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.
852 Episodes
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Every immigrant, every minority, and every colonized person living under a human boot faces the same dilemma: how to live without imitating or accepting the ways of the human gods that impose their glory.“We have,” a wise poet once said, “on this earth what makes life worth living.”Scripture, Fr. Paul has explained many times, forged a path for living in the ancient world by refusing to accept the glory of Alexander, the Seleucids, and all who came after them by pushing back.Not by working within their system. Not by playing their game or thinking like them. Least of all by adopting their language. With no hope, from under their boot, Scripture came up with biblical Hebrew to force the Greeks to submit to the Scriptural God.They did not study Greek or capitulate to Greek culture in order to convince or get ahead in Greek society and maybe attract a few wealthy people to their secret cult. You’re thinking of the harlots in 1 Corinthians. Don’t be like the harlots in 1 Corinthians. You become what you accept. So, reject everything and become nothing, like the biblical prophets. Trust me. When you are nothing you have more free time to study Semitic triliterals. The more you know Semitic, the better your chance of hearing God speak.So when in Rome, smile at the Romans, the Greeks (or the freedom-loving ice cream people), politely ignore them and do what Paul says. (Episode 320) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Against Consensus

Against Consensus

2024-03-2617:01

There is nothing like a cup of Turkish Coffee. That’s not an opinion. It’s an observation of fact. The local Starbucks does not serve Turkish Coffee.That’s why I never buy Starbucks for Fr. Paul before his lectures. Why would I? Why would anyone who cares about anything important, meaning Scripture, do something so foolish? I am pretty sure there is a “Stars and Bucks” somewhere in the Middle East (and like any industrious knock-off, I bet they serve Turkish Coffee), but not the local Starbucks. This week, Fr. Paul even mentions the importance of his Turkish Coffee in the morning (with lots of water) before tackling the authorship of the Hebrew and Septuagint texts. Of course, his view goes against scholarly consensus. He also discusses his novel stance on the Book of Sirach, which goes against scholarly consensus.  And his view on the choice of Greek over Latin, which goes against scholarly consensus. And the importance of the Latin Vulgate, which goes against Orthodox consensus, which is not scholarly. And the function of grammatical gender, which goes against, well, everybody but especially theologians. Why, my daughter asked me, is the Bible so negative? The Bible is humorous, I answered. The Bible is ruthless, even cruel. But negative?  I, myself, am a man of optimism. The many puny human gods, I explained, are like tiny cancerous tumors. The Bible, on the other hand, is hopeful, like a doctor who prescribes chemotherapy to a person covered with many tumors. When these puny, toxic little gods are attacked, ridiculed, dismantled, and poisoned by the text of the Bible, the pain is unbearable—but the doctor goes to work against the cancer anyway because he has hope—hope against all hope when there is clearly no hope—that the treatment will bring hope.I call that insane optimism like a Gazan who just lost everything but somehow finds the strength to lift his hands in prayer—like the Olive Tree—which gives thanks only to God. You do not need a Seminary degree to unpack that puzzle. (Episode 319) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
The Bible, Fr. Paul explains, is a holy joke. That’s a big relief. Even hopeful. Looking around, I see that the current state of affairs is an unholy joke.Truly, if the Scriptural God is not laughing at us, mocking us, and ultimately—as Fr. Paul explains—entrapping us, he is not God. He can’t be. What kind of god, what monster, would be happy with us? I mean, seriously, people? Look at us.Do you think it sounds odd that God would say, “Here is a nice tree in the Garden, now don’t eat of it,” when you say to little children: “We love you. We do not want you to go hungry. So we will send you food, but we will not let you touch it. We will just talk about how much we care because we are not violent like the God of the Old Testament.”May this God, the vengeful and terrible God found only in the text (the one everybody ignores and abuses), the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, mock, shame, confound, judge, terrify, and entrap us without reprieve for the sake of the poor until his Kingdom comes in power.(Episode 318) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
A Maskil

A Maskil

2024-03-1215:43

Code Pink! Code Pink!People are running around with blinders on! It appears they’ve been reading English translations of the Septuagint!Half keep referring to something called the Books of the Kingdoms, which do not appear in the Bible; the other half are enamored with some goofy Greek nonsense called “philosophical questioning.” One of them keeps eating ice cream in a stupor. They insist that the Bible is about building churches, investing in property, planning for the future, defending walls, funding wars, protecting their people, and—above all—trying to prove which tribe held the first theropod roast in prehistoric Palestine, which, at that time, was known as, well, “nothing,” because we probably did not have language yet. Some of these people are doing DNA tests and then photoshopping pictures of themselves holding a Bible while standing at said therapod roast.Ah, the suffering of Job. But Job was a fool. I mean, look, what did his supposed righteousness get him? A house in Tel Aviv? But that’s what you want. So you host Lenten retreats about the deep spiritual meaning of Job’s suffering and how to be patient like him in anticipation of your colonial therapod roast.Disgusting. And just to be clear, Elihu, Father Paul explains, is no better. The structure of Job, the syntax of the canon, and the placement of Psalms all undermine you: all of them de-historicize, de-value, and de-center the human being.So, please. It does not matter what your DNA test says. If the result of your DNA test comes back “human being,” that is already way too much information. May God have mercy upon the therapods. (Episode 317) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Scripture unmasks your illusions. Religion, family, friends, ideas, institutions, nations, individuals, “isms” of every school—all your human ideals and beliefs are a lie. Unfortunately, you can’t sleep around with your lies and remain faithful to the Master.  You do, in fact, have to make a choice. Note my use of the word “fact.” So, please, step in front of the bus or return to the safety of your lies. That is how this works. Go ahead—I insist—lie to yourself. It’s better for you. Enjoy your environmentally safe lifestyle. Don’t forget to vote. There you go. See? You are a good person. Your hands are clean. God bless you. You should be a guest on “The View.” Notice, I said god bless you. I did not mention the text. I was talking about your god, not the God of Scripture.  Anyone who can’t see the true face of their idolatry or who tries to apologize for it or the idolatry of this age in any way is morally bankrupt.It’s true. I’m not lying. The West is having its moment—it’s painful to watch and definitely long deserved, but the pain, at least for now, is located in the weakest part of the body. But you cannot dull the pain of facts with the stupor of your idols forever. MENE, MENE, TEQEL, UPHARSINYour narratives certainly feel good. Family is dear to you, and personal relationships mean everything to you. You take courage in speaking truth to power and in the freedom to disagree, to be different—that’s the American way, Fr. Marc. What a great story. You should work for Disney. Thanks be to the Scriptural God: the Bible is not your story. Let alone a story.It’s a text with consonants totally foreign to your colonial brain, laid out in a particular order, in a language concocted from the many Semitic languages of the many peoples you still number among your enemies, you fool.It’s funny how you love all your idols, your religion, your atheism, family, friends, institutions, and your “democratic values,” but you still somehow manage to hate the same enemies you were commanded to love. As Fr. Paul used to say in the classroom, God is merciful, but I am not God. You would do well to forgo your stupid ideals and, instead, study Arabic alongside biblical Hebrew. Then you will see with your eyes and hear with your ears what the Scriptural God said in his original Semitic syntax, sparing both you and the poor the tyranny of your self-serving flotillas.Allahu Akbar. (Episode 316) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Facts Not Narratives

Facts Not Narratives

2024-02-2721:49

This week, a few listeners reached out to wish me well on my sabbatical or to ask what I plan to do with my free time. First, please be assured that I will not be eating ice cream. Second, as my oldest Palestinian cousin Tina said while doing manual labor at St. Elizabeth, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” In her honor, let’s make good use of the time because the days are definitely evil. Teaching is about conveying facts from the text, not your ideas about the text, let alone your institutional narratives. On a personal level, you want to talk about “narrative” or “narrative context” because you want to give yourself importance. On an institutional level, if you take just five minutes to stop gossiping about or psychoanalyzing each other, you’ll discover that your obsession with “narrative” is all about the Benjamins.  You fund the Tower of Babel; thus, it is utterly disgusting. “And that,” Fr. Paul explains this week, “is the price we are paying in so-called Judeo-Christianism.”Just watch Tik-Tok, Habibi. Thankfully, the God of Scripture is not mocked in his syntax. What is written cannot be undone—for those who have ears. The canonical syntax of the original, consonantal Hebrew text is a fact unless you want to go back and dream about your facts while sleeping with the New York Times. Sleep well. Make-believe stories—even the scary ones—are for children. Lexicography, on the other hand, is the transmission of facts. Facts are common and accessible to all—they stare back at you from the page—just like canonical syntax. As Fr. Paul has said for decades, Biblical-Semitic consonants are situated on the scroll, like the organs of your body. No NATO narratives are required. So before launching into the exciting developments I mentioned last week, Fr. Paul will spend some time explaining, once and for all, why the syntax of the Hebrew canon—and not the Septuagint—is our canonical reference for word study in the Biblical text. (Episode 315) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
This week, Fr. Paul refers to the Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy, noting a disciple’s duty to take every single opportunity at every moment to channel the content of Scripture at every turn, in time and out of time, using every chance afforded to share what you received, not from the teacher, but directly from the text. In this vein, Fr. Paul reiterates a point from his most recent presentation in Lebanon, noting the lexicographical significance of the word Qur’an for Christians, which is functional with the Hebrew triliteral *qof-resh-alef.* (Episode 314) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
“Scripture,” Fr. Paul wrote years ago, “is its own interpreter.”“The sermon,” he continued,“…is at best an invitation to hear and obey the text.”“An invitation card has no value whatsoever when it comes to the dinner itself; the guests are fed by the dinner, not by the invitation or its phrasing (Luke 14:16-24; Matthew 22:1-14).”This study of the Gospel of Luke began with a command that the priest (which has nothing to do with the institutional priesthood in any of our churches, let alone historical Judaism) become silent. I have heard Fr. Paul teach this for as long as I can remember and have taken it literally and seriously. But how does one teach and preach without speaking?At first, by simply accepting one’s hypocrisy, which most cannot. Or perhaps they can but then find themselves shocked that a wanton hypocrite like myself remains unmoved and zealous in my preaching.I was sitting on the steps outside St. Elizabeth this past summer, and an older woman walked by with a sweatshirt that read, “West Side Against Everybody.” “Keep the faith, Padre,” she said.“Always,” I replied.   So how does a hypocrite, as younger colleagues put it, “Let the text speak?”The answer is not a big stupid group hug. If that’s what you want, stick with CNN. Your educated, inclusive, culturally sensitive group hug is now on full display in Gaza.It, too, is a hypocrite—it even has eyes—but it can’t see—it is totally blind to its own hypocrisy. Honest to God, it really believes that planting a rainbow flag in northern Gaza will liberate the oppressed. “Blind as a bat,” your expression goes. So, I have a suggestion. If you want to understand how your sensitive, relationship-driven, evolved culture works in 2024, watch “Killers of the Flower Moon.” The spirit of William King Hale is alive and well in the United States. He sits on your school boards and still holds government office. He has “dear” friends in Gaza for whom he cares “dearly.” His nephew even married “one.” He speaks Arabic fluently, and he really understands “them.” I’ll tell you what I understand. If you want to understand Paul, open your ears:  “For each one will bear his own load.” (Galatians 6:5) Teaching is not about speaking, let alone learning; it is about carrying your weight. People do not learn; they are taught, meaning a teacher has to pick up a shovel and do work with their own hands. The answer is not one’s ideas, knowledge, opinions, input, or explanations, let alone hermeneutics or theology. (May God protect us from the blasphemous seduction of reception history, in which the Academy, once and for all, is working harder than ever to replace the Scriptural God with its own ego.)Our duty is word study and lexicography: grammar and functionality in the text of the Bible.The role of the preacher is not to give a disciple something to hear but to equip a disciple so that they can hear the text on their own dime.It is embarrassing that Western scholarship treats *re’shit *and *ro’š* as different words. Far worse, however, is the fact that so many Eastern clergy who grew up hearing the liturgy in Arabic—even if they themselves do not speak Arabic—fall into the same trap. This is not about identity. People of all colors, genders, religions, and identities are fully on board with the military-industrial hate parade in Washington and London. Still, Scripture is not against them. It is against you. And that’s the point. When are *you* going to do something?Didn’t you hear what she said? “I’m so scared. Please come. Please call someone to come and take me.”  “OK, Habbibti, I will come and take you.”But no one came except God. He always comes through, especially when you don’t. He took them all. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” This week’s episode is an excursus on the term Amalek. (Episode 520)After ten years of programming, The Bible as Literature Podcast will take a sabbatical, starting mid-February and extending until after Pascha in May, following the Eastern calendar. This sabbatical will provide an opportunity for me to concentrate on Fr. Paul’s work and some exciting developments planned for his weekly podcast. Rest assured, while The Bible as Literature is on temporary hiatus, I will continue to produce Fr. Paul’s program, “Tarazi Tuesdays,” on a weekly basis.  ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Poor Josiah

Poor Josiah

2024-02-1313:30

This week, Fr. Paul notes the function of the two versions of the Ten Commandments in Exodus and Numbers and the futility of the so-called “Deuteronomic Reform.” (Episode 313) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Uncle Saleḥ

Uncle Saleḥ

2024-02-0826:38

In view of current events, I am convinced that people who continue to insist upon the language of post-modernism are guilty of murder. A bullet is not a narrative. A cylindrical projectile launched from a chamber through the rapid expansion of gas induced by combustion is a fact.Just ask a nursing mother. She will tell you. A bullet is not a narrative. It is a sin.ḥet-ṭet-alephIt can be tallied—unless you work for the Washington Post. In that case, it can be explained,“ad excusandas excusationes in peccatis”“to make excuses for excuses in sins.”Your brother is not a competing narrative. He is a man—an earth mammal—standing next to you in the land. He is your neighbor. Syntax.If you are a man of Scripture, there is no such thing as a competing narrative, let alone silly descriptors like “deeply tragic.” The occidental expression “competing narratives” reigns supreme among all lies ever sown by the makers of bullets because it allows them to masquerade as arbiters of righteousness. But I say to you: “Put not your trust in the makers of bullets, ‘in princes and sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.’” Such men are evil, through and through—“ravenous wolves,” Jesus warns, “who come to you in sheep’s clothing.”There are no “narratives” “stories,” “contexts,” or “meanings.” Just animals, vegetation, fish in the sea, and birds in the air—“and his righteousness endures forever.”There is also the ground—the adamah—facts upon it and consonants over it—the rule of Elohim—“and his righteousness endures forever.” Those who submit to his righteousness are his to deem righteous, and those who do not are also his—“and his righteousness endures forever.” Those wicked who talk about “narratives,” “stories,” “meanings,” and “competing narratives” are the “makers” and “sellers” of snake oil—pundits, journalists, artisans, and apologists—uncle “Thomas Friedmans“ who fashion idols in their own image to set themselves above God and his “Animal Kingdom”:“Another shapes wood; he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a human, like the beauty of the human form, so that it may sit in a house. Surely, he cuts cedars for himself and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, ‘Aha! I am warm. I have seen the fire.’ But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships it; he also prays to it and says, ‘Deliver me, for you are my god.’” (Isaiah 44:13–17)But I say to you:There is no god but Elohim, and we are all animals in his Kingdom, “and his righteousness endures forever.” This week’s episode covers Luke 5:32. (Episode 519)After ten years of programming, The Bible as Literature Podcast will take a sabbatical, starting mid-February and extending until after Pascha in May, following the Eastern calendar. This sabbatical will provide an opportunity for me to concentrate on Fr. Paul’s work and some exciting developments planned for his weekly podcast. Rest assured, while The Bible as Literature is on temporary hiatus, I will continue to produce Fr. Paul’s program, “Tarazi Tuesdays,” on a weekly basis. I still have one more episode of this program recorded and ready for release next week. So, stay tuned! ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
The Anti-Kingly Stance

The Anti-Kingly Stance

2024-02-0614:07

This week, Fr. Paul highlights several key features—not only of the Book of Numbers—but also of the Pentateuch. Most notably, he points out that in all five books, God is never referred to as the “King of Israel.” This fact, he explains, is the main bone of contention in the confrontation between the people and God the Lord in 1 Samuel. (Episode 312)  ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
I Reject Your Gods

I Reject Your Gods

2024-02-0132:02

With all the silly memes floating around the internet about how to “live” your best life or how to live a “good” life, it was inevitable that people would talk about using Scripture to “live a good” life.It’s an old lie, actually, and it was unavoidable that it would reappear. Oh, come on, Fr. Marc. You know what they mean.Unfortunately, no. I do not. I do not speak Plato. I do not know what they “mean.”  I do, however, study what is written. If you are studying, hearing, listening, or otherwise memorizing Scripture in order to “live” a “good” life, you are on the wrong track. No one, Jesus said, is good. We submit to what is written because “it” is good, and we are not. We can never be “good.” That is why we submit and why I refuse to say, “I know what you mean.” I have no desire to know your gods because they validate your lies—like the fantasy that you can live a “good life” by following Scripture. Show me a man who is perfect like his heavenly Father, and I’ll introduce you to the depravity of your “rules-based” order. Psalm 78, Habibi. Free Palestine. Allahu Akbar.  ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Practical Examples

Practical Examples

2024-01-3015:16

For years, Fr. Paul has stressed that the only way to teach Scripture is by giving practical examples. Scripture is practical knowledge. From an early age, he explains, children can hear the text only if you relay its content with common sense examples, unlike complex theological theories that confuse children and betray the text, deactivating its functions. (Episode 311) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Respect

Respect

2024-01-2538:58

A prophet gathered people to do difficult, painful, and dangerous work, which was to be carried out according to specific instructions.He said, “I am going to do this work, no matter what the cost, no matter how long it takes, according to the instructions given to me.” When his tribe heard the instructions, they said, “That’s your choice; we want nothing to do with you.” When his friends heard it, they agreed that it was a good idea but counseled him, “If you do it as instructed, you will end up alone.” Several years passed, and the prophet did as he was instructed. It was indeed difficult, painful, and exceedingly dangerous—but he survived. Many people watched the prophet and advised the prophet, and some tried to do things for him, but in all that time, no one was willing to join the prophet in doing what he did, as he was instructed, which was indeed difficult, painful, and exceedingly dangerous. Some tried to convince him to alter the instructions, subtract, or add to them. When he would not listen, they became frustrated or angry, in part because he would not listen but mostly because they did not like the instructions, and his stubbornness was embarrassing. “That’s your choice,” they cowered, shunning prophetic instruction with empty platitudes, “everyone is free to do what they want.” Apparently so.  No shame and no game. Then, there were those who demanded the lie of equality—but how could they demand equality from their slave? The prophet who was doing difficult, painful, and exceedingly dangerous work all those years and barely managed to survive while others were “saving” him from the sidelines? You can’t watch Jordan score 60 points from your seat on the bench and then bitch that you are his equal because you know more about a game that you are not playing.You can’t watch a janitor clean all the toilets in the building and then demand equality from him while criticizing his work while you are sitting on it. You can’t watch a secretary do all the administrative work for everyone, including you, and then demand that he is not treating you as his equal because in doing what he did as he was instructed, the instructions offended you. You are not helping, and when you help, your help is not the same as doing. Chipping in is not “all in.” What is it that they used to say in Sunday School? Church is not a “social club?”  When it comes to the Pearl, it’s all or nothing, Habibi. If you are still talking about equality, you are not on the bench; you are fast asleep, dreaming. Equality is not a thing to be grasped because equality is a fallacy.I am talking about respect. It is true that respect cannot be demanded. It is an absolute lie that respect can be earned. A prophet is not without honor, except among those without honor.Respect is sown.He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Richard and I discuss Luke 5:27-28. (Episode 517)  ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
The Hebrew Names

The Hebrew Names

2024-01-2311:12

This week, Fr. Paul moves from his discussion of Leviticus to the book of Numbers, but not before a brief excursus to unpack the original Hebrew names of the books of the Law, which stress “speaking aloud” and “spoken words,”  reflecting the content of the books themselves. (Episode 310)  ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
We, the Dummies

We, the Dummies

2024-01-1841:12

Speak, be silent, have your discourse, hold your discourse, mansplain, or be ever so polite and attentive. Gossip, hold your tongue, roll it around seven times seventy, or run it.  Psychoanalyze your neighbor or choose wisely not to judge others. Who cares? Rehear Ecclesiastes: You are nothing new under the sun.You are not a judge, the judge, or anyone’s judge. Look down on yourself as hard as you can while you still can. No one cares if you are impressed or disgusted. Your compliments are a pat on your own back. Your critique means nothing. Your praise is empty. Your assessment of the situation is your own reflection—a phantom’s shadow. Your sage advice is Satanic. You are not God. You are not a reference. I do not believe in you. Believe me, I do not trust you.  “I don’t care” and “we don’t care.” If Jeremiah were alive today, he would shout it three times: this is not “the temple of the Lord.” Wait, they did shout it three times, and so did he:“We don’t care.” About what? Your deceptive and lying words uttered at the gate. No one said you were a dummy. That’s the problem. Knowledge, like incense, stinks.  The power of the Lord has been entrusted to you, and you, O Dialogions, like the Pharisees and the Law teachers, talk amongst yourselves. You talk to yourselves, for yourselves, about yourselves, about what one of you said about yourselves when you thought you were talking about a god. In fact, you were talking about your gods all along. Like the song says, Habibi, it was you, only you.The Gospel of Jesus Christ, O American, is your permanent teenage identity crisis. A guy is lying there on the ground, paralyzed. Kids are under the rubble; Their limbs are being amputated without anesthesia; children are afflicted by heart attacks from sleep deprivation and stress; pregnant mothers, the sign of God’s promise in Isaiah, are targeted. And you, O Pharisee, want to converse? You, who call yourself a Law teacher, want to talk about what? Your “knowledge?” Your “value?” Your “institution?” Your “title?” Your “building?”You trust in lying words to no avail. You utter deceptive words. “No wonder,” Paul says. “For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”What lies did Herod spin this week for the New York Times? Enlighten us so we can expand our syllabi, build our temples, and lead more of God’s children astray. If only women were in charge, you explain to Mustafa, then Hillary and Nikki would save the children. Keep dreaming, Homelander. As for bumpkins like me, we are here not just to talk but to walk the power of the Lord, and its consonants, which any punk can submit to with time and pressure, and, in doing so, communicate it to others.We, the dummies, preach Christ crucified. We know you are intelligent. We are just waiting for you—even hoping—that you will become dumb, like us.  Richard and I discuss Luke 5:25-26. (Episode 516) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Give the Land a Break

Give the Land a Break

2024-01-1613:47

This week, Fr. Paul explains that God learned his lesson in Leviticus, where the land is not cursed, as it was in Genesis, but granted rest to enjoy its sabbaths—a rest it does not have when men dwell up on it. (Episode 309)  ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
I Have No Value

I Have No Value

2024-01-1143:15

Ah, the occidental trap. The neurosis. The spiral of death. Dante’s hell. An eternal maze of nonsensical self-preoccupation. “What is my value?” Which boils down to, well, “nothing.” Then you “build” a philosophy department and “create” an entire field of study to “examine,” well, “nothing.” You even give it a fancy Latin name so that none of you look useless when interacting with engineers and medical doctors. You know, people who actually do “something.” You call it “nihilism.”  Wow, cool. “Deep.” That’s “my value,” you exclaim. I can label stuff that no one cares about and sound smart at parties. I can pout, become indignant, and smirk at working-class people who tell me that I do not make sense. I can pressure corporate boards to fire people who do not use my fake terminology because “I have value.” Well, unlike you, I do not have value. I am nothing. I have nothing. I bring nothing, and nothing you have to offer is of value to me. I bore you. Yawn. But like Paul, I do not trust you, and more importantly, I do not trust myself. I’m just a bumpkin from the West Side—a punk who did not attend a fancy school. One thing I do know is that if an idiot jumps in front of a moving bus, he will get smashed. Sadly, I am absolutely certain that in your dream world, this fact is up for debate. Good luck. Because, once again, I do not trust you. You hear Scripture dismantle me, and you cheer. You hear Scripture dismantle your imaginary “value,” and you mourn. Why? Because you not only assume that your supposed “value” is valuable, you believe that your “value” is “you.” The Gospel of Jesus Christ, O American, is your permanent teenage identity crisis. Like a teenager trapped in endless rebellion, you defend your identity by reducing Scripture to “just another book,” like one of your occidental toys. A “great work” of your boring literature. As if you, O man, have a right to assess it. You deal with it like a trinket on the shelf of your civilization—one that attacks a starving people for being willing to stand up against a genocide you alone have the power to stop.  Well, maybe not you. You say you are “free,” but even as your rulers commit genocide, your votes mean nothing. You are not free. You are just the slave of the wrong master—only your owner happens to be wealthy. Shame on you. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Picture this. (I know you can “picture it” because you are an idolater.)You are your own reference. You stand for yourself and your own “prosperity.” You refer not to Scripture but to yourself as your reference. You assess your pantheon of ideas (your gods)—which for you “include” Scripture (how noble of you)—and then you refer back to yourself for your decision. Everything on the “menu” in your dream world is “equal” except you. You are above everything and everyone, including me.You sound like Jordan Peterson, who builds his edifice on Scripture—building up what Scripture destroys—because he seeks to build himself up. Scripture does not hold a special place in your occidental library. It is not a great work of Western civilization. It is not your “foundation.” You are not “Bible-based.” It burns your libraries down, and it burns you.Are you an anti-intellectual Fr. Marc?  No. Scripture is anti-intellectual because the intellect it assesses is human. Scripture is anti-human and thus anti-humanities. Or do you really believe that Mustafa Barghouti is a sexist? Of course, you do. He is a Palestinian medical doctor, and you are a student of the liberal arts—a faithful postmodernist. You have the power to jump in front of moving buses and live. Who needs medical doctors? Let alone Palestinians? You really are Homelander. Scripture is your permanent identity crisis—and it will remain so until you accept that no human being has any value before God. Only then will you finally grow up and (maybe) become of some actual value to your Father, who is in the heavens. Or, you can stay in Egypt. Up to you, Habibi. Allahu Akbar. Richard and I discuss Luke 5:21-24. (Episode 515) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
This week, by the simple act of reading the text of Leviticus 26 aloud, Fr. Paul demonstrates the extreme poverty of Judeo-Christianism, its frailty, what this means for the widow and the orphan, and, painfully, what the subject of all his verbs has in store for those who do not heed his words, directly. (Episode 308)  ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Occidental scholarship is a fraud. It comes with its own knowledge, the way a guest comes to a potluck meal with his own communion bread. By definition, if you bring it, it is not the Eucharist—it is a McDonald’s Happy Meal. It feels good—like a cheap date—but after you are done, all that’s left are empty calories, with a portion of your proceeds donated to the military-industrial complex.  It does not matter what you know or where you studied. It does not matter what religion you are. Your titles, degrees, institutions, fields, backgrounds, religions, and affiliations are all useless and pointless. Harvard is not your reference. Shake them off, habibti, and recite Genesis 11:4 in Hebrew. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Still, you are not getting the point. Why? Because you “love God,” so you say, as long as he leaves some room on his throne (with all due respect) for you and your impressive body of human knowledge. No thanks, O “son of man,” says everything else that has breath “under the sun.” All that matters is what is found in the text—and guess what, anyone can find what is found, with no need whatsoever of your wide-ranging liberal arts, your think tanks (the imaginary ones, and the ones that come pre-loaded with projectiles), your humanities,  your thought leaders, your thought followers, your influencers, your systems of thought, your sophistries, your pundits, and your corrupt apologists. The so-called “gray area” of Western self-infatuation is a trap set by those foolish enough to seat themselves on the dread throne of the Judge, as though they have the authority, let alone the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. Alas, they do not, and they cannot. Thus, Paul condemns their sophistry to the dustbin of congressional hearings in 1 Corinthians. “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”Do not answer that question. Not even to yourself. As disciples, we have but one task. Not to answer human questions but to deal solely with what is written: the commandments of God and to do them. Those who supplant God—not only to examine  but to relish the supposed gray area—lapse into something far worse than self-righteousness:Inaction. In the end, they may do something, but whatever it is, it has nothing to do with the artifacts found in the text. Their “doings” pertain to what they “bring” from their “body” of “human knowledge.” In other words, such fools sit themselves on their own throne, issuing their own commands according to their own preferences, ignoring what has been commanded by God in the text. I know, I know. This is the point in the homily where someone incapable of hearing will raise their hand on behalf of Descartes to ask, what do you mean by “what is found,” as if upon seeing five dollars on the sidewalk, they would not pick it up. The only thing worse than a liar is the one who lies to himself. For, indeed, the New York Times looks for excuses, and universities search for complexity, but we preach unvocalized consonants. To the New York Times, a stumbling block; and to academics foolishness, but to those who are called, Christ the power of God: Under a Bedouin tent. Christ the wisdom of God: A cup of Turkish coffee and sweets, far away from the stupidity of institutional cruelty and the insanity of human boasting. For, “as it is written, ‘LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.’” Richard and I discuss Luke 5:19-20. (Episode 514) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
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Comments (4)

Sean Reid

I'd suggest there is as much pride in unsolicited offering of "help" to address an "obvious need" as there is to offer choice. We have a Church full of people who arrogantly impose their "wisdom" and "help" on others. Such help is offered to make the offerer feel good about themselves, not to actually help. And with regard to the cross, we all have a choice. Obey or don't. Christ always gives us a choice. It is no different from being commanded at gunpoint. We always have a choice.

Jan 9th
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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
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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
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Gary Sarkessian

the resurrection of Jesus is escatalogical, right?

Feb 21st
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