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.
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Today’s program marks the 300th episode of the Bible as Literature. Years ago, Fr. Marc and Richard’s wife, Hollie, were going back and forth on a title for the education program at St. Elizabeth—eventually, they opted for “The Ephesus School”—a name inspired by a paper Fr. Paul had recently presented. With the Benton’s move to Minnesota, Fr. Marc had been thinking about ideas for a podcast, something like “The Priest and the Professor” and Hollie, always in earshot of Fr. Marc’s and Richard’s discussions about the Bible, insisted that they record their conversations, “so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.” (John 4:36) With her encouragement, the project became a reality. It is providential that the 300th episode of the podcast falls on the parable of the sower in Matthew. “He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:9) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 13:1-9. Episode 300 Matthew 13:1-9; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Autumn Day” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Birds, Kings, and Shepherds

Birds, Kings, and Shepherds

2019-10-1500:16:46

This week, Fr. Paul wraps up his discussion of Genesis 6, giving Richard and Fr. Marc an opportunity to ask questions. As always, Richard opened Q&A with an insightful discussion of the original Hebrew, which lead to an excellent overview of kings, shepherds, and functionality in the Bible. (Episode 88)
A New Tribe

A New Tribe

2019-10-1000:27:13

In a culture that places family first, the Lord’s ambivalence toward his mother and his brothers in the Gospel of Matthew is confusing, if not utterly scandalous. Why would Jesus ignore his close relatives and leave them standing outside? The answer presented in the text is straightforward: the disciples are the Lord’s true relatives, because it is the Father’s teaching—not human blood ties—that serves as the organizing principle for the tribe of Jesus. This new definition of family reflects the teaching of adoption found in St. Paul’s letters: those who submit to the teaching of the Father are adopted into the Lord’s family. “Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:16) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 12:46-50. Episode 299 Matthew 12:46-50; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Acid Trumpet” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
This week Fr. Paul highlights the connection between Genesis 6 and the story of Moses in Exodus. As always, this connection is impossible to discern in English—but this time there’s a twist. The English word “ark” in Genesis 6 sounds deceptively like the word “ark” in Exodus 25. In fact, they are totally unrelated; and as you’ll soon discover, the the real connection to Exodus in the original Hebrew is far more interesting. (Episode 87)
Mitzvah!

Mitzvah!

2019-10-0300:22:55

The ability to read biblical signs—which comes from hearing, reciting, and doing the commandments of Scripture—protects us from being fooled by false prophets. Is something a righteous act? What’s the difference between an exorcism performed by Jesus and one conducted by a son of the Pharisees? In the Gospel of Matthew, the answer to this question is twofold: 1) do you recognize the commandment of God at work in the action, and, 2) what outcome did the action produce? You will know a tree by its fruit. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 12:43-45. Episode 298 Matthew 12:43-45; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Walking Along” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Why Do You Call Me Lord?

Why Do You Call Me Lord?

2019-10-0200:13:07

In today's episode we discuss why faith is better translated as trust. We also highlight how faith is not an intellectual concept, but a deep trust that is rooted in the firm belief in God's promises and His coming Kingdom. With respect to the argument of "faith vs. works," the audience will be encouraged to re-frame their thinking of salvation as an inheritance: something that can never be earned, but can be lost. Finally, Fr Aaron shared a saying from Fr Paul Tarazi that we all would do well to remember: "Salvation is free of charge, but with a charge."
The Nephilim

The Nephilim

2019-10-0100:18:14

Drawing, as always, on the original Hebrew and his knowledge of Arabic, Fr. Paul explains the folly of the Nephilim who assume their own mightiness, but are, in Fr. Paul’s words, “unto fallenness.” English versions of the Bible refer to the Nephilim as “men of renown,” but this translation ignores the writer’s use of the technical phrase, ha shem, “the name,” which pertains to the biblical God, who is himself referred to as “the name” in Leviticus. (Episode 86)
Read the Signs

Read the Signs

2019-09-2600:22:04

When human beings seek a sign from the Lord, the problem is two-fold. First, we think of a sign as proof, making our trust in God’s wisdom conditional. Second, because we do not trust this wisdom, the signs we desire in the world become a reflection of our own vanity. Remember, this is the Gospel of Matthew. The eye is the lamp of the body. If the light in your eye is idolatry, you will find amazement in wickedness and scoff at righteousness; but if the lamp of your eye is filled with the light of Torah, you will see things correctly—the way Scripture wants you to see them—and you will be able to read the signs. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 12:38-42. Episode 297 Matthew 12:38-42; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Danse Macabre” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Third Time’s Not a Charm

Third Time’s Not a Charm

2019-09-2400:17:38

After its use of the word ‘adam’ in chapter 5, the text of Genesis returns to the words ‘ha adam’ in chapter 6, referring to humanity in its entirety. This shift, Fr. Paul explains, also points to God’s provision of a third chance for human beings. By now, everyone who tunes in to this podcast knows that in Scripture, the third time is not a charm.(Episode 85)
We human beings do not take responsibility for what we teach. We speak careless words motivated by self-interest and look the other way when our words—directly or indirectly—cause suffering in the world. It feels good to pretend that we are puzzled by gun violence in the United States, but we all know the truth. If we want to understand American violence, we need only look in the mirror: the teachings we feed our children are utterly corrupt and produce morally repugnant outcomes.In Scripture, the problem is easily resolved when we replace our words with the written words of God’s instruction. This is how we are made righteous in the Pauline gospel. When we say what we are commanded to say and it produces what God desires, then there is a chance that God, on that day, will decide that we are good (despite our wickedness) because we produced good out of the good treasure of his written wisdom. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 12:33-37.Episode 296 Matthew 12:33-37; Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Lost Time” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
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