Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 678 in total

Three Things

When we read a text in translation, we imagine we hear what the author wrote because we believe that meaning can be taken separately from the words on the page. But if you can conceive of meaning, it needs must be part and parcel with a series of words. If not the words of the original text, then the alternative words of a translation, or worse, the self-referential words in your head. There is no meaning without words, and each set of words represents a different meaning. Three words appear in chapter one of Luke: pragma, logos, and rema; all interconnected, all critical to Luke’s thesis, all washed away in translation. If you have never heard these three words as they appear in Luke, then you have never heard Luke. And that’s the point. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Luke 1:36-38. Episode 438 Luke 1:36-38 The following music was used for this media project: Music: Finding the Balance by Kevin MacLeod Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/3755-finding-the-balance License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license Artist website: https://incompetech.com

No One Is Special

This week, Fr. Paul explains that the mission of Joseph was to combine Israel and the nations to the extent that his progeny was called—not the fullness of Israel—but the fullness of all the nations. (Episode 228)

Birth Pangs

In the Old Testament, human patriarchy is portrayed cynically and satirically as bumbling and insecure in its competition with motherhood. Men cannot give birth. In Scripture and life, they compensate by building cities, erecting monuments, and making war. Mothers, on the other hand--not necessarily women--but the function mother can give birth. As Luke continues down the path of undermining the things that men build (the Temple) and, of course, Zacharias himself, his gospel story turns toward two women--Mary and Elizabeth--who become mothers through the direct intervention of the Most High God. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Luke 1:34-35. Episode 437 Luke 1:34-35; Music: Energetic Upbeat by WinnieTheMoog Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6033-energetic-upbeat License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Journey of Jacob Israel

In today's episode, Fr. Paul reiterates a basic premise of Scripture, that we are not to follow the example of our fathers, but of the teaching, noting the specific case of Jesus and Paul in the New Testament. (Episode 227)

Bow to the Chair

The problem with all contemporary churches is that we treat the term Scripture as though it were a noun. We gossip about the Bible like a difficult relative nobody wants to visit, but everyone loves to discuss. We comfort ourselves with lullabies about its importance. We mostly ignore it unless we need a good quote to make our point. We have ideas, feelings, and opinions about it. We argue about who owns it and what good or evil it has caused. It operates as an abstraction in our mind, like a teenage crush or nemesis. We hold it up at rallies. We use it to blame each other. We do and say everything with it but the one thing necessary for it to work. We refuse to read, hear, and study it daily until the seed does what the seed does. Scripture is not a noun; it is a verb. The Cross, the destruction of the city, condemnation, enduring God's blessing and curse under the constant pressure of judgment--none of this is theoretical if you submit to the burden of Scriptural study. Every step in life takes on new meaning in the terrible hands of the Scriptural God. Put that in your marketing campaign. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Luke 1:31-33 Episode 436 Luke 1:31-33; Music: Unanswered Questions by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4560-unanswered-questions License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Sheep Are Not a Flock

This week Fr. Paul stresses the critical distinction between sheep and flock in Hebrew, giving biblical and contemporary examples. (Episode 226)

The Preacher

Everyone has something to say. If you operate on a human premise, this is perfectly acceptable, admirable--even a thing to be encouraged. It is the empty fuel that makes dead things look alive, an entertaining distraction that makes emptiness feel meaningful. Not so in Scripture. In the wilderness of God's scroll, there is only one voice. One source of life. One pedagogy set forth in letters divinely inscribed. Make that your premise, and it will silence all the voices in the room, beginning with yours. Unlike the false consolation of many voices, it will take you to lonely places where that one needful voice can be heard more clearly. When that painful voice becomes your premise; when you truly have nothing to say; then, finally, you can teach Scripture. Then, like the Preacher in Jerusalem, you will find yourself exclaiming, "All is vanity!" Everything is vanity. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Luke 1:25-30 Episode 435 Luke 1:25-30; Music: Peace of Mind by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4199-peace-of-mind License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Ephraim and Manasseh

This week, Fr. Paul touches on the literary function of Ephraim and Manasseh, who become the kernel of the northern kingdom in the story of the biblical Israel. (Episode 225)

Anti-History, Anti-Patriarchy

How can Luke ensure that his addressees get the point? Wisdom does not come from you. Life does not come from you. The baby in Elizabeth's womb does not come from you. It's not your story, Zacharias. You still don't believe me? You still believe the child is yours? Do you still have something to say? “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the Lord. (Amos 8:11) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Luke 1:21-24 Episode 434 Luke 1:21-24; Music: Gothamlicious by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5741-gothamlicious License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Back to Joseph

This week, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 39, reiterating the calamity of the mistranslation of the Hebrew word masleah. (Episode 224)

Power and Control

The Holy Spirit is not about inspiration but power and control in the Bible. The power of the story is that it exerts control expressly to silence our voice. This facet of the biblical teaching has been the most challenging of my priestly ministry. In human terms, Scripture is a recipe for failure. It's terrible news for our projects but good news in Luke because the things we succeed in creating separate us from the love of God. Gabriel, the functional presence of Elohim to Zacharias, channeled this power and control, but Zacharias did not believe Gabriel's words. If Gabriel had conveyed the words of Zeus or Athena, Zacharias would have a point. Zacharias does not have a point: And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time." (Luke 1:18-20) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Luke 1:18-20 Episode 433 Luke 1:18-20; Music: Virtutes Instrumenti by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4590-virtutes-instrumenti License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

About Judah

This week, Fr. Paul reminds us of the harlotry of the children of Jacob who used the covenant of circumcision--a covenant of brotherhood--to kill their brothers. (Episode 223)

Nobody Else But You

When Scripture deconstructs a human proposition by forcing an opposing position (which we have repeatedly described as functional judgment, meaning Scripture has no stake in the argument itself, only in opposing the human being), it is only natural to argue for or against the point in question. Do you agree or disagree? Be careful. It's a trick question. After all these years, do really you think we are for or against anything on this podcast other than the words of Scripture? Scripture judges you and nobody else but you. You may not judge anyone else and you cannot dedicate the things you build to God, because they lead to judgment. You, and nobody else but you, have only to hear and obey the voice of the Lord crying out to you, and nobody else but you, from the wilderness of Scripture. Whatever you believe, whatever position you take, and whatever you do is a projection of your ego. It has nothing to do with the biblical God. So when you argue with your neighbor for or against God's functional stance against you in (or through) Scripture, you are engaging in an argument that publically portrays your embarrassment of the Cross. To baptize, in Greek, is to sink a ship. The cancellation of our many human gods through the Gospel of Jesus Christ is total. If you are still arguing, your ship is still afloat. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Luke 1:14-17 Episode 432 Luke 1:14-17; Music: Motherlode by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4083-motherlode License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Person, Persona, Prosopon, Mask

This week, Fr. Paul reminds us that the term person is the translation of persona which is mask in Latin which is the translation of prosopon in Greek, which also means mask, in both cases, the mask worn by actors in the theater. (Episode222)

Nothing Good Comes From Us

What does the destruction of the Temple mean? What does it mean not to be anything? Not to have an identity? Not to be a part of anything? Not to believe in anything? No bumper stickers. No slogans. No rousing speeches. There is no applause--no trust in anything or anyone other than what Luke has written out in consecutive order. Why I ask you, would Luke begin his gospel by trying to convince his addressees not to trust in Jerusalem? If anything can be understood about the Orthodox war in Europe, we must hear it through the voice of instruction crying out to us from the wilderness of Scripture. This voice tirelessly scolds us for believing in false gods, be they religious, political, ideological, moral, institutional, personal, intellectual, ethical, cultural, pragmatic, progressive, conservative, romantic, nationalistic, legal, libertarian, democratic, or fascist. None of these gods have any bearing on the Crucifixion of Jesus other than their gleeful participation in it. Likewise, none can prevent the proclamation of the Resurrection other than to distract us from it. Thus, David, the shepherd, cries aloud: "Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them." (Psalm 115:8) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Luke 1:5-7 Episode 431 Luke 1:8-13; Music: Walking Along by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4603-walking-along License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Cycle of Joseph, Ad Nauseam

This week, Fr. Paul highlights the importance of Joseph's story: he and his kin were Hebrews and shepherds in the epitome of civilization, the land of the pharaohs and the pyramids, where, as a Hebrew slave, Joseph wound up saving Egypt from famine. (Episode 221)

The Jerusalem Above Is Free

Time and again, we have explained the tension in Scripture between the things human beings construct, which cannot create life, and a mother's natural womb--the grammatical and factual expression of God's life-giving mercy in the Bible. Now, in the opening verses of Luke, we find Herod's building project in Jerusalem totally defunct and sterilizing, even for those who follow God's teaching. What can be done? Is all hope lost? Fear not, as our old pal Matthew said, “do not be worried...ye of little faith!” The Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. For it is written, “Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; for more numerous are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband.”(Galatians 4:26-27) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Luke 1:5-7 Episode 429 Luke 1:5-7; Music: Truth of the Legend by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4551-truth-of-the-legend License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Oasis Is Not Yours

This week, Fr. Paul explains that the story of Jacob is in the story of his children, noting, in his words, "the silliness" of individualism. (Episode 220)

You Are Not Doing Anything

The novelty of Scripture lies in its multi-faceted handling of anthropocentrism. It deconstructs and breaks apart our institutions and smashes our egos, re-positing us as individuals set free to hear and do the commandments of God. In no uncertain terms, the Apostle Paul proclaims: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) As sheep in the Lord’s flock, we are free to assume our natural state among the other living things on earth, not as masters but as adherents of God’s instruction. Again, Paul says: “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Galatian 5:13-14) As scripturalized sheep, we do what God commands with a nagging and painful reminder that we have done nothing good upon the earth. Honestly, in an epic story written to emasculate anthropocentrism, no human being will ever get any credit for anything. Thus we find ourselves at the start of Luke’s gospel: As lovers of God, following the voice of his Shepherd in the wilderness, hearing in silence, frantically taking notes while the master gives instruction. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Luke 1:1-4 Episode 429 Luke 1:1-4; Music: Finding Movement by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3754-finding-movement License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

You Are Done With

In this week's episode, Fr. Paul reminds us that the hope in Scripture is not for us but for the following generations. (Episode 219)

Fire and Blood

This week Fr. Paul explains what theology does not want to accept: that God is one and he is the judge. He is neither good nor bad; he is the just judge. (Episode 218)

The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness

The power of Semitic poetry stems, literally, from the functionality of its consonantal roots. With but three consonants, a long series of words, used in a specific way, set in a specific pattern, according to an ordained order and rhythm, can be carefully arranged so that even the sound of the words can be manipulated to conform to the author's design. Classical Arabic and Hebrew poets have so much power to create this kind of literary structure, that the structure itself conveys meaning. Once you understand Semitic functionality, the only obvious question is, "why wouldn't the arrangement of biblical books work the same way?" We struggle with this because we are Hellenists. Someone asks our opinion and we start talking about the words we form in our mind, which are based on other words in our mind. We converse with ourselves about our own philosophical abstractions and marvel at the imaginary connections we invent within our artificial systems. We make stuff up. The fancy word for that in academia is "interpretation." If you really want to sound smart at coffee hour, call it, "hermeneutics." That's why we are all naturally dubious about the significance of the order of books. Because everybody knows that interpretation is dubious. But functionality is not interpretation. What a functional element means can be discussed and debated, but the consonants and the structure itself are right there, alongside the earth mammals and the vegetation. No interpretation required. Richard and Fr. Marc revisit Mark 1.  Episode 428 Mark 1; Music: Tiki Bar Mixer by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/6836-tiki-bar-mixer License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

A Tree, a Garden, and an Oasis

With a bit of common knowledge and an uncommon familiarity with the original text of the Bible Fr. Paul reminds us why scholarship isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Could someone please pass the almonds? (Episode 217)

The Kingdom Under the Heavens

When Christians talk about evangelization, they do so along the lines of the historical King Herod, who twisted biblical circumcision into a trademark of the temple cult, a stigma with which to brand people living outside of Judea as Jews, in order to extract wealth from them in the name of scripture—you guessed it—to build his temple. But Matthew ends outside of Jerusalem in the green pastures of Galilee, with the destruction of Herod’s enterprise, under the blue skies of the heavens. In Matthew’s proposition, the families of the earth roam together, guided by the Shepherd’s voice in the wilderness, under the broad and generous expense of the heavens. And “[Jesus] opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’” (Matthew 5:2-3) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 28:16-20. Episode 427 Matthew 28:16-20; Music: To the Ends by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4532-to-the-ends License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The City of False Religion

This week, Fr. Paul notes that the story of Jacob and his sons in the Bible continued through the story of the scriptural Jacob or Israel. (Episode 216)

It’s Ok to Laugh

The behavior of the chief priests after the resurrection of Jesus in Matthew 28 is so cynical, so unredeemable, and so pathetic that the only bearable quality of the story is that in the victory of Jesus, the author gives us a little space to laugh. But here’s the rub, if you’ve been listening carefully, especially those of you who are like me—a priest and a religious leader—you should take care to laugh heartily because the joke is on you. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 28:12-15. Episode 425 Matthew 28:12-15; Music: Evil Plan by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3725-evil-plan License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Spirit of the Animal

This week Fr. Paul explains how the names Shechem and Bethel function against the will of God. (Episode 215)

Break it Up

In Genesis, God is interested in the oneness of humans in the land, so much so that from a modern perspective, you might say that the Scriptural God is not only anti-institution but anti-family values. Not only Jerusalem, not only the Temple, not only Religious leaders and government, but even Jesus’ family is broken up in the hope of the coming Kingdom, wherein all the families of the earth will dwell together. In that new situation, the brothers of Jesus are any human beings who hear the words of his Father and keep them. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 28:12-15. Episode 425 Matthew 28:12-15; Music: Devonshire Waltz Moderato by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/7916-devonshire-waltz-moderato License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Mark This Verse

This week, Fr. Paul explains that the book of Genesis is so complete that once you’ve finished it, technically, you don’t need to hear the rest of the Bible, except for points of clarification. (Episode 214)

Jesus Has Left the Building

Human institutions operate under the assumption that they are justified. I was going to say human communities, but let’s be honest, we no longer have communities. We have institutions. Thanks to Plato (and the US Supreme court), there is even such a thing as “corporate personhood.” So, according to American law, institutions are people too. Listening to the biblical writers ridicule cities filled with artificial and lifeless statues—an old version of modern cynicism about cheap plastic products—it's hard not to shudder at the idea of assigning a personality to the gods that men fashion with their own hands: They have mouths, but they do not speak;
They have eyes, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear,
Nor is there any breath at all in their mouths. Those who make them will become like them,
Yes, everyone who trusts in them. (Psalm 135:16-18) Thankfully, in Matthew, Jesus has left the building. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 28:9-11. Episode 424 Matthew 28:9-11; Music: SCP-x6x (Hopes) by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/6736-scp-x6x-hopes- License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

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