Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 580 in total

Repeat These Words

Repetition is the foundation of knowledge. A student repeats vocabulary. An athlete repeats a physical movement. An apprentice repeats a task. A reporter repeats what someone else said so that it can be heard. Whether memorizing, practicing, recounting, drilling, or mastering, repetition is a common denominator of all forms of education. More than this, in Scripture, repetition represents an attention to detail intent on telling a story as it unfolds, literally, with no allowance for assumptions. Scripture does not talk about a story; Scripture is the story! Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 25:34-40. Episode 390 Matthew 25:34-40; Music: Beauty Flow by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5025-beauty-flow License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license


In this week’s episode, Fr. Paul explains Hebron’s significance in Genesis 23 as the place of fraternity when human beings return to the adamah. (Episode 179)

Flash-forward, Be Afraid

The opening verses of the Judgment in Matthew 25 establish what the Bible repeatedly proclaims on every page, within every paragraph, and in every single verse. There is one power, one judge, and one authority in the Bible. On the precipice of the Crucifixion, Matthew reminds us that the weakling sheep whom we are about to pierce is also God’s anointed. You know, the God of Abraham, of whom Paul said, “do not be deceived, God is not mocked.” That God. Matthew thought it would be a good idea to give you a preview of his throne before his son’s execution, just in case you missed that verse. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 25:31-33. Episode 389 Matthew 25:31-33; Music: Crossing the Chasm by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3562-crossing-the-chasm License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The People of the Land

In today’s episode Fr. Paul continues his discussion of Genesis 23. (Episode 178)


The human being approaches every situation with the satanic question, “What’s in it for me?” From there, we establish goals, define measurements, and declare success when we hit our numbers. This works great in the boardroom but hasn’t helped much with school shootings and truly, has no place in the Kingdom of the Heavens. In the parable of the talents, the Master’s investment is measured, not in mammon, but as wisdom. In this sense, it can’t be counted like a membership roll or photographed like a tomb of stone—sorry—did I say tomb, I meant building project. Whether you have one person or one thousand in church on Sunday, there is only one Judge who can assess whether or not his investment has paid off, and it has nothing to with numbers or stones. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 25:28-30. Episode 388 Matthew 25:28-30; Music: Evening Fall (Harp) by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3720-evening-fall-harp- License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license


In this week’s episode, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 23. (Episode 177)

Not Our Mercy

To modern students of the Bible, it seems unfair that the least capable servant—to whom the least was given—was treated the most harshly by the Lord. Fortunately, for those in need, the Lord’s mercy is not our mercy. Truly, from the twisted perspective of our backward understanding of mercy and justice, the Lord is definitely unfair. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 25:24-27. Episode 387 Matthew 25:24-27; Music: Burn The World Waltz by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/7912-burn-the-world-waltz License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Blessing

This week, Fr. Paul wraps up and extended Q and A session following his reading of Genesis 22. (Episode 176)

The Merchant Class?

The parable of the Talents must be heard in the context of Matthew’s storyline. Jerusalem is about to fall. Jesus has repeatedly warned everyone to make ready for the end. In American terms, the market is about to crash forever. The makers of widgets and the economy that supports them are doomed. In this context, only a fool (or someone who has not read Matthew—is that a tautology?) would take the Parable of the Talents as advice on how to engage people to build a better marketing plan. Quite the opposite, Matthew’s story is a cautionary tale against trusting in mammon, which is of little use in light of chapter 24. So why do we repeatedly blaspheme Matthew’s teaching by using his parable to talk about material things like stewardship and building programs? For the same reason our society belittles teachers and worships the merchant class: because given a choice between God and mammon, we choose mammon. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 25:19-23. Episode 386 Matthew 25:19-23; Music: A Successful Company by MusicLFiles Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/7966-a-successful-company License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

It’s a Big Deal

In Scripture, Fr. Paul explains, when a word can be removed without being missed, it’s usually an indication of the term’s significance in the broader storyline. (Episode 175)

Take It and Work It

The Parable of the Talents is a story about work assignments. How much work can each person do? How will each person—from the least to the greatest—be judged for the results of their work? Everyone is accountable for doing this work. What is the work assignment in Matthew? Obviously (for those who have ears to hear), to do the will of the Father of Jesus. In the Parable of the Talents, to work God’s field with the heavy investment of his ordinances until he returns. Not to bury it, but to work it and expand it to all nations and the four corners of the earth. Richard and Fr. Marc work Matthew 25:16-18. Episode 385 Matthew 25:16-18; Music: Round Drums by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4308-round-drums License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license


In today's program, Fr. Paul notes the unmissable parallel between Genesis 22 and 26. As always, it's only unmissable, he explains, when you hear Genesis in the original Hebrew. (Episode 174)

In the Fear of God

No parable is more widely abused than the Parable of the Talents. On the heels of a series of Matthean stories that warn of destruction and judgment, the Master assigns a duty to each of his slaves in anticipation, yet again, of the coming judgment. He does not want their money. He has no interest in their stewardship plans or building programs. Nowhere is their talk of parish growth or volunteer sign-up sheets. Lastly, and most importantly, when Matthew uses the word “talents,” he is not talking about our special, unique gifts from God. He is talking about the content of St. Paul’s teaching. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 25:14-15. Episode 384 Matthew 25:14-15; Music: As I Figure by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3383-as-i-figure License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Abraham’s Obedience

In this week’s episode Fr. Paul explains Abraham’s obedience and its functions in the content of the Pauline epistles. (Episode 173)

The Jury is Still Out

People who live comfortably look to religion as a source of comfort and stability. They construct their religious worldview as the Pharaohs of old built pyramids of stone: to maintain a self-serving status quo. Nobody living in comfort wants their situation to change. Nobody wants to answer for their sins. Nobody wants to stand before the terrible and dread judgment seat of Christ. That’s why nobody wants to hear what the gospel of Matthew is saying. But whether you hear it or not, truly, truly, I say to you: it still applies. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 25:10-13. Episode 383 Matthew 25:10-13; Music: Anguish by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3373-anguish License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

One of a Kind

Today, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 22, correcting the common mistranslation “only son” while noting the passage’s interconnection with the servant poems of Isaiah, and later, the New Testament. (Episode 172)

Bread and Oil

For those who impose a triumphalist or sectarian premise on the Bible, it is impossible to hear the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Even if they accept Matthew’s warning that the church will be judged—even if they understand that the virgins represent churches—they immediately assume that their church is numbered among the prudent. But the very fact of a Matthean reckoning implies that the jury is still out for all of us. So, the question is, is the body of our church prepared for the arrival of the Bridegroom? Since all ten virgins (representing all the churches of the earth) were found sleeping at the wheel, how did some manage to survive? What should your church be doing to scrape by on that day, despite itself? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 25:5-9. Episode 382 Matthew 25:5-9; Music: Pulse by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4250-pulse License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Scriptural Premise

This week Fr. Paul explains that the God of Scripture controls life and death, noting the advantage of using extreme examples when teaching. (Episode 171)

Epilogue: Create in Me a Clean Heart

Fr. Marc and Richard reflect on their editorial decision regarding Fr. Fouad Saba’s speech in Chicago on May 20, 2021.

Create in Me a Clean Heart

Fr. Fouad Saba, Chicago, May 20, 2021.

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

The Lord’s warning in Matthew 10, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword,” (10:34) is often abused as a justification for militarism. In truth, as with so much biblical imagery, this verse exemplifies the Bible’s Ezekielian appropriation of the kingly symbols of power. The sword, the destruction of cities, exile, the decimation of populations by half, violent retribution against wicked leaders, and now, in Matthew 25, the casting out of the imprudent, all point back to the division heralded by Jesus in Matthew 10. Wherever the Torah is preached, the Lord brings division: “one will be taken,” he proclaims, “and one will be left.” (24:40-41) Therefore, Paul warns Timothy: “Study, to present yourself approved to God, as a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:1-4. Episode 381 Matthew 25:1-4; Music: Twisted by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4552-twisted License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Not Before the Time

This week Fr. Paul explains that God himself will assess our function concerning our brother on the last day, based on the content of the Torah. (Episode 170)

“But,” Not “So”

The challenge of hearing Scripture has never been more difficult. Each of us is trained to hear what we want to hear. We decide what we think about God before we crack the first page. Then, when God says or does something that does not confirm or conform to the graven image in our mind, we tighten our blinders, adjust our earplugs, and fine-tune our theology to work around what is written. We excuse and defend our well-fashioned idol when we should be feeding our brothers and sisters with the bread of the gospel, as instructed. “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.” Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:45-51. Episode 380 Matthew 24:45-51; Music: Cool Rock by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3552-cool-rock License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Scripture Unedited

This week Fr. Paul discusses the implications of the creation of human beings out of the dust of the ground. (Episode 169)


Names have functional meaning. Students of this podcast know that our ability to hear a name spoken in the original language can unlock the meaning of a sentence, within a paragraph, within a story. In some cases, a common word taken from the story, like γρηγορέω, enters spoken language as a proper noun, unlocking the story’s meaning in everyday situations. In 2021, I’m rooting for εμβολιάζω. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:42-44. Episode 379 Matthew 24:42-44; Music: Carpe Diem by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3478-carpe-diem License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

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

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