The Bible and Beyond Podcast Episode

Read Ancient Texts Outside the Bible

An Interview with Dr. James McGrath

Dr. James McGrath

Dr. James McGrath

Professor James McGrath explains why you should read ancient texts outside the Bible. A knowledge of apocryphal and other noncanonical texts give more background to biblical writings. The meaning of canon itself becomes clearer in the context of the many cousin-like texts that relate to the biblical writings. McGrath demonstrates this with an exploration of the books of Enoch, the history of the Maccabeans, the widespread beliefs in demons or unclean spirits, angels, the meaning of hell (Gehenna), and other topics.

Dr. James McGrath, known widely from his blog, Religion Prof on Patheos, pursues interests from the Bible, science fiction, evolution, religion, and Mandaean culture. He is the Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University. His recent book, What Jesus Learned from Women, is a readable scholarly work that reflects on James’s theological creativity and his respect for women as teachers. James has a Diploma in Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge, a BD from the University of London, and his PhD from Durham University. He is the author of several books and numerous articles (as well as a few science fiction short stories), and the editor or co-editor of several volumes. He has a new booking coming out in October of 2023, The A to Z of the New Testament: Things Experts Know That Everyone Else Should Too.

You can visit his Amazon author page and Selected Works page on the Butler University website, to learn more about his publications, and you can follow him on TwitterYouTube, and elsewhere.

Some Bible and Beyond podcast episodes are made available as video podcasts on our YouTube channel. This month’s episode can be found here.