Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 632 in total

Not Your Connections

In today’s program Fr. Paul stresses that it is the text itself, not the person hearing it, that makes connections within the story. (Episode 205)

Thou Shalt Not Speak for Jesus

There is no such thing as an oral tradition. By its very definition, “the rule” of the Gospel is written down. It’s called a rule because God issued and inscribed a ruling, shared publicly as an objective reference and standard for all to follow. The Gospel of Matthew itself demonstrates the importance of this mechanism by showing us what happens when religious and political authorities ignore this rule and instead speak on behalf of Jesus. Inevitably, they put words in his mouth that serve their agenda at his expense. Sound familiar? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 27:38-40. Episode 415 Matthew 27:38-40; Music: Volatile Reaction by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5014-volatile-reaction License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Against the Temple

This week, Fr. Paul concludes his discussion of Genesis 28 with an excerpt from Acts 7. (Episode 204)

A King Like Stalin?

We like to pretend that giving people a choice is essential. Mostly, we use the American ideology of choice to extract profit, to distract from what’s really going on, or worst of all, to avoid personal accountability. How often have we passively watched another person suffer because they did not ask for help? In Scripture, the action of love is not controlled by an individual’s call for help. On the contrary, it is God’s commandment that illuminates the need—and the need itself demands the action assigned by God. Neither the one who gives nor the one who receives has a choice in the matter. The baptized do not ask if help is needed, but hear Scripture and take action without hesitation, like conscripted soldiers, “pressed into service.” Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 27:32-37. Episode 414 Matthew 27:32-37; Music: Laid Back Guitars by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3964-laid-back-guitars License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license


This week, Fr. Paul reminds us that we cannot understand the meaning of a word until we hear how that word is used throughout the entire story. (Episode 203)

The Lost Sheep

When we hear the teaching of Matthew, “judge not that you may not be judged,” it’s easy to overlook the obvious: when you teach the words of Elohim, you personally are not the judge, but you personally, definitely function as divine judge. In Matthew, Jesus judges no one before the time but teaches everyone the words of God’s judgment—and now the world judges him. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 27:27-31. Episode 413 Matthew 27:27-31; Music: Lost Time by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4005-lost-time License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

You’re Making Up Your Own Story

This week, Fr. Paul continues his discussion of Genesis 28. (Episode 202)

The Rejection of Yahweh

“A mob,” James Baldwin wrote, “is not autonomous: it executes the real will of the people who rule the state. The slaughter in Birmingham, Alabama, for example, was not merely the action of a mob.” (Baldwin, Dark Days) The crowds in Matthew choose their champion because Pilate demands victory. Pilate, in turn, wants what the people want because, like his wife, he grasps desperately for what Caesar has to offer. In the end, everyone wants what Caesar wants: the Lord’s execution. So Baldwin was right: the mob carries out the will of the state. In Matthew, the will of the state is expressed in the person of Pilate, who executes the Lord to secure Caesar’s place on the seat of Elohim. Dumb move, Caesar. Really dumb. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 27:19-23. Episode 412 Matthew 27:19-23; Music: Crowd Hammer by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4983-crowd-hammer License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license


This week, Fr. Paul continues his discussion of Genesis 28, drawing attention to our commonly held anti-scriptural premise that perceives civilization and anything “civilized” as something positive. (Episode 201)

Which Son, Pilate?

The rise of Scripture against the classical and Hellenistic world pit the voice of the Shepherd—spoken in his idiosyncratic language—against the language of human institution: be dominated by civilization, its gods, its rulers, and their institutions, or follow me and obey my voice in the wilderness. Obey the staff of the Lord, your Elohim, and live, or suffer the bondage of a temple and palace made of stone. Having destroyed Jerusalem in our mind’s eye and shamed her rulers and teachers, Matthew now turns his wrath toward Rome. Which son of the Father, Pilate? What is your judgment? How do you judge? Dare you speak? It would be better for you to close your lips, study Hebrew, forsake Rome, flee the palace and seek out the God of Abraham to hear his distinctive voice in the Syrian Wilderness. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 27:15-18. Episode 411 Matthew 27:15-18; Music: Tempting Secrets by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5005-tempting-secrets License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Children of Abraham

In today’s program, Fr. Paul explains that it is God who makes his own house and his own children, noting the absurdity of religious debates about legitimacy and pedigree. (Episode 200)

Announcing "Tell Me the Story"

Welcome to our podcast, Tell me the Story, where we take a deep dive into the scripture, parsing out the original languages, in hopes to come to a greater understanding of the total story being told. Produced in association with the Ephesus School Network. Intro and outro music Copyright © Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA, used by permission. All rights reserved.

You Said It

For the one who answers only to the will of God, written in Scripture, the words people speak and the judgments they make are immaterial. More than that, in Matthew, the one who hears the commandment with a pure heart carries it out like a Roman soldier, willing to say—or not say—or do whatever it takes to deliver the mission. God forbid your self-righteous, enlightened, ethical and moral judgment of his means interfere with an end willed by God himself. Like the man said: “Judge not, that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and by your standard of measure, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:1-2 Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 27:11-14. Episode 410 Matthew 27:11-14; Music: No Frills Cumbia by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3571-no-frills-cumbia License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Platonic “We”

This week, Fr. Paul presents a brief introduction to his discussion of Genesis 28, noting the false assumption of a perceived hero in scripture. (Episode 199)

The Worthless Shepherd

“Thus says the Lord my God, “Pasture the flock doomed to slaughter. Those who buy them slay them and go unpunished, and each of those who sell them says, ‘Blessed be the Lord, for I have become rich!’ They got me at a magnificent discount! (Zechariah 11:13) It must have been Giving Tuesday, or was it Black Friday? No it was their day of Thanks, in which they bless the Lord saying, “I have become rich!” Their own shepherds have no pity on them.” (Zechariah 11:4-5) “Behold, I will cause them to fall, each into another’s power and into the power of his king; and they will strike the land, and I will not deliver them from their power.” (Zechariah 11:6) And their own shepherds have no pity on them.” (Zechariah 11:4-5) “Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock!” (Zechariah 11:17) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 27:6-10. Episode 409 Matthew 27:6-10; Music: Just As Soon by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3947-just-as-soon License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

God and Lord God

This week, Fr. Paul takes follow-up questions on Genesis 27, noting his remarkable discovery about the dialogue between Eve and the serpent in Genesis 3. (Episode 198)

Give Them Something to Eat

In Matthew 14, Jesus commands his disciples to feed the people with the bread of his Father’s instruction, the five loaves of life-giving bread, representing the fives books of Moses. Sharing that bread is the “chief” and only duty of Peter—the “chief” of the apostles—and it is the “chief” responsibility of the “chief” priests and the elders of the people for the sake of the people of Judea, whom Judas represents in Matthew 27— And how did the assembly of “chiefs” and “elders” respond in the peoples’ hour of need? “What is that to us?” And where was Peter? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 27:1-5. Episode 408 Matthew 27:1-5; Music: Waltz Primordial (feat. Alexander Nakarada) by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/7929-waltz-primordial License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

If You Don’t Like It, Shove Off

This week, Fr. Paul exposes the origin and absurdity of the “fallacious dilemma of endless philosophical discussions concerning whether the foreknowledge of God is to be equated with his will.” (Episode 197)

Empty Tears

Much is made of the importance of Peter's tears because for those who can’t face their own sins, much is riding on them. But that’s not how the story works. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 26:69-75. Episode 407 Matthew 26:69-75; Music: SCP-x7x (6th Floor) by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/6737-scp-x7x-6th-floor- License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

In the Arms of a Hittite

In today’s episode, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 27 and also tries his hand at poetry. (Episode 196)

Ideological Impurity

The easiest way to relieve your conscience is to console yourself that you are on the right side of history, the right side of the law, the right side of justice, and the right side of the moral argument. Then, all you need do is condemn people on the wrong side. Rare is the teacher who accepts the judgment on his head through his teaching. Unique is Scripture in its systematic and ruthless condemnation of everything and everyone, beginning with the writers themselves. We are accountable for our own sins. In Matthew’s gospel, we cannot afford not to be merciful. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 26:65-67. Episode 406 Matthew 26:65-67; Music: Folk Round by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3770-folk-round License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

It’s That Serious

In this week’s program, Fr. Paul wraps up his question and answer session on Genesis 26. (Episode 195)

On the Record

In human affairs, it is always important to document our statements. Was something promised? Make sure to find the original email. Did something problematic come up in a discussion thread? Save the chat log. Did someone go on the record during a meeting? If there is no recording, be sure to take notes because hereafter, there will be an accounting for every word we mumble. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 26:59-64. Episode 405 Matthew 26:59-64; Music: Tango de Manzana by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4460-tango-de-manzana License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Leave Eden to God

In today’s program, Fr. Paul notes the connection between Ezekiel, Genesis, and the Gospel of Matthew. (Episode 194)

It Might Be a Duck

Just as an argument’s value can be assessed by examining its premise, in Scripture (and in life) an individual character’s action or statement can be understood by identifying its reference. By reference, we mean, literally, the thing you refer to as the basis of your authority to speak and take action. When Jesus teaches in the temple, what is his reference? When the crowds threaten him, what is their reference? When all the disciples left Jesus and fled, what was their reference? When Peter entered in and sat down with the Lord’s enemies, what was his reference? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 26:55-58. Episode 404 Matthew 26:55-58; Music: The Endless by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4492-the-endless License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

It’s Not That Simple

This week, Fr. Paul reminds us that the way we speak and the way that Scripture works are not the same thing, and the Bible is trickier than we think. (Episode 193)

Put Away the Sword

A committed person is hard to find in 2021. Well, let me rephrase. All of us—every last one of us—are committed to ourselves, and we organize the time allotted to us as such. Few of us, less than a few, are committed to something that does not directly benefit us or someone for whom we care. In Matthew, Jesus is committed to the teaching of the Father. Even though his disciples are hopeless, the situation is stark, and his end, as per his Father, is unavoidable, Jesus continues to teach. Why? Because he is committed to his Father’s will, to the bitter end. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 26:51-54. Episode 403 Matthew 26:51-54; Music: Anamalie by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4980-anamalie License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Isaac Obeyed

In today’s program, Fr. Paul continues his discussion of Genesis 26, reiterating the unique role of Isaac in the story while highlighting critical Hebrew wordplay that is simply untranslatable. (Episode 192)

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

Trapped by the Reformation and endless reactions against it, it’s difficult for contemporary Christians to escape ongoing and silly theological debates about grace and salvation. Everyone cheapens the Master’s grace by treating it either as a free pass or as some mystical force that controls their lightsaber. The only way to understand grace is the way the writers of the New Testament use it—as the currency of the Pater Familias, who approaches his underlings with an offer they can’t refuse—a gift free of charge, with a charge. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 26:47-50. Episode 402 Matthew 26:47-50; Music: Trio for Piano Violin and Viola by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4546-trio-for-piano-violin-and-viola License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Because Abraham Obeyed My Voice

Fr. Paul begins his reading of Genesis 26 by pointing out what so many miss and thus misread Paul: you are blessed not only because Abraham trusted God but because he obeyed his voice. (Episode 191)

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