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The Bible as Literature

Education Podcasts

Each week, Dr. Richard Benton, Fr. Marc Boulos and guests discuss the content of the Bible as literature. On Tuesdays, Fr. Paul Tarazi presents an in-depth analysis of the biblical text in the original languages.

Each week, Dr. Richard Benton, Fr. Marc Boulos and guests discuss the content of the Bible as literature. On Tuesdays, Fr. Paul Tarazi presents an in-depth analysis of the biblical text in the original languages.


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Each week, Dr. Richard Benton, Fr. Marc Boulos and guests discuss the content of the Bible as literature. On Tuesdays, Fr. Paul Tarazi presents an in-depth analysis of the biblical text in the original languages.




The Things Which God Destroys

As Matthew 24 consolidates the fall of Jerusalem (and therefore, the fall of Rome) the centrality of St. Paul’s teaching of the Cross comes clearly into view. The glory of God’s Kingdom can only be present to us through the destruction of human infrastructure and might. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:29-31. Episode 376 Matthew 24:29-31; Music: Edm Detection Mode by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:...


The Roman Household

Today, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 20, noting functional parallels with the Roman household in the New Testament. (Episode 165)


The Truth is Not Out There

In Matthew’s gospel, it’s the teaching you follow that controls how you understand what you see. So when “false Christs and false prophets arise and show great signs and wonders,” your only hope is to hear what Jesus told you in advance: the truth is not out there. “On the contrary, the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may follow it.” (Deuteronomy 30:14) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:23-28. Episode 375 Matthew 24:23-28; Music: March of the Spoons by...


A Human Being is a Human Being

In this week’s program, Fr. Paul takes questions on Genesis 19 dealing with the action of Lot’s daughters and the trap of reading in translation. (Episode 164)


Escape from Jerusalem

It is human instinct to nest before giving birth, pack before a trip, and plan around bad weather. Safety, supplies, and comfort are the hallmarks of city life—or so we tell ourselves. But what to do when destruction comes? When human nesting instincts can’t save a nursing mother, and you don’t have time to grab your supplies? Leave the city, Matthew exclaims, and follow Jesus into the wilderness. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 24:19-22. Episode 374 Matthew 24:19-22; Music: Take the...


Grace is for Free

In today’s program, Fr. Paul notes the interplay between Genesis and Ezekiel and the remembrance of God’s promise to Abraham. (Episode 163)


Fear is the Enemy

Power and ideology are joined at the hip. There’s no point in saying “religious” ideology since (and let’s be honest with ourselves) all ideology in all its forms—secular or otherwise—is religion predicated on fear. Will we have enough? Will we be safe? Will we suffer? In Matthew, the answer is clear: God will provide what you need, you may not be safe, and you will likely suffer. Your fear of these things, encoded in your ideologies, is what gives power to those who oppress you and you the...


The Just Judge

This week, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 19, explaining God’s just judgment in the story. (Episode 162)


The Bible Interprets Itself

When we refer to an interpretation or discuss interpretation theories, we do so to claim authority over the text or to avoid accountability. A written text in any language says what it says. You need only see with your eyes what is written on the pages. Note the use of the plural: “pages.” You have to take it all in, over and over again, paying close attention to the original languages. The act of searching the text is not theory. It is an action. Either you search the text or you don’t. We...


Put in His Place

This week, Fr. Paul concludes Genesis 18 noting the self-righteousness of Abraham. (Episode 161)


Inscribed on Your Brain

It’s tempting to think that the study of literature—the discipline of hearing and understanding the written word—is more accessible than the so-called “hard sciences.” Our collective laziness bolsters this ill-conceived but commonly held view. Unlike Semitic languages, anyone can pronounce English words correctly without analyzing grammar or syntax. This basic fact enables an army of post-modern charlatans to ramble endlessly about “what the Bible means to them.” A written text in any...


Broken Hearts

In this week’s episode Fr. Paul begins his reading of Genesis 18. (Episode 160)


A Whirling Graveyard

It is practically impossible for human beings to consider any question without worrying about what’s in it for them. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for us, the Lord’s teaching in Matthew disallows this question. Jesus blows past the many anxious and self-involved human questions to posit the post-apocalyptic, divine premise of Genesis: everything created is already returning to the dust. Based on this premise, there is only one question: is there anything that does not pass away? Richard and...


The Scriptural Canaan

This week, Fr. Paul concludes his discussion of Genesis 17. (Episode 159)


A Desolate House

Heralding his Father’s Kingdom, Jesus bookends the conquest of Jerusalem in Matthew with the same words that announced his entrance: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Ending this section with a warning: “from now on you will not see me until you say” Matthew’s gospel extends God’s mercy to Jerusalem one last time. All of us have one final chance to confess our unrighteousness; One last opportunity to seek shelter under God’s wings instead of security wrought by the work of...


Inclusive, Not Exclusive

In today’s program, Fr. Paul explains that circumcision was given to undermine Hellenistic culture. (Episode 158)


The Avenger

Whether fighting for your values or fighting for justice, Matthew’s gospel begs the question: who are you fighting? In human narratives—egotistical by nature—you are the good guy, fighting your enemy. This compelling personal narrative, born of ego and shaped by your experience, is a rejection of God. In Scripture, you, yourself, are the Lord’s enemy. Instead of trying to bring the Bible to your life—to make it relevant for today—so that you can judge your neighbor, you must transport...


Circumcision of the Heart

This week, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 17, noting the significance of name changes in the Bible. (Episode 157)


A Light to the Nations

Ancestor worship is as old as dirt. Whether we lift up our ancestors or condemn them, our true concern is how others see us and what our children will think of us. We pontificate about being on “the right side of history” because we want to be right, even as the Prophets announce the condemnation of history and the Law proclaims that all of us are wrong. In Matthew, Jesus exposes the whole conversation as a big scam. The question is not which ancestor was right. On the contrary, the point is...



In this weeks episode, Fr. Paul concludes his discussion of Genesis 16, noting the appearance and subsequent itinerary of Beer-lahai-roi. (Episode 156)