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The Bible Project

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Rank #3 in Christianity category

Education
Religion & Spirituality
Christianity
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The creators of The Bible Project have in-depth conversations about biblical theology. A companion podcast to The Bible Project videos found at thebibleproject.com

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The creators of The Bible Project have in-depth conversations about biblical theology. A companion podcast to The Bible Project videos found at thebibleproject.com

iTunes Ratings

6588 Ratings
Average Ratings
6230
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96
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47

Masterful presentation of the Word

By ironman mark - Jan 11 2020
Read more
Each episode as well as the videos fill me with knowledge and wonder of God’s Word. Thank you.

Spreading the good news

By Puniiuuuuuuuu - Jan 03 2020
Read more
Thank you guys for making it so simple to understand and learn.

iTunes Ratings

6588 Ratings
Average Ratings
6230
168
96
47
47

Masterful presentation of the Word

By ironman mark - Jan 11 2020
Read more
Each episode as well as the videos fill me with knowledge and wonder of God’s Word. Thank you.

Spreading the good news

By Puniiuuuuuuuu - Jan 03 2020
Read more
Thank you guys for making it so simple to understand and learn.
Cover image of The Bible Project

The Bible Project

Latest release on Jan 13, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 5 days ago

Rank #1: God or gods? - God E1

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This is our first episode in our new series on the Bible’s portrayal of God! We are currently working on a theme video about God that will be released later in 2018.

In part 1, (0-8:33) Tim overviews the whole subject. He says later on in the discussion they will talk about the Trinity in the Bible, but for now, they will just focus on the development of the word God in the Bible.

In part 2, (8:33-37:34) Tim outlines the problems of modern conceptions with God compared with ancient Hebrew conceptions of God. Tim says that it comes down to how people use the word ‘God’. Today people use the word ‘God’ to refer to a personal being that exists. ‘God’ is both a title for a kind of being and a name for a specific being: the Judeo Christian God.

Tim says that if you look up “monotheism” in the dictionary, they define it as “the belief there is only one God, specifically in Judeo Christianity.” Tim asks how can this be the case if the Bible says things like “Lord of lords” and “God of gods”. How did monotheism today come to mean something that it didn’t mean to the ancient Hebrews?

Tim says the Hebrew word for “God” is ‘Elohim’. The short forms of this word is “el” and also “eloah”. Tim says that in Hebrew “Elohim” is plural.

In part 3, (37:34-54:05) Tim outlines a unique use of the word “Elohim” the story of Saul in 1 Samuel 28:12-13: Saul has a spirit-medium conjure up the presence of the deceased Samuel: “And the woman saw Samuel, and she cried out...and said ‘I see a elohim rising up from the ground.”
This refers to a human who exists apart from their body. This is not saying Samuel is “God” or a “god.” Rather, the word elohim apparently refers to the mode of existence: a member of the non-physical, spirit realm.

The later biblical authors developed vocabulary to talk about these beings to more clearly distinguish between them as elohim and the one elohim: Angel, demon, spirits, etc… The implications are Yahweh is an elohim, but not the only elohim (= spirit being). He is the most powerful, and authoritative, and he alone is the creator of all things, including the other elohim.

Tim cites this quote by theological scholar Michael Heiser: “Yahweh is an elohim, but no other elohim is Yahweh. Elohim is a place-of-residence term. The word tells you what the proper domain is for that being. By nature, the God of Israel, the many elohim of God’s council, demons, angels, the departed human dead like Samuel, they are part of a non-physical domain, that’s related to, but distinct from the physical, embodied domain. An elohim is by definition and by nature a disembodied entity, so the word can refer to many different beings who inhabit that realm.”

In part 4, (54:05-end) Tim outlines a New Testament example. 1 Corinthians 8:4-6: Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”

Tim says Paul is telling the Corinthians that there are other “Elohim” but for the Hebrews, their is “one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ.” What does this mean to the Hebrews? Find out next time in episode 2!

Thank you to all our supporters!

Resources:
Paul Jouon & T. Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew
Michael Heiser: The Naked Bible Podcast
1 Samuel 28:12-13
Check out all our videos and resources at www.thebibleproject.com

Produced By:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert Howen

Music By:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
In the Distance: Tae the Producer
Nocturne: Nomyn 2.

Jul 16 2018

1hr 8mins

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Rank #2: The Empty Throne - Son of Man E1

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In part one (0:00-19:30), the guys discuss what “son of” means in our current culture. They bring up certain phrases like “Sons of Anarchy,” “Sons of Liberty,” etc. Tim says this means that someone identifies with an idea or ideology.

Tim then offers the fact that historically people have referred to Jesus as Christ. Christ is actually a Greek word meaning Messiah. Messiah in Hebrew means the anointed one.

Tim then says that Jesus never referred to himself as Christ or Messiah, and when others would refer to him as this, he would reply that he is the “Son of Man.” Why is this?

For example in Luke 9:18-22:
"Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, 'Who do the crowds say I am?' They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.' 'But what about you?' he asked. 'Who do you say I am?' Peter answered, 'God’s Messiah.' Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, 'The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.'"

Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man in the third person immediately after Peter called him the Messiah.

Tim then posits that Paul doesn’t use the phrase “the Son of Man” in his writings. Instead, he uses phrases like “the firstborn of all creation” or “the new humanity.” Tim says this is because Paul is taking the message of Jesus to an international audience that isn’t familiar with what the Son of Man means.

So what does the Son of Man mean? And where does it come from?

Well in part two (19:30-32:00), Tim takes us to Daniel 7, a famous dream that Daniel had where the Son of Man appears. Tim says that this dream is very iconic and well known in Jewish history. Everyone would have known about it.

Daniel has a dream about a succession of beasts that trample humanity. There are thrones established in the heavens over the earth, but only one of them is filled. It’s filled by the Ancient of Days, which is Daniel’s phrase for God/Yahweh. So there is an empty throne, then a figure called the Son of Man rides up on a cloud to the Ancient of Days. The Son of Man is presented to the Ancient of Days and then is given dominion. The Son of Man then sits down on the empty throne.

In part three (32:00-end), the guys break down the phrase the Son of Man. If someone refers to themselves as “the Dark Knight,” people automatically know that they are referring to Batman. Similarly, if someone calls themselves “the Son of Man,” they are referring to a certain character in the Hebrew storyline. They discuss what it means for Jesus to be comfortable inserting himself into Daniel’s dream.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Someday Be Free, Copyright Free Instrumental.
Miss Emili, General Vibe

Show Resources
Our video on the Son of Man: https://bit.ly/2FvYzGb

Jan 14 2019

51mins

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Rank #3: The Kingdom of God Part 1: The Kingdom of God Is the Gospel, starting from Genesis 1

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In this episode, Tim and Jon look at a key Biblical theme that traces throughout the entire Bible––the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is central to Jesus’ message, but it can be confusing to understand completely. The guys will discuss why Jesus talked about the Kingdom so much and what that should mean to us as Jesus followers. Before they dive into the discussion, Tim will give a brief explanation of the concept of the Kingdom and its introduction into Scripture in Genesis 1.

In the first part of the episode (01:05-07:00), Tim and Jon talk about Jesus’ message in the Gospels. The New Testament authors boiled down Jesus’ message to, “repent, for the Kingdom of God is near.” We tend to think of Jesus as a moral teacher, but his lessons on morality and love only make sense if the Kingdom of God and his reign are coming to change the world.

In the next part of the episode (07:20-14:02), the guys talk about what it means for the reign of God to arrive in Jesus. The image of God is an idea in Scripture that is connected to this Kingdom, and both of these ideas are anchored in Genesis 1.

In the final part of the episode (14:24-29:18), the guys look at what it means for God’s Kingdom to be seen through humans. Psalm 8 is a poetic reflection on Genesis 1 and humanity’s role in God’s creation. God rules the world through humans, and human rule is tied to being made in God’s image.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Gospel of the Kingdom." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmFPS0f-kzs

Scripture References:
Genesis 1
Psalm 8

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Nov 03 2015

29mins

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Rank #4: Acts E1: The Startup of Christianity

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This is episode 1 in our series on the book of Acts! In part 1 (0-19:20) Tim and Jon cover the opening verses in Acts 1. Acts 1 is designed to seamlessly connect with the end of the book of Luke. Tim comments that Luke has laid the plot line of the book of Acts on top of the plot of the book of Luke. There are three main movements in both books. 1) The Galilee mission of Jesus with the disciples mission in Jerusalem, 2) the missionary journeys of Jesus with the missionary journeys of Paul, and 3) the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem with the arrival of Paul in Rome.

In part 2 (19:20- 24:40) Tim makes a point that the title of the book is “The Acts of Jesus through the Holy Spirit” because Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the only two characters that are consistent throughout. Jon asks a question about titling of ancient scrolls.

In part 3 (24:40-35:55) the guys discuss the question the disciples ask Jesus “Is it at this time you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” and Jesus answer in Acts 1:7-8 ““It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Was this a dodge answer from Jesus?

Tim says no. But in fact this verse unlocks the structure of the entire book of Acts. The disciples will start by being Jesus witnesses in Jerusalem, then moving into Judea and Samaria, then moving to other parts of the world.

In part 4 (35:55-end) the guys discuss the use of the phrase “the kingdom of God.” Tim says this phrase frames the entire book: Acts 1: (repeated 2x): Jesus spends 40 days teaching the disciples about “the kingdom of God” (1:3) generating their question about arrival of “the kingdom” (1:6).
Philip goes to Samaria to “announce the good news of the kingdom of God” (8:12). Paul and Barnabas challenge the disciples in Antioch that entering the kingdom of God requires suffering (14:22. Paul arrives in Corinth “bearing witness to the kingdom of God” (19:8). Paul describes his ministry in Ephesus as a period of “preaching the kingdom” (20:25)
Acts 28: (repeated 2x): Paul under house arrest in Rome “bears witness to the kingdom of God” (28:23) and ends the book “announcing the kingdom of God” (28:31).

Thank you to all our supporters!
more info at www.thebibleproject.com

Show Resources:
Eckhard J. Schnabel, Acts, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Alan Thompson, The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus,

Produced By:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert-Howen

Music:
Acquired in Heaven: Beautiful Eulogy
Excellent: Beautiful Eulogy
Conquer: Beautiful Eulogy
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music

Apr 30 2018

40mins

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Rank #5: The Restless Craving for Rest - 7th Day Rest E1

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SHOW DESCRIPTION

The sabbath. Talking about it can be complicated and confusing, yet the biblical authors wrote about it a lot. So what’s it all about? The sabbath is more than an antiquated law. It’s about the design of time and the human quest for rest. The sabbath and seventh-day rest is one of the key themes that starts on page one of the Bible and weaves beautifully all the way through to the end.

FAVORITE QUOTE

“The seventh day is like a multifaceted gem. One of the main facets is the fabric of creation as leading toward a great goal where humans imitate God and join him in ceasing from work and labor. But there’s going to be another facet that’s all about being a slave to our labor. And so the seventh day is a time to celebrate our liberation from slavery so that we can rest with God.”

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The theme of the sabbath or seventh-day rest is a key theme in the Bible that starts on page one and goes all the way through to the end.
  • The word sabbath comes from the Hebrew word shabot, which means most simply “to stop” or “to cease from.”
  • Keeping/observing/remembering the sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. It sticks out as being a uniquely Jewish practice at the time in history when the commandments were given.

SHOW NOTES

Welcome to the first episode in our series on understanding seventh-day rest in the Bible!

In part 1 (0-6:35), Tim outlines the theme in general. He says the seventh-day rest is actually a huge theme in the Bible, even more prominent in the Scriptures than other TBP videos. Tim calls it an “organizing main theme in the Bible.”

In part 2 (6:35-23:45), Tim recounts a story from when he and Jon visited Jerusalem. They were both able to share a Sabbath meal with practicing Jews in Jerusalem. Tim shares that the Sabbath tradition is one of the longest running traditions in any culture in the world. Even the word shabat’s most basic meaning is “to stop.”

In part 3 (23:45-33:00), Tim says this series isn’t really going to be about the practice of sabbath but about the theme and symbolism of sabbath and seventh-day rest in the Bible. This theme is rich and complex, woven from start to finish in the Scriptures. The practice of the Sabbath itself is only one piece of the underlying message the authors are trying to communicate.

In part 4 (33:00-45:30), Tim and Jon discuss “keeping, observing, or remembering” the sabbath in the Ten Commandments. This command sticks out as a unique Jewish practice. The Jews are told to keep the sabbath for two different reasons according to two different passages:

Exodus 20:8-11

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested (Heb. shabat) on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

Keep the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest (Heb. nuakh) as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.

Tim notes that in the first passage, Jews are told to keep the sabbath because it is an act of participation in God’s presence and rule over creation. But in the second passage, keeping the sabbath is an act of implementing God’s presence and rule by the liberation from slavery. Tim says these two ways of viewing the practice of the sabbath are two of the core ways to think about the seventh-day rest theme in the bible.

In part 5 (45:30-end), Tim cites scholar Matitiahu Tsevat about the biblical phrase “it is a sabbath of Yahweh” (שבת ליהוה), literally, “a sabbath that belongs to Yahweh.”

“This phrase is so important, it’s easy to miss its centrality... Just as in the 7th year of release man desists from utilizing the land for his own business and benefit, so on the sabbath day he desists from using that day for his own affairs. And just äs the intervals in regard to the release year and the jubilee years are determined by the number seven, so too is the number seven determinative for that recurring day when man refrains from his own pursuits and sets it aside for God. In regular succession he breaks the natural flow of time, proclaiming, and that the break is made for the sake of the Lord. This meaning which we have ascertained from the laws finds support Isaiah 58: “If you restrain your foot on the sabbath so äs not to pursue your own affairs on My holy day…” Man normally is master of his time. He is free to dispose of it as he sees fit or as necessity bids him. The Israelite is duty-bound, however, once every seven days to assert by word and deed that God is the master of time. … one day out of seven the Israelite is to renounce dominion over his own time and recognize God's dominion over it. Simply: Every seventh day the Israelite renounces his autonomy and affirms God's dominion over him in the conclusion that every seventh day the Israelite is to renounce dominion over time, thereby renounce autonomy, and recognize God's dominion over time and thus over himself. Keeping the sabbath is acceptance of the kingdom and sovereignty of God.” (Matitiahu Tsevat, The Basic Meaning of the Biblical Sabbath, 453-455.)

Tim says the structure of the sabbath is meant to be inconvenient. God is the master of all time, and he holds all the time that we think actually belongs to us.

Show Music:

  • Defender Instrumental by Tents
  • Royalty Free Middle Eastern Music
  • Shabot Songs:
    • Psalm 121 (Lai Lai Lai) by Joshua Aaron
    • L'maancha by Eitan Katz

Resources:

Show Produced by:

Dan Gummel

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Oct 14 2019

56mins

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Rank #6: Spiritual Warfare - God E3

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This is episode three in our series outlining the development of the character of God in the Bible! In this show, Tim and Jon walk through the big ideas of the “Divine Council” and spiritual warfare.

In part one (00:00-23:40), Tim outlines a strange story in 1 Kings 22:19 about the prophet Micaiah. Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left." Jon asks what a “host” is in the Bible. Tim explains that "host" is used to describe an army or a set of advisers. Tim says the point is that God is depicted as a military captain with a set of lower ranking officers. This theme continues in other passages like Job 1:6 and 7:6. "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and the satan also came among them." "The Lord said to Satan, 'From where do you come?' Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”

Jon asks who are the "sons of God are. Tim explains that it is a turn of phrase used to represent a class of spiritual beings. Followers of Old Testament prophets were often called “sons,” not to demonstrate physical sonship, but to demonstrate a sort of relationship where the greater power was in a position of authority over a lesser power. Tim says the point is that the Bible portrays God as having a sort of staff team, or mediators, that do his bidding in order to interact with the world. This is God’s “divine council.”

In part two (23:40-49:48), Tim outlines a very strange section in the Old Testament: Deuteronomy 32:8-9
When the Most High [Yahweh] allotted the nations,
and set the divisions for the sons of humanity,
He fixed the territories of peoples
According to the number of sons of God [Heb. sons of elohim]
For Yahweh’s portion is his people
Jacob his own allotment.

Tim says there is a large biblical scholarship debate over the interpretation of this passage. To explain this passage, Tim quotes from Jefferey Tigay:

“Deuteronomy 32:8-9 refers to an early tradition, that when God was allotting nations to the delegated authority of other divine beings, he made the same number of nations and territories as there were such beings. Verse 9 implies that He then assigned the other nations to those divine beings, and states explicitly that He kept Israel for Himself. This seems to be part of a concept hinted at elsewhere in the Bible and in postbiblical literature. When God organized the government of the world, He established two tiers: at the top, He Himself, “God of gods (ʾelohei ha-ʾelohim) and Lord of lords” (Deut 10:17), who reserved Israel for Himself, to govern personally; below Him, seventy angelic “divine beings” (sons of ʾelohim), to whom He allotted the other peoples. The conception is like that of a king or emperor governing the capital or heartland of his realm personally and assigning the provinces to subordinates.”

Jon seems flabbergasted. God put other gods in charge of other nations?
Jon asks how this view can be reconciled with actual knowledge of world history and human development.

Tim says this is a theme in Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy 4:16-19, Moses says to Israel, “Don’t act corruptly and make a image for yourselves in the form of any figure… And don’t lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. But the Lord has taken you...to be a people for His own possession, as today."

Tim says this hints at a concept in Hebrew culture that portrayed a spiritual rebellion against God that coincided with a human rebellion. Tim says the human rebellion is told in detail in the Bible, but the spiritual rebellion is only hinted at. The complex story of the “sons of God” sleeping with human women in Genesis 6 could be viewed as them going into rebellion and crossing a line.

Tim says this theme reaches its culmination in the Old Testament in the book of Daniel and the story of the Prince of Persia.

In part three (49:48-1:01:26), Tim says the Jesus carries these themes of other elohim forward into the New Testament. The greek word for “demon” in the New Testament is connected to the word “daimonion” (δαιμόνιον). Demon is a word that means “demi” or lesser god. In Hebrew categories, it would be a son of elohim.

Tim says he has a tough time reconciling this with a western “rational” worldview. He says Jesus and the authors of the New Testament clearly believed in a world that included unseen spiritual forces. Tim says that the New Testament passage in Ephesians 6, referring to the "armor of God," shouldn’t be appropriated as passages about spiritual warfare of demonic attack; rather, they should be seen as warnings against elevating differences above unity in the body of Christ. The point of Ephesians is for the church to learn how to live in unity with a group of diverse people. Therefore a spiritual warfare attack is when Christians are not living in unity.

In part four (1:01:26-1:07:18), Jon asks how to interpret all of this with a modern view of human development. Tim says the purpose of the Bible is not to tell me about the origins of the physical universe, but to be a unified story that leads to Jesus. Tim says that attempting to place spiritual and human rebellion narratives into a chronological order that makes sense to modern people can be dangerous because you lose the context of the original stories.

Jon says his temptation is not that, but to think that there is no spiritual realm, not that there is a complex one ruled by a divine council. Tim agrees and says that all of the same idols that existed in other cultures exist in our culture, but modern people worship money, sex, and power, not as named deities like Mammon, but just as objects in themselves.

In part five (1:07:18-end), Tim previews the next part of the – God’s complex relationship with the world. If God is portrayed as having a set of staff, these staff interact with the world consistently throughout the Scriptures. One example is how the Angel of the Lord appears many times acting on behalf of God.

Next episode we will have a Q+R. Send us audio recordings of your questions to info@jointhebibleproject.com. Please mention your name, where you're from and keep your questions to about 20 seconds. Thanks!

Resources:
“The Divine Council,” The Lexham Bible Dictionary.

Larry Hurtado:

  • Books: "One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism" and "Ancient Jewish Monotheism and Early Christian Jesus Devotion"
  • Interviews: "Early High Christology on Trinities Podcast"

Michael Heiser:

  • Books: The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, and Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World and Why it Matters
  • Podcast: The Naked Bible Podcast
  • Videos: "The Divine Council" and "Divine Council Introduction"

Produced By:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert Howen.

Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Moments: Tae the Producer

Jul 30 2018

1hr 12mins

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Rank #7: How to Read the Bible Intro: What is the story of the Bible?

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The Bible can often seem like a weird ancient book that many people use to say different things. These things can even sometimes lead to using the Bible to oppress or hurt others or the world. And on top of the confusion, reading the Bible can also be tedious and confusing, so most of us just stick to the parts we know and understand.

But what is the story of the Bible? Like the big, meta story? The ideas in this episode might surprise you.

In this episode Tim and Jon discuss the big, narrative arcs of the Bible. What is the Bible really talking about? Sin? Salvation? Judgement?

Tim and Jon first discuss the importance of the, oftentimes overlooked, Old Testament, which is essential in understanding the overall narrative of the Bible.

They then discuss the centrality of the texts (the Bible) to second temple Jews, Jesus, and the early Christian church, and the uniqueness of such texts.

The Bible is BIG and can be confusing. Tim and Jon cover the major movements of the Old Testament, and the over-arching point!

What is this Kingdom of God Jesus is talking about, and how is this in contrast the default condition humanity finds itself in?

This episode is designed to accompany our new video series and our new video called "The Story Of The Bible". You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_CGP-12AE0

Book References:
The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence by Dacher Keltner
The Prince by Nicollo Machiavelli

Show Music:

Defender by Rosasharn Music
Good Morning by Unwritten Stories
All Night by Unwritten Stories
Chilldrone by Unwritten Stories

May 19 2017

59mins

Play

Rank #8: The Quest for Wisdom - Wisdom E1

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In part one (0:00-15:20), Tim goes over what books are considered wisdom literature: Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs.

Tim says there are different ways to classify the books in the Bible, but the books are primarily grouped into two categories.

Wisdom of King Solomon
-Proverbs
-Ecclesiastes
-Song of Songs

The themes of wisdom, the "good life," and the fear of the Lord
-Proverbs
-Ecclesiastes
-Job

In part two (15:20-31:50), Tim clarifies exactly what wisdom literature is. In short: the entire Hebrew Bible. Tim uses Psalm 119:98-99 and 2 Timothy 3:15 to illustrate this point.

Psalm 119:98-99:
"Your instructions make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation."

2 Timothy 3:15:
“From childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Tim points out that the entire Bible can be used to gain wisdom. Jon says that there are many different lenses to view the Bible through. Seeing it as a book of wisdom is perhaps a very universal one.

The guys discuss how messy life is, just like the book of Genesis is messy. Humans in their desire to live are constantly faced with difficult choices.

Tim shares a quote from Rolan Murphy:
“Within the Hebrew Bible, the wisdom literature is exciting, because it deals directly with life. The sages of Israel were concerned with the present, how to cope with the challenges provoked by one’s immediate experience… The choice between life and death which Moses dramatically places before Israel in Deuteronomy 30:15-30 is re-echoed in the sages emphasis on wisdom that leads to life. The life-death situation is expressed in the image of the “tree of life.” Proverbs 3:18: “Wisdom is a tree of life to those who grasp her; how fortunate are those who embrace her.” This image is well-known from its appearance in Genesis: the first dwellers in the garden were kept from that tree lest they live forever (Genesis 2:9, 3:22-24). In a vivid turn of metaphor, wisdom in Proverbs has become the tree of life and is personified as a woman: “Long life is in her right hand, in her left, wealth and honor. She boasts that the one who finds find life (Prov 8:35) and the one who fails is ultimately in love with death (Prov 8:36)... One must hear wisdom obediently, but one must also pray for the gift that she is…. Embracing the gift of wisdom is precarious, however, because, according to the sages, we are easily deceived: “There is more hope for a fool, than for those who are wise in their own eyes” (Prov 26:12)” -- Roland Murphy, The Tree of Life: An Exploration of Biblical Wisdom Literature, pp. Ix-x.

In part three (31:50-40:20), Tim dives into Genesis 1-3 and discusses the human quest for wisdom.

Tim notes that you can trace the thread of God discerning what is “good and bad” in the creation narrative:

God is the provider with all knowledge of “good and bad” (tov and ra in Hebrew). God the creator provides all that is “good” (Heb. tov). Seven times in Genesis 1 "God saw that it was tov.” God is the first one to identify something as “not good:” a lonely human in the garden. God sees the problem and asks how humanity can “be fruitful and multiply and fill the land and rule the creatures” alone, and sees the need for human companionship.

In part four (40:20-end), the guys continue the conversation. What does God do? He "splits the adam" and creates man and woman.

Genesis 2:21-25:
"So Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the human, and he slept; then He took one of his sides and closed the flesh at that place. And the Yahweh God built the side which He had taken from the human into a woman, and brought her to the man. The human said,
'This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman [issah]
Because she was taken out of [ish].'
For this reason, a ish shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his isshah; and they shall become one flesh. And the two of them were naked, the adam and his wife and were not ashamed."

Tim notes that God provides humans with what they cannot give themselves: blessing, fruitfulness, and dominion over the land (Gen 1:26-28). God divides the human in half (the word means "side" in Hebrew) and makes two humans who are unique and yet designed to become one. This relationship of man and woman becoming one, with no shame, no powerplays, no oppression, to know and be known in pure naked vulnerability before God and before one another, nothing hidden, everything revealed and loved, this is Eden. And Eden is where humans become kings and queens of creation.

Show Resources:
Roland Murphy, The Tree of Life: An Exploration of Biblical Wisdom Literature, pp. Ix-x.
Derick Kidner, The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job & Ecclesiastes
William P. Brown, Wisdom's Wonder: Character, Creation, and Crisis in the Bible's Wisdom Literature

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Tents
Drug Police, Moby
Heal My Sorrows, Beautiful Eulogy
Where Peace and Rest are Found, Beautiful Eulogy

Show produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins

Jun 10 2019

46mins

Play

Rank #9: The Purpose of The Law - Law E1

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Welcome to our first episode looking at laws in the Bible!
In part 1 (0-4:00), Tim explains how this set of conversations will be different than the previous podcast episodes that looked at biblical law (the first two episodes of this podcast).
In parts 2 and 3 (4:00-17:45 and 17:45-35:00), Tim and Jon discuss ancient law vs. modern law. They talk about the importance of biblical law, but how these laws often cause hang-ups for modern readers. Tim notes that for centuries, interpreting biblical law has been a major point of debate among Christians, Jews, and everyone else.
In part 4 (35:00-end), Tim explains a debate over the number of laws in the Old Testament Torah. Some say there are 611 commands; others say 613. So which is it?
This is one small but significant example that illustrates how important interpreting the law was in Israel. Here’s a glimpse into the debate to give you a fuller picture.
A few centuries after Jesus, rabbis still firmly held to both views. The main disagreement came down to two passages where a commandment could be implicitly read. Consider:
Exodus 20:1, “I am Yahweh your God” = Believe that Yahweh exists.
Deuteronomy 6:5, “Yahweh your God, Yahweh is one” = Believe that Yahweh is one.
Yet even though the number of laws in the Torah can be debated, early rabbis recognized the ability to “reduce” many laws to just a handful that fully captured the spirit of the law. A famous passage illustrates this in the Babylonian Talmud (one of the primary sources for interpreting Jewish religious law and theology). It states:
Six hundred and thirteen commandments were given to Moses.
David reduced those commandments to eleven. (Psalm 15)
Isaiah reduced them to six. (Isaiah 33:15-16)
Micah the prophet reduced them to three. (Micah 6:8)
Isaiah again reduced them to two. (Isaiah 56:1)
Amos reduced them to one. (Amos 5:4)
Habakkuk further reduces to say, “But the righteous shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)
Throughout the episode, Tim highlights differences in the law. For example, Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 (both presenting the Ten Commandments) talk about the Sabbath in slightly different ways.
Or consider another instance, where Moses gives two different commands about how to prepare the Passover. Should you roast it or boil it? According to Exodus 12:8-9, you should roast it and not boil it. But in Deuteronomy 16:6-7, Moses tells the people to boil it.
These problems we see in the law are more than just ancient interpretation. To modern readers, some of the laws seem noble and inspiring, while others seem odd, primitive, or even barbaric.
We encounter all three of these examples in two adjacent chapters in the Torah:
In Leviticus 19, we read about God’s command to leave the extra gleanings of the harvest for the needy and stranger. God shows his care for the least of these.
A few verses later, we find laws about tattoos and beard etiquette. Weird!
One chapter later, we read the command that “a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:27)
Now these laws leave us feeling a tension around how to understand the idea of “biblical authority.” What does obedience to the laws of the Torah mean? Do we obey all of them, some of them, or none of them?
This issue has caused many conflicts in both Jewish and Christian history. For example, what is a Jew supposed to do about sacrificial ritual laws when the temple is destroyed in 586 B.C.? Or for a follower of Jesus, how do these laws relate to us as the messianic new covenant family?
We see that Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17) So what can Paul mean when he says, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4) Yet Paul still quotes from the Ten Commandments in places like Ephesians 6:1-3.
Overall, Tim makes the case that the law presented to us in the Old Testament is not a “code” in the same way modern readers often think of a law code. Instead, we see how Moses, the prophets, Paul, and even Jesus handled the laws. Each held a deep respect for the underlying meaning and ideals presented by the law to the people of God. Though times and customs changed, God’s law served as a bedrock of guiding ideals to help the people of God (both then and now) live in such a way as to love God and love neighbor.

Thank you to all our supporters!
Visit our website: thebibleproject.com
Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel
Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Tents
Pilgrim Instrumental
Roads by LiQWYD
Skydive Loxbeats
Show Resources:
Jacob Neusner, The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary, vol. 17a (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2011), 120–122.

Apr 29 2019

1hr 2mins

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Rank #10: Day Of The Lord Part One: What's The Deal With "Babylon"?

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The End Times. The Tribulation. Judgement. All of these buzz words can be sensitive subjects for Christians. But how do the Bible authors deal with the future of the world? They use a phrase called "The Day of the Lord."
This is the first episode in our new series on that phrase. Tim and Jon talk about this phrase, its origins, and some of big questions attached to it. Where does the Bible think history is going? What is God going to do about evil?

This series will accompany a new theme video on The Day of the Lord that will be released later this year.

Music Credits
Defender (Instrumental) by Rosasharn Music
Thule by The Album Leaf
Shot in the Back of the Head by Moby

Apr 07 2017

1hr 4mins

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Rank #11: The Holy Spirit Part 1: Spirit of the Old Testament vs. The Spirit of Christianity

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The Holy Spirit is a tough subject in Christianity. It seems everyone has their own experiences of how the Spirit works. Or doesn’t. Tim and Jon talk a little bit about their own Holy Spirit experiences growing up. Jon grew up in a Baptist church where the Holy Spirit was largely theoretical. Tim grew up with the opposite experiences in a community that got really dramatic about the Holy Spirit.

The guys also talk about what the ancient Hebrews believed about the Holy Spirit and the differences between their ancient beliefs and the modern Western view.

To the Hebrews, the Holy Spirit was the essential, mystical force of life. An all encompassing energy that created the world and kept creating the world over and over, right before their eyes. For Hebrews, creation and sustaining the creation were not two separate ideas.

Tim and Jon reflect on what it might look like if we adopted a similar worldview the ancients had. How it might invite us to become re-enchanted with creation. That we would begin to see God’s personal presence animating and energizing all of the world.

Music credits:
Defender (instrumental) by rosasharn.bandcamp.com
Look Back In by Moby. album 18.
Chord Sounds by Moby. album Every Day.

Feb 23 2017

57mins

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Rank #12: How to Read the Bible Part 1: Reading the Bible Aloud in a Community?

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This is our first episode in our series "How To Read The Bible." Tim and Jon discuss the differences in ancient and modern ways of reading scripture, including why the Hebrew people would read scripture together as a group. The guys also talk about how challenging it can be to read the Bible by yourself.

In the first half of the show (0-34:00) the guys talk about the differences between modern day emphasis on application the reading of God’s word, and the Old Testament emphasis on “responding” to hearing God’s word.

The second half of the show (34-50:00) Tim exposits on the ancient Hebrew practice of reading the Torah out loud together. A practice that was instituted in the Old Testament and has continued all the way through to modern times in today’s synagogues. Tim also talks about an interesting piece of Jewish history, the Dura Europos Synagogue. Jon asks why is it so important to read the Bible together as a group.

The last ten minutes of the show the guys ask what the origins of the sermon are and why ancient Israel had such a difficult time remembering what God had done for them.

We have a video coming out later this month that will accompany this podcast series. You can view all our videos on our youtube channel: youtube.com/thebibleproject

Additional Resources:
The Word Of Promise: Dramatic Reading of The Bible App.
Dura Europos Synagogue in Syria [see Wikipedia]
Jeffrey Tigay, ​The JPS Torah Commentary: Deuteronomy​
Mesha Stela [see Wikipedia]

Music Credits:

Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Acquired in Heaven by Beautiful Eulogy
The Truth about Flight, Love and BB Guns by Foreknown

Jun 02 2017

59mins

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Rank #13: The Kingdom of God Part 2: Co-Ruling with Jesus

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In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss Jesus’ authority over heaven and earth and what it means for humans to rule with Jesus. The guys talk about what it will be like for God’s Kingdom to be fully realized. The Bible tells us that God’s Kingdom arrived in Jesus, but the fullness of that Kingdom is yet to come. What went wrong with the establishment of God’s Kingdom, and how does he plan to fix it?

In the first part of the episode (01:22-13:20), Tim and Jon talk about Jesus as the one who has authority over heaven and earth. What does this mean exactly, and how are humans invited into this with Jesus?

In the next part of the episode (13:40-17:29), the guys talk about the New Jerusalem that’s introduced in Revelation 22:1-5. This is a key passage in understanding how humans will serve and reign with Jesus in God’s Kingdom.

In the next part of the episode (18:02-23:22), the guys look at how God responds to humans setting up their own kingdoms. In the book of Genesis, we see that humans keep getting in the way of God’s plan. God’s covenant promise with Abraham and the children of Israel was all about trying to correct what went wrong with God establishing his Kingdom on earth.
In the final part of the episode (23:45-43:37), Tim and Jon talk about Israel’s many rebellions––their rejection of God’s Kingdom and the creation of their own kingdoms. They take a look at God as King and how he challenges human kingdoms throughout the Bible. Finally, the guys talk about the tension between God being a King now but also one who will bring his Kingdom later. This is the “now and not yet” theology of the Kingdom of God.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Gospel of the Kingdom." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmFPS0f-kzs

Scripture References:
Revelation 22
Genesis 3
Exodus 15
Deuteronomy 17
Psalm 96
Isaiah 52

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories
Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Nov 10 2015

43mins

Play

Rank #14: Q+R: Nephilim, Enoch, Satan and Demons - God E5

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This is our first full Q+R for our ongoing podcast series on the development of the character of “God” in the Bible. Thank you to all of our listeners who sent in questions! Have a question? Send it in to info@jointhebibleproject.com. Don’t forget to give us your name and where you’re from.

Tim and Jon responded to four questions.

(0:40) Felipe from Brazil: “Hi Tim and Jon! My name is Felipe. I am from Brazil, and my question concerns the rebellion of the Sons of God in Genesis 6. Supposing this story talks about actual divine beings as opposed to human kings, do we know for sure the author’s version of the story is the same as 1 Enoch’s, that the divine beings had actual sex with human girls and had actual super-human kids?”

(36:12) Bradley from Kentucky: “A passage that's always been interesting to me is 1 Samuel 16:14, where God sends an evil spirit to torment Saul. It's connected to a passage you mentioned in 1 Kings 22, one of the only other places where this spirit type is mentioned. I was just wondering how your understanding of the Divine Council helps us understand God's sovereignty through this passage.”

(42:20) Jeremy from California: “I'm hoping you can shed some light on Luke 10: 17-20. This is the passage where the 72 disciples return from preaching and report to Jesus that even the demons submit to them in his name. Jesus then responds by alluding to Isaiah 14 regarding the fall of the king of Babylon, but he connects it to the fall of Satan. What's going on here? Does this passage refer back to the fall of the Elohim you mentioned that takes place in the early chapters of Genesis? And does this confirm that "The Satan" is the chief of all of the fallen Elohim just like the king of Babylon is the chief of fallen rulers?”

(1:04:52) John from Houston: “My question is about the term "Son of God" and how that is used in the New Testament. If we look at Romans 8, we can see that we can accept adoption as sons of God in relation to the only begotten son of God, but this seems like a totally different usage of what you guys described from Genesis. So is there any connection that can be made there?”

Show Resources:
Check out all our resources at www.thebibleproject.com

Show Produced By:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins, Matthew Halbert-Howen.

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental, Rosasharn Music

Thank you to all our supporters!

Aug 20 2018

1hr 21mins

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Rank #15: Abundance or Scarcity - Generosity E1

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In this series, Tim and Jon trace the theme of generosity and abundance through the Scriptures.

In part 1 (0-7:45), the guys quickly introduce the conversation. Tim explains that generosity is both a theme and a concept that is found throughout the Scriptures.

In part 2 (7:45-32:10), Tim shares from a famous passage in the gospel accounts.


Luke 12:22-34

"And He said to His disciples, 'For this reason I tell you, don’t be anxious about your life, what you will eat; and don’t be anxious about your body, what clothes you put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Ponder the ravens, for they don’t sow seed or reap a harvest; they have no storerooms or barns, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add an hour to his life’s span? And if you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Ponder the lilies, how they grow: they don’t toil or spin clothes; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You who trust God so little! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and don’t foster your anxiety. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be granted to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'"

Tim points out that freedom from anxiety is rooted in a conception of the universe, like a safe place where I’m welcomed by a generous host. The same overabundance we see in nature comes from a Creator who shows that same generosity towards us. This mindset frees us from a scarcity mentality, releasing us to freely give resources to others. Jesus observed this not primarily as a religious principle but as one written on the DNA of the universe. Jesus sees the birds and flowers and grass and notices God’s generosity and overabundant love.


The words of Jesus sound almost irresponsible to Type A, hardworking people. Yet with these words, Jesus articulates a way of seeing the world rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures and their depiction of God’s generosity. Tim notes that often we’re the ones who need our eyes opened to see God’s generosity in creation.

In part 3 (32:10-36:30), Tim points out Jesus’ view of creation, that God created a good world that always produces enough, as long as humans live in accordance with the image of God.

In part 4 (36:30-53:20), Tim asks: What kind of tradition and culture did Jesus grown up in that allowed him to have this mindset? One passage Tim offers is Psalm 104:10-17 and 24-28:

He sends forth springs in the valleys;
They flow between the mountains;
They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
They lift up their voices among the branches.
He waters the mountains from His upper chambers;
The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works.
He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the labor of man,
So that he may bring forth food from the earth,
And wine which makes man’s heart glad,
So that he may make his face glisten with oil,
And food which sustains man’s heart.
The trees of the Lord drink their fill,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,
Where the birds build their nests,
And the stork, whose home is the fir trees.

O Lord, how many are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your possessions.
There is the sea, great and broad,
In which are swarms without number,
Animals both small and great.
There the ships move along,
And Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it.
They all wait for You
To give them their food in due season.
You give to them, they gather it up;
You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good.


Tim points out that this is a Psalm Jesus would have grown up hearing in synagogue. Jesus believed creation is an expression of the generous, creative love of God. Genesis 1-2 shows us that God brings order out of chaos (Gen. 1) and a garden out of a wasteland (Gen. 2). These God gives as a gift to humanity.

One way of thinking of the biblical storyline, Tim points out, is as a story of giving and taking. Yahweh God creates a wonderful world, full of potential, and he gives it to humanity to rule with him through wisdom. Humanity then desires to rule on their own terms and takes creation for themselves.

In part 5 (53:20-end), Tim points out the human problem, not only on a societal level, but on a heart level. By default, we act to benefit ourselves. In the midst of this, Tim notes, the Bible’s view on wealth is complex. Jesus talks about wealth and money more than most topics—a top-three subject of conversation. Scripture is suspicious about wealth, knowing how affluence and abundance can make humans indulgent and arrogant.

Thank you to all our supporters!

Find our resources at www.thebibleproject.com

Show Produced by: Dan Gummel, Tim Mackie

Show Music:
• Defender Instrumental by Tents
• Conquer by Beautiful Eulogy
• Shot in the Back of the Head by Moby
• Scream Pilots by Moby
• Analogs by Moby

Powered and distributed by Simplecast.

Aug 05 2019

1hr 8mins

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Rank #16: The Significance of 7 - 7th Day Rest E2

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QUOTE

“Genesis 1 isn’t just telling you about what type of world you’re living in; it’s showing you, as a Israelite reader, that your life of worship rhythms are woven into the fabric of the universe.”

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The idea of resting and the number seven are intimately connected in the Bible.
  • In Genesis 1, the word or number "seven" has two key symbolic meanings: seven represents a full and complete world, and getting to seven is a linear journey from one to seven.
  • The rhythm of practicing sabbath or resting every seventh day is one way that humans can imitate God and act like they are participating in the new creation.

SHOW NOTES

Welcome to our second episode tracing the theme of seventh-day rest in the Bible!

In part 1 (0-18:30), Tim shares some of the numeric symbolism in Genesis 1. The opening line of Genesis 1 has seven words, and the central word, untranslated in English, is two Hebrew letters, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet: aleph and taw.

When one isolates the theme of time in Genesis 1, another design pattern emerges that provides a foundation for all of Israel’s rituals of sacred time.

Tim points out that there are many other ways the number seven is symbolic in the Genesis narrative: there are seven words in Genesis 1:1, and fourteen words in Genesis 1:2. There are seven paragraphs in Genesis 1:1-2:3 marked by “evening and morning.” The concluding seventh paragraph in Genesis 2:1-3 begins three lines which have seven words each (Gen 2:2-3a).

In part 2 (18:30-28:30), Tim summarizes a series of details about the literary design of Genesis ch. 1 from Umberto Cassuto's commentary on Genesis:

"In view of the importance ascribed to the number seven generally, and particularly in the story of Creation, this number occurs again and again in the structure of our section. The following details are deserving of note:

(a). After the introductory verse (1:1), the section is divided into seven paragraphs, each of which appertains to one of the seven days. An obvious indication of this division is to be seen in the recurring sentence, And there was evening and there was morning, such-and-such a day. Hence the Masoretes were right in placing an open paragraph [i.e. one that begins on a new line] after each of these verses. Other ways of dividing the section suggested by some modern scholars are unsatisfactory.

(b–d). Each of the three nouns that occur in the first verse and express the basic concepts of the section, viz God [אֱלֹהִים ʾElōhīm] heavens [שָׁמַיִם šāmayim], earth [אֶרֶץ ʾereṣ], are repeated in the section a given number of times that is a multiple of seven: thus the name of God occurs thirty-five times, that is, five times seven (on the fact that the Divine Name, in one of its forms, occurs seventy times in the first four chapters, see below); earth is found twenty-one times, that is, three times seven; similarly heavens (or firmament, רָקִיעַ rāqīaʿ) appears twenty-one times.

(e). The ten sayings with which, according to the Talmud, the world was created (Aboth v 1; in B. Rosh Hashana 32a and B. Megilla 21b only nine of them are enumerated, the one in 1:29, apparently, being omitted)—that is, the ten utterances of God beginning with the words, and … said—are clearly divisible into two groups: the first group contains seven Divine fiats enjoining the creation of the creatures, to wit, ‛Let there be light’, ‘Let there be a firmament’, ‘Let the waters be gathered together’, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation’, ‘Let there be lights’, ‘Let the waters bring forth swarms’, ‘Let the earth bring forth’; the second group comprises three pronouncements that emphasize God’s concern for man’s welfare (three being the number of emphasis), namely, ‘Let us make man’ (not a command but an expression of the will to create man), ‘Be fruitful and multiply’, ‘Behold I have given unto you every plant yielding seed’. Thus we have here, too, a series of seven corresponding dicta.

(f). The terms light and day are found, in all, seven times in the first paragraph, and there are seven references to light in the fourth paragraph.

(g). Water is mentioned seven times in the course of paragraphs two and three.

(h). In the fifth and sixth paragraphs forms of the word חַיָּה ḥayyā [rendered ‘living’ or ‘beasts’] occur seven times.

(i). The expression it was good appears seven times (the seventh time—very good).

(j). The first verse has seven words.

(k). The second verse contains fourteen words—twice seven.

(l). In the seventh paragraph, which deals with the seventh day, there occur the following three consecutive sentences (three for emphasis), each of which consists of seven words and contains in the middle the expression the seventh day:

And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which

He had done.

So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it.

(m). The words in the seventh paragraph total thirty-five—five times seven.

To suppose that all this is a mere coincidence is not possible.

§ 6. This numerical symmetry is, as it were, the golden thread that binds together all the parts of the section and serves as a convincing proof of its unity against the view of those—and they comprise the majority of modern commentators—who consider that our section is not a unity but was formed by the fusion of two different accounts, or as the result of the adaptation and elaboration of a shorter earlier version."

U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis: Part I, From Adam to Noah (Genesis I–VI 8), trans. Israel Abrahams (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1998), pages 13–15.

Tim says all of this numerical symbolism is completely intentional. The authors want us to learn that seven represents both a whole completed creation and a journey to that completeness.

In part 3 (28:30-41:00), Jon asks why the number seven became so symbolic in ancient Hebrew culture. Tim says the origins of the number seven being associated with completeness is likely tied to the lunar calendar of moon cycles. The biblical Hebrew word for “month” is “moon” (חדש). Each month consisted of 29.5 days, and each month consisted of four 7.3-day cycles, making a “complete” cycle of time. However, the sabbath cycle is independent of the moon cycle, and sabbaths do not coincide with the new moon. It is patterned after creation, and stands outside of any natural cycle of time.

Tim then makes an important note on Hebrew word play. Seven was symbolic in ancient near eastern and Israelite culture and literature. It communicated a sense of “fullness” or “completeness” (שבע “seven” is spelled with the same consonants as the word שבע “complete/full”). This makes sense of the pervasive appearance of “seven” patterns in the Bible. For more information on this, Tim cites Maurice H. Farbridge’s book, Studies in Biblical and Semitic Symbolism, 134-37.

In part 4 (41:00-52:30), Jon asks what it means for God to rest?

In response, Tim says there are two separate but related Hebrew concepts and words for rest.

The Hebrew word shabat means “to cease from.” God ceases from his work because “it is finished” (Gen 2:1). Compare with Joshua 5:12, “The manna ceased (shabat) on that day….”

The Hebrew word nuakh means “to take up residence.” Compare with Exodus 10:14, “The locusts came up over the land of Egypt and rested (nuakh) in all the land.” When God or people nuakh, it always involves settling into a place that is safe, secure, and stable. 2 Samuel 7:1 says, “Now when King David dwelt in his house, for Yahweh had provided rest from his enemies….”

The drama of the story, Tim notes, is the question as to whether humans and God will nuakh together? All of this sets a foundation for later biblical stories of Israel entering in the Promised Land, a land of rest.

In part 5 (52:30-end), Tim asks what it means that God blessed the seventh day?

Tim cites scholar Mathilde Frey:

“Set apart from all other days, the blessing of the seventh day establishes the seventh part of created time as a day when God grants his presence in the created world. It is then his presence that provides the blessing and the sanctification. The seventh day is blessed and established as the part of time that assures fruitfulness, future-orientation, continuity, and permanence for every aspect of life within the dimension of time. The seventh day is blessed by God’s presence for the sake of the created world, for all nature, and for all living beings.” (Mathilde Frey, The Sabbath in the Pentateuch, 45)

Tim says in Genesis 1, the symbolism of seven is a view that the “seventh day” is the culmination of all history. Tim cites scholar Samuel H. Balentine.

“Unlike the previous days, the seventh day is simply announced. There is no mention of evening or morning, no mention of a beginning or ending. The suggestion is that the primordial seventh day exists in perpetuity, a sacred day that cannot be abrogated by the limitations common to the rest of the created order.” (Samuel H. Balentine, The Torah’s Vision of Worship, 93)

Tim also cites scholar Robert Lowry: “The seventh-day account does not end with the expected formula, “there was evening and morning,” that concluded days one through six. Breaking the pattern in this way emphasizes the uniqueness of the seventh day and opens the door to an eschatological interpretation. Literarily, the sun has not yet set on God’s Sabbath.” (Richard H. Lowery, Sabbath and Jubilee, 90)

Show Music:

  • Defender Instrumental by Tents
  • Optimistic by Lo Fi Type Beat
  • Kame House by Lofi Hip Hop Instrumental
  • It’s Ok to Not Be Ok by Highkey Beats
  • Hometown by nymano x Pandress

Resources:

Show Produced By:

Dan Gummel

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Oct 21 2019

1hr 5mins

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Rank #17: You Are A Soul

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This is our first episode related to our new word studies video on the Hebrew word “Nephesh” which often gets translated as “soul” in English bibles. In Hebrew the most basic meaning of the word is “throat.” Which seems weird to us. So how did we get “soul” from “throat”? Tim and Jon discuss.

In the first part of the episode (0-12:30), Tim and Jon outline where the word “soul” comes from (Old English), and why most people think that a core teaching of the Bible is people “having souls.” Jon asks how much you can really separate the ideas of a person’s “mind, soul, and body.”

In the second part of the episode (12:30-41:20), Tim explains that the Hebrew word “Nephesh” is an extremely common word in the Hebrew Old Testament. It occurs over 700 times, but less than 10% of the time is it translated as “soul.” It also gets translated as “life”, “heart”, “you”, “people” and several other words.
Tim outlines some famous verses in the Old Testament that use the word soul. Like Psalm 42 “ As the deer pants...My soul thirsts for you” the original meaning is Hebrew is “my throat thirsts for you.”

Tim explains that the word Nephesh is designed to show the essential physicality of a person. Whereas “soul” connotes the non-physicality of a person.

In the third part of the episode (41:20-end), Tim says “Nephesh” isn’t just used to describe humans, but also used to describe animals and what the land produced in Genesis. “And God said ‘Let the waters teem with living Nephesh.’”

The bottom line, biblically, is that people don’t have souls. They are souls. They don’t have “nephesh” they are “nephesh.” And the ultimate hope for Christians is not a disembodied existence living as souls, but an embodied existence living in their Nephesh.

You can check out our new word studies video on Nephesh here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_igCcWAMAM

Thank you to all our supporters! Check out more free resources on our website: www.thebibleproject.com

Show Resources:
The Shema: Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Original uses of the word Nephesh meaning throat:

Psalm 23
Psalm 42:1-2
Isaiah 58:11

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
River Deep: Retro Soul (Danya Vodovoz, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B1tVfm832w)
Lotus Lane: The Loyalist
Herbal Tea: Artificial Music

Show Produced By:
Jon Collins and Dan Gummel

Nov 13 2017

55mins

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Rank #18: Justice Part 1: What's the Biblical Vision of Justice?

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This is our first episode in our new series on the theme of Justice in the Bible. When most of us hear the term "justice" we think of courtrooms, judges and cops. Some of us might think of biblical justice as “God’s Judgement”.
What did the Hebrews believe justice looked like? And what was the biblical vision for a “just society?”

In the first part of the conversation (0-22:50) Tim outlines where the words “Justice” and “Righteousness” come from in the Bible and what they meant in their original context. The guys speculate about why every person seems to have an ingrained idea of “fairness”.

Tim shares three common perspectives of Justice from a Harvard professor (Brian Sandel) book Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?
Justice is Maximizing Welfare
Justice is Respect of Individual Freedom
Justice is Promoting Virtue

In the second part of the show (22:51-44:45)
Tim outlines the famous verse in Micah “do justice, love mercy” and what that verse originally meant to Hebrews. The guys talk about the differences between retributive justice and restorative justice.
Tim shares the prophets ideas of the quartet of the vulnerable: widows, orphans, immigrants, the poor.

Finally, (44:50-end) the guys discuss the story of the Hebrew Exodus, and how that story framed many images in the Bible about justice.

Thank you to all our supporters!

You can learn more about the bible project on our website: https://thebibleproject.com/

Resources:
Books:
Annie Dillard: Pilgrim At Tinker Creek
Michael Sandel: Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do?

Show Music:

Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music
Flooded Meadows: Unwritten Stories
You Can Save Me: Beautiful Eulogy
Exile Dial Tone: Beautiful Eulogy

Oct 09 2017

58mins

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Rank #19: Heaven and Earth Part 1: What is the Old Testament referring to as "Heaven"?

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In this episode, Tim and Jon begin their conversation about heaven and earth starting in Genesis 1. This is the first time “heaven" appears in the Bible. “The heavens” literally means “the sky.” Did the ancient Israelites think God lived in the sky? Maybe. The guys will talk more about this and what it means for God’s space and human space to overlap.

In the first part of the episode (01:27-08:57), the guys talk about the idea that heaven is in the clouds. How did we get there? Tim will break down the Hebrew word for heaven and explain a bit more about what the ancient Israelites believed about God’s heavenly space.

In the second part of the episode (09:17-18:59), the guys will talk about the significance of temples for the ancient Israelites. Temples were the place where the divine and human space overlapped, and this was incredibly important to the ancient Israelites.
In the next part of the episode (19:19-25:15), Tim and Jon talk about Jesus as the ultimate meeting place of heaven and earth. Throughout the gospels, Jesus calls himself the temple of God and makes clear that he is God’s temple presence made accessible for humanity.

In the final part of the episode (25:45-40:57), the guys talk about the ways we see this overlap between heaven and earth throughout Scripture. We see it through Jesus, through visions of heaven, like Jacob has in Genesis 28, and ultimately we see it in the garden of Eden.

Video:
This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Heaven & Earth." You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k

Scripture References:
Genesis 1
Genesis 28
Psalm 11
Psalm 103
1 Kings 8
Isaiah 6

Show Music:
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music
Analogs by Greyflood

Jan 28 2016

40mins

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Rank #20: What Does the Word "Gospel" Mean? Feat. N.T. Wright - Gospel E1

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Welcome to a special episode that kicks off our series of How to Read the Gospels. In this episode, Tim sits down with Dr. N.T. Wright to discuss the historical meaning of the word “gospel.”

In part 1 (0-21:20), Dr. Wright notes that word studies are great, but it’s important to understand how words derive their meaning and live in a narrative context. Alternaitve “gospels,” including the Gospel of Thomas, typically are a collection of good advice or wise sayings from Jesus about how to live a good life, whereas the whole “gospel” or good news is the story of Jesus being crowned king and Israel being used by God to bless all the nations.

Tim shares an interesting historical ancedote: a birthday announcement from a historical source called the Calendar of Priene. It’s an old royal announcement from the Roman emporer Augustus Caesar, and it uses the Greek word for “gospel,” εὐαγγέλιον, evangelion, meaning "good news."

"Since Providence, which has ordered all things and is deeply interested in our life, has set in most perfect order by giving us Augustus, whom she filled with virtue that he might benefit humankind, sending him as a savior, both for us and for our descendants, that he might end war and arrange all things, and since he, Caesar, by his appearance (excelled even our anticipations), surpassing all previous benefactors, and not even leaving to posterity any hope of surpassing what he has done, and since the birthday of the god Augustus was the beginning of the good tidings for the world that came by reason of him.” (The Calendar of Priene, Caesar Birthday announcement)

Dr. Wright says this historical announcement reveals a very interesting historical narrative. The Roman emporers continually decreed that they had brought peace and justice to the world through violent and political power. These emporers used the same language and vocubulary as the gospel authors when they proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as the one who brings true peace and justice to the world.

In part 2 (21:20-27:10), Tim and Dr. Wright discuss that “news” is an ineffective modern word to describe the gospel. A better alternative in our day would be “announcement” or “proclamation.” Today, the word “news” is used most often to describe everyday occurences, whereas the historical word εὐαγγέλιον, evangelion, was far less common and treated with importance.

In part 3 (27:10-42:45), Tim and Dr. Wright dive into the Gospel of Mark and Matthew.

Dr. Wright focuses on the Beatitudes in Matthew. Instead of it being just an ethical to-do list, the Beatitudes are meant to model what God’s kingdom actually looks like. They represent the corporate moral ethic of God’s kingdom, showing what a world looks like when God becomes king and showing how God's kingdom spreads throughout the world.

Tim and Dr. Wright both cite Isaiah 53, one of the key bridges between the Old and New Testament in the Suffering Servant. They move on to discuss a book by Dr. Richard Hayes called, “Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels” and discuss the royal enactment portrayls in the gospels. Tim and Dr. Wright note that these are very obvious themes. Jesus is given a purple robe and crowned with a crown of thorns. These themes are meant to be picked up by the reader as evidence of the upside down nature of the kingdom that Jesus was enacting. He became king through suffering.

In part 4 (42:45-56:00), Tim and Dr. Wright talk about Paul and his perspective of εὐαγγέλιον, evangelion. Tim reads from Romans 1:1-6:

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ."

Tim also shares 1 Corinthians 15:1-11:

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”

Tim thinks this 1 Corinthians passage may be over-dominant in Western Christianity’s understanding in defining the gospel. Dr. Wright notes a historical view stemming from German and Lutheran interpretation that wants to see “the gospel” only as a salvation by faith that Christ died for our sins on the cross.

This view, Dr. Wright asserts, shortchanges the story of the Hebrew Scriptures. While this is part of the meaning of the word “gospel,” the whole story of the Hebrew Scriptures involves the signficance of Jesus being the new and exalted human, the new Adam, through whom humanity can now realize their orginal destiny that was laid out for them in the Garden of Eden.

In part 5 (56:00-end), Tim and Dr. Wright wrap up their time together by discussing how word studies are important but need to be tied into an informed understanding of the whole narrative of the Hebrew Bible.

Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel

Show Music:

  • Defender Instrumental by Tents
  • Daydreams 2 by Chillhop
  • Fills the Skies by Josh White
  • Yesterday on Repeat by Vexento

Show Resources:

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Sep 09 2019

1hr 11mins

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