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“Compared to the ancient world, the modern world is so impoverished in its ideas. We have such a narrow range of ways of responding to situations and issues, compared to all the ideas that people had before. So I’ve always just kept going, looking farther and farther to find all of these rich ideas that have been forgotten but people thought of long ago.”
— Dr. Jason BeDuhn in “Early Christians Answer ‘Where Is God When Things Go Wrong?‘” (Episode 33)
The Bible and Beyond podcast has been created for everyone who would like to sit down with scholars and ask them about their latest research in the world of the earliest Jesus followers.
The podcast explores historical and spiritual questions about Jesus, gender, women, salvation, healing, and the meaning of life in a series of interviews with scholars who are able to unlock mysteries from extra-canonical books, forgotten scriptures, so-called ‘gnostic’ gospels, and the Bible. In some cases, their discoveries leave us feeling somewhat uneasy, because they don’t fit with what we’ve been told through the ages. On the other hand, the scholars keep uncovering a kind of deep intimacy with Jesus — his love for humanity and his love for God. It’s a liberating message, inspiring us to let go of some heavy, unnecessary church-baggage and consider what these texts might mean for modern-day followers of Jesus.
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Was Adam the Original Sinner?
Who actually is the culprit in the book of Genesis? Is it Adam? Is it Eve? Is it God himself? The main story is in Genesis. An Interview with Dr. Lance Jenott.
Who Are All the Marys in the New Testament?
I can say that there are at least seven Marys, depending on how you count them. I’ll start off with those seven and explain how we get to that seven. An Interview with Anna Cwikla.
Christian Heresy: Is the Idea Still Relevant?
So they feel there’s a need to say, 'OK, we know this is a time of crisis, so we need to know who counts in our group and who doesn’t.' An Interview with Chance Bonar.
Charles Hedrick and Nag Hammadi Manuscripts
"One of my hobbies was to read things from antiquity that nobody else had ever read before. … Preparing a translation for publication is separate from translating as you put it together." An interview with Dr. Charles Hedrick.
What the Apostles Did after the Resurrection
"Christian believers for the past two millennia haven’t distinguished between canonical and noncanonical sources. Lots of stories in noncanonical texts have been just as much true stories for believers as canonical texts. Lots of stories in noncanonical texts have been just as much true stories for believers as canonical texts." An interview with Dr. Janet Spittler.
Shapira Deuteronomy Fragments: Forgery or Authentic?
"I would suggest keeping a cool head and reserving judgment. Good scholarship takes time—thinking about … all the stuff that comes out on the internet very, very rapidly." An interview about the Shapira Scroll with Dr. Tony Burke.
The Gospel of Matthew’s Problematic Prophecies
"Looking at contemporary writers helped me understand how Matthew was quoting the Old Testament—which ... turned out to be pretty much the common practice of the day." An Interview with Robert J. Miller.
How the Beautiful Odes of Solomon Enhance Jewish-Christian Dialogue
"Some think these Odes of Solomon are words of praise to Jesus. … But these are Jesus's praises of God, not the worship of Jesus." An Interview with Samuel Zinner, PhD, and Mark M. Mattison.
Did Paul Really Say That?
"I might say [Paul]’s working out a theology. Maybe in all of the letters. Trying to explain… what it is to be in Christ, or in the body of Christ." An Interview with Dr. Nina Livesey
Is Practical Theology a Contradiction in Terms?
"Sometimes people think theology is some kind of criticism, but it’s about seeing the world more richly and fully." An interview with Dr. Stephen Pattison.
Conservative Christian Finds Biblical Egalitarianism
"I really believe the Holy Spirit fosters equality. You know the Holy Spirit is the great Energizer, but also the great Equalizer." An interview with Margaret Mowczko.
Jesus Learned from Women, Seriously!
"If we simply say we don’t have the voices in our ancient sources which were written by men, about men, … we’re actually contributing to the perpetuation of the silencing of those women." An interview with Dr. James McGrath.
A Womanist Preacher Inspires Her Congregations with Extracanonical Texts
"I saw that I was womanish. I saw myself in it…. In the feminist movement, it was about being a woman. In the womanist tradition, it’s about being a woman in community." An interview with Rev. Stephanie A. Duzant.
Ancient Roman Families and Household Models Elucidate the Biblical Book of Philemon
"It’s interesting to read (Paul’s) letter to Philemon and imagine yourself hearing it as Onesimus. We do not often imagine life from the viewpoint of the slaves in the ancient world. " An interview with Elli Elliott, PhD.
Why You Should Read New Testament Apocrypha
"There are some strange things in these texts, and even Thomas’s skin is one of them. But … there’s plenty of strangeness in the New Testament as well. " An interview with Dr. Tony Burke.
Odes of Solomon: Contemporary Musical Settings
Wow! Those are some really important words, and they went by so quickly. So, how can I (a composer) stretch them, so they have more weight to them than the textual space allows? An Interview with Natalie Perkins and Deborah Saxon.
A New Translation for the Odes of Solomon
These spectacular extant texts are from an era right when there's the so-called parting of the ways between Judaism and Christianity. An Interview with Samuel Zinner, PhD, and Mark M. Mattison
Re-thinking the Meaning of Jesus’s Passion
In the second century we have images of Jesus as a healer, as a teacher, as a good shepherd, but we have no image of Jesus on the cross. An Interview with Dr. Arthur Dewey
What We Can Learn from Imperial Ancient Rome and Its Rape Narrative
I might actually call her [Eve] a female Christ figure. She’s violated like Christ on the cross. There is a healing or a resurrection that happens. An interview with Dr. Celene Lillie.
Jesus Taught Us that Women Are as Valuable as Men in Q
“It’s not like Jesus is the only person in antiquity to think of women as people. But I do think that he innovated this style of teaching: these parable pairs.” An interview with Sara Parks, PhD.
What’s at Stake When Heresy Sells?
"Orthodoxy glorifies martyrs. So the stories of women martyrs are lifted up, but women who speak up or stand up in any other way are criticized and challenged." An Interview with Deb Saxon, PhD.
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