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The Bible Geek

 

The Bible Geek

Robert M Price presents theology with a twist
 but without the spin

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The Bible Geek Podcast 14-052
Thursday, September 18th 2014, 54m
The Pastorals use the phrase "God our Savior." Shouldn't it be "Jesus Christ our Savior"? In the Pre-Nicene NT, for 1 Timothy 1:4 your footnote to the "myths and endless genealogies" bit says this is about apostolic descent and credentials. Not Gnostic myths and the genealogies of the Archons? 1 Timothy 1:20 says someone is "turned over to Satan". What does this mean? How do Catholics reconcile the celibate clergy with 1 Timothy 3:2? 1 Timothy 6:14-16 imply no one "has ever seen or can see Jesus Christ"? And what about "who alone has immortality"? 2 Timothy 2:18 says, "some have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened". How could people say "the resurrection has already happened" when there were obviously still dead people in the ground? In 2 Timothy 4:11 ("Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry") is the Ecclesiastical Redactor trying to beef up the canonical status of the gospels of Luke and Mark by mentioning their names? What are your thoughts on the Lord's Prayer? Is there any early heresy that hasn't been reinvented in the past few centuries? If there isn't, does that suggest that the various sedimentary layers in the New Testament are fairly easily seen even by a layman? Like any good lapsed Catholic I intend to repent on my deathbed but until then may your God go with you. According to a midrash, Hagar was an Egyptian princess, the daughter of Pharaoh, and joined Abraham and Sarah after witnessing God save Sarah from the hands of the Egyptian King. Given this, did Pharaoh give Hagar to Abraham as a gift to ensure that Abraham's God didn't kill Pharaoh? Who is Luqman from Sura 34? The Cave of Letters, the second Sukkot letter, a request for the four kinds (palm branches, citron, myrtle and willow), says, "The letter is written in Greek as we have no one who knows Hebrew [or Aramaic]." Were there Hellenized Jews fighting for Bar Kochba? Non-Jews? John A.T. Robinson in Redating the New Testament (1976) argues for apostolic authorship for John's Gospel, before the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. He also argues that John's "poor" Greek in Revelation is a literary device. Is this credible?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-051
Wednesday, September 17th 2014, 1h18m
Re the Baha'i/Babi split, do you see the Azalis as comparable to Kharijites or perhaps closer to those Mormons who followed the Smith family as opposed to Brigham Young? Why might Augustine have been unsure whether aborted fetuses will be resurrected as fully-grown human beings at the time of the Second Coming? What is the relationship of the Black Stone of Mecca and the Black Stone of Emesa (modern day war-torn Homs in Syria)? And between the worship of the Sun god Elagabalus and the Moon god Al-ilah? Can you please comment on William Wrede's defense of the Pauline authorship of the epistles? Laodiceans/Ephesians in the Pre-Nicene NT reads: "Accordingly, renounce lying and speak the truth, each one of you to your neighbor, because we are body parts of one another. What if the hand were on fire and it should lie to the heart, saying, "I do not hurt"? Soon you should lack the hand!" Is this extra sentence about the burning, lying hand part of another manuscript tradition which was omitted from the NRSV? Or were you just in a fast-n-loose/Living Bible type mood that day? Around Luke 17:30, we read the familiar passage in which Jesus tells us that when the Son of Man comes, two will be in bed (and two will be grinding) and one will be taken while the other is left. Then in verse 37 someone asks Jesus, "Where, Lord?" I expected Jesus to reply that the ones taken from their beds would be taken to a heavenly realm, but he says, "Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather." Where and what is this 'corpse', who are the vultures, and in what way is Jesus responding to the question posed him? Re Jesus being "worshiped": The Greek word "proskyneo" simply means to show "reverence" to, or to "express respect". Right? In your experience, what happens to the amazing friendships one finds among church congregations when someone simply stops believing? In The Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer Kimball reinforces the unnatural aspect of homosexuality and other "sexual deviancies" by quoting Leviticus 20: when people lie with animals both the man or woman and the animal must be put to death. But animals committed no sin. Could it be that the ancients feared such unions might result in hybrids like the Minotaur? Is there any validity to the book Secrets of the Exodus? What is the purpose of the raven in the story of Noah? Why was this detail included in the story, and why was it retained? Is there anything whatsoever within the New Testament that you would grant as historical? Do we need an objective, metaphysical standard of right and wrong?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-050
Saturday, September 13th 2014, 1h13m
Helmut Koester suggests that Luke's "Great Omission" (his lack of Mark 6:45-8:26) is an interpolation. Is this implied by the fact that the word "Jesus" does not appear between Mark 6:30 and 8:27? All references to Jesus in this section are by pronoun. Aren't you inconsistent? You are not sure if there was a historical Jesus, but you are very sure that Darwin's style of evolution is a concrete fact. Could you give an example of how deconstruction can be applied to biblical criticism? In "Deconstructing Jesus" is your use of "deconstruction" in the title merely figurative or are you actually using deconstruction as a critical method? Is "Preaching Deconstruction" transcriptions of actual sermons - or lectures? You reject the entirety of the Testimonium Flavianum. But apparently there is a shorter, Arabic version that lacks some of the "Christian" elements, and scholars say this attest a shorter version actually written by Josephus. Does it? Are there any apologists that you think can be trusted? Or are all of these people just professional liars? Could El Elyon have been the sun and Yahweh the moon? In the book of Hebrews there are several quotes from, and allusions to, the OT - all without attribution. Why? And who the heck wrote this thing anyway? What is your viewpoint on the New Testament's sexual ethic? Numbers 22 seems to assume that God will do whatever Balaam says, as if God must curse his own people if the prophet tells him to. He can't just ignore Balaam. This seems to turn the concept of a prophet on its head from anything else in the OT where the prophets serve only to pass on the words of God. And it seems to have quite a low view of God. What can account for this story with its radically non-Jewish theology?

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-049
Wednesday, September 3rd 2014, 48m
Ibn Kathir relates that Ezra was resurrected by God many years after his death. Only an old blind woman could remember him, so he prayed to God for her to be cured of blindness, a prayer fulfilled. Ezra's identity is then accepted by the people and he embarks on a task to find the last remaining Torah (as Nebuchadnezzar had burnt all other copies), finding it in disrepair he decided to rewrite the Torah from memory. After this miracle, Jews began calling him the Son of God. What do you make of this story? Did Kathir make it up or is he basing it on a lost work? What are your thoughts on the tradition in the Acts of Timothy that John the Evangelist was the one who assigned the names of the Gospels and created the four Gospels as a set. The text also says that they were written in different languages, is it possible he refers to non-Greek scripture we no longer have? Commenting on Caliph Uthman's attempts to unify the text of the Qur'an into a single "correct" version, Bukhari says Uthman ordered that the new perfect Qur'an be written in the Quraishi dialect of Arabic. Since Mohammad only spoke Quraishi Arabic, is this not an admission on the part of early Muslims that the Qur'an isn't directly from Heaven, and instead subject to human translation? What is the Holy Spirit? Is it a separate entity from the spirit of God in the OT? How can anyone question Yahweh's approval of human sacrifice when he required a human to be sacrificed to forgive the sins of the world? Isn't Christianity a classic Hegelian Dialectic? It creates the problem of sin, generates opposition to the problem and then provides the solution. Two passages in the NT that nail the coffin shut on the historicity of the gospels are Mt. 21:5/Zech.9:9 where the writer misunderstands the Hebrew idiom and has Jesus riding two donkeys like a rodeo clown, and John 3:5, 7 where the Greek word "anothen" means both "again" or "from above" but not the Aramaic Jesus must have spoken. Could you recommend a translation of the Koran with explanations for absolutely everything along the lines of what the Jewish Study Bible is for the TaNaK? What do you make of claims that the Koran can only be understood if read in the original Arabic.

The Bible Geek Podcast 14-048 (Google Hangout)
Tuesday, August 26th 2014, 2h24m
Live Google + Hangout recorded Tuesday, August 26, 2014, with Dr. Robert M. Price answering questions on: Docetism in the New Testament, or is it merely Stoicism? How much Christian doctrine is based on only one passage in the scriptures? Docetism in non-canonical gospels and non-orthodox communities. Various questions on the gospel of Thomas and its relation to Gnosticism. Did Yahweh originate in Ugarit? Parallels between Christ and Mithras: true or false, or somewhere in between? Who provides the historical basis for the existence of Simon Magus? Is there hard evidence linking John the Baptist to the Qumran sectarians? Question concerning the influences of Qumran on the New Testament directly. That might account for the current trend of disaffection from the churches? What authors should be consulted to get a good grounding in both liberal and conservative Catholic theology? Is it possible that Adam and Eve could be said to have died spiritually, instead of literally, in the day they disobeyed? Information about the book-in-progress: Holy Fable. What does the Bible Geek make of Josephus' geography of the garden of Eden? Letters of Pliny the Younger to Trajan: forgeries? Has Bart Ehrman become more radical in his theorizing? Information about a possible Bart Ehrman Interrupted book. Dr. Price's insights on the Messianic Secret in relation to the Christ-Myth theory. Was Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist? book merely a rehearsal for his latest How Jesus Became God book? Dr. Price is asked to prognosticate about what to expect in a "post-Christian" era. Did Constantine write the New Testament? What influence did Athanasius have on the content of the canon? Are there 5-10 essential books every Bible Geek should read? What criteria do source critics use on the Pentateuch to assign such atomistic pieces of the materials to the various sources, i.e., JEPD? What significance do synoptic and Johannine parallels have for the evolution of the gospels? Might the first chapters of Luke's gospel come from a "John the Baptist is the Messiah" sect?

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