Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 70 in total

What do you know about Angels?

If you are asking me...well, not much. But we have an expert panel who recently had a discussion about Angels and Demons in the Hebrew Bible. Their conversation has not yet been published, so I am bringing you a small appetizer before the big meal! What are angels? How are they described in the Hebrew Bible and in Second Temple Literature?

The Spirit in the Hebrew Bible

What is "ruah" in the Hebrew Bible? The word is translated as "spirit" and sometimes as "wind." This week's episode is a tiny sliver of the Roundtable Talk conversation called Spirit and Man in Ancient Judaism. Our guest is Dr. Jack Levison, who is a Hebrew Bible professor at Southern Methodist University. He addresses the significance of the Spirit in the Hebrew Bible using Numbers 11 as a test case.

Sheol, Gehenna, and Hell: Are they the same?

The afterlife is an interesting and perplexing subject, which means it is a perfect conversation for the podcast! This week we sample a small part of the Hot Topics Seminar about Greek and Jewish views of the afterlife with Dr. Yeshaya Gruber and Dr. Nicholas Schaser and myself. We have Hebrew poetry, Jerusalem geography, and historic texts all weighing in. Lean in and enjoy the conversation!

Community in Christmas

Dr. Paul Wright is a friend and mentor who joins me again to discuss the significance of reading the Bible in its physical context. Last week we set the stage for the Luke version of the nativity scene, which we continue to talk about this week. If we picture Mary and Joseph isolated outside of the Bethlehem community, then we are telling the wrong story. How does the geography and culture impact our understanding of the night Jesus was born?

The True Nativity: Shepherds, fields, and flocks

I invite a friend and mentor to join me and discuss the significance of reading the Bible in its physical context. In the second half of the episode we discuss Luke 2 and the geographical information contained in the narrative that helps us imagine the nativity scene in a more realistic way. In particular, what do we learn by reading that the shepherds were in the fields with their flocks at night?

Who is Luke?

Dr. Peter van 't Riet is a retired professor of educational psychology and now an independent Bible researcher who writes about the patterns he sees in the writing of Luke. His thesis is that contrary to the common assumption that Luke was the only non-Jewish author in the New Testament who wrote for Christian gentiles, the person Luke was Jewish. Listen in as he explains ideas he writes about in the book titled The Jewish character of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.

Jesus and the Resurrection

Dr. Nicholas Schaser created a new course at Israel Bible Center called "Resurrection in Jewish Texts and Traditions." This week we continue to talk about the Second Temple associations with resurrection, the ways Jesus' miracles fit the Jewish traditions of resurrection, and why it is important to understand Jesus' own resurrection in light of history.

Is resurrection a Second Temple idea?

That is right. we are tackling resurrection! Dr. Nicholas Schaser has a new course at Israel Bible Center called "Resurrection in Jewish Texts and Traditions." Resurrection is an unusual concept, and it is significant in the Christian faith, but are there older roots in the Hebrew Bible? This week Dr. Schaser talks about the development of the concept of resurrection through the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple literature

The Gospels Real and Imagined

Dr. Mark Goodacre is a New Testament scholar who is amazing at getting people to investigate that which is thought to be "fact" by both the historic Christian community and academic community. This conversation starts with some easy questions like, "Was Jesus a carpenter?" and "Was Mary Magdalen a prostitute?" Then the topics dive into the technicalities of how the gospels were written and if there are mysterious "Q" texts and what (if anything) the Gospel of Thomas has to do with the gospels.

Adventures in Archaeology

THE Dr. Jodi Magness participated in a Round Table Talk with Dr. Gruber titled Archaeology on Life in the First Century. Dr. Magness is the Distinguished Professor of Early Judaism at the University of North Carolina, and she is the president of the Archeological Institute of America. She has written several books and she leads the excavations at Huqoq - a site that was a Jewish village in Lower Galilee. She draws out differences between literary and archaeological disciplines and tells us how pottery is a significant element of how to date layers of time in the dig. We also hear how she happened upon some of the best, most elaborate and creative mosaics on a synagogue floor that have ever been found in Israel.

Pentecost, King David, and Rejected Corner Stones

Pinchas Shir joins us to continue the exploration of his course The Jewish Church, Part 1 (Acts 1–5). We keep in mind the conversation in the previous episode about the initial believers being Jewish. Today we talk about Peter's use of the Psalms, the added cultural memory of the timing of Kind David's death, and the reasons behind why the early church sold property and gave all that they had to the larger community.

Do the Words "Jewish" and "Church" Go Together?

Professor Pinchas Shir joins me to talk about his course The Jewish Church Part 1. This is a wildly popular course at IBC because it takes familiar stories and brings to life new ideas. This week we talk about how Jewish the original church was, why we know they were Jewish, and how we better understand the Book of Acts by reading it as a Jewish narrative. Plus, what is Peter doing by quoting the prophets?

Reconsidering "Selah"

Dr. Ashley Lyon is a new member of the Israel Bible Center faculty. Today we talk about her work on rare Hebrew word like "selah". This word is often associate with the Psalms, but many Bible translations leave the word untranslated because we do not know exactly what it meant in its original context. Selah may indicate a break in the song, like a musical notation to indicate a pause. Selah may be a word that has the weight of agreement, like saying Amen. This week Dr. Lyon talks about her work to uncover the word's meaning.

Translation Matters

What Bible translation should we read? That is not an easy question to answer. There are so many styles of interpretation, be it word-for-word or sentence-by-sentence. Do we even know what approach our favorite translations use? This week we listen to Dr. Gruber and Dr. Schaser point out some tricky aspects of translating the Bible.

Identity Shapers

This is part 2 of the conversation between Rabbi Dr. Bejarano-Gutierrez and Dr. Gruber in the Round Table Talk titled Complex Jewish and Christian Identities. This week we listen to the complexities of a Christian identity forming at the same time Jewish identity is shifting during the Second Temple period. Rabbi Bejarano-Gutierrez also talks about nationality and religion as identity shapers.

Identity Shaped by History, Part 1

Rabbi Dr. Bejarano-Gutierrez introduces us to the history of Crypto-Jewish studies in his Round Table Talk titled Complex Jewish and Christian Identities. In Part 1 of this conversation, we explore the past to understand the complexities around understanding Identity. What happens when people try so hard to protect their version of truth that they actually make issues of Identity more complicated? This is the necessary complex foundation from which we branch into Jewish and Christian conversation in Part 2.

A Bible Shaped by Trauma

What if the primary shape of the Bible came out of traumatic events? This is the theory Dr. David Carr poses in the Round Table Talk titled Trauma and Biblical Origin. After the year+ we have all lived through with the global pandemic, it might be good to think through the ways trauma shapes our lives. And if we follow Dr. Carr's proposal, we may gain new insight into the shape and heart of the Bible.

"In the beginning"...Then What?

Dr. Yeshaya Gruber joins us again to talk about his course Exploring Jewish Interpretations. Last week we talked about the diversity in interpreters and how their social, historical, and geographical context influenced their interpretations. This week we talk about all the ways you can interpret the first phrase in the book of Genesis.

What is "Jewish Interpretation"?

Dr. Yeshaya Gruber joins me to clarify some of the complexities behind the idea of "Jewish Interpretation," which is not a monolithic thing! We focus this week on the diverse historical periods interpreters lived in that shifted their perspectives and how they interpreted the Bible. How many of these scholars have you heard of?

Wilderness Temptations

Professor Pinchas Shir joins me to talk about his course The First Commandment: Deuteronomy and the Gospels. We focus today's conversation on why it makes sense that Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy when he resists the Tempter in the Judean Wilderness. What parallels are there between the life of Jesus and the Israelite history in Deuteronomy 6 and 8.

What do Commandments have to do with Eternal Life?

Professor Pinchas Shir joins me to talk about his course The First Commandment: Deuteronomy and the Gospels. We discuss if the 10 are "commandments", "words", or "categories" before diving into a conversation between an unnamed man and Jesus about how to achieve eternal life. What did "eternal life" even mean at that time?

Layers of Paul's Theology, Part 3

Dr. Nicholas Schaser talks about his course All Israel Will be Saved. We discuss why Paul thinks "not all Israelites truly belong to Israel"...or does he? Then we take a stab at all the agricultural imagery related to the Olive Tree and the Branches. You'd be amazed by how translating two little Greek words can make all the difference!

Layers of Paul's Theology, Part 2

Dr. Nicholas Schaser joins us to talk about his course All Israel Will Be Saved. Last week we established that Paul thinks gentiles do not need to take on Jewish identity markers. But why? Why should gentiles remain gentiles? And what does Paul mean when he put the phrase "righteousness through faith" in opposition to "righteousness through works"?

Layers of Paul's Theology, Part 1

Dr. Nicholas Schaser joins us to unravel some of the complexities in Paul's writings. We focus on Dr. Schaser's course titled All Israel Will Be Saved: Jewish Theology in Romans 9–11. Why look at "Jewish theology" when the letter is written to the gentile Christians? We also discuss why Paul does not want gentiles to do "work of the law" - What does that mean?

The mind of the Jew and the Greek

In an online seminar Dr. Yeshaya Gruber, Dr. Nicholas Schaser, Dr. Eli Lizorken-Eisenburg, and Pinchas Shir discuss the ways Greeks thought in a completely different manner than the Jews. But the Jewish people wanted and needed to interact with and be relevant to the Greek world. How do we begin to see these differences, and how does Paul address them in his address to the Greek at Areopagus (Acts 17)?

Prophets and Imagination

Dr. Walter Brueggemann was involved in a Roundtable Talk called Prophetic Imagination in the Hebrew Bible and Society. This week we listen in on the parts of the talk that focus on the Prophetic Imagination. What is it? How is it different than priestly worship at the temple? Can such rebuke and encouragement from the prophets result in Hope?

Egalitarian Nature of Village Life

This week we continue to explore the Roundtable Talk titled Women in the Ancient Near East and Israel with Dr. Gruber (IBC) and Dr. Beth Alpert Nakhai. Ancient women were not stuck in the home. They had a normative life in the village contributing to their society. In this episode, Dr. Nakhai discusses how life changed as we move from Canannite to Israelite time periods. We also dip into household religion. Who, how, and what did Israelites worship when they were in their homes?

Women and Archaeology

This week we listen in on a conversation between Dr. Gruber and Dr. Beth Alpert Nakhai from the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies. She introduces us to the shift in archaeological studies this century towards domestic settings of Israelites instead of the palace and the temple. This shift introduces us to a wider exploration of ancient life, culture, and society that brings women into the picture and celebrates their contribution to the family and to society.

What is Black Theology?

This week we continue our short tour through the Roundtable Talk about Black Theology and Biblical Equality with Rev. Dr. Charles Howard. We start with his definition about what Black Theology and then talk about why it is important. We finish with the significance of music in society.

Voices from the Margin

This week we take a short tour through a Roundtable Talk called Black Theology and Biblical Equality. We have a chance to meet Rev. Dr. Charles Howard who is the University Chaplain and Vice President for Social Equity and Community at the University of Pennsylvania. Although a bit political (purposefully) and USA centric, there is something here we all need to hear. How should we think about people who are so different from ourselves? How do we identify racist behavior? Who gets to be the central figure in the histories we tell?

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