Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 555 in total

Curse and Destruction

This week Fr. Paul explains the importance of the parallel between the Hebrew words Tohu wa-bohu and ʻâphâr in Genesis. (Episode 168)

Christ is Risen!

Paschal Greetings from the Bible as Literature Podcast.


In the inaugural episode of Vexed, Andrea explains the meaning of the program's title.

Doulos: It is Vexed!

The Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom rallies excitement among Orthodox Christians every Easter. We are called to "rejoice together – rich and poor, sober and slothful" – a poignant reminder for those who quibble over divisions among us today.

But of That Day

In the film Avengers: Infinity War, the story’s arch-villain, Thanos, destroys one-half of humanity with the snap of a finger. In the Book of Genesis, and later, in the Gospel of Matthew, one-half of humanity is threatened, not by an arch-villain, but by God himself. This mechanism, in which God undermines instead of lifting up, in which heroes fall instead of rising, is the Bible’s literary bulwark against the machinations of imperialism. Unfortunately for Jerusalem and Rome—unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe—if the Lord snaps his fingers in the Bible, it can’t be undone. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:36-41. Episode 378 Matthew 24:36-41; Music: Take a Chance by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4457-take-a-chance License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license Strength Of The Titans by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5744-strength-of-the-titans License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

ṣaddîq and yāḵaḥ

This week, Fr. Paul takes the opportunity of our questions to stress the difference between the Hebrew terms ṣaddîq and yāḵaḥ. (Episode 167)

These Words Are Permanent

It’s been nearly two millennia since Matthew’s Gospel was written—that’s roughly 80 generations. Every 25 years, for the last 2000 years, every generation has been warned about the end, but the end has not yet come. So what does Jesus mean when he says, “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place”? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:32-35. Episode 376 Matthew 24:32-34; Music: Cinematic Suspense Series Episode 008 by Sascha Ende® Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/7669-cinematic-suspense-series-episode-008 License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Progeny and Lies

In the Bible, Fr. Paul explains, Abe is not honest, the nations look good, and (sorry Plato) life is not about you. (Episode 166)

The Things Which God Destroys

As Matthew 24 consolidates the fall of Jerusalem (and therefore, the fall of Rome) the centrality of St. Paul’s teaching of the Cross comes clearly into view. The glory of God’s Kingdom can only be present to us through the destruction of human infrastructure and might. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:29-31. Episode 376 Matthew 24:29-31; Music: Edm Detection Mode by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4987-edm-detection-mode License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Roman Household

Today, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 20, noting functional parallels with the Roman household in the New Testament. (Episode 165)

The Truth is Not Out There

In Matthew’s gospel, it’s the teaching you follow that controls how you understand what you see. So when “false Christs and false prophets arise and show great signs and wonders,” your only hope is to hear what Jesus told you in advance: the truth is not out there. “On the contrary, the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may follow it.” (Deuteronomy 30:14) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:23-28. Episode 375 Matthew 24:23-28; Music: March of the Spoons by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4021-march-of-the-spoons License

A Human Being is a Human Being

In this week’s program, Fr. Paul takes questions on Genesis 19 dealing with the action of Lot’s daughters and the trap of reading in translation. (Episode 164)

Escape from Jerusalem

It is human instinct to nest before giving birth, pack before a trip, and plan around bad weather. Safety, supplies, and comfort are the hallmarks of city life—or so we tell ourselves. But what to do when destruction comes? When human nesting instincts can’t save a nursing mother, and you don’t have time to grab your supplies? Leave the city, Matthew exclaims, and follow Jesus into the wilderness. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:19-22. Episode 374 Matthew 24:19-22; Music: Take the Lead by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4458-take-the-lead License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Grace is for Free

In today’s program, Fr. Paul notes the interplay between Genesis and Ezekiel and the remembrance of God’s promise to Abraham. (Episode 163)

Fear is the Enemy

Power and ideology are joined at the hip. There’s no point in saying “religious” ideology since (and let’s be honest with ourselves) all ideology in all its forms—secular or otherwise—is religion predicated on fear. Will we have enough? Will we be safe? Will we suffer? In Matthew, the answer is clear: God will provide what you need, you may not be safe, and you will likely suffer. Your fear of these things, encoded in your ideologies, is what gives power to those who oppress you and you the power to oppress. So stop being a coward and start trusting in the voice of the Shepherd, contained in his scroll. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:15-19. Episode 373 Matthew 24:15-19; Music: Ethernight Club by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/7612-ethernight-club License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Just Judge

This week, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 19, explaining God’s just judgment in the story. (Episode 162)

The Bible Interprets Itself

When we refer to an interpretation or discuss interpretation theories, we do so to claim authority over the text or to avoid accountability. A written text in any language says what it says. You need only see with your eyes what is written on the pages. Note the use of the plural: “pages.” You have to take it all in, over and over again, paying close attention to the original languages. The act of searching the text is not theory. It is an action. Either you search the text or you don’t. We like to debate interpretations and theories of interpretation because it is much, much easier than spending the rest of our lives pouring over and hearing the words on the page. Unfortunately, the only way to hear what someone is saying is to actually listen to what they say. If we are not doing this, everything we say about the Bible is vain talk. So don’t ask what a word means. Instead, search the Bible from cover to cover and learn how the Bible itself interprets that word. In Matthew’s gospel, you’ll quickly discover that Matthew is talking about Matthew’s gospel. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:9-14. Episode 372 Matthew 24:9-14; Music: Thatched Villagers by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4481-thatched-villagers License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Put in His Place

This week, Fr. Paul concludes Genesis 18 noting the self-righteousness of Abraham. (Episode 161)

Inscribed on Your Brain

It’s tempting to think that the study of literature—the discipline of hearing and understanding the written word—is more accessible than the so-called “hard sciences.” Our collective laziness bolsters this ill-conceived but commonly held view. Unlike Semitic languages, anyone can pronounce English words correctly without analyzing grammar or syntax. This basic fact enables an army of post-modern charlatans to ramble endlessly about “what the Bible means to them.” A written text in any language says what it says. In the Bible’s case, the text was written before us and existed without us for millennia. To the extent we factor ourselves into its meaning, we are incapable of hearing what the author presented to another audience long before we were born. Don’t be misled, Jesus warns. You can’t read the signs until the Bible rewrites you. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:4-8 Episode 371 Matthew 24:4-8; Music: Hitman by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3880-hitman License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Broken Hearts

In this week’s episode Fr. Paul begins his reading of Genesis 18. (Episode 160)

A Whirling Graveyard

It is practically impossible for human beings to consider any question without worrying about what’s in it for them. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for us, the Lord’s teaching in Matthew disallows this question. Jesus blows past the many anxious and self-involved human questions to posit the post-apocalyptic, divine premise of Genesis: everything created is already returning to the dust. Based on this premise, there is only one question: is there anything that does not pass away? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:1-3. Episode 370 Matthew 24:1-3; Music: Darkest Child by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3615-darkest-child License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Scriptural Canaan

This week, Fr. Paul concludes his discussion of Genesis 17. (Episode 159)

A Desolate House

Heralding his Father’s Kingdom, Jesus bookends the conquest of Jerusalem in Matthew with the same words that announced his entrance: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Ending this section with a warning: “from now on you will not see me until you say” Matthew’s gospel extends God’s mercy to Jerusalem one last time. All of us have one final chance to confess our unrighteousness; One last opportunity to seek shelter under God’s wings instead of security wrought by the work of our own hands. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:37-39. Episode 369 Matthew 23:37-39; Music: Big Drumming by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/7524-big-drumming License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Inclusive, Not Exclusive

In today’s program, Fr. Paul explains that circumcision was given to undermine Hellenistic culture. (Episode 158)

The Avenger

Whether fighting for your values or fighting for justice, Matthew’s gospel begs the question: who are you fighting? In human narratives—egotistical by nature—you are the good guy, fighting your enemy. This compelling personal narrative, born of ego and shaped by your experience, is a rejection of God. In Scripture, you, yourself, are the Lord’s enemy. Instead of trying to bring the Bible to your life—to make it relevant for today—so that you can judge your neighbor, you must transport yourself into the Bible’s world, where you are judged, where you are the hypocrite of Matthew 23. To borrow a line from Brian Morton: “We’d all be better readers if we realized that it isn’t the writer who’s the time traveler. It’s the reader.” Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:33-36. Episode 368 Matthew 23:33-36; Music: Heroic Age by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3870-heroic-age License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Circumcision of the Heart

This week, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 17, noting the significance of name changes in the Bible. (Episode 157)

A Light to the Nations

Ancestor worship is as old as dirt. Whether we lift up our ancestors or condemn them, our true concern is how others see us and what our children will think of us. We pontificate about being on “the right side of history” because we want to be right, even as the Prophets announce the condemnation of history and the Law proclaims that all of us are wrong. In Matthew, Jesus exposes the whole conversation as a big scam. The question is not which ancestor was right. On the contrary, the point is that all humans are unrighteous and no better than those who went before us. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:29-32. Episode 367 Matthew 23:29-32; Music: Trouble With Tribals by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/6427-trouble-with-tribals License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license


In this weeks episode, Fr. Paul concludes his discussion of Genesis 16, noting the appearance and subsequent itinerary of Beer-lahai-roi. (Episode 156)

False Prophets

In Ezekiel 13, the prophet warns against those who speak their own words, the inspiration of their own thoughts, from their own heart. Such prophets, Ezekiel warns, spread lies and build whitewashed walls; the Lord is against them, he warns, and the work of their hands will surely fall. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:25-28. Episode 366 Matthew 23:25-28; Music: Unnatural Situation by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4567-unnatural-situation License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license


Elucidating the Hebrew scripture by means of his knowledge of Arabic and drawing upon the Latin text, this week Fr. Paul discusses the mistreatment of Hagar and the interesting play on Exodus in Genesis 16. (Episode 155)

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