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Preview: The Bible Geek Show

The Bible Geek Show

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

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The Bible Geek Podcast 18-010

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:00:00 -0400

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

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The Bible Geek Podcast 18-009

Sat, 17 Mar 2018 12:00:00 -0400

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

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The Bible Geek Podcast 18-008

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 12:00:00 -0400

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

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The Bible Geek Podcast 18-007

Fri, 02 Mar 2018 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 18-006

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 18-005

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 12:00:00 -0500

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

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The Bible Geek Podcast 18-004

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 12:00:00 -0500

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:

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The Bible Geek Podcast 18-003

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 12:00:00 -0500

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

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The Bible Geek Podcast 18-002

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 12:00:00 -0500

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

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The Bible Geek Podcast 18-001

Sun, 07 Jan 2018 12:00:00 -0500

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

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-054

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-053

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-052

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-051

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-050

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-049

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-048

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-047

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-046

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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.

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-045

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-044

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-043

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-042

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-041

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-040

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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!

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-039

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-038

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-037

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-036

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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 [...]

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-035

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-034

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-033

Sun, 06 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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.

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-032

Sun, 06 Aug 2017 11:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-031

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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 o[...]

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-030

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-029

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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.

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-028

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-027

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-026

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-025

Sat, 29 Jul 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-024

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-023

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-022

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-021

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-020

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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)?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-019

Wed, 31 May 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-018

Sun, 21 May 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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.?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-017

Tue, 16 May 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-016

Mon, 15 May 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-015

Sat, 06 May 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-014

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-013

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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.

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-012

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-011

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-010

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-009

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-008

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-007

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-006

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-005

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-004

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-003

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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.

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-002

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 17-001

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-031

Sun, 18 Dec 2016 10:00:00 -0500

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.

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-030

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:00:00 -0500

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

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-029

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-028

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-027

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-026

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-025

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-024

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-023

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-022

Sun, 16 Oct 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-021

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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 [...]

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-020

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-019

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-018

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 22:55:00 -0400

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

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-017

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 22:55:00 -0400

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

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-016

Mon, 08 Aug 2016 22:55:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-015

Sun, 24 Jul 2016 22:55:00 -0400

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 L[...]

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-014 Part 2

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 22:56:00 -0400

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,[...]

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-014 Part 1

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 22:55:00 -0400

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!

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-013

Fri, 10 Jun 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-012

Wed, 18 May 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-011

Sat, 07 May 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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 [...]

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The Bible Geek Podcast 15-010

Thu, 21 Apr 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-009

Sat, 16 Apr 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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)?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-008

Sun, 10 Apr 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-007

Sun, 27 Mar 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-006

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-005

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 12:00:00 -0400

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-004

Mon, 15 Feb 2016 12:00:00 -0500

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 [...]

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-003

Wed, 03 Feb 2016 12:00:00 -0500

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 [...]

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-002

Sat, 16 Jan 2016 12:00:00 -0500

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.

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The Bible Geek Podcast 16-001

Fri, 08 Jan 2016 12:00:00 -0500

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.

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The Bible Geek Podcast 15-062

Sun, 20 Dec 2015 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 15-061

Tue, 15 Dec 2015 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 15-060

Tue, 01 Dec 2015 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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The Bible Geek Podcast 15-059

Mon, 23 Nov 2015 12:00:00 -0500

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?

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