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Biblical Time Machine

Biblical Time Machine

Join Dave and Helen as they travel back in time (metaphorically? it?s a podcast) to explore the real history of the people, places and events of the Old Testament, New Testament and everything in between.

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Samson: Hero or Psychopath?

Of all the problematic heroes in the Hebrew Bible, Samson takes first prize. Samson is hailed as a hero of the Israelites ? a "Nazirite" consecrated to God with superhuman strength ? but he's also a mass murderer, womanizer and all-around menace to society. Helen and Dave welcome Mahri Leonard-Fleckman to the podcast to try to make sense of the wild (and wildly entertaining) Samson cycle.

SUPPORT BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE!

If you enjoy the podcast, please show your support through the Time Travelers Club, our Patreon. We love making the show, but since we don't run ads we rely on listener contributions to cover our costs. Please help us continue to showcase high-quality biblical scholarship with a $5/month subscription. (Think of it as $1.25 an episode!) 

GET YOUR BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE MUG

The Biblical Time Machine Store  is open! Check out our 4-part audio study guide called "The Gospel of Mark as an Ancient Biography." Or get yourself a handsome Biblical Time Machine mug or a cool sticker for your water bottle. 

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-05-13
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Gnosticism and the Nag Hammadi Library Explained

In 1945, dozens of previously unknown Christian texts were discovered near the Egyptian desert town of Nag Hammadi. Some texts were closely tied to the New Testament, like the Gospel of Thomas, but others were pretty wild, portraying the God of the Hebrew Bible as a demon trickster. All of these texts were labeled "gnostic," but scholars continue to debate what "gnostic" really means and what to make of these curious works from the early centuries of Christianity.

Helen and Dave are joined by Kimberley Fowler, a scholar of early Christianity who spends her days reading cryptic texts like The Second Discourse of the Great Seth. 

Learn more at Bible Odyssey:

Was the Gospel of Thomas Gnostic?The Gospel of Judas 

SUPPORT BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE!

If you enjoy the podcast, please show your support through the Time Travelers Club, our Patreon. We love making the show, but since we don't run ads we rely on listener contributions to cover our costs. Please help us continue to showcase high-quality biblical scholarship with a $5/month subscription. (Think of it as $1.25 an episode!) 

GET YOUR BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE MUG

The Biblical Time Machine Store  is open! Check out our 4-part audio study guide called "The Gospel of Mark as an Ancient Biography." Or get yourself a handsome Biblical Time Machine mug or a cool sticker for your water bottle. 

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-05-06
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Surgery or Spit? Healthcare in the Ancient World

Countless things could sicken or injure you in the ancient world, so where did people turn for help? Much like today, there were no shortage of healthcare options: herbs, drugs, surgery, saliva ? even a literal hole in the head! Helen and Dave welcome historian Jared Secord to discuss what passed for medical care in the ancient Mediterranean and why Jesus fits the profile of a faith healer.

Check out Jared's cool new book, co-authored with Kristi Upson-Saia and Heidi Marx, Medicine, Health, and Healing in the Ancient Mediterranean 500 BCE?600 CE: A Sourcebook.

More from our content partner Bible Odyssey:

Medicine and the Hebrew BibleMagic in the 1st-Century WorldDivine Power in Mark 8Barrenness in the Bible

SUPPORT BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE!

If you enjoy the podcast, please show your support through the Time Travelers Club, our Patreon. We love making the show, but since we don't run ads we rely on listener contributions to cover our costs. Please help us continue to showcase high-quality biblical scholarship with a $5/month subscription. (Think of it as $1.25 an episode!) 

GET YOUR BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE MUG

The Biblical Time Machine Store  is open! Check out our 4-part audio study guide called "The Gospel of Mark as an Ancient Biography." Or get yourself a handsome Biblical Time Machine mug or a cool sticker for your water bottle. 

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-04-29
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Passover: Did the Exodus Really Happen?

Every Passover, Jewish families gather to recount the miraculous story of Moses leading the Hebrews out of captivity in Egypt. But how much of this age-old tale is true? Helen and Dave welcome Carol Meyers back to the podcast to talk about the limits of Exodus archeology and to put forward some intriguing theories about the historical origins of the Ancient Israelites.

For even more from Carol about the Exodus and Moses, check out this terrific interview she did with PBS NOVA and her book Exodus (New Cambridge Bible Commentary).

SUPPORT BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE!

If you enjoy the podcast, please show your support through the Time Travelers Club, our Patreon. We love making the show, but since we don't run ads we rely on listener contributions to cover our costs. Please help us continue to showcase high-quality biblical scholarship with a $5/month subscription. (Think of it as $1.25 an episode!) 

GET YOUR BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE MUG

The Biblical Time Machine Store  is open! Check out our 4-part audio study guide called "The Gospel of Mark as an Ancient Biography." Or get yourself a handsome Biblical Time Machine mug or a cool sticker for your water bottle. 

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-04-22
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How Horrible Were Ancient Prisons? LIVE from SBL

If you thought everyday life in the 1st century was disgusting, wait until you step inside a Roman prison. In our very first LIVE episode, we talk with Matthew Larsen, historian of ancient incarceration, about the conditions Paul and other early Christians experienced in ancient prisons ? nasty food, nastier smells and what it meant to be sent off to the mines.

Members of the Time Travelers Club can watch a video version of the podcast! This episode was recorded LIVE at the 2024 SBL Global Virtual Meeting. Special thanks to Christopher Hooker and the SBL staff for including us in this international showcase of biblical scholarship. 

For even more from Matthew Larsen, check out his six-part documentary series "Nobody Liked Paul" on Qava. The first episode is free on YouTube.

GET YOUR BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE MUG

The Biblical Time Machine Store  is open! Check out our 4-part audio study guide called "The Gospel of Mark as an Ancient Biography." Or get yourself a handsome Biblical Time Machine mug or a cool sticker for your water bottle. 

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-04-15
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Enslaved Christians and the Making of the Bible

In the 1st-century Roman world where Christianity was born, 20% of the population was enslaved. Enslaved people were laborers, farmers, artisans, scribes, teachers, servants and sex workers. And as our guest Candida Moss explains, enslaved people also played a critical role in the spread of Christianity, including the authorship of biblical texts.

How does it change our understanding of the Bible and Early Christianity when we recognize the influence of enslaved people? Does Jesus's revolutionary message?and his ignoble "slave's" death?make more sense when we think about how many of Jesus's early followers may have been enslaved?

To learn more, get a copy of Candida's terrific new book: God's Ghostwriters: Enslaved Christians and the Making of the Bible.

GET YOUR BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE MERCH

The Biblical Time Machine Store  is open! Check out our 4-part audio study guide called "The Gospel of Mark as an Ancient Biography." Or get yourself a handsome Biblical Time Machine mug or a cool sticker for your water bottle. 

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-04-08
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Easter: Behind the Scenes of "The Chosen"

"The Chosen" is a global phenomenon. The streaming series about the life of Jesus is now in its 4th season, which is building toward Jesus's final week in Jerusalem. Helen and Dave were thrilled to chat with actor Richard Fancy, who plays high priest Caiaphas on "The Chosen."

Richard did some serious research to prepare for his role ? he even read Helen's book! Find out why Richard  sympathizes with Caiaphas, a biblical "baddie" who was caught between warring political factions. And learn how Richard worked hard to portray Caiaphas without the ugly antisemitic tropes so often attached to Jewish characters in the New Testament.

If you missed it, check out our episode "Who Was High Priest Joseph Caiaphas?" from Season 1.

GET YOUR BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE MERCH

The Biblical Time Machine Store  is open! Check out our 4-part audio study guide called "The Gospel of Mark as an Ancient Biography." Or get yourself a handsome Biblical Time Machine mug or a cool sticker for your water bottle. 

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-04-01
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Easter: A Closer Look at the Resurrection

The Resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of Christianity, but the reality of the empty tomb is largely a matter of faith, not history. All of the evidence pertaining to the Resurrection is found within the New Testament. So how can anyone definitively prove that the Resurrection did or did not happen? 

If anyone can do it, Dale Allison can. Dale is a committed Christian and unblinking scholar who isn't satisfied with either the apologetic or skeptical arguments around the Resurrection. In today's Easter episode, we dive into the mysteries and inconsistencies of this remarkable story as it's told in the Bible, and walk away with more questions than answers. 

For a  deep dive into all of the arguments and theories about the Resurrection, check out Dale's exhaustive and fascinating book, The Resurrection of Jesus: Apologetics, Polemics, History.

GET YOUR BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE MERCH

The Biblical Time Machine Store  is open! Check out our 4-part audio study guide called "The Gospel of Mark as an Ancient Biography." Or get yourself a handsome Biblical Time Machine mug or a cool sticker for your water bottle. 

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-03-25
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Easter: Crucifixion in the Roman Empire

Jesus's mortal life ended on a Roman cross,  one of the cruellest execution methods known to man. But how common was crucifixion in the Roman world and how accurate was the New Testament's portrayal of Jesus's agonizing end?

In this fascinating (and somewhat gruesome) episode, we dive into the debate over the true shape of Roman crosses,  whether Jesus carried his entire cross, and the ultimate cause of death from crucifixion. Special thanks to our expert guest John Granger Cook, author of Crucifixion in the Mediterranean World.

For images of Roman graffiti and other ancient depictions of crucifixion, visit the Academia site of Yale historian Felicity Harley-McGowan

GET YOUR BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE MERCH

The Biblical Time Machine Store  is open! Check out our 4-part audio study guide called "The Gospel of Mark as an Ancient Biography." Or get yourself a handsome Biblical Time Machine mug or a cool sticker for your water bottle. 

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-03-18
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Capernaum: the Archeology of a Jewish and Christian Village

Capernaum is known as "the Town of Jesus," since so many of Jesus's miracles and preaching happened in this small town on the Sea of Galilee. In the centuries after Jesus's death, Capernaum transformed from a Jewish fishing village into a Christian holy site. Thanks to archeology, we can learn more about Jewish-Christian relations in Capernaum during  this much-debated period in the history of the Holy Land.

Helen and Dave are joined by Wally Cirafesi, an archeologist and New Testament scholar who has spent years excavating in the Galilee. At first glance, Capernaum feels like a village with clear divisions between Jews and Christians, since the most visible archeological remains are a large synagogue and church facing off in the center of town.

But in his research, Wally paints a much messier picture of ancient Capernaum in which Jews and Christians (and Jewish Christians) lived "cheek by jowl" in multi-family dwellings and may even have worshipped in each other's houses of prayer.

BUY BIBLICAL TIME MACHINE MERCH

The Biblical Time Machine Store  is open! Check out our 4-part audio study guide called "The Gospel of Mark as an Ancient Biography." Or get yourself a handsome Biblical Time Machine mug. Everything tastes better when it's biblical.

WIN STUFF

Join the Time Travelers Club, our Patreon site, and you'll be automatically entered in two cool giveaways:

1. We're giving away a free pass to the SBL Global Virtual Meeting scheduled for April 1-4, 2024. Join hundreds of biblical scholars from around the world for 4 days of research presentations and talks. Helen and I will also be recording a "live episode"! The winner will be announced soon, so join today.

2. We're also giving away 10 copies of the newly revised SBL Study Bible. This academic Bible is tailor-made for fans of Biblical Time Machine. It takes a scholarly approach to understanding the Bible ? full of essays, footnotes, maps and more ? and doesn't assume any past knowledge or religious background. It's the perfect companion for a fresh look at these ancient texts.

For legal reasons, the SBL Study Bible giveaway is only available to Time Travelers Club members 18 or older and living in the continental United States.

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-03-11
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Leprosy in the Bible ? What Was It?

The history doctor is in! Helen and Dave welcome Dr. Ricky Shinall ? an MD with a PhD in biblical studies ? to help us diagnose leprosy in the ancient world. Did biblical leprosy have anything to do with modern Hansen's disease? Were lepers considered "untouchable" pariahs? And what does all of this have to do with ritual impurity?

For more, check out Dr. Shinall's article "Skin Disease and Social Exclusion" at our content partner Bible Odyssey.

BREAKING NEWS

The Biblical Time Machine Store  is open! Check out our 4-part audio study guide called "The Gospel of Mark as an Ancient Biography." Or get yourself a handsome Biblical Time Machine mug. Everything tastes better when it's biblical. 

WIN STUFF

Join the Time Travelers Club, our Patreon site, and you'll be automatically entered in two cool giveaways:

We're giving away a free pass to the SBL Global Virtual Meeting scheduled for April 1-4, 2024. Join hundreds of biblical scholars from around the world for 4 days of research presentations and talks. Helen and I will also be recording a "live episode"! The winner will be announced soon, so join today. We're also giving away 10 copies of the newly revised SBL Study Bible. This academic Bible is tailor-made for fans of Biblical Time Machine. It takes a scholarly approach to understanding the Bible ? full of essays, footnotes, maps and more ? and doesn't assume any past knowledge or religious background. It's the perfect companion for a fresh look at these ancient texts.

For legal reasons, the SBL Study Bible giveaway is only available to Time Travelers Club members 18 or older and living in the continental United States.

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-03-04
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The Ancient Jews (and Temple) of Elephantine Island

In the 6th Century BCE, on a tiny island in the Nile River, once stood a Temple to Yahweh. Far from Jerusalem, the ancient Jews of Egypt's Elephantine Island worshipped a mighty god they called "Yaho" in one of the first diaspora Jewish communities outside of Palestine. How they got there and who they became is a fascinating and little-known story. 

On today's episode, Helen and Dave talk with historian Karel van der Toorn, professor of ancient religion at the University of Amsterdam and author of Becoming Diaspora Jews: Behind the Story of Elephantine.

Win an SBL Study Bible!

We're giving away 10 copies of the newly revised SBL Study Bible. This academic Bible is tailor-made for fans of Biblical Time Machine. It takes a scholarly approach to understanding the Bible ? full of essays, footnotes, maps and more ? and doesn't assume any past knowledge or religious background. It's the perfect companion for a fresh look at these ancient texts.

Each week we'll randomly pick a winner from the members of the Time Travelers Club, our Patreon site. Subscribe today to support the show and put your name in the running for this useful and in-depth resource.

For legal reasons, this giveaway is only available to Time Travelers Club members 18 or older and living in the continental United States.

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-02-26
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Who Wrote the King James Bible?

"Thou shalt not" miss this episode about the King James Bible, the most-read literary work in the English language! But who was King James? Why did he order a new English translation of the Bible (there were plenty out there already)? And who were the translators tasked with this monumental project (hint: not Shakespeare)?

Helen and Dave are joined by Jeffrey Allen Miller, a MacArthur "Genius Grant" winner who made headlines in 2015 with the discovery of the earliest known draft translation of part of the King James Bible.  Jeff's incredible find overturned some longstanding assumptions about how the King James translators did their work. 

Win an SBL Study Bible!

We're giving away 10 copies of the newly revised SBL Study Bible. This academic Bible is tailor-made for fans of Biblical Time Machine. It takes a scholarly approach to understanding the Bible ? full of essays, footnotes, maps and more ? and doesn't assume any past knowledge or religious background. It's the perfect companion for a fresh look at these ancient texts.

Each week we'll randomly pick a winner from the members of the Time Travelers Club, our Patreon site. Subscribe today to support the show and put your name in the running for this useful and in-depth resource.

For legal reasons, this giveaway is only available to Time Travelers Club members 18 or older and living in the continental United States.

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-02-19
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Did Jesus Bless a Same-Sex Relationship?

The New Testament story known as the "Healing of the Centurion's Slave" has been the subject of some intriguing scholarship in recent years. In the Greco-Roman world, the Greek word  translated as "slave" or "servant" in the Bible also meant the younger partner in a same-sex male relationship. So the question is: by healing the Centurion's partner, did Jesus effectively bless a same-sex relationship?

The evidence is compelling. Homosexual relationships were common in the Greco-Roman world, especially in the military where power dynamics were reinforced by sex. In this story, repeated in two New Testament gospels, the Centurion clearly cares for his servant, but is he anything more than a concerned commander? 

Christopher Zeichmann joins Helen and Dave to analyze how the story of the Centurion's slave would have sounded to 1st-century ears, and why it's been embraced by advocates of a more inclusive Christianity. For a deeper dive into the topic, read Chris's book, Queer Readings of the Centurion at Capernaum: Their History and Politics

More from Bible Oddysey

The Healing of the Centurion's SlaveThe Bible and HomosexualityHomosexuality in the New Testament

Win an SBL Study Bible!

We're giving away 10 copies of the newly revised SBL Study Bible. This academic Bible is tailor-made for fans of Biblical Time Machine. It takes a scholarly approach to understanding the Bible ? full of essays, footnotes, maps and more ? and doesn't assume any past knowledge or religious background. It's the perfect companion for a fresh look at these ancient texts.

Each week we'll randomly pick a winner from the members of the Time Travelers Club, our Patreon site. Subscribe today to support the show and put your name in the running for this useful and in-depth resource.

For legal reasons, this giveaway is only available to Time Travelers Club members 18 or older and living in the continental United States.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn a small percentage from books purchased through the Amazon links above. 

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-02-12
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David & Goliath Like You've Never Read It Before

Heroic stories like David and Goliath were told for centuries before they were written down. But the creative storytelling process didn't end there. Written texts were "performed" and improvised upon, creating new variations that made it into later texts. The Bible that we have today was the product of ongoing "conversations" between oral and written traditions.

Helen and Dave are thrilled to welcome Jonathan Friedmann back to the podcast to introduce the exciting field of performance criticism. Jonathan uses the example of David and Goliath to show how artifacts of oral storytelling are found throughout the Hebrew Bible, and how texts may have even been written with an eye toward improvisation and performance.

To learn more, check out Jonathan's book, Goliath as Gentle Giant: Sympathetic Portrayals in Popular Culture

Win an SBL Study Bible!

We're giving away 10 copies of the newly revised SBL Study Bible. This academic Bible is tailor-made for fans of Biblical Time Machine. It takes a scholarly approach to understanding the Bible ? full of essays, footnotes, maps and more ? and doesn't assume any past knowledge or religious background. It's the perfect companion for a fresh look at these ancient texts.

Each week we'll randomly pick a winner from the members of the Time Travelers Club, our Patreon site. Subscribe today to support the show and put your name in the running for this useful and in-depth resource.

For legal reasons, this giveaway is only available to Time Travelers Club members 18 or older and living in the continental United States.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn a small percentage from books purchased through the Amazon links above. 

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-02-05
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Parables: Jesus's Shocking Short Stories

In the New Testament, Jesus often teaches through parables ? short stories rich in symbolism and ethical dilemmas. "The Good Samaritan." "The Prodigal Son." We've heard these stories so many times it's easy to overlook how challenging and even shocking they would have sounded to 1st-century ears.

In this episode, scholar Amy-Jill Levine joins Helen and Dave to explain the Jewish roots of parables and how Jesus wielded parables to shake up his audience. Parables were incredibly effective teaching tools in the ancient world and they're just as powerful today, especially when we understand their deeper historical background.

If you enjoy this episode, pick up a copy of AJ's terrific book, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi.

Win an SBL Study Bible!

We're giving away 10 copies of the newly revised SBL Study Bible. This study Bible is tailor-made for fans of Biblical Time Machine. It takes a scholarly approach to understanding the Bible ? full of essays, footnotes, maps and more ? and doesn't assume any past knowledge or religious background. It's the perfect companion for a fresh look at these ancient texts.

Each week we'll randomly pick a winner from the members of the Time Travelers Club, our Patreon site. Subscribe today to support the show and put your name in the running for this useful and in-depth resource.

For legal reasons, this giveaway is only available to Time Travelers Club members 18 or older and living in the continental United States.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn a small percentage from books purchased through the Amazon links above. 

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-01-29
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Pseudepigraphy: Forgery or Fan Fiction?

Ancient authors had no problem writing texts in other people's names, and that includes plenty of biblical writers. If Paul only wrote 7 of the 13 Pauline epistles, for example, who wrote the other 6, and why did they stamp Paul's name on them?

The practice is called pseudepigraphy ? from the Greek for "false inscription" ? and a lot of biblical scholars will tell you it's straight-up forgery. But were ancient authors really trying to deceive their readers? Or were they using a standard literary practice in the ancient world of writing in the name of beloved figures (Paul, Peter, Moses, Enoch) to add new layers of meaning to their texts?

Our guest Kelsie Rodenbiker argues that pseudepigraphy in the Bible has more in common with fan fiction than forgery.

Winners of the Book Giveaway!

Congratulations to the winners of our very first book giveaway. These three lucky members of the Time Travelers Club will receive a copy of Jacob Wright's remarkable book, Why the Bible Began: An Alternative History of Scripture and Its Origins.

Hellen PauletteTim DaviesJason LaRue

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-01-22
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Why the Bible Was Written

The Hebrew Bible wasn't created by one of the mighty empires of the ancient world ? Egypt,  Assyria or Babylon ? but written in the rubble of a small, conquered kingdom. So how has this "epic monument to defeat" not only survived for 2,600 years, but spawned three world religions and influenced countless lives? Because the authors of the Hebrew Bible invented something completely new. They created a "people."

Helen and Dave were thrilled to talk with Jacob Wright, biblical scholar and author of the mind-blowing new book, Why the Bible Began: An Alternative History of Scripture and Its Origins. Jacob turns the Hebrew Bible on its head, explaining how a group of creative scribes used the power of literature to reinvent a fallen kingdom as God's chosen people.

Book Giveaway! Win a Copy of Why the Bible Began

We're giving away 3 copies of Why the Bible Began to Patreon members of the Time Travelers Club. One copy will go to a new member who joins this week and the other two copies will be given to existing members. Thanks to all members of the Time Travelers Club for your generous support!

More on Bible Odyssey

Check out some great articles written by Jacob for our content partner, Bible Odyssey:

How Was the Bible Formed?In What Ways is the Bible a Religious Text?How is David a Symbolic Figure?



Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-01-15
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What Would Jesus Wear?

There's so much we get wrong about clothing and dress in the 1st Century. Did Jewish people dress differently than gentiles? No. Did most men have long hair and beards? No. Did Jesus and the disciples rock sandals with socks? Yes!

Clothing is an essential component of culture, yet it's been woefully ignored by historians. Today we change all that. Helen and Dave are excited to welcome Katie Turner to the podcast. Katie dispels 1st-Century fashion myths and answers our burning questions about ancient underwear, veiling and yes ? socks!

To hear more from Katie, check out her podcast Gods & Moviemakers about the best and worst Bible movies. 

We know you want to see pics of those ancient sandal socks...

Red Socks from Egypt Striped Socks from EgyptFragments of a Linen Sock from Masada (Israel)Leather Sandal from Masada

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-01-08
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Animals in the Ancient World

The Bible is literally crawling with animals ? from the crafty serpent of Genesis to Jesus's parable of the lost sheep. That's because animals (both wild and domesticated) were an integral part of life in the ancient world. In today's episode,  Lloyd Llewelyn-Jones is back to explain what lions, donkeys, doves and dogs really meant to the ancient authors of the Bible (and also what a locust and honey sandwich actually tastes like).

For more of Lloyd's fascinating insights, check out the sweeping reference book he co-authored with Sian Lewis, The Culture of Animals in Antiquity: A Sourcebook with Commentaries

And if you want to dive deeper into some of the animal references from today's episode,  try these articles from our content partner Bible Odyssey:

The Creation of the AnimalsShepherds in the BibleAnimal Sacrifice in Ancient IsraelLike Swarming Locusts (Joel 1-2)The Story of Balaam

Support the Show.

Join the Time Travelers Club!

Join our Patreon to support the podcast and get special perks like bonus content and direct messaging with the hosts. Learn more and subscribe at the Time Travelers Club.

Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2024-01-01
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A Cultural History of Christmas

Try as you might, you won't find Santa Claus in the Bible. Or Christmas trees, or camel-riding Magi, or even December 25th! In the first centuries of Christianity, Christmas wasn't really a "thing." The birth of Jesus was far less important than his death and resurrection. So how did Christmas evolve from an afterthought into the biggest holiday on the planet?

We're thrilled to have Kyle Smith back on the podcast to present a deep-dive cultural history of Christmas. Why do we have so many different dates for Christmas? (12/25, 1/6, even 1/19!) Did the Three Kings have names (and were there actually three)? And how did St. Nicholas, a 4th-century bishop from Turkey, transform into rosy-cheeked St. Nick?

Kyle is hard at work on a cultural biography called The Many Lives of Saint Nick, which should be coming out in the next year. In the meantime, enjoy these fascinating articles from our content partner Bible Odyssey:

Luke's Nativity and the Battle Over ChristmasThe Nativity (written by Helen!)The Political Significance of Luke's Christmas Story

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2023-12-18
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A Second Look at Mary, Mother of Jesus

In the first of two Christmas episodes, Helen and Dave take another look at arguably the "best-known and least-known" woman in history: Mary, the mother of Jesus. Our guest, the fantastic James Tabor, collects the few breadcrumbs of information about Mary in the New Testament and weaves together a compelling narrative about a Jewish matriarch at the center of the Jesus movement.

James Tabor's latest book, The Lost Mary: How the Jewish Mother of Jesus Became the Virgin Mother of God, will be published in 2025 (the French version is available now!). 

More on Mary from Bible Odyssey:

Mary, the Mother of JesusPortraits of Mary in the GospelsVirgin Birth and What It Means


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2023-12-11
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Hanukkah History: The Maccabean Revolt

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah is based on real historical events ? the Maccabean Revolt of 167-160 BCE. In today's episode, Helen and Dave travel back to a time when Judaea was ruled by the Hellenized (Greek) Seleucid Empire. When a Jewish priest named Mattathias refused to make a sacrifice to the pagan gods, it sparked a violent revolution led by Judah "The Hammer" Maccabee. 

Learn More About Hanukkah at Bible Odyssey

HanukkahMaccabeesThe Commemoration of War in Early Jewish FestivalsLife Under Empire

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2023-12-04
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Biblical Blackness: Cush, the "Curse of Ham" and the Queen of Sheba

The Bible is largely silent about race. People are identified by their lands of origin and beliefs, not their skin color. Yet centuries of biblical interpreters have read race into the Bible, for good and for ill.

As our guest Stacy Davis explains, the biblical land of Cush (sometimes translated as Ethiopia) has long been associated with Black people, a point of pride for African and African-American Christians. And Josephus believed that the legendary Queen of Sheba was Black.

But the Bible has also been misused for racist purposes. In the 1800s, pro-slavery forces in America cited a convoluted reading of Genesis 9 and 10 to justify the enslavement of Black people under the so-called "Curse of Ham."

To learn more, check out Stacy's excellent book, This Strange Story: Jewish and Christian Interpretation of the Curse of Canaan from Antiquity to 1865.

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2023-11-27
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Who Chose the Books of the New Testament?

Starting in the 1st century CE, there was an explosion of Christian literature ? dozens of gospels, letters, apocalypses and more ? but only a fraction of those texts made it into the New Testament canon. Who decided which books were in and which books were out?

For this episode, Helen and Dave welcome New Testament scholar Francis Watson, who introduces us to important figures like Athanasius of Alexandria and Eusebius of Caesarea, some of the earliest influential Christian writers to weigh in on which texts were authoritative and which were "spurious."

Check out Francis's excellent books on the making of the NT canon: Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective and The Fourfold Gospel: A Theological Reading of the New Testament Portraits of Jesus .

To learn more about how the NT canon came together, here are some great articles from Bible Odyssey:

Noncanonical GospelsThe New Testament CanonWhy Does the Bible Look the Way It Does?

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2023-11-20
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What Ancient Coins Can Teach Us About the Bible

When we recognize the Bible as a product of the ancient world, we can look for subtle ways that biblical authors incorporated elements of everyday life ? including coins! We spoke with historian Michael Theophilos about everything we can learn from ancient coins (politics, economics, visual culture, propaganda), and then we found some fascinating examples of how language and symbols from coins made their way into the Bible.

If you want to dive deeper into coins and the New Testament, check out Michael's book, Numismatics and Greek Lexicography

Here are some cool images of coins Michael described in the episode:

A denarius minted by Caesar Augustus with the image of the comet or bright starAn ancient coin from Yehud (Persian-ruled Judaea) featuring a disembodied ear

Also, the newly redesigned Bible Odyssey website has some great articles about coins, taxes and the Temple in the 1st Century:

MoneyCommerce and the Temple in First-Century JerusalemTaxes in First-Century Palestine

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2023-11-13
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Everything We Get Wrong About Jesus and Jewish Impurity Laws

It's easy to read the New Testament and come away with the idea that Jesus was in opposition to the Jewish ritual impurity laws. In fact, that's what most Christian theologians have taught for the past 2,000 years. Is it possible that we've (gasp!) been misreading the Bible this whole time?  Our guest Matt Thiessen says, "Yep."

In today's episode, we travel back to the 1st century to understand how everyday Jewish people understood ritual impurity, and what Jesus's miracles ? healing a leper, curing a woman of a hemorrhaging condition ? would have meant in that historical context. 

Matt's excellent book on this subject is Jesus and the Forces of Death: The Gospels' Portrayal of Ritual Impurity within First-Century Judaism. And if you're a fan of funny Twitter accounts ? like, actually funny ? follow Matt at @MattThiessenNT

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2023-11-06
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Halloween Special: God's Monsters

There aren't any werewolves or vampires in the Bible, but God deploys his own terrifying army of monsters. Have you heard of cherubs? Not what you think! Even angels have some less-than-angelic duties. It turns out that the shepherds abiding in the field had good reason to be "sore afraid."

Just in time for Halloween, special guest Esther Hamori joins Helen and Dave to talk about her fantastic new book, God's Monsters: Vengeful Spirits, Deadly Angels, Hybrid Creatures, and Divine Hitmen of the Bible.  Maybe next year you'll dress your kid up as a six-winged, snake-skinned seraphim. 

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2023-10-30
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Did the Author of John Know the Other Gospels?

At first reading, the Gospel of John feels a world apart from the other gospels. The language is different, there are new stories (see our episode on "the woman taken in adultery") and Jesus speaks about himself in bolder terms ("I am the resurrection and the life." "I am the light of the world.") That has led some scholars to argue that the author of John didn't know the synoptic gospels and was instead working from other sources, probably oral traditions about Jesus circulating in the 1st century CE.

Our guest doesn't buy it. Mark Goodacre, creator of the pioneering biblical studies podcast NT Pod, argues convincingly that the author of John not only knew the other gospels, but wrote his version in direct response to them.

Mark is hard at work on a book about John, but in the meantime you can check out some of his other groundbreaking work: The Case Against Q:  Studies in Markan Priority and the Synoptic Problem, and The Synoptic Problem: A Way Through the Maze

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2023-10-23
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Is Jonah the Weirdest Book in the Bible?

Jonah and the whale (fish, technically) is one of the best-known Bible stories, but it's also completely bonkers. It stars Jonah?the worst/best prophet ever?and reads more like a fable or satire than a serious biblical treatise. Were the authors of Jonah trying to be funny? And how the heck did this silly little fish tale become a beloved and meaningful narrative for Judaism, Christianity and Islam?

To help unravel the mystery, Helen and Dave welcome back Eckart Frahm, author of the impressive new book, Assyria: The Rise and Fall of the World's First Empire. Eckart shares a convincing theory that the Judaean authors of Jonah may have been inspired by a popular Assyrian legend. 

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2023-10-16
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Childhood in Ancient Israel?What Can We Know?

Pop quiz?name a famous kid from the Hebrew Bible. Baby Moses? Teenage David? That's about it. The Bible may be largely silent about childhood, but we can gather clues from archeology and ethnography to piece together a picture of what it was like to be a kid in ancient Israel.

Special guest Kristine Garroway from Hebrew Union College joins Helen and Dave to reconstruct family life in ancient Israel: the spiritual anxieties around pregnancy, the rules of ancient adoption, and the chore lists assigned to little Israelite boys and girls.

For more, check out Kristine's book, Growing Up in Ancient Israel: Children in Material Culture and Biblical Texts

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2023-10-09
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Mysterious Origins of a Bible Story: Casting the First Stone

For the first four centuries of Christianity, the famous story of the "woman taken in adultery" was nowhere to be found in the New Testament.  In this moving tale, Jesus forgives a woman condemned  for committing adultery and admonishes her accusers: "let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

But why wasn't the story included in the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament? Was it a late addition to the gospels? Or was it an ancient story suppressed by Church fathers? Was "death by stoning" really a punishment in 1st-century Judaea? 

In this fascinating episode,  Helen and Dave speak with scholar Jennifer Knust about her book To Cast the First Stone: Transmission of a Gospel Story.  

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2023-10-02
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When Christians Were Jewish

It's easy to read the New Testament and come away thinking that Jesus and his disciples were in opposition to "the Jews." But the first followers of Jesus were all fellow Jews and the early Jesus movement was very much a Jewish movement. Would the first generation of "Christians" have thought of themselves as anything other than Jewish? Our guest Paula Fredriksen says absolutely not. 

According to Paula, there was plenty of room in the 1st Century for competing Jewish sects?including the Jesus movement?all arguing over the right way to be Jewish.  (The fact that they were arguing, jokes Paula, is proof enough of their Jewishness.)

Check out Paula's excellent book, When Christians Were Jews: the First Generation

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2023-09-25
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The Legendary John Cleese on "Monty Python's Life of Brian"

Comedy royalty John Cleese stopped by the podcast to chat with Helen and Dave about Monty Python's inspiration for making Life of Brian, what fascinates and frustrates him about the Bible, and so much more.

Members of the Time Travelers Club can listen to an uncut version of our entire, hour-long conversation with John. For $5/month, you can help support the show and receive bonus content and behind-the-scenes extras. Thanks to all those who have joined and special thanks to listener Josh Boldman for submitting an audio question for John Cleese.

For our U.S. listeners, John is about to embark on an American tour of his hilarious stage show An Evening with the Late John Cleese, so find out when he's coming to a city near you.  Enjoy the episode! 




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2023-09-18
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The Nasty, Yucky, Funky World of the 1st Century

Face it ? you wouldn't survive two days back in the first century. If the food-borne bacteria didn't kill you, you might keel over from the odors alone! In this episode, Helen and Dave welcome Jodi Magness, biblical archeologist extraordinaire, for a frank and sometimes graphic discussion of what daily life REALLY would have been like in 1st-century Judaea: just nasty!

And don't forgot to check out Jodi's book: Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus.  It's terrific.   

Bonus Content
Members of the Time Travelers Club get access to a bonus conversation with Jodi about how she got into archeology. We also posted a 20-minute behind-the-scenes conversation with Helen and Dave about how they got interested in biblical studies and the origins of the podcast. Subscribe today and check it out! 

Related Stories from Bible Odyssey

What Does Archeology Tell Us About the New Testament?The Aims of Biblical Archeology

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2023-09-11
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How Yahweh Became God

How did a (lowercase) god named Yahweh from the pantheon of the ancient Edomites become the one and only (uppercase) God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam? It's a fascinating story that calls into question just how monotheistic the ancient Israelites really were...

For this episode, Helen and Dave are joined by Francesca Stavrakopoulou, professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion at the University of Exeter, and author of the award-winning book, God: An Anatomy.

Join the Time Travelers Club! For $5/month, you can support the podcast (thanks!) and even contribute to the show. Subscribers can ask their very own questions on the air and access special bonus content exclusively for Club members. There's still time to ask a question to John Cleese! Learn more >

More on Yahweh from Bible Odyssey, our new content partner:

What did Yahweh look like?Worshipping Yahweh outside the province of YehudDivine CouncilBaal

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2023-09-04
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Season 2 Teaser and Some Big Announcements

Season 2 of Biblical Time Machine is coming soon! We've already recorded a slate of terrific episodes that will be dropping in the next few weeks.  Until then, check out the Time Travelers Club, a new way to get involved with the podcast.

The Time Travelers Club is a subscription service that lets you support Biblical Time Machine in exchange for some pretty sweet perks, including the opportunity to ask your questions on the air! Subscriptions are $5/month. 

Below is a schedule of upcoming recording dates and topics. Members of the Time Travelers Club can send us questions for any topic or guest, and we will read them on the air.  Or even better,  you send us an audio file of you asking your question and we'll play it on the podcast!

Upcoming Recording Dates

Sept. 7 "When Christians Were Jews" What was life like for the first generation of Jesus's followers after the Crucifixion? Guest: Paula FredriksenSept. 11 "John Cleese and The Life of Brian" Did Monty Python strive for historical accuracy in its classic biblical satire? Guest: John CleeseSept. 13 "The Woman Taken into Adultery" What are the literary origins of this powerful episode where Jesus invites those without sin to "cast the first stone"? Guest: Jennifer KnustSept. 18 "Jesus and Jewish Purity Laws" Was Jesus really in opposition to the Jewish purity laws? Guest: Matthew ThiessenSept. 20 "Childhood in the Ancient World" What was daily life like for children in Hebrew Bible and New Testament times? Guest: Kristine GarrowaySept. 21 "What Do We Know About the Gospel of John?" The 4th gospel stands apart from the synoptics stylistically and theologically. What do we know about the community where it was written and how it shaped the text? Guest: Mark GoodacreSept. 29 "The Queen of Sheba" What do we know about the ancient kingdom of Cush, one possible home of the biblical character, the Queen of Sheba? Guest: Stacy DavisOct. 2 "God's Monsters" How ancient belief systems shaped the monsters, demons and shape-shifters that appear in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. Guest: Esther HamoriOct. 11 "Pagan Writers on Jesus" What ancient Greek and Roman authors wrote about Jesus and his followers. Guest: Margaret WilliamsOct. 30 "God's Ghostwriters" The little-known role of slaves as the scribes who penned and transmitted the New Testament. Guest: Candida MossTBD "War and Weapons in Ancient Judaea" What was the reality of warfare in the 1st-century? Guest: Guy Stiebel

Thanks for listening and thanks for supporting Biblical Time Machine. We hope

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2023-08-25
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Season 1 Celebration!

Thank you loyal listeners for making Season 1 of Biblical Time Machine such a success! In this short recap, Helen and Dave look back on the first 30 episodes and drop some hints about what's to come in Season 2.

We'll be taking a short pause to catch up on recordings and make plans for an even bigger and better second season of Biblical Time Machine. But don't fret, we'll be back with new episodes before you know it.

In the meantime, keep sending us your emails (we respond to each one!) and please rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast platform. 

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2023-07-18
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Are the 12 Tribes of Israel a Myth?

The existence of the 12 tribes of Israel is central to the narrative of the Hebrew Bible. The tribes were named after the 12 sons of the patriarch Jacob and believed to be their direct descendants. As the Israelites escaped slavery in Egypt, wandered the desert for 40 years, and eventually conquered and settled the ?promised land? of Canaan, they did it all as members of these 12 named tribes.

But do we have any evidence outside of the Bible that the 12 Tribes actually existed? Our guest, Andrew Tobolowsky, has studied the history of the 12 Tribes both within the biblical texts and beyond, and has some intriguing theories to how the idea of the 12 Tribes originally took form and why it's endured to this day. 

Check out Andrew's book, The Myth of the 12 Tribes of Israel: New Identities Across Time and Space


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2023-07-07
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The Evolution of Satan

Learn how a humdrum Hebrew word for "obstacle/adversary" morphed over the centuries into the goat-hoofed, pitchfork-wielding embodiment of all evil. Our guest TJ Wray traces the biblical and historical evolution of Satan from a side character in the book of Job to the snarling chaos monster of Revelation. 

Check out TJ's book, The Birth of Satan: Tracing the Devil's Biblical Roots, co-authored with Gregory MobleySpecial thanks to listener Daniel Kline for this episode topic suggestion. Email us with your own ideas for future episodes and we'll shout you out on air. If you're enjoying the show, please rate and review us on your favorite podcasting app. Thanks!

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2023-06-26
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Biblical Archeology: What It Can (and Can't) Tell Us

For more than 100 years, archeologists have been scouring the Holy Land for tangible proof that the Bible and its accounts are historically true, but they've largely come up empty handed. Still, modern archeology is one of our greatest resources for understanding the ancient societies that wrote these timeless texts ? their beliefs, their rituals and their daily lives.

We're thrilled to welcome the legendary biblical archeologist Eric Meyers as our guest. Eric and his wife Carol (who joined us for an episode about women in Ancient Israel) conducted digs in Israel and Italy for more than 40 years and may have been the inspiration for Indiana Jones (or maybe not). You can read all about their adventures in Eric's new memoir, An Accidental Archeologist

Enjoying Biblical Time Machine? Rate and review us on your favorite podcast appEmail us with episode suggestions!

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2023-06-14
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All About Our Pal Josephus

Finally, an episode about Josephus! Josephus is not only our best source for life in Roman-ruled Judaea, but also our only source. (Much like Dave is his parents' favorite, and only, son.)  Josephus wrote A LOT about the Jewish wars with Rome and Jewish history in general, but scholars usually take his accounts with a grain of salt. As a Jew and a Roman citizen during a period of great tumult, Josephus had his own version of history to tell.

We welcome Helen's colleague Kimberley Czajkowski, an expert on 1st-century Judaea, to introduce us to the real Josephus, one of the most important and controversial writers from the ancient world. 

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2023-06-05
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Music in Ancient Israel ?

The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament lists dozens of musical instruments, and we know that the Song of Songs was... well... a song, so what role did music play in Ancient Israel? A big one! Special guest Jonathan Friedmann joins Helen and Dave to talk about his favorite ancient instrument (hint: it has strings), why the high priest in the Temple wore bells on his robes, and to settle the argument once and for all what the  psalms originally sounded like.

Special thanks to listener Laura Laster who sent us the idea for this episode. If you want to hear your name on the "air," send us an email with your very own ingenious episode idea.

And check out Jonathan's new podcast Amusing Jews

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2023-05-25
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How the Babylonian Exile Changed EVERYTHING

As much as 80% of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament was written during and immediately after the Babylonian Exile in the 6th century BC. As our guest Anja Klein explains in this fascinating episode, the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC was an inflection point in the history of the Jewish people. In Babylon, the exiled elites of the Kingdom of Judah had to forge a new identity. And out of that trauma (and resilience) came a compelling story of a chosen people and their one true God. 

Email us with your episode topic ideas. We love to hear from you!Rate and review us on your favorite podcasting app. Thanks!



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2023-05-15
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Was Early Christianity a "Cult of the Dead"?

Stephen was stoned to death. Peter was crucified (upside down). For early Christians, the highest form of devotion was to suffer and die like Jesus. Those martyrs became the first saints, and their bones and other "relics" were venerated throughout Christendom as part of a "cult of the dead," explains our guest, Kyle Smith.  

Read Kyle's fascinating book, Cult of the Dead: A Brief History of ChristianityEmail us with your episode topic ideasRate and review us on your favorite podcasting app. Thanks!

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2023-05-08
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Coronation Special: Kingship in Ancient Israel

When  Charles III is anointed with Holy Oil and enthroned as the God-appointed King of the UK, he'll take part of a tradition that dates back to Old Testament times. Ancient Israelite kings weren't gods like their neighbors in the ancient Near East and the prophets  blamed them for the Babylonian invasion and exile. But as our guest Madhavi Nevader explains, the Hebrew Bible presents many competing versions of Israelite kingship, some that are downright anti-monarchy and others that present the king as a shadow of a future messiah. 

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2023-04-28
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David, Bathsheba & Harem Politics

Ancient harems were about much more than sex. They were the powerful realms of royal women ? wives, consorts and concubines ? where favored sons were positioned as future kings. What can the biblical account of David and Bathsheba tell us about the reality of ancient harems? A lot! says  return guest Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones

Bathsheba, a victim of King David's lust, rises to become "queen mother," the most powerful position in the royal courts of the ancient Near East. Lloyd explains how David and Bathsheba's famous story is at once the product of ancient literary motifs and the real-life exploits of harem life. 

Attention British listeners (and world travelers)! Visit the British Museum in London from May 4 - August 13 to see an amazing exhibit that Lloyd helped curate called Luxury and Power: Persia to GreeceRead Lloyd's latest book, Persians: The Age of the Great KingsEmail us with your episode suggestions

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2023-04-20
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Easter: The Curious Case of Judas Iscariot

For our final Easter episode, Helen and Dave tackle the biggest Easter "baddie" of them all, Judas Iscariot. Everyone knows that Judas betrayed Jesus, but... did he? The gospels, as usual, each put their own twist on Judas, and there's compelling evidence that the character of Judas may have been borrowed from an earlier betrayal tradition involving King David. To clear it all up, we welcome special guest Paul Middleton, professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Chester. 

Keep emailing us your episode ideas. We are using them and will give you a shout out on air!Find us on Twitter @BibleTimeMachPlease rate and review Biblical Time Machine on your podcast app ? it helps more listeners find us

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2023-04-11
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Easter: What Day Was Jesus Crucified?

For centuries, historians have been trying to pinpoint the exact date of the Crucifixion, but biblical math is tricky! As Helen and Dave explain in today's third Easter episode, the gospels aren't in agreement on when Jesus died. Did different  traditions about Jesus's death and resurrection exist in the ancient world? Or do the different dates reflect different theological messages that the gospel authors were trying to send? As usual, we get to the bottom of it (or at least come to some moderately satisfying conclusions). 

Read Helen's great article: "Dating the Death of Jesus"Keep emailing us your episode ideas. We are using them and will give you a shout out on air!Find us on Twitter @BibleTimeMachPlease rate and review Biblical Time Machine on your podcast app ? it helps more listeners find us



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2023-04-07
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Easter: Meet the Historical Pontius Pilate

In the second of four Easter episodes, Helen and Dave investigate the historical Pontius Pilate (or "Ponty P" as Helen calls him). What was Pilate's job in Roman-ruled Judaea? Was Jesus the only controversial messiah figure that Pilate had to contend with? And most importantly, how did Pilate end up buried at the bottom of a lake in Switzerland? 

Read Helen's excellent book: Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation See if you can catch the BTM debut of Helen's dog, Tessa, who briefly barks her approval in the background. Thanks, Tessa...Keep emailing us your episode ideas. We are using them and will give you a shout out on air!Find us on Twitter @BibleTimeMach




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Theme music written and performed by Dave Roos

2023-03-31
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