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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.




It’s Just News

The difficult teaching of Ecclesiastes warns us that all people share the same fate. This wisdom is pervasive in Scripture, from the violent imagery found in Deuteronomy to the razor’s edge of Paul’s argument in Romans. There is no difference between Jew and Greek; between the wise man and the fool; between the righteous and the wicked—all men share one fate. All things rest in the palm of God’s hand. Are you mighty? You will be brought low. Are you humiliated? Sure, you may be lifted up,...



This week, Fr. Paul stresses that in Hebrew and Greek the word house reflects the meaning of both house and household. (Episode 234) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


Mercy and Fear

Having established that God—not herself—is her only reference, Mary moves to the next logical step from Scripture’s perspective: the proclamation of the fear of God. The terrible might of God; that the mere mention of his name strikes fear and brings the hope of mercy: mercy to those once enslaved and humiliated like Mary. In our fake philosophical systems of human mercy and institutional compassion, we pretend that mercy and fear are alien to each other. That’s because wealthy,...


Like a Woman in Travail

This week, Fr. Paul explains that God is in travail in Scripture and gives birth to children through his teaching. (Episode 233) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


Magnify the Lord

When someone of authority speaks, it is only natural for people of lessor status to use his words to establish their position. Politicians do it, corporate underlings do it, and Christians do it in their mishandling of the Bible. When God speaks in Scripture, his words come down from above. We plagiarize. We want to use his words in our story. We act as though God has a part to play in our life when the reverse is true. Scripture does not play a part in any human endeavor; on the contrary,...


Four Verbs

In today’s program Fr. Paul discusses four verbs in Hebrew: be fruitful, multiply as fish, became many, and became great in status. (Episode 232) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


The Sound of a Greeting

As the Spirit moves through chapter one of the Gospel of Luke, it exhibits its power as a mechanism of destruction but also as an implement of God’s control—prompting one to submit, teaching another to bless, and causing the Lord’s prophet to rejoice, even from his mother’s womb. The first to be filled with the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of Luke, John recognized Mary’s voice as she who trusted what had been spoken to her by the Lord. Now, her greeting is Good News in Elizabeth’s ears,...


Hear Me Out

This week, Fr. Paul proceeds with his discussion of Exodus emphasizing the importance of hearing Scripture with the entire story in view. (Episode 231) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


The Itinerary of the Spirit

The Scriptural God is not the God of a statue, a temple, a city, or a mountain, but the God of a story. For those who submit to this God as their heavenly Father, it is forbidden to stray outside his narrative in any thought, word, or deed that pertains to him. In life, this means we follow his precepts without adding our words to his or using his words to justify ours; in the act of hearing his story, it means hearing carefully and literally, free of outside influences. Inside the confines...


These Are the Names

This week Fr. Paul transitions from Genesis to Exodus, showing the interconnection between the books of the Pentateuch. (Episode 230) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


I Know Jesus and I Know Paul

Normally, people don’t say much about the role of the Holy Spirit in the birth of John the Baptist—mainly because contemporary Mariology blinds them to the actual content of Luke’s gospel. But even for those who pay close attention, few people notice the discrepancy between the first visit of the Spirit to Jerusalem, pertaining specifically to John the Baptist (himself a reference to the Apostle Paul), and the second visit, pertaining not to the Pauline church, but the Jerusalemite community...


Against Humanity

In today’s program, Fr. Paul reminds us of the Bible’s painful and relentless campaign against the human ego. (Episode 229) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


Three Things

When we read a text in translation, we imagine we hear what the author wrote because we believe that meaning can be taken separately from the words on the page. But if you can conceive of meaning, it needs must be part and parcel with a series of words. If not the words of the original text, then the alternative words of a translation, or worse, the self-referential words in your head. There is no meaning without words, and each set of words represents a different meaning. Three words...


No One Is Special

This week, Fr. Paul explains that the mission of Joseph was to combine Israel and the nations to the extent that his progeny was called—not the fullness of Israel—but the fullness of all the nations. (Episode 228) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


Birth Pangs

In the Old Testament, human patriarchy is portrayed cynically and satirically as bumbling and insecure in its competition with motherhood. Men cannot give birth. In Scripture and life, they compensate by building cities, erecting monuments, and making war. Mothers, on the other hand--not necessarily women--but the function mother can give birth. As Luke continues down the path of undermining the things that men build (the Temple) and, of course, Zacharias himself, his gospel story turns...


The Journey of Jacob Israel

In today's episode, Fr. Paul reiterates a basic premise of Scripture, that we are not to follow the example of our fathers, but of the teaching, noting the specific case of Jesus and Paul in the New Testament. (Episode 227) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


Bow to the Chair

The problem with all contemporary churches is that we treat the term Scripture as though it were a noun. We gossip about the Bible like a difficult relative nobody wants to visit, but everyone loves to discuss. We comfort ourselves with lullabies about its importance. We mostly ignore it unless we need a good quote to make our point. We have ideas, feelings, and opinions about it. We argue about who owns it and what good or evil it has caused. It operates as an abstraction in our mind, like...


The Sheep Are Not a Flock

This week Fr. Paul stresses the critical distinction between sheep and flock in Hebrew, giving biblical and contemporary examples. (Episode 226) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


The Preacher

Everyone has something to say. If you operate on a human premise, this is perfectly acceptable, admirable--even a thing to be encouraged. It is the empty fuel that makes dead things look alive, an entertaining distraction that makes emptiness feel meaningful. Not so in Scripture. In the wilderness of God's scroll, there is only one voice. One source of life. One pedagogy set forth in letters divinely inscribed. Make that your premise, and it will silence all the voices in the room,...


Ephraim and Manasseh

This week, Fr. Paul touches on the literary function of Ephraim and Manasseh, who become the kernel of the northern kingdom in the story of the biblical Israel. (Episode 225) ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★