of the Bible do you recommend for a critical reader?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-052

Oct 15, 2015 49:10


Why did the author of Mark write his/her gospel? And why did he give Peter a starring role when he clearly didn't like Petrine Christianity? Every time something in the New Testament gets connected to ancient Greece or Buddhism I can't help but wonder is there anything pure and original in the teachings of Jesus? Bertrand Russell said that Christianity owns a lot to Orphism. Is that true? Was Polycarp of Smyrna really one of the students of the Apostle John? What do you think the relationship of the Dead Sea Scrolls is to the New Testament? What reasons are there to think that the Q Source existed, or that it didn't? Could the Gospel of Thomas be the Q source? If not, how are the Gospel of Thomas and the Q source related? Luke and Acts are thought to have the same author due to similar syntax. What is the case for this?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-051

Sep 28, 2015 1:33:38


Can you explain to me what's going on in Acts 8:14-16 with the Samaritans being baptized but not yet receiving the Holy Spirit? Of the various arguments presented by apologists to support the historicity and/or divinity of Jesus, which (if any) do you find the most difficult to challenge? Doesn't Gal. 2:14 mean that, just like Paul, Peter no longer observed the Law? If so, might not Peter have actually sided with Paul in opposing the Jerusalem church on this important issue? What are the "three things" that Jesus told to Thomas in Thomas saying 13? How do we interpret passages like Romans 1:3 and 1 Clement 32:2 if Jesus was thought of as a celestial being? If Jesus was not a historical person, why would there be so many failed predictions by Jesus in the gospels? The story of Noah appears twice in the OT. One of the differences that stand out is that the story in chapter 6 seems to have an inordinate amount of detail as per the size of the boat where the version in chapter 7 contains no such information. Did someone add the details to make the story seem more realistic? Is there a particular time when the covenant of works ended and the covenant of grace from Christ's death and resurrection started? Doesn't it seem that if certain sects or religions aren't left behind in a logical and rational manner, then the void created will be filled by something just as crazy? In a church play, Mary's father, upset at her pregnancy, suggests that the child's father must be "a man with stars on his eyes." Where might they have gotten this?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-050

Sep 26, 2015 1:05:29


Juggling four theories on Simon/Peter/Cephas. In Genesis 19:14, depending on the translation, Lot's daughters are either married or about to be married. If they were in fact married and Lot's offer to the crowd consists of virgin daughters, could one draw the conclusion that the anger of the crowd stems from a feeling of Lot trying to fool them? Since he was a resident of the town the mob would probably know beforehand? What does the geek think? In Job 26:13, is the crooked serpent the constellation Draco, or is it the Milky Way? Moses marries a Midianite yet Israel fights the Midianites. What lies behind these seemingly contradictory stories? More about Philip K. Dick's gnosis! Would it be correct to say that Matthew and Luke agree on the timing of Jesus' birth but that Luke is just wrong in placing the census and reign of Quirinius at the time of his birth (Luke 2:1)? Might Marcion's gospel be the Q source? Is it possible that elements of both Simon Magus and Paul have been spun out of a single event, namely Marcion's attempt to win recognition with the early church, and that Simon Magus is the "bad" version and Paul is the comparatively "good" version? Does Genesis 15:13-16 mean that Yahweh wants to punish Egypt and the Amorites but to do this he first needs to have Abram's descendants suffer? An opponent assures me that form criticism is obsolete, and there are more modern alternative in use nowadays. What could he be referring to? Yet he thinks the Shroud of Turin is legitâ??huh? What's the deal with the common cultural concept that humans can become angels?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-049

Sep 22, 2015 47:53


Why do Jehovah's Witnesses depict Jesus with short hair parted on the right? Is there any biblical basis to the notion that "Hades" is a pre-Hell and that "Gehenna" is the final destination of sinners? Doesn't "The Exorcist" novel/movie evidence a creative evolution of the demon possession concept? Is the statement that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are already alive with God inconsistent with the notion of waiting till the resurrection? What do you think of Teilhard de Chardin? How did Satan become identified with Lucifer, leader of the rebellious angels? Didn't Rome steal earlier, "pagan" rituals and secrets, censor them and gain control over the masses? And how can Gentile Christians claim to be followers of a Jewish messiah who was sent to others, not them?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-048

Sep 21, 2015 1:25:41


Do I understand your position correctly that the story in Genesis Chapter 3, about the serpent and the eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil by the man and the woman, is more about a conflict between two gods, Nehushtan and Yahweh with Nehushtan winning? The two lists of the descendants of Cain and Seth are almost identical, with similar or identical names appearing in much the same order. Is this just another example of two versions of the same story being told as if they were separate stories, as is so common in the bible? Also, could you recommend a book or books on Canaanite mythology? Differences between the Synoptic accounts of the healing of Peter's mother-in-law. So if we discard a historical Jesus, we also get to discard the Apostles, right? If God is supposed to be eternal and unchanging and outside of time, how do apologists square the circle and give him a changing, mortal, human nature that exists inside of time? What is the best order to read the OT books to get an understanding of the history of Israel it's trying to propose? Why are the crowd telling Bartimaeus to be quiet? Is it because he is calling Jesus the Son of David? Why the detail of throwing aside his cloak? Is the name a play on Plato's work Timaeus, and that Bartimaeus regains his sight when he throws away his philosopher's cloak, abandons, Platonism, and follows Jesus? John Allegro used the locations from the Copper Scroll from Qumran for several archaeological digs in the hope of finding treasure described in the scroll. While he did find the locations, in each case thieves had already made off with the loot. Given that some scholars posit that Jesus was part of the Qumran community, do you think Matthew 6:19-21 could be in response to his own sectarians? Where do you think the Marcionites would fit into Margaret Barker's Christian reconstruction? When Jesus mentions Abraham's Bosom in the story of Lazarus and the rich man, what is he (or his author) referring to? Isn't Jeremiah 20:14-18 a reference to abortion? Doesn't the Two-Source Hypothesis presuppose or imply Matthew and Luke's respective ignorance of one another since they differ most significantly in the narrative material not taken from Mark? If this is the case, doesn't this clash with the hypothesis of Polycarp as both the Ecclesiastical Redactor (or more to the point, Expander) of Ur-Lukas or Marcion's "Luke" and the compiler of a New Testament canon, as he would then have to be well aware of Matthew? I wonder if you could comment on the parable of the wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1-14).

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-047

Sep 4, 2015 19:26


David Trobisch replies. More info on the Lemba and the Falasha. If John the Baptist is held in such high esteem by Christians today, why assume ancient Christians would have found his baptism of Jesus an embarrassment? I noticed that your translation of John 1:1 reads 'was a God'. Would you please offer an apologia of your alleged 'frightful mistranslation'? Is there anything outside the Bible to indicate the existence of some sort of Paul, or should we be as agnostic about his existence as about everything else reported in the New Testament? Is the story of Cain and Abel a justification for aggression by the sheep-herding writers against their farming neighbors?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-046

Aug 30, 2015 1:03:04


By moving the Transfiguration to come after the 1st Passion Prediction (8:31), the redactor altered Mark's Gospel from clearly adoptionist to merely having adoptionist overtones, and screwed up the literary quality of the story. Were certain gospels, etc., excluded from the canon because they contained inconvenient statements that later church authorities were keen to gloss over? Any thoughts about the "family of Jesus" stuff, which I know of primarily from reading Mack and Eisenman? Could you please explain what the "rape of Dinah" story meant at that time? It occurs to me the "four facts" that Habermas, Licona, and Craig say prove the resurrection can be explained by something I've never seen the HLC crew challenged with: hoax. Have you, or other scholars, explored the possibility that the founding executive of Christianity was an insincere opportunist, along the lines of Lucian's Alexander, or Joseph Smith, or L. Ron Hubbard? Might the statement concerning John that "the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is" (Mt. 11:11) be Marcionite in origin? How would we recognize an original autograph manuscript of a NT book if we did find it? Is it fair to say that you are a full mythicist, while Bart Ehrman is a majority 75% or 90% mythicist? Why would someone trying to write a history intentionally do artsy things that expose it as literature? Are we to understand that the gospels were not intended to be history?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-045

Aug 29, 2015 45:28


Glimpses of David Oliver Smith's work on chiasm and interpolation in Mark's gospel. Why does God appear to Moses in the form of a burning bush, not the pillar of fire? In the opening passage of the Gospel of John, why is "logos" universally translated as "word"? Does Genesis 5:24 suggest an early Israelite belief in some sort of heavenly afterlife, available only to some, and distinct from Sheol, the usual afterlife destination? What is implied when Moses, et al, are said to be "gathered to their people" when they die? What parts if any of the old testament were written by nomadic herders? How confident are scholars that Yahweh is the most accurate pronunciation since the word was not spoken except by the high priest once a year in the temple? What are differences that you know of between the Jewish and Samaritan Pentateuchs? When did they diverge from each other? And how does the timing of this divergence influence the idea how and when the Jewish Pentateuch was finalized? How do Biblicists make sense of the disgusting text Malachi 2:3? The saying, "God helps those who help themselves" isn't in the Bible, but is any such concept to be found? Why, in the Transfiguration in Mark's Gospel, does the narrator tells the reader that after 6 days Jesus takes Peter, James and John up the mountain? â?¦ After what?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-044

Aug 28, 2015 1:35:14


Why is an UNMARRIED couple traveling together as in Luke 2:4-5? What do you think of the argument that God speaking of "we" in Genesis is "the royal we"? What does that mean to have "little faith"? You suggested that Osama and Uthman are the same root name, but that doesn't seem to be true. In The Simpsons Reverend Lovejoy says the Bible does not allow us to go to the bathroom. Is there anything even remotely similar in the Bible? The Lemba should not be considered African Jews, at least not when compared to the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews) and the Falash Mura/Beta Abraham (Ethiopian Jews who converted within the last few centuries to Christianity). Is there any basis for the popular belief that, based on Psalm 46, Shakespeare helped translate the KJV? Is there any basis to the notion that the 12 disciples were young rabbinic school dropouts? Are there any church traditions related to the age of the disciples? What do you think is "early" for documents related to Jesus? Christians say God 1) loves mankind and cares for our eternal fate, 2) has issued rules we must follow to avoid damnation, and 3) possesses the absolute power to instantly and unambiguously convey these rules to each of us. Yet He gave His good news only to a dozen illiterate fishers and herdsmen in a remote desert tribe. We are then asked to believe He, in his compassionate power, oversaw the oral transmission, error-prone transcription, and fallible translation of contradictory gospels, leading to divergence and schism. What do you think? Is Genesis 27:5-25 a myth about a solar eclipse? The broad details of Abram going to Egypt during a plague, getting close to Pharaoh, being mixed up in some sexual impropriety, and God smiting the Egyptians with plagues (Gen. 12.10-20) is very similar to the descent of Israel to Egypt and of course the Exodus. Is it likely that this story of Abram was in time extrapolated to apply to the whole nation? What do you think of Madame Blavatsky's explanation of the rumor that Jews worshiped an ass-headed idol? King Herod asks the wise men when the star had appeared, so why doesn't Matthew tell us? Whence the notion of there being a trio of wise men? Why is Jesus called a "child" rather than a toddler once the wise men arrive? Could there have been another, older kid there? During the temptation of Jesus is Satan depicted as a villain? Whence the idea that Jesus was 30 years old? Why do none of the Egyptians seem to realize what's going on during the plagues? What are your thoughts about OT prophecies "of Jesus"? Why do Luke and Acts speak of both "the cross" and "the tree"? Just synonyms? Problems with the apologists' claim that "On that day you will surely die" means "On that day your eventual death becomes certain." Might the Nephilim of Genesis 6 have some connection with the Norse Niflheim? What do you make of Schmithals reading of 1 Cor 1:12? Is it possible that the John of Luke 1 and John the Baptist of Luke 3 are not the same Johns and that their conflation was accidental or half-accidental? Is it possible that Luke 1 was a later interpolation intended to establish the credentials of an early gospel writer named John? Is it possible that the Gospel of John was written specifically to capitalize on the reference to a prophet (not Baptist) John in Luke 1? Is it possible that Luke never meant to say that Jesus was born in a stable, since the underlying Greek word is kataluma, also used for the 'upper room' during the Last Supper?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-043

Aug 27, 2015 1:08:52


What does it mean that Jesus compares John to a reed shaken by the wind and to a person dressed in soft robes? What if James's brother John is really John the Baptist? This would mean that John the Baptist was the Lord that Paul was referring to. This would make John the Baptist the historical Jesus. It was only at his resurrection that he was given the name Jesus or Savior (Phil. 2:9-10). What do you think? We're all familiar with nationalities being represented in the Bible by single characters, (e.g. Judas to represent Judeans as a people, but what about talking animals like the Eden snake or Balaam's ass? Or New Testament examples like the Four Heavenly Beasts? Doesn't the movie Flight Club have many elements of mystery religion initiation as well as with the anti-possessions stance of Cynicism? Suggestions about David Trobisch's theory on the Pauline letter collection. In the Prodigal Son story, what do you think is the purpose of designating the two as elder and younger? Is it possible that Matthew 19:12 was lifted directly from the Graeco-Phrygian god "Attis" who is depicted as a castrated god? Might the Markan Appendix be aimed at Hinduism? Doesn't it seem entirely reasonable for members of a faith to believe their own faith is the correct one, and that nonbelievers/non-practitioners would be wrong (and/or damned)? Which 4 heads should go on a Mount Rushmore of apologists? What's the difference between a "fundamentalist" and a "maximal conservative"?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-042

Aug 19, 2015 1:02:53


How could the atonement (and the scapegoat ritual underlying it) be understood as something other than an immoral passing of the proverbial buck? Wouldn't a satirical and disrespectful description of a faith system work well with regard to debating men like William Lane Craig? What novels would you recommend that deal with a critical take on the bible? Why was Adam specifically sentenced to dig, not to hunt or fish, or gather mushrooms and berries? Does Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" reflect a Christian Atheist trend of the time? Zech 2:10 - 3:8 features speaking parts for Satan, Jehovah, and some angel, but who is saying what? Why aren't more scholars jumping on the mythicist bandwagon? How does salt lose its savor? Why does every gospel include a John the Baptist story near the beginning? Was John so widely known and respected at the time that his testimony would convince readers all around the Mediterranean to believe in Jesus? Does the story about John sending his disciple to Jesus to ask "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" (Matthew 11 and Luke 7) mean that John no longer had faith in Jesus?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-041

Aug 16, 2015 1:42:42


Simon of Cyrene and the chiastic structure of Mark. What accounts for the hostility of members of different religions or even denominations of the same one? How likely do you think it is that there are still authentic yet archeologically undiscovered Biblical manuscripts? What differences would you expect from Canonical texts discovered from earlier periods than we currently have? If Matthew did not mean to present Jesus' birth as a miraculous virgin birth, how do you understand the angel's words to Joseph: "For that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit" (Mt. 1:20)? Should I tell what I know about biblical criticism in order to help prevent the kind of wreckage that religion is capable of causing? How would you explain to an evangelical Christian the scholarly quest for the historical Jesus? Were the saints that rose from the dead in Jerusalem during the crucifixion the result of the harrowing of hell? What if the Snake was originally the owner of the Garden of Eden and the one whom Adam & Eve disobeyed? Is the scarcity of the term "Christian" in the NT is a mark of the tests' very late date? More info on the origins of "knecht" and "knight." Was the Emperor Constantine definitively converted to Christianity or not? I've always heard that one enters heaven with a whole and complete body, whether it is physical or not, but doesn't Matthew 18:9 suggest that one can enter heaven with only one eye? We are willing to pull the plug on someone's life when that person is brain dead. Can't we use this same standard when judging an unborn child? If there was a Jesus, do you think he was crucified on a cross as opposed to a tree? At Caesarea Philippi, does Peter recognize the truth about Jesus or is he mistaken as usual? If the cherubs atop the Ark of the Covenant were depicted in sexual embrace, does this not imply Judaism was basically (or originally) a fertility cult? Is it reasonable to suspect that the author of Hebrews was a believer in Merkabah mysticism? Is it possible that the Essene community, expecting a Davidic Messiah to come after (the priestly Messiah), eventually created a mythical Jesus, perhaps rethinking the nature of the kingdom of God altogether?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-040

Aug 15, 2015 58:59


Ephesians 1:3-14 constitutes one sentence. Is there a mnemonic trick for mentally processing these long passages the first time through? Are run-on sentences common in other Greek literature of the period? What would be The Geek's "central theme" to the bible? Was Tertullian correct in his report that the author of the Acts of Paul & Thecla was defrocked as a forger and his book debunked? Bart Ehrman says that the cult of St. Thecla was once so popular that it rivaled even with the cult of the Virgin Mary. What is the evidence for this? Is there any evidence the canonical Acts of the Apostles shared the encratite teaching found in the various Apocryphal Acts? Observations on same-sex marriage and Christianity. What are the sources about Jesus having a brother James? Is there a 'best qualification' to have in order to examine if Jesus existed? Is it best to be a Textual Critic? Apologists say that you can't test God, "God does not put on a show for you," but aren't these Bible passages in which God does this? Can we say the Noachian Flood is a metaphor for Baptism, the cleansing of sin by water? We have two incompatible genealogies for Jesus, so I suppose it's fortunate we have two Jesuses: Jesus ben Joseph and Jesus Barabbas. Why don't more mythicists point out that there is no evidence for the existence of various towns mentioned in the gospels? Analogies between the related concepts of Trinitarianism and Modalism and some elements of Quantum Field Theory.

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-039

Aug 11, 2015 1:08:00


Did the Gnostics and the Mystery Religion initiates employ any secret way of communicating? How do apologists explain away anachronistic sayings in which Jesus is made to address or refute issues that arose in the early church? In the AMC series "Humans" I see a parallel with the creation of humans by the Archons in Gnosticism. Any relevance to actual Artificial Intelligence work? What stops apologists from going all the way and just saying the gospels came immediately after Jesus' death? Might the doctrine of perpetual virginity of Mary have been an attempt by the emerging church to prevent anyone else from one-upping their founding authority? Authority could not rest with the "brothers of the Lord" since there couldn't have been any! Is it possible that Luke felt the need to change Matthew's genealogy because of the curse given to Jeconiah that "no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling anymore in Judah" (Jer. 22:30)? If so, would this be proof that Luke was written after Matthew and was responding to it? Why did the Dead Sea Scrolls community insist on the use of the solar calendar instead of the lunar calendar used by the Pharisees and the Sadducees? In a recent episode, you were talking about prohibitions of divorce in the gospels but you indicated that while Mark and Luke appear to have no exceptions, they are not as strict as they appear. Why? How an infinite something could nonetheless have a boundary. Why do you think Luke may not have meant to tell us Jesus was the result of a miraculous conception? Natives of Madagascar practice a circumcision ritual wherein a 5 year old boy is circumcised, then a male member of the family must eat the severed foreskin ... off the end of a banana no less. Can this be a vestige of an unknown Jewish mission to Madagascar? Or may circumcision have been borrowed from Africa?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-038

Aug 7, 2015 1:14:08


You've mentioned that Yahweh derived from Canaanite polytheism, and I wonder if you could go into further detail on the subject and provide a list of suggested readings. Do the archetypal names Adam ("man" or "mankind") and Eve ("mother of all living") mean that they were intended as mythic figures? Does Paul's language indicate he thought of Adam as an historical individual, and would that be common in first-century Judaism? What about Pharisaic Judaism is so at odds with the teachings of pseudo-Jesus? Why are fundamentalists so attached to the King James translation? Doesn't it matter that King James was gay? Is the information age going to be the death of religion (except maybe as literature)? There are 67 years between the death of Hezekiah through the reigns of Manasseh and Amon up to the time of Josiah finding the scroll of the Torah. Are we to believe that the inhabitants of Judah had completely forgotten the Torah in that 67 year period? You have said that there is no archaeological evidence to substantiate the Exodus story, but does the evidence show any movements at all in the Sinai? Might Irish monasticism have been influenced by the Desert Fathers of Egypt? What did Egypt represent for the Israelites in the Old Testament and then for the early Christians? Why did Judaism and its offshoots become dominant in the West rather than some modified form of the Egyptian religion? I was wondering if you could discuss the theology of Zoroastrianism, in particular the aspects that influenced Abrahamic faiths.

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-037

Aug 6, 2015 41:45


The Nephilim and their offspring make their brief guest appearance in Gen 6:4. "They were the heroes of old, men of renown". The immediately following verse delivers a sudden condemnation of the evil of men, followed by Yahwe resolving to wipe all life from the face of the earth. Have two unrelated stories been stitched together here - or are we missing something? What do you think of Gregory Riley's theories in The River of God? Could you recommend books on Zoroastrian influence on Judaism and Christianity? Is Bart Ehrman correct that pagan religions had no concept of scripture or holy books? Why do some scholars refuse to accept that there were pagan influences on Judaism and Christianity? Where does the idea of exclusivity in Christianity and Islam come from? How can one show that Marcion's theology not only influenced but also became a bedrock of Christianity?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-036

Jul 27, 2015 1:08:06


What is a good source for understanding the polytheistic pre-Jewish religion? Did early Muslims have to syncretize or cater to multiple groups like early Christians did? Am I right in thinking that the Valentinian Gnostic Pleroma is a series of realities where concepts such as truth, peace, and justice exist in perfection and that the seeds imbued into our reality of the Pleroma are a mythological way of explaining why these concepts can only partially exist in our reality? J D G Dunn argued in defense of the historicity of the empty tomb account, saying that it is unlikely that a fabricated account would cast women as the central characters. Valid? Bart Ehrman that since book-ends of Jesus' career are apocalyptic (baptism by John at one end, followers who are apocalyptic at the other), it must be the case that Jesus himself was apocalyptic in his outlook. Do you agree? In the ancient world, salt was often not just impure but laced with dirt or deliberately cut with other things to add flavors. Sachets were made to filter the salt, and these were then dunked into water to be used to cook rather like tea bags are today. After some number of dunks, the result was a small sack of tasteless dirt, fit only to be trod into the earth. Does this lie behind the famous gospel passage of treading underfoot salt that has lost its savor? Have you heard it suggested that the story of Eden about explaining the need humans have to eat and excrete? That the snake in the story is the human alimentary canal?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-035

Jul 19, 2015 1:14:52


Did Joshua's troops violate the Sabbath by carrying trumpets around Jericho, or aren't such rabbinical restrictions anachronistic? Now everyone is emphasizing the Jewish nature of the gospels, how Jesus is the product of Jewish, rather than Greek culture. How much of this is scholars seeing what they want to see? How solid are the arguments, made by Jane Schaberg and others, that Jesus was illegitimate? Where in the Bible does the idea of 'ensoulment' arise? Which source do you think presents a more "accurate" picture of John the Baptist - the Synoptics or Josephus? In Matthew 27:32 why does tradition advocate that the antecedent of "his" in the "his cross" phrase refers back to Jesus and not the last nominative that appeared in the sentence, the man named Simon? Could the business about Simon the Cyrenian bearing Jesus' cross be a reference to anything but picking up a physical cross, such as Simon Peter (the Cyrenian) perhaps taking over the ministry? An apologetical mistranslation in the NASB. Some say that the Parable of the Ten Minas in Luke 19 is meant to be read as satire. Huh? Doesn't the story in 2 Kings 3 say that Israel was routed by the wrath of the Moabite god? Can you suggest some critical introductions to the Koran?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-034

Jul 18, 2015 1:15:39


Is it true that in the ancient world there two behavior codes, one moral, one ritual, and that to unify morality and religion was a Hebrew innovation? What would have been the social survival value of exclusively religious rules? Might the passage from 2 Kings 2:23-24 about Elisha and the she-bears have intended to teach us to be careful about possible damage done by careless words? In the story of the loaves and fishes, was Jesus simply setting an example about sharing? Why is it a miracle? Does the Bible really teach that God is infinite? If he were, wouldn't we have Pantheism? What is the purpose of the story in Daniel of Nebuchadnezzar's time as a feral beast-man? Explaining how we know how the ancients pronounced words. Doesn't the story of the Sheep and the Goats teach salvation by works of mercy? Have you changed your views as to whether the Sermon on the Mount was influenced by Buddhism? Is there is a case to be made that the Cynics were influenced by Buddhist missionaries? Were the teachings of Jesus created to correct the obvious flaws in the Old Testament God?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-033

Jul 11, 2015 1:10:47


How has scholarship on Galilee impacted studies of the Historical Jesus? What do you make of N.T. Wright's 'criteria of double dissimilarity and similarity'? Please recommend some books on Hell. What are some good responses to Christians who don't accept Higher Criticism? What do you think of John Allegro's book "The Sacred Mushroom And The Cross"? Why do Jewish scholars seem more open to Moses being a myth than Christian scholars are to the Christ myth theory? A recent incident occurred with relevance to historicity, oral traditions, faith and formations of legends. Might there have originally been one Mary that then got split into many different characters, like you posit for many of the 12? Where is the line between a historical Jesus and a fictive Jesus to be drawn? How minimalistic can you get and still have something called a "historical" Jesus? What is the latest possible date for Mark and the other NT books?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-032

Jul 6, 2015 1:10:41


Why was the Christ Myth so popular and how did it spread so quickly if it was totally untrue? If there had never been the teachings of Christ bringing a sense of the equality of souls, would we have the Declaration of Independence that brought a sense of equality before the law? Was the so-called "New Quest" for the Historical Jesus in the end colored by a sort of apologetics? In Genesis the Nephilim existed before the flood, yet it also shows them in Numbers, Deuteronomy, Amos and Joshua after the flood. How did they survive the flood? Are both groups related or did more angels go after humans girls after the flood? Are there any lost non-canonical Bible books you'd like to have known more about? I'm looking for initial chinks in the armor of biblical inerrancy that might get even the staunchest fundamentalist asking questions. Can you suggest some questions to ask them? What is the difference between saying "There is no God" and saying "God is dead"? Please discuss the idea of taking the Eucharist as an atheist. In what order might one read the Bible to reflect the development of biblical thought? Might the use of "ecclesia" or "flock" by later NT writers be an attempt to work out what is meant in remembered sayings using those terms to mean something like "sangha" in Buddhism? In view of the propaganda use of the Bible against gays and gay marriage, isn't a scientific, critical study of the Bible more urgent than ever? Which do you think is the older, the Jesus Movements or the Christ cults?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-031

Jul 2, 2015 39:20


Another Bible Geek Show special: Dr. Price reads "The Austerity Gospel of Gordon Fee," a paper written for a Johnnie Coleman colloquium.

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-030

Jul 1, 2015 1:48:14


Was David an historical figure? Might he have originally been a great Psalmist later reinterpreted as a king? Might astrology have been condemned in Israel as unauthorized petitioning of guidance from angels ("stars") instead of God? Might L. Ron Hubbard's "Thetan" mythology have been derived from 1 Enoch? In the story of Jesus healing a man's withered hand (Matthew 12:9-13), might Jesus have been telling him to cast off the oppressing hand of a crippling demon? Was the story of Paul driving out a demon from the woman who followed him in Acts 16:16 structured as a kind of anti-parallel to the Gadarene demoniac of Luke? Does it suggest that there were diviners not directly associated with Christianity that were, nevertheless, accepted as inferior but still speaking by the spirit of God? Do you know anything about Watchman Nee and his present-day following? Is J.N. Darby's translation skewed by his (Dispensationalist) beliefs? What do you think of the various interpretations and translations of 1 Timothy 2:11-15? Might Mark's Messianic Secret texts (silencing the blabbermouth demons, etc.) have been derived from 1 Cor 2:7-8? What do you think of the philosophical position of igtheism, or ignosticism? Was the early Christian doctrine that sins could not be forgiven after baptism prevalent only among "orthodox" Catholics or was it more widespread? Where did it come from? Re the Supreme Court decision requiring all the states to perform and recognize gay marriages, what are your thoughts on the fears of many who don't accept gay marriage that the government will force them to act contrary to their religious beliefs? In Acts 2 and 4 it seems like the Christians in Jerusalem were practicing a kind of communal property and redistribution. What exactly is going on here? Was this only temporary? Was it only in Jerusalem?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-029

Jun 29, 2015 53:21


What do you think of DM Murdock's book Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver, and her mythicist theories? Christine Hayes understands the story of Abraham's attempted sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis 22 as Yahweh realizing that humans who obey every command without thinking are just as bad as the ones who disobey every command. Have you heard this interpretation before? Is there a relation between "Ye are the salt of the earth" and the story of Uddalaka and his son in the Chandogya Upanishad? What do you make of the fact that both Mark's parable chapter and the Olivet Discourse are single, elaborate chiasms, whereas the rest of Mark is made of individual pericopes, each with its own chiasm? And why does Mark 4 use repeated hearing language, while chapter 13 has seeing language? Did Christianity contribute to the decline of the Roman Empire as Edward Gibbon says? Did alliance with a powerful Rome allow Orthodox Catholicism to triumph over rival Christian sects, or was it the decline of Rome that contributed to its triumph? Were the Crusades necessary because of Moslem persecution of Christians? What was the original intent of texts such as 1 Corinthians chapter 5:11-13, 2 John 9-10, Matthew 18:15-17 dealing with excommunication or "disfellowshipping"? Was Mark 9:38-41 a slight jab at Paul because he was not in the inner circle of the earliest adherents of Christianity? Has Mark 9:38-41 been interpolated? Why do you suppose the church started limiting scripture readings to short passages? Has the Christ myth theory gained any footing in the Orthodox Jewish community or even amongst followers of Reform Judaism?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-028

Jun 26, 2015 1:14:14


Info on the "History in the Bible" podcast by Garry Stevens ( Would you agree that some atheists who want to "purge society of religion" in order to create a perfect world, as they seem to believe that (organized?) religion is the root of all evil, are more evangelical that evangelical Christians? Whether Jesus was a 100 BCE mystic or whether he never existed at all, if you don't take the Gospels as "Gospel," why did the Jesus "Movement" take place at this time in history? Can you recommend an annotated edition of the Koran? If the gospel of Mark is the fictional product of a small group of authors, doesn't that process obviate the need for a historical hero cult? What evidence other than Mark exists for a Jesus hero cult? Might the fictive glories of David and Solomon be fictionalizations of the glories of Omride Israel, borrowed by Judah after the Assyrian conquest of the north? How does anybody know how ancient words and names were supposed to be pronounced? At his trial Jesus is asked if he is the son of "the Blessed" and says he will take his seat at the right hand of "Power." Why this avoidance of the divine Name? Is there any real evidence of an underground stream of Modalist and/or Pentecostal belief between the 1st century and the 20th? 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 says the angelic rulers did not recognize Jesus for what he was, while various Markan stories show demons acknowledging him as God's Sonâ??a contradiction? Might Jonah's swallowing by a fish have originally been part of a mystery initiation re-enacting Yahweh's death and resurrection (a la Marduk, Baal, etc.)? Might the Seals on the Scroll in Revelation refer to restraining bonds on various creatures described in the book?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-027

Jun 17, 2015 1:48:59


Might the Eden story be an etiological myth about the digestive tract? What is the actual historical context of the condemnations of homosexuality in Leviticus 18 and 20? Can the relationships between David and Jonathan, and between Ruth and Naomi, fairly be understood as homosexual in character? Should we infer from Jesus' silence about gay people that he tacitly approved of loving homosexual relationships? Rahab and her household were spared the general destruction of the city because she put a scarlet cord in her window as a signal to the Israelites. But given that her house was part of the city wall (Joshua 2:15), how come it was still there after the wall collapsed, with Rahab still alive inside? God's commands the Israelites to walk round the walls of Jericho for six days with the priest carrying trumpets in front of the ark; and then on the seventh day to do the same thing but this time blow the trumpets. Given that one of these days must have been the Sabbath, does trumpet carrying not count as work? What is your opinion of the NIV translation of the Bible? What is the history and background and who was behind this translation? How would Christianity have evolved if Marcion's theology had prevailed? In view of the obvious seams in John, how do conservative scholars justify maintaining that John was written by a single author? Do you think that the gospels were put together with the liturgical calendar in mind? Why has there not been a race to the bottom in religion? How can kindly Gods be popular? If Pascal was right then we should choose to worship Satan or Charles Manson. Is there a good read-along guide for reading the whole Bible? Perhaps reading the books in the order in which they were written? Might Dr. Christian Lindtner be correct that Q is to be identified with the Lotus Sutra? What about the theory that the Ur-Markus was the basis of the synoptics? In 1 Cor. 15, Paul first refers to some scriptures dealing with resurrection, etc. but NT scholars agree that such scriptures can hardly be found in the OT. BUT wouldn't it be a better explanation to posit the use of Buddhist scriptures where such elements are actually found? Why is the word "church" so scarce in the canonical gospels, appearing only in Matthew 16:18 and Matthew 18:17? Why did the Samaritans accept only the Pentateuch as authoritative, but not the Prophets or any other books?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-026

Jun 12, 2015 1:04:30


Please recommend a few books on Hellenistic culture and influence in Judea/Palestine. In Mathew 3:9 John the Baptist is lambasting those poor old Pharisees and Sadducees again. But I really don't understand his meaning. "Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham." What does Matthew 24:28 mean? If the bible doesn't mention abortion, what on earth is Numbers 5:11-31 about? In my view, what Ezekiel described in Eze 28:13-15 and Eze 1:13-14 were not stars but plasma discontinuities. The Roman Catholic Church claims that Peter was the first pope. How true is this? Did Peter even exist? Is the Petrine Doctrine an interpolation? How or why do you reject Pascal's wager? Couldn't there be a Quadrinity? What about 5 members of the Godhead? Or a million? How does Proteus Peregrines fit in to the Paul-Simon puzzle? Might the Ophites have been a survival of the worship of Leviathan? Is it possible that the story of the Exodus is a memory of the Hyksos being expelled from Egypt? Is it possible that there was some sort of Enosh-Enoch-Moses-Noah ur-patriarch? According to William Lane Craig, there is an increase in conservative scholarship. Is this true? How reliable is conservative scholarship? Is it all or mostly ax-grinding? Comments on Let the Reader Understand by Robert M. Fowler and Thomas L. Thompson's The Mythic Past.

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-025

Jun 11, 2015 28:40


Robert M. Price reads his essay "Lotus and the Logos".

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-024

Jun 5, 2015 1:00:19


A Buddhist key to the puzzle of the fourfold gospel canon. Please contrast the story of the Widow's Mite with that of Ananias & Sapphira. Was Theophilus in the Lukan prologue Theophilus, bishop of Antioch during year 169-183 AD? Who do you think is the EARLIEST likely historical Old Testament and New Testament characters? What's with the "Mark of Cain?" What is the biblical basis for this idea that we're all rotten, stinkin' sinners who deserve to be tortured for eternity, and who are saved from receiving our just deserts only by God's grace? What is the historical lineage of this "humans are evil crap" meme? Does "hate" in Luke 14:26 really just mean "love less"? Was Yahweh originally a volcano god? If Jesus was affixed to a post, hands nailed above his head, would it change our idea of how Jesus was thought to be executed and the wounds he would have suffered? How do Christians explain the concept of "fully God and fully man" nature of Christ?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-023

May 29, 2015 59:28


King Ahab and Elijah question from the 5/27/15 podcast revisited. The criterion of embarrassment: might many groups within the Roman empire's social hierarchy not consider death on the cross in any way ignoble, disqualifying the criterion? Is the whole of 1 Corinthians 15 (not just 3-11) an interpolation? Don't myths necessarily develop over a long period of time, rather than appearing suddenly fully formed? What about 1 Thessalonians where "Paul" already appears to believe in an apocalyptic parousia, both a first and second coming within his own lifetime? Answering the damn phone! In Genesis, why does not God talk directly to Joseph, like the earlier patriarchs? Is the story of Noah simply a retelling of the Eden story? Is there any connection between Joseph and Daniel, given certain parallels? Why do you disagree that the "stylistic" and "vocabulary" analyses of the seven "undisputed" Pauline epistles trumps your analysis of the dating, among other, criteria for inauthenticity? Is there a relation between Gideon's biblical "300" and the Spartans? What do yourself and other biblical scholars think of Zacharia Sitchen's theories? Has Dr. Price read "The Preacher" comic book series? Regarding your rejection of the authenticity of "Secret Mark": considering both the great number of familiar Markan phrases and the chiastic structure of nearly every canonical Markan pericopes seen as stylistically characteristic of Mark; does this not seem as a further argument against the authenticity of "Secret Mark" which lacks these literary distinctives? Did the followers of Chrestos have fewer cavities? Does the Bible speak of "natural selection," or is there anything resembling modern evolutionary theory contained in it? A question about a question from the 3/27/15 podcast, concerning Quran surya 33 and the Shi'ites. Concerning the recent panel discussion of Dr. Price with Richard Carrier and David Fitzgerald, would not Goodacre's theory better explain the synoptic problem over the various two-source theories?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-022

May 28, 2015 1:05:41


How well did Mohammad tie into the Jewish and Christian origins? Did he teach that the historical aspects of the Jewish and Christian religions were pretty well accurate up through the time he received his revelations? Are there characters in his narrative that do not appear at all in the Christian Bible? How did apologists deal with the Tower of Babel story when compared to our landing on the moon and Voyager leaving the solar system? Was the prohibition on saying the name of God, or questioning him in any way, an attempt by his prophets to keep people from looking to closely at the inconsistencies in their stories? How do the apologists deal with the different animals in America and Australia that could not have gotten on the ark? How do Creationists deal with the size of the universe and the speed of light? Do you think Westerners are wrong to deliberately provoke Islamic militants by insulting them or their faith? Wherefore the discontinuance of child sacrifices? Does the Old Testament support Matt Slick's inference about the "Old Testament God" being "the incarnate Christ?" Is Bar Kochba related, literarily, to the nativity of Jesus, i.e., the star that the Magi use as a guide? Is there any evidence Mark's gospel was written as a play, a simplistic rendering of 1st century history and Marcionite-Christianity, and that Matthew and Luke stepped up to challenge it (via different mediums)? Any comment on Bart Ehrman's dim view of the work of the Jesus Seminar? Do we get any sense anywhere in the Bible that demons can read our minds? Why is King Ahab considered a villain? The Hebrew Roots movement teaches that Paul was really teaching his converts to KEEP the Torah. Can a plain reading of Paul's epistles be interpreted like this? Could "seething a goat in its mother's milk have been part of a pagan fertility ritual of some kind or a command not to slaughter an animal before its weaned? What sort of viper bit Paul on Malta?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-021

May 27, 2015 42:30


Aren't the "stones fire" in Ezek. 28:13-15 the same as the "coals of fire" in Ezek. 1? Isn't NT Christology a direct continuation of Philo? And what is his role in the evolution of the Christ Myth? Is Michael Hardin correct that the phrase "son of Damneus" isn't found in any of the original Greek texts of Josephus? If Marcionitism had become the dominant form of Christianity, and copies of the 27-book NT had been unearthed in modern times, what would we make of it? According to traditional Christianity is the Old Testament YHWH considered God the Father, Jesus, the Trinity itself? Do the Islamic State's activities reflect the teachings of the Qur'an or not? Is it possible that Saul/Paul was Marcion's father, Saul being a converted Jew, and that when he died, Marcion inherited his letters? Do the Hauptbriefe have a core/original author, with any contradictions between them to be explained as later additions and edits, or is there no core author? Song of Songs 6:4 mentions both Tirzah, the capital of Northern Israel after King Jeroboam relocated from Shechem to Tirzah, and Jerusalem. Why would the author, pretending to be King Solomon make such an obvious anachronism? Does Judges 1:19, in which God was unable to clear enemies of his people from the valley because they had chariots of iron, imply that God was not always so omnipotent? If God has to exist outside the confines of our space-time multiverse, then souls don't just spend the rest of eternity in either Heaven or Hell. The moment that they enter eternity, they exist throughout all of eternity. That means that they have been in Heaven or Hell since the beginning of the universe and throughout their lifespan as well. To your knowledge, has this issue been discussed in Christian circles?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-020

May 26, 2015 2:01:39


How common was it in the ancient world for the first book written about someone to be 40 years after their death? How do apologists explain how Moses learned and wrote about the stories that pre-date his birth? Is there any real difference between the doctrine of predestination and its hardcore version of "double predestination" espoused by some Calvinists? Christian apologists defending the historical resurrection of Jesus often use the appearance of Jesus to Paul as evidence that the resurrection really happened. A historic appearance to Paul would have had to occur post ascension (according to the New Testament timeline). In order to argue that Paul is encountering the resurrected Jesus, wouldn't you have to assume that Jesus returned to earth after the ascension? Should we now to be expecting a 3rd coming? Has any scholarly work pointed out the 'deconstruction' of distinctions in Gospel of Thomas and the mystical experience underlying it? How often and where does the phrase 'the age' appear in the New Testament? Does it come from the Old Testament or is it unique to the New? To what does it refer? In 1 Corinthians 15:3 Paul says that Jesus was "seen by Cephas, then by the twelve." Nowhere in the gospel accounts does Jesus appear to twelve disciples. What does this say about Judas' role in the passion narrative? Does the term "Judas (not Iscariot)" suggest that a single Judas has been split into various characters, including Thomas? What is your view of the Muratorian Fragment? Is there a resource where I can get a list of "Q" material? When is the earliest extra-biblical evidence for the existence of the church? Who are the earliest Christians to be mentioned by contemporaries? Which NT characters were historical figures? Discussion of Diodorus Siculus' account of how Orpheus identified Osiris with Dionysus and its implications for mythicism, the virgin birth and the ethnicity/color of the Egyptians. If the letters of Ignatius are essentially fiction, what are your thoughts about how and why they came to be written? Why do the chronology of Mark and Luke differ on the time of day/night Jesus faced the Sanhedrin? In Revelation, are the "Jews" who belong to the "synagogue of Satan" the Paulinists? When the interpretation of a particular verse hinges on one or two words, when does the manuscript evidence kick in?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-019

May 25, 2015 1:10:39


Why would the disciples need any Paraclete at all to lead them if Jesus was supposed to return during their lifetimes? Are there any scholars/books you feel comfortable simply rejecting based on reputation or first impressions? Why not shelve the larger question of whether Jesus is a myth and just consider the historical veracity of each gospel story or saying, case by case? Might the character Doeg the Edomite, chief herdsman to King Saul, be a reference to/allegory of the Edomites sacking the Temple and killing the Priests during the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem? The Muratorian Fragment refers to the Apocalypse of John being the predecessor of Paul. Can he mean Revelation predates the Pauline Epistles? Who is "the man" in the Apocalypse of Abraham worshipped by some, reviled by others, a Gentile who converts Gentiles to monotheism? Is it possible that the Apocalypse of Abraham was written in reaction to the fall of Jerusalem and the loss of the Temple? If so, could it be Ebionite in origin? I am interested by your biography and "evolution" and wonder what you consider yourself to be (religiously/philosophically) at this juncture? Does the criterion of embarrassment really vindicate the historicity of Jesus being baptized by John? What if the incarnation and crucifixion meant that God was atoning for his own sins in creating a sinful world? How do the Ishtar/Tammuz and Isis/Osiris myths factor into the development of proto-Christianity? Do holy mackerels worship the Lord thy Cod? Could the episode of the "wise men" who visit Jesus be Christianity's first attempt to make Jesus acceptable to "science?"

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-018

May 24, 2015 1:40:28


Why would the disciples need any Paraclete at all to lead them if Jesus was supposed to return during their lifetimes? Are there any scholars/books you feel comfortable simply rejecting based on reputation or first impressions? Why not shelve the larger question of whether Jesus is a myth and just consider the historical veracity of each gospel story or saying, case by case? Might the character Doeg the Edomite, chief herdsman to King Saul, be a reference to/allegory of the Edomites sacking the Temple and killing the Priests during the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem? The Muratorian Fragment refers to the Apocalypse of John being the predecessor of Paul. Can he mean Revelation predates the Pauline Epistles? Who is "the man" in the Apocalypse of Abraham worshipped by some, reviled by others, a Gentile who converts Gentiles to monotheism? Is it possible that the Apocalypse of Abraham was written in reaction to the fall of Jerusalem and the loss of the Temple? If so, could it be Ebionite in origin? I am interested by your biography and "evolution" and wonder what you consider yourself to be (religiously/philosophically) at this juncture? Does the criterion of embarrassment really vindicate the historicity of Jesus being baptized by John? What if the incarnation and crucifixion meant that God was atoning for his own sins in creating a sinful world? How do the Ishtar/Tammuz and Isis/Osiris myths factor into the development of proto-Christianity? Do holy mackerels worship the Lord thy Cod? Could the episode of the "wise men" who visit Jesus be Christianity's first attempt to make Jesus acceptable to "science?"

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-017

May 23, 2015 1:23:54


Is Paul's claim that he will "remain in Ephesus until Pentecost" (1 Cor. 16:8) a bit of Catholicizing redaction? In Acts 21:38 the RSV and other translations read "assassins," but the Greek word is actually "sicarii." Would you say this is a poor translation? What do you think of John Allegro's book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross? Have you ever read the books about Jesus traveling to India, or that Jesus was really a Hindu or a Buddhist; that Jesus was called Krishna, etc.? What was the point of including all the variant doublets in the Pentateuch? Wouldn't readers favoring one version be upset if their favorite came second in order? Would it make sense to view Babel as an anti-Jerusalem? Are the names of David's sons ironic comments on their deeds? Does Josephus mean that Pharisees believed in reincarnation or resurrection? 1 Cor. 1:19 says, "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." (KJV). Where is this written? Does 1 Cor. 1:17 ("For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be of none effect.") mean that Paul's gospel purely experiential and that there can be no conversion through argumentation but only conversion following revelation? Does 1 Cor. 1:22 ("for the Jews require a sign and the Greeks seek after wisdom") indicate that Paul's Christ lacks historicity? That the Jews needed concrete evidence of salvation is a "stumbling block" for them since Paul's Jesus apparently was not a sign to be seen but merely something that is "preached" and that did not happen for all to see. In an interview you conducted with Thomas Altizer for Point of Inquiry some years ago, you expressed sympathy for Altizer's theology in general and in particular for his idea that God is not merely deadâ??in the rhetorical sense of not existingâ??but had literally died on the cross, never to be resurrected. What I didn't understand was how you, as a mythicist, could support the notion that God had died, when you don't believe he ever lived. If God is eternal, perfect, all-knowing, etc., isn't he paralyzed in a strait jacket of eternal actions? I would like to hear your analysis of the evangelical claims about the mark of the beast and the cashless society. Can you recommend any work that explains the historical and cultural context of each prophecy and an explanation of how modern interpretations of prophecies fail?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-016

May 14, 2015 43:42


Who exactly were Cephas, James and John, mentioned in Galatians 2? Why is the story of the loaves and fishes considered a miracle? The disciples were not the only ones who had some food, but not enough to feed everyone. Jesus got everyone to share some of what they had, and it turns out there was more than enough for everyone. A historic appearance to Paul would have had to occur post ascension (according to the New Testament timeline). In order to argue that Paul is encountering the resurrected Jesus, wouldn't you have to assume that Jesus returned to earth after the ascension? Should we now to be expecting a 3rd coming? A new theory of an historical Jesus should attempt to find Jesus in a wider than traditional historical range. Rene Salm found that Nazareth was inhabited before Jesus was supposedly born, after he supposedly died, but not when he was supposedly alive. And some traditions place Jesus at about 100 BC. Why not start here? Why shouldn't Christian parents refrain from raising their children as Christians? Let them have their own conversion experiences. What are your thoughts are about Papias of Hierapolis? Did he really get first-hand testimony from Jesus' apostles?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-015

May 11, 2015 1:14:43


Why does Reza Aslan, in his book Zealot, give no hint of the debt his work owes to S. G. F. Brandon? Does the Bible actually command a victim to marry her rapist? Is it possible to reconcile the idea that I gleaned from reading The Great Angel: that Jesus was viewed as some kind of manifestation of Yahweh, with the Jesus myth's incorporation of elements from Ishtar/Tammuz, Isis/Osiris and the Osiris mystery religion? Is possible after all to determine the gender of the author of a given New Testament document? Josephus speaks of a James and John, sons of Susa, who are led by a man named Jesus. Is it possible that 'Susa' is a corrupted form of the name 'Zeus'? t do you think of Francis Schaeffer's contention that the Triune God is the only answer for the philosophical problem of unity in diversity? Is Galatians chapter 2 talking about the same message being preached to two different audiences, or is it two different messages?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-014

May 6, 2015 51:44


Might the Joram mentioned in 1 Samuel 8:9-10 be the same as King Jeroboam? In the LXX, Samuel and Kings are grouped together as 1-4 Kingdoms. Did the translators work from a Hebrew version that grouped these books knowing their origins? Or did the translators realize their provenance and group them? Or is it an accident they align with scholarly consensus? The Old-Latin order of the Gospels was Matthew, John, Luke, Mark. Why would Luke be placed before Mark in this order? In his Genesis commentary, Rashbam says that, on a literal reading, the day does not start in the evening, but in the morning. Likewise, he says the commandment of phylacteries in Exodus 13:9 is not to be taken literally. He observed the traditions but merely pointed out they are not literal commandments of the text. Why should this seem controversial to publishers who have censored his work? What are your thoughts on Dr. Marcus Borg and his work. Where do you place the Gospel of Peter in relation to the canonical gospels and do you think it's dependent or independent? And why does the extant text refer only to "the Lord," not "Jesus"? Is it possible that the evangelists had copies of the epistles and used material from them to construct sayings of Jesus? If so, would this count as evidence for the Christ myth theory? The author of the Epistle of Diognetus, in his second chapter, seems to suppose that Jews were monotheists yet sacrificed to idols. How could he be so ignorant about Judaism? Might this passage represent a gentile belief in a heavenly Christ before that sect had merged with a separate Jewish Jesus Movement? Would that support Burton Mack's reconstruction of the early Christian church? Might it even be a pious forgery from the high middle ages?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-013

Apr 25, 2015 37:22


Did the author of Acts have a copy of the Pauline and deutero-Pauline epistles in hand and use the (scant) biographical information in them to help him craft stories in his pseudo historical narrative so Acts would match the already extant letters? When I mentioned reading Wellhausen, my professor suggested his opinions, while correct on the sources of the OT, were in other areas considered generally anti-Semitic? Any basis for this? Do you consider terrorism an ancient phenomenon, and specifically one with biblical precedent? With Jesus taking the role of Sophia, what is the need for the Holy Spirit, and why does it become part of the Godhead? Shouldn't apologists drop the argument that, since Jews had no notion of a resurrection of a dead man before the Eschaton, only an actual case of it could have eventuated in belief in Jesus' resurrection? After all, Mark tells us that Jesus' contemporaries believed him to be John the Baptizer raised from the dead, so I guess they could conceive of it happening after all! Is the NT debate over faith vs works anachronistic for the period 40-60 AD? What do you think of apologists destroying mummy masks to hunt for gospel fragments? What books in the bible do we have a clear idea regarding their authorship?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-012

Apr 13, 2015 1:19:06


How substantial is the evidence for "James the Just"? We are told when Elkanah and Samuel are introduced that Elkanah (and therefore Samuel) are from Ephraim. Later in Chronicles, he has become a Levite. Did the author of Chronicles invent his Levite pedigree to co-opt him for the Levites? Is it reasonable to think Chronicles is preserving an earlier version of the Daniel character than we have now in the Book of Daniel? Why were the Genesis Patriarchs and Matriarchs so urgent that their children not marry Hittites? What do you think of Ken Schei's thesis that the Ebionites were the original Christians, but Paul succeeded in destroying their religion and usurping authority to lead the followers of Jesus? Did Jesus, as portrayed in the Gospels, think the Kingdom of God was imminent? Was he wrong about this? If He thought the end of the world was at hand, why would he bother preaching liberation for the poor? Aren't many if not all the miracle stories about Jesus besting some older or contemporary God? What do you make of the story of a first-century "copy" of Mark found in an Egyptian papyrus burial mask?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-011

Apr 9, 2015 57:58


Moses and Minimalism will be coming out in a few weeks. Holy Fable: The Bible Undistorted by Faith is still in the works. A fundamentalist Bible teacher claimed that the Dead Sea Isaiah scroll debunks a "liberal" theory that Christians created Isa. 53 as a prediction of Jesus and inserted it into Isaiah. Huh? Regardless of the date of the authorship of Isaiah, could parts of it be Christian interpolation? Regarding the rise of the monotheistic Yahweh cult and child sacrifice, was this prohibition a deliberate attempt to turn the Israelites to the animal sacrifice cult as an alternative to killing their kids? In Jeremiah, when the sacrifices of cakes to the Queen of Heaven stopped, why did Yahweh still punish the people for idolatry? Too little, too late, like Josiah's reformation? What was the status of Asherah to El in relation to the rise of Yahwism and the Deuteronomistic reforms? Who would win: Barney or H. R. Puffinstuff? Does the existence of demons, sorcerers, etc., in the NT represent polytheism? Why did no one preserve the numerous prophetic and historical books mentioned in the OT, e.g., the Book of Gad the Seer? Does Isaiah promote actual monotheism or henotheism? Since rabbis usually were married and had kids, and Jesus is not so depicted, does this imply docetism in the gospels? Since Abraham's 300 retainers were circumcised, thus members of the covenant, mustn't they have been fathers of Israel, too? Since the Hebrew words for "God" and "nature" share the same gematria value, might we translate Genesis 1:1 as "In the beginning nature created the heavens & the earth"? What is your opinion on various theories of Isaac Asimov equating individuals in the OT with groups, tribes, nations, etc.? In Galatians 3:1, couldn't the Greek word translated "publicly portrayed" also be rendered "written before," the translators misleadingly implying Paul meant he had publicly demonstrated that Jesus' crucifixion was a fulfillment of OT prophecy? What resources are available for citation in academic undergraduate and graduate studies that might be more acceptable to university professors than, for instance, Richard Carrier?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-010

Apr 5, 2015 49:07


If there are sufficient references in the Gnostic literature to a mythical conception of Jesus (as opposed to an historical conception) at what stage would it make sense to think of the Gnostic authors of antiquity as the very first mythicists? What is the reason for ascribing the Magnificat to Elizabeth instead of Mary? In the Eden story, couldn't the snake ("Levi" = "serpent") be telling Adam to chose between being ruled by a King (Yahweh's vicar) or High Priests? Why would God create the woman helper from Adam's side and thus impart the natural desire for sex if he didn't want procreation? Why would he be angry at the two for acting on a natural desire that He himself created? Also, what mother and father did Adam leave? Why no Pauline Epistles to Alexandria , Athens, or Tarsus? If Mohammad was originally, within the pages of the Qur'an, a historical warrior-prophet, why does his name only appear there four times? What do you think of the suggestion that the narrative of Dinah, Shechem, Simeon, and Levi should be divided between a story about a rape and another about a betrothal? Isn't the argument for Q dependent on the timing of the writing of Matthew and Luke's gospels? If they were both using Mark as a source and written in close temporal proximity, then the Q source is more likely.

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-009

Mar 28, 2015 34:37


What is the official the Roman Catholic teaching concerning the salvation of members of other religions? Can you explain this Quranic passage (Al-Ahzaab 33:40? "Muhammad is the father of no man among you. He is the Apostle of God and the Seal of the Prophets. Surely God has knowledge of all things." Could the Jewish esoteric text Sefer Yetzirah be as old as the Hebrew Bible? Is it possible that the Book of Ruth was written as a response to Ezra-Nehemiah's opposition to mixed marriages? Is there any connection between the names of Queen of Sheba and Bathsheba? Did David choose Jerusalem to try to unite the Northern and the Southern tribes? It seems as if the Book of Genesis follows the metaphysical thought of the Greek philosopher Thales who held that water was the single universal substance. How common was Hydro-Monism among the Ancients?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-008

Mar 1, 2015 57:35


Why there is a discrepancy of 243 years between Bishop Ussher's age for the earth and that given in the Jewish calendar? Do any of the extant apocryphal gospels use Mark and/or Q as source materials the way the canonical synoptics do? What is the significance of dividing "between the sheep and goats"? Could you address some of the apologetics given for God "hardening Pharaoh's heart"? Do you think the doctrine of "soul sleep" is biblical? When the 10 sons of Jacob make their appeal to Joseph, 42:16 clearly has Joseph instructing to send just *one* from the brothers back to Cannan to fetch Benjamin in order to prove they are indeed in Egypt to purchase grain and not spies. After 3 days of lockup for all 10 brothers, this suddenly turns into sending all the brothers back *except* one (Simeon). Any idea what gives? Is it possible the Simeonites are the descendants of the Hyksos? Were the Amalekites literal brethren to Israel? Why would Laban name his daughters little "lamb" and "cow"? In what ways, specifically, did Josiah's reform "corrupt" the religion of the first temple?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-007

Feb 20, 2015 1:08:10


Some Mormons seem to think Genesis 10:25 refers to a divide/split in the "covenant" line, linking Joktan to both the Jaredites and the Yucatan Peninsula. What are your thoughts on this interpretation? Do you think that the Apostle Thomas going to preach in India is a garbled historical memory that the "celibacy gospel" was imported into Christianity from Buddhism? Is there any reason to believe, as some do, that Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel painting of Adam, Eve and the Serpent at the Tree of Knowledge secretly suggests it was actually oral sex performed on Adam by Eve which was what the "knowledge of good and evil." Google claims there is no implied Biblical condemnation of suicide prior to the Pauline writings, and that it was several centuries before suicide emerged as sinful and abhorrent in Christian doctrine. Is there any particular reason for this? Burton Mack says we can infer the existence of a particular "Jesus movement" from miracle collections in Mark and John. How? Does Job 26:7 contain modern cosmology? Do you think mainline Christian denominations would benefit by presenting from the pulpit the type of information you present in your podcast? In John 2:20 is Jesus/John referring to the Zerubabbel temple of Herod's? Is it true a growing number of scholars are leaving the Q hypothesis behind, and do you see any particular weaknesses in the Q-hypothesis? Did early Christians have a more humane and slightly less nonsensical view of post-mortem judgement than we do today? Which, if any, particular doctrine concerning hell does a fair reading of the relevant texts vindicate?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-006

Feb 6, 2015 1:16:43


In Luke 20:34-36 Jesus says the resurrected righteous do not marry because they cannot die. What has that got to do with anything? In Acts 15:22ff we read that some members of the Jerusalem church had gone to Antioch, without authorization and spreading unsettling ideas. Any ideas as to what these unnamed troublemakers were preaching? Ezekiel 8:17 list various idolatries and blasphemies. What the heck could "putting the twig to their nose" mean? The synoptics were almost certainly pulling ideas from Isaiah 53, in their Passion narratives. How then do they get verse 53:9 backwards?! "His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death" (NASB). Don't the gospel crucifixion & burial accounts flip these distinctions? A question about the Zohar I, 21b. Origen, Ambrosiaster, and Euthalius agree that Paul was quoting the Apocalypse of Elijah in 1 Cor 2:9 and Epiphanius says that Eph 5:14 borrows from this work. Interestingly, Euthalius also mentions this verse in Ephesians but says it comes from an apocryphal work of Jeremiah, not Elijah. What's your take on this? "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." How on earth does one harmonize this with the idea that the Torah can be disregarded if one is a Gentile convert to Christianity? The word 'jot' (a small flourish on a Hebrew letter) is a Hebrew term is it not? What term would have been used in the original Greek? When did the concept of eternity come about in Christianity? What was it about Christianity that made it the "winner" among all other religious beliefs in the Roman Empire? Why do we not hear about more forgeries in the world of biblical archaeology?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-005

Jan 26, 2015 40:02


Might there have been a connection between early Christianity and the Jewish priesthood, based on various otherwise odd facts mentioned in the NT? Isaiah 11:1-9 seems to be talking about the continuing reign of the Davidic line, but aren't Jeremiah 23:5-6 and Ezekiel 37:24-28 talking about the reign of the Davidic line continuing once again after the Babylonian exile comes to an end? If so, can't they be considered "Messianic Prophecy" since they express hope for some future Davidic King? Mark Goodacre says it is likely Paul dictated all of his letters and the bit of Galatians with the large letter comment was a moment where he took the pen himself from the scribe as if to underline the gravity of his writing. Does this mitigate your criticism that it is a sign of pseudonymity? Tell me a speculative story from the mythicist point of view on how Christianity could have got started that fits what evidence we have. Was the first-century tentmaker from the city of Tarsus Paul or someone else? Are James & John based on Castor and Pollux? Is the second part of Luke 20:38, "for all live to him," a later redaction which alters the first statement? Without the addition it read that Christ is not a God of the dead, which may mean those whose name is not written in the book of life? Is there any relation with 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 where Christ is for believers and unbelievers life unto life and death unto death respectively? Is the apparent cannibalism in the Last Supper a type of reverse sacrifice? Is it unique to Christianity? Or from an older tradition?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-004

Jan 19, 2015 1:18:44


What are your thoughts on the theory that the original text of the Gospel of Matthew had one Joseph as the father of Mary, who then married another man of the same name? Is there a strong case for both a Second and Third Zechariah or only a Second? Also, what do you make of the opinion of some that the second part of the book was written by a disciple of Zechariah who didn't want to take credit for what he learned from his master? In the Hermeneia commentary on Mark, Adela Collins questions whether the author of Mark was a gentile. Is this special pleading? Don't you hold that it's not that there's no evidence for a historical Jesus; it's that the evidence we have is so scant, so questionable and problematic that it doesn't meet the burden of proof? Greg Boyd argues for an early date for Acts because the Apostolic Fathers allude to it. Valid? Christians claim that the Bible is the word of God, but has it identified itself as such? What's the best grammatical or figurative interpretation that finds Mohammed mentioned in the Bible or pre-Islamic extra-biblical material? One Rabbi suggested that any servants that Noah's family brought with them on the Ark would not have been mentioned, on account of the fact they were not free men. Therefore Noah could have had dozens, hundreds or even thousands of servants along with him on the Ark. This is very similar to Islamic teaching on Noah's Ark. What are your thoughts on this? Since we know that Simon Peter's death in Rome is a much later myth, is it possible that Simon Peter's execution is based on Simon bar Giora's execution? Acts says Christians are called Christians for the first time in Antioch, understood as Antioch on the Orontes. However, what if this Antioch is actually a veiled reference by our author - Polycarp - to his fictional Paul's origins, namely his birth in Tarsus (called Antioch on the Cydnus) and thereby is admitting Paul founded Christianity, or at any rate it did not become a unique religion until Paul. Is there a connection between Matt 5:5 and the events of Revelation 21? You've mentioned that the 153 fish in John 21 is almost certainly a reference to the Pythogorean parallel story. There are lots of triangular numbers, why this one in particular? In John 1:51 we read "And he said to him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.'" Might the writer have been envisioning the giant Jesus of the Elcasaites (Jesus was a 96 mile tall angel), in the Gospel of Peter, etc.? In Revelation 9:11 who is Abaddon the destroyer? What is it about the shifting between third-person and first-person narration in Acts? In Acts 18:18 the narrator says, "Before he sailed, Paul had his hair cut off at Cenchrae because of a vow he had taken." What was that vow?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-003

Jan 12, 2015 1:43:05


What do evangelicals mean when they speak of "blessing"? What factors make us believe that the "seven" Pauline epistles are in fact authentic? What confidence do we have that the information the Pauline letters is more factual than the clearly fictional account in Acts? Edgar Goodspeed's "The Twelve" tries to convince the reader that the gospel of Mark is just a word for word dictation of Peter's preaching by one of his translators, Mark, and it should be considered a first hand account of the ministry of Jesus. The only evidence Goodspeed uses that I can see comes from Papias. Is Goodspeed just supporting the party line in trying to secure an eye witness account in the Gospels, or is there better evidence to support it? I've read that Tarshish - true identity unknown - may simply have meant "land very very far away". In which case, I wonder if the author of Acts would've chosen this to create a contrast between Paul and Peter? If Peter is "from" the centre of the world, Jerusalem (or the very rough whereabouts) then it would be neat if Paul, his counterpart in so many ways, came from the absolute opposite place. How can a credible scholar like Bart Ehrman claim that there are an "astounding" number of historical sources attesting the existence of Jesus? Re whether or not babies would get raptured. does the Bible specify an age by which you will need to accept the "gift of eternal life" or is this just a matter of church doctrine? Suppose I take a piece of paper and write, "My name is David, I live in Texas. God spoke to me and said, 'I have chosen you as my special person. I give you all the land from the Red River to the Rio Grande. Kill all the inhabitants, take their property and virgin daughters for yourself. Anyone who does not believe this writing is opposing My will and if you don't kill them, I will'." I make copies of what I wrote, circulate it and tell people if they don't believe it, an invisible man in the sky will punish them. Isn't this what the Hebrews did? I think that the "quails" that God sent to the Proto-Hebrews in Exodus 16 were a misinterpretation of "locusts." What if the Baptist's "locusts and wild honey" referred to locusts and manna (which was described in Exodus 16:31 as tasting like honey)? In that case, might his having entered but never crossed the Jordan have been a symbolic re-enactment of the Proto-Hebrews exile in desert in Exodus? How might such an interpretation affect our understanding of ascetic jewish sects at the turn of the millennium? What are the sources for the list of books in Polycarp's canon? Do we know if it included the exact same 27-book list that was later promulgated by Athanasius and Pope Damasus? It sounds like the god of the old testament really dislikes yeast. Do you know of any possible explanation for this? I heard you say that Jesus never said he was the Messiah. What about John 4:25-26? Is the myth of Yahweh, Baal, or Marduk fighting and being consumed by the primordial dragon and then coming back to life and fighting his way out of the dragon's belly a metaphor for solar eclipse? Could you please provide a detailed summary of the reason why the Pastoral Epistles are not by Paul? Also, what reasons do apologists educe in order to support Pauline authorship of these letters? Is it surprising that none of the four canonical gospels claims an author by name since so many noncanonical texts do? Are there any non-canonical books attributed to John the Baptist? I wonder if you could discuss the concept of Metanoia. Is it fair for Christian missionaries to persuade Muslims to convert, knowing it will be a capital offense? Can you explain the fierce conflict between David Strauss and Bruno Bauer? What was the main philosophical and scholarly disagreement(s) between them? According to Frank Schaffer the early Christian church was unified enough to possess a uniform liturgy which the Eastern Orthodox communion still follows to this day, he claims evidence for this can be found the texts of early Christian historians like Polycarp. What do you make of this claim? John Dominic Crossan's The Power of Parable says Josephus cannot have written the Testimonium Flaviamun as it stands so he argues for the cut-down version of the passage that removes the "obvious" Christian interpolations. But if you remove the "he was the Christ" part, then what does the later phrase "... and the tribe of Christians, so-called after him ..." refer to? Crossan's answer is that Josephus didn't use the phrase "He was the Christ." No, the phrase he did use was "He was called the Christ." In support of this reading he calls upon the passage later in Jewish Antiquities where Josephus uses the phrase "Jesus who was called the Christ." What do you think of Crossan's reasoning? Psalm 19:11 says, "Moreover by them is thy servant warned." Warned about what? Whence came the Catholic practice of praying to Mary?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-002

Jan 10, 2015 1:14:24


Re Reuven's question concerning the rabbi who "taught the Torah to God," could it merely be hyperbole denoting that "the rabbi knew the Law so well he could even teach God a thing or two"? In the LXX, Hamaan is called a Macedonian by Xerxes in Esther 16:10. Was "Macedonian" used to replace the word 'Mede'? Might the Book of Revelation have originated among Ethiopian Jews? The Zohar uses the phrase, "Master of the worlds" which immediately reminded me of the Qur'an. Is there a connection here to the Qur'an? Your inquirer notes that Herodotus did not mention the Hebrews or Judah and wonders why. Within the Persian Empire there must have been hundreds of nations/peoples that he did not mention. Like any historian, he had to select from a mass of this and that what he will include and exclude. Does Mr. Robert Price believe the Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant? What is his theological stance? Why are there so many hostile accusations against the Jesus Seminar participants? How could Noah know how much food to bring on his voyage if he didn't know how long he was going to be on the ark? What I can't understand in the mythicist argument is why Matthew and the other gospels would put failed prophecies into Jesus' mouth if he wasn't a historical figure. Some say that goat-seething was a practice of one of the Canaanite religions, possibly a sacrificial one, and that the Israelites were explicitly forbidden from this because of its significance. Is there any evidence for this, or is it a rationalization? You've mentioned that there will be a Grand Bible Study in Heaven where the faithful will learn the hidden meanings and where all contradictions will be resolved. But will we have asbestos-paged Bibles in Hell, so we can learn where we went wrong? How much basis is there for traditional views of Heaven in the Bible? Could "Thou shalt not kill" be a commandment to be vegetarian? What is your take on apophatic, or negative, theology? You've said Matthew 16:24 was added later because it would be an absurd statement by Jesus without any prior knowledge of the inevitable crucifixion. However, couldn't one argue this was a prophetic statement?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-001

Jan 5, 2015 1:04:40


Is it possible that the low Christology of Mark is really a misreading? What if Mark is not writing of Jesus the man, but of the earthly travels of Paul's heavenly savior? A set of "What Would SuperJesus Do?" stories? If the first gospel were a deliberate fictionalizing of a heavenly Jesus, what would this do to the concept that a Jesus hero cult was part of the early Christian mix? With a skeptical tradition that goes back over 300 years in Western Europe, why are educated people still having such a hard time accepting something like the Christ-myth theory? Do you see a connection between the hesitancy to teach about these radical elements of the Enlightenment in high school and colleges with the hesitancy of mature intellectuals to tackle the possibility of Mythicism? If the atonement value of Christ's death is supposed to be analogous to all the pre-Jesus sacrifices to YHWH, then why didn't Jesus stay dead? What do you think about the hypothesis that the historical Paul might have been a Herodian prince, possibly even the nephew of Herod Agrippa ? Can you recommend any books or articles on the relationship between the tree of knowledge and sex? Did the Jewish people get the prohibition on BBQ pork sandwiches originally from the Egyptians? In view of the similarity of Deuteronomy's giving of the Law on the plains of Moab instead of Mount Sinai to Luke's sermon on the flat land instead of Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, is this not a strong indication that Luke knew Matthew's gospel and felt the need to change it? If Acts' depictions of Paul's conversion experiences are based on Euripedes' The Bacchae, where the god asks the King (Pentheus?) who's persecuting his followers, "why do you kick at the goads?" could Luke have chosen Saul as Paul's pre-conversion name (Paul never calls himself that in his own letters) to heighten the parallels? Instead of Dionysus asking a Greek king why he's futilely going up against a god ... Luke has his God (Jesus) asking a Jew named after a Jewish king, why he's futilely going up against God. Some say the current scholarly opinion is that there was an historical King David, based on the 1993 discovery of the Tel Dan Stele, an Aramean stone inscription from around 950 BCE containing the phrase, "the house of David." But does that prove anything?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-067

Dec 29, 2014 1:21:00


How could a Hasidic sect say their rabbi taught Torah to God? "The sun of righteousness with healing in her wings" = the goddess Shahar. Are there parallels between either Zen and Christianity or Taoism and Christianity? Can you share your thoughts on the origin, structure and purpose of the Abraham story in Gen 12-22? What do think about Liberation Theology, and the idea that the Gospel is literarlly good news for the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized of this world? Could Jesus really have been concerned about liberating the poor if he thought the end of the world was imminent and the Kingdom was at hand? Since Genesis 3:22 says that Adam must be removed from the Garden before he eats of the tree of life and gains eternal life, he can't have been created immortal and then lost it. Adam sinned against God and had to be punished, but that punishment was not the addition of death to his nature, it was removal from the garden and loss of access to the tree of life. Right? What happened to all the stuff - grain, money, meat, wine, etc. - that was offered to YHWH before the temple was destroyed? Isn't the name Bartimaeus clear proof that Mark was Greek and well-educated? For he is clearly supposed to be Plato's Timaeus. The name, a fusion of Aramaic and Greek is not likely a historical name, and is an invention by Mark, right? Rufinus of Aquileia refers to the Didache as the "Judgment of Peter. How could he tie the work to Peter? And what is the "judgement"? James 1:1 addresses "the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad." Does this not suggest that the Romans had already destroyed Jewish sovereignty for the last two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) thus confessing the work is not written by James the brother of the Lord, but another James writing later? How can the commandment against making images be squared with all the Temple statuary? What is the current scholarship about the historicity of the first temple? Do we actually have any description of the temple that could be used in the construction of an actual replica? Do we have any description of the garments of a Temple priest? Do you know of any churches that tried to revive the Temple and move their practices towards judaism that much? In his book In Search of Ancient Israel, Philip R. Davies asserts that talk of a Deuteronomistic History is meaningless and should be abandoned, thus rejecting the thesis of Martin Noth. Do you agree?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-066

Dec 28, 2014 50:32


Is there any biblical basis for the claim that God can't be in the presence of sin? What do you know about the Washington DC Bible Museum? Is the concept of free will actually found in the bible? Is the invocation of free will as an excuse for why god permits suffering is merely an post-hoc rationalization or could there be more to it? I wonder whether modern apologetics is actually shoehorning the biblical god into a role of a quasi-deistic god, which is totally at odds with the god the ancient Hebrews believed in. Could it be that the god of contemporary Christianity has next to nothing to do with the God of the bible? Is there a point where Tillich's conception of deity as "being" is compatible with even atheism? Are Atheists making an error by championing only reason, and abandoning the Tradition of Western Christianity? Do you think Margaret Barker is right to read the feminine pronoun as important theologically to Malachi 4:2? Or is this just a descriptor of the actual sun in a feminine manner? Is there some way to identify oneself as "Christian" and yet understand the divine in terms of First Temple ideas ( a la Margaret Barker), where the lines between polytheism and monotheism become blurred, without actually applying it to a belief in a god or even in a divine realm or afterlife? In John 20:28, when Thomas exclaims "My Lord and my God" to Jesus, does this indicate that the author believed Jesus to be God? Are there good reasons for or against the possibility of "Luke" writing his books to Theophilus of Antioch?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-065

Dec 24, 2014 1:02:52


Special Yuletide edition of the Bible Geek podcast. "An Intertextual Visit from Saint Nick," by Clement C. Moore and Edgar Allan Poe and comments on two Jesus birth narratives.

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-064

Dec 18, 2014 1:55:38


Caring about religious beliefs of others and atheist evangelism. Who is Shamgar, son of Anathr? Was he perhaps a Hittite oppressor in the days of the Judges? Could he have been the father of Sisera? What is the location of Tarshish? Concerning Visha Kanya and the Book of Judith. Visha Kanya were young women reportedly used as assassins, often against powerful enemies, during the Mauryan Empire (321-185 BCE). Was there an Indian influence on the Book of Judith. Do you think that Jesus failed to act in accordance with the golden rule by not telling of the existence of the New World and thereby denying the pleasures of chocolate to the Old World for a further 1500 years? In other words, if he were God, how could he be ignorant of the rest of the world? Rabbi Skobac mentioned a Christian theory that Jews who did not accept Jesus were no longer God's chosen people, even no longer Jews at all! What is the logic behind such a claim? Does the parallel of Odin being sacrificed to himself on a tree "for the sons of men" require Christian influence? Could this be synchronicity? In Killing History, why did you say "the Gospels are not unlike the Warren Commission Report. Can you trust them?" Didn't all the Bible authors know they were, in a word, lying? Some say Jesus never really committed blasphemy (therefore the stories are unreliable), while others highlight the idea that Jesus' punishment was actually just and reasonable under the Jewish law (thereby indicting the morality of the Jewish law-giver). What do you think? Have you arrived at a comfortable position on the OT? Where did you end up re minimalism? Rev. 19:16 says: "And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (?KJV). The Toledoth Jeschu has Jesus copy down the wonder-working Name of God and hide the slip of paper in a cut on his "thigh." I wondered if both of these stories refer to circumcision, a wound to the penis which carries the name of Yahweh, or at least in the Revelation version, a sign of Yahweh's covenant "written" on the penis as the circumcision scar. Since mental illness has been an undiagnosed part of humanity since the beginning, what do you think it's impact has been on the formation of the Abrahamic faiths? According to the Jesus Seminar, the verse from Mark 3:29 (and the whole story in general) as black which means it is very unlikely that it was spoken by Jesus. Do some manuscripts leave out this passage? Did you know that Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish from the third century CE, following Genesis Rabbah 57, believed that Job did not exist? Rebbe Nachman leads the Breslover sect of Hasidic Judaism, some of whom believe that the Rebbe is so righteous and filled with truth, that he is capable of teaching God. What do you make of this? Concerning the titles of the Messiah - the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Do not these titles imply there are lesser kings and lords that the Messiah rules over? Might the cursing of the fig tree (Mark 11:12-21) be a judgment on Rome, given that the fig tree was a common symbol for Rome? What is the Bible's stance on divorce? Is Jesus conclusively against it? How do the various Christian churches which allow divorcees to remarry explain themselves, if so? How do biblical-literalist churches which don't seem to do anything about the Eucharist handle the statement, 'Do this in memory of me'? Why do biblical literalists insist on interpreting the Book of Revelation symbolically rather than giving it the literal reading that they insist they are giving every other book of the bible? What's your opinion of Pope Francis? Why does Ratzinger's Jesus book concentrate on the historical Jesus but ignore the Jesus of dogma and devotion? Also,Ratzinger draws on the Gospel of Thomas as well as the canonical gospels. Does this not implicitly open the door to the other non-canonical gospels? Did your book Evolving Out of Eden consider Hindu creationists? The Nicene Creed includes the words: "he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate." If crucifixion in the days of Pontius Pilate was a mundane fact, why should it appear in a creed? Might its inclusion signal that the time of Jesus's death may have been a matter of dispute in the 4th century? Is it unreasonable to think that churches kept records of instances of the Holy Spirit speaking through its members, and these utterances were eventually collected to the point of becoming chapters of today's scripture? Can you recommend two books that disagree with you but which you regard as good and worth reading?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-063

Dec 12, 2014 1:39:32


What is it that God gets out of all this bowing and scraping? Jews eat only unleavened bread (matzo) during Passover season, so could Jesus have said to his Jewish followers on the Seder night that "This bread is my body"? If Simon Magus is Paul and Simon was called 'great,' then could the name 'Paul' ('little') be a direct pun on his former non-Christian epithet? Can you share any stories of your interacting with a Jehovah's Witness at your door? R. H. Charles insists that David could not have been a polytheist, so the teraphim in his home must have been images of Yahweh? Is this just harmonizing? If I understand evangelical theology correctly, the good news is the fact that humans now have a way to avoid being tormented in hell for eternity. Does the New Testament make this claim? Is it possible that the redactor of Genesis 32 has put verse 2 in as a commentary on verse 7, or as some sort of foreshadowing? What do you make of Jesus-Dumuzi parallels? What are your personal thoughts on Lena Einhorn's paper from SBL: "The Egyptian Prophet"? And why do you think that more scholarly attention has not been given to her hypothesis? William Dever presents the convincing case that the original Old Testament was a tool designed by the ruling elite of Jerusalem to codify, develop, and maintain their power base. Could the same case be made for the New Testament? Wouldn't Margaret Barker's work back up the idea of a crucified Son of God before the creation of the world--as held by many Gnostics? I was told that when Christ died on the cross he descended to hell and spent the period of time between his death and resurrection writhing there. Is this the opinion of most scholars, and is there enough biblical evidence in your opinion to support it? How spurious was the identification of the recently destroyed Younis Shrinei as the resting place of Jonah? What are the historical claims of the Salafi movement in terms of getting back to the original practices of the earliest Muslims? Robert Eisenman seems to dismiss the notion that Paul is a tentmaker as mentioned in Acts. Is this a mere literary device to make Paul seem a humble guy simply "passin' on the Word," or does "Tentmaker" carry a larger connotation? In 1 Corinthians 9:5, Paul says: "Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife, as do other brothers of the Lord and Cephas?" What's the deal with this passage? What are your thoughts as to why Ishmael has a cameo at Abraham's funeral?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-062

Dec 5, 2014 38:52


Concerning Islam as "the most successful of the Christian heresies," does this originate with the 8th century writer John of Damascus? What message would the audience get from hearing the text of Revelation, except a story where their enemy has a bad end? It can't be prophecy because Nero ("616" or "666") was long gone, so what's the point? What is your take on the definition of "faith"? Is Peter Boghossian's definition of faith as "pretending to know things you don't know" a caricature? What do you make of the Sibylline Oracles? What was their value to the early Christians? Do they shed any light on the Christ Myth Theory or on the relationship between Christianity and the Pagan religions? You say that the bible does not address abortion but isn't that what Num. 5:21 is all about? What is with all the figures of speech in the Bible? Is there any religion other than Christianity that relies so heavily on emotional music? You once discussed early depictions of Jesus as a young man or youth, and this had something to do with him being associated with sun gods. Can you clarify this relationship? Are there any resources that comprehensively cover pagan parallels to Christ? Which associations do you think are the strongest?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-061

Dec 3, 2014 1:15:00


What can you tell us about the Cainites? What do you make of the Talmudists' theory that Joshua 20 originally was part of Deuteronomy? Clearchus reported a dialogue with Aristotle, where the philosopher states that the Hebrews were descendants of the Indian philosophers. What are your thoughts on this? If Jesus is a second Elijah, who is the corresponding Elisha? You said you thought it would be the church on whom a double portion of the spirit is poured at Pentecost. Jesus clearly expects his disciples to think of John the Baptist as Elijah. It is only natural to think of Jesus as Elisha with a double portion of the spirit. Why would someone see in the gospels an equating of Jesus with Elijah? What is your opinion of Elaine Pagels' book "Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation"? When talking about Christ being buried in the tomb, Bart Ehrman recently admitted he had always taken it for granted and only recently researched Roman post-crucifixion burial practices. Does this undermine his credibility? Why does the Bible offer so little in the way of useful advice on the subject of medicine from herbs to provide pain relief? How much do we know about the origin Islam's black stone? Was stone worship a common practice with our pagan ancestors? Might there have been many black stones floating around? You say the Mandeans, Muslims and the Gospel of John have some Gnostic influence. Are there other modern sects with Gnostic influences? If we don't think 'Paul' or whoever he was wrote any of the epistles ascribed to him, does this not require an example of a genuine 'Pauline' epistle to which the others do not conform? What are the criteria for pseudepigrapha? What about the theory that the historical Paul may have actually been Sergius Paulus (as named in Acts) who was probably one of Herod's nephews? By which book of the OT was the concept of Monolatrism completely forgotten? When Paul references that he had a "revelation from the scriptures" do you think he could be referencing any non-canonical scriptures? Would the New Testament make more or less sense for the Christ myth theory if we had no gospels and why? Do you believe in the historicity of the Babylonian Exile?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-060

Nov 25, 2014 42:26


Why is pagan god worship among Yahweh's people so uncommon today compared to antiquity? "The parenthesis" seems to be a critical component in dispensational theology, but I don't hear much about it. Is it scriptural? Is it plausible? Doesn't the word "ektroma" in 1 Corinthians 15:8 refer to abortion of miscarriage, not to "one untimely born"? Can't the popular notion of the Rapture claim the support of 1 Thess 4:17 and Matt 24:40-42? Could Lilith have originally been Enosh's wife - later added as Adam's wife? According to the Mandaeans the word "nasirutha" means priestly craft. Is it possible that Jesus of Nazareth, like Mary of Magdala originally referred to the person's trade and not a specific city in the Galilee? Is it possible that the Didache circulated alongside Matthew, hence Justin Martyr's confusion over the Gospel being the "Memoirs (teachings?) of the Apostles" and the connection between the Didache and Acts? Do the more primitive beliefs of the Ebionites imply no historical Jesus?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-059

Nov 20, 2014 23:53


If humans can have free will in heaven but always choose the good, why didn't God make us that way to start with? Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith says that in Luke 23:43, Jesus did not promise the repentant thief admission to "paradise" but only to the (purgatorial) "world of spirits." Does the Greek word allow for that? Given the deep divisions in the Church of England these days (conservatives, liberals, and evangelicals), one sometimes wonders if the whole thing will break apart in spectacular fashion. Do you think it will? Regarding the imputation of sin to Adam and Eve when they hadn't yet any knowledge of good and evil, might the first bite have been innocent, though imparting moral knowledge, which told them it would be sinful to keep eating, but they did anyway? What are the top 5 books that were serious contenders but ultimately did not make it into the canon? What are the top 5 books that made it into the canon by the skin of their teeth? Khalil Ibn Ahmad (d. 786â??787 CE) wrote: "The Sabians believe they belong to the prophet Noah, they read the Psalms, and their religion looks like Christianity." Were these remnant communities of Noahides/Theophobias? What do you make of the apparent confusion between Noah and Hermes in these early Islamic writings? The birth year range for Irenaeus is either 115-125CE or 130-142CE. What if, Irenaeus is actually the historical Polycarp, inventing his master Polycarp, his martyrdom and his connection to Papias and the Apostle John in order to boost his own authority? Might it be that Ham had sex with Noah's wife (who was not the mother of his three sons), with Canaan as the result, like the Moabites and Ammonites? If all scripture is "God-breathed" wouldn't that refer to its being breathed out, not breathed in? Thus instead of speaking of the "inspiration" of the Bible, would not we be more accurate to refer to its "expiration"? In view of Bart Ehrman's recent dismissal of the burial story as fiction, do you think he's headed for mythicism? What's the "Queen Jane Bible"? Might Galatians 4:4-5 (Jesus was "born of a woman") refer, as the phrase sometimes did, to vaginal delivery, not by C-section? Does Luke 19:26-27 advocate violence? What is the basis for the concept of the unalterable law of the Medes and Persians mentioned in Daniel 6:15?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-058

Nov 6, 2014 1:16:50


Share any fun Halloween traditions? Is it likely that many biblical "revelations" & "prophecies" were real or pretended interpretations of brontologia (thunderclap oracles)? I have often heard it said that there is no mention of Hell in the Old Testament. What about Daniel 12:2 and Ecclesiastes 12:13? Can you recommend any good books about the sermons and writings among 19th century protestant and evangelical preachers? What was it about 19th century American Christianity that led to so many new religious movements? Is N.T. Wright worth reading? Does it make any sense to make the distinction that Muslims do not worship the same god as Jews & Christians, but do pray to the same god? Assuming their historicity, can we infer that prophets, such as Jeremiah, Moses, Paul, & Abraham who "communicated" with god, were merely undiagnosed schizophrenics? Rather than willful deception? In Genesis 3:22, God kicks Adam and Eve out of the garden so that they can't eat from the Tree of Life and live forever. Isn't it implied that Adam and Eve would have lived forever before they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? What was the point of the Tree of Life if they would have lived forever anyway? Did Adam and Eve have to keep eating from the Tree of Life to stay alive before they were exiled? Does the Geek have any teaching philosophy aimed at inculcating intellectual honesty and independent, critical thought? What do you think of John Hick's form of religious pluralism? What is the Geek's favorite flavor of pizza? Can someone give me a comprehensive minimalist timeline--maybe with some sources?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-057

Oct 17, 2014 1:19:02


The Ethiopian canon divides the book of Proverbs into two parts, 1â??24 and 25â??31. Is it an ancient Jewish division or something later scribes came up with? Could we view the Gospels as products of rival Antiochs? Luke wrote in Antioch near the Sea and Matthew wrote in Edessa (also called Antioch). Is there any connection between the number of Surahs in the Qur'an (114) and the number of sayings in the Gospel of Thomas (also 114)? What is so significant about James the brother of Jesus? Is there actual archaeological evidence that Quirinius had an earlier tenure as Roman governor in Palestine? Do you believe the Gospel writers simply believed in annihilation or eternal torture? Did they view Gehenna merely as a garbage dump or a symbol for a literal hell? From some of the stuff I've heard about The Golgotha Chainsaw Massacre (aka Gibson's The Passion of the Christ), a lot of stuff in the movie was based not biblical sources, but on the visions of a nun, which gave a much higher detailed version of the passions. Was I hearing right, and what can you tell us about this version of the death of Christ? An apologist said, "Most scholars today have no difficulty with the fact that the canon of scriptures was formed by the end of the first century. Everybody knew what the Bible was. There were a few disputes, a few discussions over certain books, but the church fathers and the very early Christians had no problem over the vast majority of the New Testament. The Old Testament, of course, was already decided." Do you agree that Christians had the Bible canon, both Old and New Testaments, pretty much settled by the end of the first century? Second, even if you disagree, would you grant this fellow's assertion that "most scholars" share his opinion? Does Isaiah really mention satyrs? Would you give a thumbnail biography and explain the significance of Marcion and Polycarp?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-056

Oct 5, 2014 1:19:09


Can you provide a Bible timeline that addresses the time periods when each piece was put together, and when the Bible as a whole would have been accepted by the modern religion(s) of that time? Who tattooed the testicles of Jesus in Rev. 19:16? Why is Paul so keen that men in the Corinthian church should pray or prophesy with heads uncovered (1 Cor. 11:4)? Why didn't Paul include his mates on the way to Damascus amongst his witnesses in 1Cor15? If it was so darn urgent to spread the gospel all over the world, why didn't Jesus, a carpenter after all, build a boat and embark on missionary voyages to the Western hemisphere?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-055 (Google Hangout)

Oct 1, 2014 1:42:55


Was John the Baptist historical? Robert Eissler's theories on both the fish god Oannes (Dagon) and a historical John, but a generation earlier than Jesus. Does John's presence in Josephus support his historicity? More evidence that the genealogies of Matthew and Luke are fundamentally irreconcilable. Strauss' The Life of Jesus Critically Examined seems to have dealt with and "flattened" every apologist argument in support of historicity long before modern apologetics. Dr. Price reads an excerpt from his forthcoming Blaming Jesus for Jehovah book on Matthew's nativity story. Modern rationist theories concerning the star of Bethlehem. Colin Wilson on Lovecraft. Discussion on Price's Antarktos Cycle anthology containing a sequel by Wilson to Lovecraft's Mountains of Madness. Lamentations about the lack of European scholarship never translated into English. The Human Bible New Testament is nearing print publication. The audio recording of The Case Against the Case for Christ was recently completed and should soon go into the editing process. Why do scholars quote material in multiple languages but never provide an English translation, even in predominantly English books? Story collaboration between Peter H. Cannon and Price called "The Curate of Temphill," another anthology which contains Price's "The Seven Thunders," etc. The sealing up of the seven thunders and brontology in Revelation in relation to other apocrypha and "heresies" such as Nicolaitans. How John's gospel functions as a "corrective" to the synoptics and betrays a knowledge of these earlier gospels. John the Baptist as the incarnate Logos. Why did the gospel of John portray Jesus as being guilty of blasphemy in the eyes of the Judean crowds? Philo's philosophy in John's gospel. Does Satan ever attempt to prevent the birth of Jesus in any apocryphal gospel? Some similar and somewhat parallel motifs exist in a Sufi saying and in the birth of Zoroaster. A look at "pseudo-Matthew" (AKA The Infancy Gospel of Matthew). Jehovah's Witnesses interpret the star as Satanic in origin. Jesus as the "Star Child" of 2001.

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-054 (Google Hangout)

Sep 24, 2014 2:13:21


Information on the possibility of Dr. Price doing one-on-one online courses via Google + for a fee. Can Dr. Price describe his Higher Critical tutorial course curriculum and format? Has Dr. Price read Richard Carrier's latest book, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt (answer: not yet). What are the main distinctions between Marcionites and Gnostics? Is Gnosticism pre-Christian, and furthermore distinctive from its later Christian manifestations? What examples from all the biblical manuscripts known today unequivocally illustrate a history of actual redaction and/or interpolations, and are there changes known now that were not previously anticipated or even recognized by textual critics? Source criticism in relation to the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls. What about the idea that gods have a physical seat of power and their authority wanes as you get farther and farther from that location? Questions on the Zeitgeist movie, Mithra vs. Mithras, rising and dying gods and astrotheology. Dr. Price's equation of "the Emergent Church" with the rediscovery of Liberal Protestantism. Dr. Price's opinions on Reza Aslan's book Zealot and its relation to SGF Brandon's earlier works (book review by him available only in print for American Rationalist magazine). Lena Einhorn's "time shift" hypothesis. Did Valentinian Gnostics use the Julian calendar or the Jewish calendar? Barbara Thiering on Qumran and Nag Hammadi calendar lore. What does the contents of the Nag Hammadi library reveal about those who deposited it? Deuteronomy 28:23 vs Leviticus 29:19: any significance to the inversion of the sky metaphors in each passage? Otto Eissfeldt's works on the Documentary Hypothesis. Do the two birds in Genesis 3 reflect two sub-sources of the J (Yahwist) source? How does this part of the Noah story related to the Epic of Gilgamesh? Joel S. Baden's theory on doublets and triplets in the Pentateuch. The Life of Jesus in the Light of Higher Criticism by Alfred Wilhelm Martin, and Dr. Price sings. Recommendations for an alternative to Bultmann's commentary on John's gospel: C. H. Dodd's Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel and Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel; Ernst Haenchen's A Commentary on the Gospel of John; Jerome Neyrey's An Ideology of Revolt; Robert T. Fortna on the "signs source." Relationship between John and the synoptic Gospels. Controversies about the acceptance of John's gospel into the NT canon. The "sanitation" of other NT writings for orthodox usage. Was the high Christology of the "logos" the earliest? Dr. Price's cat terminates his participation in the hangout prematurely.

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-053

Sep 23, 2014 50:05


Herodotus' "Histories" does not mention of the Hebrews, Abraham, Judah, Moses or Yahweh. Did Herodotus think no Jews is good news? Were the ancient Hebrews simply not of a number to be noticed on the "world scene?" Furthermore, is Yahweh Zeus, who according to Herodotus, came from Egypt? Which of the audio versions do you recommend for someone going through the entire New Testament for the first time? Is Pliny's letter a forgery as Detering says? Were John the writer of Revelation and John the apostle different? Did the writer of Revelation know the Gospels at all? Does Rev 2:7's "Garden of God" hearken back to Genesis and the Garden of Eden? Was "Whoever has ears to hear...â?? a common phrase in ancient apocalyptic? In Revelation, is "Balaam" a reference to Baal? Or a warning about the teachings of Paul or Gnosticism? Rev 3:14 ("This is the message from the Amen, the faithful and true witness"): in the Gnostic Book of Baruch "Amen" is one of the Angels. Is Amen an Angel anywhere else in the bible? Who are the 24 elders of Rev 4:4? When the angel blows the fifth trumpet and the locusts come down and are not allowed to harm anybody with of seal of God, does this hearken back to the Passover story? Is Apollyon in Rev 9:11 the Greek god Apollo making a cameo? Does John 14:26 indicate that there were no written notes of Jesus teachings, for otherwise Jesus would have told them to consult their diary rather than wait for a miraculous reminder? If Jesus was able to fly up in the sky like Acts 1:9 suggests, why didn't he fly over to America and Australia to immediately tell them the good news of his resurrection but was instead content to leave it for over 1492 years until the Europeans started to tell them the Bible stories?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-052

Sep 19, 2014 53:32


The Pastorals use the phrase "God our Savior." Shouldn't it be "Jesus Christ our Savior"? In the Pre-Nicene NT, for 1 Timothy 1:4 your footnote to the "myths and endless genealogies" bit says this is about apostolic descent and credentials. Not Gnostic myths and the genealogies of the Archons? 1 Timothy 1:20 says someone is "turned over to Satan". What does this mean? How do Catholics reconcile the celibate clergy with 1 Timothy 3:2? 1 Timothy 6:14-16 imply no one "has ever seen or can see Jesus Christ"? And what about "who alone has immortality"? 2 Timothy 2:18 says, "some have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened". How could people say "the resurrection has already happened" when there were obviously still dead people in the ground? In 2 Timothy 4:11 ("Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry") is the Ecclesiastical Redactor trying to beef up the canonical status of the gospels of Luke and Mark by mentioning their names? What are your thoughts on the Lord's Prayer? Is there any early heresy that hasn't been reinvented in the past few centuries? If there isn't, does that suggest that the various sedimentary layers in the New Testament are fairly easily seen even by a layman? Like any good lapsed Catholic I intend to repent on my deathbed but until then may your God go with you. According to a midrash, Hagar was an Egyptian princess, the daughter of Pharaoh, and joined Abraham and Sarah after witnessing God save Sarah from the hands of the Egyptian King. Given this, did Pharaoh give Hagar to Abraham as a gift to ensure that Abraham's God didn't kill Pharaoh? Who is Luqman from Sura 34? The Cave of Letters, the second Sukkot letter, a request for the four kinds (palm branches, citron, myrtle and willow), says, "The letter is written in Greek as we have no one who knows Hebrew [or Aramaic]." Were there Hellenized Jews fighting for Bar Kochba? Non-Jews? John A.T. Robinson in Redating the New Testament (1976) argues for apostolic authorship for John's Gospel, before the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. He also argues that John's "poor" Greek in Revelation is a literary device. Is this credible?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-051

Sep 18, 2014 1:18:06


Re the Baha'i/Babi split, do you see the Azalis as comparable to Kharijites or perhaps closer to those Mormons who followed the Smith family as opposed to Brigham Young? Why might Augustine have been unsure whether aborted fetuses will be resurrected as fully-grown human beings at the time of the Second Coming? What is the relationship of the Black Stone of Mecca and the Black Stone of Emesa (modern day war-torn Homs in Syria)? And between the worship of the Sun god Elagabalus and the Moon god Al-ilah? Can you please comment on William Wrede's defense of the Pauline authorship of the epistles? Laodiceans/Ephesians in the Pre-Nicene NT reads: "Accordingly, renounce lying and speak the truth, each one of you to your neighbor, because we are body parts of one another. What if the hand were on fire and it should lie to the heart, saying, "I do not hurt"? Soon you should lack the hand!" Is this extra sentence about the burning, lying hand part of another manuscript tradition which was omitted from the NRSV? Or were you just in a fast-n-loose/Living Bible type mood that day? Around Luke 17:30, we read the familiar passage in which Jesus tells us that when the Son of Man comes, two will be in bed (and two will be grinding) and one will be taken while the other is left. Then in verse 37 someone asks Jesus, "Where, Lord?" I expected Jesus to reply that the ones taken from their beds would be taken to a heavenly realm, but he says, "Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather." Where and what is this 'corpse', who are the vultures, and in what way is Jesus responding to the question posed him? Re Jesus being "worshiped": The Greek word "proskyneo" simply means to show "reverence" to, or to "express respect". Right? In your experience, what happens to the amazing friendships one finds among church congregations when someone simply stops believing? In The Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer Kimball reinforces the unnatural aspect of homosexuality and other "sexual deviancies" by quoting Leviticus 20: when people lie with animals both the man or woman and the animal must be put to death. But animals committed no sin. Could it be that the ancients feared such unions might result in hybrids like the Minotaur? Is there any validity to the book Secrets of the Exodus? What is the purpose of the raven in the story of Noah? Why was this detail included in the story, and why was it retained? Is there anything whatsoever within the New Testament that you would grant as historical? Do we need an objective, metaphysical standard of right and wrong?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-050

Sep 14, 2014 1:13:23


Helmut Koester suggests that Luke's "Great Omission" (his lack of Mark 6:45-8:26) is an interpolation. Is this implied by the fact that the word "Jesus" does not appear between Mark 6:30 and 8:27? All references to Jesus in this section are by pronoun. Aren't you inconsistent? You are not sure if there was a historical Jesus, but you are very sure that Darwin's style of evolution is a concrete fact. Could you give an example of how deconstruction can be applied to biblical criticism? In "Deconstructing Jesus" is your use of "deconstruction" in the title merely figurative or are you actually using deconstruction as a critical method? Is "Preaching Deconstruction" transcriptions of actual sermons - or lectures? You reject the entirety of the Testimonium Flavianum. But apparently there is a shorter, Arabic version that lacks some of the "Christian" elements, and scholars say this attest a shorter version actually written by Josephus. Does it? Are there any apologists that you think can be trusted? Or are all of these people just professional liars? Could El Elyon have been the sun and Yahweh the moon? In the book of Hebrews there are several quotes from, and allusions to, the OT - all without attribution. Why? And who the heck wrote this thing anyway? What is your viewpoint on the New Testament's sexual ethic? Numbers 22 seems to assume that God will do whatever Balaam says, as if God must curse his own people if the prophet tells him to. He can't just ignore Balaam. This seems to turn the concept of a prophet on its head from anything else in the OT where the prophets serve only to pass on the words of God. And it seems to have quite a low view of God. What can account for this story with its radically non-Jewish theology?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-049

Sep 4, 2014 47:54


Ibn Kathir relates that Ezra was resurrected by God many years after his death. Only an old blind woman could remember him, so he prayed to God for her to be cured of blindness, a prayer fulfilled. Ezra's identity is then accepted by the people and he embarks on a task to find the last remaining Torah (as Nebuchadnezzar had burnt all other copies), finding it in disrepair he decided to rewrite the Torah from memory. After this miracle, Jews began calling him the Son of God. What do you make of this story? Did Kathir make it up or is he basing it on a lost work? What are your thoughts on the tradition in the Acts of Timothy that John the Evangelist was the one who assigned the names of the Gospels and created the four Gospels as a set. The text also says that they were written in different languages, is it possible he refers to non-Greek scripture we no longer have? Commenting on Caliph Uthman's attempts to unify the text of the Qur'an into a single "correct" version, Bukhari says Uthman ordered that the new perfect Qur'an be written in the Quraishi dialect of Arabic. Since Mohammad only spoke Quraishi Arabic, is this not an admission on the part of early Muslims that the Qur'an isn't directly from Heaven, and instead subject to human translation? What is the Holy Spirit? Is it a separate entity from the spirit of God in the OT? How can anyone question Yahweh's approval of human sacrifice when he required a human to be sacrificed to forgive the sins of the world? Isn't Christianity a classic Hegelian Dialectic? It creates the problem of sin, generates opposition to the problem and then provides the solution. Two passages in the NT that nail the coffin shut on the historicity of the gospels are Mt. 21:5/Zech.9:9 where the writer misunderstands the Hebrew idiom and has Jesus riding two donkeys like a rodeo clown, and John 3:5, 7 where the Greek word "anothen" means both "again" or "from above" but not the Aramaic Jesus must have spoken. Could you recommend a translation of the Koran with explanations for absolutely everything along the lines of what the Jewish Study Bible is for the TaNaK? What do you make of claims that the Koran can only be understood if read in the original Arabic.

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-048 (Google Hangout)

Aug 27, 2014 2:23:32


Live Google + Hangout recorded Tuesday, August 26, 2014, with Dr. Robert M. Price answering questions on: Docetism in the New Testament, or is it merely Stoicism? How much Christian doctrine is based on only one passage in the scriptures? Docetism in non-canonical gospels and non-orthodox communities. Various questions on the gospel of Thomas and its relation to Gnosticism. Did Yahweh originate in Ugarit? Parallels between Christ and Mithras: true or false, or somewhere in between? Who provides the historical basis for the existence of Simon Magus? Is there hard evidence linking John the Baptist to the Qumran sectarians? Question concerning the influences of Qumran on the New Testament directly. That might account for the current trend of disaffection from the churches? What authors should be consulted to get a good grounding in both liberal and conservative Catholic theology? Is it possible that Adam and Eve could be said to have died spiritually, instead of literally, in the day they disobeyed? Information about the book-in-progress: Holy Fable. What does the Bible Geek make of Josephus' geography of the garden of Eden? Letters of Pliny the Younger to Trajan: forgeries? Has Bart Ehrman become more radical in his theorizing? Information about a possible Bart Ehrman Interrupted book. Dr. Price's insights on the Messianic Secret in relation to the Christ-Myth theory. Was Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist? book merely a rehearsal for his latest How Jesus Became God book? Dr. Price is asked to prognosticate about what to expect in a "post-Christian" era. Did Constantine write the New Testament? What influence did Athanasius have on the content of the canon? Are there 5-10 essential books every Bible Geek should read? What criteria do source critics use on the Pentateuch to assign such atomistic pieces of the materials to the various sources, i.e., JEPD? What significance do synoptic and Johannine parallels have for the evolution of the gospels? Might the first chapters of Luke's gospel come from a "John the Baptist is the Messiah" sect?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-047

Aug 20, 2014 38:56


What is the historical evidence for the various early Christian leaders named in the Bible, and can you talk about which were most likely actual people? If any of the disciples were real people - as James seems to be, from what I know - how do you believe they came to be made the disciples of a fictional character, Jesus? In History and the Gospel C.H. Dodd argues that the New Testament writers did not draw on the whole body of messianic predictions available to them from the Old Testament, which implies there was a real Jesus who had done some things and not others. What dictated the New Testament writers' choice of prophecies? Are there Old Testament messianic prophecies that Jesus is not said to have fulfilled, and if so why were these not applied to Jesus? In "The Historical Bejeezus" you lay out the case for a prior version of the Passion that involved a narrow escape from death, rather than a death and resurrection. But if the earliest form of Christianity involved a heavenly Christ who died and rose from the dead in the heavens, then why would the earliest historicization of his crucifixion involve an escape from death, rather than a death and resurrection? Apologists argue that the martyrdom of Jesus' disciples and other early "eye-witnesses" validates their spectacular claims, as though this is an indisputable historical fact. This seems like using a dogma to justify another dogma. Do you think that the early martyrdoms were a part of the larger Christian mytheme? What's the evidence that these martyrdoms ever even took place, and what indications do we have (if any) that they're more likely to be legend than history? Gerd Theissen writes "The image of the Pharisees as persecutors of Christians is to be located historically in the 40s and early 50s; the same goes for the preaching and mission oriented on Israel which is presupposed in Q". Do you agree with this? You've addressed the "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" verses, mentioning that the term "Holy Spirit" is used there as a "pious circumlocution." Does that apply just to these verse or is this the origin of the term "Holy Spirit"? And does the Holy Spirit have a distinct function in Scripture vs. God the Father? Is there any indication the Holy Spirit might have feminine qualities?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-046

Aug 9, 2014 1:09:50


If Aaron saw God on the mountain with Moses, how could he think God looked like a calf when he fashioned that image? Isn't it likely the image represented Apis and Hathor, bovine gods of Egypt? And does the Bible say humans can see God and survive or not? You often talk about how Luke and other gospel writers got it wrong. How do we know that these gospel traditions are just plain wrong? Is there a good sourcebook for this? What's the deal with all the strange instances of circumcision in the Bible? Luke seems very insistent that Jesus is the new Elijah. Does the author envision a new Elisha as well? What do you think is the correct chronology of the biblical books? Gehenna (the Valley of Hinnom) just a metaphor for an actual literal hell? Or is it a garbage dump for disposing of sinners' corpses? Do you think "Study Bibles" are useful? Do they interject too many theological assumptions into the text? Which might you recommend? How are commentaries used? What is your favorite? Do you know of any readily accessible books which address the connection between Zoroastrianism and Judaism? In your future book "Moses und Minimalism" is it your contention that the Old Testament / Tanakh is on the same level of historicity as The Book of Mormon i.e., no historical merit? Was JRR Tolkien's created mythology influenced by Semitic polytheism? How can we talk about inerrancy if there is so much diversity between texts?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-045

Jul 19, 2014 45:51


What do you make of ISIS member Abu Turab Al Mugaddasi saying that they would destroy the Kaaba in Mecca: "If Allah wills, we will kill those who worship stones in Mecca and destroy the Kaaba. People go to Mecca to touch the stones, not for Allah." 2 Corinthians 1:3 begins "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ...." It seems that "God the Father" is both the God of, and the Father of, Jesus Christ. If the father and son are part of the same God-trinity, would the father really be the God of the son? It certainly seems the author did not consider God the Father and Jesus Christ to be equals. What's with all the bragging by the "humble" Paul in 2 Corinthians? And why does he first write as if the man who journeyed to the third heaven was someone else? Jews speak of the unbroken chain, of father-to-son, dating back to Sinai, but we know that there was at least one bottle-neck at the time of Ezra. Are you aware of other examples where the story/knowledge/Torah was lost, and then reintroduced? Might the display of divine retribution at Mount Vesuvius have "put the fear of (the Israelite) God" into some Gnostic Christians to rethink their theology and claim Jehovah as the Father of Jesus and the Jewish Scriptures as their own, thus giving birth to Catholic Christianity? I sometimes wonder if, when Paul refers to James as "the brother of the Lord," that the phrase "brother of the Lord" is a nickname, like with Simon the Zealot (see Luke 6:15) or Sons of Thunder (see Mark 3:17). An early tradition of the Jesus movement is preserved in Mark where Mark has Jesus say "Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother (Mark 3:35)." Maybe in Paul, James has the title or nickname "The brother of the Lord" because James was a great example of someone who always did the will of God. This interpretation would agree with Origen who said in Contra Celsum 1.47 that James was called the brother of the Lord by Paul because James was very righteous, not because he was Jesus' sibling. How could Adam & Eve be blamed for the "immoral" act of disobeying God when as yet they had no knowledge of good & evil? Why is Luke the only Gospel writer to actually mention that Jesus healed Malchus' severed ear? If Luke and Mark owe their position in the canon to their supposedly being written by disciples of the Apostles, why is Polycarp's letter to the Philippians not included in the New Testament considering he was a disciple of the Apostle John? When Origen mentions an Epistle of Jeremiah "handed down by the Hebrews," is he referring to Jeremiah 10:11, which is allegedly part of Jeremiah's now lost letter to Babylonian Jews, or is he referring to the Epistle of Jeremiah included as the final chapter of Baruch? Is there evidence that Polycarp wrote Acts wholly from scratch while he merely fleshed-out Marcion's Ur-Lukas? What evidence is there that Polycarp wrote the Pastorals?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-044

Jul 16, 2014 1:05:52


Luke's gospel does not expressly include the flogging/whipping/scourging as part of the Passion, though Pilate in dialogue with the crowd twice recommends that he punish or chastise Jesus and release Him. Why? I heard that the Song of Solomon uses explicit Hebrew words for human anatomy (e.g., apple is actually the world for penis in Hebrew). Is it true that it is translated into virtually unrecognizable euphemisms for what was written explicitly in the earliest sources? On Bernard Batto's claim that the translation of Yam Suf as the 'Sea of Reeds' is not correct and that it does actually mean what we call the Red Sea today, or even as Yam Sof (End Sea as Israelites saw the Red Sea as the end of the world). Presumably when first written the Torah would have been written in the original paleo-Hebrew but was later changed to the Aramaic one that we use today. Even according to most conservative Jewish scholars admit this was changed by Ezra. Does this comport with the notion of a very late origin? Phillip Harland pointed out that in Mark 8:27-30 Jesus asks his disciples who they think he is and Peter responds "You are the Christ," whereupon Jesus tells them to be silent about it. Then he responds to Peter: "Get behind me Satan!" Up to that passage in Mark, the only beings that recognized Jesus were possessing spirits. Does this imply that the author intended to depict Peter as Satan-possessed? Can any parallels be drawn between the initial succession conflict within Islam (Abu Bakr and Ali bin Abu Talib) and that of Christianity (Paul and Peter)? What issues were being polemically symbolized in Peter's three denials of Jesus? Why three? Tacitus mentions in passing only that the Christians were named after somebody named Christus or Chrestus who was crucified by Pilate. Suetonius also mentions that Christians were followers of "Chrestus", who was apparently a rabble-rouser of some note in Rome in about AD 49. Does this lend credence to the theory Chrestus was not Jesus and that his deeds were subsequently conflated with those of a Jewish teacher and seditionist to create the composite character today known from the gospels? Was Tacitus perhaps referring to the "AD 49 Chrestus" of Suetonius instead? Where did the NT writers come up with the idea of Hell? Do you understand the NT to actually teach eternal lake of fire torment for all who do not believe in Jesus? Isn't it a fact the NT teaches NO ONE goes to heaven until Jesus comes back? Robinson & Koester's Trajectories through Early Christianity suggests that Mark understood 4:1-34 not as a set of parables, but more so as riddles. I believe they're suggesting that Mark represents a stage in the evolutionary development of Gnosticism, right? Do you agree with the views expressed in Acts and Christian Beginnings: the Acts Seminar Report?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-043

Jul 12, 2014 1:02:08


Extravagant, blind fan worship of Michael Jackson vs. the hypothetical swift deification of an historical Jesus. On the Isar community, a Christian group which claims descent from the Samaritan Diaspora. Josippon (also called Pseudo-Josephus), written in biblical Hebrew, and its relationship to other pseudoepigrapha and fprgeries. On the Book of Jubilees being highly regarded by both the Hasmoneans the Qumran community and implications on authorship and dating. Does Mark 6.14 erroneously calling Herod Antipas "king" imply late dating and non-eyewitness authorship? Geek's opinion on the authenticity of the "Moabite Stone." Isn't it foolish to discourage the involvement of Christian amateurs in the processing of ancient papyri that languish in unopened crates? In Acts 2 and 4 it seems like the Christians in Jerusalem were practicing a kind of communal property and redistribution. Was this temporary? Was it just in Jerusalem? Are the passages in question are historical do they serve some kind of ideological function? Is it possible that the writers of the Bible (e.g. Rev. 11:7-98) never were in Egypt but wrote "Egypt" so whichever captives they were subject to would not consider the writings revolutionary propaganda? Are there further examples of euphemisms deployed to disguise a location, country or people so we who hath ears can hear and interpret who is truly meant (other than "666")? On Eusebius' mention of a text called the Memoranda that claims Jesus was crucified in 21 CE and implications for Jesus' historicity. Josephus places the death of John the Baptist in 36 CE vs. Gospels placing it before the crucifixion of Jesus with John either a forerunner of Jesus or Jesus being viewed as John resurrected from the dead. Has anyone proposed combining Lena Einhorn's "the Egyptian as Jesus" hypothesis with mythicism? Could the gospels have taken common knowledge events related to the Egyptian and transformed them into the character of Jesus? Do you think there is any place in an atheist's life for the concept of sin? Christians have understood Zechariah 3 as a literal event where Satan and the Angel of the Lord contend over Joshua the High Priest. Could it be that, as Goulder and other scholars have proposed, this event instead reflects a real world political crisis between Sanballat the Horonite and the Jews after the Exile? In a hadith, Mohammad heals Ali's eye ailment. Did Mohammad actually perform miracles? Abraham ibn Ezra, a Jewish commentator in medieval Spain, interpreted Noah's ark as being a vessel that remained underwater for 40 days, after which it floated to the surface. Was Noah's ark a submarine?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-042

Jul 4, 2014 1:03:35


What do you think of the theory that, since the name "Cain" meant blacksmith, the Mark of Cain story was an explanation for the already existing taboos around blacksmiths? Didn't "thy Kingdom come" originally refer to restoring the Jewish state, not the next world? Wasn't the parable of the "Good Samaritan" really about bad priests ignoring the needy? Under Roman occupation, weren't the temple priests flunkies of Rome? Was "give what is Caesar's to Caesar, and to God what is God's" a call to end Roman rule and return the land to the Jews? When Jewish authorities kicked out the Hellenized Christians, didnâ??t they inadvertently help to spread Christianity among Gentiles? After Rome destroyed Jerusalem and banned Judaism, didn't many Christians repudiate their faith's Jewish roots and begin seeking Roman converts? Hebrews 11:26 says Moses "esteemed the reproach of Christ?"� What did Moses know of Christ? Who are "those of Caesarâ??s household" in Philippians 4:22? Does Revelation 12 reflect the nativities of Horus and Zeus? Could "Amen" be a reference to the Egyptian deity Amen? God was mad when Adam and Eve "discovered" they were naked, yet seemed to relent and allow them to have clothes. Why has nudity become sinful in so many cultures? Suppose you found yourself transported back in time to the dawn of humanity. The people there were willing to believe whatever you told them. What would you tell them? Would you attempt to construct a myth that provided morality, etc.? What are some of your favorite Bible conspiracies and why? Does the Islamic "Satan", aka Iblis, relate more to the original conception of Satan in the Jewish sense of "the Accuser," or does he embody the kind of complex amalgamation of various gods, demons, and archetypes that the contemporary Christian Satan does? In Revelation Jesus is compared to the "Morning Star." and Lucifer came to be associated with the Morning Star, Venus, as were many gods and/or goddesses of Mesopotamia. What gives? When exactly was this name demonized?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-041

Jul 3, 2014 48:38


What are your thoughts on the view of James Tabor that Mary of Clopas is in fact Mary the mother of Jesus, having remarried Clopas after Joseph's death? What do you make of the view that Jonah like Elijah never died? What is the point of the hadith in which Muhammad answers the three questions to which only a prophet may answer, thus prompting Rabbi Abdullah bin Salam? Might Mark 14:51 be based on the LXX version of Daniel 12:7, the young man serving as a sign of the End? It seems that if God requires this blood sacrifice and extraordinary agony either His forgiveness is constrained by unknown outside forces or He is simply unspeakably cruel and willful. Can you explain what the most convincing Christian response to this concern is? Atheists love to point to fertility myths of dying and rising gods as the antecedents of the Christ story, but are there any stories of redemption or salvation of humans driven by the death of a resurrected god, or is that Christianity's big innovation? After the death of Jesus, we are told offhandedly in the Apostles' Creed that "he descended into hell." Why? Where do we get the idea that we should pray with hands together and eyes shut? I am just coming to terms with the Christ myth theory, when I learn that there is even less historical evidence for Paul. Is there an equivalent "Paul myth theory"? Does John chapter 17 reflect a series of redactions? Some of the chapter reads more like a liturgical summary of Jesus' life or maybe an early creed? Also, does this chapter seem to include verses that could have an orthodox and a Gnostic "reading"? Archaeological evidence supports Christian presence in the catacombs under the City of Rome. Has anyone ever posited that underground worship may have been a peculiarity of Christianity in Rome and not caused by persecution? Like Mithraic temples?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-040

Jul 2, 2014 1:18:16


Peter Jackson's Targum of Tolkien. I recently ran across a pretty straight-forward Christian interpretation of Daniel using a Gregorian calendar that begins with Artaxerxes' decree in 458. 490 weeks later is 33 AD. Do you think Daniel may have been used by the gospel writers to establish a basic timeline for when their messiah might have to have lived and died? Or, if there was a historical Jesus, could he have known about Daniel's prophecies and then determined that he should be put to death around such and such time to meet what the scriptures supposedly said? Were there a lot of messianic expectations around the time of Jesus? Could this have been due to the re-dating of Daniel (once people realized that the end didn't happen after Maccabean times!) and other scriptures? Is Ussher's chronological very influential on Young Earth Creationists? Did early Christians care about the age of the earth or did such concern come later? Is any evidence of an 'evolution' of the Ten Commandments story or of the Mosaic Law itself? Could you explain how we know that the Little Apocalypse is an interpolation into Mark and why this is evidence for a post 70 date? In Proverbs 8:22-31, Wisdom is described as pre-existent and present before the creation, just like Jesus in John's gospel. In Proverbs 9:1-6, Wisdom wants us to partake in a kind of Eucharist of bread and wine in which we will "live" and "walk in the way of insight." In Greek "wisdom" becomes "Sophia". Isn't this a prominent concept in Gnosticism? Could these passages in Proverbs be the source behind both the Eucharist and the concept of the pre-existent Christ found in the gospel of John and in Paul's letters? Tebah is used 28 times in the Hebrew Bible, 26 times as ark and 2 times as basket. Could the basket of baby Moses actually be a small boat? Additionally, is there an intentional reference back to the Noah story? I know that some people, even today believe Moses was Noah reincarnated. As in Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Thirty-four, Section 1 by Rabbi Chaim Vital. "At first, Moses was Abel, who was the son of Adam. Later, he reincarnated into Seth, then Noah, and after that, into Shem, Noah's son."

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-039

Jun 26, 2014 31:51


If there is any evidence of the creed of 1 Corinthians 15 (verses 3-11) being cited/quoted by writers of antiquity of an early date? Some instances of translation fudging in the New World Translation. Jeffrey Butz says Schweitzer's theory of Jesus' false apocalyptic prediction was rejected by everyone, even Bultmann. Is this correct? When did Paul ever make the claim that such letters he was writing were "scripture"? Was Mary (the mother of Jesus) from the house of David? If not, that would disqualify Jesus from being the Messiah automatically, would it not? What if the very concept of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity originated from a misunderstanding of the phrase "Holy Spirit" as a circumlocution for "God"? Why did Origen, in the 3rd century, think that Paul 'praised' Luke and that Luke's gospel pre-dated the letters of Paul? Luke's nativity seems to have Jesus as Son of God already at birth, but the Acts speeches are adoptionistic. Surely the same author did not write both?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-038

Jun 25, 2014 1:15:12


Is the name Habakkuk Akkadian? Also, in the Additions to Daniel, Habakkuk is ordered to make stew for Daniel, and is then beamed over to Babylon and back by the Angel Scotty. If it were possible for angels to beam people back and forth, why wasn't this done at any point in the past Biblical literature? One of your interlocutors raised the topic of a recent archeological find that might substantiate the historicity of the Buddha. I fear this correspondent might be conflating two different news items about Buddhist archeology. One concerns a new archeological find while the other concerns a new analysis of an old find. I lean towards a mythical Jesus but have trouble with the timing of when he was supposed to have lived and died. Why the 30s AD? What is the 22nd Psalm intended to be about? I've read one Christian site that said it is alluded to five times in the crucifixion narrative, though specifics weren't given. At Liberty University nearly all the divinity students are embracing a form of Calvinism, specifically the brand of Calvinism promoted by John Piper. What do you make of this trend? Before the second century AD the Romans practiced cremation, however during the second century A.D., burial started to become the more popular funeral rite, did this practice emerge from "trendy" beliefs imported from the eastern regions of the empire like Egypt or even Judea? Genesis 21:8-20 -- a story about Ishmael but never mentions his name! He is called son, boy and child. Why is that? Paul says "the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her husband" (1 Corinthians 7:14). Does this mean that unbelievers are saved by virtue of being married to believers? Do you think the word Tzedek and Zadok priesthood could go back to Gen 14's Melchizedek, thus making it extremely transparent as to why the Sadducees ("Zadokites") adhered to the older stuff, the written Torah, etc.? Perhaps they think they go back that far? Can you give some examples of people taking the bible literally without taking it seriously? Can you give us a short history of Philemon and what purpose it served the early church? Did Philemon play a role in the centuries of Christian debates for and against slavery? I would like to begin a serious textual study on the Book of Ecclesiastes. Do you have any advice for an amateur on this subject? Can you recommend any authors? What are your favorite "idiot disciple" scenes? I've heard you say how the biblical prophecies get taken out of context and that none of them originally mentioned a Jesus-like messiah. Can you describe the process by which such reinterpretation occurred? When Jesus prophesizes that He will return within a generation, Christians argue that what he really meant was that the temple would be destroyed. Is this so, or is it just a fabrication?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-037

Jun 23, 2014 2:23:41


Comparing a poll of NT scholars to a poll of historians regarding Jesus' existence. Relationship between the fields of history and New Testament studies? Can Revelation 22:8-9, be reasonably read to mean that the angel claims to have once been a man? Is 1 Corinthians 2 Gnostic or Marcionite? Are justification and sanctification being used differently between chapter 1 and 6? Is chapter 6 a later interpolation intended to redefine justification and sanctification in terms more palatable to orthodox Christians? Is 1 Corinthians 15:16-17 an interpolation and a response to criticism that there wasn't enough time for an interpolation. How did Jesus earn the title "The Prince of Peace" when he clearly says he does not intend to bring peace? Re the phrase "among those born of woman.", was there some early skepticism about the historicity of John the Baptist too? Is Matthew 11:11 a leftover remnant from the John the Baptist cult that got past the censors? How does the hypothesis linking the Little Apocalypse with the Bar Kochba rebellion fit with the New Testament stories about some of the fathers (apostles) not yet having fallen asleep? Is there anything in the Bible that's theologically consistent and universally agreed upon and if so what? A listener from Connecticut describes their faith journey. Could the story of "God" (Esau) damaging Jacob's thigh(?) be a retelling of the waxing and waning of the moon? Would translating "Jesus" as "Yahve Savior" and "God" as "El Elyon" make the New Testament more reasonable and show more clearly that monotheism had not fully taken root in Judaism by the first century of the Common Era? Instead of labeling ourselves as mythicists, should we not return the burden to those who claim a historical Jesus and call them euhemerists? Do you think that the German epic the "Heiland", the apparent militarism of Jesus in the Gospels, as well as the seeming appearance of Yahve as a god of war, on a par with Ares or Mars, have influenced Adolf Hitler's understanding of Jesus as a Warrior? Do you think that Martin Luther's "Against the Jews and their lies" influenced the Nazi Final Solution? Re Revelation as a mostly pre-Christian work - it has 10 uses of "Lord God," whereas this formulation appears nowhere else in the New Testament except twice in Luke 1, and once in Peter's speech in Acts 3, referring to the Lord God's promise to send another prophet. Is there a standard explanation for why a post-Gospel Christian writer would revert from the familiar "God the Father," with "Lord" usually reserved for Jesus? Is there a teaching that attempts to explain how evolution and monogenism, could possibly coexist, especially in regards to the soul? You say that some early Christians believed Jesus was a man who became a God at the resurrection. How does that square with the Christian concept of Heaven? How can a loving, just, merciful God punish billions of people for the sins of two people, Adam & Eve? When did early Christians start to move away from the Jewish prohibition to use the divine Name? Evolutionary vs. deliberately constructed Christ Myths. Evaluation of different Christ Myth theories. Would multiple strands of transmission of the Bible support this claim for the preservation of the text and against its corruption?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-036

Jun 22, 2014 1:21:28


Should atheists scruple to say "Goodbye" since the etymology is "God be with ye"? I first heard of the Christ Myth Theory in a song lyric by Whitehouse which stated "don't you know that Jesus Christ never existed?" Shortly after I was reading the novel The Master and Margarita by Mikail Bulgakov, and there it was in the first couple of pages, laying out the whole case against the historicity of Jesus Christ. Are there many more examples of the Christ Myth Theory in popular culture? 1 Corinthians 15:4 says that Christ "was buried." In the Markan account Jesus is not buried in the earth, but rather placed "in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock." Do these perhaps not mean the same thing? I have heard many references to the so-called "unforgivable" sin, but would the use of the term "unforgivable" necessarily imply everlasting damnation? Many evangelical Universalists I have read still believe in Hell, but believe that a person can make his/her way through the redemptive "fires" of Hell and eventually into salvation. So, in the theology of the gospels, can a person pay the price for a sin but eventually attain salvation? John of Damascus' list of NT books has the standard twenty-seven books, but adds The Canons of the Holy Apostles by Clement. Due to the location of the book in at the end of the list imply John was placing the canons as an appendix to the New Testament, not a part of it? If The Crucifixion really happened and if Mary the mother of Jesus was a witness, Mary must have been the one who suffered the most because a mother who has to watch her child being tortured suffers infinitely more than the child. Agree? If Matthew 21:28-32 refers to John the Baptist's ministry, doesn't it imply Jesus considered John's believers to have attained salvation? Why would he have Jesus claim that believing in John the Baptist would lead to entering the Kingdom of Heaven? Does this have the same connotation as the Christian concept of salvation, or does Jesus mean something different by "entering the Kingdom of Heaven?" Was this just an attempt to draw in followers of JTB to the Jesus Camp by re-affirming that John "came in the way of righteousness," and therefore Christians and the Original Baptists were all on the same side? What would early Christians have thought about followers of JTB entering the Kingdom of God before the death and resurrection of Jesus? If John son of Zebedee was historical, he was probably no older than 14 at the time of Christ's death, as several possible hints imply. In this case, his title, "the Beloved of Jesus," must be scrutinized. Does this denote Hellenistic pederasty? If someone found a new manuscript that was considered authentic and supported the New Testament claims what would it take to get it accepted into Bible? 2 Maccabees 2:13 reads: 13 "The same things are reported in the records and in the memoirs of Nehemiah, and also that he founded a library and collected the books about the kings and prophets, and the writings of David, and letters of kings about votive offerings." Is the word here for memoirs the same word that Justin Martyr uses to refer to the memoirs of the Apostles, and if so what are the implications? Also, the author seems to be implying that Nehemiah - not Ezra - was responsible for Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah, what are the implications of that? What do you make of the theory that the Jebusite named Araunah is in fact the son of David, Adonijah, who proclaims himself King? Alternatively, what do you make of the idea that Araunah was king over the Jebusites and ruled Jerusalem alongside David? Later writers elevating David over Araunah by making him a rebellious son of David. What do you make of the theory that Zadok was a co-opted Jebusite Priest? Zadok does not appear in the text of Samuel until after the conquest of Jerusalem. Are Christians who refuse to take their children to the hospital, praying and trusting in God for a healing, the consistently biblical ones? To what does the term "only begotten god" refer?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-035

Jun 21, 2014 1:12:08


How many angels can do the Watusi on the point of a needle? Josephus tells us that Herod the Great tried to loot the tomb of David, but discovered that it was empty (someone else had already looted the tomb). Is there any connection to Jesus' empty tomb? Perhaps the inventor of that part of the narrative thought the tomb should be empty like David's? Did Judah Kyriakos (also known as Judas of Jerusalem) â?? the last Jewish Christian bishop of Jerusalem, and allegedly the great-grandson of Jude the brother of Jesus â?? really exist? If so, how did he manage to claim descent from Jesus' brother? The Hebrew name Menahem means comforter, so I am wondering if the original comforter (paraklete) was meant to be either the son of Jude (brother of Jesus) named Menahem, or perhaps Menahem the grandson of Judas of Galilee. How did the Hebrew Yehoshua morph into the Latin Jesus. Apelles got his information through a woman called Philumena, a channeler of Paul in the second century. Are we looking at a psychic hotline in the second century? What was their influence in early Christianity like? In The Jesus Mysteries, Freke and Gandy make the case that the earliest Christians were Gnostics and that Gnosticism is really just the Jewish version of the Mystery Religions centered on Jesus as the god-man. Do you agree? Is Buddhism just the Indian version of the Mystery Religions centered on Siddhartha Gautama? Why do you think Orthodox Christianity eventually distanced itself from the Gnostics and chose to make them the Church's greatest enemy? The introduction to the Catholic Study Bible says, "Much of the inspiration for form criticism came from the great work on the origins and development of fairy tales and folk stories by the brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson in the nineteenth century." Have you ever heard of this as an influence on form criticism? As far as methodology, I can't help think here of the critical work done on the Iliad and Odyssey in the 18th and 19th centuries, which often identified different narrative strands that were eventually sewn together into a single work. Please give us a brief history of the Bible Geek podcast. Though it was clear that Constantine wanted Christianity to help unify his vast empire, why would he pick the version of Christianity we now have rather than Gnostic Christianity? The connection between the resurrection and the dyeing of Easter eggs is solved! Do you believe that Christian faith intrinsically provides unique benefits to society that outweighs its negative aspects? Is there some incarnation of it that can legitimately co-exist with science? Should we oppose it for its denial of science or embrace it for its other benefits to society? Was Mary (the mother of Jesus) from the house of David? If not, that would disqualify Jesus from being the Messiah automatically, would it not?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-034

Jun 20, 2014 1:14:24


Why does the initially important Barnabas suddenly disappear from the narrative of Acts? What are the differences and the relations, if any, between the Essenes, the Zealots, the Gnostics, and the Mystery Religions? You've said that historically Jews didn't see the Adam and Eve story as the beginning of sin but of death. Could you expound on that? Are the views of Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman (The Bible Unearthed), namely that the patriarchs didn't exist, the exodus and conquest never happened, and that the Pentateuch through the Deuteronomistic history are the product of the 7th century BCE, shared by most archaeologists? Does the OT actually presents the concept of a flat earth or are phrases like "laying the earths foundations" just metaphors? And is the firmament in Gen 1 necessarily a hard dome? In your opinion, who has a better scriptural argument, dispensationalists or Calvinists/Catholics? Why does Methuselah get the honor of being the oldest of the pre-Flood patriarchs at 969 years? Besides Lamech, what significance is there to the ages of the other major OT characters? In the Septuagint version of Zechariah 6:11-12, the crown of kingship is placed upon "Jesus," Philo of Alexandria interprets the prophecy as bespeaking the firstborn of God, the Logos (On the Confusion of Tongues, Book 14:62, 63). Is Richard Carrier right that this is definitive proof that there was a pre-Christian belief in a first born son of God called Jesus? As an atheist and an academic, what do you think is the role of the Bible scholar in today's world? Why, in reality, would the centurion want, or need, to call the elders of the Jews to speak to Jesus? What is Luke's purpose in putting in that detail that Matthew does not? In three cases in the Bible ( Mark 16:9; Luke 4.23; John 11:12) , the description of the person or place comes immediately after the story in which they play a part. Is this a common literary device or bad editing? Do you believe in God? What about Jesus, do you believe him to be the Savior? How should one react when religious friends, knowing that you are a non-believer, say "God bless you"?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-033 (repeat of show #97 from Oct. 2007)

Jun 16, 2014 2:02:59


*** THIS IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION FROM OCTOBER 2007 (SHOW #97) *** 00:00:20: Technical difficulties 00:01:40: "I am" statements, incarnation and gnosticism in Bhagavad Gita. 00:10:28: Where does the Bible claim that it is the only Holy Book/Word of God? 00:22:53: Is "Budhism without beliefs" a genuine thing or a Western invention? 00:27:40: Request that Geek write an annotated Bible. 00:31:03: On spelling of the name of Biblical scholar "Mircea Eliade". 00:31:52: Did some members of the Corinthian community believe in Christ but not in his crucifixion? 00:35:27: Cerinthian Gnosticism and opposition to it in the Gospel of John. 00:55:38: On Gospel accounts as alleged "eyewitness testimony". 01:01:34: Lists of the 12 apostles and their historicity? 01:14:05: Is 1 Corinthians 6:16 really about marriage or about prostitution? 01:15:48: Is Odin hanging from Yggdrasil related to Jesus being crucified? 01:18:43: Disinterest in details of Jesus' life vs. supposedly faithful transmission of Jesus stories. 01:24:34: Announcement of Polyschizmatic Reprobate's Hour episode on "Paperback Apocalypse". 01:26:02: How do believers account for lack of archaeological evidence of Israelite captivity in Egypt? 01:27:22: If it is proven that 2 Peter is a 2nd century document would that disprove full preterism? 01:41:47: Is Jesus supposed to be new Joshua? 01:43:51: Was Daniel written in Aramaic or Hebrew? 01:45:38: The Hindu Trinity vs. Christian Trinity. 01:53:20: What of pagan parallels to Christianity regarding resurrection and virgin births.

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-032

May 29, 2014 1:43:44


00:00:50: I've heard speaking in tongues described as speaking in such a manner that what was said was heard by everyone in their native language. If this is accurate, why did it change to mean speaking inspired gibberish that had to be translated? 00:08:22: I find it hilarious that Dr. Craig goes on and on about the evils of moral relativism, and then he uses every single one of the "Techniques of Neutralization" that criminals use to psychologically overcome their cognitive dissonance when they commit a crime they know is wrong. 00:15:15: Are there extant Roman records of the crucifixion of Jesus? 00:17:12: Could you speak briefly on other religions or cults more or less contemporaneous with early Christianity and how they may have influenced Judaism? 00:28:26: Where does the fear of satanic cabals come from? Have satanic, occult, or evil cults ever existed? Is this just something religions brew up to create an "us" and to demonize "them"? 00:35:12: Do you think Mark 13:32 meant to preclude the possibility that the Father might later reveal "the day or hour" to someone in advance? 00:42:26: Who or what was Lillith? 00:48:40: What was the â??mark' of Cain? 00:52:01: Can you offer a brief overview of the work of Bultmann and his "de-mythologizing" program? 01:11:22: Personal questions about Price's financial and professional life. 01:17:35: 1 Corinthians 15:54-55. The King James version of Hosea 13 turns rhetorical questions of wrath into statements of God's mercy. Is this accurate? 01:25:45: What is your opinion of the Anchor Bible? 01:29:16: Did the OT Jews have to believe or simply follow the law? Did the desire to rid Christians of the obligations of the law inadvertently turn into a harsher burden, that is, to have to believe things?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-031

May 22, 2014 1:21:05


00:01:05: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 seems to rule out the soul's entering Heaven upon death. How do believers not notice this? 00:07:26: How do young Earth creationists deal with the apparent existence of the Sumerian civilization? 00:11:51: Humor in the Bible: David raving? 1 Samuel 21:14-15. 00:12:45: How many English Bible Versions are there today? 00:16:03: Historical figures can be posthumously elevated to godhood, and gods can be re-interpreted as human heroes. So: Are there any examples of historical figures being deified, and *then* brought back down to earth in later stories after it was forgotten they really were flesh and blood? 00:20:36: During the long Old Testament litanies about how failure prone the old kings of Judah and Israel were, there are a number of references to the â??Annals of the Kings' of those two kingdoms. Is there any evidence that these existed? 00:25:53: At the end of the parable of the sower in Mark 4 Jesus declares: "If any man has ears to hear, let him hear". That's a joke right, given the meaning of the parable? Ears of corn? 00:30:09: Leviticus 27:2-8 sets forth the amount people can pay in lieu of service they've pledged to priests. I am assuming this is service in regards to the upkeep of the Tabernacle and taking care of the priests themselves. Isn't this a gross anachronism? 00:35:39: Bart Ehrman, in How Jesus Became God, argues that Romans 1:2-4 pre-dates Paul, that it is an early creed that expresses an early belief in Jesus' exaltation at his resurrection, pointing out that the phrase "Spirit of holiness" is clearly Semitic, supporting the idea that the creed came from the early Jewish church. In your Amazing Colossal Apostle you reject this idea, believing instead that a later Catholic redactor added this passage as a response to the teaching of Marcion. While I can see your point, the Semitic phrase seems like an important clue that the mainstream view of Ehrman may be correct. How would you respond to this? 00:39:14: I see a lot of parallels between the story of Adam and Eve and ordinary childhood. Is it really about the process of leaving the innocence of childhood? 00:41:51: It is commonly alleged that the Greek in Revelation is ungrammatical gobbledygook. Despite several apologetical theories, couldn't it just be that the author was just not very good at grammar? 00:48:47: You say that Mark and Luke were the most common names in the Roman empire. Does this mean you are identifying Lucas (Gr. Loukas) with the common Roman praenomen Lucius (Gr. Loukios)? 00:52:07: I recently heard an apologist claim that scholars unanimously agree that the creed of Jesus' resurrection referred to by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 is dated within 10 years of Jesus' death. He was using this as "historical" proof of the resurrection of Jesus by a credible source so near his death. Is there any truth to this claim? Are there any extra-biblical evidences of this creed? 00:55:17: If the common belief is to be accepted that all sin that would ever be committed was already known at the time of the crucifixion, then this raises some serious questions about free will. If Jesus suffered for my sins 2000 years before I committed them then obviously I could not have done otherwise. If that's the case, how can God punish me for something he knew I'd do, and that I had no choice in doing? 01:01:01: Another humorous passage from the Bible: Rachel & her father Laben's statues. 01:02:13: If we could discover a complete copy of any book of the Bible, the Apocrypha or the Pseudepigrapha â?? which book would you choose and why? 01:03:00: Is the inconsistent dating of the Hivites in Genesis 15 and 36, and the difference on the point between the Septuagint and the Masoretic text, an example of a later writer correcting the text? 01:05:08: The Nethinim, according to tradition, are the descendants of the Gibeonites. However, is it possible that these helpers in the Temple were actually given to the Jews by the Persians? If so, what are the ramifications? 01:06:42: Which Bible is truest to the earliest manuscripts available and is most accurately translated? 01:12:00: Is the concept of not being able to "question God" new with Paul? 01:14:00: Did Muhammad have contact mainly with heretical Christians? When the Qur'an talks about Jesus not being the Son of God, are they making a straw man of Christians, implying Christians believe that God had sex with Mary?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-030

May 17, 2014 1:04:26


00:02:30: Special Godzilla 2014 edition. Mormons teach that Moroni was a man who became an angel after his death. Where did Joseph Smith get the idea that a man could become an angel? Is there any connection to the Christian heresies of Adoptionism or Arianism? Did Joseph Smith get the names Moroni and Cumorah from the Comoros? Smith was fascinated with the myth of Captain Kidd burying treasure in the Comoros and therefore when inventing the discovery of the golden plates, did he attach the name Moroni (the capital of the Comoros) to the Angel and Cumorah (similar to Comoros) to the hill? 00:07:06: Might Mark's naked young man in Gethsemane and the empty tomb be a literary symbol, based on 2 Cor. 5:1-4, that after Jesus' resurrection, naked Christians will be clothed in heavenly bodies after their resurrection? 00:12:05: How did Europeans successfully integrate Christianity with their martial tradition? Which religious tradition do you think is the most compatible with being a soldier? 00:20:44: No Pauline epistle mentions John the Baptist. Does this mean that the Pauline Christians did not accept John as a precursor of Jesus? 00:24:38: Does your book Evolving out of Eden offer a critique of the work of Hugh Ross and Reasons to Believe? 00:26:11: Do you agree with Hector Avalos that, because we have no NT mss (at least in their entirety) dating earlier than the 3rd century, we simply are not in a position to know whether or not the NT is a 1st century document? 00:30:20: Is it fair to say that the Christ-myth hypothesis rests on 4 basic pillars â?? namely (a) Paul didn't exist (or, at least, his letters have been so reworked that we simply don't have enough evidence to reconstruct what he originally believed); (b) the extra-NT references to Jesus (e.g., Josephus & Tacitus) are inauthentic and/or have little historical value; (c) the genre of the gospels (or, at least, Mark) is myth instead of history; (d) the history of religions school? 00:32:24: What are your thoughts about the movie Noah? 00:34:54: What are your thoughts about the movie Captain America? 00:37:34: Hasn't the lower Synoptic Christology been harmonized away? Hasn't the Superman Jesus of John superseded the Batman Jesus of the Synoptics? Can you provide a quick recap of the best theories on the origins of John's Gospel? 00:47:54: How does a lay person keep up on all the new materials being written on the NT? Where does one find out who is writing what; and where it is being published? 00:54:10 I am fascinated by the views of John Knox and Gerd Ludemann on Pauline chronology (i.e., the Western mission prior to the Jerusalem Council). Are there any more recent works supporting or opposing this position? 00:57:27: Do you still suspect the Gospel of Judas is a modern forgery? 01:00:46: About six months ago, there was an archaeological find in Nepal at the site where the Buddha was long thought to have been born. The find seemed to authenticate that the Buddha was indeed real. Do you still think the Buddha was a mythical figure who became historicized?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-029

May 15, 2014 1:07:19


00:00:39: Does the Bible actually make the prediction that the Jewish people would one day return to Israel? 00:14:31: Re the 70 weeks prophecy in Daniel 9, do the dates that the Angel Gabriel gave to Daniel add up to the time when Jesus was presented as the Messiah? 00:18:30: Might the doctrine of the Trinity be purposely vague? 00:20:16: Could it be that the fatal flaw of adoptionism, Arianism, Marcionism, etc., was that they were too easy to pin down and therefore too easy to disagree with? 00:25:15: How should we define Biblical criticism? 00:30:48: If you believe Matthew 24 and the other synoptic accounts are written after 70 to make it look like Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple, why would these accounts then make it appear that Jesus was saying he'd come back in 70 A.D. when that clearly didn't happen? 00:41:21: Christopher Hitchens once dismissed Marxism as "part of the history of Christianity." Do you think he had a point? 00:44:29: Might the story of Saul leading a force against King Nachash to rescue the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead (1 Sam 10-11) be a variant version of both the story of the Levite and his concubine in Gibeah (Judges 19-20) and the story of Lot and the strangers story of Gen 18-19? 00:51:04: An announcement of a new internet source. 00:52:34: Does the Christian view that angels have no free will stem not from a particular Biblical passage, but instead from the general function of angels in the Bible as messengers or agents of God? 01:01:29: Where in the New Testament can we find passages that would justify the belief in theosis [union with God (yoga)]?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-028

May 11, 2014 1:17:16


00:01:39: Price and Carrier on the Gospel of Jesus' wife. 00:08:47: Could you elaborate on the evidence for the idea that, although it is likely the first Gospel written, Mark may be itself a redaction of another "gospel"? 00:19:16: Does the Ignatian Letter to the Trallians predate the Gospel of Mark? What is the earliest Christian writing that we do know the date and author of? 00:26:06: What is your take on visitors from other planets or dimensions? 00:31:35: Is there any mythological significance to Moses being denied entry into the Promised Land? 00:35:36: Can one live with a Christian heart and an atheist mind? 00:41:19: Why does Matthew 1:23 say that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy that a virgin will bear a son and they will call his name "Emmanuel", then say he is named "Jesus" instead? 00:51:27: According to the Jesus Seminar, the verse Mark 3:29 cannot go back to Jesus. Why not? Do some manuscripts leave it out? As I understand it the Gospel of Thomas may precede Mark, but also includes a passage similar to this. 01:00:04: Could you give your take on the idea of Deutero-Isaiah and the evidence for the idea? 01:07:37: Is God just our idealized self-image and a megaphone for our "infallible" opinions? 01:12:10: If God put the rainbow in the sky after the Flood as a reminder to himself not to flood the world again, wouldn't there be a danger of rain flooding the world again with the rainbow "reminding God" too late?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-027

May 4, 2014 2:15:38


My 8 year old daughter goes to a Christian school, though we do not attend any church, and she now wants to get baptized. She does not really understand why she should according to the Christian point of view. Are there any texts that discourage a child making a decision like that without understanding what they are committing to? It recently occurred to me that the synoptic gospels may be an attempt by the Pauline community who believed in a mystical Jesus to reach out to the Jewish church who believed in an historical Zealot who was crucified. It would be a compromise version of the story in an attempt to bring the Jewish community into their camp. And I can see the gospel of John as a reaction against this compromise, as an attempt to re-affirm the deity of Christ. Does this sound possible to you? What do we actually know about the scribes who did the copying? The Number of the Beast (Nero) is 666, but I've heard that it's actually 616 in the original, and the 666 number is a transcription error in the King James Bible - one that other translators have honored it to avoid annoying fundamentalists. What's the reality? What does fundamentalist theology say about the unevangelized that lived prior to Jesus? Were pious Israelites saved by some other means? What about miscarried and aborted fetuses today? Do these answers vary from Calvinists, dispensationalists, etc.? Would you comment on the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" papyrus? Have you ever considered composing an Encyclopedia of Bible Origins? What do you think of the religious pronouncement that "Science explains the 'what' and the 'how,' Religion explains the 'why'"? If no historical Jesus died during the beginning of Spring, what is the mythicist explanation for the date of Easter? You referred to "the theological and spiritual mediocrity manifest in the LDS leadership may come from the fact of the mediocrity, religiously, of the Book of Mormon." How is the Book of Mormon and the LDS leadership any worse than other religious groups? What is the timeline/biblical basis for the belief that "God doesn't do miracles anymore," and that of "God found my car keys"? It's my impression, that when one is "saved," one receives a spiritual gift. Why is the "gift" always speaking in tongues, and why didn't I get it? In the final chapter of John's gospel, Jesus alludes to Peter's death. Peter asks what about the "beloved disciple." Jesus says, "What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?" This does not strike me as a denial that he will live until the parousia, but only that it is none of Peter's business. The author goes on to say that "the brothers" then thought that the beloved disciple would not die, based on what Jesus allegedly said, which seems peculiar to me. Doesn't this imply that a long time has passed since the departure of Jesus? Only if this John, supposedly, was ridiculously old would people start to think that he would never die, because even if he were 90 or even 100 or more, it still would not be particularly unusual for people to imagine him to be alive, because great age implied great holiness or favor with God. However, there was an upper limit. Then I thought about the 153 fish. You have discussed on several occasions what the significance of this supposed Pythagorean number might mean. What if the author just used the well-known number to draw attention to it because he was alluding to how old the beloved disciple was? I'm not arguing of course that John really was vastly ancient or that he was known to be a real living person when the gospel was written. If people were aware somehow that 153 or so years have passed since Jesus was last seen, or there were those who believed John was still alive and kicking at 153, then it seems to me that they would now tend to seriously consider that John really wasn't going to die, and would live to see the second coming, because in their reasoning that would make sense of both his age, and what Jesus had said. Is it true that "Jesus" translates as "Son of Zeus" in Greek? Mark 14:36 seems to say that there are no limits on God's power, and that God could even spare Jesus if that were his will, while Matthew 26:39 suggests that there are limits to what God can do, and that he could only spare Jesus if it were possible. Does Matthew believe that God's power is limited while Mark believes that it is unlimited? What is the "Witness of the Holy Spirit?" When was this concept first espoused? The doctrine of the Orthodox Church describes God as possessing an essence which was transcendent but with energies that are immanent in creation. What do these terms mean with respect to our understanding of Christ? Was he the energy of the Father in flesh? Does this concept originate in Old Testament theology or Greek philosophy or elsewhere? What book that does not exist, would you like to have existed?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-026

May 1, 2014 1:26:04


Was Solomon fooled into thinking Pharaoh had given him his daughter in marriage, as King Amasis fooled Cambyses, promising him his daughter but sending a daughter of Apries instead? In the Bible we often see sex referred to with circuitous-sounding terms. Are these euphemisms or the only way to refer to sex in Hebrew and Greek? Given that there are inexplicable discrepancies between and among the gospels, how do apologists reconcile this with their assertion that the transmission, as supposedly typical in oral cultures, would be perfect? One apologist tried to get around the problem of Cain's wife by suggesting Genesis 5 really goes before chapter 4. It seems that Chapter 5 tells what happened in Chapter 4 without mentioning Cain and Abel. Does this make sense? What do you make of Richard Elliott Friedman's arguments placing the P source in the time of King Hezekiah? Could you give me your own thoughts on the Tel Dan Inscription and what links to the Persian and Alexandrian periods you find most compelling? Could it be that, in the story of Peter's denials, the rooster could be the resurrecting phoenix, anticipating the rising of Jesus, showing Peter that he was wrong to doubt the Christ's divinity? In "The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture" Bart Ehrman explains how verses 43 and 44 of Luke chapter 22 - where the angel attends Jesus in Gethsemane, and where Jesus sweats blood - must be insertions into the text. If they were not in Polycarp's canonical Luke, would there have been enough time for them to be known to Justin (writing circa 150AD), Irenaeus (writing circa 180AD) and Hippolytus (slightly later?) become established as 'gospel'. In "Against the gods" John Currid argues that the birth of Moses isn't really related to the legend of Sargon, but to the myth of Horus, but God took the myth of Horus and changed it into real history with the birth of Moses. What's your take on the relation of Exodus and Egyptian mythology? Were the synoptic gospels written by individuals or committees? Since Oscar Cullmann's Introduction to the New Testament is nearly 50 years old, what conclusions about dates and authorship might be overturned by any recent discoveries? It seems that the dating of Gnosticism is one of those moving bars that is set each time to support the argument at hand. When arguing that Christianity can't possibly have Gnostic origins, the rise of Gnosticism is set late, but when arguing for the Pauline authorship of Colossians, it is set early. Is this a common tactic in apologetics? Where should we place the rise of Gnosticism? I found curious Romans 16:22 "I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord." Wouldn't this verse cause problems for literalists? What is the logic by which this verse ever made it into the canon, and who is Tertius? After Cain killed Abel, Cain is given a mark so that others may know him and steer clear. What others? What place did the Beatitudes have in early Christian theology? Were they always considered central to Jesus' message? What do you think the original version of the Beatitudes in Q looked like, and do you think it was drawn from some pre-Christian tradition or philosophy? Why does Christian dogma insist death came into existence because of the fall of Adam & Eve when Elohim had already threatened Adam with death? You can't threaten someone with something that doesn't exist. If the Romans were so sensitive to Hebrew religious beliefs that Jesus had to be taken down before sunset, wouldn't that apply to the other guys too? As crucifixion often took more than a day to kill the victim wouldn't there be a fair chance at least one of these two might have survived? Are there any non-canonical stories about these guys activities after the crucifixion? Can you explain why Christians equate the Sabbath with Sunday?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-025

Apr 27, 2014 1:04:40


00:00:00: The Reuven Geek show. In ancient Egypt, they never allowed any of the Royal women to marry foreigners. So how could the ultra-conservative 21st Dynasty give a wife to King Solomon? Not Reuven's: [00:05:03: Why has the Markan passage about the young man who escapes by shedding his linen cloth been preserved in the Bible, and does it have any purpose in the story?] 00:15:40: What do you make of this Hadith? Sahih Muslim 6668 â?? Allah's Messenger [said]: There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with as heavy sins as a mountain, and Allah would forgive them and He would place in their stead the Jews and the Christians. When and where does the Song of Songs originate? 00:22:10: People have complained about the price of the nifty book: Mythicism: A Seven-fold Revelation of the Buddhist Branch, etc., edited by Michael Lockwood, now only $30, but NO MORE PRINT COPIES of The Politically Correct Bible directly from Dr. Price. 00:24:15: What is the reason for (or meaning of) the precise ages in Genesis 5? 00:30:59: The Song of Songs is not included in the LDS canon because Joseph Smith said it was not inspired scripture. Why did Joseph Smith make this conclusion, and why was it so easily accepted? Luther's exclusion of certain books was not accepted by later Lutherans, so why were the early Mormons any different? 00:38:39: How likely is the proposal of Rudolf Bultmann that 2 John is a forgery using 3 John? 00:43:00: What exactly was shown to Jesus by Satan in Matthew 4:8-11? Also, how could Satan offer this to Jesus? Had Jesus accepted the offer, would he have been made King of Israel? 00:45:52: Who is the Prophet Kahan from India? Is he Krishna? 00:48:12: Might the prophetess Huldah have been similar to the oracle at Delphi? 00:52:13: Sirach 46:20 mentions Samuel's shade talking to Saul but omits the Witch of En-Dor. Is this a case of sanitizing an older narrative? 00:53:43: Is it possible, given Ezekiel's likely birth shortly after Jeremiah became a Prophet, that Ezekiel is the son of Jeremiah? 00:56:45: The absence of references to an earthly Jesus in the Epistles is a common topic here. But I don't recall hearing discussion of the similar absence of references to the earthly Jesus in early non-canonical writings? Are references to an earthly Jesus as sparse in early non-canonical writings as they are in the NT epistles? If so, what do you make of it? 01:00:26: Eggs feature prominently in both Passover and Easter celebrations. In the Zoroastrian holiday of Nowruz, on the first day of the Spring Equinox, eggs are crucial, including the painting of eggs. Is this custom dependent on Nowruz?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-024

Apr 18, 2014 48:00


00:00:00: Portland, OR trip. 00:01:09: The Koran contains a parallel to the Infancy Gospel of Thomas story of the young Jesus miraculously turning clay pigeons into real birds, and I was wondering if the Bible Geek was aware of any other obvious, or not so obvious, borrowings where the Qur'an lifted from other Christian, Gnostic, or Pagan works? 00:08:53: Please apply Levi-Strauss' structural method to interpret the Garden of Eden story. 00:34:55: Is it possible that the ancients believed in a process of postmortem ascension whereby the dead was initially physically raised up, then sloughed off each soulish and spiritual "body" at each "checkpoint" on the way to final reunion with God? 00:40:02: The Powerpoint in heaven: are there schools of apologetics that state that the Bible is indeed inerrant but some questions / contradictions / problems / issues / puzzles will only be answered in the next world?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-023

Apr 8, 2014 1:49:31


00:00:00: A common narrative device in Greco-Roman myths is for a god to promise someone anything they ask, and it leads to tragedy. It's a clear indicator of fiction. Is Mark 6, about Herod's promise, eventuating in the killing of John the Baptist, such a mark of fiction? 00:05:42: I'm curious to hear what you think a person like Apollos or the early Jerusalem Church may have believed. 00:10:42: You've said there likely weren't synagogues in Galilee until after the Pharisees were scattered subsequent to the Fall of Jerusalem. But, weren't there synagogues all through the Diaspora? Didn't Paul preach in some? Why wouldn't there be any in Galilee? 00:14:38: Could you talk a bit about Ezra and Nehemiah? 00:24:57: I would be very interested in hearing your "testimony". Your days with InterVarsity, how you thought then, your experiences at Seminary, what prompted your doubts, the whole process of leaving the faith etc. How many once-prominent doctrines have swept the churches over the centuries and are now vestigial? It used to be that 80% of creationists were old earth creationists and 20% were young earth creationists. Now that is reversed. What accounts for that shift? Big money donors to advocates of young earthism? Read Frank Schaeffer's books and learn about Francis' stash of pornography, his repeated threats of suicide, his temper tantrums where he did things like pulling table cloths off tables in restaurants dumping everyone's food and his repeated hitting of Edith on many occasions, as well as demanding sex from her nightly. What's going on with the New Calvinism? Where did that come from? 00:44:28: Do you think what became orthodox Christianity was the Pauline church trying to incorporate the Jewish church, or the Jewish church trying to incorporate the Pauline church? 00:47:35: Why do you think that the Jewish church that produced the gospel of Matthew would be based on the Pauline gospel of Mark if the two communities were at odds and there was no true history behind Mark's story? 00:52:37: Do you think its fair to say that the early Catholic church took the Gnostic concept of the Demiurge and made him into the Devil? 00:54:49: Doesn't Matthew base his story of Judas' fate on the story of Ahithophel, who betrayed David, then hanging himself, while Acts 1:8 retells the story of Joab betraying Amasa, making as to kiss him, then gutting him? 00:57:50: Where do people get the idea that angels have no free will? What about the fall of Satan and the "sons of God"? 01:01:05: In John 2 Jesus comments that if "this temple" is destroyed, he will raise it up in 3 days. The Jews retort that this temple has taken 46 years to build. It seems like such a specific amount of time. Does not such specific dating imply a historical Jesus? 01:05:59: You've often pointed out that it is illegitimate to strip the gospel of their many miracles and then consider the remaining Swiss cheese a legitimate historical source. Isn't this a case of the ancient legal principle, "Falsus in Uno, Falsus in Omnibus": false in one, false in all? A witness who willfully falsifies one matter is not credible on any matter if it is without corroboration. 01:08:21: Are the names Caiaphas and Cephas synonyms meaning "rock" in Aramaic? Or might Cephas be a Greek name meaning "of the head"? I was told Cephas was called such as the head of the church. 01:13:17: Isn't it possible that Luke 7:28 could be evidence of an earlier Jesus tradition that didn't rely on a human incarnation of Jesus? If Jesus wasn't born of a woman, then there isn't a problem saying that John is the greatest born of a woman. 01:14:52: You said you saw three influences for Christianity: Gnosticism, Mystery Religions, and the Roman hero cult. Why not add Philo? 01:18:15: The "law of attraction" may be a function of the psychological factor of resilience. The ancient custom of "oil" anointing to cool a visitor would make more sense if they used good-smelling oils (either by the addition of resins like frankincense and myrrh or extracted and expensive essential oils such as lemon rind oil) that would overlay a certain amount of body odor in a culture where the weather was hot (especially for travelers), baths were few, and garlic was (probably) a popular spice. If the ancients were able to distill ethanol and essential oils, making perfume, they may have used that. It would have been cooling in addition to making the anointed smell good. 01:23:27: What are your thoughts regarding the "Two Powers in Heaven" concept? 01:29:36: I heard someone say recently that Orthodox Christianity does not believe at all in the death of Christ being about the redeeming of humanity from sin. In fact that they don't believe in original sin. Instead their thinking has always been that Christ's life and death is about the unification of God and humanity, somehow. What do you know about this huge difference, east and west, if it is truly the case?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-022

Apr 5, 2014 1:26:25


00:00:00: What do you think about the idea that "Luke" was the "paperback writer" (c.f., the Beatles) of his time who decided to write his Luke-Acts novel to break into the field and make a few shekels? 00:03:37: Does the graffiti depicting the ass-headed god of the Christians stem from a pun on the similarity between "Iao", a corruption of "Yah", and the Egyptian word for "ass"? 00:05:57: What are the origins of the Christian and thus Islamic concept of hell or a place of eternal torture and torment for sinners and disbelievers? 00:10:55: A listener's testimony. 00:19:34: How did the god "God" come to be known as "God"? Is it just a linguistic trick of the English language? Is the same effect achieved in other languages? Were the Greeks the first people to singularize their old polytheistic term and invent this linguistic sleight of hand? How did we get from "a god" or "the gods" to just "God"? Are the equations the same in other languages? 00:24:39: Whom do you think the author of Judith has in mind playing the part of Nebuchadnezzar? I think it must be Tigranes the Great. Was the book originally written in Hebrew or in Greek in your view? 00:25:47: Re: the Bryennios List: Is the work of great antiquity as claimed by Jean-Paul Audet? What do you make of the canon list, in particular the apparent Hexateuch of the 5 books of Moses and the book of Joshua? Do you think the author might have had knowledge of Joshua's origins, and perhaps knew that the book was written before Deuteronomy and Numbers had been completed? How else would you explain the unusual order of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Joshua, Deuteronomy and Numbers? 00:29:13: Can we use the social-scientific "paradox of the periphery" to discover traditions in historical Christianity that were lost to mainstream Christianity? If so, what would you consider to be the "periphery?" Can you think of any peripheral Christian traditions that might give us a window into past Christian traditions that have disappeared from mainstream Christianity? 00:37:50: According to Mark 6:1-6, Jesus is first able to teach in the local synagogue (6:2), leaving the locals "astonished." Then they ask dopey questions, but still are impressed (6:3), although the writer contends that they think he's basically a nobody, even being offended by him. Huh? Why? 00:50:27: What is the significance of Jesus healing Peter's "mother-in-law"? None of the apostles are mentioned as being married in any of the gospels, so it is rather odd that Peter's "mother-in-law" is singled out. Is there some parallel to the Old Testament here? 00:54:57: Was Bruno Bauer right to identify Philo and Stoicism as the origin of Christian thought? 01:00:51: How is Matthew 28:18 best explained? It conflicts with trinitarianism because you can't give yourself something you already had. And it looks like part of an adoptionistic Christology. 01:07:45: Could you address the writings of Roman Piso, who claims he has found through his research that virtually all of the Popes of the Catholic Church descended from Arrius Piso? 01:10:08: In Matthew and Luke Jesus warns not to put the Lord to the test. How do the serpent handlers and poison drinkers square these verses? 01:15:47: Jesus' sacrifice on the cross is depicted as a tremendous act of love, but given that he suffers for six lousy hours and then receives heavenly glory for eternity, isn't his sacrifice barely a momentary inconvenience?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-021

Apr 2, 2014 59:43


00:00:00: Promotional announcements. 00:01:04: Does the Bible itself extend the right to the believer to accept some parts of scripture and ignore others? 00:11:08: What is the Geek's opinion on Cartesian Dualism? It would seem to me that substance dualism is an all-important covert assumption of Christianity, since talk of afterlife becomes incoherent if nothing beyond physical matter exists. 00:18:24: Is there any intentional comedy in the bible? 00:25:04: How do Muslims view the Christian religion? Is there room for Christians in the Muslim heaven? 00:28:57: How did the concept of biblical inerrancy come about? There's no way the Bible itself can contain claims of inerrancy, because it couldn't refer to itself before it was in existence as a collection of writings. 00:34:21: Is it possible that, as Moses gave Hoshea the name Joshua, John the Baptist gave Jesus the name Jesus? Is this is a sign that Jesus succeeds John after his death, just like Joshua with Moses? 00:36:13: Would you agree that verses such as Numbers 31:17-19 clearly show that if absolute morality exists, the Bible and it's God(s) are not the source of it? 00:44:04: How come we never hear anything about the families and biological descendants of the apostles? Wouldn't the gospel message be a lot stronger with some bona fide apostolic bloodlines? 00:46:49: If Jesus is supposedly descended from the royal house of David, how do apologists explain his humble beginnings in Nazareth as a peasant carpenter? 00:48:00: Would you care to discuss the "personal savior" business and its late arrival in Christianity? Is it anticipated in The Teachings of Silvanus (90.29)? 00:54:44: I once read about a pre-Christian Hellenistic belief that if a man lived a perfect life then he could become one with God or even become God, perhaps by being reunited with original divine spark. Can a line be drawn from this to the doctrine of Jesus' sinlessness?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-020

Apr 1, 2014 1:47:13


00:00:00: The "Ransom Theory" was the major view of half of Christianity until theologians like Thomas Aquinas changed the theory into a type of penal substitutionary atonement view popular today. Did everyone just have it wrong in the beginning, and now all of a sudden the "true" meaning of Jesus is death is understood 1000 years after the fact? Mustn't Protestants ask themselves, "Was the Church wrong for 1500 years and only now we understand God?" "Was God only kidding about having the Apocrypha in the Bible for the first three quarters of Christendom and now these are okay to be ignored?" How can the Bible today be taken out of its historical context and claimed to be authoritative? All of this had me wondering, when will it stop? How do we know that the bible we have in today's form is the correct version? What if 500 years from now every religion combines to one large Universalist religion, sharing one holy book. would that be the stopping point of when we understand the 'true' meaning of the bible? What if in another 1000 years from now people realize that Jesus' true form is a Chimpanzee, and he comes from the planet of the apes, and the reason he came to earth was to show us how to be more like monkeys? 00:24:01: Do you think fundamentalists try to mask the critical knowledge uncovered in the last century from the public? Do you think there will be a time when everyone will eventually realize that magic and prophecy have never been real? 00:28:53: A magician explains how his knowledge of stagecraft started him doubting the gospel miracles. 00:34:42: Jesus might have been a myth, but how does that account for the alleged direct contact and handing down of teachings that the Apostolic fathers said that they received from the disciples themselves? 00:37:13: Why did the apostolic fathers seem to teach that Christians went to heaven immediately after they died, whereas the N.T. authors seemed to believe that nobody went to heaven, or was even conscious, until the resurrection itself? 00:43:25: Do the verses in the New Testament that proclaim Christians are incapable of sinning (specifically 1 John 3:5-9) acknowledge that the sacrifices at the Jerusalem Temple were for unintentional sins? Did the author assume the sacrifice of Jesus was only for unintentional sins? Therefore Christians couldn't murder or rape, but they could commit other sins unintentionally? Or does the author completely contradict himself, as 1 John 1 says Christians do sin and 1 John 3 says they are not capable of sinning. 00:47:29: Why, given that both Matthew and Luke stress in great detail that Jesus was of the royal line of David, didn't they change the portion of Mark where Jesus seems to flatly deny it? 00:56:02: Are there original documents in existence that record the discussions and debates about which books to include the New Testament canon? 01:04:51: Might there have been some significant influences from traditional Zoroastrianism present in the development of Shi'a Islam? 01:15:37: Is it possible the so-called physician Luke was treating the thorn in Paul's flesh as described in 2 Corinthians 12:7? 01:17:27: Any book suggestions re: the theory that Revelation is the oldest book of the New Testament and might be described as "semi-Christian"? 01:21:06: Apologists say that the fact that Jerusalem isn't mentioned by name in the Pentateuch is evidence that the books were written before the founding of Jerusalem or at least before it became an important city. Correct? 01:29:11: Suppose that Acts 2 was not a matter of glossolalia (which it was soon interpreted as) but of an innovation whereby religious reciters, hoping to better attract a multi-ethnic crowd, planted not just repeater personnel in crowds but UN-style interpreters? 01:38:12: In Mark chapter 5, though Jesus has told everyone else not to talk about his miracles, he tells the possessed man to "Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you", then later in verse 43 he goes back to telling people to keep quiet, after raising a little girl from the dead. Why would he tell the demon possessed man to spread the word, but tell everyone else to keep quiet? Regarding the story of the demon-possessed man, I never understood why the demons killed the pigs. If they wanted to kill something, why didn't they just kill the man? What happens to the demons after the pigs are dead? Why did Jesus listen to the pleading of the demons in the first place?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-019

Mar 29, 2014 1:15:41


00:00:00: Is there any genuine textual basis in the N.T. for the Augustinian/Calvinistic version of the doctrine of Original Sin (meaning both a fallen/corrupted human nature AND damnable guilt for Adam's sin)? 00:16:26: Irving Finkel's newest book The Ark before Noah seems to confirm Dr. Barton's theory that the ark, symbolically, was not just a boat but an artificial Mountain of God built to allow the Flood hero to reach the floodgates in the heavens and close them, thereby shutting off the rains. The Flood hero built a coracle and constructed several tiers (or heavens) on it culminating in a roof (or sky dome) which the hero climbs through to pray to his God. It is much clearer, now, that the original Ark was a microcosmic world intended to allow the hero to affect the macrocosmic world through his actions. 00:22:22: Do we have an example of Jesus being worshiped in the Bible the way we see Christians worship today? I recall the throngs of people being healed, and coming to see Jesus speak. I don't recall, though it may be in the Bible, of anyone praying to Jesus or asking for anything in his name. 00:34:54: Do you think it's possible that there were two Jesuses? One a la Eisenman's brother of James and a Pauline Jesus? The former being based on a real person via the gospels, and the latter on Paul's heavenly Jesus? At some point, quite early on, the two traditions merged? Is this idea even considered in scholarly circles? 00:40:42: You say the title TEN COMMANDMENTS came to be re-appropriated from the Ritual Commandments (Ex. 34) to the largely ethical ones (Ex. 20), a result of the later Deuteronomic writer changing the emphasis to please the priestly class. This makes perfect sense, but is it possible the change was due to the influence of Marcionite or at least the Pro-Pauline factions? Or is there clear evidence that the switch clearly occurred in the Pre-Pauline era? If there was no Exodus, where did the Hebrews go? Or were they never there in the numbers suggested? 00:47:16: The Jerusalem Bible footnote says the serpent was The Adversary, The Devil. Aren't the authors just reading back into the text what they want to be there? 00:48:23: Is Jesus' "I'm thirsty" on the cross an anti-docetic device? 00:50:10: Luke 1:32 says Jesus "will be called the Son of the Most High," while Luke 1:35 has him called "the Son of God." Isn't this a conflation of Most high, Elyon and Yahweh? 00:52:44: In Luke chap 6 and elsewhere, Jesus and the Disciples walk through farmer's fields taking heads of grain. Isn't that stealing? 00:54:14: In Luke chapter 8:16, we read that no one puts a lamp under a bed. Isn't this anachronistic? Did Hellenized Jews have beds? 00:56:25: Why does KJV have all those italicized words? 00:58:42: Why can't you get a job at a secular university? 01:01:48: You have pointed out that the 40 days of rain in Genesis is contradicted by the stitching in of a second flood story where it rains for 120 days. I don't think it says that it rained 150 days but that it took 120 days for the water to recede. I mean I think this is what is meant by the word "prevail" in "And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days." How have other scholars interpreted the word, "prevail"? 01:02:50: How strong is the evidence for the historicity of Josiah?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-018

Mar 17, 2014 1:15:43


00:00:00: None of the sources of the Pentateuch refers to "twelve tribes." Could the number stem from later editorial conflation? This would seem to make the motif too late to have stemmed from archaic astro-theology, unless it was adopted second-hand from the Persians. 00:22:42: Would you mind discussing the use of Psalm 22's "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" in Mark and Matthew as Jesus' last words? 00:27:40: Also, what do you make of the fragment found in Qumran that reads, "They seize my hands and feet like a lion" that was later translated into Greek as "They pierced my hands and feet." (verses 16-17) Why isn't the earlier Qumran version used in modern translations? The NRSV translates it as: "My hands and feet have shriveled" with a note that the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. 00:29:20: What is going on with the woman or women at the empty tomb? It seems like none of the stories match each other. You'd think there would be better harmonization of such a pivotal moment in Christianity. Why are they so different? Are there any apocryphal sources that tell an even different story? 00:39:21: Is it possible that the Epistle to the Hebrews is the lost Epistle to the Alexandrians? If not, how is it possible we lost this epistle while other spurious epistles made it into the Bible? 00:42:47: Can you explain the theology and theory of F.C. Baur and the Two-Church Thesis? 00:52:24: Can you give any insight to where a budding biblical-scholar should go? What advice would you give for applicants? What should Ph.D. candidates know going into the field of biblical studies and Christian origins? 00:57:33: The ancients believed that the eyes saw by emitting rays of light - a process known as "extramission." It seems to be presupposed in Matthew 6:22-23 and Luke 11:34-36. How would this affect our understanding of the teaching in these texts? 01:04:20: I'd like to ask what we should think about Jesus as he was growing up according to the New Testament and the various Christian traditions, and also if the apocrypha shed any light on this.

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-017

Mar 16, 2014 1:06:03


NOTE: time codes based on recordings available at: 00:00:00: Various projects and some print books available directly from Dr. Price. 00:03:13: Apocryphal Lincoln "quotes" and the Jesus tradition. 00:04:43: Why do you never discuss the work of Jerome Murphy-O'Connor? 00:09:33: You mentioned something being mutual to Mark and Q. I thought Q was supposed to be the stuff Matthew and Luke had in common that was not in Mark. So how can something be in both? 00:13:53: Have you read the book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses by Richard Bauckham? Are you familiar with his arguments or can you refer us to any criticisms of the work? 00:19:22: Luke 7:28 has Jesus saying: "I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John [the Baptist.]; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." Wouldn't that mean that Jesus was saying that John was greater than Jesus? 00:23:03: What is a good source (articles/books) to support the position that the gospels are not eyewitness accounts? Why are "believers" not typically told that the gospels are not eyewitness testimonies? 00:26:29: Popular culture seems filled with the notion that heavenly angels are the spirits of deceased humans. Is there biblical basis for this idea? Does the language in Acts chapter 12 suggest this? In the original language, does this chapter use the same term for "angel" when they say "it is his [Peter's] angel" as it does when referring to the angel who helps Peter escape? 00:33:46: The Marcionite doctrine of the atonement (Jesus' death purchased the freedom of the creatures of the Creator) makes a lot of sense of scripture. But none of this would make sense if Jesus were Jehovah, as Margaret Barker supposes. Can you help clear things up for me? 00:40:31: Some Christians say, "We need to stop 'fighting for our rights' and realize those were given up at the cross. We died 2000 years ago." So we should not have fought against slavery? Women should never have fought for the vote? I decided to see what the Bible actually says about obeying civil authority, and discovered that the most often referred to passage is Romans 13:1-7. I discovered that this passage could possibly be an interpolation. Do you have any thoughts on this? Are there any other relevant passages which come to mind? And more broadly, has the Bible been significantly shaped or altered - from Constantine, to King James, to today - in such a way as to promote compliance with civil authority? 00:51:47: What is the biblical basis for the rapture, if any?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-016

Mar 11, 2014 1:19:41


00:02:46: I still cannot figure out what the terms "structuralism", "post-structuralism", "modernism", "post-modernism" and "meta-modernism" really mean. Could you define them and illustrate your definitions by reference to biblical scholarship? Also to what extent do adherents of these theories bastardize them? 00:33:00: Is there a way to quickly evaluate a new version of the Bible to determine what kind of philosophy the translators or publishers were coming from or what axes they were grinding? Are there particular verses that would tell the tale? 00:43:35: In your book, The Amazing Colossal Apostle, you quote Josephus to show a connection between Simon Magus and governor Felix and then confuse me by making some kind of parallel between Felix and Sergius Paulus. Using the analogy of musical chairs, you write: "Sergius may be sitting in a chair that was originally engraved with the name of Felix. Or perhaps it would be better to say that Felix is sitting in Sergius' chair to conceal the particulars of the story of Simon, Felix, and Drusilla" (p. 201). It seems you suggest that at least one of these stories was made up in order to mask the secret identity of Paul as Simon Magus. But it seems to me that "Paul" was really the name he went by in his later ministry, as this was the name he was know by to all his Gnostic followers (like Marcion). And if there was a name change, it most likely came from Sergius Paulus. So the conversion of the governor of Cyprus likely happened. But Josephus says that Simon Magus really was connected to governor Felix. Can you explain the connection you see between these two governors? 00:52:28: Can you offer skeptics any advice on how to stop worrying and have faith that things will work out for them without resorting to magical thinking? 01:03:22 In Psalm 23, is "the valley of the shadow of death" a reference to a location such as Gehenna or is it just a metaphor? What does the line "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over" mean? 01:08:41: Is there other imagery in the Bible that can still send chills through the Geek after all these years? 01:10:30: Does the Bible tell any stories where God encountered a large-scale problem and His solution involved using his super powers for anything other than violence?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-015

Mar 6, 2014 1:00:04


00:01:18: Whereas Matthew and Luke have Jesus answering the question from the Sanhedrin with some vagueness, Mark has him answer directly and clearly. But some manuscripts of Mark have an equivocal answer. On this basis you speculate that Matthew and Luke were based on a Markan original that gives the equivocal answer and that Mark was later changed to the clear affirmation. Isn't it just as possible that the equivocal versions of Mark are a result of later editing to harmonize the gospels? 00:07:51: What does the Bible have to say about guardian angels? 00:17:16: The difference between the "middle ages" and the "dark ages." 00:20:45: When you read the New Testament in the original Greek, are there any works or passages that are particularly striking one way or another -- either as especially good writing or as especially bad? 00:28:48: How did early Christians understand Mark 16:17-18? How do Christians today see these verses, especially re the poison drinking? 00:34:54: If the Jesus story is fictional, why choose Pilate's prefecture for Jesus' crucifixion? 00:43:28: Clarke Owens' book Son of Yahweh, the Gospels as Novels argues that the creation of the figure of Jesus the Messiah, and the Suffering Servant, was a literary response to the devastation of Jewish culture in 70 CE (or 135 CE), or of hope for the Jewish people to rise from the 'death' of the Jewish Wars. What do you think? 00:45:21: Is there really any justification to believe that all or most of the bible should be taken as metaphor? 00:50:01: Price: "I'd do less Bible Geeks if I had to sit down and to do homework for 'em. I just do 'em on the spur of the moment, and sometimes I don't even read the questions first." Is there any viable alternative reading of Leviticus 27:28-29 other than that it commands human sacrifice?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-014

Mar 1, 2014 42:53


00:01:35: Could the work Pseudo-Philo have been written or started during the reign of Queen Salome Alexandra? 00:05:53: Is it possible that Aaron was introduced as Moses' spokesman because the writer felt that a Prophet like Moses should not speak in Ancient Egyptian? 00:09:14: Does the addition of Aaron alongside Moses reflect a real-world conflict between the Levites who traced their line back to Moses and those who traced their line back to Aaron? 00:10:53: Is Exodus 3:15 one of the proof texts for the idea that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are eponymous ancestors of factions of Israelites (rather than of all Israelites)? 00:13:30: Is Origen scoring a point for mythicism here? "This is the James whom Paul, the true disciple of Jesus, says that he saw, describing him as the Lord's brother, not referring so much to their blood-relationship or common upbringing as to his moral life and understanding." (Against Celsus, chapter 47). So according to Origen, James was not really the brother of Jesus? 00:21:24: Why do evangelicals say Mormons aren't Christians? Is it because of the particular notion of the godhead that Mormons have? 00:26:36: After Job goes through all of his afflictions, God gives him double of everything, but he still only has seven sons and three daughters. Mormons explain this by saying that in fact he did get twice as many children because he will have all fourteen sons and six daughters in heaven. Is this viable? 00:30:49: What were your memories of seminary as far as what surprised you about what you learned? 00:07:35: What things would surprise Christians that most biblical scholars believe?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-013

Feb 25, 2014 52:05


00:00:00: In Mark chapter 1:40, some manuscripts suggest Jesus is indignant, while others suggest he is full of compassion. Which do you suppose was Mark's original intent? 00:07:10: Epiphanius discusses a pre-Jesus sect of Nazarenes. Can Epiphanius be trusted as a source on this matter? I know he is seen by modern scholars as unreliable on some topics. 00:11:45: Pompey entered the Holy of Holies in 63 BCE. How was he able to survive? 00:13:08: What is your opinion on Asimov's Guide to the Bible? 00:22:00: Do you know of any entry-level study guides appropriate for a Bible study group aiming to introduce biblical criticism to Missouri Synod Lutherans? 00:25:25: When did the idea of Biblical Inerrancy get going? Is it a modern invention? What do you think of an apologist's statement that there is a way to reconcile all "apparent" contradictions in the Bible because the Bible's compilers would have essentially edited out all problems when they put the final edition of the Bible together if there were really issues? 00:35:11: If the Jesus story were complete fiction, wouldn't it have been natural to have him grow up in Bethlehem, not in Galilee? It seems to me that any association with Galilee causes problems, and is thus an indication that the story is based on someone who really lived in Galilee. Might the Jesus stories have been built around Judas the Galilean, the leader of the Zealot movement who was from Gamala, a city in the Golan Heights which fits the gospel description of Jesus' hometown exactly? 00:39:08: You have mentioned Stoic influences in the New Testament, but I wonder if you can give some examples of that. Are there particular verses that can be tied directly to particular Stoic writings, or is it more of a general tone that is carried over? Also, what are your thoughts in general about Stoicism as an approach to life? 00:47:29: If the Levites were descended from the priesthood of Leviathan, and the Pharisees were Parsis, then doesn't it stand to reason that the Sadducees might be related to the god Sydyk/Tzedek? And to Melchizedek?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-012

Feb 21, 2014 1:13:45


00:00:00: I was toying with the idea of reading the books of the Bible in chronological order to get a better sense of how various ideas developed over the centuries. Any advice? 00:08:00: How can God condone the deliberate destruction of others, and theologians justify this behavior? 00:10:53: A question about the historical Jesus and also Atwill. 00:12:10: the impossibility of myths ever being true. 00:15:18: You say that the Q source has no crucifixion narrative or tradition. Even if there were a crucifixion narrative in Q couldn't it be just as likely that both Matthew and Luke simply took the Markan account if it was a bit more developed? 00:20:27: You've said that a single letter, reasonably dated, which said something like "I saw this Jesus guy talk the other day, and the stories they say about him are not half bad!" would dispel the Christ-myth theory. Is there anything that you could imagine that would directly confirm it, or disprove the historical Jesus? 00:25:31: A NY Times article explains that camel remains found in Israel were radiocarbon dated and only extended back through the 10th century BC, long after camels were supposed to have been domesticated in the lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. How might an apologist counter-argue? 00:29:39: The Qur'anic sura titled "The Elephant" tells of an attempted invasion of the lands around Mecca just over a century before the birth of Mohammed. The ultimate target was the temple in Mecca (with the 360 idols), but the local leader who saved the day was very specific to only sacrifice to Allah (the contemporary moon god?) rather than the other gods. As a result, a plague overcame the invading army. The sura is supposed to remind Muslims that even in the days before the revelation to the prophet, Allah was appreciative to those who truly saw his supremacy, etc. What is the connection of this pre-Islamic Allah to the present one true god? And why do some chapters/suras begin with a collection of seemingly random letters before the narrative begins. 00:35:51: In popular Bible study groups, people tend to concentrate on a couple of verses, analyzing (and over analyzing) these, without even talking about any other parts at the time. This had a result in that many missed various contradictions and such because no greater context was addressed. The forum member seemed to think this might have been deliberate, even if not planned ahead of time. During your time as a believer, did you notice this kind of thing among lay Bible studies? 00:41:30: What do you think of the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, both in its message, and how it differs from conventional biblical interpretations? 00:44:50: In 1987, R. N. Whybray called into question many of the assumptions of the JEDP hypothesis, asking why the authors of the four source documents seemingly did not tolerate inconsistency, yet the redactors apparently had little problem with it. Does this objection has any merit? 00:52:12: Matt 28:16-20 features the baptismal formula "in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Is this an interpolation? You describe the disciples' lack of understanding as a possible literary device. Are there other examples of other ancient writers using the same kind of literary device? 01:01:26: You mentioned something about no afterlife in the Old Testament. Would that scene where Tobit is instructing Tobiah on the suavity of giving alms, "Alms Giving frees one from death, and keeps one from going into the dark abode," count? (Tobit 3:10) 01:05:51: In John 14:12, Jesus says the person who believes in him will do greater works than he did. Especially considering the high Christology in John, this just doesn't make any sense. How do you understand these words?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-011

Feb 16, 2014 1:06:58


00:00:00: A long list of hard copy books still for sale directly from Dr. Price. 00:03:20: Richard Carrier mentions the scapegoat imagery in the episode of Jesus Barabbas and Jesus. Is Barabbas Bar Kokhba in disguise? The Jewish leaders have Azazel thrust on them by their own doing: they backed the wrong goat, so to speak? 00:06:58: Are there any religious figures in the New Testament you think were likely historical people? 00:09:27: The Bible never defines "the Bible." The language interpreted as saying the Bible is inerrant ("All Scripture is inspired from God..." from 2 Timothy) only takes you so far; nowhere in the Bible is "scripture" defined as being the books of what we call the Bible (obviously, as they weren't all even written yet, much less collected into a canon). Do you know whether or how Protestant faiths justify their acceptance of a bunch of presumably uninspired (in the Biblical sense) church leaders centuries after the fact deciding on what counts as scripture and is thus inerrant? 00:18:10: Suggested topics for a new podcast format: single-topic shows or interviews. 00:21:26: I heard in one of your podcasts that Solomon and Absalom are both theophoric names that related to a Canaanite god, Shalim, with Absalom meaning "My father is Shalim" and Solomon meaning "Shalim is peace" or something similar. I would think that it would be big news that David, one of YHWH's favorite humans, named two children after another god. But others claim these names mean "my father is peace" (Absalom) or "peace" (Solomon). What gives? 00:25:00: You've discussed the problem Evangelicals have with works as part of salvation in general. It struck me, however, that even saying in your heart that Jesus is your savior is a work, no? 00:35:01: Is it possible the nativity story in Matthew describing Jesus' birth is actually related to the birth of Simon Bar Kokhba? After all, he is the "son of the star", and Matthew's gospel has a star announcing the birth of the savior. 00:40:38: It seems to me that all systematic theologies must by their very nature be circular. How could anyone arrive at a systematic theology without beginning with a conclusion? Start by believing in the unity of the scriptures, read all verses pertaining to it with the blinders of that theological presupposition and by the time you finish, guess what? Turns out you were right all along and your conclusion proves your premise. 00:54:39: I calculated Spearman rank order correlations among the Synoptic Gospels. That is, I compared the order of gospel passages common to Luke and Mark, Luke and Matthew, and Mark and Matthew. The results imply that, contra Streeter, the order of the material in Luke, if borrowed from Matthew (not Q), would not be arbitrary at all.

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-010

Feb 6, 2014 1:18:17


00:00:00: It was suggested that if one has a problem with a historical Jesus, one must have problems with a historical Epicurus. 00:04:47: Mark-Q overlap, the Gospel of Thomas and the Farrer-Goulder-Goodacre theory. 00:11:13: How would you characterize the theology of Luke and Q? 00:15:10: Are Matthew and Luke really independent, as B. H. Streeter argued? Vincent Taylor's theory of "proto-Luke." The minor agreements question. 00:28:21: Where do we get our ideas about Satan's powers? 00:39:08: Why is the Book of Malachi even in the Bible? 00:41:18: How common was the phrase "through a glass darkly" (used in Plato), and used by "Paul" in 1 Corinthians, that it could point to a literary allusion to Plato and Philo, rather than merely picking it up from the general parlance? The Gnostic references in 1 Corinthians 13 and Walter Schmithal. 00:50:31: Prohibitions on visual depictions of YHWH on ancient coins, images and such. 00:55:10: Goodacre's various views on the Messianic Secret in the Gospel of Mark from iTunes U. William (or Wilhelm) Wrede's theories vs. Robert M. Fowler's reader-response approach. 01:02:55: Are there practical ancient farming and medical knowledge tips in the Bible that became incorporated into Jewish laws? Did the Hebrews know about artificial respiration or resuscitation? A connection between Attis and pork prohibition? 01:09:21: Is Deuteronomy 28 a parallel with Luke's blessings and woes of his Gospel's central section?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-009

Feb 5, 2014 57:10


00:00:00: The Politically Correct Bible will soon be available in print from 00:01:51: Paul's epistles know nothing of an earthly Jesus or even a docetic one. If Marcion authored some of these epistles why did he not quote from his own gospel? Did he have one? Or did his followers abridge canonical Luke later on? 00:05:34: If God is all-knowing, why would he have created Adam and Eve, knowing they were going to sin ahead of time? If he hadn't, there wouldn't be any need for Jesus to be our savior, right? Did God pre-determine before time whom he would "save"? Why would God predetermine to create non-believers such as Hitler, bin Laden, etc.? Explain your take on God's foreknowledge versus free will, please. 00:14:40: I read in the OT there were 7,000 men killed and another book said only 700. How could such an error happen? 00:18:05: Why on earth would apologists for an all-powerful deity try to minimize the supernatural aspects of their theology to align with mainstream ideas? 00:26:03: I just cannot see how anyone can say that there are no pagan parallels to Christ when put into the Jewish content. I can understand William Lane Craig, an apologist, just ignoring these facts, but how could Gabriele Boccaccini also say there were no parallels? 00:32:40: Comment based on the YouTube video debate, The Historical Jesus: Four Views ( Was Islam an offshoot of early Christianity that carried some of its doctrines with it? And for that matter, what beliefs do they share with Jews? Probably more than they care to admit! 00:37:50: Could there be some connection between the all-male Mithras cult and Saying 114 of the Gospel of Thomas? 00:44:20: I read that an ancient Arabic definition of magi meant priest. Paul was said to spend a bit of time in Arabia. Any connection? 00:47:34: Might the story in Judges 19-20 be a fictional account designed to support the dynasty of David by slamming the house of King Saul and his hometown. It seems more than a coincidence that the Levite has just gone to get his concubine from her home in Bethlehem, David's hometown, and on their way home they make the mistake of stopping off at Saul's hometown. And if so, would this story indicate that there really was a Saul and David in Israel's history so that the writer of Judges would want to take sides with one over the other? 00:5224: Is the author of Pseudo-Philo a woman? No other text in Jewish or Christian literature is so feminist in its portrayal of female characters.

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-008

Feb 3, 2014 56:41


00:02:22: Is it really true that the Dead Sea Scrolls prove the Old Testament has gone through almost no changes over the centuries? 00:11:56: Did Martin Luther really say Jesus was an adulterer? 00:21:06: At the behest of the MPAA, a line was inserted into the film The Day the Earth Stood Still; when Helen asks Klaatu whether Gort has unlimited power over life and death, Klaatu explains that he has only been revived temporarily and "that power is reserved to the Almighty Spirit." Did this sort of thing happen in the scribal transmission of scripture? 00:26:44: William Lane Craig says "God has so providentially ordered the world that persons who would respond to the gospel if they heard it are born in times and places at which they do hear it. So that those who fail to hear it are only persons who wouldn't have responded to it even if they had heard it, and thus no one is lost because of historical or geological accidents." Huh? 00:30:10: What do you think of the idea that the structure of Deuteronomy, specifically the blessings and curses, follows the pattern of Hittite treaties which were only ever made in the second millennium BC? The implication would be that therefore Deuteronomy could only have been written in that millennium, and could have been (and certainly was, they imply) written by the historical Moses. 00:31:36: Is there any theology explaining why one should worship God? 00:38:57: It is Elohim who commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, but the angel of Yahweh who provides the ram and commands Abraham to hold back his hand at the last minute. Is this really a story of two different Gods giving contradictory commands to Abraham? 00:41:33: What is the biblical basis for this idea that we're all rotten, stinkin' sinners who deserve to be tortured for eternity, and who are saved from receiving our just deserts only by God's grace?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-007

Jan 31, 2014 39:44


00:00:00: Outtakes from "The Gospel According to Price" documentary may be available via their Facebook page. 00:01:40: C. H. Dodd's History and the Gospel argues for the historicity of Jesus, based on the fact that the New Testament writers did not draw on the whole body of messianic predictions available to them from the Old Testament. What's your take on this argument from a mythicist perspective? What dictated the New Testament writers' choice of prophecies? Are there Old Testament messianic prophecies that Jesus is not said to have fulfilled, and if so why were these not applied to Jesus? 00:11:15: What do you make of the Jehovah's Witnesses' claims that the New Testament originally used the divine name but later copyists replaced it with abbreviated forms of 'lord' and 'God'? David Trobisch supported the idea in his book, "The First Edition of the New Testament." 00:14:16: In Galatians, Paul speaks of Peter and Cephas as if he were speaking of two different characters. Could the two names represent a doubling of the same character in the process of oral tradition before Galatians? 00:19:17: In Herod the Great's "Massacre of the Innocents" (Matthew 2:16-18), how is it that John the Baptist survived the baby slaying if he was only six months older than Jesus at the time? But if John was far enough away from Bethlem, why did Mary and Joseph have to travel all the freakin' way to Egypt before they could be safe? 00:23:08: Is it feasible to harmonize Genesis 1 and 2 by positing that all human races where created on the six day, but that Adam was created by himself on the eighth day? Is it possible to translate the text this way? 00:25:35: If the Shroud of Turin is genuine, what happened to the separate face cloth mentioned in John? 00:28:58: Christian theology holds that God demands perfection, and yet perfection is not humanly possible. As far as I know this notion is absent from the Old Testament, let alone the notion that humans deserve to roast in hell for eternity for not being perfect. Isn't the "good news" effectively that it is now possible to avoid eternal damnation? This implies that previously every human being was inevitably bound for hell. If this were Yahweh's position, I can't imagine it wouldn't be the central theme of the Old Testament - or at least mentioned. What are you thoughts? 00:31:59: Were Samaritans really a conquered population imported by Assyria, or were they just the original citizens of the northern kingdom who were too poor or remote to be deported by the Assyrians? If the latter, can we learn anything about Israelite religion before the Judahite redaction of northern traditions into what became the Hebrew Bible?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-006

Jan 27, 2014 48:20


00:00:00: Some projects Dr. Price has been busy working on. The Producer/Director of "The Gospel According to Price" documentary promises to donate the last $1,500 of Dr. Price's fund-raising effort. 00:03:07: Your opinion on Rodney Stark's, The Triumph of Christianity? 00:09:58: What does the Deir Alla inscription tell us about the historical Balaam and is it possible that he has been co-opted by the Jewish scribes in an effort to get Israelites to stop worshiping the Queen of Heaven, Ashtar or Astarte? 00:12:29: What else do we know of the Oniades, a sect of Jews in Egypt started by Onias IV in Ptolemaic Egypt? 00:18:00: Is Jesus a descendant of Melchizedek through his ancestor Tamar? Ephraim Miksha'ah the disciple of Rabbi Meir said in the latter's name that Tamar descended from Melchizedek (Genesis Rabbah 85:10). Could this have been known by a Melchizedek faction of Christians? 00:20:53: Being a Hellenized region, many in the Decapolis would likely have belonged to the major schools of philosophy, which included Epicureanism. Epicureans have long been maligned by Stoics and others as being hedonistic, and their derision included referring to Epicureans as pigs. Could the Gadarene Demoniac tale have been aimed at Epicureans? 00:25:52: Might the ancients have dated the nativity to December 25, believing this date marked 9 months after the impregnation of Mary? 00:30:46: From reading Gerhard Lohfink's The Bible - Now I Get It: The second-century pagan philosopher Celsus said it was common in Syria and Palestine to see itinerant preachers addressing crowds, announcing themselves as god, son of god, divine spirit, harbinger of the End, etc. Was Jesus one of these, or is he making it up? 00:37:04: Whenever the notion of dying and rising saviors before Jesus is brought up, the response from ancient apologists was that Satan, knowing in advance the plan of salvation, cooked up these mythical counterfeits in advance to throw potential believers off the track. But don't the gospels say Satan was engineering the crucifixion? Which is it? 00:41:45: In your evangelical days were you aware of Herbert W. Armstrong and "Armstrongism"? And the sectarian fragmenting of the movement after the founder's death? Any thoughts from then or now?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-005

Jan 20, 2014 56:38


00:00:00: I wonder if you agree that at the end of The Screwtape Letters, Lewis has Screwtape grossly oversimplify salvation by making it sound certain that people can simply sign up to be "a Christian" by saying the sinners prayer and be guaranteed to go to heaven, whereas the Bible is much less clear about what it takes to get to heaven ? 00:08:58: An Amazon reviewer of Jason BeDuhn's The First New Testament says the author is wrong to see Marcion as the creator of the first NT since fragments of several NT books were found among the Dead Seas Scrolls. Response? 00:15:53: Ecclesiastes 3:19 says man and beast have the same breath. Does this mean animals have souls, or that humans don't? 00:16:56: Isaiah 14 uses the image of Helel ben Shahar as the Morning Star, but is there a mythic significance to Venus as the Evening Star? 00:21:00: In Genesis 3:6 Eve "sees" that the fruit was "good for food" presumably before she tries it. How did she "see" that? Serpent merely saying "you shall not surely die" doesn't seem like enough. 00:23:11: What is the difference between full submersion in water and sprinkling of water on the head? Why do different churches get so dogmatic about the mode of baptism? 00:30:14: Why are there no images of Jesus' crucifixion in early Christian art? Some say that the "Alexamenos grafitto" (an image of someone worshipping a donkey-headed man on a cross) was the first image depicting Jesus crucified. What's the origin of the belief that Christians worshipped an ass-headed deity? What do you make of the "Orpheos Bakkikos", a stone, engraved with the representation of a crucifixion, as depicted on the cover of Freke and Gandy's The Jesus Mysteries book? What might it have to do with early Christianity? 00:39:22: 1 John 5:16 speaks of a sin that leads to death. Does this have anything to do with "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit"? What might this verse be talking about, using your stuponitron helmet? 00:47:05: You have described how Mark enshrines a harmonization of competing Christologies, including such concepts as the Messianic Secret. Given the great diversity both in theological thought and geographic dispersion, wouldn't this imply much later date for the writing of the texts?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-004

Jan 15, 2014 1:03:27


00:00:00: It seems that in terms of halakha, minim were still considered Jews even for things such as the minyan much later than I thought, per Lawrence Schiffman. Would this indicate that we could not separate Christians from Jews until after the Bar Kokhba Revolt? If the proto-Talmudic rabbis thought Christians were just another heterodox group, what do we make claims in Acts? It seems pretty clear that Acts seems to be written after the destruction of the Temple, but could it have been as late as or later than the Bar Kokhba revolt? 00:05:46: In 1998, the Jesus Seminar came to the conclusion that Jesus was born in Nazareth. Has new information been discovered that might call that into question? 00:07:52: In 2 Timothy 3:15 the author tells Timothy "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." What "scriptures" is he talking about? 00:14:55: In 2 Timothy 3:8 who are Jannes and Jambres? 00:16:27: The overwhelming theme in the Bible, it seems to me, is "obedience", not love. Is this a fair representation? Does God's love feature that much in the Bible? 00:24:26: If you could travel back in time and return with the information from only one trip, what date would you choose? Dr. Price refuses to go to a time before indoor plumbing. 00:26:58: How are the writings of Paul dated? It seems to be that most people indicate somewhere in the 35-60 AD range. What is that based on? What are the clearest signs in the four gospels that would allow us to speculate about the dates by which they were written? 00:33:33: How could huge crowds, e.g., of soldiers have been able to hear speeches from their leaders? 00:37:46: Some say that the Centurion's servant in Matthew 8 and Luke 7 might have been the Centurion's male lover. What is the probability of this interpretation? 00:44:29: After suffering a serious defeat at the hands of the Seleucids many of the Jewish dead were "found with amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had fallen" (2 Maccabees 12:40). What were the idols of Jamnia? And does this show that the Jews were still partly polytheistic, even at this late date? 00:48:36: In Thomas Henry Huxley's "Agnosticism and Christianity" (1889), Huxley uses the word "Nazarene" in contrast to "Christianity." What does it denote? Being from Nazareth? Pre-Catholic Jewish Christianity? The Nazirite vow? 00:56:10: Why is Judas Iscariot the only apostle with a last name? Did peoples' titles or jobs somehow morph into last names?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-003

Jan 14, 2014 55:12


00:00:00: What do you think of Nietzsche's repugnance towards the new testament, that "one had better put gloves on" before reading it? 00:08:12: Thomas Paine wrote that prophets in the Old Testament were just poets or were understood to be poets, but I have not been unable to find a reference to this. 00:13:51: Some say Luke must have written Luke because there are several places in which the author of Luke-Acts speaks in the first person (see Richard Purvo's The Mystery of Acts). One explanation is that Luke was simply copying from a source that used the first-person and Luke simply didn't change the language. Are there other speculations that account for the change in perspective? 00:19:44: Is it possible that Simon Peter could be identified with Simon Magus? On the other hand, is it possible that Simon and Peter were originally separate characters who were fused into one? Is it even possible that Cephas and Peter were originally distinct characters? Do the names Simon or Peter appear in the early Pauline epistles at all, or do they exclusively use "Cephas"? 00:28:16: Is it possible that Judas Thomas is the Beloved Disciple mentioned in the Gospel of John? 00:32:13: Have you read Darlison's book (see Miguel Conner's Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio podcast:, the Gospel and the Zodiac: Secret Truth about Jesus? This seems a perfectly good Gnostic description of a celestial Jesus disguised as a terrestrial Jesus. 00:38:05: Reading the gospels, I felt a strong sense of a let-down, of a build-up that really went nowhere. OK, Jesus lived, said things, taught things, died, and then RETURNED IN HIS FULL DIVINE GLORY! Then what? Just when the story gets INTERESTING, all we get is: Jesus taught something to somebody after he rose -- and then he left. THE END. Not a hint what he said. Am I the only person who felt cheated? What do you think? 00:40:18: I have always understood that when the Gospel of Thomas spoke of the "living Jesus" it meant the Risen Jesus, not the pre-Resurrection Jesus. Have I misunderstood this? 00:41:36: What are your thoughts are on Judges 1:19. It looks like God's conquest plans were stopped by advanced military technology! 00:45:09: If Mark created the Jesus narrative out of whole cloth, why would he create a problem (the "Delay of the Parousia") that he would then have to rationalize away? 00:52:18: Did you say that the Olivet Discourse fits the Bar Kochba revolt better than the Titus sacking of the temple because of some better parallels between the Olivet Discourse with various events described by Josephus at the time of the BK revolt? Josephus wrote before Bar Kochba!

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-002

Jan 12, 2014 1:24:21


00:00:00: Another request to write honest reviews for Logically Fallacious by Bo Bennett on, for a free copy of the book. 00:02:17: The Kingdom of Heaven and its relation in the Gospels of Thomas and Matthew. 00:11:06: question on the Toledoth Jesu. 00:14:33: Why does Matthew's genealogy take Jesus only back to Abraham? 00:15:31: question on the Ark of the Covenant and it's alleged powers. 00:21:55: With the advance of genetics, it seems evolution is increasingly difficult to deny. I'm wondering if evangelical Christianity can remain intact as it seems even more difficult to believe in theistic intervention. What are your thoughts? 00:28:54: Daniel Boyarin contests the usual reading of Mark 7 in which (as most scholars conclude) Jesus goes against Torah by pronouncing all foods clean. Boyarin argues that this view misunderstands Torah's purity and dietary laws. Thoughts? 00:38:02: Genesis 24:2-3 in which Abraham orders his servant to swear an oath under Abraham's thigh. The Rabbis tell us that when swearing an oath, you should swear upon an object related to the commandments, such as a Torah scroll. With the absence of a Torah scroll at this point, are we to believe the servant touched Abraham's member? 00:39:03: Could you explain the relation, if any, of and between the Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Judaism, and Gnosticism? 00:50:35: Info re "devil cults." 00:54:39: Was there was a relic preserved from the cross for Jesus that said "King of the Jews"? 00:58:40: Is there some particular theology that systematically denies the title "messiah" was ever applied to anyone other than Christ? 01:02:01: Does what the ten commandments actually mean to say differ greatly from what most people think they mean? 01:05:10: various questions on the Genesis lectures on (Part 8: 01:11:35: Versification of the Bible: when? By whom? Additional miscellaneous questions.

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-001

Jan 8, 2014 1:13:06


00:00:00: Dr. Price's "The Divine Spark" essay project for the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary conference. Will Bible Geek listeners be interested in honestly reviewing Bo Bennet's book Logically Fallacious on for a free epub/pdf ebook copy? Email him at 00:03:51: Could Simon Magus and Simon Peter be the same person? 00:08:55: Why do the birth narrative pericopae in Matthew and Luke refer to Jesus simply as "the child"? Might this have something to do with Couchoud's theory that the name Jesus was attributed to him only after his crucifixion? 00:11:31: Would you mind recapping Strauss's arguments on why the nativity stories of Matthew and Luke are mutually contradictory? Do you think a popularized version of Strauss, written in a more contemporary idiom, would garner more attention? 00:21:36: Is it really necessary to disclaim naturalistic presuppositions? After all, everyone taking part in debates today has lived their whole lives in a miracle-free world. 00:27:15: another questioner's autobiographical story. 00:30:02: In Matthew 8:28, it appears the swineherds in Gadarene are Jews. If so, why would they be raising swine which are non-kosher? Is this a Grecian gaffe? 00:30:54: A plug for Dr. Price's Institute for Higher Critical Studies one-on-one courses (email him at for details). Who was it that first assumed the New Testament books were factual accounts rather than stories with allegories? 00:36:52: Jesus was tempted in the wilderness (Matt 4:1). How can one be tempted AND without sin? After all, if a man is tempted, he has already sinned in his heart. (Matt 5:27) 00:40:16: At the resurrection appearance of Jesus to Mary, Jesus instructs her to go tell the disciples he is going to Heaven. (John 20:17) Why would he tell her to do this if he was going to appear to them himself? 00:43:04: Does Amos 7:3 say, "The LORD repented for this" (KJV) or "The LORD relented" (NIV)? 00:45:02: Is it possible the many references to "our Lord" originated in different sects: the followers of John the Baptist, Apollonius of Tyana, Simon Magus, The Teacher of Righteousness and so forth, then later consolidated and attributed to Jesus? 00:52:00: Could Proteus Peregrinus have been the apostle Paul? Or a gospel author? 00:54:04: What do you think can be said about the original author of the Gospel of Mark? Why do you favor the possibility that the Gnostic Basilides is the original author? What books would you recommend that explore the Sitz im Leben of the composition of Mark and/or make theories about the person of the Evangelist? 01:01:13: What role might the Enoch literature have played in early Christology?

December 30th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 31, 2013 1:15:30


00:00:00: I've heard since I was a kid that the idol in Daniel represents future kingdoms. Can you talk a little about what you make of it? 00:09:20: Could you explain some details of Hermann Detering's article on Mark 13 and Bar Kochba? 00:16:13: What if the story about the cursing of the fig tree is a fragment of a larger parable, the explanation of which has been lost? 00:27:05: Some say Nazareth could not possibly have been a place of enough significance for the historical Jesus to have really been known as Jesus of Nazareth. Sound good? 00:33:17: How has the knowledge of how the Bible was changed over the years itself changed over time? Is the knowledge of how the Bible was changed a modern discovery? 00:43:32: What does James Barr mean when, in his great book, Fundamentalism, he writes: "My thesis throughout is that evangelicalism is not necessarily fundamentalism; rather, fundamentalism distorts and betrays the basic true religious concerns of evangelical Christianity, and it does this especially through its intellectual apologetic." 00:52:05: a book recommendation on Biblical forgeries. 00:53:30: I have been astounded that so many Christian writers, well into the second century, were able put forward such long and complex apologies for the faith/philosophy and yet not once mention the name Jesus. Could the original epistles have mentioned a Christ but not a Jesus Christ or a Christ Jesus, and that it was Marcion or an early orthodox redactor who interpolated the name and that we should read most of the Pauline corpus omitting the name Jesus? 01:00:46: Could you please explain how the ancient church chose December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus? And if the birth of Jesus is associated with winter solstice, why isn't his death associated with summer solstice instead of spring equinox? 01:08:45: Is there a future for my relationship with a Jehovah's Witness?

December 22nd The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 23, 2013 50:59


00:00:00: Look for the Apostasy Now Podcast interview coming soon ( 00:01:46: How does 1 Corinthians fit into Robert Eisenman's paradigm? 00:08:07: Do you think Dennis R. MacDonald makes a convincing case that Mark is a rewrite of Homer? 00:14:56: I have heard you talk about the importance of reading biblical passages in context to understand what the author may be trying to say. Since obviously the Bible is such a patchwork job, is this even possible? 00:23:36: What in your opinion is a "true Christian"? "true Islam"? Conversations with a listener's father? 00:39:09: Why in 1 Sam 14:24 does Saul swear an oath before his army not to eat before nightfall? 00:42:10: Praise for Price's The Case Against the Case for Christ. Let Dr. Price know if a book involving a back and forth debate between him and a mainstream NT scholar would be worth his while to participate in. 00:44:15: Eastern Christian traditions have Jesus born in a cave. I've read somewhere that other Mediterranean demigod figures were said to have been born in caves -- could you name a few, so I could do some follow-up reading? Are there any hints that this particular cave (or caves in the immediate area) may have been claimed by worshippers of other religions, until early Christians claimed it for Jesus? 00:45:14: National Geographic made some news recently, announcing that they'd discovered an ancient shrine at Lumbini -- traditionally Gautama Buddha's birthplace -- dating to about 550 B.C. What is the proper, prudent scholarly approach to this discovery? 00:49:19: Have you chronicled your journey out of fundamentalism, or to be more precise, have you ever written about your entire spiritual journey, culminating in your becoming the Bible Geek? See for the essay "From Fundamentalism to Humanism."

December 21st The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 22, 2013 52:06


00:00:00: Dr. Price thanks all who are contributing to help him in his time of need. 00:01:50: Some suggest that Matt 5:39 presupposes that, by turning the other cheek the persecuted was in effect putting an end to the behavior, or if the slapping continued the person would lawfully be deemed equal and have to be released as a servant/slave. Have you heard any of this claim, or if it has any validity? 00:08:34: Are there any scholars who suggest that Paul's insistence against circumcision was his persecution of the Jewish Christian faith? 00:14:16: If Galatians is Marcionite, then were Proto-Catholics pro-circumcision? 00:17:12: First Enoch stories refer to "stars" and "bulls"; do these words actually refer to something other than actual stars (like Alpha Centauri) and bulls? 00:18:41: In the first verse of Genesis, my understanding is that "heaven" translates the Hebrew word "shemayim" that simply means "sky." Did the ancient Israelites already think of the sky as the dwelling-place of God, or is there a different word in the Old Testament that specifically meant the dwelling-place of God, for which we should reserve the English word "heaven"? See Ed Suominen & Robert M. Price's Evolving Out of Eden book. What about the New Testament? 00:26:38: What effect did the cycle of the seasons in the temperate zone have on the worldview, philosophical traditions, etc., that developed in the temperate zone, especially in Europe? 00:30:06: Observations on Chick Tracts. 00:34:06: Re: the Adam and Eve story and the flood story: are we to understand the human race was propagated by incest? 00:38:35: You once stated that the gospel of John implies that Jesus would be about fifty years old at the time of his crucifixion. Could you elaborate on this, please? 00:43:58: Some personal listener background information and the clearing up of a Lovecraft misconception. 00:46:58: I've heard Isaiah 9:6 cited as referring to Jesus. In the context of Isaiah, who was this "child"?

December 20th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 21, 2013 37:31


00:00:00: Bible Geek announcements. Visit: 00:04:15: Might Q have contained some or all of the sayings material from Mark? I find it hard to believe that Mark would have discarded the majority of this material if it were indeed existent at the time he wrote his Gospel. But if Q is later than Mark, what motivation would there be to exclude those supposed quotes from Jesus? One could argue that they arose as independent tradition, but then there are those pesky overlaps. 00:12:50: Might the story of Jesus ben Ananias in Josephus actually be an early Jesus tradition? 00:20:35: "Anointing" seems like a very strange practice. Why would having oil dumped on your head be a sign of reverence? What is known about the history of this practice? Who started it? What was its purpose or symbolism? 00:27:33: I grew up in a fundamentalist church and remember being told that the Bible was unchanged for thousands of years. I've since become an atheist, and am now wondering if it can be determined when "we" stopped changing the Bible, and started claiming it had never been changed. When were the last changes done?

December 9th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 10, 2013 1:13:34


00:00:00: In my early twenties I got involved with Calvary Chapel, Vineyard, and other evangelical churches. It really took over my life, replaced my old friends, interpreted the world for me, controlled my sex life and dating. It wasted my time, sending me down what I see now to be dead-end rabbit trails. I also feel embarrassed about some of my actions, specifically the evangelizing. How do you feel about some of this stuff? 00:17:04: You said that there is no parable teaching the soteriology of Christ's sacrifice. Such a parable would have been a pretty clear teaching about the meaning of Christ's death on the cross. Are you aware of any attempts by theologians to read standard soteriology back into any of the parables? "The Righteous Rise" in the book The Dead Walk. 00:22:50: You remarked that you didn't know of a version of the Eden story that simply blamed Adam. I know of an interpretation of the canonical Garden of Eden story that does just that. A rabbinical student told me that the rabbis blame Adam because he improperly conveyed to Eve God's earlier command to him, leading her to think that merely touching the Tree would bring death. Had you heard of this interpretation? 00:26:50: What is the difference between "analogue," "analogous," and "analogy?" 00:33:50: What is the story behind various texts claiming to be the lost, pre-biblical Book of Jasher? 00:37:20: Dennis MacDonald argues that the Gospels borrowed from Homer. Fascinating, but not convincing to me. Did other ancient authors rewrite Homer in such a fashion? 00:40:43: Larry Hurtado claims that Carsten Colpe debunked the notion of a pre-Christian Gnostic Redeemer myth, and that no one accepts it anymore. True? 00:55:27: Critique of the "Christian Dilemmas" film. 00:59:28: How old does the Bible say the world is? 01:01:26: Have you seen the series of Rapture movies - 'A Thief in The Night' (1972), 'A Distant Thunder' (1978), 'The Image of The Beast' (1981), and 'The Prodigal Planet' (1983)? Your review? Are there any other End Times films worth watching? 01:03:10: Should we infer that the "snake" in the Bible references not an actual snake but is a polemical name for the Levites? 01:05:36: Is it true that the Hebrew words used to describe the knowledge that Adam and Eve gained in the garden seem to reference metallurgy? 01:09:31: Which was written first, the Book of Enoch or Genesis? And finally, the Enoch stories reference "stars" and "bulls;" do these words actually reference something other than actual stars (like Alpha Centauri) and bulls?

December 7th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 8, 2013 1:19:25


00:00:00: Can you please give a summary of Paul's teaching on election and predestination? Also, how do Paul's teachings on the matter differ (if at all) from the later teaching on these topics by Augustine, Luther and Calvin? 00:22:00: Do you agree with Margaret Barker's view of Paul's conception of the resurrection body? 00:25:00: What was the source for the dimensions of Noah's ark and just one window? 00:31:10: As for "turning the other cheek", you view that passage as a rejection of a retributive honor system. But this seems to go a bit further to imply a non-violent power play, where the struck takes back control from the striker. 00:34:53: The Penal Substitution Theory of soteriology. 00:45:09: According to the Christ Myth Theory, what would have been the catalyst for the formation of the early church? Is there a connection between the linen clad young man in the garden and the one seen in the empty tomb? 00:56:42: Can you describe your critical approach in such a way as to neither misrepresent nor alienate the subject to the average Josephine? What would you choose as your favorite forgotten or underemphasized teachings attributed to Jesus? Regarding the account of Jesus' passion in the four canonical gospels, what are the biggest discrepancies and how would you (as opposed to an axe-grinding apologist!) account for them? 01:14:47: Would you mind elaborating from a mythical perspective as to why such a biblical juggernaut as Moses would need a mouthpiece like Aaron? Perhaps to unify two traditions? The next podcast will include some of the old questions trapped on Dr. Price's other computer!

December 6th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 7, 2013 1:11:34


00:00:00: Get those print books (with autograph) from Dr. Price: great for Christmas gifts! Information about The Human Bible podcast. 00:02:43: Please explain your views regarding the Criteria of Authenticity which some mythicist scholars consider inadequate? 00:26:36: Did the ancients know about dinosaurs? 0:28:38: Doesn't Mark 4:11-12 mark that gospel as Gnostic? 00:33:17: A parody of Psalm 53. It is indeed very striking that Jesus has four brothers and there are only four apostles that the Gospels are consistently interested in (viz James, John, Simon Peter, and Judas); and three out of four names are the same on both lists, with the fourth name sounding similar. Can you say more about how Judas fits into this picture? James, John, and Peter are the three Pillars according to Galatians, but why is Judas excluded from this list? 00:46:31: Do the events of Judges chapters 20 and 21 reflect the Rape of the Sabine women? 00:51:35: Doesn't polytheism allow for inter-religious pluralism more than monotheism does? Dr. Price typically understands Luke 18:19 ("Why do you call me good? No one is good but God.") as some kind of denial of divinity. But mightn't it just as well be understood as a challenge to think through the implications of what he is saying? 01:04:13: What is a contemporary analogue to 'Son of Man'? (a proper title that is also used as a general catch-all).

December 5th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 6, 2013 1:12:55


00:00:00: Is there any history of pantheist or panentheist thought within the Judeo-Christian tradition? 00:18:29: I would be interested in your thoughts on freewill: is there an "I" that is separate from naturalistic phenomena or from God's intention? 00:25:17: The ONLY reason anyone wants to keep Q in play is to secure an extra source for the life and sayings of Jesus. If you, Dr. Price, don't accept that Jesus is a historical figure, why do you feel the need to keep using it? 00:30:38: Why did Matthew and Luke decide to invent a husband for Mary? Is it simply because the virgin birth myth had never occurred to Mark? Why don't Bible scholars consider this a more serious problem than they do? 00:38:14: Please could you clarify the theology of dispensationalism? Does it fit with Romans 8-11? 00:51:27: What happened to the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh that was (allegedly) handed to Jesus' family upon his birth? 00:57:05: In many pantheons, the chief god rapes or otherwise impregnates mortal females. Do you think the conquests of James Bond, Indiana Jones and Captain Kirk are a sanitized vestige of this? 01:02:24: You have always qualified the Christ myth as being disprovable if only there were some first century letter or document from a contemporary of Jesus, say a traveling businessman, who had seen and heard the great man and miracle worker. Could you please explain how one such letter or document could be acceptable as evidence to you or any other true skeptics as it pertains to the historicity of Jesus?

December 4th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 5, 2013 1:05:41


00:00:00: Go to for a new documentary featuring some of Dr. Price's wisdom. 00:01:09: In Romans, Paul tells us that pagans are so degraded as to worship the forms of birds and four legged beasts, yet the Holy Spirit appears in the form of a dove, and Jesus in the form of a seven eyed, seven horned sheep. What's the deal? 00:04:50: I'm struck by Solomon's killing of Adonijah on the pretext that Adonijah requested the hand of Abishag through Bathsheba, Solomon's mother. What made Solomon's action justifiable in the eyes of the reader? 00:06:40: In 1 Kings, at the opening ceremony of the temple, God is said to descend in a thick smoke that made it impossible for the priests to attend to their duties. Is it possible that the priests would deploy special effects to wow the yokels into thinking that the god was making his appearance right before their eyes? James White vs. Price debate now available online from the former's website. 00:10:00: If the author of the 2 Samuel verse about God tempting David to number Israel is also the one responsible for the anti-tax, anti-draft speech from Samuel in 1 Samuel 8, do you think it would make more sense that the divine mandate against census-taking is based on ancient anti-federal politics? 00:13:23: Do you think the prediction of the End Times within a generation of Jesus' lifetime in Mark 13:30 poses any problems for dating Mark any longer than 40 years after 30 A.D. (assuming you don't think it's from a previous source)? 00:14:45: You believe Polycarp is the author/editor of Luke-Acts, but Stephan Huller cites a letter quoted by Eusebius from Irenaeus to a Valentinian named Florinus lamenting that Florinus' current teachings would have shocked Polycarp and that he would know because he heard Polycarp as a boy and those memories become solidified in him. Given that it was Irenaeus who adopted the Gospel of John from the Valentinians and redacted it to his Apostolic theology, isn't it more likely that Polycarp was actually a Valentinian teacher (or invention) of Florinus and that Irenaeus adopted Polycarp from him the exact same way he adopted Paul from the Marcionites? Could it be possible that Irenaeus himself or maybe a different associate of his is the ecclesiastical redactor of both Luke-Acts and John? 00:18:04: Most of the time, the concerns of the Bible are underwhelmingly local and temporary. I can't find any indication that these books were supposed to have anything to say to the people who would be living in East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa or the Americas at the same time, much less thousands of years later. Do you agree with this, and could you explain why or why not? 00:26:56: How do you take the use of the term "the Jews" (Ioudaioi) in John's gospel? 00:34:13: What is going on in John 1:19-20? It says "and he confessed and he did not deny and he confessed 'I am not the Christ'" Why does it have "and he confessed" twice for no reason, and what did John the Baptist NOT deny? I've heard you suggest before that there might be some Mandean tradition mixed in here. Is this a literary seam? Did it originally have John, as it says, NOT denying being the Christ? 00:37:23: I've read that we can reconstruct the gospels simply by seeing how often early Christian writers mention passages, stories or ideas that we recognize from the gospels. To what degree is this true? How early are these writers? And do any of these writings show signs of interpolation? 00:45:40: If the Olivet Discourse is a later-date prophecy-after-the-fact scenario, which seems most likely, then why would the writers mix in the end-times stuff having already seen that it didn't happen? 00:50:41: In ancient Babylon, during an annual festival, the king was deposed, abused, humiliated and finally restored to his throne. This festival of dethronement and restoration sounds kind of familiar. Do you know of any liturgical texts in the ANE, like this one, that resemble the death and exaltation of Jesus? 00:58:43: Mark 4:5 says, "And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few of the sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief." This sounds as if his capacity for miracles and healing is "powered" by the belief of those around him - when accosted by fierce unbelief he simply wasn't able to do more than a few healings of the sick. This seems to me to be a contrast to the typical form critical schema in which Jesus performs a miracle in the face of doubt and unbelief. Does this strike the Geek in such a way? I'd love to hear any thoughts you might have.

December 2nd The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 3, 2013 50:34


00:00:00: As Paul Louis Couchoud pointed out, it seems the saviour figure of the Christ hymn of Philippians 2: 6-11 is given the name "Jesus" only after his mission on earth is finished. But "mainstream" commentaries insist that the name Jesus is given is "Lord." I'm guessing that over the centuries this has been the "normative" interpretation, but is it based on a legitimate reading, or is it motivated by the wish to avoid what would be a completely unthinkable conclusion? 00:08:06: Might the Exodus story have begun as a foundation legend, recounting some rebel leader saving a small group from Egypt? 00:12:42: What do you make of Bart Ehrman's reference to Paul knowing Peter and James as proof of a historical Jesus? 00:22:15: What does the phrase "over all the land" in Matt 27:45 really mean? And why a three hour period of darkness? 00:24:23: The Old Testament hits again and again on the reversal of primogeniture, the younger son usurping the position of the elder. Why then wasn't Jesus the second born of God? 00:26:54: A questioner asked about the mythological parallels in the story of David and Goliath, and it occurred to me that it was also parallel to Beowulf. Common source or something? 00:32:31: What do scholars think of the theory that the Book of Mormon was based on the manuscript novel of Solomon Spaulding? 00:38:47: Approximately what date did the Hebrew God become an all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving god that we are familiar with today? Could you elucidate the Christology of the Ebionites?

November 26th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 27, 2013 25:26


00:00:00: Contact Dr. Price at to sign up for his one-on-one Institute for Higher Critical studies courses, still only $300. Also, some announcements on completed and upcoming writing projects. 00:01:20: Does the Egyptian god Amen has any linguistic relation to how we have been taught to conclude a Christian prayer? 00:02:35: What is meant by literary quality? Are the canonical New Testament books of a higher literary quality than the non-canonical? 00:08:48: During the early centuries CE, literacy was substantially lower than today. Also, distribution of written material was significantly slower than today. How do these issues contribute to our understanding of the Bible? 00:10:58: Where does the fear of satanic cabals come from? Does this terror of Satanism come from the Bible, besides accusing your enemies of it to discredit them? 00:15:27: There are multiple instances of Messianic claimants dying and then being followed for decades or centuries after by followers who believe(d) they did not die. Why is this such a widely held belief and where do they get it from? 0:19:02: Was there actually a "Needle's Eye" gate in Jerusalem through which a kneeling, unburdened camel might pass? 00:20:10: Where does the Bible require tithing?

November 21st The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 22, 2013 33:55


00:00:00: Do you have any suggestions on books which evaluate eastern religious scriptures (Buddhist / Hindu) using the form critical method? 00:11:32: As I read the gospel of Mark, it seems to me that it is literary satire and the author is actually NOT sympathetic toward Jesus or his Jewish devotees or skeptics. What do you think? 00:22:33: Could you perhaps give us a preview of what to expect from the upcoming film "The Gospel According to Price"? 00:24:06: Could you please explain the most important or common types of biblical criticism and provide examples of how they're used? 00:26:16: It seems impossible that Josephus never mentions Christians or any of Paul's churches. Just wondering what your thoughts are on this. 00:28:06: How did you ever get through Eisenman's New Testament Code? What is a book you struggled with?

November 20th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 21, 2013 1:11:27


00:00:00: Many print books now available directly from Dr. Price! 00:01:50: Are there books or sources you'd particularly recommend for Armchair Scholarship 101 listeners? 00:05:12: What do you make of Bury's speculation that religious persecution in Europe stems from Roman suppression of Christianity? Is there evidence that the Christianity now represented to us by sanitized scriptures was more anti-Roman in its beginnings? 00:13:17: How did the word "religion" become such a hateful word in our culture? Isn't it a neutral word that doesn't necessarily imply anything negative? 00:17:48: What are the best arguments for first century New Testament manuscripts? 00:21:59: Was the Protestant Reformation a simple use of blunt force, like "You do as the prince says or you die", or had there been something evolving in Europe before the official appearing of Protestantism? 00:28:43: What does the Nicene Creed mean when it says that the Holy Spirit "proceeds from" the Father (or from the Father and the Son)? 00:38:30: Do you know of any credible resources that deal with Quranic textual criticism, specifically ones that address the number of manuscripts of the Quran, and how early they are? 00:43:44: Do you know of any stories from the Old or New Testaments, besides the "prediluvian" ones, which have clearly influenced the myths of other cultures? How plausible do you think it is that missionaries have influenced flood stories around the world? 00:50:35: I am interested in the Christological differences between the four gospels and wonder if you could expand on this by giving a basic outline of each gospel's theological view of Jesus? 00:58:30: In another earlier show, you briefly discussed how Jesus' atonement should not be taken literally as it was incompatible with the idea of an "all-forgiving" God. In your words: "He still had to take it out of someone's hide." Could you also expand on this? 01:01:10: I'm currently having a discussion on another Facebook page, in which several people are having a dialogue about the Christ myth theory. One person in particular claims that the development of the theory made sense, given the amount of evidence scholars had a hundred years ago, but new evidence and scholarship has since disproven older scholarship. This individual further claims that newer scholarship had debunked the previous assumptions that 2nd temple Judaism adopted pagan ideas. What on earth could he possibly be referring to? What new evidence? 01:05:41: Noam Chomsky says that the first three words of Genesis. 'In the beginning', are an ungrammatical mistranslation caused by an incorrect guess of vowel sound. The error, he says, is obvious. Could you please elaborate?

November 13th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 14, 2013 34:03


00:00:00: How do Christians know that their "good" God will stay good? In other words, how do they know that God won't just turn on them some day? 00:05:08: In Mark 3:28-30, Jesus says blasphemy against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven. What does that actually mean? 00:12:30: Is it possible that John the Baptist was once one of the Twelve and that the story we read about Jesus being baptized is another told out of chronological order? 00:22:41: Why should Satan be so obsessed with a vendetta against humanity?

November 12th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 13, 2013 1:08:19


00:00:00: Isn't the story of David and Goliath a historicized version of the classic combat myth? 00:05:42: Could the Genesis 3:20-21 episode where Yahweh makes clothes out of skins for Adam and Eve be a blood sacrifice to atone for their sin? 00:16:09: What is the Johannine appendix? 00:17:40: Can you recommend H. P. Lovecraft starter stories? 00:21:09: The Old Testament says that the patriarchs lived long lives -- 175 years for Abraham, 180 for Isaac, 147 for Jacob, and 110 for Joseph. My understanding is that a man would be clan head until he died. That is, he wouldn't abdicate to his son and then retire. But do we see this in the Bible? 00:25:14: a viable apologetic for supernaturalism? Miracles, UFOs and aliens. 00:33:24: what is the true occupational concern of historians? 00:36:25: Could you please explain the Jerusalem Meltdown that happened in Acts 21? Was Paul set up by James? 00:50:54: Have Christian critics of Mormonism torn the Book of Mormon apart yet? Have they located the "Q" source for the text? Or did Joseph Smith just use his imagination? Why does evangelical Christianity have such a problem with Mormonism anyway? Is it the fear of new revelation?

November 10th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 11, 2013 1:20:48


00:02:14: Is the Catholic view correct in identifying The Woman of the Apocalypse with Mary? Or is this possibly a harmonization used to paper over a rival belief held by some early Christians that somehow made it into the text? 00:11:18: Why do a smaller proportion of religious Jews believe God gave the Holy Land to the Jewish people than do white evangelical Christians? 00:24:57: Do you know when the extant Book(s) of Jasher was written? 00:28:26: Can you provide an Apocrypha greatest hits list? 00:34:45: What's up with the hardening of Pharaoh's heart? This seems to cause problems with the free will doctrine. The magicians throughout Exodus seem to perform the same feats that Moses and Aaron perform until the magicians were tapped out. So are these magicians supposed to be magicians like Penn & Teller and David Copperfield? Or real miracle-workers of a rival deity? What's up with the obsession with foreskin (Exodus 4:25)? How does this bizarre act possibly keep the LORD from killing Moses? 00:42:13: Is it possible that Mark knew of Q, but didn't use it, for some reason? Or is it possible that there were sayings in Q that all three used, and we just don't know how to distinguish which of those sayings Mark used? According to Burton L.Mack, where might the "Christ cult myth" have originated? With Paul? 00:51:54: In view of Pliny's letter to Trajan, how can the assertions by Christians regarding the popularity of early Christianity be justified? Is this not definitive proof of the very slow spread of Christianity? 00:55:21: I've heard you mention a few times that there is no archaeological evidence in support of the Exodus story "when there would have to be." I'm unclear on why you think we would have to have evidence if it had happened. 00:58:44: A listener describes his life journey and asks: Abraham in Luke's Gospel appears as the hug-happy welcome-wagoneer of the nicest neighborhood in Sheol. Is this depiction related to the traditional ascription of a Heavenly Gatekeeper role to St. Peter? To what extent did the rank and file (if not the scholarly clergy) in 1st Century Judaism simply do what most modern Americans do: entertain overlapping, vague, or even contradictory views on the topic of the afterlife? 01:09:02: Heracles was depicted as declaring after finishing his first labor, "It is accomplished." Obviously, this brought to mind the words of Jesus in John 19:30. Has this phrase been long or strongly associated with Heracles? 01:12:06: I would like to known Robert M. Price's opinion on the hypothesis of C. H. Roberts, namely that "the codex was a deliberate innovation of Christian evangelists".

November 7th The Bible Geek Podcast (repeat of show #96 from Sept. 2007)

Nov 8, 2013 1:56:35


*** THIS IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION FROM SEPTEMBER 2007 (SHOW #96) *** 00:00:26: Announcements 00:02:27: What order were the books of the Bible written in? 00:12:50: Why is the passage of Josephus that speaks of Jesus (Testimonium Flavianum) an interpolation? 00:16:38: Did the Geek go to church that Sunday? 00:17:45: "Peter" as he shows up in Pauline epistles? 00:27:37: Did Papias have anything to say about GJohn and its authorship? 00:27:49: Brief overview of what the Dutch radicals taught and believed. 00:32:33: Graphic novel recommendations. 00:36:35: Is Paul fictional? 00:38:15: Fundamental difference in how skeptics and believers approach the Bible. 00:42:16: Is there any evidence that the baptism ritual came from Jewish origins vs. pagan ones? 00:45:08: Jesus as dying and rising savior as homegrown Jewish development and parallels between Jewish, other Middle Eastern and Hellenistic myths. 00:49:35: Is there a way to translate Genesis 1:2 as "the Earth became without form and void ..."? 00:53:41: What does the Geek think of Karen Armstrong? 00:55:40: Paul, Neoplatonism, and multiple levels of existence. 00:57:58: Why do fundamentalists who purport to believe in "eternal security" actually make people doubt their salvation? 01:03:17: Geek's collection of "dolls" aka "action figures". 01:04:38: When did the Church start denying that the Bible implies a flat earth cosmology? 01:06:32: Recommendation for a source that summarizes earliest archaeological samples of OT texts. 01:09:07: Who did Adam and Eve's kids have sex with to procreate? 01:15:48: On being harassed to speak in tongues, on conservative Bible scholars and on Pentecostalism. 01:19:48: The "new" Iron Man movie and the choice for the actor to play Tony Stark and Geek's idea for Johnny Depp to play Jesus. 01:21:05: Martin Luther and his "harem" of former nuns, shotgun marriages among the Puritans and their relationship to sexual repression and body shame in Protestant Christianity. 01:25:05: Did MLK Jr. hold to the belief that Christianity was influenced by mystery religions as reflected by one of his seminary research papers. 01:26:10: Was the Serpent doing something other than crawling before the Curse? 01:29:45: Is William Lane Craig correct when he claims that it is universally accepted among NT scholars that the Gospels are examples of biography rather than myths? 01:36:25: On Scott Atran's view that religious beliefs are like poetic metaphors (and thus literally senseless) rather than real truth claims. 01:43:40: Is Galatians 4:4 ("born of a woman, born under the Law") an interpolation? 01:45:33: Was Balam a vilain? 01:47:44: Did the Greeks literally belive in their gods/myths? 01:50:43: Recommendation of Moses Finley's "Ancient History - Evidence and Models." 01:52:04: Mircea Eliade' views on veracity of Resurrection. 01:52:31: Geek's opinion on "Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus" by Donald Harman Akenson 01:53:40: Dan Brown on modern religion as "collage, an assimilated historical record of man's quest to understand the divine." 01:54:55: Major things about CHristianity the Geek did not understand while still a fundamentalist. 01:55:24: On last comic book read.

October 19th The Bible Geek Podcast

Oct 20, 2013 35:39


00:00:00: Comments on Atwill's latest announcement, re: "ancient confession" of an "invented Jesus." 00:02:44: Was the portrayal of Judas, in John 12:3-7, as already being the "bad guy" complaining about Mary wasting the expensive ointment on Jesus, aimed at undermining complaints from those who still took seriously the injunction to "sell possessions and give to the destitute"? 00:11:58: If Jesus was born pure and divine and never sinned, why was he baptized? Was this merely a symbolic start to his ministry? Or is an adoptionistic reading is closer to the original intent? 00:16:08: Are the "baby in basket" and "flood survivor" motifs literary cousins? The main difference seems to be the size of the vessel. 00:18:45: Are there any good arguments against the Two Source Theory, and specifically against the existence of Q? Is it plausible that the shared material between Matthew and Luke can be explained in terms of Luke's using Matthew as a source? 00:24:50: What is meant by the word "devoted" in Leviticus 27? What would have been the purpose of this instruction to the priestly class? 00:27:45: Can one find Bible passages that posit a more equal role for men and women in marriage than in Ephesians 5:22 -33?

October 18th The Bible Geek Podcast (repeat of show #95 from Sept. 2007)

Oct 19, 2013 1:50:38


*** THIS IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION FROM SEPTEMBER 2007 (SHOW #95) *** 00:00:30: Comments about discussions of Michael Vick and Evolution on the "View". 00:06:10: Updates on the "Paperback Apocalypse". 00:06:47: The Geek and his action figures. 00:07:05: Peter Kirby's ( conversion to Catholicism and the postulated pre-Markan passion narrative. 00:11:38: Was 2. Corinthians 6:14-7:1 an interpolation as Randal Helms asserts in "The Bible against itself"? 00:15:55: Gnostic patriarch Basilides as the author of the Gospel of Mark. 00:20:05: The 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel. 00:22:52: Authorship of Epistles of Barnabas and Polycarp. 00:25:15: How are papyrus scraps and writings dated? 00:26:20: Relative frequency of the phrase "The Kingdom of God" in Pauline Corpus and the Gospels. 00:29:10: Why is it commonly assumed the author of the Gospel of Luke and the author of Acts are the same person? 00:36:14: Which portrait of historical Jesus is most likely to be true? 00:38:23: Peter Kirby on resurrection. 00:40:00: Acts 12 and the death of Peter and the dating of Acts. 00:47:23: Circular structure of the Gospel of Mark. 00:48:43: Teaching on eating food offered to idols in Paul and the Gnostics. 00:51:33: Debate between Bob and Greg Boyd. What is the best way of proving anonymity of the Gospel authors, Paul not having written the "Pauline" letters and the nonexistence of Nazareth at the time of birth of Jesus? 00:57:30: Peter Berger's concept of "inductive faith" vs. "inductive reasoning" and Kant's "practical reason". 01:04:30: Why do fundamentalist apologists insist the Gospels are pre-70 CE? 01:05:38: On the shrunken head and Haitian and Chinese devil masks on Geek's wall. 01:06:39: what is the difference between an apologist and a legitimate conservative evangelical/fundamentalist scholar? 01:10:39: Chtuhlu vs. Leviathan - who wins in a fight? 01:10:54: Can there be legitimate scholarship about a supernatural belief system? 01:13:00: On Early Doherty's claim that Hebrews 8:4 is a "smoking gun" that the author's community had no belief in a historical Jesus. 01:18:18: Is it fair play to ask someone whether they believe in the religious belief system when discussing the Bible, Koran etc.? 01:20:48: NT Wright's "Jesus and the victory of God" and his comparison of the resurrection of Jesus and myths of dying and rising godmen. 01:21:27: Where does the two year limit on the slaughter of the innocent in Matthew come from? 01:24:37: Luke Timothy Johnson and the authorship and canonicity of Pauline epistles. 01:27:17: Isaiah 14:12, "Heylel son of Shachar" and other references to the Dawn goddess Shachar in the Bible. 01:28:36: Are the cyclical dying and rising gods related to seasonal cycle of nature. 01:29:34: When, where and by whom were J, E, P and D combined? 01:30:28: Geek's opinion of FF Bruce's book on the reliability of the New Testament? 01:31:25: How can somebody be a Christian and not be an aologist? 01:33:49: Weston La Barre's "A Stone Age Superstitions about Sexuality" linking core beliefs to common neolithic ur-culture. 01:34:21: Does 2. Timothy suggest that Paul was released from jail and moved to Spain? 01:36:18: Do any Pauline writings suggest use of Josephus as a source? 01:37:12: Frank Tipler's hypothesis about an "Omega point" that would show God and miracles exist? 01:37:45: Does Leviticus 25:23 about selling land in perpetuity suggests that Yahweh was a newcomer to the Land of Israel? 01:38:47: What characteristics can be used to distinguish between letters written by Paul and those merely attributed to him. 01:42:33: Did the Geek teach in New Jersey? 01:42:47: Why does Paul not mention the concept of Hell? 01:44:22: If the author of Mark had access to Q does that kill the notion of independent attestation in the Gospels? 01:46:24: Have there been religions other than evangelical Christianity that emphasize a personal relationship with God? 01:47:26: Televangelist Gene Scott's "porn star widow" Melissa Scott who claims to have thought herself dozen of languages and took over his ministry after his death in 2005. 01:48:06: Sander's list and Matthean priority. 01:48:23: Relationship between Jesus and the Talmud.

October 12th The Bible Geek Podcast

Oct 13, 2013 1:14:36


00:01:00: What are your thoughts on the origins of the Samaritans? According to apologists, the gospels of Matthew and John were written by those Apostles. How do apologists account for the John omitting the resurrection account found in Matthew and vice versa? Can the Geek shed some light on the criteria for multiple attestations as it pertains to the resurrection appearances? 00:19:15: Whose voice do you use when reading St. Paul? 00:21:00: Might Papias have been referring to Q rather than Matthew? Review "The Imperfect Book" on the Book of Mormon. 00:33:35: Many Mormons believe that Jesus commanded Peter to deny Jesus and Judas to betray him. Could this be? 00:41:08: If Jacob was a sun god, what did the many children of Jacob represent? Were they perhaps representative of the zodiac, since Jacob seems to have been the moon? 00:46:50: What about the apologists' claim that creating details to simulate realism was unheard of in the first century, thus details in the gospels prove they were based on eyewitness testimony? 00:49:32: Does the reference in Acts 23:16 to "Paul's sister's son" mean Paul was close to the Roman elite, vs. Eisenman? Is there any relationship between the Jesus ben Ananias of Josephus's history and the Ananias who is supposed to be Paul's first consultation after his change of plans on the way to Damascus? 00:53:22: Does Creationism put a stumbling block to faith, since students will eventually find the holes in it and throw out the baby with the bathwater? Is it true that Creationism misrepresents the Bible because the Genesis accounts were always meant allegorically, not scientifically? 01:00:12: Within the Christ myth theory I would expect the Christological view to proceed from a mythical Jesus steadily earthwards to a human Jesus of the last gospel. In fact what we seem to see in the evolution of the tradition is the mystical Jesus of the epistles; followed by a very human Markan Jesus, a more flashy Jesus of Matthew and Luke, finishing up with a re-mythologized Jesus walking the Earth in John. How is this accounted for?

October 4th The Bible Geek Podcast

Oct 5, 2013 49:45


00:00:00: Institute for Higher Critical Studies course news, Killing History: Jesus in the No-Spin Zone announcement, print copies of The Historical Bejeezus, and Atheism and Faitheism. 00:02:14: Discussion of various points on Joshua. 00:18:42: I am wondering what you make of the similar trajectories of Constantine and Asoka for their respective religions. 00:31:49: Could you please outline your reasoning on the concept of there being no historical Mohammed? 00:36:34: Could you pontificate on the stories of the annunciation and virgin birth in Matthew and Luke in the light of the Two Source Hypothesis? Donate for The Lovecraft Geek.

September 30th The Bible Geek Podcast

Oct 1, 2013 37:02


00:00:00: The Historical Bejeezus print books have arrived! American Rationalists reviews of Reza Azlan and Bill O'Reilly completed, and a forthcoming book on the latter. 00:02:20: Why do you suppose the decision was made to view the Holy Spirit as a third person in the godhead? Are there any analogues to the Trinity doctrine in other religions? What's the closest one? 00:14:26: What are some main theories about the young man who runs away naked when Jesus is arrested? Which one do you think is the most likely? 00:17:41: Do you, as a mythicist, think that the death and resurrection motif was always an essential component of the Christ myth? Jesus' death and resurrection seems to be the core message of Christianity in the Pauline corpus, but why not in the Gospels? Why doesn't Jesus preach about the theological/soteriological significance of his impending death and resurrection? 00:24:46: Why was Paul not made to be a disciple character in the Gospels? Or is it possible that he was, but under a different name? 00:27:07: Do you think that there is a strong possibility that mythicism will someday become more of a consensus view among Biblical scholars? 00:28:32: What is a good research tool to compare the gospels in parallel columns? 00:31:00: What does the geek think of the "essentialist" standard for personhood used by many pro-choice and physician assisted suicide advocates?

September 27th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 28, 2013 1:12:48


00:00:48: If both the righteous and the unrighteous ended up in Sheol, then what was the motivation for people of that time to live good and just lives in accordance to the Torah? 00:10:41: Can you discuss the "retrenchment" that has taken place in the field of biblical studies over the past few decades? What period would you say was the golden age of higher criticism? 00:23:53: When will The Lovecraft Geek launch? 00:24:24: Did valuing martyrdom enhance the competitive fitness of the orthodox flavor of Christianity, contributing to its survival while Gnosticism faded away? 00:33:28: Am I right that in Catholicism the suffering of Jesus seems to be remembered more frequently and vividly than his resurrection, in contrast to relatively greater emphasis on the resurrection in most Protestant denominations? If so, can you speculate as to why these different emphases exist? 00:38:50: 1 Chronicles 21:1 says that Satan provoked David to number Israel. Why would numbering Israel anger God? 00:44:30: Re the kenosis hymn of Philippians 2:7: The doctrine of Kenosis says Christ chose to give up his divine attributes in order to assume human nature and therefore to suffer as a man. How do theologians reconcile this with the classical concept of the trinity, can Jesus really empty himself of his divine attributes while remaining in a hypostatic union with the Godhead? Is it possible that the verb used in Philippians, κενÏ?Ï?, is describing his descending into the kenoma, from the Platonic world of the Pleroma and entry into the lower world of phenomena or emptiness (the kenoma)? 00:54:05: Apologists say Acts can be dated to no later than 60 AD because 1) it doesn't mention the destruction of the temple, 2) it doesn't mention the siege of Jerusalem, 3) it doesn't mention the deaths of major characters, James, Peter and Paul, 4) it *does* mention the deaths of minor characters, like James brother of John and Stephen. Where are they going wrong here? On the other hand, critics date Mark after 70 because "Jesus mentions the destruction of the temple, so Mark *must* have been written afterward." But does that depend on a bias against the possibility of predictive prophecy?

September 26th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 27, 2013 44:55


00:00:00: The print copies of The Historical Bejeezus are due to arrive soon. 00:00:57: Why would proclamation of Jesus as a historical person assist Christian evangelism more than proclamation of Jesus as a purely mythical figure? If the historical existence of Jesus was invented only in about CE 100, why was it necessary to create so many detail traditions? 00:04:32: In his textbook The Gospels and Jesus, Graham Stanton writes, "We have a good deal of information about the polemical and often bitter arguments Christians, Jews, and pagans have one another in the early centuries. But the early Christian opponents all accepted that Jesus existed, taught, had disciples, worked miracles, and was put the death on a Roman cross. As in her own day, debate and disagreement centered largely not of the story but on the significance of Jesus.... There is general agreement that with the possible exception of Paul, we know far more about Jesus of Nazareth than about any first or second century Jewish or pagan religious teacher." Your reaction? 00:06:32: I have not yet managed to grasp the timeline of events from year one AD to say 325 AD according to the Mythicist theory. Just when did Christianity start? When were Peter, Paul and James added to the story and why? 00:15:17: Is there any single translation of the Bible that is truest to the original material? What about Young's Literal Translation. How literal is it? 00:18:26: Do you have a favorite Bible verse, and if so, what makes it special to you? Raising a child in the Bible Belt presents its own unique challenges. My son is often asked about his religious beliefs and I'm concerned that he will feel pressured to give the "correct" answers. I was wondering if you had any advice on how to "train up" a child so that he will be able to withstand this sort of religious bullying, and if you have any opinion on whether it is better to be honest or to give acceptable, though dishonest, answers to the cretins who engage in this sort of thing. 00:24:36: What are the arguments for early vs. late-dating the Gospels? Has anyone quantified the upper and lower limits of uncertainty for the NT documents?

September 22nd The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 23, 2013 1:09:22


00:00:00: A reading from The Onion Website. 00:05:39: Bishop Spong on Paul and homosexuality. 00:09:32: correction to the meanings of the cherubim on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant. 00:10:23: What do you think of the Campbellite argument against instrumental music in church, and of their "strict constructionist" approach to scripture generally? 00:19:43: harmonizing conflicting crucifixion and resurrection accounts in the New Testament, differences in characterizing Jesus as the "Son of God" or just a righteous (i.e., innocent) man, and rehashing ground covered in the 9/20/13 podcast. 0:26:23: the gender (or lack thereof) of God and the holy Spirit. 00:37:24: Paul blames Adam, not Eve, for the Fall in Romans, though Genesis blames Eve. Could he have been referring to some alternative version of the Eden story? 00:45:37: Why did Jesus' resurrection prove he was God, but Lazarus' didn't? 00:53:38: Did Oxford professors in the 1980s generally accept the non-historicity of Jesus? 00:56:31: Did the Bronze Age collapse affect Israelite religion? 00:58:02: the meaning of certain verses in Job concerning the firmament and the primordial waters. 01:00:12: The dates for Methusaleh have him dead when the Flood starts. Was he too wicked to be taken aboard? 01:02:26: Why does Mark say his John the Baptist prediction comes from Isaiah when half of it is from Malachi?

September 20th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 21, 2013 1:10:01


00:00:00: Which early Bibles that we have contain any of the books later considered non-canonical and/or lack any now in our canon? Which early Bibles didn't contain the episodes of Jesus and the Adulteress and his ascension to Heaven? How can apologists with a straight face say the entire Canonization process throughout history is divinely inspired? Why God couldn't get this right the 1st time? 00:13:00: How does one determine who influenced whom in similar ancient accounts, like Pythagorean stories in the NT or visa versa? Are there any pre-Christian biographies about Pythagoras or other similar figures? 00:21:20: Matthew speaks of an earthquake at the crucifixion and Luke of a solar eclipse that lasted three hours. I am assuming that no 3rd party source records a darkness and earthquakes in the area around the time of Jesus' supposed death on a cross? And did anyone ever speak about the torn veil of the temple? What about dating this Gospel? 00:33:33: What is meant by the baptism by fire? Could this be martyrdom? 00:35:05: Do you know of any plausible explanation for the 1,000-year reign in Revelation? 00:39:56: In Acts 17 the writer says that in the past, God "winked" at mankind's misdoings but has since "commanded all men everywhere to repent". How does the writer consider the OT Yahweh's swift and severe temporal judgments mere winks? Is it because the writer believed reprobates are now in danger of eternal conscious torment, but did not believe the OT unbelievers would be punished forever? What did the NT writers believe about the fate of the unredeemed BCE? 00:48:49: In your opinion, how much of the gospel content can be demonstrably be shown to be derived from the Old Testament and other external sources (e.g. Josephus)? 50%, 75%, higher? Do you think the same percentage applies to the content of Q which, as it mainly seems to contain sayings rather than deeds, may be logically assumed to be much lower? 00:51:36: Most people who think Moses did write the books attributed to him also believe that he was divinely inspired. They also believe that the Bible contains numerous prophecies that have been fulfilled. Taking that into consideration, it is hardly improbable that Moses might have written about his own death. And yet, skeptics love to say that he could not have done that -- or at least, that he could not have written that particular passage in Deuteronomy. But isn't this argument just begging the question against both divine inspiration and predictive prophecy? 00:54:56: Do you think the Lukan prologue's reference to many previous accounts refers to other canon gospels, accounts not in the canon, or both? And do you think Luke is setting his gospel above his sources, thereby denying inerrancy? 00:57:57: Gary Greenberg's "101 Myths of the Bible" says that Genesis 3:3 doesn't mean that Adam and Eve will die when and if they eat of the fruit, but that they will no longer have eternal life. What I'm wondering is how this verse can be interpreted this way. Also, Mr. Greenberg posits a LOT of correlation between Old Testament stories and Egyptian stories of Horus and Set and other characters from ancient Egypt. Have you read this book and if so, do you agree with this assessment? 01: 03:15: Please elaborate on your opinion that Christianity wouldn't have developed much differently without Paul.

September 17th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 18, 2013 50:02


00:00:00: Plug for the "mockumentary" The Gospel According to Price, where to find the Pre-Nicene New Testament errata, and a series of cheap ebooks to be available on for the Kindle. 00:04:57: Suppose Extraterrestrials appeared on earth. What would be the likely range of reactions by religious believers? 00:11:19: I think I notice a narrative shift in Gal. 4:1-20. This section seems more artfully written than chapter 3, like it was maybe written by a professional lawyer or rhetorician. Then verse 20 seems to hint that a new voice is about to take over again. "I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone (KJV: "voice"), for I am perplexed about you." (NASB) Is that a hint from a redacting editor that we're now returning to our regularly scheduled programming? Do you have any rough-and-ready tips for spotting textual redactions? 00:15:28: Please summarize, for newer listeners like myself, the best evidence for the dating of the Gospel accounts. Also, where do you feel the rest of the New Testament canon fits in chronologically with the gospels? What do you think of Isaac Asimov's work on the Bible? Is it likely that the Apocalypse of John is the earliest work we find? 00:31:15: Are the stories of Joseph and Osiris really so parallel? 00:41:00: Please clarify the theory of original Aramaic gospels of Mark and Matthew in light of the Mark-Q model.

September 8th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 9, 2013 2:11:01


00:00:00: What do you think is the clearest example of redaction in the New Testament? And of scribal alteration? 00:08:37: Reconstructions of the Historical Jesus usually are built on the twin foundations of the 'facts' of Jesus' Baptism and of his death by crucifixion. Is the Christ Myth theory ruled out because it denies both? 00:14:47: How would you respond to Christopher Tuckett's argument that Luke cannot come from the 2nd century since it reflects irenic relations with Rome, not persecution? 00:19:13: Many translations seem to smuggle interpretations into their text via adding words not found in the Greek text. Are you doing the same in your version of Galatians 3:1 in the Pre-Nicene New Testament? 00:26:06: Is the Christ-Myth theory truly a fringe belief? If so, why? 00:35:01: You said recently that evolution cannot be crowbarred into a biblically informed hermeneutic (the whole Genesis 1-11 thing). Could you explain? 00:42:47: Do you have any opinion on the argument from "undesigned scriptural coincidences"? 00:54:10: How likely do you think it is that all the "Son of man" sayings were later inventions by the evangelists? 01:01:42: What do you think was the most persuasive argument for Greeks who accepted the Jewish God? What particularly attracted them to "ethical monotheism"? 01:03:36: Have you ever considered making a colour-coded New Testament that references where the evangelists cribbed their material from? 01:05:04: What do the names of Jehovah signify: Jireh; Nissi; Sholom; Raah; etc.? Is each of these a separate god or just a different trait? 01:11:42: You mention that Mark uses the present tense in many places. The New American Standard Bible marks these with a small star next to the word that is in the present tense in manuscripts, but rendered by them in past tense. Other verbs in the same sentence lack a star. Are they in the past tense in Greek? Should the entire passage be cast in the present tense? Was the way the author of Mark uses tense common to other second-century novels? 01:15:35: Why is it that the gospel authors use Jesus as the main mouthpiece for the doctrines proclamation? Why does Paul not mention hell if it is a belief that he is also aware of at the time? In Genesis 38:1-10 Er is killed, but it doesn't say why? Are we missing something here? What do the writings of Justin Martyr tell us about the Christ-Myth theory and Paul? Does he seem to have any knowledge of the Gospels, or the life of Jesus? Please share your thoughts on the Sitz im Leben of the Gerasene Demoniac story in Mark 5:1-20. And why, at the end of the Gerasene Demoniac story in Mark, does Jesus tell the healed man to "Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord in his mercy has done for you" (5:19), when everywhere else in Mark, Jesus -- in keeping with the messianic secret motif -- enjoins people to silence? 01:50:21: Someone said that Luke 3:23 reads in the original "Joseph, which was of Heli" as opposed to "Joseph, which was the son of Heli". Is this so and does this therefore make sense of the Gospel genealogies? 01:52:21: What differences exist between Martin Luther and John Calvin on free will and predestination? 01:57:42: Ex. 4 and Moses' circumcision. 01:59:43: Are you familiar with the 17th century writer Arthur Ashley Sykes about Phlegon, the crucifixion, and Chinese eclipse records? 02:04:29: Can the Geek think of any OT prophecies that actually do predict Jesus when read literally?

September 4th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 5, 2013 1:21:13


00:00:00: Is Paul a Polycarp toy that was made later? A Marcion creation? And what has Simon Magus got to do with it? 00:12:15: Star Trek TOS episode "This Side of Paradise" and the GWT (God's Word Translation). What is your position is about the soul, purely in the metaphysical sense? 00:17:35: Where did Acts 2's idea of glossolalia as predicted by Joel come from? Is it possible the author of acts was envisioning a reversal of the Babel story? 00:28:26: Given the possibility that John14:2, "In may father's house are many mansions" might be translated as "many resting places," might the reference be to a stopover between (re)incarnations? 00:33:23: Sir William Ramsey said, "Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy ... [he] should be placed along with the very greatest of historians." Why would he say this when there seem to be many problems with Luke's gospel as a historical work? 00:36:34: Commenting on the end of Matthew's gospel, esp. the Great Commission, Burton Mack writes, "In some ways it does not seem to fit as well as a conclusion to Matthew's story. This is especially the case with the mention that the disciples worshiped him, the notion of the mission to the Gentiles, the language of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the statement that Jesus would always be present with them to the end of the age. The preceding gospel account does not prepare the reader well for any of these ideas, for they seem to be more at home in the Christ Cult than in Matthew's community." How are the ideas that Mack mentions "more at home in the Christ Cult"? 00:41:30: Do you know of a good book on Semitic polytheism? 00:43:01: Someone said that when Jesus cried out on the cross, "My God, why have you forsaken me?" - his divinity had left him. Which ancient sect believed this? 00:49:04: We certainly find in Islam and in Judaism strong traditions to rule your daily life and become better through long practice, repetition and purification, but not in Christianity. This made me wonder if Christianity really belongs to the Near-Eastern tradition. 00:55:01: I am curious about your take on what history may have been like if Apostle Paul had never switched sides. 00:59:41: The idea of a church "bible study" conjures visions of a group credulously imbibing "the good news" (hallelujah!). As for the many absurdities and contradictions, I assume that these are ignored, avoided, or dispatched with apologetical nonsense. Have I created an unfair and cartoonish caricature in my mind? And is there a common or standard way in which non-fundamentalist Christians undertake bible study in a church setting? Will they know much about hermeneutics, the Synoptic Problem, etc.? 01:05:43: John 5 (along with other passages) is used to argue for the Trinity: the disciples are ordered to 'honor the Son as they honor the Father'. But is this text too ambiguous to be persuasive either way? 01:12:43: Moses could not have written Deuteronomy because he could not have written about his own death, but apologists claim that Joshua just completed the parts that Moses did not write himself. Is there any evidence for this claim or is it merely ad hoc?

September 2nd The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 3, 2013 1:12:10


00:00:00: NecronomiCon, Lovecraft Geek, and the Human Bible podcast. Is it common for there to be a heavier reliance on messianic figures and/or divine emissaries in religious traditions where there is a central abstract notion of the divine? 00:14:05: What exactly is the significance of the Ark of the Covenant within ancient Judaism? Was there a real basis for the Ark of the Covenant? 00:26:34: Do you think that liberal theology based on the Bible can be deceiving? 00:30:18: Where did Paul (and modern fundamentalists) get the idea that death came into the world through sin (Romans 5:12)? 00:36:26: What is your opinion of Martin Hengel's booklet "Was Jesus a Revolutionist?" 00:40:52: Would the fictive embellishment of the Wise Men story be a good parallel to Mark's narrative being a fiction later mistaken as history? 00:44:50: I see as the most fundamental difference between Christian and Buddhist teaching that Christianity effectively says that your karmic debt can be wiped clean, while Buddhism says that you must always repay this debt. Is there anything you would like to add to that observation? 00:46:56: Might Q have contained some or all of the sayings material from Mark? 01:02:16: Might Jesus ben Ananias have been the core "historical Jesus"?

August 27th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 28, 2013 1:21:17


00:00:00: Does it seem to you that there's any connection between the collection for the poor of Jerusalem that Paul refers to in Romans 15 and elsewhere, and the payment for apostleship in Acts chapter 8? 00:06:05: Is there any possibility that the Comforter (Paraklete) mentioned by Jesus is or is based on Menahem ben Judah? Further, is Judas Iscariot then Judah of Galilee? 00:07:39: If, as the Infancy Gospel of James endeavors to show, God arranged for Mary to be born without sin so that Jesus might be born without sin, then could you comment on how her menstruation or childbirth could contaminate the Temple? 00:09:27: My religious friends never tire of saying that the incarnation of God in Jesus was a unique event. But isn't this God-in-the-Garden the first incarnation? If not, what is it? Is the "incarnation" of Jesus so unique? 00:12:24: God curses the serpent in Gen 3:15. Is there something else going on here other than snake hating? 00:15:20: In "Evolving out of Eden" you describe source critical analysis as "incontrovertible." It's easy to confirm this stuff when you have all the sources. But for the Torah we don't have the original sources at all, right? 00:21:12: Why is it that mainstream scholars almost always seem to accept the earliest possible dates for the NT gospels? What are the strongest: arguments for the earliest vs. latest dates? And what are your best guesses in dating the gospels? 00:28:15: How much influence did Enochian ideas influence Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity, and what is this recognition's influence on the Christ-Myth theory? 00:30:27: How early do you think the Gospel of the Ebionites is in relation to the canonical gospels? Could it possibly have been used by James and the Jerusalem church? 00:33:09: How and why do you think the "three days" element of the Resurrection entered the Christian narrative? 00:36:35: Does Luke contradict his own chronology by saying that Jesus was 30 years old when he began his ministry? 00:38:27: Could you elaborate on the theory that the word "Nazarene" refers to itinerant laborers based on a word (Aramaic if I recall correctly) that means "carpenter" and perhaps recommend a book or scholar exploring this theory? 00:39:46: Why is it so hard to convince intelligent people with logical argumentation that at the very least, the bible is the work of fallible human beings with their own ideas, beliefs and agendas? 00:46:09: Surely decades of study into the synoptic problem destroys the possibility of some of the gospels being originally composed in Aramaic and translated into Greek at a later stage? 00:49:02: The idea that God chooses a devoted and sinless man as his human son seems to make a lot of sense to me when trying to square Christianity with its original Jewish context. In fact, doesn't the very term "Christ," "the anointed" amount to a remnant of the adoptionist heresy right there in Jesus' own name and title? 00:53:43: How do you reconcile the paradox that is the Gospel of Matthew -- on the one hand, always referred to as a the "most Jewish" of the four gospels and yet, on the other, so clearly anti-Jewish in some way? 00:57:56: Please address some of Neil Shenvi's criticisms of your Incredible Shrinking Son of Man re dating/dependence anachronisms. 01:03:36: Why have we fixed upon the English term "Word" as the correct translation of "logos" in John 1? Did the Greek word "logos" have broad religious significance throughout the Hellenized world? 01:11:12: What is the basis for Price's determinations for the allegorical significance of the names of "narrative men" in the Gospels? T. K. Cheyne and other Hebrew scholars. 01:17:26: the backlog of Human Bible podcasts are going up online and information on The Human Bible ebook. Price books updates, etc.

August 17th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 18, 2013 2:01:51


00:00:00: Is a blog correct in stating that several OT passages do in fact use the Hebrew word "ra" for "adversity," "trouble," but not denoting moral evil? Is there a current, best, singular word that can be used to translate the word "ra," or is there several that fit the bill as the blog asserts? What do you think of Isaiah 45:7 as a whole and its implications? 00:16:10: Isn't the 4th century paradox of the hypostatic union or dual natures of Christ made moot by historical Jesus scholarship? 00:22:22: The Old and New Testaments presuppose a belief in one God rather than arguing to establish it. Thus isn't it inadequate to reject theism on the grounds that the Bible does not establish it? 00:28:34: Polls show that women are generally more religious and attend church more than men in the US. Do you have a theory about that gender gap? 00:31:58: Do you think that the growth in the synoptic teaching on marriage, divorce and adultery represents a Matthean censoring of the Markan absolutism? And doesn't the pronouncement of the offender as an adulterer imply damnation for the married and divorced? Which would also mean salvation by works, right? Sacred celebacy. 00:41:26: Didn't the move away from an anthropomorphic deity toward a Hellenized abstract one cause more philosophical problems than it solved in the Judeo-Christian context? The modern Christian god concept itself, even if true, defeats any need to be a Christian. 00:46:54: If, as most scholars say, 1 Cor 15:3-11 is a hymn, why does the hymn end with "Then last of all He was seen by me also"? I've heard you say that this must be later interpolation ... can you elaborate? 00:55:06: Reza Aslan cites the mention of "James the Just being stoned who was the brother of Jesus, called Messiah" as proof of a historical Jesus. Is there a counter argument? Can the Christ Myth Theory and the Jesus Zealot theory co-exist? 01:01:16: A friend claims that the gospels were written in Aramaic, and that in the original version, there is no conflict between Matthew's and Luke's genealogies. Is he right? 01:10:28: Is there a common mindset shared by dogmatic biblical inerrantists and those who back the official position on global warming? 01:19:25: Bart Ehrman said the Greek novels had no crucified and escaping characters. You then read and commented upon three of the novels to counter his assertion. Are you saying the novel heroes died and rose? Does Ehrman think you mean that? 01:24:25: Why is it so many well educated and self-professed believers won't/don't take the time to do basic research into the history of the New Testament, now that the information is much more widely available? 01:30:42: Why were the Gospels composed? And how would the Christ Myth theory account for the creation of Gospels about Jesus? 01:38:14: Luke T. Johnson argues that James 2:5 is an allusion to a saying of Jesus, but doesn't say where. Is Johnson correct about this? Or is he just an apologist smuggling in supposed evidence of Jesus tradition in this doubtless late epistle? 01:41:06: Bart Ehrman says he can't guess where you got the notion that Osiris was supposed to have risen from the dead, or that such a belief influenced Christianity. He goes on to say that the whole idea of dying and rising gods in ten ancient world having a formative impact of nascent Christianity has been debunked by "consensus" scholarship. Is that true? 01:44:57: I gather that you don't consider apocalyptic imagery as a legitimate category of exegesis -- is this basically correct? If not, are there any legitimate examples of it in the Bible or other mythology/ancient writing? 01:46:53: Re: prayer and interpreting God's will, it seems there is an interpretive mania whereby the believer struggles to determine whether this event or that is "part of God's plan," and whether to take action in order to mitigate the effects of the event, or let the after-effects unfold as they may in accordance with "God's plan." During your years as a believer, did you ever struggle with this sort of dilemma? If so, how did you deal with it? 01:53:50: Re: apologists' explanations for the different genealogies in Luke and Matthew, Eusebius says in his Ecclesiastical History, Book 1, Chapter 7: Heli and Jacob were half-brothers by the same mother. Heli got married, then died before he had any children, so Deuteronomy 25:5-6, Jacob had to marry Heli's wife. They had a son together, who was Jacob's biological son, but Heli's son by law. The two genealogies reflect legal and biological fatherhood. Is there even a shred of evidence for this? 01:59:45: paper copies of Latterday Scriptures are available directly from Dr. Price (price not known), with the Politically Correct Bible coming soon.

August 14th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 15, 2013 1:13:24


00:00:00: Lightning in the news. 00:03:33: Does it seem likely that human (child) sacrifice was a traditional Canaanite (and hence Israelite) practice? 00:11:22: Is the procreation of children a right, or a privilege? 00:16:03: Reza Aslan contends that the Romans were the primary target of conversion by the early Christians. How does the fact that the NT was written in Greek square with that? 00:24:01: Can we really know whether Q was a written document or a relatively discrete oral tradition? Is it possible that there were different versions of Q circulating and that Matthew and Luke used different versions? Is it true that Matthew reorganizes his Q material more freely than does Luke? If so, why? 00:34:02: Why does Jesus, in Luke's gospel, tell his disciples that he is not a spirit, but one with flesh and bones, while Paul, in 1 Corinthians says that it's the "spiritual body" that can enter heaven, not the fleshly? 00:47:58: Isn't it a bit unreasonable for conservatives/evangelicals to take what Paul said in a different time, in a different world, and in a different context and say that this still holds true for how God will grant us salvation today? 00:53:13: Although there are many and varied statements in the Bible about salvation, the Bible never once states explicitly "If you don't believe in Jesus and his resurrection, you will go to hell and/or the Lake O' Fire." However that is precisely the claim that Evangelicals and Fundamentalists make today. Isn't this harmonization just a method of inventing what one wants the Bible to say? 00:58:35: Matthew portrays the Pharisees as Jesus' main opponents, often adding them into Mark's account. The Pharisees are often paired with the Scribes, only in Matthew's account. Matthew couples the Pharisees and the chief priests where Mark did not. Can these details tell us anything about Sitz-im-Leben of Matthew's gospel? 01:05:50: Re the Gospel accounts of Jesus being derived from Old Testament midrash: Are the New Testament authors engaged in dishonesty or do they really think that they are conveying the truth about Jesus?

August 11th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 12, 2013 2:07:21


00:00:31: Bart Ehrman says you don't know what you're talking about when you say there are Hellenistic novels featuring heroes escaping crucifixion. And he says Jews would not have invented a crucified Messiah if there hadn't been one, because we know of no such pre-Christian Jewish expectation. 00:13:16: Isn't there a debate as to whether the terms Nazareth, Nazirite and Nazorean had anything to do with being from a town called Nazareth? 00:14:58: Hasn't there been some research that concluded that Nazareth did not even exist in the first half of the first century? How were the members of the Corinthian church supposed to check on Paul's claim of Jesus appearing to 500 brethren? He doesn't mention any names. Were they supposed to travel all the way to Jerusalem and just go knocking door-to-door asking if the person saw Jesus? Would they have known how to contact Paul to ask him for clarification? In regards to the letters that you don't regard as authentically Pauline, do you believe the pseudonymous author wrote to the churches to which the letters are addressed or were the forged letters just said to have been written to those churches? How long would it have taken for the epistles to be disseminated to other parts of the region? 00:22:01: What form critical or other evidence suggests that the Gospel of Mark was intended as nonfiction? Is it too simplistic to suggest that maybe the author of Mark didn't intend his book to be understood as a work of nonfiction? 00:29:44: Isn't the Genesis "tree of knowledge" story an authoritarian device to inhibit the quest of finding morality by reason and evidence? 00:36:23: Can you give us a historical overview of Fundamentalism, explaining where it comes from and esp. touching on the importance of The Fundamentals, a series of pamphlets written (I think) in 1915 or so? 00:43:35: What is the apologist explanation for the different genealogies listed in Matthew and Luke? 00:46:36: Doesn't 1 Cor 15:16-19 (Douay-Rheims) reveal the ultimate self-serving contingency for any belief in Christianity? 00:51:32: Was the job of a prophet different in the Bible from how we conceive of it now? 00:58:57: Didn't Mary's blood taint Jesus? According to certain traditions, that the father is the one who passes down the sin via the blood. Why is this? 01:04:16: Might the suffering-servant pericope of Isaiah 53 be a post-Christian interpolation into the text? 01:07:22: The New Testament was written in Greek and not in Jesus' and his followers' native language, Aramaic. People assume that the disciples either wrote the gospels themselves, or gave their testimony directly to the gospel writers. But why would educated Greek authors give the time of day to an old Hebrew peasant? 01:16:32: Do arguments for an early date for the 4th Gospel arise because conservative Christians want to defend the idea that author of John could have been the beloved disciple and actually known Jesus? 01:21:22: A typical apologist may say, "The bible tells us a wonderful story that we know is true! How? The events in the gospels show Jesus really died and rose!" Do you find that most apologetics uses this type of formula as well? Do you think critical scholarship will overtake this type of dogmatic scholarship that seems so prevalent in this country today? 01:29:35 What counts as an original manuscript and evaluations of Glen Beck et al and their scoffing at scholarly academia? 01:43:49: The existence of the double tradition by itself does not prove the likelihood of a Q source. The simplest explanation would be that Luke copied text directly from Matthew or vice versa. You say the textual evidence implies a more neutral original version that both Matthew and Luke tinkered with independently for their own purposes. Could you say more about how we know that and give a couple examples of tell-tale pericopes? 01:51:48: How does the Q model relate to the hypothesis of a Marcionite Ur-Lucas? What if "Mark" wrote out his gospel, lost it, then rewrote it from memory but with slight unintentional alterations, and that was the document that got distributed? Which one would have been inspired? 01:57:01: The crossing the Jordan as a metaphorical reference to a now unknown ritual. 02:03:56: The Politically Correct Bible etext has been proofread and submitted to

August 5th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 6, 2013 1:55:26


00:00:00: Bible News. David's summer palace and a piece of the true cross! 00:03:45: Was there a Jewish messianic tradition before Christianity? 00:13:13: Brandon's portrait of the historical Jesus as a Zealot as the most convincing portrait of a historical Jesus. 00:20:51: The tale of Elisha and the bears as a celestial myth or allegory re Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. Could the number of children refer to 42 days? If so, what event or holiday or festival would it refer to? 00:22:53: Could the business about all people and animals in Jericho being "devoted" imply human sacrifice to God? 00:25:05: It strikes me in reading Matthew that Jesus is advocating so called "works righteousness." How do apologists deal with this? 00:35:17: Might the "Theophilus" mentioned in the beginning of Luke's Gospel be Theophilus of Antioch? 00:36:50: John Shelby Spong: midrash and claims that the gospels were written to replace the traditional readings from the Hebrew Scriptures for Jewish liturgy. Is there any truth to the idea? 00:44:35: Catholic Church spin-offs in Poland. 00:50:01: How might Christianity have originated in Alexandria, Egypt? 00:52:31: What does it mean when in Luke 1:38 Mary refers to herself as the "handmaid of the Lord"? A reading from The Infancy Gospel of James. 01:00:51: Which print books are still available directly from Dr. Price? What is the evidence that the fiery hell of scripture is based on the geography of Sicily? 01:18:28: Is Matthew 5:17-20 a blanket endorsement of Torah Law? What does "fulfill" here mean? Is there a valid textual basis for distinguishing between the "Moral Laws" vs. "Cultural Laws" in the Old Testament, or are these an ad hoc attempts to harmonize the text with modern morals? Has the emergence of secular normative/applied ethics within academia essentially killed the need for organized religion? 01:34:00: I once persuaded a doubting friend to return to the faith. Since I lost my own, I ran into him, and he asked where I was attending church. Should I have answered truthfully? 01:38:23: On the essence and impetus of creativity. Christopher Hitchens said that there was probably a historical Jesus since the gospels seem to have to dance around certain stubborn facts and were not free to make things up freely. Valid? Do you have an opinion on Dinesh D'Souza's apologetics? How do scholars know that there are at least two Isaiahs? Why would they have been combined and what are the differences between the two writers? 01:48:43: In John 21:22 (the Johannine appendix) Jesus tells Peter that if he decides that John should not die then it shouldn't matter one way or the other to Peter. Then in verse 23 there is a strange comment that people misunderstood Jesus' intent and that John could actually die although it subsequently never says that he did actually did die. Was it arranged like this because early Christians originally believed that "John" wouldn't die and then, when he did so, they had to rationalize it?

July 31st The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 1, 2013 1:07:11


00:00:00: The Human Bible podcast September 2013 cancellation notice. 00:01:20: In Mark 16:8 the author seems to be trying to introduce some new feature of the Jesus story, as if to explain why no one had heard it till now. Might it have been the resurrection itself? 00:05:00: Was there a distinction between "authors" who originated works and "copyists" who endeavored to reproduce them? Is the term "scribe" roughly equivalent to "copyist"? Did redactors and interpolators covertly alter works while purporting to copy? Was it expensive to produce written works? Who paid for the creation and copying of manuscripts? Were there rich patrons? And did they have the works spin-doctored to suit their preferences? 00:12:34: Can texts be dated by the rate of accumulation of alterations in their manuscripts? 00:14:56: When Paul speaks of his trip to the Third Heaven in 2 Cor 12:1-10, might the third person reference refer to the visionary beholding his spirit-double? 00:22:21: Bertrand Russell says that sections of the "Sermon on the Mount" were borrowed from Hillel the Elder. Didn't such borrowing invite the criticism that the Son of God had nothing new to say? 00:28:20: When did crude literalism replace allegorical exegesis? 00:30:28: About how easy it is to get sucked into a faith simply by how churches look and the ceremony of the mass. 00:35:17: When did Moses realize he was a Hebrew? 00:36:51: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." What do you think of the suggestion that "camel" is a mistranslation from the Aramaic for "rope"? 00:43:04: According to what scripture does Christ rise on the third day, as asserted by 1 Corinthians 15 and Luke 24? Are either or both referring to Jonah 1:7, to Hosea 6:2, or to something else? What is the connection in Galatians 3:13 between Jesus bearing the curse of the Law by hanging on the "tree" and the opening of the household of faith to gentiles? 00:47:56: Question about the failed prophecy by Jesus vs. nonliteral apocalyptic imagery regarding destruction of Jerusalem in Matthew 16:28, Matthew 24:34 etc. from a debate between Richard Carrier and Douglas Jackoby on the topic: "Jesus Christ: Son of God or Apocalyptic Prophet?". 00:52:00: A good book one could read as a primer on the subject of Israelite polytheism? 00:53:00: On Burton Mack's rejection of the Roman origin of Mark's Gospel for a Syrian one. 00:58:23: Lay Bible studies tend to zero in on only a couple of verses with no regard for context. Is this why they don't notice contradictions? 01:00:50: Best explanation for the story of Pilate offering to free either Jesus Christ or Jesus Barabbas, aka Jesus son of the father? Doesn't the existence of apocryphal gospels provide a clear example of how, through a combination of legend, embellishment, and attempts at harmonization, the story of Jesus at the very least took on mythic characteristics, even in the canonical gospels?

July 28th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jul 29, 2013 1:03:14


00:00:00: Revisions to the texts coming up for the Human Bible New Testament. 00:01:50: If King David was created as an ideal ruler, why would his creators have him commit such serious sins? 00:06:50: Several scholars now question the existence of the E source, attributing it instead to J. What is your impression? Does the JEDP hypothesis enjoy a wide consensus in the scholarly community? Are there any serious rival theories? Similarities with the various source-critical theories about the New Testament. 00:17:01: Why do apologists say Matthew and Luke are independent attestations to the apparent historical events in the Gospels when Matthew and Luke are basically edited copies of Mark? The so-called the Griesbach hypothesis and whether it constitutes a sensible rival theory to the Two-Document Hypothesis. 00:26:28: Does Mark 13 presuppose the destruction of Jerusalem or not? Where do most scholars stand on this issue? 00:28:15: Was the "piss against the wall" just a common way in Early Modern England of saying men folk? 00:30:10: Are the three similar Genesis stories of the Patriarch passing off his wife as his sister just a case of the details of the same story getting mixed up till we end up with 3 almost identical stories, or was this just a common motif? 00:37:01: Are S.G.F. Brandon's books, e.g., "Jesus and the Zealots" taken seriously by other scholars? 00:41:30: Doesn't some church father mention the episode of James being stoned to death? 00:45:44: You gave examples from other religions of a Satan-like character, e.g., Zoroastrianism, but I'm wondering if there are examples of "satans," i.e., Satan-like characters that function more like lower-level God's helpers, in other religions. 00:47:15: Why is the King James Bible held in such high regard by many Fundamentalist and Pentecostal Christians? 00:55:22: Doesn't adoptionism, the idea that God chooses a devoted and sinless man as his human son, make much more sense when trying to square Christianity with its original Jewish context?

July 24th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jul 25, 2013 1:35:56


00:00:00: Dr. Price comments on Khirbet Qeiyafa. 00:01:46: On Dibelius, who argues that the Passion story was originally formed as a continuous narrative, and Bultmann, who argues rather that the passion narrative was built up through a process of the accretion of individual units of tradition. 00:09:42: About the mechanism by which scribes could expect to get away with making gross textual changes without getting called out on it. 00:11:30: What "law" is being referenced in 1 Cor 14:34? 00:20:54: Does the Geek have any knowledge of a recent phenomenon where Muslims are becoming Christians by the thousands. 00:22:30: Who copied the OT before the Masoretic scribes took the job in about the 7th century AD? 00:26:58: Doesn't the use of the older form of the name "Nebuchadnezzar" in Daniel vitiate the argument against traditional dating/authorship of Daniel? 00:31:44: I know that Muslims and Mormons claim there are prophecies of Muhammad or Joseph Smith in the Bible, but I've only heard of a few. Do you know of any other religious or cult leaders, ancient or modern, who claim to have fulfilled dozens of prophecies in the Bible? 00:38:13: One of the arguments for Markan priority is that while Mark is shorter than Matthew or Luke, in many passages it looks as though the later authors cleaned up the language to make it more succinct. But it seems just as likely that Mark might have added words to Matthew and Luke because he was more verbose. Why not? 00:46:56: Why are the major religions of today referred to as "Abrahamic" religions? 00:48:12: Re the powers of inscribed arrow heads in OT times. 00: 52:40: In the pre-Christian Gnosticism the name Jesus was perceived as a personified Aion name. Since the name means not simply "salvation," but "Yahweh is salvation," would this imply a Jewish Yahwistic form of Gnosticism? 00:55:20: Might the command to "turn the other cheek" be derived from Isaiah, chapter 50? "I gave my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard." 00:57:58: When did the idea arise in Judaism that the behavior of the Jews could bring about the arrival of Moshiach? 01:02:42: The goat of Azazel. Jesus in the desert and Jesus Barabbas. 01:04:20: Is the Martian Manhunter a closer analogue to Jesus than Superman? 01:08:11: On John 14:2? "In my Father's house are many rooms [or mansions]. If it were not so, I would have told you." Why does Jesus make a point of "if it were not so," as if the disciples think he's lying? 01:11:01: Is Form Criticism fatally circular? 01:23:57: About so-called biblical predictions which don't seem to be called predictions until after the fact in interpretive hindsight. 01:30:07: Who are the most infamous "axe-grinding apologists" in the history of biblical scholarship?

July 21st The Bible Geek Podcast

Jul 22, 2013 1:20:26


00:00:00: World War Z and Whybray's contention that there was but one Pentateuchal compiler, not four earlier ones? 00:03:53: Another listener's religious journey story, speaking in tongues, Ken Wilbur's spiritual Pentacostal "peak experiences," etc. 00:12:10: People who came to reject their fundamentalist beliefs because of exposure to a more educated approach to the Bible or religion. 00:16:28: Was William James right in saying that people hold their religious beliefs based on experience, failing to see that logically it does not validate any beliefs? 00:22:42: More about "pisseth against the wall," "in your wheelhouse," how to pronounce "Ehrman," and "migraine auras." 00:32:40: Why would the authors/redactors of Matthew and Luke drop the Mark 16 reference to Peter? And why would the author/redactor of Mark feel the need to mention Peter specifically, but not mention any other disciples by name? 00:37:40: Is Philippians 2:5-11 a reversal of Isaiah 14? And why interpret "in the form of God" as "in a celestial realm"? How are we to make sense of the idea that "Jesus" is the "name above all names"? 00:47:16: Halibut in Life of Brian and piety. 00:49:19: Neitzsche and the self. Isn't body-soul dualism one of the biggest risks of belief? The idea of part of the person surviving death seems to me to disintegrate the wholeness of the Self in this very life. 01:00:03: Is there sufficient reason to maintain the classical form-critical axiom of an oral-traditional basis for gospel pericopae? 01:05:30: Is it possible that when Paul gets his revelation of Jesus from the scriptures it has nothing to do with the Old Testament? Could the scriptures that Paul refers to be something non-canonical? 01:09:50: Is it possible that Jesus actually didn't have physical brothers or sisters but an inner circle that only later became understood as his family? 01:11:44: How badly were the gospels added to once they first appeared? What metaphor that describes the process of fragmentary sources leading to coherent written texts fits best?

July 15th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jul 16, 2013 1:03:52


00:00:00: Is there any evidence that Polycarp existed and, if so, when was the text describing his alleged martyrdom composed? 00:04:55: How early a phenomenon do you think Gnosticism is, for it to have proceeded Orthodox Christianity? Is it possible for us to know for sure that Gnosticism as a movement came first? 00:08:51: What does the Bible say about self-defense? 00:17:20: How do Creationists reconcile their belief in two original humans with mentions of others clearly living at the same time? 00:22:32: If New Testament writings are anonymous and even pious frauds, how can they be trustworthy for moral guidance, etc.? Is there any rabbinic attestation of Jesus anywhere near the time of Jesus? Is the whole process of engaging with intellectual Christians worth the trouble? 00:36:30: During Christianity's early years, it was pushed and pulled in different directions in response to many big ideas. And yet the synoptics make it through 300 years with the original synoptic structure intact, so that we can still see how Matthew and Luke started with Mark and added their own bits. Does this commonality give much support for those that argue that the gospels have not been changed with time? 00:38:31: Is the HarperCollins Study Bible, NRSV (1993), with notes written by the Society of Biblical Literature a worthwhile resource? 00:40:13: Can you discuss Justin Martyr, his lack of use of the Pauline corpus and how we should use his apologies to date the Pauline Epistles? 00:46:12: More information about the old biological missteps of original Darwinism: they do not contradict the modern form of the theory. 00:49:53: praise from a believing listener for the Bible Geek's efforts and their extended faith journey narrative. 01:05:50: $15 a piece for autographed print books (they're going fast). A request from Dr. Price: please email suggestions for a title for a new New Testament ebook, based on the 27 canonical books extrapolated and revised from his The Pre-Nicene NT.

July 12th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jul 13, 2013 1:15:20


00:00:00: In Matthew 15:24 Jesus first refuses to heal the Canaanite woman's daughter on principle but then relents. Why? 00:12:27: Has there ever been a case of child protective services removing children from a home where parents teach them to be (neurotically) afraid of Hell? 00:15:45: What is the Old Testament view on hand-to-hand fighting / combat that might occur naturally among young men? 00:19:07: What's going on in the Transfiguration? 00:25:00: Do you think that biblical studies increase intelligence and provide valuable tools for looking at other fields? 00:27:16: Do you think that Jesus was originally written with the Messiah ben Joseph in mind rather than Messiah ben David? 00:33:50: Do the two goats from Leviticus 16 have anything to do with Jesus Barabbas being released? 00:37:20: Isn't the "Jesus Barabbas" story as much a conundrum for mythicists as it is for historicists? Why two Jesuses on stage together? 00:41:27: Why do Acts 5:30 and 10:39 say that Jesus was hung on a tree? 00:45:32: Who are the two witnesses of Revelation intended to be? 00:49:00: In the KJV, 1 Kings 16:11 uses the phrase: "And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends." Does that just mean that all of the men were killed? 00:51:09: Re the doctrine of immaculate conception of Virgin Mary: if it was that easy to say that Mary was born without sin, why not just say that Jesus was born without sin? The earliest Christian writings don't even emphasize his sinlessness as important, e.g., Mark's baptism of Jesus scene. 00:56:03: Translations differ as to whether the Sodom mob wanted to know the strangers or to rape them. Is this a matter of textual variations? 01:04:09: Fantasy and superhero films are very popular, but even most of these viewers still vilify readers of comics, etc., as geeks and nerds. Why? A rundown of what actions of Jesus resemble the powers of what specific superheroes.

July 6th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jul 7, 2013 1:36:23


00:00:00: Does Matthew 18 say to forgive seventy-seven or seventy-times-seven times? What is the origin of the idea that Adam and Eve were incapable of reproduction prior to eating the forbidden fruit? 00:06:48: Is there any evidence for Jehovah's Witnesses' belief that Jesus was killed not on a cross but rather on a torture stake? 00:08:50: Re the Christology in the Gospels as not making sense in light of the Christ Myth theory, is it plausible that the notion of Jesus the man being "possessed" by Christ at his baptism might have been the original understanding? 00:10:50: Is there any evidence that the early Christian fathers tried to create and enforce a single meta-gospel in order to prevent literate believers from noticing the discrepancies between the four that were eventually canonized? Why have so many religious belief systems with a concept of the Divine Feminine occur in horribly misogynistic cultures? 00:16:38: Western Christians think that as soon as someone dies, they immediately go up to be with Jesus. Is there any actual scriptural support for believing such a thing? 00:22:28: Do you believe scientific theories are comparable to the 'probability' judgment of historical research? Is it ethical to overstate the facts than give 1 inch to bible-thumpers? 00:30:21: Is it possible to translate Colossians 1:23 as "not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard -- the gospel which is proclaimed in all creation under heaven," i.e., to avoid the suggestion that in Paul's day everyone on Earth had the gospel preached to them already? 00:32:57: How does Ezekiel's temple fit into any Jewish or Christian theology? Is anybody expecting it to actually be built someday? 00:35:10: End Times: was Sadat the Anti-Christ? 00:36:00 What's the deal with The Human Bible? 00:37:27: Why do some translations of 2 Samuel 21:19 have the "brother of Goliath" and others have "Goliath"? 00:38:38: Re the tradition of Mary's perpetual virginity, was it not thought by some that Jesus had relatives? How did these traditions not come into conflict with each other? Did they just consider his brothers/sisters to be step relatives? 00:42:59: To what extent was the transition from an early mythological/divine Christ to the human Jesus of the synoptics motivated by the demands of monotheism? 00:46:32: Has reading Margaret Barker influenced Geek's views on the origins of Christianity or motivated any revisions thereto? Which of her books is the best to start with? Was the author of Mark the original creator of the Christ myth? Might the epistles of Peter have been written by leaders in Rome (or Antioch) under the "authority" of Peter and were not pious fraud? Whence the ascription of the Psalms to David and Ecclesiastes to Solomon? 00:53:49: Were David and Jonathan gay? 00:56:42: Advice on differing and shifting religious beliefs within a family and church attendance 01:04:08: You said that at the time of Jesus anybody could have been Davidic; isn't this proven by the action of Herod? He killed ALL children, not just the Davidics. 01:05:15: How would you respond to James D.G. Dunn's argument in defense of Pauline authorship? 01:08:31: What are your favorite fictional depictions of Jesus, and why? 01:10:33: What is the answer to your question (on page 395 of _The Christ Myth Theory And Its Problems_) on how Couchoud knows the sacred name was Joshua instead of Jesus? 01:12:13: What does "in the image of God" actually mean, in the light of intelligent beings elsewhere? 01:24:23: Is there any reason to doubt the authenticity of the book of Nehemiah as a historical memoir? 01:25:55: Why no attention to the contradictory lists of the returned exiles in Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7?

June 30th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jul 1, 2013 1:02:27


00:00:00: Do the Gospels post-date and make use of Josephus? 00:05:33: Price says that if Jesus was not a physical descendant of David but was adopted into the family, he could not inherit the throne. But many of the Roman emperors inherited the throne just this way, through adoption. Could this fact be used to defend Jesus' right to David's throne? 00:07:48: What does Paul mean by the phrase "Day of the Lord"? What are the main arguments that apologists use to defend Pauline authorship of both 1 and 2 Thessalonians and why does the Geek think their arguments are flawed? 00:13:38: On the merits of "faking it" (belief in religion and God) to maintain one's status and possessions (much like Job). 00:20:46: What we should make of 1 Cor 15:35-41, where Paul notes that different creatures possess different types of flesh, followed by his distinction between "heavenly bodies" and "earthly bodies"? 00:24:21: What to make of striking parallels between Jeremiah, Isaiah 53, and Jesus? 00:30:25: If Jesus was part human or had any human attributes, mustn't he have been born in original sin? If so, how does his dying sacrifice cleanse all of us sinners? How human does the church want Jesus to be? 00:35:56: The book The Three Messiahs by Daniel Unterbrink, which identifies "Jesus" as Judas of Galilee. 00:44:00: Was Jesus' sacrifice supposed to be like the ones seen in the Hebrew scriptures? How so, if he didn't permanently die? Is there an actual connection in terms of sacrificial elements in the death of Jesus with OT elements? Did first century Jews and Gentiles make a connection between Jesus' death and the death of a scapegoat? Is there a movement away from bloody soteriology among today's Christians? 00:55:38: Luke Timothy Johnson defends the Pauline authorship of Pastorals, and explains away many other contradictions from all the letters besides, by arguing that Paul did not write his letters single-handedly, but that he worked amongst a group of associates who did the actual writing. This means, Johnson argues, that Paul authorized all his letters even though he may not have written them first-hand, and that is why different points of view and even contradictory positions emerge. 00:58:10: The Hindu god Budha and the Buddha, founder of Buddhism.

June 27th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jun 28, 2013 1:33:36


00:00:00: Pulver's Horror Anthology available containing a Price story ("The Holiness of Desolation"). Discounted print books still available from Dr. Price ($15 each). The Historical Bejeezus is available via and a new version of Latterday Scripture. Look for The Politically Incorrect Bible soon. 00:05:12: Mark has the Spirit descend "into" Jesus, unlike Matthew and Luke who have "upon" Jesus. What is the lexical and/or manuscript basis of this? 00:08:28: What do you think of the apologists' claim that the gospels must be accurate because the disciples would have prevented embellishments? 00:16:32: Goodacre's case against Q. Price has not studied his arguments. 00:18:18: Apart from some scribal interpolations, could the seven Pauline epistles that many scholars believe are authentic have been written by the same author? 00:19:42: Why in 2 Corinthians 12:2-5 does Paul refer to himself in the third person as the man caught up to the third heaven? Does this reference to the third heaven presuppose a cosmology where the third heaven is highest, or is it part of a seven-heaven cosmology? 00:27:51: Did any early Christian writers notice the paucity of the post-resurrected Jesus in the narrative and address it or attempt to fill it? Are there any extra-biblical writings that describe the events of the 40 (or more) post-resurrection days? If so, does the theology of Jesus change post-resurrection? 00:37:13: Has the "fine-tuning" argument only arisen in response to atheists mounting a scientific critique of religion? Or have people throughout history been making the "science proves God" argument? 00:42:29: If intelligent extraterrestrials were proven to exist, would some Christian groups consider their faith disproven? 00:49:27: Margaret Barker makes the case that the Jews once thought of Jehovah as a secondary god. She shows how the Gnostics had a similar understanding, that Jehovah was the Demiurge, inferior to God the Father whom Jesus spoke about. But if Jesus were Jehovah, as she believes, this would make him the despised Demiurge, wouldn't it? 00:52:02: Comments on the critique by Charles Wanamaker of Walter Schmithals's theory that 1 Thessalonians was actually put together from four original letters. 00:59:30: Is physician-assisted suicide consistent with Christian ethics? Does Greek grammar prove that Titus 2:13 ('our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ') refers to ONE individual? Was there any real purpose for placing Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in that order? Where is the verse in Acts that mentions Paul being barred from going to Pontus by the Holy Spirit? Re: what Jesus says to the early church: Mark 13:13 says that he who endures to the end without renouncing Christ will be saved, but the next verse says that once you see the abomination of desolation, then run. What does Mark want the reader to do? And why does Mark envision the attackers going after people loyal to Christ, if this is either the 70 CE or 135 CE revolt? 01:22:14: Various "Names of God" in the Bible vs. there being only one proper name for the God of Israel: Jehovah or Yahweh. The terms Lord or God are not names; they are titles. Am I missing something? 01:29:09: What is your opinion of Joseph Campbell's research on comparative mythology? Send more Human Bible questions.

June 23rd The Bible Geek Podcast

Jun 24, 2013 1:03:08


00:00:00: If you think the so-called undisputed letters were not written by any single author but were pieced together from works by several Paulinists or Marcionites, when do you think it happened? If the early Church first thought of Jesus as divine, what would make them want to demote him to a human figure, which would be such a hugely radical change to their religion? 00:12:15: Is capital punishment consistent with Christian principles? 00:14:40: Geek's take on Hebrews: it's author, it's theology, and where it 'fits' with the rest of the New Testament. And is it adoptionistic? Re: the phrase "agony of death" in Acts 2:24, does the author believe death is a physically painful state? Might Pentecost be some kind of anti-Babel? 00:30:20: Is Mark 16:8 referring to Gen 18:15 LXX? In Gen 18:15 God has told Abraham that Sarah is going to have a son and she laughs at God. God accuses her of laughing at him and she denies it, and then the text says "á¼?Ï?οβήθη γάÏ?" "She was afraid for" and the sentence ends. They are exactly the same words as Mark's ending except third person singular instead of plural. 00:36:30: What is the evidence for a second century date for the gospels? 00:38:22: Did Josephus' War 3.8.1; 3.9.6. influence the gospel writers? 00:41:40: What are your thoughts on Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason"? Specifically, his claim that the biblical use of the words "prophet" and "prophecy" actually should translate into "poet" and "poetry". Is he correct? How relevant is Paine in the current world of biblical criticism? 00:46:29: I have heard you express umbrage toward the approach of modern atheists like Richard Dawkins. Could you expand on your dislike for his views and what you think the pros and cons of his work are? 00:50:15: What if Christianity was a Trojan Horse religion started by the Romans to undermine Jewish rebellion? What is the craziest conspiracy theory Geek has ever heard concerning Jesus Resurrection? 00:54:10: Is it taught in any churches that Jesus only had limited knowledge and hence such obviously unacceptable statements as the exhortation to self-castration in this passage can be ignored? Isn't this view an example of the Arian Heresy, that Jesus was not fully God? In any case, doesn't a rejection of even a single one of Jesus' statements (as conditioned by the incarnation) call them all into question? Does Jesus' call to 'eat my flesh and drink my blood' stem from primitive cannibal rituals?

June 17th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jun 18, 2013 56:30


00:00:00: If Jesus was born and walked among us, died on the cross and then was resurrected, wouldn't His resurrection count as His "2nd coming?" 00:09:41: Dangers of fundamentalism in Christianity vs. dangers of New Age and pseudo-Buddhism? 00:18:00: If Marcion collected Paul's epistles and tied a gospel to them, Paul must have written them in the mid-first century. But if Marcion wrote the epistles, then the epistles were written in the second century. If the latter is true, why did Marcion use a gospel narrative if Paul speaks of a celestial Jesus? 00:24:45: Joseph B. Tyson, in The New Testament and Early Christianity, says we have large quantities of material after the period of 30-70 CE because Christians recognized that the eyewitness period was over, so they began to write everything down. Thoughts? 00:27:49: If the New Testament doesn't actually refer to Christ's descent into Hades, whence came the idea that "Christ descended into Hell"? 00:33:29: Reading When God Talks Back by T.M. Luhrmann. 00:35:50: Why are the Ten Commandments placed above the rest of the Levitical and Deuteronomic Laws? 00:43:40: Is John the Baptist attested in contemporary Jewish sources? And what of apologists' claims that Jesus is not thus attested because Jews censored all such references? Is there any evidence as to how Jewish writers of the time did respond to claimants to the role of Messiah, "Son of Man", "King of the Jews", "anointed one" and prophet status in general?

June 16th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jun 17, 2013 1:09:24


00:00:00: Historicity of Paul and the authenticity of the Pauline corpus. 00:06:20: Usage of "agape" in Corinthians 13. 00:12:26: Geek's choice or time periods to visit and historical events to witness. 00:14:12: Case that the Holy Spirit is not a person but refers to the "power of God" vs. Margaret Barker equating the Holy Spirit with Wisdom, the Queen of Heaven. 00:22:06: Precedents for sophisticated use of the physiology of pregnancy as an allegory for the Garden of Eden in the Great Declaration of Simon Magus 00:23:46: Significance of Simon Magus' description of the Father, Son, and Holy Spit, as his appearances to the Samaritans, Jews, and Gentiles, respectively? Is this just an uncanny anticipation of the Trinitarian prayer formula? 00:30:11: Might Matthew's reworking of Mark's account of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, in which Jesus is described as awkwardly straddling two animals be intended as parody? Are there any jokes in the Bible, or any disputed passages that might have been read as humorous by the original readers? 00:40:06: The angel tells Joseph, "The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means, 'God with us'" in Matthew 1:24. Richard Carrier finds a possible solution in a chiastic counterpoint: "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20). 00:45:00: Why doesn't Luke using Matthew as its source instead of the mysterious Q, not solve any problems? 00:53:26: Geek's reflections upon the Jordan Codices. 00:54:54: Was the transition between polytheistic and monotheistic Judaism mostly organic, or was the evolving orthodoxy guided and policed from the top-down? 00:57:37: Could a mystery religion could survive in today's promiscuous information landscape? 01:00:31: At what point did Christianity achieve a professional priest class? 01:01:47: What was the deliberative process and what were the politics at the first ecumenical councils? 01:05:01: What does the term "hermeneutics" mean in Biblical studies? And, what has "hermeneutics" come to mean in the philosophy of knowledge?

June 11th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jun 12, 2013 1:50:56


00:00:45: When you see people "speaking in tongues" today it's just a bunch of gibberish, but when you read about it in the Bible, they're speaking real languages that other people can understand. How do such modern-day practitioners justify speaking gibberish instead of real languages? 00:09:45: Are there examples, other than the many flood myths, of parallel myths that seem to have originated independently in widely scattered cultures? In 1 Samuel 5, is the statue of Dagon that falls before the Ark of the Lord a statue of a merman? Or did this portrayal of Dagon come after the Biblical narrative? 00:28:10: Is the Geek familiar with the Swaminarayan sampradaya? Are there are examples of historical rulers or gurus declaring themselves divine and setting up their own idols? 00:29:43: Why does Leviticus consider houses susceptible to "leprosy"? 00:31:50: Where did Aaron come from? 00:34:55: Might the Christian Satan be a vilification of the Promethean serpent of Gnosticism, originally a (heretical) wisdom giver? 00:42:34: Are there shameless examples of intentional mistranslation in the Bible that really bother you? 00:50:00: Could the biblical numbers 3, 12, 40, etc., be astrological, the same way 365 years for Enoch are? Why do apologists say there can be no mass hallucinations (i.e., of the risen Jesus) yet reject the apparitions of Mary? Why did any Jew believe in any resurrection? It does not seem to be implied in the OT anywhere! Which is a better explanation of the Gerasene Demoniac story: borrowing from Homer, or reference to the Roman Legion X Fretensis (their symbol, the boar) which participated in the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, and garrisoned Jerusalem after the rebellion? How much of our Luke belongs to the original Marcionite version? Matthias Klinghardt's proposal that scholars should think about integrating Marcion's gospel into the Synoptic problem? What if Mark is a later product, crafted as a tight, concise story from other gospels known to him? And in that case, what kind of theological sect would have written Mark? Marcionite? The oft-heard acclamation 'Jesus is alive!' does not seem to appear in the NT. Might it be a hybrid of the NT "The Lord is risen" with the OT term "the living God"? 01:20:10: You hold that archaeology shows that Nazareth was not occupied during Jesus' time. Bart Ehrman says Mythicists are just making that up. How can the two of you differ so widely? It is commonly said that the view of Jesus in Paul's epistles is fundamentally different from that in the Gospels. But S.G.F. Brandon argues that the conception of Jesus presented in Mark, i.e. that Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah but a universal savior of all mankind, is a fundamentally Pauline conception. 01:27:35: Is Mark's Jesus a divine being, or not? 01:31:05: Is it true that the practice of reading the Bible literally is a relatively recent phenomenon? 01:35:12: I have always taken the appearances of Jesus after his resurrection to mean that people saw "Jesus" in people who carried on Jesus' qualities. Anything to this? 01:38:52: Criticisms of Richard Carrier, D.M. Murdock, and William Lane Craig. 01:42:49: Does the Geek realize that expressing his views re the Bible would get the amount of criticism he has received from mainstream scholars? Has the Geek ever considered going against his current public views in order to get back into teaching and making money on the side of God? 01:46:20: Bart Ehrman as a scholar compared to scholars Geek admires?

June 6th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jun 7, 2013 1:32:22


Mark 1:10 says that the spirit descended "into" Jesus as a dove, while Matthew and Luke in their parallel passages say that the spirit descended "upon" Jesus as a dove. The chiastic structures of Mark provides a literary reason that Mark used "into". What do you think of Margaret Barker's theory that at the Last Supper Jesus, as the priest-king of David's line, was acting as the high priest and vicar of Jehovah, renewing the Yom Kippur blood sacrifice, which rejuvenated the Earth? Does the Bible actually say that the saved go to heaven when they die? Wouldn't it make more sense to get fundamentalists to recognize the circularity of their epistemology than to try to hammer home a list of biblical contradictions? What is the point of the Genesis story of Lot's drunkenness and incestuous relations? Does it make sense to consider 1 Thess. 2:14-16 an interpolation if we drop the notion that the rest of 1 Thessalonians is authentic? Is it still possible to argue that based on internal evidence? What arguments can you muster for a second century date for 1 Thessalonians? Frequently Bible translators substitute a character's name for a generic pronoun. Does the Greek make it clear who the pronoun is referring to? Or are the editors just making the most probable suggestion based on context, for the sake of clarity in English? And are there any places in the Bible where you feel an ambiguous pronoun is often interpreted as referring to the wrong person? Does the saved by grace alone vs. works problem represent a split in the early doctrine of salvation, or does it have a more modern origin? How biblically based is the prosperity gospel (e.g. God wants believers to be rich)?

June 4th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jun 5, 2013 1:35:36


What is going on with Paul's schizophrenic baptismal history in 1 Corinthians 1:14-16? What is the connection (if any) between the Gospels' Nicodemus and the historical Nicodemus ben Gurion? Did the Christians co-opt Nicodemus ben Gurion into the religion like John the Baptist? What is it about theism that requires idealist metaphysics? You said that Jews opposed polytheism because of Paganism, and not vice versa. Please clarify the difference. Couldn't Jesus have had both Davidic and Levitical ancestors? What is the oldest descendent of David even minimalists accept as historical? How would one explain a recent ancestor of well known kings being mythical? You've mentioned that "prophecy and speaking in tongues get marginalized in favor of scripture." Coming from a Pentecostal church where prophecy and speaking in tongues are encouraged, this made me wonder what you were referring to in the Bible. Was there ever such a thing as an Empire wide census, as in Luke? Can you explain the theory that rejects the existence of a Q document and proposes an alternative relationship between the books of the Bible? If it were true, would it change anything about your own ideas? Is there still a debate over whether John uses the other gospels? Do you know why the phrase "And it came to pass" was used so often in the King James and what it corresponds to in the Hebrew? My professor suggested that the curse on Eve referred not to labor pains but to a mother's eventual sorrows for her suffering or slain children. Legit? Is the Western Text of Acts in Greek or Latin? Is it older or more recent than the "main" text of Acts? What does it mean for the rest of the New Testament? Margaret Barker thinks that the Tree of Life represents Wisdom, which Adam is cut off from when he eats the forbidden fruit. But isn't it obvious Wisdom is "the knowledge of good and evil"? Could it be that Paul is referring to the book we know as Revelation in Galatians 1:11-12? Fairness of The Geek's take on UU-ism. Why? The "flight to Pella" tradition - a fabrication created by Eusebius, or do is there some historical truth to it? The problematic statement from Jesus to the Canaanite Woman (Matthew 15:26). Is it bigotry?

May 31st The Bible Geek Podcast

Jun 1, 2013 1:13:55


Walter Bauer says that Revelation is anti-Paul as it omits any mention of Paul among the apostles. Couldn't this argument be turned into one in in favor of a very early date for S. John's Revelation? Take a look at Aryan Sun-Myths: The Origin of All Religions by Sarah Elizabeth Ticomb (available from and Google Books as a free ebook). John Meier makes a sweeping condemnation of the whole Jesus-as-Zealot hypothesis on the grounds that "the Zealots, understood as an armed and organized group of Jewish revolutionaries fighting Rome... simply did not exist at the time of Jesus". Harold Lindsell's view that abandoning inerrancy causes other forms of backsliding or doctrinal corruption in a denomination. Re the Pope's remarks on the salvation of atheists, are his conservative critics right that the practical effect of linking salvation to one's moral state rather than one's beliefs is in fact the wide scale dismissal of Christianity as a religion, once people have been assured that they're likely to go to heaven no matter their religion or lack thereof? What is the 'self commendation' of 2 Cor 3:1? And what does the whole passage mean by 'being manifested that you are a letter of Christ... written... with the spirit of the living god'? Is this a Marcionite text? Can we lump Marcion in as a Gnostic writer or was he preaching something unique? Might we read Genesis 32:24 as a recommendation to consider questions of theology with undaunting intellectual honesty? Are the letters of Pontius Pilate considered to be fakes? Margaret Barker suggests that Paul spent three years in Arabia was to study with the descendants of the Jewish priests who fled to Arabia during the purge of King Josiah and who still believed in the old time religion of the First Temple. Does this sound right? Does the Grail legend fit into the Gnostic labyrinth of secret knowledge?

May 26th The Bible Geek Podcast

May 27, 2013 1:58:11


Are orthodox Muslims following the teaching of Jesus (however irrelevant they are in contemporary western society) than most self-professed Christians, specifically when it comes to female modesty and lustful thoughts? Many Bible texts have people committing sin and multiple next generations being punished for it. Was the suffering seen as a necessary ingredient to make the later generations righteous again and was it their righteousness that appeased Yahweh, instead of their mere suffering? You say Mark appears to be a condensed text, just not of Matthew. Would the unexplained reference to "the insurrection" and the unheeded prediction of an appearance in Galilee at 14:28 be good examples? Does Mark 8:38-41 reflect the early rivalry of savior factions in formative Christianity? And does it bear on the Messianic secret? History of Biblical lexicons in relation to the doctrine of plenary inspiration? Does the "Kittel mentality" imply a kind of "deeper meaning" hermeneutic? Could you explain the concept of omniscience and its implications for Jesus? Did God put immortal and invulnerable worms in Hell to torment people? Does Thomas 29 have Jesus contemplating a naturalistic worldview? Just what were the demographics of 1st century Palestine? Were they all Jewish monotheists? So-called Messianic Secret and the beginnings of gnosticism. Is there a gnostic side to Mark's gospel? How might Robert Eisenman's explanation of the "name game" going on in the Gospels and Acts in order to play down Jesus' connection to his brothers fit with the Christ Myth theory? Might Jesus' denial of the Davidic descent of the Messiah imply Jesus and his family were not from the tribe of Judah (as the genealogies say) but were really Levites? What does 1 Cor. 7:14 mean when it says "the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy"? Salvation by another's faith? Is there a body of literature similar and contemporary to the canonical Christian scriptures, but that concerns figures other than Jesus? Can we glean any information about the historicity (or lack thereof) of Jesus from the apocryphal gospels? What do you make of the Jesus content in Tacitus' "Annals"? Are there histories from the period that should have included a supposedly prominent figure like Jesus, but for some "mysterious" reason do not? Is the dearth of non-Christian and/or non-canonical manuscripts due to destruction by orthodox believers? Is there an opportunity for a Bible study book for atheist and humanist children.

May 24th The Bible Geek Podcast

May 25, 2013 1:18:35


Would you give an overview of criminality or "crime control" from the perspective of the Biblical authors? Did anyone present a psychological perspective on what makes some people more wicked than others? Why is tax collection a sinful occupation, and, more importantly, why is it a sinful occupation that Jesus is willing to forgive? Do we have any records of *early* criticism by pagans or Jews pointing out biblical anachronisms? What might Jesus be writing in the Woman Taken in Adultery story from John 8? Serge Bardet's defense of the authenticity of the Testimonium Flavianum? What are a few of the strongest contradictions that would be most difficult to harmonize in the gospels and why? What are the most clear anachronisms in the gospels? Do you think any of the gospels are interested in giving us real history? Might a Christian be able to apply Bultmann's method to the scriptures while believing in philosophical theism thereby making the scriptures the spiritual-existential diaries of two cults; the Yahweh cult and the Jesus cult? Are there any liberal Pentecostals? Is there any evidence for full blown pre-Christian Gnosticism? Might certain issues that have never been resolved in Christian theology stem from the fact that modern orthodoxy is the result of the merging of the early Jewish church with Pauline Gnosticism? Particularly the continual debate between Calvinism and Arminianism. Was the Gospel of Mark was the product of the Christian community at Rome? How do apologists account for scribal redactions of the biblical manuscripts? If we are speaking about the inerrancy of the "originals", doesn't stuff like this count as evidence against it?

May 23rd The Bible Geek Podcast

May 24, 2013 19:10


Robert M. Price reads his review of Thomas B. Warren's book "Have Atheists Proved There Is No God?"

May 22nd The Bible Geek Podcast

May 23, 2013 55:16


If God steps in and answers a prayer, e.g., for a job promotion or simply being hired, isn't he messing with the free will of the people who decide such things? Bart Ehrman, on his blog, says he now believes that Paul thought that the pre-incarnate Jesus was an angel. What do you think? Some translations of Romans 10:17 have the concluding phrase as "word of God," others as "word of Christ." Does this reflect the use of different manuscripts? Where is government-sponsored religion equated with the anti-Christ in the Bible? According to "Beer Production by Throwing Bread into Water: a New Interpretaton of Qoh. XI 1-2" by Michael M. Homan (Vetus Testamentum, V. 52, Fasc, 2 (Apr 2002), pp. 275-278), the verse may refer to an ancient process of brewing the booze. Might this make new sense of the Noah stories? In the Pre Nicene NT you translate II Peter 1:9 "drinks from the Lethe." Why the allusions (cf also Tartartus) to ancient Greek mythology? Is there any mention of "no sex before marriage" in the Bible? Have Christians always thought that the world is going to hell in a handbasket? Is there something intrinsic to the Christian world view that makes Christians resist the idea that the time in which they are living -- whatever time that might be -- is a good time? Is there a theodicy apologetic to explain the many non-earth-shaking disappointments in life?

May 20th The Bible Geek Podcast

May 21, 2013 1:30:21


Does an actual legal Jewish precedent exist which uses the testimonial rule "by the mouth of two or three witnesses" (Deut. 19:15)? I was just wondering how one is supposed to attend a Christian church while also not believing in the crux of the whole thing - Jesus? How do you handle this dilemma? Was there anything in the original Pauline letters to indicate that Christ was thought of as a Jew? Could the name Marcion, 'little Mark' or perhaps Marky, signify some lesser state of manhood, such as nonpubescent eunuchism? Sanskrit pronunciation. How do we tell 'amendments' to documents apart from cases where opinions do seem to have been put into the mouth of Jesus in order to refute a particular view? Are there criteria, analogous to those for the historical Jesus, that can be used to determine which passages (if any) go back to Paul? Do you know of any scholars that are taken seriously (i.e. are not thought of as cranks) that believe something like a majority of the Gospels are historical? Is there a way for Jesus to be one person but both fully god and fully man without there being contradictions involved, or is the God-man simply an inherently self-refuting concept? What are some specific examples of biblical textual evidence for your belief that Paul didn't write certain letters attributed to him? In Luke 13:31-33, why does Luke say a prophet can't die outside of Jerusalem? And how does it make sense in light of the fact that John the Baptist had recently done just that? What prophets were killed by "Jerusalem," and how does Jerusalem have anything to do with Jesus allegedly being hunted by Herod Antipas, who had no jurisdiction over Jerusalem? When the Gerasene demoniac says "I am Legion," might this be based on Odysseus telling the Cyclops his name is "No man"? In what sense is a spaceless, timeless, immaterial Ground to be seen as "personal"? I'm not sure how faith can simultaneously be defined as the evidence that a hoped for and unseen thing, e.g. God, is true AND as the trust one has in that hoped for and unseen thing. What am I missing? In Isaiah 53, the suffering servant is said to refer to Israel (or "Jacob") and the speakers are Gentile kings speaking about the servant in the past tense (except for the last two verses, 53: 11-12, where Yahweh starts speaking again and the verses are in future tense). However in Isaiah 53:8 the text reads: "By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?" If the "he" is actually Israel, what does "my people" refer to? If it is still the Gentile kings speaking, you would expect "our people" or "our peoples". Does "Jacob" have something to do with this? Might the supposed 4-legged insect business in the Bible be a result simply of an unfamiliar taxonomy? You have discussed how these days fundamentalist Christians tend to be very friendly toward Jews and Judaism. I accept this may be true in general, but I wonder what you'd make of my experience, when I was taught, recently, that Jews have suffered so much because they rejected Jesus? What justification does one have in assuming that there MUST be a historical nucleus to an actual occurrence, as Henry Cadbury suggests for Christian origins? I cannot help but think Catholic Marian devotion is blatant polytheism. Why is it so difficult for religions to stay monotheistic? Mary Orr-Ewing argues for an early date for the gospels by appealing to an argument by Richard Bauckham comparing the statistical distribution of names amongst the gospels with those on 1st century Jewish graves. Have you looked into this argument?

May 14th The Bible Geek Podcast

May 15, 2013 1:34:20


Are the 1 Corinthians 13 references to mountain-moving faith and giving away possessions derived from the gospels or vice versa or some other alternative? Re the "scathing Amazon review of The Pre-Nicene NT" discussed in the April 27 "Bible Geek" podcast. Could you give examples of what's wrong with the NRSV? Aren't Daniel's 70 weeks and Isaiah 53 actual messianic texts? A series of Markan texts depict Jesus' crowds getting bigger, but is there another, symbolic reason for Jesus to be getting closer and closer to being in a boat and then being in a boat a lot until the middle of the gospel? Could you give us a quick summary of the history of apologetics? Question about Hosea's and Isaiah's childrens' names. Was this entire story understood as symbolism or was the practice of naming children like this common? I have heard you and others say that Esther may just be another version of the mythological character Ishtar. Is there a similar story about Ishtar as the one we read in Esther? You have talked about Colossians 1:24 where Paul says that he is filling up what was lacking in the afflictions of Christ. It reminded me of the puzzling story in Mark 10:35-45 where Jesus says that James and John will drink the same cup that he would. Did some early Christians believed that there was something salvific about suffering and martyrdom in general? Why was the Gospel of Thomas not included in or redacted into the New Testament? Were the gnostic teachings truly "secret;" is it thought they never preached on street corners or the like? Were Peter and Thomas common Aramaic names before the supposed time of Jesus? Or did their popularity only come in the wake of Christianity? Did Gnostics believe in Hell? Which of your books (or books in general) would you recommend to most fully begin to understand the Aramaic phrase "Son of Man"? I came across a book "Saul of Tarsus, or, Paul and Swedenborg by a Layman" which follows the Tubingen critics in identifying Paul and Simon Magus. Evangelicals claim unbelievers are sent to hell because of the "holiness of God." Does this make sense? How can proponents of the traditional view of Hell (being eternal torment) explain its absence in the Old Testament? What is going on in Revelation 20:14? Why would Hell be thrown into the lake of fire? Are death and hell literal people? I have been thinking about Rev. 13.8: Some say the "reckoning" of the number refers to numerology, not gematria. It may refer generically to an ultimate Sinner, not a specific Roman emperor. Or the reference may be to the Gnostic Sophia, or to Paul. According to the Bible, does Yahweh live in outer space? Does Jesus in the gospels preach 'Christ crucified' as Paul does? What was the "church of God" that Paul is supposed to have persecuted? What does the Geek think about Judith Jarvis Thomson's classic essay "A Defense of Abortion"? Are Christian apologists (like W.L. Craig) the best Christianity has to offer as intellectual defenders of the faith? What is your opinion of Ray 'banana-man' Comfort? Are Isaiah, Joshua, Josiah, and Jesus all the same name originally? Under the Torah it was lawful to have both multiple wives and concubines. In light of this culture where polygamy was fairly common, what would it mean to violate the 6th commandment and "commit adultery"? Has anyone made a significant study of all the references in the New Testament to the Old Testament, distinguishing them into three groups: 1)those derivable from the Septuagint, but in some way not agreeing with the Hebrew version of the Bible; 2)those derivable from the Hebrew Bible, but in some way not agreeing with the Septuagint; and 3)those, where it could have come from either -- or an answer was indeterminable in some other way? Might the Adam and Eve story have actually been a coming of age fable? Isn't the most serious problem with the census in Luke is how it was conducted? Why would a census force people to move to the home of their remote ancestors?

May 13th The Bible Geek Podcast

May 14, 2013 1:17:59


I think it would do the non-theist community a lot of good if more churches had thoughtful, respectful nonbelievers attending regularly, to help tear down stereotypes on both sides. Good idea? How would you respond to the argument that the Pauline epistles have different writing styles and vocabulary not because they are pseudonymous but because they are addressed to different audiences and circumstances? What about the argument that the writing styles are different because they were ghost-written? You think all of the Pauline epistles are pseudonymous. But how can you establish this without a genuine letter for comparison? What do you think of the theories of Ralph Ellis who claims the character Jesus is based on a king of Edessa? What does the Geek believe to be the strongest argument for the necessity of God's existence? Acharya S speaks of a virgin mother character by the name of Mara/Mary/etc., who pre-dates Christianity by hundreds, if not thousands, of years. How might this 'primal' belief have become fused with early Christianity? Can you tell us about Eusebius, his history of the Church and why many scholars believe it to be wrong? My basic understanding leads me to believe that baptism with water relieves or washes one of sin and anointing with oil empowers one with spiritual prowess. Is this the current correct understanding, and if so has this always been the case? If the Testimonium Flavianum that mentions Jesus is truly reliable, why are there no mentions of it until the 4th century? Re the doctrine of salvation by faith: which components of belief in Christianity are supposed to be necessary for salvation? Are the sometimes wide differences between the RSV and the Douay-Rheims version of Sirach due to the translation of different underlying manuscripts? Is there anything in the Bible that's truly unique or original that doesn't have a precedent in religions or cultures from an earlier period? How did 19th century Protestant Americans interpret the "Mother of Harlots" in Revelation 17? What is Judaism all about these days? More politics than religion? And is it important to Jews to argue against Christianity? You said that the belief that there were degrees of reward in Heaven for good deeds done by those saved through faith was not a biblical view. Would you mind explaining? In regard to the trinity, what is the Holy Ghost?

May 11th The Bible Geek Podcast

May 12, 2013 1:11:09


Is Matthew 5:27-28 Jewish-Christian ethics or anti-Jewish polemic? Might the word "ephapax" ("at once" or "once and for all") in 1 Corinthians 15:6 imply, not that Jesus appeared before a "crowd," but rather that he appeared to 500 during a restricted period, now over? What's with Paul being called a "ringleader of the Nazarenes?" Are we to believe that an outside inquisitor is referring to this emergent group by the town of birth of their founder? What's with Paul's itinerary in Romans 15 - planning a trip to "Spain?" If we created our own sentient beings, would we want them to bow and scrape before us? Then why would God? In an Islamic hadith, the Gharkad tree is especially associated with Jews. Why? 1 and 2 Chronicles as a possible parallel to and possible basis for the writing and method employed by the authors of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke on Mark. Mark is a carefully constructed composition, one which employs many detectable strategic literary techniques. Why then the poor Greek? Mark 9:23 in the Alexandrian texts have "If you can," while the Textus Receptus has "If thou canst believe." Which is original? Is 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 describing Paul's conversion experience? And does the verb tense imply that Paul is still plagued by his "thorn" at the time of writing? Why did the Judas betrayal scene develop as it did, and not more convincingly? Is there any reason to think Malchus was a real person? Does the name Malchus have any significance that would make it clear why John would insert such a detail if it didn't have some historical basis?

May 7th The Bible Geek Podcast

May 8, 2013 52:50


An advance reading of the paper "Myth, Method and the Will to Believe" that Dr. Price is presenting at the Warren Apologetics Conference on Thursday, 5/9/2013.

April 30th The Bible Geek Podcast

May 1, 2013 59:37


Jesus, Judas, the Beloved Disciple, and Pilate in John 18. Doesn't 1 Clement's reference to 1 Corinthians count against your 2nd century dating of the Epistles? Was Jesus a prophet, as Muslims say? Why do you pronounce "Elijah" with a soft "j"? If the purpose of "the shekel of the sanctuary" imposed by Moses was to provide for "the service of the sanctuary"(Exodus 30.11-16), how come no one ever uses this as the base for support of churches and instead pull out 10% tithing as the model shown in the Bible? At the conclusion of the Noah's Ark story God gives Noah the rainbow as a sign of a covenant never again to destroy the people of Earth. Is this supposed to be the origin story for rainbows? Or is it that the rainbow merely acquires this additional significance in becoming a reminder of the covenant? What do we really know about the "Pauline" letters? Is there a "Myth of Mary the Mother of Jesus" study available?

April 29th The Bible Geek Podcast

Apr 30, 2013 1:39:14


Should an atheist let his children attend church? Aren't strong religious and political views defenses for disappointments in life? What sort of ceremonial texts might an atheist use in a wedding rehearsal dinner where everybody else is a believer? Proper pronunciation of "Tagalog." Genes, memes, castration, and celibacy. Bethlehem, Nazareth, and astrology. Was Jesus black? Where do you get the etymological link between tohu and Tiamat, bohu and Behemoth? Why make Jesus a myth but Apollonius a historical figure? Is Mark post 70 CE? Doesn't John 3:16 posit a false analogy in that God did not ultimately lose his son? Matthew's risen saints and Buddhist Bodhisattvas. Do atheists use the "No true Scotsman" argument? What's a good book on Canaanite mythology? Have you ever heard an apologist argue that the Bible's use of "unicorns" was to describe warhorses?

April 27th The Bible Geek Podcast

Apr 28, 2013 1:23:12


Apologists claim that, since Jesus' relatives did not believe in him during his ministry, it must have taken a miracle (the resurrection) to make them believers. What's wrong with this? Nietzsche casts some light on celibacy and the Russian sect of the Skoptsy. Which is the older view of glossolalia: foreign language missionary preaching or ecstatic gibberish? Does the belief in the cessation of prophecy conflict with the belief in a relationship with God who "speaks" to you? Why does Luke's gospel appear to lack a mission charge? Could you provide an overview of the theories and contributions of Rudolf Bultmann? Luke 2 has Simeon gushing prophetically about Jesus, and 2:33 says his parents were amazed. Why, given the revelations they'd already received? Please comment on a scathing Amazon review of The Pre-Nicene NT.

April 21st The Bible Geek Podcast

Apr 22, 2013 49:33


What is the essential difference between the various Jesus Movements and the so called 'Christ Cult' as you and Burton Mack employ the terms? Does Matthew 6:5-9 put the kibosh on modern day public display of prayers in Catholic and Protestant churches, the 700 Club? Why does Pat Robertson squint his eyes so hard when he prays? What's your take on the similarities and dissimilarities between Jewish midrash and Islamic hadith? Was early Christianity in Europe significantly, though not totally, pacifist, partly because of certain doctrines of Jesus, partly because of Christian disqualification from military service if they refused to sacrifice to the Roman emperors, and partly because of their own political weakness? You say that every scholar has his favorite 'historical' Jesus. If there was a historical Jesus, which of these do you personally think is the most likely? Also, do mythicists have the same problem? Or do mythicists largely agree on the nature of the mythical Christ figure? Doesn't the absence of the miracle-working martyrs and evangelists Peter and Paul from the annals of any historian alive within a century of their ministries speak volumes about the accuracy of Acts?

April 14th The Bible Geek Podcast

Apr 15, 2013 1:42:56


Is the term "Land of Israel" in the Gospel of Matthew an anachronism? John 21:21-23 and the Christ-Myth hypothesis? Possibility that two separate streams - centering around an apocalyptic prophet and cosmic Christ merged into one? What about claims of a journey East during the 'missing years' of Jesus' life? Are the gospel references to "The Holy Spirit" anachronistic? Who was Clement of Alexandria and how does he tie in to early Christianity and Gnosticism? Can we date ancient documents by their references or lack of them to the Jerusalem temple? Non-Americans don't have the problem it seems Americans do with people not being religious. Can the Geek give us a brief history of the Pentecostal Church and how they are unique? What about the Molinist view of foreknowledge and free will espoused by William Lane Craig and Alvin Plantinga? Are the embarrassing "facts" about Jesus all from Mark's gospel? What genre did Mark think he was writing: a novel? Was Origen a Gnostic? What is the evidence that three different layers of material can be differentiated in the Q Source? An explanation as to why the "right hand man" was more important than the "left hand man". Why was Sirach rejected as canonical by the Jews and the Protestants? Contrasting Sirach 1:4-5 with Philo, did some Jews believe Wisdom came from the Word and others that the Word came from Wisdom? Was the prohibition against illegitimate children and Moabites to the 10th generation actually enforced? Was the Israelite definition of usury the same thing we think of in our modern economy? Is the Geek dogmatic about abortion, or merely against it?

April 12th The Bible Geek Podcast

Apr 13, 2013 58:42


Could you give us a high-level summary of Michael Goulder's various theories, and your assessment of their probability? I was wondering if you had heard of the Russian Skoptsy movement. Could you address the philosophical nuances of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene chapter 7? You once gave a quote from Epictetus, to the effect of - "Don't envy those with greater standing or wealth, look what they had to sacrifice to get it." What is the source?

April 10th The Bible Geek Podcast

Apr 11, 2013 1:06:28


A reading of "The Whipping." How can there be blood relatives of the fictional Jesus? What is the archaeological or historical evidence for the Tower of Siloam and its collapse? Was the admonition in Matt 18:6-9 to cut off offending members of your body in order to avoid hell based on 1 Corinthians? Is the story of the Amalekites the only place in the OT where desecration is sanctioned? Does 70 (or 72) have some special significance in ancient Hebrew culture? Can you suggest a good English translation of the Quran? Are there any good reasons to believe that there was a historical Judas Iscariot? Do many people attend religious movements simply to assert their need for a safe family life? How devastating are the implications of redaction criticism for the historicity of Jesus? Even if midrash were deemed necessary to keep the old scriptures from becoming museum relics, what was the point of basically rewriting them just with a new protagonist? If God sent Jesus to Earth for the explicit purpose of dying for our sins, weren't those who prosecuted and killed Jesus doing a good thing? If everybody had followed Jesus rather than killing him, wouldn't there have still been the nagging "unpaid debt" of original sin? Did Jesus know he was on a suicide mission? How did Noah know Ham saw him while he was asleep? Why did the other brothers avert their eyes when they covered him back up? What's the big deal? Did the symbols of Revelation have well understood meanings back then or did it seem as nutty at the time as it does now? Who are Jesus' "other sheep not of this fold"? When did the Jews stop using the name Yahweh? Or didn't they? And why did early Christians stop using the name?

April 7th The Bible Geek Podcast

Apr 8, 2013 1:10:27


You have said that Enoch, as a sun god, may have been given a life span of 365 years to match the 365 days of the solar year. How did the source/sources giving this number think that a year was 365 days? Does one know from what century this statement comes? Is there cause to doubt the historical existence of Polycarp, Ignatius, Irenaeus, etc.? Virgin birth versus immaculate conception. Why do we take Luke's gospel account as mere narrative but treat Acts as more historical? Could you explain B.B. Warfield's defense of the Bible being the infallible word of God and any problems you see with it? Does Lovecraft parallel the resurrection of Jesus with that of Dr. Halsey in "Herbert West: Reanimator"? Might the rule against "boiling a kid in its mother's milk" be a corruption of some original rule against cheese making? Have you encountered any phylogenetic (phylomemetic) trees of the various religions and religious practices? Might the prohibition in Deuteronomy 23:1 have been an attempt by Jewish religious leaders to stop the practice of self-castration? Might the injunction in Matthew 5:30 be a redaction, with the verse originally referring to the male member? Does Matthew 23:5 imply a reference to Exodus 34:24, scorning the territorial aspirations of Jewish authorities? Wouldn't it be a better soteriology to posit that salvation is accomplished by simple forgiveness, while Jesus' death accomplished a harrowing of hell to rescue the OT saints, also providing an example of self-sacrificing concern for others? In the early debates on circumcision, did Luke 2:21 ever come up? How might one reconcile God's foreknowledge with our free will?

April 4th The Bible Geek Podcast

Apr 5, 2013 54:03


Would you care to recommend an unbiased history of American Evangelical Christianity? In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul says that there are many gods and many lords but that for Christians there is one God and one Lord Jesus through whom are all things and through whom we exist. Does Paul here have in mind the Johannine concept of all things coming into being through the Word? And who are these many lords that he speaks of? Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 says that the glory of the sun is one kind and the glory of the stars is of another, and that stars differ from one another in glory. Does he mean the "brightness" of these heavenly bodies? The use of the term "Judaism" seems anachronistic for 2 Maccabees as a 2nd century BCE Jewish text. Why are scholars so sure that's what it is? Re: 1 John 5:6, what does it mean to come by "water and blood"? Or water alone? Why does 1 John 5:14-15 tell us to pray, but warn us that God will grant only what he had planned anyway? What is the mortal/fatal sin of which 1 John 5:16-17 warns? Also, Dr. Price reads the text of "The Perils of Pietism," the talk he presented last week at the American Atheist convention.

April 3rd The Bible Geek Podcast

Apr 4, 2013 44:29


Is it fair to say that Christians no longer have "belief" (implying the risk of being mistaken), since they make so much of argumentation and proof? If Jason were, as you say, a possible translation of Yeshua, then may there be some comparability between the Greek mythical Jason and Jesus? Is the theory that the gospels were originally written in Aramaic motivated by the desire to make them eye-witness reports? Are myths of gods overthrowing their fathers ways of harmonizing it when one god's cult becomes more popular than another's? Van Manen states that the synoptic gospels feature a more primitive Christology, and thus predate the epistles. However, my other reading in mythicist literature had led me to think of 'Paul' not speaking of a physical Jesus. Which came first? Many weeks back, you promised (in a discussion of the great ages of Enoch and Lamech) to explain where the Jewish scribes got the big number they were chopping up among the patriarchs. Did I miss it?

April 1st The Bible Geek Podcast

Apr 2, 2013 1:04:30


Is there any evidence that there were people in the 1st century who considered Jesus to be a descendant of the Hasmoneans? You often mention Euripides' The Bacchae as a source for the conversion of Paul. Could you explain? Do you think the contradiction between the Synoptics and John regarding the day of Jesus' death is valid? One might have expected Jesus to be burned to fulfill his role as a sacrifice. Was the lack of burning a concession to the realities of Jewish death rituals? Is vicarious baptism for the dead an ancient practice or a modern invention by Joseph Smith? Mormons also believe that heaven is segmented into three kingdoms with the highest being the home of God, Jesus and the righteous. Is this really implied in 2 Corinthians 12:2; 1 Corinthians 15:40-41; and John 14:2? Did the disciples die for a lie? Is "Luke" not only writing Jesus fan fiction, but he also wants the reader to know that that's what it is? Does any one gospel stand out as being particularly open about its fictional nature? How would you respond to Ernst Troeltsch's claim that general social and psychological theories, and theories applicable to religious history, can convince doubters of the historicity of Christ? Are Genesis chapter 10 and 11 based on two conflicting source documents? In Matthew 27:61 why mention Mary Magdalene by name and not the other Mary (who I assume is his mother)?

March 31st The Bible Geek Podcast

Apr 1, 2013 58:30


Which came first, Genesis 6:1-4, or the Book of Enoch's version? Have any apologists tackled the odd quandary of whether or not Mary is supposed to be an actual biological contributor to Jesus? Please comment on how ancient religious celibacy and castration may have influenced Christianity. Why does Peter come in for such a drubbing in Mark? Factionalism? To whom does Jesus give authority to forgive sins in John 20? And is this a rewrite of (or based on) Matt. 16:17-19? Wouldn't the business about the "King of the Jews" sign have been an unlikely invention for the early Christians as they were seeking to distance themselves from the Judaism of the time? Could you elaborate on the theory that Moses was actually an Egyptian who threw his lot in with the Israelites? Why do so many evangelical Christians seem intent on describing themselves as "not religious"? Does 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 imply that the OT is the primary source for the bio of Christ? Is it possible that the earliest editor to append the titles, e.g., "according to Matthew" meant "in accord with Matthean tradition," rather than "according to Matthew's eyewitness testimony"? Is it mere coincidence that 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 3:16 both deal with scriptural authority? If Jesus was historical, what does it matter if one does not accept his deity? If the historical Paul was really Simon Magus, how could Irenaeus not have known this? What is the importance of parallels between Paul and Plato? Is Richard Carrier right about Philo's influence on the formation of the Christ myth? How are we to understand the minds of those who seemingly fabricated sacred (gospel) histories as a vehicle to promote hope and higher ideals? Simply as "the end justifying the means"?

March 30th The Bible Geek Podcast

Mar 31, 2013 34:25


The Exodus 34 list of laws is actually called "The Ten Commandments," while the ones in Exodus 20 are not! When did people begin to switch the title from one to the other? If Jesus is obliged to follow the Golden Rule, how can he consign anyone to hell?

March 26th The Bible Geek Podcast

Mar 27, 2013 1:12:07


Could the entire Q source have been written in Aramaic? Would there have been a Christianity without Paul? Were many women crucified in antiquity? What did the concept of forgiveness originally mean? Does the concept differ between the Old and New Testaments? The concept of a saving death seems valid only if Jesus was a human being. What is it worth if he knew he would be rebooted in a few days? How do apologists interpret the word "firmament"? How do Creationists respond to the fact that starlight has been heading toward us longer than they say the universe has existed? In the Noah story, what does "take thee by sevens, the male and his female" mean? In the story of Eden, does the cunning serpent get down-graded to a real snake? How does this nameless serpent become associated with Satan? Did this happen because it was the best way to explain a talking snake? Why, in the Bible, does God need humans to do his dirty work for him? Does Deuteronomy 32:8-9 contradict the Genesis 1 creation account? Why do scholars think that 1-4 Maccabees are Jewish books, not first and second century Christian or proto-Christian church propaganda? What exactly was a concubine in the OT context? Are there any significant differences between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Masoretic texts?

March 23rd The Bible Geek Podcast

Mar 24, 2013 53:21


What is the point of the horror story of the concubine in Judges 19? Wouldn't the Israelites have been taller than the Canaanite Nephilim since the former were meat-eating nomads and the latter were grain-eating farmers? Why no epistles attributed to Jesus? Where did Cain get his wife? Did the Priestly writer perhaps think the sun was not the source of all daylight? Might Jesus and the Baptizer have stood for summer and winter suns, not moon and sun? Since the Geek's examples of alleged mistranslations from Aramaic to Greek were all sayings, not narrative, wouldn't it be simpler to posit the Greek translation old Aramaic sayings by Greek gospel writers? Why does "Hosanna" seem to mean different things in the OT and NT? Jesus assures the reader that his Father will not give a rock to those who request bread, nor a snake to those who request fish. Yet God does just this in Exodus. Is this Marcionite?

March 20th The Bible Geek Podcast

Mar 21, 2013 34:07


What is the Geek's opinion of John the Baptist being James the Just's predecessor as the Teacher of Righteousness? Is Lazarus & the Rich Man possibly a Jewish, anti-Christian parable, which has been (slightly) edited to make it fit with the 'gospel' message? When normal people look at Bible stories, is there any particular tradition they favor, or is it a hodgepodge of various sources? Where does Christian Dominionism come from? What does the Bible say about the experiences you will have in heaven? Do you have any recommendations for books on the Higher Critical Method?

March 19th The Bible Geek Podcast

Mar 20, 2013 1:00:32


What do we know of Carpocrates? When did his sect reach its peak? What are some of those gospel passages that would make more sense retranslated from Aramaic? To what extent do you think the 'spiritualising' of parts of the Bible that turn out to be wrong is a total crock? If Mark is later than Matthew and Luke then why did he omit much material that would have been useful - the Sermon on the Mount, The Lord's Prayer, most of the Parables etc.? Of all the things a supernatural deity could demand of his critters, why demand something as odd as belief? Why do evangelicals hate the film 'The Last Temptation of Christ'? 90% of Christians now are either fundamentalist Catholics or fundamentalist evangelicals, yet in every debate to support the Bible, fundamentalism is almost never used by scholars because of its simplicity, ignorance and naivete. Could this lend credence to the notion that Christianity was meant for learned people who could decipher its mysteries and was not meant for ignorant peasants? Can we reconstruct the transition from "might makes right" gods to an omnipotent, omniscient tooth fairy god? Do we see this transition in the Jewish religion in the inter-testamentary period? When 2 Timothy says, "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness," might it refer to all edifying writings, biblical or not? When 2 Peter refers to a collection of Paul's letters, is there any way it isn't anachronistic? When and how did celibacy pass from heresy to a requirement for clergy? Where did the Christian concept of just needing to pray and not have any sacrifice come from? When did people start to think that God was there just to do their bidding with no reward being offered? In Galatians 4:21-31, what was Paul talking about? I have always wondered about Pilate's seemingly throw-away line in John 18, "What is truth?" Could you elaborate on the difference between the 'gospel' message as preached by the author/authors of the early epistles and that preached by the Jesus character in the Gospel stories? Specifically, how does a mythicist account for the difference?

March 18th The Bible Geek Podcast

Mar 19, 2013 1:13:58


Should we assume the transition from ritualism and tradition to spirituality in the gospels only makes sense in a post second temple destruction/70 CE milieu? Julian the apostate banned Christian teachers from using Greek classical texts: "If they want to learn literature they have Luke and Mark." Does this help us date the gospels? What's the difference between the Bible ventriloquism of today and that of the ancient church? Did the early Christians think of martyrdom as some sort of sacrifice to reunite God with his Shekhinah? Were they thinking of this as a world redeeming gesture? Do you agree with Bart Ehrman who rejects the idea that (biblical) pseudepigrapha were an accepted literary genre? Do we have real evidence of a massacre of Yahweh's prophets, or was it a myth? And is the theme present in Mark? Is the Letter of Clement allegedly discovered by Morton Smith legitimately Clementine? Form critical criteria of the miracle stories as applies to the turning of water into wine in John? You say that a piece of tradition was passed down only if it was useful to the church. Does this apply to the lack of physical description of Jesus? You often refer to this or that "brilliant theologian". Inasmuch as theology is the exhaustive study of the unknowable how is the term "brilliant theologian" not an oxymoron? Sober scholars date Daniel at about 170 BCE describing the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes. But I'm told there is one nagging problem with this: the Septuagint was written before 170 and it contains the book of Daniel. Is this accurate?

March 15th The Bible Geek Podcast

Mar 16, 2013 38:03


Could you explain how a person participates in the New Covenant according to Mark? Who sits at the left hand of God? Was there an Eden of which the garden of Eden was a part? How was "stoning" done in ancient times? Might John have omitted the agony in Gethsemane because there could have been no witnesses and he wanted to include only events guaranteed (supposedly) by an eye-witness, as he does elsewhere? Can one seek admission to a fundamentalist college simply to learn Bible without professing faith? Writings of Joseph Priestley, re Trinity being a corruption based on a comparison between Jesus as the Son of God and "Mercury, Jupiter's Son."? To what extent do The Twelve depict a monastic group? Greg Boyd has argued that the book of Revelation is to be read as a "violently anti-violent war scroll," which subtly subverts its own violent imagery to testify to the non-violent character of Jesus Christ. Is this plausible?

March 12th The Bible Geek Podcast

Mar 13, 2013 1:23:51


How does one distinguish tradition from redaction in Mark's Gospel? What is the context of Isaiah 40:3, the source of the 'prophecy' in Matthew 3:3? Why is there a description of John the Baptist (Matt. 3:4) but not of Jesus? What is with the rant that John the Baptist goes on (Matt. 3:7-12) when the Pharisees approach him for baptism? Is this to set up for the Sermon on the Mount (woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites etc.)? Why churches don't pay taxes. Why does John's gospel leave out the narrative of the "Agony in the Garden"? In anticipation of your book "Evolving out of Eden," would you give us a preview of your thoughts on theistic evolution? In Gnostic Christianity, was there a view that some or all humans had a spiritual pre-mortal existence? If so, was this pre-mortal existence different in any way from that of Jesus Christ's pre-mortal existence? Can you discuss the social, historical, political and or ecclesiastical factors that led to the triumph of Christian Orthodoxy over Gnosticism? Mark 15:31 says: "In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself!" What is the meaning of the word 'save' in this context? In the bible, is there a clear difference between angel, mortal prophet and messenger? Do you see a Catholic schism around the corner of the kind that the world's Anglicans seem to be faced with? Isn't much of conservative religion born out of a backlash against the radically altered place of women in the last century? Will the increasing importance of Pentecostalism provide fertile ground for new kinds of Christian contribution to the world? Why the neglect of figures such as Karlheinz Deschner, Hans Kueng or Uta Ranke-Heinemann? Could you elaborate a bit on the Bible Code? What does it do to historical King Josiah if the Bible is post-exilic? Would the D source still predate the P source? Does that put the P source a century or two after the exile? What are some of the taboo positions, if any, that one holds or entertains at his or her own risk with respect to academia? Do you agree with Earl Doherty? Why do people say the gospel of John is racist against the Jews?

March 11th The Bible Geek Podcast

Mar 12, 2013 1:11:52


Do Evangelical/Fundamentalist scholars allow that there are forgeries in the Bible? How do most scholars deal with the extremely improbable events of the OT, such as people living to be 900 years old? Allegory? Don't you think the author of Revelation intended that ALL of these events were imminent and would take place at the same time, without a 2,000 year lime lapse? Does Revelation 20:13 suggest the author is implying different degrees of punishment for the wicked? Do you think that if there were a God, he would damn my soul for the rejection of belief simply because of the lack of evidence? What are the best arguments for an historical Jesus? Any insight into the conclave in Rome: predictions or otherwise? Is there any theory about the story of Abraham and Isaac originally ending more bloodily with the actual death of Isaac? Was there a tendency in the early church to view Mark as inferior among the gospels? If the Book of Esther began as a Persian and Babylonian festival story of Ishtar, Marduk, Mashti, and Hooman, and was then sanitized and adapted into a pseudo-historical tale of monotheistic Jews and their enemies, then what might the original story have looked like? In 2 Kings 6 a worker's axe-head flies off and sinks into the water. That worker emphasizes that it was a *borrowed* axe head. What were the ancient customs about borrowing? What do you think of John Shelby Spong and his message? Isn't the atheist dismissal of the fine-tuning argument just as specious as fundamentalist special pleading? Could Paul possibly have had legal authority to arrest Christians and bring them back to Jerusalem as captives? Where does religion gets its psychological power?

March 10th The Bible Geek Podcast

Mar 11, 2013 1:11:24


Please explain Paul's use of the term "asleep" in a distinctly eschatological sense, awaiting the general resurrection, as well as the term "in Christ" to mean a Christian in some type of physical communion with a spiritual ether of Christ. Is there an orthodox tradition of how Paul knew who the "Jerusalem Pillars" were, whom Paul should go consult, in the absence of a Judean Yellow Pages? Re the recent question about a "Josephus incident" or "Josephus problem," listeners might check out What do you make of the tendency of some religions to move from polytheism to monotheism and of others to do the opposite? Is there any reason to think Paul's vision of Jesus was of a material, physical figure? In Matthew 14:21 the last verse, "But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting," is absent from some manuscripts. Why? Whence the belief that Jesus' mission only lasted one or three years (depending on the Gospel account you read)? I am curious about any possible pre-Judaic origins of a dedicated "Sabbath" day as well the Passover. If the Bible had reserved the threat of Hell for serious crimes like murder would it have been more effective in preventing crime? What do you think of the NT translation by Richard Lattimore? Does the story of Peter's confrontation with Simon Magus serve as propaganda for one early Christian leadership faction against a rival one? The rules against interracial mixing in the Old Testament, e.g., Deuteronomy 23:3 contradict the story of Ruth?

March 4th The Bible Geek Podcast

Mar 5, 2013 57:21


What role are Christians alleged to have played in the destruction of the famed Library of Alexandria in 391 AD? Does anyone know how much this Wonder of the Ancient World still lived up to its name by this time? Also, were Muslims, some centuries later, ever responsible for destroying any remains of said library? How would the Geek react to and supplement the following statement thinking about the historical method: "If a historic fact is dubious or incredible, it is either a lie or an example of reality being weirder than fiction." When a woman anoints Jesus with oil and a disciple asks was this a waste, it is only in John that a name is given for that disciple, and also makes Judas a thief. Is there any reason why he alone named Judas and the only version where the term thief comes into play? Also, is there a reason Luke left the story out entirely? Does this story take place in Q? Can you please give us your response to Alister McGrath's claims that Bauer's theses look decidedly shaky? The NT writers appear to have been aware of what they were doing when they midrashed OT material - so were they really attempting to write history? Ages of the pre-Flood patriarchs and ancient numbering systems. "Kaneh bosem" might indeed be related to cannabis. Rene Salm on the existence of Nazareth. How should Matthew 19:21 be interpreted? Is it to be taken in an absolute sense, and if so, why? Why is the earliest history of Yahweh & El not more of an issue in the ongoing religion vs. atheism debate? What do you make of Thomas L. Brodie's take on the development of the NT? Is he really that far out from the mainstream in his views on this topic? As there are Bible Geeks, it would seem to follow that there must be Bible Jocks out there. Any idea who they would be?

February 27th The Bible Geek Podcast

Feb 28, 2013 48:07


Is John's Samaritan Woman story a rewrite of the Mark-Matthew Syro-Phoenician story? Could you explain social memory theory for NT studies? Is the expulsion of Christians from the synagogues in John an anachronism? Is Matthew 7:6 not a general reference to wasting fine things on low-brows? How does the view that Matthew is the most Jewish gospel square with the story of the centurion at Matthew 8:5, which seems to display a Jew-bashing agenda? Why no concern in Mark for the financial loss taken by the Gadarene pig farmers? Why name Polycarp of Smyrna in particular as the compiler of the NT? Don't various items in Mark point to conflicting dates of composition? Do they represent different component source documents? Might "Paul" be based on Proteus Peregrinus? Was Joseph of Arimathea based on Josephus the historian?

February 21st The Bible Geek Podcast

Feb 22, 2013 1:01:51


What is the origin of the idea of Zombies as depicted in Matthew 27:50-53? Bart Ehrman mentions a variant of Hebrews 2:9 that says that Jesus died "apart from God". Might this have been the original rendering? Jesus promises believers the providential provision and protection of God, but they starve and suffer like anybody else. Is there an explanation? What is the typical income of a pastor? Do you feel that churches should have to pay income tax? What makes scholars so certain that any of the canonized epistles can be attributed to Paul? Is there any reason to think that David and Solomon are any more historical than Agamemnon? Could you rank popular modern Christian denominations from highest to lowest Christology? Some elements of the John the Baptist/Jesus Christ relationship have overtones of solar mythology, but was Jesus ever understood as a lunar symbol? Many Christians hold that Jesus Christ made appearances in the Hebrew Scriptures, e.g., as Melchizedek. When did this type of belief come into existence? Jesus was a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. But in a Jewish context, sacrifice meant (1) killing the animal and then (2) burning it so that the smoke could rise to heaven and God could appreciate it. In the gospel story, Jesus is killed, but he isn't burned. Whence the incomplete analogy? Did ancient Jews and Christians have debates over inerrancy like they do today? How did "Gehenna" become associated with a fiery underworld?

February 15th The Bible Geek Podcast

Feb 16, 2013 1:05:36


I was wondering about the parallels between the Gnostic Sophia and Eve. Shouldn't Jesus have to be in hell for eternity if he truly paid the price for our sins? Were the early converts to Christianity not aware that various Jesus stories had been lifted from other religions and from well-known literature? A listener asked about the Brihad Aranyaka Upanisad advocating violence against women and if there were any similar verses advocating rape in any of the other world religions/cults? There is this one from the Hadith which recounts how Muhammad approved intercourse with slave women (Bukhari, Volume 5, Book59, Number 459). How old was Jesus when he died? Why do all the heresiologists -- from Justin, to Irenaeus to Epiphanius to Tertullian -- all point to Simon Magus as the so-called "father of heresy"? Romans 1:3 says that Jesus was "born of a descendent of David". Why doesn't the author simply say that Jesus himself was a descendent of David? How many people from that period of your life do you remember actually making confessions of faith based on your preaching and or personal exchanges with them? Was the "Josephus Problem" a real incident? If not, how can we trust his other work to be factual? What do you make of Zecharia Sitchin's The 12th Planet? Wouldn't it have been more ethical for God to let Adam & Eve die on the day of the Fall and start again? If God had done this would only 2 people have gone to hell, if hell existed, instead of billions being tormented forever?

February 13th The Bible Geek Podcast

Feb 14, 2013 56:21


Should the message of Psalm 145 be presented as a viable and/or attractive philosophy for a theistic system of governance? Wouldn't the "Torah on the heart" text in Romans make more sense as referring to "noble pagans" ignorant of Judaism than to God-fearers who did know the Torah? Why is "ethical monotheism" considered so great? How did Elijah get linked with Passover? A defense of the "can god make a rock so heavy he himself could not lift it" conundrum. Does Numbers 5:11-31 refer to forced miscarriage, i.e., abortion? What are the "scriptures" referred to in 2 Tim 3:15-17? What is "inspiration" in verse 16? Does the biblical phrase "to be gathered to one's people" imply reunion after death? Why do you say that the idea of a personal relationship with Jesus is not Biblically based, if not downright silly? Mormons on marriage in heaven, etc. Are we entering (or in) a new "axial age" in which old religions will slowly be replaced by new religions based on Star Trek, Star Wars, etc.?

February 12th The Bible Geek Podcast

Feb 13, 2013 1:01:49


Nehemiah 13:1-3 says Moabites are forever barred from Israel, yet Jesus, through David via Ruth, is part Moabite! How does that work? Where do you depart with Dr. Eisenman on the historicity of James and Paul? How did the Holy Spirit enter the Trinity? Is there any connection or lineage between the Gnostics and the later alchemists of the Middle Ages? Why would Christians need to fabricate the Testimonium Flavianum if their guy were real? Were there gospel hamonies before Tatian? How damaging are contradictory interpretations within a religion? Do the contradictions insulate a religion against changes in attitudes over time? How do Christians square the translation of Enoch and Elijah into heaven with the notion that Christ is the only way to heaven? Could the Book of Esther have been a sanitized tale of Ishtar, as Judaism transformed into a monotheistic religion and erased its polytheist origins - with the goddess and surrounding characters transformed into various human worshipers and enemies of Yahveh? When did the idea of postmortem reward and punishment become current? Did it come from Zoroastrianism? Does the New Testament teach that all Christians should live a life of voluntary poverty?

February 10th The Bible Geek Podcast

Feb 11, 2013 58:56


Rene Girard's beliefs and whether he is a a Christian apologist. Might the popularity of myths of infants being abandoned but becoming great and sometimes being reunited with their families have originated to give hope to distraught mothers who had been forced to give up her baby to be exposed? If the evidence supports the notion that Nazareth did not exist, how does the Christian deal with this? Could you discuss your take on dystheism/misotheism/maltheism/the Cartesian deus deceptor? How does such a concept fit the text, and what are Christian responses to it? Didn't Bultmann realize that there are many people who have no interest or need for his kind of formless imaginary friend? I mean, so what if there is a 'ground of being' or whatever? Did the concept of a "prophet" change a lot over time, and why are there no longer prophets in mainstream Christianity today? Please give us a brief overview of "Deuteronomistic theology" and its relation to the theory of the so-called Deuteronomistic History? How do we know that this Deuteronomistic stuff is late, i.e. post-exilie? Eusebius quotes Dionysius lamenting that some have corrupted his own epistles, so no wonder the same thing has happened with the text of scripture. Isn't this pretty good evidence that the scriptures had things added, removed or altered to suit the needs of the various churches engaged in an ideological propaganda war in the 2nd century CE? Use of Jewish divine circumlocution Had'var ("The Word" or "The Subject") and its relation to the early Christian identification of Jesus as the logos ("The Word"). Given that the term "Jew" doesn't appear until the Babylonian diaspora, isn't the term a Persian coinage?

February 5th The Bible Geek Podcast

Feb 6, 2013 1:02:37


In the US, evangelical Christians are fiscally conservative fans of accumulating lots of "stuff." Is this situation ironic in light of Jesus' apparent admonitions against wealth and accumulation? I've heard Christians claim that the "eye of a needle" refers to a city gate. Is there any validity to this? I am familiar with the symbolic, numerical significance of Lamech, Enoch, the number of the Beast, et al. But one I can't explain is the lifespans of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. What is the symbolic significance of this? Acts 13:27-29: Jesus' enemies bury him. What about Joseph of Arimathea? The book, _The Heresy of Orthodoxy_, says Walter Bauer's theory can't explain how orthodoxy based in Rome, as the minority position, was able to impose itself on other geographical regions in the pre-Constantinian period when Christianity had virtually no political power. Might James "the Lord's brother" mean something like the office described by Strabo in Nabatea (Arabia, where Paul visited), the king's prime minster, "one of the Companions, [who] is called Brother"? If there were Christians in any significant numbers in Palestine circa 70 AD, how did Josephus miss them? Perhaps because they were not distinguishable at that time from Essenes? Jesus is depicted in the Gospels as disproving the Pharisees' insistence upon a Davidic lineage for the Christ, by pointing to Psalm 110. Would this Psalm have been understood by anyone before the Gospel writers as King David speaking about his future Messianic self? Might the anointing oil ingredient kaneh bosem in Exodus 30:23 be cannabis? In John 19:39-42 Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea bury 100 pounds of Myrrh and Aloes with Jesus' body. Was this really a common burial rite? Might one understand the film "The Hobbit" as a midrash upon "The Lord of the Rings," the later movie imitating the earlier?

February 3rd The Bible Geek Podcast

Feb 4, 2013 57:59


Is the Gospel of Thomas earlier than, and independent of, the canonical gospels? Doesn't Satanism make sense only as a parasitic parody of Christianity, not as a religion with its own raison d'etre? Theological views on whether Christianity supersedes Judaism. Where exactly does the notion that Scripture is "inspired" come from? Was Justin Martyr aware of Paul's epistles and/or the Acts of the Apostles? Doesn't Aristides' apology refute the theory of the Dutch Radicals that Mark's "Little Apocalypse" is referring to the Bar Kochba Revolt?

January 30th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jan 31, 2013 1:27:56


Exodus 19:5 seems to have an interpolation that aims at countering the idea that Yahweh's domain, as given to him according to Deut. 32, extends beyond the nation and territory of Israel. Relation between El Elyon and Yahweh as separate deities? How "Nimrod" came to denote "idiot." The role of the "Ektroma" in 1 Corinthians 15:8 and Valentinianism. What is the date of the Gospel of Barnabas? Is it a Morisco production? Were there both Marcionite and Anti-Marcionite prologues to the Pauline epistles? How is the date of 33 arrived at for the crucifixion? Where did the convention of calling God "God" get its start? God had many different names and titles in the Old Testament. Aside from Yahweh, can any of them be considered proper names, such as Elohim or Adonai? Or are they, like God, only titles? When Jesus finds the passage in Isaiah referring to himself, is it supposed to be a minor miracle of divine providence? Might Matthew's nativity presuppose that a royal whom one dared not accuse/expose raped Mary? Why do many atheists quote the Bible out of context just like the fundamentalists they are arguing with? What was the reason for the animals at the manger at Jesus' birth? Might it reflect the animal symbolism of the "Animal Apocalypse" of the Book of Enoch? How did people get it into their heads that if you sacrificed your son, that you yourself are, so you don't die as you are always there, but you lost your only son, even if that son is you? When did Jesus become God for Christians? Is it the Genetic fallacy to prove the Bible is full of made-up stories, and the Gospels are late and not from eyewitnesses? Might not Christianity nonetheless be true?

January 29th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jan 30, 2013 1:03:29


Was Job a Jew or a Gentile? Does the Geek think conservative Christianity is being pushed to the fringe of American society where polygamist compounds and Scientologists reside? When Jesus speaks of God's will being done in Heaven, does he mean angels or planets? The Geek reads his story, "The Righteous Rise." Does the Dead Sea Scroll "The Prayer of Nabonidus" mention Daniel or not?

January 22th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jan 23, 2013 37:44


Could Jesus' disciples have been divided into those whose angels above were similarly mirrored in Four Great Angels of the Apocryphon of John, to attend upon the father - and twelve aeons to attend to the Son? I know that one of the primary reasons John is dated later than the synoptics is the higher Christology found in John. But according to the Christ-Myth theory, a higher Christology predated lower Christology (which, in turn, predated another, later high Christology). Does this make it possible that John pre-dates Mark? I'd like to get your thoughts on a compelling argument by Richard Carrier on the secondary mention of Jesus in The Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus. Might the Tertullus of Acts 24 be based on Tertullian? Do you know of any resources online to help learn to read Ancient Greek? Is Matthew 11:28-30 talking about Jesus sharing a yoke with us, or is he talking about putting a yoke on us, and saying "trust me, it's light"? What do you think about Andy Gaus' interesting translation of 1 Cor 7 in his "Unvarnished New Testament"? Do you have an opinion about Gaus' translation in general? How do you tell when a NT narrator means to quote a character's words versus making his own comment? No punctuation, after all! Wouldn't a historical Paul prove the existence of a historical Jesus, especially the rebukes from the apostles that had seen Jesus to Paul's merely visionary experience with Jesus. I hope to hear your opinion on Jimmy Carter's 2009 editorial, "Losing My Religion For Equality." Is he descending to biblical ventriloquism? Ought Carter to hang up the cassock and admit his ethics are as humanistic as any non-believer's?

January 19th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jan 20, 2013 39:12


What is the apologetic and/or theological explanation for God's apparent lack of interest in just laying out his plans in terms we can all easily grasp and then execute? Use of "great" to describe Simon Magus in Acts 8 vs. Paul denoting someone "small" and implications on identification of Simon Magus with Paul. How confident can we be in the supposed dating of the gospels? Some say all mentions of hell (Gehenna) refer to a garbage dump outside Jerusalem or are mere metaphors. True? Might Cerinthus have authored the Gospel of Mark? Was the Mark of the Beast borrowed from non-Jewish sources?

January 18th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jan 19, 2013 37:39


When liberal Christians desire to throw out everything in the Old Testament Laws except for the prohibitions on little things like murder and theft, how is this any different from Rushdoony advocating stoning adulteresses and rejecting dietary laws? People claim the satanic rituals portrayed in contemporary music videos are real, but how can they know? Are these rituals described in the Bible? Does the qualification "husband of one wife" in 1 Tim. 3:2 refer to polygamy? How normative a concept is "heresy" in world religions? What do we know about the origins of the Exodus story?

January 17th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jan 18, 2013 1:11:14


Was Jesus a Samaritan? Please recap the major doctrinal differences between Marcion and Polycarp. Whence the notion that Christianity brought a revolutionary new ethic? Did the earliest critics of Christianity ever accuse Christians of having entirely made up the figure of Jesus by combining together various pagan myths? What would be the chances Jesus was familiar with the "Noahide laws", and if so, how would that affect the supposed sayings of Jesus on the topic of the "law"? Isn't it obvious that the gospel Jesus character, though compelling, is no more so than, say, Sherlock Holmes? If Mark intended a circular chronology in which our gospel's end was meant to lead to our gospel's beginning, could it be the result of someone mixing up the original pages? Where in the Bible do fundamentalists derive their preaching that kinky sex (outside of bestiality) is wrong? Is Acts a spoof of Mark?

January 14th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jan 15, 2013 1:12:29


Bruce Chilton's review of The Passion of the Christ. What about claims that demons are emitted in acts of gay sex? What about the apologetical argument that John is just as accurate as the synoptics despite their vast differences because the former represents deeper teaching to the inner circle? Does the Bible speak of reunion with loved ones in heaven? Imagine that I die, and it turns out that, oops, I made a mistake, God is real, and He is waiting for me, and He doesn't look too pleased! Do you think it would be my moral duty to call Him out on His misdeeds? Do you consult any ancient manuscripts when you do your translations from the Greek? Recollections of Rev. Paul Beatty. Does Ignatius' Epistle to the Ephesians Chapter 19 describe the entire life of Jesus as occurring in a celestial sphere - including the "death of the Lord" as one of the mysteries that were made "manifest to the ages" through celestial appearance? I've heard you discuss a few times how Jewish scholars and leaders sought to legitimatize the Song of Solomon, but I was wondering about its origin and original meaning. Is there any connection between Buddhism and Old Testament Judaism?

January 11th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jan 12, 2013 1:10:01


Are you sure that "theos" is related to words like "Zeus" or "deus"? How true to the New Testament is the movie, "The Passion of the Christ"? How common was the belief in afterlife in the ancient world? What is your response to modern claims of near death/out of body experiences and appearances of dead loved ones? If Jesus is just a myth, how did Christianity start, and how did other religions start? How do crazy "over the top" religions begin and grow? Did the ancient Greeks really believe in the gods? Is healing a blind person by means of rubbing mud into their eyes a uniquely Jesus story? Or is this a common myth of the ancient world? Do you plan on doing any more debates in the future? And how many have you done that have been recorded and are available online? What does the Bible really teach about election? How early did this doctrine appear? And, how was this doctrine understood in the 15 centuries between the origin of Christianity and Calvin's appearance on the scene? What does it mean in Mark 13:22 (also Matthew 24:24) where it reads: "For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect - if that were possible." (NIV) What does it mean, "if that were possible"? More about the origin of Satan. I'd like to get your thoughts on the origins of the name Israel. Regarding sacrifices and anointing, what is the significance? Can you tell us more about your reasons for rejecting this term "proto-orthodoxy"? Does Leviticus mean to prohibit all tattoos or merely those with a connection to pagan idolatry? What do you find the best translations in English of Old and New Testament? "Is it possible for God to make a stone that is so heavy, even God cannot lift it?" What do you think of the work of Joseph Tyson and of his case against Christ Mythicism?

January 6th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jan 7, 2013 1:32:05


What is your take on the theory proposed in John Allegro's book 'The Sacred Mushroom and the The Cross' that Christianity began as a pagan fertility cult? In a recent podcast you made reference to an ancient sermon you'd read about in Walter Bauer's "Orthodoxy and Heresy," wherein Peter and Paul are depicted pretending to have a miracle contest, which convinces the crowds. I couldn't help thinking, as I'm sure is obvious, of Peter's miracle duel with Simon Magus - the very person you think to be the original Paul. Do you think there's some connection between these two? Many assume that all Christians hold to a fundamentalist interpretation of scripture as the literal word of God. Can you let us know what historical opinions about the nature of scripture existed and how we got to "Sola Scriptura"? More on Koine Greek pronunciation. An apologist said that before the coming of Christ, anyone who believed in God was saved. If this is true then what, pray tell, is the POINT of the coming of the Christ? What does it mean to 'have the torah on the heart' exactly? If gentiles do not know of the law how can they be 'righteous'? Is Romans 1:3-4 a polemic against adoptionism? What is the 'other gospel' in Gal. 1:6-10? I often hear the popular refrain that 'when Jesus was sacrificed a new covenant with God was established, the paradigm shifted, the game was changed etc. etc.' Where does this idea come from? Given the practice of attributing books to famous people, would this mean that Matthew and Luke were the real authors of those 2 gospels since their names didn't carry a distinguished pedigree? Some call Christ Myth proponents "Jesus Deniers". Is there better, less pejorative terminology? Where did you get your information re the longer and shorter scroll lengths? How can the Genesis writer locate Eden using post-Flood rivers? You discussed the Valentinian idea that the illuminated would be saved by knowledge but lower mortals would have to rely on their faith. Do other Christian sects have a bifurcated soteriology like this? What are your thoughts were on the accuracy of the work of bible scholar NT Wright?

January 5th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jan 6, 2013 1:15:41


Where exactly can the origin of that one-world-religion meme be traced to within the Bible? In Matthew 27:62-66, why would Pilate take orders from subjects of Rome? Why didn't the Jews ask for the guard to be posted until the next day (verse 62) if they were worried about the body being nicked? In the Book of Mormon we read of the curse on the descendants of Cain being that of 'a flat nose and black skin' and that when the Nephites turn away from god their skin gets darker, and when the Lamanites turn back to god their skin gets lighter. So, if it's true that the mark of the curse is a flat nose and black skin, what happened in 1978 when the church allowed their black members to hold the priesthood? If the curse was removed, how come the mark is still there? How come there are still black people? If Genesis 3 doesn't actually teach a traditional Fall doctrine, what is the point of it? Given the historical record regarding the character of Bernice, do you think Paul's opening statement in Acts 26 is supposed to be an authorial dig at Agrippa? When did "Judaism" proper begin? Does the Book of Jonah employ humor at the title character's expense, or is this only a modern reading? Re: Pilate's seeming throw-away line in John 18, "What is truth?" Does this very post-modern-sounding question have any special meaning that relates to the history of the fourth gospel? Why did Jesus die at Passover and not Yom Kippur? Wouldn't that have made more sense if someone was making the story up? Did Christianity rise from the coalescence of different cults or religions? Or was there one original Christianity that quickly fractured into diverse groups such as the Ebionites, Gnostics, etc.? You have said that apocalypses can be dated by their specific references to actual past events and their vague, nonspecific references to future events. Could you please name some examples? Given that Marcion in Greek is spelled with a letter kappa, why don't we pronounce his name with a hard instead of soft "c"? Could the Jesus of the Bible be constructed as an amalgamation of the various Jesus figures in Josephus, etc.? When John the Baptist appears and announces that Jesus is the Messiah why on Earth does he not follow him? What is the usual Christian explanation of why Christ had to go away in order that the Spirit could come? Given its inability to provide comforting illusions to ease the pain of tragedies like Sandy Hook, can Atheism/Freethought/Humanism ever gain ground? Most of my friends and family are fundamentalists. I restrain myself from engaging in biblical/theological debate because I would not want to be responsible for their disillusionment and despair. Do I have a moral right, or the obligation, to correct them?

January 4th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jan 5, 2013 58:18


Is this conclusion of the new book attacking Walter Bauer, The Heresy of Orthodoxy, standard among apologists when discussing Christian origins? What are the origins of this view? Fundamentalists claim that the sacrifice of Christ follows upon OT temple sacrifices. If so, why is it different in every respect? If the purpose of the fundraising letters in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 was to bring economic relief and to show unity between Jerusalem and the Gentile diaspora congregations, why no reference to the gospel sayings on the subject - if they existed? If it is true that in 2 Corinthians 7:11-12 is referring to the confrontation of Paul and Peter, what evidence could you think of that could solidify or put more weight to such an assumption? In "The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture" Ehrman mentions the different variants of 1st John 1:5-6. Do you agree with his judgment of which is the earliest? When reading the Pauline epistles, is it a good idea to have Marcionite theology in mind and that the authors are in no way referring to the God of the Hebrew texts? Was there a standard handwriting style in the first century? And how would the scroll lengths affect the redaction process? How old is the codex format vs. the scroll format? Use of "born of a woman" in Galatians 4:4 by apologists as evidence that Paul believed in virgin birth. Another apologetic argument to reconcile the genealogies in Matthew and Luke by positing that of Matt. was meant to be Mary's rather than Josephs and "husband" really meaning "father". Are there any (mainstream) scholars who advocate the idea that the author of Matthew did not mean his story to imply a virgin birth? Isn't the notion in Lewis' The Great Divorce of day trips from Sheol to heaven just as cruel, albeit in a different way, as the traditional version of damnation?

January 2nd The Bible Geek Podcast

Jan 3, 2013 1:14:37


Might one use the "No True Scotsman" argument to defend mainstream Christianity from being tarred with the brush of the Westboro Baptists? Had the Western (Greek) world come to the conclusion that there is one god as opposed to more than one god? Can you please explain the view of resurrection that was held by the Pharisees? The Brihad Aranyaka Upanisad advocates violence against women at chapter 6, fourth Brahmana, verse 7. Have you come across any similar verses advocating rape in any of the other world religions/cults? Is the Freer Logion an addition to the long ending on Mark or originally part of it? Mark Goodacre warns against hyperskepticism but says a critic must be a skeptic. Where does hyperskepticism begin? It seems that the view that at least some of the Pauline epistles are not genuine is pretty standard within biblical studies. Could you give a quick rundown of the reasons for this view, and which letters it typically covers? Has any apologist ever attempted to use the Quran as a possible source for the historical Jesus? Does the depiction of Jesus in the Quran seem to be based on a particular gospel? In Gnosticism in general, and I suppose in Valentinian Gnosticism more specifically, what is the relationship between wisdom and knowledge? What is the explanation for humanity having a written record of the creation of the universe? If an oral history survived the flood doesn't that mean everything was explained to Noah, or was it all revealed later to others, but when and how ? Someone wrote to you about the pronunciation of Koine Greek, that it's the same as modern Greek. I am a student of ancient languages, and that is completely false. In reply to a prior letter of mine where I asked, "Wouldn't the crucifixion of the messiah cause violent unrest once realized by the people?" you gave the reason that the lack of "freshness of the event" had much to do with the missing rioting that I would expect. Ok geek, so you're saying that the due date was missed and the Hebrews would just as well allow such a travesty to go by without an explosion of some kind? In Revelation 2:17, Jesus says that anyone who overcomes will be given "a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.'' What's all this 'new name' stuff really about?

December 26th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 27, 2012 1:07:39


What role does the Egyptian church play in textual criticism or modern Bible studies? I understand how with your "true believer" background you would have gotten into Bible scholarship but, in light of your current beliefs why do you remain fascinated with the Bible? Have you noticed that when true believers start real critical analysis of the Bible that they lose their faith? Can you explain what is meant by 'demythologising' bible stories and perhaps give an example? In France, the Christmas day is usually spent having lunch with the extended family, but sometimes one relative is shunned for the simple reason that he is currently jobless. Is it like this in America? I have many times heard you recount the original story of Adam and Eve. Where does this come from? Are there earlier versions of Genesis with these points, or is this a reconstruction based on educated guesses? What other gods existed in the ancient Jewish pantheon? Some theorists claim that the appearance in the night sky of Sirius and the Southern Cross gave rise to the Nativity story, but they have the wrong season and the wrong hemisphere! Who were the Valentinians? What made them distinctive among Christian Gnostic groups? Was the Deuteronomistic history written during the Babylonian Exile or was some or all it all redacted from earlier material? If the purpose of the Gospels was to reinterpret the Old Testament, why do they include or reference material from the Iliad and other extra-biblical sources?

December 22nd The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 23, 2012 1:06:56


If Mark was written as late as the time of Bar Kokhba, given Markan priority, for Mathew and Luke to have been available for Justin Martyr, wouldn't Justin have been writing late in life? If it was Polycarp who titled the gospels why does Justin not know them by name? When do you date Polycarp and Marcion? Is the Gospel of Peter earlier or later than the canonical ones? If Acts was written by Luke the companion of Paul, why didn't he share his historical knowledge of Jesus with Paul? Was Abraham planning to eat his son's corpse after sacrificing him? What happened to the Jewish Christians? How on earth could the writer of Acts of John, who held a docetic view of Jesus, have also believed in the crucifixion? Thomas Sheehan observes that the word "resurrection" in the sense of "bodily resuscitation" does not even appear in the New Testament, but that the Greek word used means something like "awakening" and thus is clearly metaphorical. Is that so? It often seems in Genesis that God is intimidated by his human creations. Are there other religious stories with this dynamic? Why did the ancients invent characters like Paul and Simon Magus? Did they really believe or was there some selfish motivation? One of verses some use as evidence of Jesus' imminent return is Matthew 24:32, correlating the budding of the fig tree to Israel's re-birth. What's the connection? What is the Epic of Gilgamesh? Does the Bible copy or draw from parts of it? If so, which parts?

December 20th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 21, 2012 50:19


Questions relating to the Newtown, CT massacre. Is there any book that would track this and that NT item back to its Hellenistic origin? Can you address the evolution of the concept of salvation in the Bible from the OT to NT? Saved from what? What if Mark's empty tomb story were originally at the beginning of the story/text? In the ancient world, religious duty seems to have been purely external. When was faith internalized? And was it designed to strengthen belief in gods for whom there was factual evidence?

December 19th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 20, 2012 49:39


What is the definition of a myth and what is the definition of a mythical figure? Is there a difference between the mythical and the legendary? What qualifies as historical evidence? What is the definition of a historical figure? Since there is no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus, why should there be any debate? Do most biblical scholars believe in Hell and that one must believe in Jesus to escape it? Could you explain the similarities between Paul and Simon Magus and why you think Paul is Simon Magus? More about Lena Einhorn. More about the anti-Walter Bauer book "The Orthodoxy of Heresy". Significance of the manger in Luke's narrative of the birth of Jesus. Are elves short or tall? Are they Tolkien like or Irish leprechaun like? Do they exist in every mythology on Earth or are they restricted to Northern Europe? Are there mentions of creatures like that in the Bible? What are djinns? Please suggest good books about the Book of Revelation.

December 17th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 18, 2012 40:40


If the author of Luke is considered a historian why do Biblical scholars go with Matthew's dating for the birth of Jesus rather than Luke's? Even if we were to find an original manuscript of a NT book how would we know it was not just another early copy? And does it even make sense to speak of autographa if NT books underwent major stages of redaction along the way? Re the various names for God in the Old Testament - was the God of Moses the same God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? And how did the Israelites promote God over the centuries from a tribal God with limited powers to the all good, all powerful God of later years? Is the criterion of embarrassment used in other areas of study? Is there any refutation of the belief that the Apostle Thomas evangelized South India? Paul, Marcion, and Simon Magus. When and how did the Sabbath morph into Sunday? Could the Gnostics have gotten to the idea of the Demiurge from accurately reading the Hebrew Bible in which Yahweh was the god of Israel and El Elyon was his father?

December 15th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 16, 2012 25:46


According to the Bible, is there a single satan or are there possibly multiple satans? Would extraterrestrials be saved by Jesus' sacrifice or would they have a different way of salvation? Whence the idea that the souls of the dead become angels? Could you speak on the rise and fall of the doctrine of purgatory? By and large biblical writers seem uninterested in scientific methodological skepticism - except for Daniel. Why is this book so different? Does Lena Einhorn assume the time shift underlying Mark was his invention? If it was an earlier development, how did the Acts author still know about it, as he felt the need to harmonize the timelines? What do pastors who lose their faith do? Quit their jobs and lose the income they need to feed their families? Or continue to preach what they no longer believe? Did you ever meet Jim Jones? Do we have any modern examples of a sect promoting a clearly fictional character as the messiah? If Jesus is God (John 14:9) surely he would know that it is in human nature to sin, so what's the deal with 'go and sin no more'? Is there a benign way to read this problematic passage: Luke 19:27? Might the tale of Joshua making the sun stand still be a reference to the solstice?

December 14th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 15, 2012 1:12:58


Please give a basic explanation of why you think Jesus is a myth. What are some things that give us reason to think the gospels are not historical accounts? When was the story of Apollonius written? Was it based on the gospels? I'm curious as to your take on the nature of the relationship between David and Jonathan. Please comment on the article by Lena Einhorn entitled "Jesus and the 'Egyptian Prophet.'" What effect does this have on Mythicist theory? What was the reaction to your paper from the Society of Biblical Literature conference? Meeting Andrew Q Morton. Is there a contradiction between Matthew 28:18 and 1 John 5:19? Could you please discuss "faith" as it is understood and used in the Bible? Do the historical references in Luke 3:1-2 buttress the gospel's accuracy? If you believe that Polycarp heavily edited Luke, and had Matthew, how can agreements between these two gospels be used as evidence of a shared text (Q) that the two used to supplement Mark? Might there be some numerological significance to the number of NT books? More about the shepherds in Luke's nativity? Has Walter Bauer's thesis on heresy preceding orthodoxy been refuted? What stories have you read outside the Bible that you wish were in it? How far do you agree with D.M. Murdock?

December 10th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 11, 2012 1:03:56


What is the literary function of the serpent in the Eden story? What do you think the serpent's motivation is for tempting Eve? In support of their opposition to same sex marriage Christians cite the passage in Genesis 2 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (KJV) as prescriptive, but isn't it simply descriptive? How do Christians (modern and ancient) conceive of what it will be like in heaven? Psalm 14:1 ("The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God") is often quoted in discussions about atheism. Do you think this was really a reference to a 'godless' worldview the way we understand it today? The book of James seems to say nothing about an afterlife except perhaps the reference to receiving a "crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love him" (James 1:12), but is this necessarily an eternal reward? Can you recommend a good collection of Buddhist sayings and parables? Could you go into the methodology that Bishop Ussher and his contemporaries used to put a date on Creation? How common is the idea that Pre-Flood biblical events happened in some area other than what is now the Middle-East? Some point to the presence of sheep at night in Luke's nativity story and claim the weather at night in the winter time in Israel would have been too cold for the sheep to be out at night. So, according to them, this points to Jesus being born during the spring time. What about all the wool on the sheep's body? Are you aware of any serious critiques of van Manen's theory that Philemon is based on a letter by Pliny Secundus to Sabianus? Does John 8:58 ("Before Abraham was, I am.") intend an allusion to the revelation of the name Yahweh to Moses in Exodus 3:14 at the burning bush? Is Mark 13:14 ("Let the reader understand?") a vestige of the Olivet Discourse originally circulating as a separate leaflet during the 66-70 AD revolt? Are there any books on OT geography that take into account the minimalist rethinking of Albright's tendentious archeology? Might Mark 1:11's use of the aorist "eudokesa" ("I am well pleased") imply adoptionism? Are there recent works on Epicureanism in the NT? Is there any reason to think John used Homer as a source?

December 9th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 10, 2012 1:24:29


Reading by Dr. Price of "Jesus and the 'Egyptian Prophet'" by Lena Einhorn, PhD (Presented at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Chicago, Nov.17-20, 2012) URL to the full paper:

December 8th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 9, 2012 1:28:03


How would you evaluate Luther's expertise in the Bible? Is it plausible that Mark's description of John the Baptist as the Second Elijah and as the fulfillment of prophecy was intended to diminish any suggestion of authority held by John over Jesus through the act of baptism? How do Anglicans live down the fact that their sect sprang from a king's desire to get around the Pope's denial of his request for a divorce? How and why would the belief in Mary as a "co-redemptrix" have come about? If the length of books in the New Testament was determined by available scroll length, was this so for OT books as well? Do the names listed in the gospel genealogies have any particular significance? Most non-fundamentalist Christians today seem to have adopted some sort of loose universalism. Is this a result of religious pluralism? Has it happened before? Given the Paul character is presented as traveling everywhere for many years why do we have so few letters to so few churches? Are the etymologies of Good and God in English somehow connected, or is this just a coincidence? Can you relate how Biblical Higher Criticism has benefited from computer technology? Why do you consider Polycarp the compiler of the NT canon? So who was Alphaeus? Is this a person of significance, or is there some other meaning to "of Alphaeus"? Is there another critical response to the 'double prophecy' argument from apologists than to say 'you're just trying to get out of a tight spot'?

December 7th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 8, 2012 1:11:43


When the Chronicler changes the identity of David's tempter from Yahweh to Satan, could the point be to avoid the implication that new revelation could stultify the old? How well does Mormon theology actually match up with early Jewish theology? Is the tale of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil meant to teach that one cannot know about Good without also knowing about Evil? Do various loose ends in the gospels imply an earlier version staring Jesus as a violent revolutionist? Does the gospel evidence really imply Jesus was a hippie Socialist as many argue? What is the origin of the evangelical catchphrase of having a 'personal relationship with God/Jesus'? Is it found in the Bible or is it a modern notion? Did you know the famous Cretan liar paradox is found in the Epistle to Titus? I would like to know the origin of the theory of the "Hauptbriefe." Isn't God "condemning" the serpent to crawl sort of like condemning fish to swim?

December 4th The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 5, 2012 51:32


I Clement 24 cites the sunrise as evidence for the resurrection. What did he think it meant before Jesus? A prophecy of Jesus? Peter's confession at Caesarea Philippi discounts beliefs that Jesus was Elijah, the Baptist, etc,. Does this imply Mark's polemic against rival Christologies in his own day? Do you know of any scholars who do not grant the historicity of the risen Jesus aside from William O. Walker, Jr., G.A. Wells, Winsome Munro, Arthur Drews, and J.C. O'Neill? Re the question about the tribes of Israel representing the zodiac. In Acts 13, is Elymas the same as Simon Magus? Re the question of  how Josephus concluded that Isaac was 25 at the time of the 'Binding of Isaac' story. Regarding inerrancy and holy scriptures; is the tale of the translation of the LXX - where 70 different translators all magically ended up with the same text the earliest example of an attempt to give a claim of inerrancy some kind of grounding in fact - or is there any such claim that predates this?

December 3rd The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 4, 2012 1:06:41


What are your most and least favorite stories in the Bible? Regarding 666 in the book of Revelation: Who was the first to put a name to this number? Is the serpent of Eden really supposed to be Satan? Why are the Bible and God's works recorded therein related only to a small portion of the globe - if it is all more than a man-made religion? Could you give us a couple of examples of the supposedly authentic sayings according to the Jesus Seminar? In Matthew's infamous "zombie pericope" (27:52-53), has a scribe added "after his resurrection" in order to preserve Jesus' status as "first-born from the dead? What kind of Jewish Messianic beliefs existed before Christianity? In Exodus, The Ark of the Covenant is described in excruciatingly painful detail, as if to provide readers with instructions on how we can build our own ark. Is that somehow the point? One apologist I heard sought to minimize the parallels to the Bible as overdrawn as inadequate to prove borrowing, and as ignoring the fact that history repeats itself. What do you think? Is Hell supposed to be hot or cold? Wouldn't the Temptation narrative fit adoptionist Christology best? Why it is that Mark mentions the temptation and gives no details at all? Why does John mention no such event? Why is Jesus baptized before the temptation and not after it? Isn't Deuteronomy a fraud, what with its distinctive style and theology, seeking to supplant the rest of the of the Torah or at least correct it?

December 2nd The Bible Geek Podcast

Dec 3, 2012 1:34:50


Is Mark Goodacre's claim that there is no narrative of a crucifixion before Mark true? Does the Bible define the omnipotence of God? What do Christians make of God's promises to Israel of fertility, prosperity, Victory, etc.? Does early Christian art coincide with the Christ Myth theory? Doesn't redaction criticism (etc.) imply that biblical authors were sophisticated scribes, not lay persons? Which of the crucial concepts of the Catholic Church are the most ludicrous and find no biblical ground whatsoever? Could you give an outline of why "virtually all scholars agree" seven of the epistles are by Paul? How did the Decalogue on Exodus 20 displace that in chapter 34? Does the blood atonement idea of the crucifixion make any sense in terms of ancient Israelite belief? In light of the recent death of a thirty-one year old Indian dentist in Ireland due to a miscarriage, which would have been prevented had the doctors performed an abortion that would have saved her life, does the Geek think that the doctors should be criminally prosecuted with matricide? It has been confirmed that the sole reason for her being denied the abortion was because of the "Sanctity of Life" principle embedded into the minds of every Catholic in Ireland. What are your thoughts on the work of Stephen King and his depiction of fundamentalists? Since horror fiction has been so dependent upon supernatural belief, will the one die away with the others? Please comment on the current tendency of young Muslims to define and control every aspect of daily living by Muslim rules where not even their Imams believe there is such totalistic scriptural obedience required.

November 29th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 30, 2012 41:45


Reading of "Fraud and Imposture in the New Testament", a longer version of the paper given by Robert M. Price at the Society of Biblical Literature 2012 annual meeting in Chicago, IL.

November 28th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 29, 2012 1:33:41


How does Luke 19:27 square with the idea of Jesus as a loving son of God? Criterion of dissimilarity. Dates of NT books. Mark writes (1:12) "The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness." Is this sort of story is more likely to have attached itself to a historical personage rather than to a purely mythical God? Why such an obsession with circumcision in Romans? Where do today's Palestinians come from? Are they one of the original inhabitants of the Palestine as it appears in the Bible? Do the Israelites have more rights to this land? Which verses are the most powerful in demonstrating the questionable origins of the NT? How come an obvious middle ground of a literary hypothesis hasn't been more seriously considered by Historicists and Mythicists? An outline of the methodology of textual criticism. Any comments on William Lane Craig's approach to proving God's existence? Names "Apollonios" and "Peterharemphios" from a Demotic Dream book written in the 2nd Century BCE sound strangely like Paul and Peter. What sayeth the geek? Might Joseph Smith's seer stone have been based on the Urim and Thummim? What's your take on Karaite Judaism? Is the Book of Jesus Ben Sira relevant to the gospels? Parallels between the Matrix movies and Gnosticism? What would you consider the best book on the origins of Satan? Are you considered an outcast in the Bible scholar world and if you wanted a teaching job again would you be able to get one? Suppose Mark's work was in actuality a 1st century CE novel re-written into a Gospel narrative. How would Mark's "novel" have continued on past Mark 16:8, or perhaps earlier, in the style of his contemporaries?

November 25th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 26, 2012 1:29:00


Jewish midrashic rules of interpretation, where they can be found in Greek culture and when were they imported into Jewish religion? How can 2 Kings have Israelite warriors scattered by the pagan king sacrificing his heir to Chemosh? If Luke and Mathew were not aware of each other's work, why isn't it significant that both of them independently came up with a fiery afterlife? Were those responsible for the chapter divisions in our Bibles aware of stuff like Romans 16 as being a later addition, as they too often split the books at the right places reflecting modern divisions. Has the Catholic Church named its offices from astrological terminology? "Conspiracy theory" vs. poor condition and "publication deadlines" as competing explanations for transmission errors in the Bible. How did Josephus "know" Isaac was 25 years of age when he was nearly sacrificed? Geek's thoughts on the quote: "More than any other single action, it was the destruction of the Temple of 70 CE...that activated the slow...transformation of religion to which we owe, among other things, European culture"? What do we know about the actual history of the Mishnah (and Talmud that expands on it)? When did Orthodox Jews begin to widely buy into the myth that the oral law was transmitted from the Big Man Upstairs at Mount Sinai rather than manufactured like (beef) sausage by a bunch of clever rabbis? Are there any ancient examples of bona fide scripture being written upon metal? I understand that a curse upon Cain as a physical marking was adopted by pro-slavery fundamentalists for decades, and that the servitude of Canaan and all his descendants is there in Genesis, but how did the two become interlinked in the idea that black people both bear the mark of Cain, and are the descendants of Canaan who should forever be the property of whites? Could you dedicate one podcast to talking through the Book of Revelation chapter by chapter? Joseph Atwill's theory again. Some Lubavitcher Messianists claim that Menachem Mendel Schneerson didn't die but is in hiding somewhere; could the authors of the various gospel pericopes that seem to suggest that Jesus survived crucifixion have advocated that Jesus didn't die but was in hiding somewhere? Phil Harland explores to what degree ideas from Temple-centered worship practices in Jerusalem appear to have made inroads into Galilee. He cites stone baths that he interprets as having been used for ritual purification. Did they believe stone was not susceptible to incurring ritual impurity? Could you address the so-called "Criterion of Embarrassment"?

November 21st The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 22, 2012 53:54


Wouldn't the crucifixion of the messiah cause violent unrest once realized by the people? Isn't it hard to deny that it was the serpent who told Eve the truth and that it was God who lied? Do most scholars agree that Matthew condensed Mark in order to make room for additional material on a scroll of a standard length? Wasn't "the man" who wrestled with Jacob in fact his brother Esau? Might the Water of Bitterness ordeal in Numbers 5.11-31 have been the inspiration for the Water of Life ordeal in Frank Herbert's Dune epic? Mustn't the children of Jesus and the Magdalene (from Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code") have been British rather than French? If Jesus was a human and the sin of Adam (according to Romans 5:12) was imputed to all humans, how can orthodoxy teach that Jesus was without sin? Might the Jesus character have begun as a personification of an abstraction, like Adam and Samson? Re the crucifixion scene in John, are we to understand "Mary of Clopas" as a doublet of Mary the mother of Jesus? Some suggest Romans 16 was originally a separate letter, later tacked onto the end of mighty Romans. Why would Polycarp (or whoever compiled our canon) have done that?

November 20th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 21, 2012 1:23:28


Is there some earlier explanation for the Jewish prohibition on uttering the name of God than the caution not to abuse it? Did Luke get the idea of the virgin birth from Matthew or vice versa? Can we conclude that these episodes almost certainly do not represent historical events? Are these stories attempting to fulfill Old Testament prophecies? If only Matthew and Revelation mention a hell of endless torment, what do the other NT authors say about postmortem judgment? Is there any evidence that there was a pre-Marcionite Christian atonement belief? Is there a "Koran Geek"? Is 1 Thes 4:15-17 based on Dan 12:2-3? A theory as to why Matthew says Jesus will be called Emmanuel. What if John's gospel came first? Does the famous verse in Leviticus, "thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman, it is an abomination," reflect pagan idolatry? Does the story of the centurion who comes to Jesus for a remote healing of his servant/slave imply a romantic connection between the two? In a recent interview, the Swedish musician and philosopher Alexander Bard denied any connection between Zoroastrianism and Judaism or Christianity. True? Does the syncretistic absorption of Buddhist and Shinto elements by then-recently planted Christianity in Japan after the expulsion of Catholic missionaries provide an analogy to syncretism in early Christianity? A scholar in Christian origins told me Margaret Barker doesn't know what she's talking about. What say you?

November 13th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 14, 2012 34:36


Have you seen the series of Rapture movies - 'A Thief in The Night' (1972), 'A Distant Thunder' (1978), 'The Image of The Beast' (1981), and 'The Prodigal Planet' (1983)? Your review? Are there any other End Times films worth watching? In the 'A Thief in The Night' series, the theology seems to be that those left behind can only become Christians if they'd never heard the gospel. Do you know where they might have gotten this idea from? Would you recommend "The Jewish Annotated New Testament"? Where did you find the theory that Jesus was a theophany or avatar of YHWH, and the father in heaven Jesus speaks of is El? Did Mary have to immaculately conceived so she could serve as a kind of new Ark of the Covenant - the God Bearer, and so had to be totally pure to be a worthy vessel? Is there really just one entity we can refer to as Satan in the Bible? Or is an amalgamation? Do you think the verse saying it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven was added to the gospels to be a veiled condemnation of Marcion, who was wealthy? If Christians believed that Jesus was God manifested in the flesh, why were they so quick to attribute various sayings to him that were not actually said by him? Wouldn't they have seen this ventriloquism as an affront to the incarnate Yahweh? Do you think Christian Fundamentalism is here to stay or do you think it's showing any signs of losing its hold? Do you suppose that the tools of the Information Age (like the Internet) may eventually inform the public enough to diminish the empty fundamentalist understanding of Christianity and the Bible? Do you think universalism is the de facto position of Roman Catholicism today? Re: the Christians who were the subject of Nero's persecutions in the 60s AD, what kind of beliefs would these early followers based in Rome have had? Did Matthew's Magi discern the import of the constellations or did they follow a moving "star" like Tinkerbell?

November 12th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 13, 2012 1:13:00


A possible harmonization between the two Genesis creation accounts. Some examples of character names that are puns and are commenting on the stories in which they appear. What is meant by the term "ethical monotheism"? How many portions of the Bible are actually talking about the Zodiac but the translations hide that fact? Why do so many characters in the NT have more than one name? Did Jesus consider Genesis, etc., to be anything other than historical fact? You say that Jews did not become fully monotheistic until the time of the Babylonian exile. What is the basis for this? How much did politics have to do with it? What's your opinion on R. Crumb's illustrated version of Genesis? What did the Jesus Seminar make of the Gospel of Thomas? The morning star Venus is the basis of Lucifer rising against God, only to be overshadowed by the dawn sun. Is this also the basis of the Prometheus story?

November 10th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 11, 2012 34:44


Is there somewhere in the Old Testament where we can find the concepts for Hell and Satan? Did these ideas exist in those times, or were they a later invention of Christians? Are there any scholars who believe that James son of Zebedee and James the Just were originally the same? Is there any evidence, outside of the writings of the canonical New Testament, for the existence of any of its characters, such as the apostles? Did the OT ban homosexuality because they needed all the male offspring they could get?

November 8th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 9, 2012 1:33:11


Does the use of "bacha bazi," which are Afghan men's "dancing boys," shed any light on homosexuality in the NT? What is the origin or practical reason for Moses banning idols? I think Joseph Atwill tries too hard to assert that Josephus and some mates wrote the gospels, but why couldn't Josephus or someone like that write the original, with subsequent writers adding myth and miracle? Why, other than self-serving propaganda, would anyone write a story like the Gospels, given writing something was a costly endeavor? In view of Sirach 17:30, why on Earth would Jesus have wanted to be referred to as "The Son of Man?" Can we infer from Sirach 17:27- 28, that Sirach does not believe in an afterlife of any kind? Could you put a little meat on the bones of Biblical minimalism and add what, if any, criticism you have of the position? Also what would the New Testament look like "minimilized"? The existence of Nazareth would be a good starting point wouldn't it? What do you regard as the fatal flaw of the "fine tuning of the universe" as an argument for Gods existence? Is the Catholic Church the one true church, i.e., the most consistent and cogent version of Christianity? Why did Christianity spread so widely and persist throughout the ages while belief in Hercules, Mithras, Apollo etc. did not? Is there any evidence that the Gospel to the Hebrews or the Gospel of the Ebionites are earlier versions of the gospel of Matthew? And do they contain the traditional Q materials? If you cut out the Q materials in Matthew, would you have a rebuttal to the more Marcionite strata of the Markan material? Or might the ur-Marcus and ur-Matthias both be responses to an even more primitive gospel, one writer taking the material in a Marcionite direction and the other in an Ebionite direction? Judging from which scriptures they quote, can we discern the structure of the OT that Jesus and Paul might have had access to? Is there any evidence that the Gospel writers had access to 1 Enoch? Which is older: the story of Abraham and Isaac or the ancient Greek story of Agamemnon and Iphigenia? Are there any other such stories in ancient mythology where the human sacrifice is replaced with an animal?

November 6th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 7, 2012 1:27:23


How does Tubal-Cain mess up the Young Earth Creationist time-line? Could it be that Jesus' brother, Judas Thomas (the Twin) and Judas Iscariot are one and the same? What are the flat-out funniest things in the Bible? Might the Genesis 9 promise never to flood the world have been added in light of the flood (whether literal or a metaphor for Assyrian blitzkrieg) mention in Isaiah 28:2, 15, & 17? When in Mark 10:18 Jesus says, "Why do you call me good? No one is good - except God alone" it really sounds like he is confessing that he is not of the same nature as God. How do Trinitarians square this passage? What do you make of the claims of Dr. Daniel Wallace from Dallas Theological Seminary that a fragment of Mark dates paleographically to the 1st century? William Lane Craig says the Bible teaches creation ex nihilo, but the Genesis story seems to agree with pagan stories were God(s) merely give form to a pre-existing cosmos. Is he just reading his theology into the Bible? Where are the original documents that are translated to make the actual Bible kept? Who owns them and who gets to see them? What is the strongest argument for the Christ Myth Theory? How is everyone supposed to have inherited Adam's sin? Why do our children not inherit our sins? What did the Priestly author think the world looked like prior to the creation week? What are these waters that the spirits of the Elohim hover over? What does "darkness on the face of the Tehom" mean? Does Job 3:14 imply that, like the serpent, Jesus turns away the curse of Yahweh?

November 5th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 6, 2012 1:25:25


Does Galatians 3:28 criticize the institution of slavery, or does it say there is no longer any distinction between slaves and freemen because of the belief that the coming end of the age would render such differences meaningless? Is Joseph Atwill's theory that the Romans invented Jesus as an analog to Titus Caesar really so far-fetched? Why is the Akedah Isaac story followed by the genealogy of the sons of Abe's brother Nahor? Was there an earlier version in which Abe did kill Isaac? In the "Christ Hymn" of Philippians 2, translations seem to differ as to whether Christ did or didn't think it a bad idea to seize divine status - why? What do scholars think about the Calming of the Storm and Jesus Walks on Water stories in Mark?  Did Mark have two stories that were originally one (but he couldn't throw either out or combine them). And what do you make of the Walking on Water story turning up in John?  How do you think it got in there? Given the over 1000 years separating Jesus from David, and given cousin intermarriage, mustn't all Jews have had Davidic descent? Was David Hume's correct that human beings are by nature altruistic as opposed to us being psychological egoists as Ayn Rand's position assumes? In Mark, Jesus forgives a man's sins not because of the man's own faith (not mentioned) but because of that of his friends. What are the implications of this for the Christian belief that only Christian believers will be saved? What are the main attempts to harmonize the two creation accounts in Genesis? What do you think of the feasibility of creating an Orange Catholic Bible of the Dune series? Has this ever been attempted? What do you think of the works and philosophies of that great biblical scholar, Jack Chick? And as a Lovecraft aficionado, how much does it amuse you when you hear of folks who actually think there is a real 'Necromonicon' out there giving real power to occultists? If some biblical references to 'hair' refer to male genitalia, was Sampson really castrated? Is the theory of Judas Iscariot meaning Judas the Sicarius. a Jewish revolutionary assassin, the inspiration for the portrayal of Judas in "The Last Temptation of Christ"? Do you know when this etymology of Iscariot was first suggested?

November 4th The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 5, 2012 1:22:13


Could you recommend any books on the New Testament and Early Christianity from a maximal conservative position? Who is the first horseman of Revelation supposed to be? Do you have any thoughts on the seemingly permanent minority status of Universalist and Ultra-Syncretic religions? Can you tell me a bit more about the community that revolved around or was identified with Peter? Some atheists, appealing to the Q document, try to show how dogmatic Christianity cannot have originated with the historical Jesus, but aren't they implicitly agreeing at least that there was a historical Jesus? Please comment on saying 13 from the Gospel of Thomas. Weren't the "Essenes" less a specific sect and more of a broad counter-cultural movement? Was ancient Judaism obsessed with procreation? Did they have sacred prostitutes? Do biblical writers show any awareness of worldwide events, or of the Pyramids? Where can one find the text of Philo's "Letter to Hephaestion"? Isn't the Bible really all about telling people to submit to authority?

November 3rd The Bible Geek Podcast

Nov 4, 2012 2:11:16


There are parallels between the NT and Josephus. Is this because the early church fathers based their story on Josephus? Did Christianity emerge from Essenism? Or was it the creation of Nicea? When did the redactions of the Bible take place? If manuscripts were changed or added to, shouldn't there be earlier manuscripts that show the text before the change? And if not, when and how were the redactions made? Did the Council of Jamnia (CE 90) actually take place? If so, did its decisions affect the nature of the emerging Christian writings? Is there a social and economic doctrine that can be definitely associated with Jesus? Why do they say Jesus rose from the dead 'three days later' when from Friday to Sunday is only two days? Can we map the stages by which Jesus became deified? Do you think that the Universalism described by Hosea Ballou is supported in scripture? What about Freud's theory in "Moses and Monotheism," positing that Moses was born into Egyptian nobility and became a follower of Akhenaten or perhaps was Akhenaten himself? In Mark, Luke and John, the women come to the tomb and find the stone already rolled away, as if it had been moved for Jesus to get out. But Matthew shows us an angel removing the stone, implying Jesus has already exited the tomb. Either he walked right through the rock, or someone opened the door for him to get out, then closed it again. Or is it just poorly thought out? Do we know if the cities of Sodom & Gomorrah actually existed? What evidence supports the position that Ecclesiastes 1:1 and 12:9-14 were added by a redactor? Also, is it simply the false attribution of the authorship to King Solomon that allows it to survive in the canon? Has anyone attempted an even speculative reconstruction of the "Sitz im Leben" for OT writings in the light of OT minimalism? How would your average first-century (Hellenistic, Roman or Jewish) convert have come to Christianity?

October 29th The Bible Geek Podcast

Oct 30, 2012 1:22:57


Why do Bible believers get so upset at evolution but not at the statements, e.g., that God keeps various forms of weather in storehouses, aims lightning bolts, or moves the constellations? What of the idea that the reason for the differing Nativity accounts in Luke and Matthew is that there were actually two Christ children, both named Jesus? Is Wrede's Messianic Secret theory more cogent than J.P. Holding thinks? Where can I find your discussion of Marcion's canon? Bayes' Theorum again. Why do you not excoriate Christian extremists as you do Muslim extremists? Can the theory of Christian dependence upon dying and rising gods make sense of the crucifixion? Do you think the gnostic celestial death of Christ involved a cross? Do you believe that in the future we could see the development of a living religious subculture, along the lines of modern Wicca, or Crowley's Thelema, that is based on the works of Lovecraft? I have decided to write about the Christ-Myth theory for my research paper for an English Comp class. Any book recommendations? I am curious to know if the accounts of women washing and drying the "feet" of Jesus are in fact sanitized versions of a more bawdy act of oral ministration performed on Jesus by some groupie. The International Council on Biblical Inerrancy issued The Chicago Statement in 1978. Isn't it inconsistent and self-defeating? Whenever I bring up the earth's final fate in the far future, my friend brings up the Bible passage that goes something like this: "The earth will abide forever." Is this in the Bible? Does it mean the earth will be in existence forever? Someone wrote in about the widespread theme of the younger brother saving the older one. You've also mentioned a few theories positing Jesus was taken off the cross and survived the ordeal. Might there have been a version where it is James, commonly considered by many to be the brother of Jesus, who takes him down and saves him? What language did Jesus speak? What about the ideal of nirvanam in the Lotus Sutra and the NT?

October 26th The Bible Geek Podcast

Oct 27, 2012 46:51


You say that books like Jubilees and Enoch shaped the world view of the various groups such as the Pharisees and Essenes. Can you recommend some books that try to reconstruct the worldview of 1st Century Judaism and trace the trajectory from the post-exilic material in the OT? How firmly established is the historicity of Muhammad? What biblical elements occur in H.P. Lovecraft's story "The Colour out of Space"? Is Judas "Iscariot" called "the sicarius" because he stabbed Jesus in the back? I read that Arimathea has never been identified. Might "Arimathea" be a false place name based on a different sort of epithet (like "the Nazorean" being redefined as "from Nazareth")?

October 25th The Bible Geek Podcast

Oct 26, 2012 1:11:10


Once you spoke about the time where you essentially converted away from your fundamentalist beliefs and described how studying scripture in light of what some higher critics had written was quite an eye-opener for you. Would you go over some of those? Doesn't 1 John 3:2 imply that the writer had not seen the resurrected Jesus? How could the apostles, who supposedly had proof that Jesus had risen, have been "saved by faith"? What's your take on St. Anselm's famous ontological argument for the existence of God? The betrayal story of Judas appears incomplete. The biggest issue (to me) is that it doesn't have the human drama that it should. Are we missing details from a proto-narrative that didn't make it into Mark? Paul doesn't seem to be aware of the Gospels, or any details of Jesus' life and ministry. Are there two historically separate strands of Christianity, Gospel and Epistle? Instead of quests for the historical Jesus, has anyone undertaken (the presumably more achievable) quest for the Jesus of 50-60 AD? That is, who did the earliest Christians for whom we have documentation think that Jesus was? Before Christianity became a Gentile movement, were Christians considered separate from Jews? Do you have any knowledge about the authenticity of the Koran or why Muslims claim it's the single book in history without error? Harold Bloom, in The Book of J, speculates that the author of J was Bathsheba, saying that it was most likely written by a woman attached to the court of the successors of David and Solomon. What's your opinion? Have you ever heard an argument from an evangelical apologist or conservative scholar that convinced and enlightened you on some aspect of the Bible?

October 24th The Bible Geek Podcast

Oct 25, 2012 44:08


Why are Protestants so quick to recognize the derivation of Mother Mary from Isis but cannot see Jesus was derived from Horus et. al.? Has critical scholarship derived anything of significance from the patterns of episodes shared or not shared by the four canonical gospels? Is the Yazidi religion old enough to have been referred to in the Bible? What is wrong with the apologists' claim that internal evidence points to John as the author of the 4th gospel, and that Irenaeus got that ascription from Polycarp who was a hearer of John? How can the Geek embrace Ayn Randâ??s Objectivism?

October 23rd The Bible Geek Podcast

Oct 24, 2012 1:21:34


Doesn't the claim that John the Baptist was Elijah resurrected imply that John and Jesus were not contemporaries? Does the author of John have Jesus deny any private teaching as an explicit contradiction to the claims of those pretending to be in a line of apostolic succession? What is a nominal Christian? What you think of the theory that Jesus was Caesar? Islam accepts polygamy up to four wives. Can this tell us something about the existence of such limit on number of wives among Jewish or Christian sects at that time? When was polygamy forbidden in Christianity? Do you know of any research into what types of diverse Jewish sects and Jewish beliefs there were, especially concerning Melchizedek? I was wondering about your thoughts on Billy Graham. Have most of the wise sayings of Jesus come from the Egyptian Book of the Dead? Could this be the "Q" source?

October 21st The Bible Geek Podcast

Oct 22, 2012 1:06:01


Please address these theories of the Easter stories: Jesus "died" and was revived; Jesus died and they stole his body; dogs ate the corpse; the women visited the wrong tomb; the disciples saw Jesus' twin brother, not Jesus; Jesus never lived; Jesus predicted his own death and Resurrection, and people expected, hence believed, it. How could John, a disciple, have neglected to include the Transfiguration when he must have been present for the event? Matt 12:19 says, "no one will hear his voice in the streets." Is this a hint that the "events" of the gospel were remembered by no one and thus did not happen in the first place? Please discuss the implications of the eventual possible discovery of extraterrestrials for the claims of Christian theology. The Sadducees considered only the Pentateuch to be scripture but did not believe in angels. What did they make of the angel stories in the Pentateuch? Who is the first non-disputed Christian that we have evidence of? Marcion? Does the fact that we've identified scraps of various NT books in ancient papyrus dumps suggest that there were a lot of copies in existence relative to other texts, or is it just that the vast majority of fragments belong to texts we can no longer identify? Do we have any idea how many copies of a particular text would have been present within any given Christian community? How many copies of each manuscript might have been in existence in, say, the second century or so? Is the Alexamenos Graffito still considered one of the first pieces of evidence we have for Christianity? I have read an argument that Mark came after Luke and Matthew because it contains a note of apocalyptic urgency. Can you comment? In the Mandaean Book of John the Baptizer in your Pre-Nicene New Testament, the chapters all begin with the verse: "John proclaims in the nights, John on the evenings of the night" Which means what? In the same book, Jesus shows up in Chapter 8. Is there any manuscript evidence of this chapter being added to this story later than the stories of John the Baptist in the canonical gospels? In Chapter 8 verse 35, "a letter appeared from the House of Abathur: 'John baptize the deceiver in the Jordan. Lead him down into the Jordan and baptize him, and lead him up to the shore again and leave him standing there.'" Was this "letter" supposed to be a paper document or something else? And of all the divine emanations, why would Abathur take any interest in Jesus? When asked who people say/think Jesus is, the disciples answer: John the Baptist. Was there a belief at the time that they were the same person? Could they have been the same person?

October 19th The Bible Geek Podcast (repeat of show #94 from Sept. 2007)

Oct 20, 2012 2:04:38


*** THIS IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION FROM SEPTEMBER 2007 (SHOW #94) *** Relationship of George W. Bush to the Christian Right. Geek's plans for a rationalist Bible". Questions about the P (priestly) source of the Pentateuch. At what point did Yahweh become affiliated/conflated with El? What of the common apologetic argument that it takes at least two generations for myths to arise? Books that separate different sources of the Torah. How many different names does God have in the Bible? Questions about Passover and Pentecost. Explaining silence about life of Jesus in the epistles through genre convention. Significance of Jesus and Paul having a different focus (Sabbath vs. circumcision) in regards to "overcoming the law". Are the two stories of the Davidic census from 2. Samuel 24 and 1. Chronicles 21 a contradiction? Do Pauline epistles speak of a spiritual or physical resurrection of Jesus? What about Luke T. Johnson's argument that stylistic changes in Pauline epistles are not indicative of different authors but rather that Paul himself changed styles mid document? Geek's opinion of Greg Boyd and Paul Eddy's "The Jesus Legend" where they respond to some of his arguments. How large a following did Jesus have? Did Romans kill other religious leaders of the era? Where can we find stories or Judas swelling up like a "Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloon" and Paul getting resurrected from the dead. What books address the question of Jewish synagogues in 1st century Galilee? Is Judas meant to be the bad guy? Where in the Bible is phrase "loving the alien" found? What does "my hour is not yet come" mean in the "wedding at Cana" episode in John 2? I sit possible that Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6-7 refer to King Hezakiah? Is a character automatically non-historical if he is superfluous to the story? Why did God punish Moses by making him wander for 40 years? Is there a full (i.e. not deceptively edited) version of Geek's interview with Lee Strobel on the "Faith under Fire" program? Why would someone who is loving and wise demand to be worshiped? More info on the Robert Price vs. Michael Green debate. Comments on Elaine Pagels' works and her idea that Christianity took a wrong turn with Constantine. How many angels can dance on the tip of a pin? John the Baptist as second coming of Elijah in the Gospels. Use of "Lord" vs. "My Lord" in Psalm 110. Who were the Sadducees and what does their name mean? Is there any proof Jesus existed? Were Hezekiah and Ezekiel the same person? Immuatbility of God vs. changes between Old and New Testaments? How long did Jesus live? Which Christian apologists do the best job of reconciling free will and predestination? When was Revelation added to the canon? Was Jesus a Jew? What did Jesus mean by "hate your father and mother"? What about universalist Christianity? Did Jesus spend his teenage/young adult years in India? Why did God prefer Abel's sacrifice to Cain's? Was Lilith originally Adam's wife? Does the Bible say anything about how long ago the Earth was created? Influence of Buddhist Bodhisattva doctrine on Christian ideas of sacrifice. Are Elohim and Yahweh different tribal gods? Does creation story imply a flat Earth? What are some of the most egregious discrepancies in the Bible? What's Geek's favorite non-Bible text? Is belief in the Devil necessary to be a Christian? Does the Bible teach free will? Do biblical passages that speak of God breathing life into humans have any bearing on abortion? Does "sacred oil" mentioned in the Bible have anything to do with marijuana? Are non-realist Christians just deluding themselves?

October 8th The Bible Geek Podcast (repeat of show #93 from September 2007)

Oct 9, 2012 1:45:27


*** THIS IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION FROM SEPTEMBER 2007 (SHOW #93) *** Where to watch debate with Michael Green? What historical events were involved in adding the last 12 verses of GMark? Use of word "Rabbi" in the NT. Other examples of spirits descending on holy men in the form of birds. Geek's opinion on Hector Avalos' "The End of Biblical Studies". What is the earliest known complete book of the NT? Deism vs. atheism. Downloading/purchasing of Bible Geek Shows. News on upcoming books by the Geek. Criticism of Gary Habermas for name dropping. How specific will redaction criticism of Pauline epistles be in the "Amazing Colossal Apostle". History of human belief in angels? Why are there dietary laws in the OT? What percent of the translation of the Biblical text represents guess work? If Jesus was real would there have been literally evidence of him in Aramaic? Evidence of geocentric or flat Earth belief in Ecclesiastes 1:5. Are Calvinists Fundamentalists? Extrabiblical information about Pontius Pilate. What is wrong with Calvinist theology? Do Catholics or Protestants have a better theological foundation? Personal testimony family reaction to deconversion from Christianity. How similar in nature are apologists, politicians, PR reps and game show hosts? How much was the idea of the Holy Spirit inspired by Zoroastrianism? Was Revelation inspired by Joshua? On the pronunciation of YHWH. Is the book of Job older than Genesis? Why is it generally believed that god(s) live in or above the sky? Chronology of Crucifixion vis a vis Passover in GMark. Replacement of Judas and him being witness of the Resurrection. Meaning of Hebrew "almah" and Greek "parthenos": "virgin" or just "young woman". Esme Wynne-Tyson's "Mithras: The Fellow in the Cap" and her claim that Resurrection was an anti-Mirthraist work. Do Gospel differences mean that the authors did not collaborate and what does it mean for Gospel accuracy? Where do people get the idea that Moses wrote the Pentateuch? Are there really over 20 extrabiblical references to Jesus from 30 - 130 CE as Gary Habermas claims? How long did a Roman soldier have to wait to gain Roman citizenship? Biblical action figures. On Geek's images on the Mantle and 2nd commandment. Relationship between mystery cults, Judaism, embryonic Christianity and Paul. How many of Pauline letters are genuine? Apologetics of Ravi Zacharias. Would a historical Jesus make better sense of things like apocalypticism, doctrine of the atonement, cognitive dissonance etc.? Is GThomas 13, meant to denigrate GMatthew as per Richard Bauckham? Why would Mark ascribe ignorance of 2nd coming to Jesus? Why translate John 1:1 with "a god" like Jehovah's Witnesses and Geek's own "Prenicene New Testament"? Hebrew word "Ruah" (wind/spirit) and relation to Persian use. Yahweh condones genocide of Canaanites while condemning murder. What are the chances that any single letter to a church would be preserved and survive? Extrabiblical evidence of David and Solomon. Geek's opinion of movie "Zeitgeist" that claims that Jesus and Moses never existed but were "formed" from Egyptian gods. Geek's opinion of some SF authors. On the identification of Jesus and/or Joseph as a "carpenter".

October 3rd The Bible Geek Podcast

Oct 4, 2012 1:17:51


Isn't it likely that the Gospel of Jesus' Wife is based on Buddhist scripture? Could you explain the arguments against Jesus having formed the twelve disciples? Who is the commander of the army of Yahweh in Joshua 5:13-15? Do you think there could be any truth to the seemingly supernatural experiences of gods and angels that ancient people wrote about? Maybe aliens? Is it true that the Library of Assurbanipal repeatedly corroborates the Bible? Some debates will center around a word that will have dozens upon dozens of possible translations listed in a single lexicon entry and the apologist will just seemingly cherry pick one word for no other apparent reason than to try to make the verse sound better. I find this sort of study suspicious. What exactly is a lexicon? Also, how does it differ from a concordance? How should one use a lexicon? How should one not use a lexicon? I've heard you mention that the reason embarrassing or contradictory texts were kept in the bible is because they were so well known and couldn't be chopped. Do we not run into a problem with this theory when we consider redactions and interpolations? Why do you consider the Gospel of Judas a fake? One of the frequently trumped out apologetics arguments is that [insert whichever skeptic theory here] cannot explain the transformation of the disciples. But the transformation in question is built squarely and exclusively on the evidence of the book of Acts (no 'independent attestation' here). So, if you had to debunk the book of Acts, how would you go about it? What was Paul's view of the earthly Jesus?

October 2nd The Bible Geek Podcast

Oct 3, 2012 42:08


Jesus in Mat. 6 gives simple rules of prayer and piety: don't go public with it! Why and how do Christians just ignore this? How did the NT end up with such a lop-sided canon: 14 letters attributed to "Paul," an apostle who never figures into the gospel story, compared with three by "John," two by "Peter," and one by "James"? Since unknown figures in the second century church were writing most of these, why did they stop with just these four apostles? Why not write "canonical" letters for all 12 of the apostles? If Jesus didn't exist, nor did Peter, what is the origin of the anti-Petrine materials in the NT? Were the gospels written by and for different church communities? Does this explain the contradictions between them? And does that undermine their accuracy? When the Iranians call America the "Great Satan," do they mean "great Adversary/Opponent" or "great devil"?

September 27th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 28, 2012 1:00:45


In Rev 2:2, who are those who claim to be apostles and are not? In Rev 2:4, what was the first love that the Ephesians had rejected? Who were the Nicolaitans mentioned in Rev 2:6 and 2:15? In Rev 2:9 who are those who claim to be Jews but are not? In Rev 2:14, what does the reference to the teaching of Balaam refer to? In Rev 2:20-23, is the woman Jezebel a cipher for Priscilla? In 1 Cor 8:4-13, Paul instructs the Corinthians not to eat food sacrificed to idols if it would cause a weak brother to stumble. Does this not imply that Paul would have considered the Jesus speaking in Revelation to be a weak brother, since he clearly is against eating food sacrificed to idols? Is the reason Christians were willing to suffer persecution is because of their rejection to pay homage to Rome due to their theology alone? If Christianity borrowed all its myths about Jesus from other religions, are there any examples of it happening the other way around? At the crucifixion in John, the Beloved disciple is mentioned at the end of a list of women. Was "he" one of them? If God didn't want Adam and Eve to transmit sin to future generations, why didn't he just make them sterile/infertile? Where did stories of Jesus' speaking from the cradle come from? How did they reach the Quran? Do you think it's the way of hard-line monotheist religions to drive out all opposition, where poly and pan could not? Was there, around the time they say Jesus was around, one single group of people known as the Jews, with no sects? What does Paul mean by death? Eternal nothingness, punishment or none of the above?

September 25th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 26, 2012 1:49:36


I believe religious believers must be confronted aggressively, especially now. Shouldn't you be giving them less credit than you do, and demand that people cease living vicariously through Jesus Christ? Why doesn't the Act of the Apostles mention the death of Paul? How would an apologist reconcile 1 John 4:20-12 with Luke 14:26? A "Mary" is repeatedly mentioned in all three synoptics as the mother of Jesus, and another "Mary" is repeatedly mentioned as the mother of James. Might folks reading the Gospels easily confuse them and think that the mothers of Jesus and of James were the same Mary, and hence the same mother, and hence that they were "brothers"? Neither Paul nor Mark mentioned the name of Jesus' father. Mark mentions a "Joseph" who asks for Jesus' body. Maybe just the name "Joseph" was appropriated by Christians after Mark's day as being the name of Jesus' father to round out the story? Also, concerning the name of Jesus' father being "Joseph," it says in Hebrews 11:22, "By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones." In view of Genesis 50:24-25, could it be mere coincidence that the first mention of the name of Jesus' father as being "Joseph" appears in Matthew (not Mark), and that it is Matthew that contains the story of Jesus being raised in Egypt by his father Joseph, and then returning to the land of promise? Is that how Matthew determined the name of Jesus' father? What exactly does it say in the Quran about showing Muhammad's image or criticizing Islam? If Jesus supposedly abolished certain Old Testament laws, doesn't that mean that he changed his mind since, being God, he was the author of those laws in the first place? I thought God was unchanging! If so many changes have been made in the New Testament, why is the Old Testament even part of the Christian Bible? How far back has Christianity had a pathological approach to sexuality? In Genesis, why a serpent? Should churches be required to publicly declare that results are not guaranteed? Should it not say on houses of God "for entertainment purposes only"? There is nothing from D in the first four books and there is nothing from J, E or P in the fifth book, as far as I know, so why lump them all together in the 'documentary hypothesis'? What draws the merkavah ("chariot-throne") of Yahweh? It's cherubim. Why not horses? Can you please talk about the Council of Nicaea and other important councils and suggest a few references?

September 20th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 21, 2012 1:41:12


So what's the deal with "The Gospel of Jesus' Wife"? Is Luke 10:18 a later interpolation reflecting the 'fallen angel' idea? Is John 1:6-8 an editorial (or authorial) swipe at the Mandaeans? What are the reasons for forbidding suicide? Where did the notion of Mortal Sins originate? Why does God think "faith" is a good thing? Is it that it allows you to obtain and keep adherents without ever having to produce evidential support for your claims? If the Jesus of the Bible is a construction, why not construct him so that he makes more explicit claims to Godhood or messiahship? Does this suggest an underlying tradition that the authors of the gospels did not want to violate? Please give us a refresher on the Gospel of John, especially how much you feel John is a Gnostic-influenced text. What is the relation between the golden calf idol stories in Exodus 32 and 1 Kings 14? Why do snake-handlers obey Mark 16:17-18, but not Luke 10:19? My Sunni Muslim professor said that freedom of speech does not include insulting or criticizing other religions and that Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins should be thrown in prison for criticizing the Koran. How do I get religious conservatives like him to understand that he cannot have it both ways: either all religions, including the Aum Shinrikyo cult, are to be respected, or else allow open criticism of organized religion as a fundamental part of freedom of speech? Why does Mark 6:48 say Jesus walked on the sea to come to the disciples' aid, yet "intended to pass them by"? In Matthew 14:22-33 Peter starts to walk on the water but proceeds to sink like a "stone." Would an ancient writer or readers have understood such a play on words? Are the oldest manuscripts that we possess of Daniel part Hebrew and part Aramaic? Muslims say God is not to be visually represented. People might worship an image as an idol. But then neither is Muhammad to be pictured, lest people treat that as an idol. But doesn't the very fact of treating the likeness of Muhammad in the same way as God's implicitly encourage people to worship Muhammad? Might the idea of the Trinity have arisen out of the need to be in line with Jewish monotheism and yet accommodate worship of Jesus, and thus provide a workable theological platform for many early sects to come together?

September 17th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 18, 2012 1:13:06


Might the 3 versions of Paul's Damascus Road vision in Acts stem from 3 different sources? There's no reason to posit time in the hereafter. Everything could happen at once, and forever. What does the Bible say about time in heaven? In Revelation the number of the beast is 666 (or 616 in some mss). It makes sense that Revelation would use 'code' language to refer to Nero so as to avoid persecution. But why would everyone need to have the number stamped on his flesh? Could "Cephas" be short for Josephus? A dictation error? You use "catholic Christianity" to refer to the religion, e.g., of Eusebius. Do you distinguish between "catholic" and "orthodox" in those early centuries? Are Simon Magus, Marcion, and Paul the same person? Romans 1:3 refers to Jesus having been made "of the seed of David according to the flesh." Is this evidence that Jesus was, in fact, a human being, or is it more likely to be an interpolation? Was Lovecraft familiar with the cosmology of the Bible, e.g., the concept of a primordial watery chaos as well as ancient sea monsters? Was Revelation a work of esoteric eschatology or a response to the persecution of early Christians by the emperor Domitian? Perhaps both? Could you possibly clear up the confusion between Christos and Chrestos in the early formation of Christianity? What passages did medieval Catholics interpret allegorically to support popes and indulgences, and how did they argue from text to conclusion? In Mark 7:9-10 Jesus appears to be approving of the practice of stoning rebellious children! Am I misreading this? I've heard that the Dead Sea Scrolls are our oldest copies of the Old Testament and are virtually the same as what we read in our Bible. I've heard that there are wildly different versions of OT stories in the DDS. Which is true? Might Exodus 34:26 have meant, "Do not boil your kids in their mothers' milk"? Why are scholars reluctant to recognize the extensive parallels between Acts and The Bacchae? What do you think of the suggestion that the Biblical Exodus account may actually have had its historical origins with the "Hyksos expulsion" of around 1560 BCE?

September 15th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 16, 2012 1:26:57


Might a woman have authored the Epistle to the Hebrews? Who wrote the book of Revelation and why? Why was it written in such a cryptic style? Might the Herod/Jesus conflict of Matthew have been based on a Gnostic Redeemer story which was "Christianized" by replacing the Demiurge with Herod? I don't understand why the gospel writers would have had to get their info from a prior literary source. Couldn't the authors have simply made them up? If Luke did not have the introduction mentioning previous Gospels would there be advocates for Lukan priority? Can you think of another passage somewhere in early Christian literature that has the same elements as Mark 16:1-8 that might be the missing ending of Mark, if we view the entire book as a chiasm? I'd like your opinion regarding the state of the Freudian theory and the reality or status of the Jungian archetypes. If the Bible contains several books that are in fact miniature "Pentateuchs", containing five smaller, related books (e.g., Psalms, cf. 1 Enoch), how many such books are there in the Bible? What is the fascination the Biblical compilers had with the number five? True, Gadara was far from the Lake of Galilee, but are we sure that is the town mentioned in the story, since the stated location is the larger "region" of Gadara/Gerasa? What could Jesus mean in Mark 1 where he says to repent and believe in the gospel? Is this an anachronism? I thought the gospel was that Jesus died and rose again. Revelation 20:13 says that Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them. Is Death here thought of as a place like Hades? How does Death give up the dead that are "in it"? What does orthodoxy consider a damnable heresy? What is essential to "salvation" according to traditional orthodoxy? Among the major religious founders, who has the most evidence to support their having existed? Is the Mormon Church a Christian sect or is the LDS to Christianity as Christianity is to Judaism? At what point does a sect spin off to become regarded as a separate religion? The gospels refer mainly to "Jesus," only occasionally to "The Christ." A different usage prevails in the Pauline epistles. Why? Surely all these long monologues by Jesus in the book of John cannot have come from accurate memory and oral tradition? And why is Jesus always talking about himself in them? Why not think the gospel writers were acquainted with Jesus' philosophy and thus created stories that used the Wisdom of Jesus to comment on various aspect of religious life? If Jesus wanted his exact words preserved he would have written his own book!

September 13th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 14, 2012 1:03:44


Do you find evidence in America of the "culture of apologies" and hypersensitivity that cripples intellectual discourse in Europe? When fundamentalists invoke Leviticus 20:13 against homosexuality, I point to the long list of rules in the Old Testament that they don't seem to care about, but they tell me that God made ceremonial laws and moral laws, and this one is moral. Is it? Is there any way you could possibly take a faith position? Under what circumstances? How would you describe this man/god Jesus, psychologically speaking? Do you think that Christianity is the biggest hoax ever to be perpetrated on mankind, or do you believe there is more to it than that? Christians say that God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omni-benevolent, etc. But where do these properties come from? Do you think the Bible teaches eternal torture in Hell? In "Who wrote the Gospels" Randel Helms argues that the author of Luke/Acts was actually a Gentile Widow. What do you say? Is it any less bigoted to oppose same-sex marriage than to oppose inter-racial marriage?

September 10th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 11, 2012 1:16:44


Would you mind giving a run down on the Moonies and your experience with them? And do you consider the Unification Church a cult? My wife's pastor rejoiced in God curing her cancer, then died of it. How does the congregation reconcile this? Will Christians who are cremated miss the rapture? How do Christian biblical critics reconcile pseudepigraphy with biblical authority? Why were the Apocrypha of the NT excluded? Do you think there is anything constructive or useful about formal debates? Can you recommend any books that close the lid on the disciples believing that the end of the world was going to happen within the first century? Bruce Metzger suggests that early Christian communities hired professional (i.e. pagan) scribes to produce copies of the Christian scriptures. Did this tend to corrupt the text?

September 5th The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 6, 2012 42:10


What are of the most serious and irrefutable Bible contradictions? Does anyone suggest Josephus may have written any of the gospels or Q? Does 1 Corinthians approve baptism for the dead, or only mention it?

September 1st The Bible Geek Podcast

Sep 2, 2012 1:37:38


What are the major content differences between the Old Testament and the Jewish Torah? According to the Bible, morality is based on whatever Yahweh commands at any given time. How could one know if it was Yahweh who was speaking to them at any time giving a moral command? Whom is Matthew 5:17-20 aimed at? Perpetual virginity of Mary and Jesus' siblings. Bishop Spong basically strips the Jesus narrative of any supernaturalism and argues for a Christianity beyond a supernatural Jesus, trying to maintain the outer rituals of the religion. Is there any precedent in Christian history for such a revision? When the disciples steal corn on the Sabbath in Matt 12:1/Mark 2:23, why does it seem to be the taking of the corn ON THE SABBATH that is seen as the greater transgression? What of the stealing of the donkey for the triumphal entry? Is there a contradiction between the great commission in Matthew 28, and the idea of not praying in public of Matthew 6? What are your reasons or subscribing to Q? An apologist contends that since revolutionist messiahs claiming to work miracles appear only after 30 CE, the trend must have begun with a historical Jesus. Valid? I've heard Christians excuse the infinite sentence of Hell by arguing that the slightest offense becomes infinitely evil when committed against an infinitely good god. But, really, how much better is an infinitely good god, whatever that means? Julius Africanus wrote about descendants of Jesusâ?? brothers. How does this fit into your views of the development of Christianity? Do the parallels between Secret Mark and the story of the Rich Young Ruler imply the genuineness of Secret Mark? Might it have been part of Q?

August 28th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 29, 2012 46:31


Can the atoning death be really meaningful if you believe the fall of mankind was an allegorical tale? Transgression themes and Eucharistic symbols in Mark 2:18-28 and John 6:56-66. Does Jesus forbid divorce? Is â??epithumeaâ?? properly translated as "adultery"? Do NT sexual ethics stem from Gnostic and/or apocalyptic asceticism?

August 27th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 28, 2012 1:04:14


How much of the Bible is considered and accepted as historical? Post-mortem on Bart Ehrman's appearance on the Unbelievable? UK radio show: pre-Jesus Greek/Roman period literature that involved a crucified hero, evidence that NT period Jews were familiar with the Osiris religion, relationship between the Joseph story (Genesis) and Osiris. If Satan were to be put on trial for his crimes against humanity, and the Bible was being used to prosecute him, what would be his best defense? As to the origins of the Nephilim and Goliath, what about the research of Adrienne Mayor? The Gaderene demons left the demoniac and went into pigs and then the pigs ran into the sea and drowned. But since demons are supposedly immortal spiritual beings wouldn't this just set them free to find more human victims? Why didn't Adam find the animals sufficient companions if he hadn't yet obtained the knowledge of sex? In 2 Corinthians 4:4 Paul refers to the "god of this world" blinding the minds of the unbelievers. All Bible translations spell it with a small "g." Who is this supposed to be? Is there canonical scripture supporting the Eastern Orthodox "theosis" doctrine?

August 26th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 27, 2012 1:10:04


Christians say that they'll reign with Christ one day - over whom? Who'll be left? Why do the gospels' Jesus/Pilate dialogues vary so much? Is Margaret Barker saying we're stuck with an OT reworked and censored by the Deuteronomic School? If God took the trouble to inspire an infallible scripture, why didn't he protect it from scribal corruption? When Jesus is on the cross and he said to his father "Why have you forsaken me?" Doesn't this imply that this was not 'part of the plan'; that it was not preordained? I was surprised to find that the word "antichrist" only appears 4 times in the entire Bible, all of them in 1 John and not a single time in Revelation! Where did we get this image of the Antichrist as seen in movies such as "The Omen"? What thinkest thou of "Hebrew Thought Compared With Greek" by Thorleif Boman and his distinction between the Hebrew and Greek meanings of "time"? What do you know about women in the early church? Was their ministry ended by just one bishop? Did Osiris come back from the dead in this world or only in an afterworld? Re Palm Sunday: why would a suffering savior with a messianic secret choose to enter Jerusalem in such a way as to invite direct comparisons with a returning Davidic king? Can we explain the Religious Right's ire over abortion and homosexuality from the Deuteronomic theology wherein the whole people gets judged for the sins of only part of the population? In "Deconstructing Jesus" you described a possible lost thread where the apostles are the ones that actually kill Jesus. Could you talk more about this?

August 24th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 25, 2012 58:54


Does Romans 6:14, "For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace" have any justification from the supposed teachings and sayings of Jesus? Might not the current Logos idea have been used by Christians to lend (false) luster to their message in the same way quacks invoke "quantum" this and that today? I'm confused by the need for God to sacrifice His only Son to himself in order to cause an action by himself. Does the fact that it's unlikely that Jesus and his followers spoke Latin affect the probability of the Gospel passages where Pilate and Jesus converse? In the Nag Hammadi texts there are lists of good and evil entities with the names of virtues and vices. Might the same thing underlie the Galatians list of the fruit of the Spirit and the works of the flesh? Who exactly is the "Son of Man" that Jesus refers to in the Gospels? Paul had access to at least one of Jesus' brothers. It doesn't make sense that within a couple of decades that his brother James would have lied about being Jesus' actual brother.

August 23rd The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 24, 2012 1:28:19


Mark 16:7: says for disciples to meet Jesus in Galilee but they don't because the women keep quiet. Might Mark have intended that Paul replaced them when he did meet Jesus on the road to Damascus which goes through Galilee? Re interpolations in the epistles, how many demonstrable interpolations are there in the epistles? How much can we deduce about "Mark" from what he wrote? Was there a relationship between the gospels of John and Luke, or only in the later redactions? The Nova TV program "The Bible's Buried Secrets" suggests that Exodus may have been historically based on a handful of slaves who escaped out of Egypt and joined with a "Shasu" people who worshiped a god called Yahu. Which came first, Yahweh or Yahu? Can one really say that Mormonism is not part of the Protestant movement? Do Protestants consider it that far outside their own stream of belief? In Matthew 5:9, Jesus says, "Blessed are the peacemakers.â?? How is that compatible with the incident of Jesus going into the temple and raising hell? Might Rahab have been one of the "sacred" prostitutes, a priestess of dragon Rahab (Psalm 89)? Might she have summoned her deity to stir beneath the ground (in the subterranean Tehom) and knock down the city walls? What goes into a good translation? The biblical notion of "entertaining angels unawares" occurs in Hinduism, too. How widespread is it? In Philippians 1:19-26 is Paul contemplating suicide? When Jesus asked people to renounce possessions, was he talking to the rich or the poor?

August 21st The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 22, 2012 55:36


Is a 450 year gap between the end of the Judges period and the monarchy in Acts 13:17-20 a translation error? Was Joseph the patriarch in Egypt when his brothers betrayed him (as I believe you said), or did the slavers subsequently take him there? Jehovahâ??s Witnesses argue that God had been alone forever and then He created Jesus. That's why in Genesis God says "let us..." he is speaking to his son, a separate, subordinate of God. What do you think of this argument? Was God somehow bound to undertake the incarnation, etc., if he wanted to save us? How could Peter have witnessed the Transfiguration and then denied Jesus as if he were just some human leader? The idea that Constantine is really the architect of what we now know as Christianity? Does the Geek partake in communion as a agnostic when he attends the Episcopal Church services? Why is it that almost all English translations of the Bible are still decades behind the mainstream views of biblical scholars? Some questions about the Adam & Eve story.

August 20th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 21, 2012 1:15:34


Are there any New Testament references found in the DSS (as I have heard some claim)? Might the appearance the man in white to the astounded women at the empty tomb reflect the oracle of Delphi? Isn't the Galatians 3:13 reference to Deuteronomy 21:22-23 a gross misinterpretation impossible for a historical, rabbinically trained Paul? The traditional view of the Magi who visited the young Jesus followed a bright star in the sky, but I recently heard a thought that they were 'following the stars' and came at the behest of an astrological reading, but with the later distrust of astrology, this was downplayed. In addition, despite most seasonal manger scenes, its my understanding that they didn't arrive until well after his birth. What is the 'accepted' time period in Jesus' youth did they arrive? Please suggest sources documenting ancient views of cosmology. In 2 Peter 1:16-21, the author says he made known to the readers "the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." What does this author mean by "the coming"? I wonder if the Circe story is really a source of the Gerasene Demoniac story. I would like to know how the Bible stacks up compared to similar extant evidence of other famous works like the Iliad, Gilgamesh, the Vedas, Tao Te Ching, etc. If the word of god is so holy why not write it on something durable? What of Elaine Pagels' case that much of John's gospel aims to refute Thomasâ??? In "Mark: Traditions in Conflict," Theodore J. Weeden argues that the shabby treatment of the disciples reflect Christological controversies. But maybe it is a function of the Jesus-Moses parallel, where the Israelites were similarly obtuse? In Genesis 9:18, Canaan a place or a person? Why does Noah condemn Canaan and not Ham? Is it mathematically possible for all 6.5 billion people on earth to have originated from just Noah and his family some 6000 supposed years ago? Is it true that the Nephilim are mentioned before AND after the flood? If so, how do apologetics explain this? What if any NT passages indicate an anti-imperialist theme?

August 17th The Bible Geek Podcast (repeat of show #92 from September 2007)

Aug 18, 2012 1:57:08


*** THIS IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION FROM SEPTEMBER 2007 (SHOW #92) *** Geek's thoughts on debate "Was Christianity Based On a Lie?" he had with Dr. Michael Green in 2007. Supposed chupacabra discovery. Sabbatai Zevi's apostasy vs. martyrdom and transformation of Judaism into a post-apocalypic religion. What is the oldest piece of New Testament found? Is there really an universal consensus among NT scholars that there were no dying and rising gods prior to Christianity? Different outlooks of Margaret Barker's "The Older Testament" vs. Stevan Davies' "Jesus the Healer". Archaeological evidence of biblical events. Why did early Christians develop the concept of the Trinity? On the Infalibility of the Pope. What is the point behind Pilate's question "What is truth?" (John 18:38)? How many gods/religious leaders have stories similar to that of Jesus? Is the birth story in Revelation 12 in the past or future and is it related to Jesus' first or second coming? Who was the father of Joseph (father of Jesus), Jacob or Heli? Ireanus' claim that Jesus lived to the age of 50 and was crucified under Claudius, rather than under Tiberius at the age of 30. If only God can see the future how could Satan have known about Jesus? Were all the Gospels written prior to 70 CE because they don't mention the Fall of Jerusalem as Frank Turek claims? Geek's favority explanation for the Star of Betlehem. Is the snake in the Garden of Eden the same as Satan? What of instances where Paul refers to Christ as a historical person? When did Jewish theology change from poly- to monotheism? Translation of Psalm 110 with reference to translating "Yahwe" and "Adonai" as "lord". Had the library of Alexandira not been destroyed would there be more evidence for pre-Christian dying and rising gods? Why are Jews God's chosen people according to the Bible? Raphael Patai's idea that "without form and void" and "the deep" in Genesis 1 were originally names of premordial monsters but later demythologized. Possible origin of NT term "brothers" in Essenism. Could Paul have been gay? What of the claim that continued survival of the Jewish people proves the Bible correct? Does the Bible say that the Holy Land belong to Israel? Why does the Geek think 1 Cor. 15:3-11 is an interpolation? Use of the word rabbi to refer to Jesus. Is J.P. Holding aka Bob Turkel taken seriously by anyone outside of fundamentalism? Was Jesus without sin or did he have poor family morals? Does "adam" mean "Israelite" and not human being in general? Why did Jesus need to be baptized? Does the Bible really mention that there are many gods? Does Nathan of Gaza's relationship to Sabbatai Zevi (which mirrors that of John the Baptist to Jesus) make it more likely that John was a historical character as well? Why would Roman soldiers care if bodies of crucified criminals remained on their crosses remained over Passover. What is the difference between apocalyptic and eschatology. Does the OT mention an afterlife? Frank Zappa and Geek's action figures. Morning Star symbol in the Bible. What of claims that God is not bound by his own laws? Would the Geek be willing to be interviewed by Lee Strobel? Are days of creation intedned to be literal 24 hour days? When did Jesus say he would return? What to make of Praetorism? News on the Jesus Project. What's the deal with the Mayan Calender ending in 2012? Is rapture at the end of days a legitimate interpretation of the Bible? Revelation and the Biblical canon.

August 12th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 13, 2012 1:57:52


Why command not to murder and steal when the words themselves already presuppose the criminality of the actions? Are we to believe Isaiah actually went about his daily business for three years stark naked? Did he even exist? How does Enkidu's sexual liaison separate him from the animals (who also have sex), especially in light of Levi-Strauss' interpretation? 1 Corinthians 15:3-11 gives no hint of Paul's resurrection appearance being any different from the others; is there supposed to be a difference? And do the gospels refer to an appearance to the 500? Some say Acts must predate the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem because it does not mention it. Does it? Give us an overview of the Dead Sea Scrolls and what light it shed on Biblical texts for scholars? What is your take on Biblical Archeology Review? Do you think it is objective? What do you know about the supposed King David inscription? Has it been validated as a legitimate reference to David in a way that undermines the minimalist paradigm? If Athanasius says death is the power of the devil, wouldn't this mean the devil is more powerful than God if he can undo his creation? If parthenogenesis makes one a god, shouldn't we be worshiping lizards? What is the relevance of the parallels between Matthew's birth story and what "Ignatius" wrote in the Epistle to the Ephesians for the dating of Matthew? Do you agree with Bishop Spong that Judas is a transparently fictional character embodying Jews as unbelievers? What does it mean in Matthew's gospel when John the Baptist says the one who is coming (Jesus) will baptize with the holy spirit and fire? Does "fire" indicate hell? Who addresses presuppositionalist apologetics? Richard Baukham writes about the "relatives of Jesus" who were apparently fairly prominent in the early Christian movement. Is there much documentary evidence of this? You indicated that Oscar Cullmann put forth the idea that "Simon bar Jonah" seems to be/resembles an Akkadian loan word meaning "terrorist." Could this be in reference to Simon bar Kochba? I wonder if you could speak to the rather confusing mission of Jesus, that seems to flip-flop between itinerant preacher, miracle worker, Messiah, Savior, and God Incarnate. Are there any accepted explanations (analytical or apologetic) for the Levitical prohibitions of wearing different fabrics or mixing of crops?

August 7th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 8, 2012 1:21:27


Can you give an overview of Derrida, his approach to deconstruction compared to yours, and your relationship to postmodern thought? By what kind of self-applied blindfolds do we not see that Jesus is yet another Osiris? Is John 6 just a vehicle conveying theological claims to people who already had enough familiarity with a Eucharistic Christian meal ritual to take Jesus' words in that context? How we are to explain how Eucharistic blood drinking came to be seen as acceptable to Jews who became Christian, whether this came from Jesus or mystery religions or wherever? Do you agree with Don Herron's criticisms of the Conan pastiches of Robert E. Howard's Conan by Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp? Might the gospel Jesus be based on Honi the Circle Drawer? And why are scholars so convinced the Toledoth Jeschu and Talmud references to Jesus cannot contain any historical truth? Why do the majority of scholars assume Marcion's gospel was really a reduction of Luke?

August 5th The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 6, 2012 1:08:41


Is Job the oldest book in the Bible and are beginning and the end later additions? Meaning of "prophesy" in the Old Testament. The Cyclops connection with the Gerasene demoniac and the name Polyphemus having the suffix "poly-" which means "many" and is synonymous with "legion". Was Mark trying to make a pun? Why did Mark leave intact Jesus' failed prediction of the Parousia? Some theists say 'god will not be mocked' - how much faith can they have if they think that the greatest being in the universe needs them, in their insignificance, to defend him? Galatians 6:11 seems to interrupt its context - an interpolation? How much of the Bible is midrashic fiction? What about Elaine Pagels theory that Satan originated as a polemical way to explain why your theological opponents didnâ??t agree with you?

August 3rd The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 4, 2012 45:57


The fourth gospel and Peter's question to Jesus concerning the fate of the beloved Disciple in chapter 21? Is John's gospel authentic? Why is Simon called "son of Jonah" in Matthew, and only Matthew? Why do all the gospels except Mark have Andrew as Simon's brother? Is Levi son of Alphaeus supposed to be understood as a disciple in Mark and Luke, since Jesus tells Levi to follow him? Levi of Alphaeus appears to be explicitly a disciple in the Gospel of Peter. Do you think Lebbaeus or Thaddaeus is original to Matthew? Who was the second unnamed follower of John the Baptist in John 1:35 who joined Jesus with Andrew? Why does John make Simon, Andrew, and Philip all come from Bethsaida? Was Bethsaida even a real place? Is it anachronistic for Luke to have a disciple named Simon the Zealot? Is the explanation, which I came across twice, that this just meant "someone zealous for God" in Jesus' day valid? Why did Luke throw in a Judas son of James? Is he supposed to be the same person as John's "Judas not Iscariot"? Are there any other anomalous disciple lists (perhaps by church fathers) that are of interest?

August 2nd The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 3, 2012 1:18:56


The Flood appears to change nothing nor to advance the biblical plot. What's the point of including it? Is it possible to pray in a secular way by defining "I pray that" as being "I hope that", etc.? Why do heaven and hell appear so late in the Bible? Is there any passage in the Bible that deals with suicide as a moral question, as an act prohibited by God? Some say Origen was the most profound Christian thinker of the Pre-Nicene period. What is your opinion? It has always puzzled me how the persecutions of Christians attributed to Nero seemed to take place so quickly after the supposed death of Christ. Is it possible there was already a recognizable "Christian" movement in Rome at this time that had so many followers it was perceived as a threat? Might Jesus have been crucified to represent the way the Passover Lamb was laid out? If Luke was an associate of Paul and not a disciple of Jesus and Paul clearly never met Jesus either how can apologists call the gospels "eye witness" accounts? Why isn't Jesus' resurrection considered to be his "Second Coming"? What does the New Testament say Jesus said about sexual behavior? If Satan is a fallen angel who has rebelled against God, how does this concept square up with God using Satan as his lackey?

August 1st The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 2, 2012 1:20:21



July 31st The Bible Geek Podcast

Aug 1, 2012 47:19


What about apologists who use the Old Testament distinction between ceremonial and moral laws to essentially write off the Old Testament as "yesterday's news" (i.e., "we're Christians and we follow Jesus!")? What is Mark 9:42-50 supposed to mean? What on earth is all of this talk about salt losing its flavor? What does salt have to do with the fires of hell? Do you think Mormons have to make a larger giant leap of faith and further suspend critical thinking skills than other Christian denominations? Is The Black Stone actually YHWH? Is it the Holy of Holies carried in the Ark? Could you explain a little bit about process theology and liberation theology? What is the difference between a homily, a hermeneutic and the idea of exegesis?

July 27th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jul 28, 2012 1:38:00


Does form criticism negate gospel midrash, being rival explanations? When did the Trinity concept take hold in Christianity? Could Jesus have still been the savior had he died in some other way? Is there any reason to believe Levitical dietary laws were based on divine revelations about nutrition and health? Doesn't J. Atwill's theory of the gospels plus Josephus being propaganda to pacify rebellious Jews depend on an unrealistic estimation of popular literacy and the availability of books? Do any orthodox fundamentalists believe Melchizedek was a preincarnate theophany of Jesus? What do you think of Hoffmann's suggestion that the Gospel & epistles of John circulated as a separate canon like Marcion's? When did the OT notion of faith as obedience and loyalty get replaced by the NT notion of faith as unsupported belief? Isn't circumcision harmful after all?

July 26th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jul 27, 2012 50:56


Parallels between ancient myths and Star Wars? Is syncretistic Catholicism perhaps closest to original Christianity? Before the church was established with its traditions and dogma, how did the really smart people get drawn into the church? Couldn't they see that it was being dreamed up as they went along? What if the Christian Church was originally established so that the populace could be controlled, but as the church became more powerful, they began to believe that the myths they had been teaching were true? Where did the original authors of scriptural stories get their ideas? Possibly from dreams? How/why did you continue to cling to religion even after your disenchantment of it? You say no one but Nazis believe Jesus wasn't a Jew, but isn't that implicit in the gospels?

July 24th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jul 25, 2012 1:35:00


Arians and Athanasians both circulated popular tunes teaching their theologies. Is there evidence these songs shaped popular belief? Some translations of Isaiah 34: 13-14 mention satyrs, dragons, and lamias, while other versions use real animals from nature. Is this just apologetics? What does the story of the Syro-Phoenician woman have to do with the Gentile Mission? Could you explain the 'King James Only' movement in modern US Protestantism? Why does Saul change his name Paul when he becomes a Christian? Do you have any theories about why this is such a high priority issue among (most) fundamentalists? What about Paulâ??s description of the 'spiritual' rock and 'spiritual' drink?  Was there any notion that the rock was not physically real but only spiritual, yielding only spiritual drink, either within Judaism or Christianity? Please reply to some criticisms Greg Boyd made of your Jesus-Sabbatai Sevi parallels. How are New Testament texts dated? Can you give me some relevant Bible quotes wherein alcohol was forbidden? Could you tell us a bit about "Messiah Ben Joseph" and "Messiah Ben David" and how they fit into Jewish beliefs of the first century? Is there any connection between the testing of Jesus by Satan in the wilderness and the testing of the high priest Joshua (I.e. Jesus) in Zechariah?

July 23rd The Bible Geek Podcast

Jul 24, 2012 1:08:38


Date of crucifixion in John and Synoptics and a tradition of two Passovers? Have you heard of any Neo-Griesbachian interpretations of the Messianic Secret motif? Regarding the Jesus Myth, how do you respond to the claim that the creeds embedded in Paul's letters reflect the creeds of the early Christian church in Jerusalem shortly after the death of Jesus? Of the translations listed at The Bible Gateway, which are the best mix of easy-to-follow language and honest translation? Is OT Minimalism at odds with the documentary hypothesis? Religious male circumcision revisited. Resurrection appearances of Jesus, apparitions of Mary and mass hallucinations. W.L. Craig says that God could not have created a better world where people would freely choose to worship him and thus be saved. Then how is it that in Revelation 21:1-4 he is able to do exactly that? Do you think that Romans 2:14-15 is correct that other cultures did have a similar moral code to the Jewish one? What was Matthew expecting the missionaries Jesus sent out to do when he has Jesus tell them in Matt. 10:8 to raise the dead? This one canâ??t very well be psycho-somatic! Rep. Louis Gohmert asserted after the horrific shootings in the Colorado theater that the act was an attack on Judeo/Christian beliefs. Which ones? Whence the belief that we each have not only a guardian angel, but a demon who is constantly trying to influence us? Is there any Biblical support for these ideas? Whatâ??s the point of the 153 fish in John 21? Meaning of "godhead" and the phrase "believe in the name of the Lord" in Enoch. Is it possible that the arrest story of John in Mark was originally found before the arrest is mentioned in 1:14?

July 18th The Bible Geek Podcast

Jul 19, 2012 1:04:36