DiscoverThe Bible as Literature
The Bible as Literature

The Bible as Literature

Author: The Ephesus School

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Each week, Dr. Richard Benton, Fr. Marc Boulos and guests discuss the content of the Bible as literature. On Tuesdays, Fr. Paul Tarazi presents an in-depth analysis of the biblical text in the original languages.
416 Episodes
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The Coalition of the Blind

The Coalition of the Blind

2020-01-1600:20:27

It’s hard to believe, but, yes, it’s possible. There can be an argument in which all points of view are categorically wrong. There can be a situation in which everyone is absolutely certain, and at the same time, have absolutely no idea what they are doing. It’s not only possible, but typical of human power structures. The King is blind. His mistress is blind. Her daughter is blind. The mob, who fancy themselves admirers of the Lord’s prophet, are blind. The king’s dinner guests are blind. Together, these buffoons form a government of the people, by the people, and for the king, in opposition to the Kingdom of God. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 14:6-12. Episode 311 Matthew 14:6-12; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “The Entertainer” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
To Moisten

To Moisten

2020-01-1400:16:46

Today marks the 100th episode of Tarazi Tuesdays on the Bible as Literature. Three years ago, Fr. Paul, Richard, and I began a journey, gathering online for early morning recording sessions on themes carefully selected from Fr. Paul's opus, The Rise of Scripture. A year later, on February 13, 2018, we released the first episode to the public, appropriately titled, The Rise of Scripture. Since then, it has been a marathon and an avalanche of knowledge all at once. Each week, Richard and I listen intently to Fr. Paul as he unpacks the text with exquisite discipline and attention to detail. No doubt, we have both grown from the experience, as have you, the listeners—or as Fr. Paul would say, the "hearers." Congratulations to Fr. Paul on his 100th episode. May God grant him many years, and may today's program be the first of many such milestones in this series. (Episode 100)
The classic tension between king and prophet in the Bible can only be understood in light of a third, malevolent character. Like the king, this character stands in opposition to God, even when it proclaims its love for the prophet. The mob, as we’ve said for weeks, has a part to play in human tyranny. In Matthew 14, Herod’s fear of this third party leads him into direct conflict with God’s law. It really doesn't matter that the crowd reveres John the Baptist. Their perverse relationship with Herod, motivated by their own fears, can't but lead to destruction. As the Jesus said, "From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force." Matthew 11:12 Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 14:1-5. Episode 310 Matthew 14:1-5; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Limit 70” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
One Language

One Language

2020-01-0700:17:01

This week, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 11 by explaining the significance in the story of the peoples of the earth speaking the “same language.” He notes that the story of the Tower of Babel, like Scripture itself, is anti-imperial. (Episode 99)
Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

2019-12-2600:02:23

Christmas greetings from the Bible as Literature.
The Children of Eber

The Children of Eber

2019-12-2400:14:57

This week, Richard follows-up Fr. Paul’s discussion of chapter 10 with a question about the significance of Eber and the children of Eber as they relate to Shem. (Episode 98)
Wisdom is My Tribe

Wisdom is My Tribe

2019-12-1900:27:57

When Dr. King famously proclaimed “content of character” over skin color, his words were a reflection of the teaching of the Bible, which proclaims its content at the expense of our identity. The Bible strips us of identity and agency, so that its content may be shared without inhibition or limitation, by anyone in any situation at any anytime to anyone who is willing to hear. If the person speaking happens to be someone you knew before they knew the Gospel—someone you towered over in their childhood; if you can’t hear the content of God’s wisdom from this person, the only one losing out is you. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 13:53-58. Episode 309 Matthew 13:53-58; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Upbeat Forever” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
These Are the Families

These Are the Families

2019-12-1700:20:54

This week, Fr. Paul explains how Scripture defines its own terminology in the way that words are used and when they are used in the text. If you hear Genesis 10 in context of the previous chapter, the first appearance of the Hebrew word for families, mishpahhot, emphasizes the human being as one of the many mammals spread upon the earth. In this way, Fr. Paul argues, social life in the Bible does not refer to artificial cities made by the hand of man, but to animal life, which does not have a civilization, and instead lives through procreation, as God commanded. (Episode 97)
Taught Into the Kingdom

Taught Into the Kingdom

2019-12-1200:16:50

Christians—who should be concerned with following God’s commandments—are more often preoccupied with explaining why their church or denomination is the “true pearl.” At a time when our country is itself devolving into tribal factions, the consequence of this hubris is keenly felt. Fortunately, in the parables of the Kingdom found in Matthew’s gospel, the one who presumes that he is from the “right tribe” soon learns that he himself must be read into the Kingdom through instruction, so that the people of all tribes, both old and new, may dwell together, under the Lord’s tent. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 13:49-52. Episode 308 Matthew 13:49-52; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Krampuss Workshop” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Under the Tent of Shem

Under the Tent of Shem

2019-12-1000:16:12

This week, Fr. Paul discusses the meaning of the names Shem, Ham, and Japheth, explaining that the verb “to dwell” in Hebrew pertains specifically to tent dwelling—another notable breadcrumb reflecting his broader thesis about shepherdism in the Bible. He concludes by taking our questions on the first appearance of the word covenant in the Bible, and the link between the nakedness of the progenitor and the life blood in Genesis. (Episode 96)
It’s Not for Sale

It’s Not for Sale

2019-12-0500:21:34

We live in a society whose standard of value has created broken communities, a generational increase in mid-life suicides, and a steady supply of ideological violence. Yes. The love of money is indeed the root of all evils and we Americans are living proof. And please, no platitudes about how money is fine if you don’t love it. Show me someone who does not love money. Even the great hermits and stylites of old loved money—that’s why they chose to flee the world in the first place—to escape the madness we now embrace. Thanks be to God, the parables of the Kinging in Matthew set forth a new standard of value, one measured not by the acquisition of wealth—but of biblical wisdom. Praise the Lord in the heavens! Praise him in the heights, that this wisdom is definitely not marketable and not for sale. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 13:44-48. Episode 307 Matthew 13:44-48; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Cryptic Sorrow” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
The Noahic Covenant

The Noahic Covenant

2019-12-0300:19:20

This week, Fr. Paul discusses the significance of the rainbow as a heavenly sign beyond the control of human beings. This “bow” or “arch” in the heavens, he explains, indicates the distinction between the Abrahamic and Noahic covenants in the Bible. (Episode 95)
It’s All About the Wheat

It’s All About the Wheat

2019-11-2800:26:30

When the disciples turn to Jesus to explain the parable of the wheat and the tares, they make the terrible mistake of reducing the Lord’s teaching to “the parable of the tares of the field,” omitting any reference to the wheat in verse 36. This omission betrays their misplaced focus: The parable is all about wheat production, but the disciples remain preoccupied with the tares, ignoring the imperative of the parable. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 13:36-43. Episode 306 Matthew 13:36-43; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Frost Waltz” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Life Blood

Life Blood

2019-11-2600:18:07

This week, Fr. Paul explains that only God has dominion over life and death in the Bible, and subsequently, the blood of earth mammals—including human beings—is strictly his domain. (Episode 94)
Hidden in Plain Sight

Hidden in Plain Sight

2019-11-2100:22:06

We human beings foolishly trust in our own eyes. We look at other people and assume that we understand what we see and then we make judgments. But is it really possible to see? When you look at a field freshly planted, can you point out which seed will be most productive? Of course, you can see the field, and you may even know where the seeds are planted, but you have no clue what’s going to happen. The result is in the seeds, but this result is hidden from you in plain sight, from the foundation of the world. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 13:31-35. Episode 305 Matthew 13:31-35; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Magic Forest” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Everything That Swarms

Everything That Swarms

2019-11-1900:16:00

This week Fr. Paul critiques the commonplace human assumption that the animals are “like us,” noting that in Scripture it is the human beings who are like all the other animals. As with the New Testament, where the oikonomos is no different than the other slaves in the household, so too in Genesis, man’s appointed responsibility does make him different than any of the other earth mammals. (Episode 93)
There Are No Good Guys

There Are No Good Guys

2019-11-1400:25:10

When we hear a story of judgement in the Bible, our natural tendency is to try to identify the good guys vs. the bad guys so that we can make ourselves one of the good guys. In this sense, we’re no different than the slaves in the parable of the wheat and the tares. We want to be on the right side so that we can remove the ones whom we decide are on the wrong side. However, in the parable, the Lord and Master of his slaves prevents us from doing so in order to protect his wheat. As a result, both the wheat and the tares are forced to live together in God‘s field until the time of the harvest. In the meantime, no one is aloud judge anyone or to separate one kind of person from another. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 13:24-30. Episode 304 Matthew 13:24-30; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Skye Cuillin” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Upon Ararat

Upon Ararat

2019-11-1200:19:30

Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 8 by emphasizing the Scriptural priority of the animals, differentiating between the creatures of the sea, the creatures of the ground and the birds of the air—the latter being of special importance. He also touches again briefly on the mention of Ararat, which, he explains, appears in the story as a clear indication of the Syrian desert. (Episode 92)
Roots Not Fruits

Roots Not Fruits

2019-11-0700:19:07

Whether dealing with cultural or historical themes, or emphasizing biblical languages, we talk a lot about historical context on the podcast. So let me be blunt, the popular notion that teachers should “make the Bible relevant today” or “make the Bible relatable,” is absolutely wrong. It’s not only wrong, it’s unforgivable, because when you engage in such nonsense, you shut your students out of the Kingdom. In order to understand what someone is saying, you need to learn their language and understand their situation—you need to relate to them. This applies not just to history and language, but also to physical and geographic context. On the other hand, you could try to make the the whole world relate to you, see everything and hear everyone from your perspective and filter everything through the lens of your thoughts, feelings and experiences...please let us know how that works out for western civilization. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 13:17-23. Episode 303 Matthew 13:17-23; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Hotrock” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Out of Control

Out of Control

2019-11-0500:15:40

In today’s program, Fr. Paul explains how the scriptural God acts according to his own good pleasure, disrupting the expectations of the story’s addressees. Do the waters besiege the land? Does the land encroach upon the waters? Can anyone know how God will act or control what he will do? Of course not. All we can do is hear what comes next in the story. (Episode 91)
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Comments (3)

Daniel Stout

i thought the eye of the needle was a small opening in the Mediterranean Sea that was plagued with huge waves making it incredibly difficult for ships to navigate. must be the mandela effect lol

Aug 7th
Reply

Daniel Stout

I'm really glad i found your podcast...I was searching for a deeper Christian podcast...anyways, keep up the good work...One question..Why do you (and many other pastors) refer to yourself as "father" when our commander in chief "Jesus Christ" plainly states in the Gospels, not to refer to any man as father for you only have 1 father, He who is in Heavan? A Catholic priest once told me that there were many different words for father back then...This answer is not sufficient for me or sufficient enough to risk going against Gospel...Just curious

Jul 19th
Reply

Gary Sarkessian

the resurrection of Jesus is escatalogical, right?

Feb 21st
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