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The Bible Geek Show

The Bible Geek Show

Dr. Robert M. Price answers questions submitted to him at [email protected]

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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-015

In biblical times, how could one distinguish a Jew from a Samaritan by outward appearance? Where did Paul derive the information we read in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26? What do you think of the recent introduction of inclusive language in the New American Standard Bible? Might Thomas have been the ?Twin? brother of Jesus? I could imagine a situation where a historical figure, increasingly understood as a more and more exalted figure, is equated and conflated with a mythical personage who developed separately, but is there a simpler solution? Assuming there was a common source, the "Q", why was he deleted, quenched, made to disappear? Unless it was Josephus? Does the Ipuwer Papyrus really verify Exodus? If the Romans fabricated the Gospel or adapted it, why did they pick the Levant as the source? What was the point of the ?whole burnt offering?? Might the things that are said about Simon Magus have been based on things John the Baptist's disciples said about Jesus, according to the Mandeans? As to the apologetic technique of "interpreting the less clear passage by means of the more clear," is it legitimate to apply it to 2 passages within a single work, or within multiple works by the same author?'
2021-09-10
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-014

Do you think that back in the times at the beginnings of Christianity, there was an organization or brotherhood similar to the modern day Masons that ran parallel to Judaism, and later to Christianity, that served as an incubator for the kinds of syncretic ideas that seemed prevalent in the unorthodox sects of that era? Why is it assumed Matthew and Luke each used some third source (M or L) as opposed to just writing that unique material? : Might the famous devotional poem "Footprints" based on Acts of John 93? When and why did critical scholars begin dating gnosticism as a post-Christian constellation of beliefs? The judgment passage in Revelation 20 says ?books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. Doesn?t the book of life actually make the whole ?judgement? aspect of the story completely redundant? The 5th century BCE Elephantine Papyri strongly suggest a Jewish community with little if any knowledge of the Torah and who shockingly violated several aspects of Deuteronomi law (such as polytheism) yet seek and seemingly get permission from priests in Jerusalem to build their own temple! Had any of these people ever read the Pentateuch? Why do scholars say, e.g., Mark was the first Gospel, 1 Thess was Paul?s first epistle? Why are they passing off scholarly guesswork as known fact? Please recommend a book explaining the meanings of ?the Son of Man.? Who or what is Azazel? 2 Esdras 6 says God created Enoch and Leviathan together on the Fifth Day, then goes on to say that Adam was finally created on the sixth Day. Enoch was created BEFORE Adam? What is going on there? When do you think Christians first considered themselves as having a different religion than Jews? And perhaps leadingly (in terms of what I wonder), do you think that we may not be looking at a splinter, but rather a merger of Jewish sects and gentile sects that found enough compatibility to join disparate groups? How do you understand or explain the lack of first-century Christian texts? Is the war enough to explain it, or is the lack of a prominent Palestinian Christianity possible? Gerd Theissen describes the messianic secret in Mark as "a literary form given to the 'monotheistic' reservations about a life of Jesus bathed in the divine splendor." (p.96) The way I understood him--using Wrede, apparently--is that somehow presenting Jesus literarily as not claiming he was.
2021-08-20
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-013

What do you make of Matthew 27:52? I Corinthians 2:8 mentions the ?archons,? usually translated as rulers of this world. Are archons necessarily celestial or can they be earthly? Why would a celestial being be crucified by celestial beings? Occurrences of ?12? in Homer. In the Book of Revelation, are those who are thrown into the Lake of Fire annihilated, or do they endure eternal punishment? E.A. Speiser points to the Hurrian law which allows to adopt his wife also as his sister. Does this figure into the stories of the Patriarch claiming his wife is actually his sister? Is Matthean priority still a fringe opinion? Do you think that the refusal to practice apologetics is in itself apologetics? Despite the claim that salvation comes by faith, fundamentalists insist on particular doctrines as necessary for genuine faith. Isn?t this salvation by works? It?s bizarre to me to read all of this New Testament theology into a single verse of the Old Testament. Why not expound the OT text in its own right?
2021-07-30
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-012

Tell us about Bruno Bauer. Do you know whether anyone has made a serious, well researched argument to change the BCE/CE dating scheme to something more centered in the Western/Hellenistic/Enlightenment Eras? Might the Emmaus story be based on a dream? Or the resurrection appearance of Romulus on the Alba Longa? What do you make of the references to antinatalism in the Bible? Is the passage in Revelation 11:7-12 about the 2 witnesses somehow related to the Passion and Resurrection narratives of the gospels?
2021-07-09
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-011

I think the Jesus ben Ananias account in Josephus is actually about the Gospel Jesus as an old man. If this Ananias is the high priest of the Gospels, then Joseph Caiaphas was his son in law, and Jesus was his grandson. I'm curious about the origin of the idea found in many religions that pain and suffering somehow appeases a deity. In the epic movie, ?The Life of Brian?, Monty Python members pose some questions about Christianity and Judaism. Why was the mention of the name of the God Jehovah a taboo? Why were women not allowed at stoning to death as punishment? Did liberation revolutionary groups exist, and were they all talk and no action? Is there any knowledge or writing or commentary exclaiming that the Christian religion was a Death Cult? Which of your books discusses the disorder of text in John? Seth Andrews said there were multiple authors of Mark. I have not heard that before. Do you agree? Why is the virgin Mary so important in the catholic church?
2021-06-28
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-010

My understanding is that "Paul" means something like "humble" or "small." Is that the idea? That this character goes from being the powerful persecutor Saul to the small and humble little Paul? Or is it more likely that there was some vague historical memory of a Paul who played into Jewish or Christian communities, and the memory of Simon Magus was grafted in some way onto that actual Saul/Paul? What you think of the Elton John/Bernie Chapin song ?Levon,? appearing on the classic album ?Madman Across the Water?? John 8:44 uses the phrase "You are from the Father of the Devil." Might this be a play on Romans 8:29 which says Perhaps the author is portraying the people that Jesus is addressing as the brothers of the Devil by claiming that they are from the Father of the Devil? Where Jesus cries out "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" If Jesus was God, why is he asking himself why he is being abandoned? Was Peter real or mythical and why do you feel that way? Please explain about local text variants and textual families. A while ago, you were discussing Lamech, son of Methuselah, married to Ada and Zillah, indicating that the implication was that ?lamech has wives from A to Z.? Does this translates into Hebrew with their different alphabet? In Acts 15, why did food sacrificed to idols, blood, and strangled steak make the cut of laws that Gentile Christians needed to follow? Why these things and not the more morality-based laws? Was the long ending of Mark used for candidates for baptism as it is a cento? of Jesus's narrative/used in scenes in the synoptic gospels. Do you think the sayings in Thomas that parallel Synoptic sayings had a similar source by oral tradition? Were the Gnostic Thomas sayings older?
2021-06-24
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-009

Christians often criticize atheists for believing that the universe was created from nothing. How do they square this with their belief that God created the universe ex nihilo? I wondered if you've been following the story of "the Shapira document." What is your general take on Strobel and his Case For Christ? I can explain the idea behind Bayes theorem in a way that ANYBODY can understand without using any math. Where might the Zodiac killer have derived the idea that people he killed would become his slaves in the afterlife? Did the Assemblers of the New Testament pre-determine that it must have 27 books because of the Trinity (3x3x3=27)? Was a big reason that the Book of Revelations was included in the Canon that it was thought to have been written by the same author as the Gospel of John? Could St Paul?s letters have been written much later than the conventional dating of the 50?s AD? We are told that Esau was also called ?Edom? (?red?) because he gave up his birthright for ?red? stew. He also just happens to be born ?red all over.? But Edom is known for its red sandstone. And people think this is real history?
2021-06-23
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-008

What was that parallel Bible you said you liked so much? Is there any reason to believe that the Q character from Star Trek was named after the Q source from Bible scholarship? How widespread is the belief that OT theophanies were appearances of the pre-incarnate Christ? What?s wrong with Joseph Atwill?s arguments? What book sets forth the fundamental historical-critical axiom that in any choice between a more or less spectacular version of the same event, the less spectacular is preferred since if the more colorful were first available we cannot account for the fabrication of the more mundane? When did modern scholars first conclude that the Pauline letters were written before the Gospels? Is God?s original name ?Jealous?? In a recent episode, a fellow listener referred to Pilate's question "What is truth?" as "a glib dismissal of Jesus". Personally, I can't see as mere glibness; to me, the entire conversation is about collision of values. Please comment on the Kalam argument as put forth by William Lane Craig: I wonder what your opinion might be of Rene Guenon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, and Frithjof Schuon - the trinity of perennialists? Would the Stendhal syndrome explain early Christian spiritual experiences? Is there good reason to consider 1 Peter a forgery?
2021-06-14
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-007

Do we know why Jesus declares woes upon the ?unrepentant? cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum in Matthew 11 and Luke 10? Which is more likely authentic: Luke 6:20 (?you poor?) or Matthew 5:3 (?the poor in spirit?? Is Luke redacting Matthew, or is Matthew redacting Q? In the Odyssey, only Eurycleia recognizes Odysseus? secret identity, then rats out 12 maids who were in cahoots with the Suiters. Is this reflected in Mark?s gospel with the anointing woman, Judas, and the 12? Justin Martyr, an early Christian apologist who died around 165 CE during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, never quoted any of the canonical gospels. Does this mean that the canonical gospels were largely unknown in the mid-second century even to big-name apologists such as Justin? Can you recommend any books on the Bible and Astrology that use an historical scholarly approach and its use in ancient religions? Isn?t post-exilic Israel a perfect example of a situation that has occurred numerous times in history: that of a split between an aristocratic few and the more numerous people they despise? Does 1 Cor. 15:5 contradict the gospels?
2021-05-19
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-006

Is there a work that gives a good overview of the different models of how Christianity could have started? Genesis and Exodus use the term "Pharaoh" as if it's a proper name, while also referring to the "King of Egypt." Ezekiel refers to "Pharaoh King of Egypt," again like 'Pharaoh' is the name, and 'King' is his title. Same in 1 Kings 3:1 and 1 Kings 9:16. What's going on here? I wanted to know if you could speculate on the logistical process of how Pau's letters could have been assembled and collected. Does the Greek style of the NT indicate a first century origin? Does it matter if religious experiences are based on fictive deities? Were any of the towns Jesus said to have visited real? Why did the Catholics decide to make Peter the first pope? So what will heaven really be like?
2021-05-06
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-005

If the "Neapolitan Ice Cream" analogy for the Trinity actually Modalism? How about attempts to analogize the Trinity with Quantum Physics? Mustn?t the Genesis Flood be inspired by an actual world flood in ages past? Was Mary made pregnant by a Roman soldier, by her husband Joseph, or an angelic sex act? Do the Paulicians represent a continuation of original Gnostic Christian faith, or a revival? And might there be a real connection with a/the Gnostic Paul? Do you have any idea what Mary might have meant in Luke 1:34 when she asks the angel Gabriel, ?How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?? I would appreciate your advice for what translations or versions of the Bible might clarify the meaning of certain rare or ambiguous words in the text.
2021-05-04
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-004

Can we surmise that Marcion is a possible candidate for the author of Mark? He was in Rome during the 130s and I understand his name translates to ?little Mark?. Why would a Roman author, whoever he was, choose to edit the Little Apocalypse from the ostensible time of Jesus to appeal to the current circumstances of the Bar Kokhba revolt? Do you have any speculation on who the "Teacher of Righteousness" might be? Could the story of Genesis 3:17b-19b go back ten thousand years to the Agricultural Revolution, perhaps a prescient warning to the people of the time of the dangers of urbanization? In Jubilees 5:12ff, what is the "place of darkness which is not judged"? What do you think about this Epictetus quote: "No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me you desire a fig, I will answer that there must be time to blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen." Could it be the Devil's rejoinder to Christ's desire for instant figs? Was Thomas Hobbes correct that the Bible depicts God as a material body? Is Matthew 12:31 a rejoinder to those who deny the personality of the Holy Spirit?
2021-04-16
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-003

Is there any biblical basis for the insistence of some that only humans go to heaven, not animals? What do you make of the baptism for the dead described in 1 Corinthians 15:29? Why would a Roman author, whoever he was (Marcion?), choose to edit the Little Apocalypse from the ostensible time of Jesus to remove references to the current circumstances of the Bar Kokhba revolt? Do you have any speculation on who the "Teacher of Righteousness" might be? Thomas Hobbes was such a complete materialist that he denied the existence of spirit and said that everything in the universe including God himself was entirely corporeal, that nowhere in the Bible did it explicitly say that angels and over heavenly beings were not material. Think so? Was Mathew 12:31 inserted to threaten ?heretics? who denied the personhood of the Holy Spirit?
2021-03-12
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-002

"And heard (this) King Herod openly for his name / authority became manifest. And he said, "Because John the Baptist was risen from the dead and, by this, operates / works this Power ["dynamis"] in him?. Is Herod referring to Jesus or John? Is it possible that he means a docetic Christ spirit who appears here and there to do his feats? What was your translation philosophy in your Pre-Nicene New Testament? Luke 8:1-3 mentions a group of women who traveled with Jesus and the 12. Why does Luke include them? And who were Susanna and Joanna? Greek scholars recognize that when the plural form is used without a qualifying number, it?s be understood as meaning the minimum plural amount, two. Is this correct? Were Daniel chapters 7-12 a contributor to the Jewish revolt? I was hoping you could speak to the changing of the tax collectors name from Levi, son of Alpheus, to Matthew. One of the main foundations of Christianity, as I understand it, is the fact that God sacrificed his only son for our sins. But how much of a sacrifice was it?
2021-02-21
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The Bible Geek Podcast 21-001

In Mark 6:15 Herod wonders if Jesus might be John the Baptist raised from the dead. Could it be that this doesn't refer to Jesus as sorcerer but to Jesus (or several people in a movement) manifesting the Celestial Christ to participants in a pentecostal-like movement (as per Stevan Davies)? I am wondering what your translation philosophy was for the Pre-Nicene New Testament. What purpose do you think Luke 8:1-3 serve? Also, I find the "afterward he went on through cities and villages." Why the sudden vagueness of cities and villages? Finally, what do you make of the mention of the women traveling with Jesus and the twelve? What of Joanna and Susanna (who appear only in Luke)? I have read that Greek scholars recognize that when the plural form is used without a qualifying number, it?s understood as meaning the minimum plural amount, dual. For example, John A. Bengel said: ?The plural, kairous, times, denotes two times. The plural number is to be taken most strictly.? Is this correct? Hence in Revelation 12:14/Dan. 7:25; 12:7 (Septuagint) ?time, times and half a time? the ?times? is two times, hence 3 1/2 times in total. Is that correct? Were many Jews inspired by the book of Daniel: was the book of Daniel a contributor to the Jewish revolt, leading to the diaspora? I was hoping you could speak to the changing of the tax collectors name from Levi, son of Alpheus, to Matthew. One of the main foundations of Christianity, as I understand it, is the fact that God sacrificed his only son for our sins. But how much of a sacrifice was it? Thomas Hobbes was such a complete materialist that he denied the existence of spirit and said that God himself was entirely corporeal, that nowhere in the Bible did it explicitly say that angels and over heavenly beings were not material. I am starting to think that Hobbes would have found a lot of scriptural support for his views, or was he wrong? Re Mathew 12:31: So what exactly is the Spirit, and why would his or its rejection be a greater mortal sin than that of God the Father or the Son? I've found certain apologists weirdly insistent that only humans go to heaven, not animals. It seems to me these apologists must never have had a pet, or they'd know it can't be heaven if your pets aren't there too. Is there any biblical basis for their insistence? What do you make of the baptism for the dead mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:29?
2021-01-22
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-023

What is the word for "church" in the original Greek, and what did it mean before Christianity? If "Messiah" and "Christ" are terms rather than proper names, might not any group of people following a Messiah be called Christians by a disinterested third party such as a Roman historian of the time? Could Mark be hinting that the scattering of the twelve disciples shows that the original Petrine Christianity failed. But it was carried forward by Paul (as Simon of Cyrene) picking up the cross and walking with Jesus? Doesn't the paraclete in the Gospel of John have to be Paul? Matt 25:41 seems to explicitly state that Satan and his gang will join us heathens in Hell's torments. If that's so, where did we get the notion that they will not be the tormented, but rather the tormentors? Where did the horned, red-tailed, pitchfork-wielding imagery come from? And do you think there's a particular reason no angels are described as having female attributes? You have me convinced that Polycarp was the author/redactor of Luke/ Acts and the author of the Pastorals. Luke/Acts seems empathetic and respectable of woman, but the Pastorals seem to be the exact opposite. Do you have an opinion on why this may be?
2020-12-29
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-022

You asked listeners to suggest a mythical or legendary character who could potentially be historicized by clever apologetics. Here is my humble suggestion: Ned Ludd. I'm interested in any thoughts you might have on the Branch Davidians, Koresh, or the sectarian politics within the Adventist movement which gave rise to the group. What do you make of the thesis that the Greek word AEON should be translated as "AGE" or "EON" everywhere it appears, and "AEONIAN" as "Pertaining to the age" which has no English equivalent. Not ?eternal.? Can you speculate on the possibility of a text or scroll lying in a cave or tomb that could change or alter our understanding of Jesus and the early church? Please comment on the idea that Mark was written first was promoted by Bismarck as part of the anti-Catholic Kulturkampf. His goal was to diminish Matthew which is the Gospel which includes the Peter-the-Rock verse which is the biblical basis for papal authority. I was wondering if you could comment on Galatians 6:17. Was Paul a stigmatic? Or what? A simple solution to the riddle in Rev 2:9 and 3:9 is that it is referring to the Herodians who were not ethnic Judahites but Idumeans who also collaborated with their Roman masters. I've always found the episode with Pilate in John 18:37-38, where Pilate asks "What is truth?" to be very poetic and compelling. It reads as a glib dismissal of Jesus as the one who bears witness to "the truth," but I can't shake the feeling there's more to it than that. It strikes me as subtly evil, the kind of moral relativism that is so easy to slip into, certainly for a jaded politician, but also for any of us. I'd love for you talk about this passage, the sitz im leben, and any thoughts you have on its relevance to the rest of story. How come Stephen got lynched by the Sanhedrin, but the same group had to get Roman permission to execute Jesus? You?ve suggested the idea of a personal relationship with God has its origin in 17th-century German Pietism. Can you say some more about this? Do you think the idea of a personal relationship with God or Jesus is a modern idea? Is it a Western idea? Do non-Christian religions have this concept?
2020-12-24
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-021

Might the Noah story be based on the recently discovered flooding of the originally dry Persian Gulf around 14,000 years ago? Did Simon Magus? followers who still exist in Eusebius day? Was this a full-on religious sect? Deuteronomy 32:7 and Israelite polytheism. Could one write a book about a person of history, a mythical character, or a yet undecided person of history that may be a myth, that has similar amounts of evidence as Jesus? Could you use the same historical tools, apologetics, and guidelines (e.g. criterion of embarrassment) and "prove" they also exist? In Luke 23 Jesus tells the thief ?Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.? There is an obvious contradiction with the three-day resurrection timeline with this quote, as Jesus isn't supposed to be in Paradise the same day. Unless, of course, you think in terms of Trinity where Jesus and Yahweh are the same being. In that scenario, Jesus has always been in Heaven and is there waiting for the thief to arrive. But if that is so, what is the point of the resurrection? If Jesus/Yahweh was in Heaven all this time, did he ever actually ascend to Paradise? Did he actually die? An Archbishop recently condemned Yoga because of its polytheistic, hence demonic origins. Isn?t this a classic genetic fallacy? Why did Matthew 12 omit Mark?s iconic phrase ?The Sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the Sabbath??
2020-12-04
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-020

On your latest podcast you were asked about the parallels between the controversies about Pauline and Shakespearean authorship. Since this is something I actually know about, I?d like to share my answer to the question. Have you ever heard of a Jewish sect that believed that directly talking to God was forbidden and blasphemous? Is it possible this Jesus/Metatron originally performed this role? Was the Copper Scroll (3Q15) a real list of buried treasures or some kind of hoax? Is the only thing preventing donkeys (or other animals) from talking some sort of physical limitation? Are they thinking coherent thoughts and complete phrases like the one in the Bible passage but are simply unable to express them verbally? Did Balaam?s donkey continue to talk? Why didn?t Balaam seem to be the least bit impressed that his donkey is talking to him? Do you feel that Mary was a mythical figure? Do you know of any early Christian commentary regarding the mechanics of how the Holy Ghost impregnated Mary? Does the Holy Ghost have a penis? Did they have intercourse or was holy semen magically implanted in Mary by the Holy Ghost? As you pointed out, several biblical figures relate to the cycle of "Day follows Night follows Day." My question is whether one or the other (sun or moon) is considered harmful or beneficial?
2020-11-27
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-019

In Acts, the writer mentions the apostles performing "signs and wonders", as well as miracles. If miracles are mentioned separately, it would seem that signs and wonders are something other than healings, resurrections, etc. What do you think the writer wanted the reader to imagine the apostles doing exactly? Parallel between scholars denying authenticity of some or all of Shakespeare?s plays and Dutch Radical Critics. Were Leviathan and Behemoth really a crocodile and an elephant? I wonder what consideration, if any, you have given to the creatures described in Job 40 to 41. Namely, the Behemoth and the Leviathan. If Marcion rejected the OT, why did his gospel contain Luke?s Central Section which is rewritten from Deuteronomy? Can you name any individuals who added or subtracted verses from scripture mss? In biblical times was it considered especially tragic to die in ones 30 since most people are supposed to have had a lifespan of 30-40 years? Could you address your thoughts on the historicity of The Buddha?
2020-11-12
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-018

In John 3:14-15, is the writer comparing Jesus to the serpent god? Why does God conceal his real name in the Old Testament? I was wondering what inspired the "Temptation narratives" in the various gospels? Why would the Romans undermine their state security by replacing their gods with a lesser god like Jesus? Does Paul show any knowledge of the contents of the 3 synoptic gospels or the one of John? Which biblical criticism books would you wish were translated in English that have not been yet? The Old Testament has numerous battles where the victorious army kills everybody in a town except for the virgin females, which they kidnap and force into marriages. Is there a word in English for this practice? How did Islam originate as a sect of Christianity? How to account for striking parallels between the Apocryphon of John from Nag Hammadi and the Life of Adam and Eve?
2020-11-08
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-017

What are your thoughts on the interactions between the biblical Paul and the 12? Did they even live at the same time? Why was it important that the first Christians get their message to Rome? Are the Odes of Solomon (e.g., Ode XXXI) and the Gospels both inspired by the Q Source? What was the early Christian attitude towards slavery? In the Acts of Thomas Saint Thomas was literally sold into slavery BY JESUS HIMSELF! Pilate is always used to underscore the evil of Jews, who are always treated as worse criminals. Am I correct in seeing him that way, as a rhetorical argument that pagans are less of an enemy than Jews? Was Jesus (assuming he actually existed) an Apocalyptic prophet or a Revolutionary? Do you know anything about the scholarly reception of Russell Gmirkin's book "Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus"? Do you think it holds up and we need to rethink our chronology for the Documentary Hypothesis?
2020-10-28
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-016

Analyzing Worldwide Church of God theology. Does an objective moral standard require God--or vice versa? Morton Smith and the Secret Gospel of Mark Marcion and Galatians Mithraism The Egyptian
2020-10-02
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-015

Ironies of Bible-worship Do we know exactly what caused Judaism to metamorphose from a polytheistic religion into a monotheistic religion? How much of a role might its adoption of Zoroastrian ideas have played in this? Could the young man fleeing the Garden naked originally have been Peter? What?s your opinion of the 60s-80s genre I like to call "Christploitation" Films? Was Cain originally Yahweh?s son? Where did Medieval artists get the idea of assorted sadistic torments in hell? Is Hell a fleshy place for things to burn?  If today?s cult founders are discussed ad nauseum by their followers after their passing, why would the NT epistle authors have nothing to say about their founder whom they believed was God incarnate?
2020-09-23
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-014

A possible Greek pun in the story of the Gerasene Demoniac. Balaam appears twice in Numbers, in chapters 22 and 31. In Chapter 22 he seems to be a good guy who fears God, but in Chapter 31 he masterminds an operation to seduce the Hebrews away from God. Do the 2 stories come from different sources? How did Paul recognize Jesus on the Damascus Road if he had never met him pre-crucifiction? How was Paul different from the gospel writers? Did he believe Christ lived above the Earth, never came to Earth.  What is Jacob doing with the peeled rods manipulating the genetics of his and Laban?s sheep? A Catholic apologist friend of mine insists that "late" dating of the gospels rests on the assumption that Jesus is not God and therefore could not have predicted the destruction of the Temple in Mark. Valid? During early Christianity, did anyone ever account for the "fact" that Jesus could walk on water, but was taken outta here with 3 nails and a hammer? How did early Chritians explain this away?
2020-09-21
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-013

Is the dating of the gospels well established?  How do we know Mark was written in 60-70 AD?  Could it be MUCH later? Is the Pauline view that the wicked dead will not be resurrected unto judgment derived from the LXX (mis)translation of Psalm 1:5? In a recent Bible Geek episode, you used the phrase ?weighed in the balance? from the book of Daniel. The phrase brought to mind the weighing method used by Anubis to determine whether a person?s soul can go to paradise. Do you think the reference in Daniel harks back to Egyptian religion, or is it merely used as a common simile?  What would Christianity look like today if Paul The Apostle, had never been born?  Would Christianity even exist? Do you think Dr. Robert Eisenman believes that Jesus Christ was not a historical figure? Can you recommend any books that speak to the issue of the claim that the Catholic Church is God's Church from a free thought perspective?   Was Paul's view that it was better not to marry part of a larger school of thought?  Was celibacy seen as more spiritual or more pure?  Was even marital sex viewed as sinful?  Perhaps the reasons are more practical, such as lack of financial burden, freedom to travel, etc?   What do you think of Daniel Boyarin?s revisionist understanding of the interaction between Jesus and Pharisees in Mark 7? What is the intended gender of the ?Sun of righteousness? in Malachi 4:2?
2020-09-03
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-012

How much weight should we give to such a silence about Jesus' life as being evidence for Paul not thinking of Jesus as a human being that walked the earth? Now, if the silence of a Gospel-like-Jesus in the epistles is viewed as a telltale sign that we instead might be dealing with a celestial Jesus-figure, how do you explain the lack of historical Jesus references/allusions in the Pastorals (with the one exception of 1 Tim 6:13? ) Is it possible that "Q" was not an actual document, but instead was an oral tradition from which New testament authors quoted in their writings?   If for some reason you were to take a break from biblical studies, where would you direct your scholarly energy? Listener ideas for a Jesus novel. Why do Christians worship Jesus? How different do you think Christianity as we experience it would be if there were only the Gospels? Could the originals of the New Testament be kept in the Vatican's secret library?  What did Deuteronomy 29:29 actually mean when it was written? 
2020-08-21
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-011

Do you SUPPOSE that "Mark", which lends itself so readily to being a stage play...actually BEGAN as such? Mark is unique in that it never SAYS "angel". And we are never told who this boy is. Could it be that the "boy in white" is actually STAGE DIRECTION that by a quirk of fate found its way into the long term "record"?  In that the acting instructions read "scene opens:  angel (depicted by beautiful boy in white) is sitting on the right side...blah, blah, blah". The audience would have KNOWN the boy in white was SUPPOSED to be an angel, it would be culturally obvious, and so it need not have been spelled out to the crowd. But somehow, this play, with all its stage direction was edited into a "novel" and SOMEHOW this translation was simply included by MISTAKE? Is there a subtle stressing within the Bible that Lunar connotations (Abraham, Jacob, Elisha) might be better or more favorable than Solar (Isaac, Esau, Elijah)? If so, any theories as to why?  Has any scholarly work been done to discover the origins of various biblical stories in more ancient traditions? In Hebrews 1:1-2 most translations employ "world" or "universe" here. The actual word is aionas, or ages. Everywhere else, even in other parts of Hebrews, aionas is translated as ages. it's translated at age. Why?   According to the average Christian's knowledge, most everything, if not all, has been taken care of once Jesus ascends to Heaven. I can't for the life of me figure out why God would then need Paul. From the Christian perspective, why was Paul even necessary? OK, why didn't JC stay dead? What say you, Bible Geek, a dead JC would have quite an effect on Christianity but what kind of an effect?
2020-08-20
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-010

Do the Pseudo-Clementines anticipate Pascal?s Wager? Do you find that in Catholicism the Eucharist and the rosary take on more importance than the Bible? Why do we call the coming return of Jesus to judge the living and the dead the Second Coming? Why not count his birth #1, his resurrection as # 2, his return from harrowing Hell as # 3, and the Parousia as # 4? Might the story in John 1:41-50ff be thinly veiling ?Simon? (Magus) and Dositheus (equivalent in meaning to ?Nathaniel?), whom the Pseudo-Clementines number among disciples of the Baptist? What if when the basic gospel was "discovered" in the Jewish Scriptures through pesher readings, perhaps some of the readers figured that it was something that had actually happened right under everyone's noses, but that nobody had noticed due to the secrecy of the mission.  Under this assumption, Mark's Messianic Secret makes a lot of sense.  It serves not just to explain why the readers never heard of it, but why nobody at all had. Margaret Barker proposed (quite convincingly, to me) that First Temple Royal Cult beliefs survived the Deuteronomic Reform and had a strong influence on Christianity.  Part of her idea is that Wisdom was supplanted by The Law that was introduced by the Deuteronomists.  Wouldn't this mean that the keepers of the Old Time Religion would have a distaste for the Law?   Would they have obeyed the Law begrudgingly, while secretly being "Keepers" (nasar) of the old ways? Is there a viable alternative to modalism and tritheism that explains the Trinity? What are the major arguments for and against Lukan authorship of Acts? Pliny tells Trajan that Christians congregate on fixed dates before sunrise and sing hymns to Christ as if to a god. So did early Christians worship the sun as a manifestation of Christ? Should higher criticism of the bible be taught in schools as an elective subject? Does the bible in fact say that the Earth is flat? 
2020-08-03
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-009

Is 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 an interpolation? Is there a good critical study of Marian apparitions? Is Joseph of Arimathea?s retrieval of Jesus? body based on Flavius Josephus? account of rescuing a crucified friend with Titus? permission? In Gal. 5:2-4 Paul writes that "if you let yourselves be circumcised Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You ... have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace." But in Gal. 5:6, he writes "in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor non circumcision has any value," and in Gal. 6:15 he writes "Neither circumcision nor non circumcision means anything." Which is it? Are you willing to speculate on what a smoking gun reference to Q would look like in a patristic source? Why did the redactor preserve the very different Decalogues in Exodus 20 and 34? Does Exodus 34:19 actually mean to mandate infant sacrifice?
2020-07-09
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-008

The story of Balaam in Numbers 22 is puzzling. Verse 6, which says any curse or blessing Balaam may speak will come true, reminds me of Jesus giving a blank check to Peter in Matt. 17. Any connection? And what is going on in this story? God seems to change his mind a lot. What was Balaam supposed to do? What is the point of Frances the talking mule? Is Matthew?s ?Thou art Peter? passage some sort of pro-papal propaganda?  Any advice re my relationship with a religious woman who knows I am an agnostic but urges me to try teaching the Bible? What was the Apocalypse of Peter and why was it passed over for the canon? Did any early Christians believe in the ?once save always saved? doctrine? Where did the idea of the 'name it and claim it' theology come from? What is your opinion on the writers Karen Armstrong and C.S Lewis?
2020-06-09
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-007

The Bible Geek's Emergency Relief Request https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-bible-geek Can you explain more about the haberim and how they may relate to the origins of Christianity?  Based on John 2:19-21 and 8:57, Irenaeus believed Jesus was about 50 at his death. Did this view die out in the pre-Nicene times or did it reappear in later theology? Also, how, if at all, could this be harmonized with the synoptic gospels? How are chthonic cults related to mystery religions, dying and rising saviors, etc? What do you think of my theory that Paul was intentionally trying to cleave off the straying Jewish cult followers from Judaism? Does your ?Christian-atheism? share much with the thought of Slavoj Zizek and Jordan Peterson?
2020-06-02
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-006

Possible explanations of visionary experiences via hallucinaens, etc. What evidence nis there for Mark having originated in Antioch or Rome? For Matthew being wriiten in Antioch? Any idea to what extent Paul was reared in Roman or Roman-influenced culture (as opposed, say, to hellenistic / Jewish)? Acts 4:13 Peter is called "agrammatoi" ("unlettered"). Does that mean "not formally educated in religious matters or the Law of Moses" or just plain ?illiterate"? Hyam Maccoby theorizes that Jesus? Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem took place, not in the Spring around the time of Passover, but rather in the Autumn during Sukkot, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. Further, Maccoby feels that too many events have been compressed into the brief time of Jesus? entry into Jerusalem and the crucifixion.  It makes much more sense if these numerous events took place stretched out between Autumn and Spring. What do you think? Can you explain where scholars got the idea that the evangelist Luke was a medical doctor?
2020-05-24
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-005

Do you think the ?young man? who flees the Garden of Gethsemane in Mark 14:51-52, leaving his sheet in the clutches of Jesus? enemies might be a symbol for the casting off of the body of flesh and the emergence of the spiritual/resurrection body, having escaped the clutches of the Archons? In Raymond Brown's Anchor Bible volume "An Introduction to the New Testament," Brown dismisses the troubling episode of Jesus telling his disciples that he speaks in parables so that the public won't understand. (Mk 4:11-12), claiming it displays the biblical tendency to regard disappointing results as foreordained by God. But how is that any better? Do you think it?s completely out of the question there was a Hebrew original of the Greek version of Daniel? What?s the deal with the Western text tradition? Do we know why it exists, or what gave rise to it? Hello, Dr. Price, from Luther. I?ve got another pair of questions for you today. Both require us to wear our historicity hats.   Paul and James seemingly were the two primary figures in primitive Christianity. Yet since early Christian history, the primary dichotomy or internal competition was assigned to Paul and Peter, as one gets from a casual read of Acts. How or why do you think the Peter of history became one of the Big Two, especially considering Paul explicitly and Acts implicitly has him as more a waffling flunky than a leader? What do you think was Paul?s actual belief about his religious concepts compared to those of the Jamesian church?
2020-04-02
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-004

What do you make of the young man in the loin cloth, a.k.a. the Naked Fugitive, present at Jesus' arrest? Where does F.C. Baur claim that Acts uses Simon Magus to stand for Paul? Does Deuteronomy 22:5? prohibition of cross-dressing fit in the Mary Douglas?s discussion of Israelite taxonomy? What is your view of speaking in tongues as described in the epistles and acts? When did people stop viewing the books that became the Bible as books written by people about God's interaction with the world and begin seeing them with some higher view of inspiration, as God's own words? What was Dr. Albert Schweitzer's contribution to biblical scholarship and how is he now regarded? Do you think that Mark may have used Josephus as a source?
2020-03-20
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-003

Is the Talpiot Tomb in East Jerusalem the Tomb of Jesus Christ and His Family as well as His Parents and close relatives? Why do we not have a binity rather than a trinity? Where did the notion of the Holy Ghost come from? The noun ?Elohim? has three basic uses in the Hebrew scriptures: the One God, lesser deities, and very prominent saints, as with Abraham (Gen. 23:6) and Samuel (1 Samuel 28:13). Is the 3rd perhaps the root of an 'exaltation theology' that would later be applied to Jesus? In Exodus 4:21 and many times in Exodus 7-11, it is written that "Pharaoh's heart was hard" and that "Pharaoh's heart was hardened". The Hebrew word translated "hardened" can also mean ?strengthened.? This is said in tandem with God promising great signs and wonders. Could this mean God would by this means encourage Pharaoh to yield, but that he still resisted? What is your estimation of Bishop Spong?s scholarly work? Do you think the Protestant emphasis on Sola Scriptura is actually making an idol of the Bible? Who are your favorite conservative NT scholars and why? Is the philosophy of history espoused by Fichte/Hegel integral to Tübingen scholarship (e.g., F.C. Baur)?
2020-02-29
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-002

Could the Sermon on the Mount have been a non or pre-Christian text incorporated by Christians and attributed to Jesus? Aren?t the Passion stories of various savior cults a revived version of the Chaoskampf myth?  Would you share some of your thoughts about the book/prophet Amos? Can you discuss Christian views on reincarnation? Is there a precedent for it in the early church or even the New Testament itself? Why are the disciples denigrated as lower class dullards in the gospels? What do you think of the theory that Rabbi Akiva rewrote the OT?
2020-01-26
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The Bible Geek Podcast 20-001

Pagan Greek trinities? On his first visit to Jerusalem, Paul "tried to associate with the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple." (Acts 9:26) Fitzmyer's commentary says these were just Jerusalem Christians as opposed to the Twelve. Does that sound right to you? Or, is it more like the term "apostle" in this sense? Acts 9:29 says "[Paul] also used to speak and debate with the Hellenists, but they kept trying to kill him." Fitzmyer says in this case ?Hellenists? can't mean Jewish Christians, but rather just Jews. But isn't Acts pretty consistent in using "Hellenists" to describe Jewish Christians, like Stephen & the Gang who get recruited to go wait tables? If so ... KILL HIM? How could Paul lack the authority to draw the Corinthians, whom he evangelized, away from missionaries of James and have such a struggle in this community, yet, when he went to Rome in the account in Acts he could summon the Jewish leadership to him and they would listen to him?  Can you say something about ?liberation theology?, the idea that the gospel is literally good news to the poor. And, why did this theology take off in Latin America? Might Jesus? Gethsemane prayer about the cup passing from him originally have belonged to the Last Supper context? And then might it reflect the story of Joseph dining with his brothers with reference to Joseph?s cup of divination? If so, may we infer that Jesus was using such a cup and passed it among his disciples, each of whom addressed the cup asking ?Is it I, Lord (i.e., God)?? Jesus then looks into it and sees that Judas? question got the ?yes.? In light of the Lot story where he has sex with his daughter, begetting the no-good Ammonites and Moabites, obviouslydisapproving of incest, how could Abraham speak of his marrying his half sister? Wasn?t the Temple of Solomon borrowed from the Egyptian story of the temple at Karnak built by Amenhoteop III? Both stories have a Hiram of Tyre, and many of the children of David and Solomon have very similar names when compared to those of Amenhotep III. What do you think of the bible authors rewriting Egyptian history as their own jewish history ?
2020-01-10
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The Bible Geek Podcast 19-029

Re: the Bible?s stance on alcohol, what about Jesus' own drinking as in Matt. 11:18-19? Are you familiar with Norman Golb and his book, Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, and if so, what do you think? Does Mark?s negative depiction of Jesus? disciples and relatives reflect enmity between Jewish and Gentile/Pauline factions? Why does the author of ?The Second Treatise of the Great Seth? speak so mockingly of the heroes of the OT? .  Brandon suggests we need not worry that passages or whole epistles by Paul were censored since some pretty disturbing material still appears in the Pauline Corpus. Think so?  If I understand you correctly, we agree that Simon Magus is at the root of this belief system advanced by the ?works of Paul? (stuff about the law and a judging, punishing God are out).  So Simon?s philosophy and writings would be considered source material.  Is there any uncontaminated remnant of this belief system?               What do you think of the idea that there was no historical "Nazareth" until someone pointed at a place and told the patron saint of credulity, the Empress Helena (Mother of Constantine), "Yeah, this is Nazareth."? You once said you rejected the notion in Atwill?s Caesar?s Messiah that the Romans had a part in creating the gospels and that they were engaged in a sort of esoteric satire which resulted in Christians unwittingly worshiping Titus instead of Jesus. I was wondering why you think this is such an incredible theory, isn't this precisely what happened in your case? Sure sounds like the jokes on you!
2019-12-17
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The Bible Geek Podcast 19-028

Is there any apologetic for T-totaling other than the idea of setting a good example? What is the Biblical view of suicide?  Was early Christian worship based on Jewish worship or influenced by pagan religion? What?re your thoughts on Neville Goddard?s books and lectures?  Could the name of the Gnostic Demiurge ?Yaldabaoth? derive from the Iranian celebration of the night of the winter solstice as Shab-e Yalda, literally, "the night of Yalda"? What do you think of the Bible critics Dr. Bruce M. Metzger and F.F. Bruce who think that the New Testament is historically absolutely correct? Back in the 70s, when the American population was so much more Christian then, were Evangelicals confident based on this strength in numbers, or was there a feeling of alarm, a sense of losing ground, because of the counterculture's gains since the late 60s?
2019-12-06
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The Bible Geek Podcast 19-027

I noticed that ?????????? (Ierosolyma) was used in Galatians 1:17-18 and 2:1, while in other places Paul seemed to favor ?????????? (Ierousal?m), in particular Galatians 4:25-26; Romans 15:19; 15:25-26; and 1 Corinthians 16:3. If there is not a grammatical difference between how they are used, I was wondering what might explain the difference in usage. Jewish tradition describes Solomon working magic with a ring bearing the Star of David . The same symbol occurs in modern occultism, e.g., Crowler. Is there a connection?  Might Matthew?s ?magoi? in his Nativity story have originally been ?Parsees,? denoting Pharisees? Why does Acts seem to show James humiliating Paul? Could you list a couple of earlier scholars--let's say at least mid-20th century or earlier--whose work you think is essential and really holds up despite any more recent scholarship, and also maybe a couple to avoid because their work doesn't? What would you say is the best example of bible prophecy, shows the least amount of foul play? You expressed your changing views on the possibility that Romans would have had reason to invent some version of the Jesus story / Christianity. Romans propagating a nonviolent religion for their troublesome Jewish subjects makes sense to me, but my question is historical: can you think of examples of what seems almost like a state-imposed religion, especially in centuries close to the birth of Christianity? In SGF Brandon's "Fall of Jerusalem and the Christian Church" he seems to hold that Mark cold not have fabricated Jewish involvement in Jesus? death on the grounds that it would contradict most people?s beliefs! What gives? Martin Luther seems to distinguish between the ?guilt? and ?penalty? of sin. What does he mean?
2019-11-20
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The Bible Geek Podcast 19-026

Reading of "The Theology of Preacher". In Mark 16,:2, should we translate "on the first day of the week" or "the first sabbath"? Help identifying [Campbellite] sect? Was Nietzsche'e mad man based on Diogenes? Does "the perfect" in 1 Cor. 13:10 refer to the canon of scripture?
2019-10-27
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The Bible Geek Podcast 19-025

Is there a parallel between how rock groups become ?classic? and how Christian writings became canonical? I?d like to hear your considerations on a controversial book I recently came across, "The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit" (and its impact on world history) by Dr. E. Michael Jones. Could you talk a bit about why you believe in Q, and to what degree of certainty you hold those views? Would you say that sometimes a bit of fantasy regarding the afterlife and the spiritual life might be beneficial? Please comment on James R. Edwards, The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition. I?d like you to speculate, from a mythicist point of view, how the gospel gets from Jerusalem to the wider Greek speaking world, from which comes canonical Mark. 
2019-10-16
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The Bible Geek Podcast 19-024

Does Luke give Jesus an age of ?about 30? because that was the age at which a priest could be ordained, and he wanted to set Jesus up as a priest as in Hebrews? Wouldn?t the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil allow us to distinguish the morality of actions? Especially if God made us in his own image, including his morality? Why should something be good necessarily because it comes from God? It is states that God not only produces good things, but also bad things (?I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.? Isaiah 54:7).   Since Catholics pray to saints as well as Christ and God, why do we consider that to be monotheism? Why does Psalm 40 read completely differently in 2 different Bibles? Various possible uses of the genetic fallacy in religion?
2019-09-17
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The Bible Geek Podcast 19-023

In Matthew 16:15-16 is Jesus being Socratic, testing whether the disciples have figured out he is the Messiah? If Polycarp wrote 2 Timothy and Titus but not 1 Timothy, who did write 1 Timothy?Irenaeus? Would that imply he compiled the 1st editon of the NT canon, too? Do you consider yourself an agnostic or an atheist? And would you please elaborate? Can you talk about the introduction of baptism into Christianity? Are there just 3 major branches of Christianity? What do you think of recent scholarly claims that there were no dying & rising gods? Historically, leaders of radical movements have been matched with counter figureheads, leaders of opposing factions. Jesus in the gospels is not. Might that imply non-historicity? Does the NT envision Christian believers as not having to stand trial before God? You say that Jesus could not have said the line in Matthew 16:24 about anyone wishing to be his disciple has to "take up his cross and follow me" because the hearers wouldn't have been able to make sense of it (as Jesus hadn't been crucified ). But Zealots got crucified, too. Couldn?t it have been a Zealot recruiting slogan?
2019-09-07
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The Bible Geek Podcast 19-022

Producer's Note: There are some audio artifacts in this episode, my apologies. What would have been motivating early church fathers to twist the identity of Simon Magus into a fictional Paul of Tarsus or vice versa? To what extent do you believe that there was a real Paul who had such a valuable reputation that producing such forgeries would be worth the time and effort? Which early church father would you be comfortable saying is the real mccoy?   Do you generally like the Anchor Bible commentaries, and are there any particular volumes you'd recommend? The Washington Post recently had a front-page story about Brazilian gang members whose lives are threatened by rival gangs ("One Way Out:  Pastors in Brazil Converting Gang Members on YouTube").  A certain popular televangelist, Rev. Arnaldo Barros, offers to publish their conversion to Christianity on social media, in which they confess their sins and renounce their gang affiliation and activity.  The converts gain immunity from retribution by rival gangs and their own. What kind of antecedents are there, Biblical or otherwise, for this practice?   Given the lack or archeological evidence of the exodus from Egypt, is it possible that later Hebrews created the "bondage in Egypt" story to obfuscate their origins as Hapirus,a class of rebels and slaves? Luke 22:29 has Jesus tell the Twelve "I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." However, the Twelve at that point included Judas. So did Jesus make a mistake, or did he actually intend for the traitor Judas to retain his throne despite handing him over? Is there a connection between Lazarus? raising from the dead (John 11:38-44), the theory that Lazarus is the beloved disciple in John (based on John 11:3) and the tradition (addressed in John 21:20-23) that the beloved disciple would not die, or not die before the Parousia?  
2019-08-28
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The Bible Geek Podcast 19-021

1 Samuel 5:9, in Jerome?s Latin Vulgate, features a strange half verse following the description of the Philistines of Gath being smitten with hemorrhoids: ?And while they were carrying [the Ark of the Covenant] about, the hand of the Lord came upon every city with an exceeding great slaughter:  and he smote the men of every city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. And the Gethites consulted together, and made themselves seats of skins.? Where could Jerome have found such a reading? Why do Protestant and Catholics celebrate Easter a week earlier than Orthodox and Coptic Christians? When is the earliest known celebration of Easter?  If I was going to pick one edition of the New Testament to read, which one would you recommend?  Maybe one with informative footnotes to set things in context. I'm wondering how connected Yahweh and Jesus are to their physical bodies. I'm wondering if the spirit of Jesus is henceforth permanently connected to his body. By what means does Jesus connect with humans on earth from that point on because his body is in heaven? Does Dr. Robert Eisenman think that Jesus Christ did not exist as a historical figure? Does Dr. Robert Eisenman think that New Testament is historically unreliable? What was the point of including the story of the magi visiting Jesus at his birth? If Matthew is the most Jewish gospel, what do a bunch of Persians have to do with the birth of the Messiah?
2019-08-10
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The Bible Geek Podcast 19-020

1 Samuel 5:9, in Jerome?s Latin Vulgate, features a strange half verse following the description of the Philistines of Gath being smitten with hemorrhoids: ?And while they were carrying [the Ark of the Covenant] about, the hand of the Lord came upon every city with an exceeding great slaughter:  and he smote the men of every city, both small and great, and they had hemorrhoids in their secret parts. And the Gethites consulted together, and made themselves seats of skins.? Where could Jerome have found such a reading? Why do Protestant and Catholics celebrate Easter a week earlier than Orthodox and Coptic Christians? When is the earliest known celebration of Easter?  If I was going to pick one edition of the New Testament to read, which one would you recommend?  Maybe one with informative footnotes to set things in context. I'm wondering how connected Yahweh and Jesus are to their physical bodies. I'm wondering if the spirit of Jesus is henceforth permanently connected to his body. By what means does Jesus connect with humans on earth from that point on because his body is in heaven? Does Dr. Robert Eisenman think that Jesus Christ did not exist as a historical figure? Does Dr. Robert Eisenman think that New Testament is historically unreliable? What was the point of including the story of the magi visiting Jesus at his birth? If Matthew is the most Jewish gospel, what do a bunch of Persians have to do with the birth of the Messiah?
2019-07-25
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The Bible Geek Podcast 19-019

I remember once hearing that even though they don?t believe in cremation, Catholics burn what they believe to be the leftover body and blood of Christ on a weekly bases, effectively cremating Jesus over and over again. How do Catholics make sense of burning the body of Jesus in bread form? I was told that a great many Christian sub sects all believe in what was laid out in the Nicene Creed and therefore despite their differences are "close enough" when it comes rapture time, and that the Vatican agreed. My Catholic friends have since told me otherwise. Which is true? Do you see any hints in the Bible suggesting that Israelite religion originated in Totemism? There are two mutually inconsistent tales of the nativity of Jesus, one placing him in Bethlehem, the other in Nazareth. If Jesus were a fiction, why didn't they come up with a standard nativity story? I would like to know what you think most likely was the original story of the passion in the canonical Gospels. Was Jesus just another dying and rising god? Was it an escape from death and direct abduction to heaven like Hercules, Romulus, Empedocles, etc. not to mention some old testament figures who escaped death? Or a Simonian myth in which Jesus performs a magic switch by turning himself into Simon of Cyrene's likeness and thus he ends up crucified instead of Jesus?  What do you make of the recent meeting between the Mormon President and the Pope? Why do you suspect the Gospel of Judas is a modern forgery? When Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven won?t come with signs but will be sudden could he be referring to the moment of an un expected death? What do you think of Joan Taylor?s idea that the Essenes were great doctors a well as cronies of Herod?
2019-07-21
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The Bible Geek Podcast 19-018

Matthew 12:42 has Jesus say, "The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here." This seems extremely odd from any kind of Christian perspective. Is God calling character witnesses at judgment? How exactly is the Queen of Sheba relevant? What qualifies her to provide any input: she is presumably a pagan, even if she recognized Solomon's wisdom some thousand years earlier? And what is it she's supposed to do? She rises from the dead, scans the crowd comprising "this generation"--apparently judgment is being handled by generation for administrative efficiency--and confirms that, yep, anyone who didn't recognize Jesus as superior to Solomon should indeed go to hell? How do you translate Mark 14: 33-34? What would you require as substantial proof that an historical Jesus existed? In Hyam Maccoby's "The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity" he says that Jesus and his followers were Pharisees. Eisenman says they were Zealot-Essenes. Whom you side with? Would Maccoby have had all the same information Eisenman had to reach his late-1990s conclusion of Zealot-Essenism when he (Maccoby) reached his mid-1980s claim of Pharisaism?
2019-07-01
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