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The Bible and Beyond

Religion & Spirituality Podcasts

The Bible and Beyond podcast is a series of interviews with scholars who are able to unlock mysteries from extra-canonical books, forgotten scriptures, so-called 'gnostic' gospels, as well as the Bible. Host Shirley Paulson, Ph.D., and her guests explore historical and spiritual questions about Jesus, gender, women, salvation, healing, and the meaning of life. The discoveries these scholars share don’t always fit with what we've been told, but time and again they lead us toward a deeper intimacy with Jesus.

The Bible and Beyond podcast is a series of interviews with scholars who are able to unlock mysteries from extra-canonical books, forgotten scriptures, so-called 'gnostic' gospels, as well as the Bible. Host Shirley Paulson, Ph.D., and her guests explore historical and spiritual questions about Jesus, gender, women, salvation, healing, and the meaning of life. The discoveries these scholars share don’t always fit with what we've been told, but time and again they lead us toward a deeper intimacy with Jesus.

Location:

United States

Description:

The Bible and Beyond podcast is a series of interviews with scholars who are able to unlock mysteries from extra-canonical books, forgotten scriptures, so-called 'gnostic' gospels, as well as the Bible. Host Shirley Paulson, Ph.D., and her guests explore historical and spiritual questions about Jesus, gender, women, salvation, healing, and the meaning of life. The discoveries these scholars share don’t always fit with what we've been told, but time and again they lead us toward a deeper intimacy with Jesus.

Language:

English

Contact:

224-661-0884


Episodes

Ancient Household Models Elucidate Philemon

8/6/2020
Paul’s letter to his Roman colleague, Philemon, delicately balances Roman expectations for enslaved people, their masters, and the new egalitarian ideas in the Christ communities. Learning the lifestyle of ancient Rome in families and households, listeners are invited to imagine what Onesimus, Paul’s enslaved friend, must have felt when Paul’s letter was read aloud to his master, Philemon. The tension concerning the authority over a runaway slave is palpable, but not spoken.

Duration:00:30:38

Why You Should Read New Testament Apocrypha

7/1/2020
Dr. Tony Burke, editor of the newly released second edition New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, explains not only what is fascinating about these ancient texts but why he thinks churches and Christians would benefit by reading them. In this interview, he offers meaning to the very bizarre stories and why they help us understand the history and evolution of the Christian church. He also talks candidly about what they do and don’t do to our faith.

Duration:00:31:50

Odes of Solomon: Contemporary Musical Settings

6/4/2020
In this second podcast in the series on the ‘Odes of Solomon,' Natalie Renee Perkins and Deborah Saxon chat together about Natalie’s contemporary musical setting of some of the odes. Deb, a scholar of ancient Christian texts, explains the feminine imagery, the reference to Sophia (Wisdom), and the purpose of ancient hymns used by both Jews and Christians before they diverged. Natalie, a professional singer, writer, and composer, plays some of her contemporary music settings of the Odes.

Duration:00:38:11

A New Translation of the Odes of Solomon

5/7/2020
In this podcast, Samuel Zinner and Mark M. Mattison tell us why they’re so enthusiastic about their new translation of the first- or second-century Odes of Solomon. This collection of ancient songs, or hymns, are not only real monuments of literature, but they transcend the borders of religious orthodoxy. Written before the early Jesus movements distinguished themselves from Judaism, they are equally at home with Judaism, the Gospel of John, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. The divine Feminine is...

Duration:00:26:54

How Jesus’s Followers Made Sense of His Death by Crucifixion

4/2/2020
In this episode, Professor Arthur Dewey explains why Christians felt so differently about Jesus’s crucifixion long after the event than his immediate followers did. Jesus had taught the presence of God and how to live that, but the shock of his death caused re-thinking and re-evaluating of this shame-inducing passion experience for many decades and centuries. Jesus’s counter-cultural message brought hope to members of the Roman-occupied community, but his crucifixion strengthened their...

Duration:00:30:31

Learning from Ancient Rome’s Rape Narrative

3/5/2020
Dr. Celene Lillie discovered in some ancient texts a remarkable metaphor, a rape narrative that relates to both the imperial actions of ancient Rome and modern forms of destructive behavior. Three writers of the second century re-imagined the story of Eve in Genesis as a representation of the violation of Rome’s victims. Despite the violence, Eve overthrows victimization and becomes a healing Christ figure. Her children become saviors of the world.

Duration:00:30:57

Jesus in Q: Women Are as Valuable as Men

2/6/2020
Dr. Sara Parks found gender parallels in the parables in Q that show Jesus’s deliberate valuing of women for God’s kingdom (‘basileia’). For example, a man who lost a sheep rejoices when it is found; a woman who lost a coin rejoices when it is found. The basileia is within – for both women and men. But Parks explains that Jesus’s egalitarian values did not automatically lead to a dismantling of patriarchal norms of the day.

Duration:00:29:38

What’s at Stake When Heresy Sells?

1/2/2020
‘Heresy’ sells. Maybe it’s because it’s mysterious, dangerous, or entertaining. But the idea of ancient ‘Christian heresies’ is misleading. The tendency to make ideas ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ confuses the issues. Strong early Christian women, such as Mary Magdalene, Thecla, and Perpetua, posed a threat to the developing male hierarchy, but their words seem to be consistent with the words of the men. Heresy, then, is not a natural category; it is more about who the power brokers were.

Duration:00:29:33

Biblical Violence: Help or Harm?

12/5/2019
Dr. Karri Whipple’s experience with intimate violence organizations guides her studies of violence and trauma in New Testament studies. She demonstrates how multiple readings from various Biblical and extracanonical texts help us process trauma. But readers should also take care to understand the context of the stories of gender and racial violence so that the examples do not become an excuse to perpetuate violence. Reading from a variety of perspectives also helps readers find many paths to...

Duration:00:31:32

What the Mandaeans Know about John the Baptist

11/7/2019
Dr. James McGrath introduces us to the Mandaeans, a modern-day community that practices a religion with ancient roots. Their sacred texts mention John the Baptist and Jesus and other names that are familiar from the Bible. If you’re interested in the New Testament, in Christianity, you’ll also be interested in this group. Since they practice baptism as their main ritual, these people may be the 2,000 year-long descendants of John the Baptist.

Duration:00:30:32

Is Martha the Sister of Mary Magdalene?

10/1/2019
Elizabeth Schrader describes her discovery of the addition of Martha in the Gospel of John. Did she find enough evidence to lead to her conclusion that Mary and Lazarus had no sister named Martha? Or that Lazarus’ sister Mary might actually have been Mary Magdalene? Elizabeth speculates about all this, but she has found motives and other evidence that lend strong support for her theories. A CORRECTION: At 13:17 in the podcast, Elizabeth meant to say ‘Boanerges,’ rather than ‘Bartimaeus.’

Duration:00:30:27

Protevangelium of James: New/Old Views of Mary

9/10/2019
Dr. Lily Vuong – from a family of Vietnam refugees – found the 'outsider' point of view in the Protevangelium of James resonated with her own experience. It’s an apocryphal text, but instead of thinking of it as a ‘failed scripture,’ Vuong encourages us to appreciate the beauty and meaning of the book on its own merit. The story recounts Mary’s preparation to become the mother of Jesus. Historical facts are less important than the value and meaning of purity.

Duration:00:29:28

Shepherd of Hermas: Respect for the Poor

8/10/2019
In Shepherd of Hermas, Elliott finds distinguishing Christian feature: the poor are to be honored. All of us – slaves and masters – should be servants to God.

Duration:00:31:21

Justice and Peace for Christians and Jews in the Hebrew Bible

7/10/2019
Barry’s deep love of both the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) and New Testament inspires us to listen in new ways to familiar texts as well as the ones we’re not so aware of. They awaken our moral imagination to deeper values of justice and peace. About Barry Dr. Barry R. Huff is Assistant Professor of Religion at Principia College. His interests include wisdom literature, Psalms, Torah, creation theology, Intertextuality, ecological hermeneutics, and the reception history of the Bible. He...

Duration:00:34:26

Demystifying the 'Dialogue of the Savior'

6/10/2019
I don’t know if it’s because Anna Cwikla is so down-to-earth herself, or the strange-sounding Dialogue of the Savior is much more down-to-earth than people realize, but in this podcast conversation, Anna talks about the characters in the story as if they are people we’d enjoy talking to today. She is an avid participant on her softball team and curling team, but she’s also committed to working on her dissertation for her Ph.D. in the Department for the Study of Religion (at the University of...

Duration:00:23:50

The Nag Hammadi Collection

5/10/2019
The Bible and Beyond Podcast Episode The Nag Hammadi Collection An Interview with Dr. Celene Lillie Dr. Celene Lillie dug deep enough into the books in the Nag Hammadi collection that she can talk about them as easily as close friends. First she introduces us to what these special books are all about and what drew her to them in the first place. Then she explains the difference between the better-known Dead Sea Scrolls and this Nag Hammadi library of codices. Talking to Celene about...

Duration:00:31:59

Reading the ‘Other’ Gospels

4/10/2019
The Bible and Beyond Podcast Episode Reading the ‘Other’ Gospels An interview with Mark M. Mattison When Mark M. Mattison, an independent scholar of ancient Christian texts, first encountered the Gospel of Thomas, he was intrigued. The full text of this Gospel had been discovered in 1945 with a collection of other unknown texts near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, and it subsequently became a proxy for a larger debate about the legitimacy of the institutional church. Some, fearing it would...

Duration:00:31:10

It’s Ok to Look at Extracanonical Texts!

3/16/2019
The Bible and Beyond Podcast Episode It’s Ok to Look at Extracanonical Texts! An interview with Dr. Hal Taussig Dr. Hal Taussig compels us to walk through the door into the world of extracanonical texts. Whether we grew up fully satisfied that our Christian faith is established and needs no additional information about ‘unauthorized things,’ or we are eager to explore a deeper view of the early Christians – Hal walks with us, step by step to a realization that these lesser known texts...

Duration:00:27:07

The Power of Self-Control in Early Christian Community

2/10/2019
The Bible and Beyond Podcast Episode The Power of Self-Control in Early Christian Community An interview with Deborah Saxon, PhD Dr. Deborah Saxon, teacher of religion at Butler University in Indianapolis, explains in this interview why the practice of self-control was so important to early Jesus followers. Learning self-control was part of the education for young leaders in the Greco-Roman culture of antiquity, and ultimately it became a prevalent idea for society. Early Jesus...

Duration:00:31:25