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History in the Bible-logo

History in the Bible

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Location:

Australia

Language:

English

Contact:

+61295719338


Episodes

2.11 Grappling With the Greeks II: Jerusalem Against Athens

12/10/2017
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The Judeans spent 120 happy years under the Hellenistic rule of the Egyptian Ptolemies. They chafed under the rule of the Hellenistic kingdom of the Seleucids, who faced severe geopolitical challenges. The social and economic tidal wave of international Hellenism challenged every aspect of Judean life and thought. A country Jewish priest called Mattathias revolted against this globalisation: Make Judah Great Again!

Duration: 00:30:58


2.10 Grappling with the Greeks I: Josephus and the Books of Maccabees

11/26/2017
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First in a mini-series on the history of the Jews and the province of Judea under the Hellenistic empires, and under the Maccabees. I start with a summary of the history I will expand on in the next few episodes. Then I present our sources for that history, Josephus and Maccabees. I conclude with a few notes about the oddities of the Ethiopian orthodox biblical canon.

Duration: 00:28:52


2.9 The Apocalypse to End Them All: 1 Enoch

11/12/2017
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Apocalypses were popular reading amongst Jews in the centuries they spent under Roman rule. Rabbinical Judaism blotted the apocalypses from its collective memory. Christianity incorporated them into its very soul. I cover the greatest apocalypse of them all, 1st Enoch. The book of Tobit is my special guest star.

Duration: 00:20:17


2.8 Lost Books of the New Testaments

10/29/2017
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Jews produced a vast number of religious books in the centuries before the birth of Jesus. They had no influence on later Judaism, but profoundly influenced Christianity. We call them parabiblical or pseudipigraphical. Their significance was not appreciated until the discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Duration: 00:28:17


2.7 Farewell to the Tanakh

10/15/2017
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The Jews have a placid existence under Persian rule, and create Judaism. They reconstruct their religion, one now without kings and prophets. From on, the Law is all. I discuss the last of the books of the Tanakh: the romances of Esther and Judith, the hateful but mercifully brief prophet Obadiah, and the funniest book in the canon, Jonah.

Duration: 00:28:44


2.6 Leaving Babylon IV: Nehemiah and Ezra Stand Against Ruth

10/1/2017
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Governor Nehemiah and priest-scribe Ezra finally bring the Jews back home from Babylon. Modern scholars reverse the Biblical order of the two, and so do I. The two institute a tax-payer-funded theocracy. Ezra rejects the old Hebrew religion and founds modern Judaism. Intermarriage is forbidden. Against that stance is the Book of Ruth. The prophet Malachi, traditionally ac

Duration: 00:31:09


2.5 Leaving Babylon III: The Enigma of Zerubbabel and Joshua

9/17/2017
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After Sheshbazzar's failure, the second wave of returnees are led by the enigmatic figures of the supposed Davidic king Zerubbabel and the high-priest Joshua. Those returning spurn those who stayed behind, implying that the only real Jews are those who were exiled. Zerubbabel inexplicably disappears from the narrative at the moment of his triumph. The book of Esdras Alpha rehabilitates him. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah are sources for the period. Zechariah writes the first...

Duration: 00:31:12


2.4 Leaving Babylon II: Cyrus and the Mystery of Sheshbazzar

9/3/2017
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The Babylonian empire is rendered helpless when its king Nabonidus goes on a ten year holiday to Arabia. The best-ever benevolent autocrat, Cyrus the Great of Persia, has no trouble mounting a friendly takeover of the empire. Cyrus urges the Jews to return home under the mysterious Sheshbazzar. Cyrus is applauded by Second Isaiah, who introduces the Age of Aquarius, and some new theology.

Duration: 00:24:31


2.3 Leaving Babylon I: The Ezra Muddle

8/20/2017
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Our most important sources for the Return are the books known as Ezra and Nehemiah in Catholic and Protestant bibles. The Jews have a single book, called Ezra. There a whole bunch of other books of Ezra, many to be found in Russian and Greek bibles. 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Latin Esdras, Esdras Alpha, the Greek Apocalypse of Ezra, the Latin Vision of Ezra, the Questions of Ezra, the Revelation of Ezra. What a muddle! Colombus used 4 Esdras to discover America.

Duration: 00:27:48


2.2 In Babylon II: Ezekiel and Job

8/6/2017
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In the book of Ezekiel God transforms from furious father to jealous husband. The prophet is commanded to protest against the Judeans with performance art. He has a few passages no-one can make head nor tail of. I also reluctantly tackle the book of Job, that most difficult of books.

Duration: 00:26:23


2.1 In Babylon I: The Exile

7/23/2017
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In the first episode of series two, I begin with the Judeans in exile in Babylon. We move from the prophet Jeremiah to the prophet Ezekiel, and his crazy imagery, imagery that has inflamed Christian iconography for centuries. But not only Christians. Ezekiel is the father of Jewish mysticism, a movement which the rabbis only quashed in the early Middle Ages.

Duration: 00:26:12


2.0 A Sneak Preview of Series Two

7/11/2017
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A concise ten-minute overview of my plans for series two of the podcast, which launches on Sunday July 23 2017.

Duration: 00:12:39


Bonus 17: A Conversation with Dan Libenson of Judaism Unbound

6/13/2017
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My special guest is Dan Libenson of the Judaism Unbound podcast. We talk about the Bible, the history of the Jewish religion, the difficulties of translation, how Jews and Christians think about God, and many other matters. All good fun!

Duration: 01:01:22


1.57 Modern Debates: End of an Era

5/21/2017
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In the final episode of series one, I explain why I am leaving the remaining books of the Old Testament to my second series. I introduce the lush literature of the Second temple period, and describe in detail the nature of Judean religion as it was at the destruction of the kingdom of Judah. I reflect on what I have learnt making this series, and what is coming in series two.

Duration: 00:34:25


1.56 Modern Debates: Into Exile.

5/7/2017
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Scholars are divided about the Babylonian destruction wrought on Judah. The Biblical sources tell different stories. How many were deported to Babylon, and how many stayed behind? Was Judah left utterly desolate, as the Book of Chronicles says, or just reduced, as the Book of Kings says? We find out what happened to the prophet Jeremiah, and encounter the book of Lamentations; and the book of Baruch, one found in Catholic and Orthodox bibles, but not Protestant.

Duration: 00:28:00


1.55 Four Prophets of the Babylonian Crisis

4/23/2017
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Four prophets lived in the last decades of the kingdom of Judah. In his short and miserable book, Zephaniah rails about the destruction to come. Jeremiah is a foreign policy advisor, and spreader of doom. We are all going to die! Surrender to your new overlords: Babylon! In a short and nasty work, Nahum gloats at the fall of the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, a victory he did nothing to accomplish. Habakkuk is a contemplative philosopher, with an important question for God.

Duration: 00:20:59


1.54 The Babylonian Conquest of Judah

4/9/2017
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The Egyptians kill Josiah, who is acting on behalf of Babylon against Egypt. They remove his pro-Babylonian son Jehoahaz from the throne, replacing him with the pro-Egyptian Jehoiakim. After the Egyptians are defeated, the Babylonians capture Jehoiakim and the city of Jerusalem, placing on the throne Jeconiah. King Nebuchadnezzar soon tosses him aside, settling on Zedekiah as the Babylonian puppet king. In a bad move, Zedekiah rebels. Nebuchadnezzar destroys Judah. The Jewish exile has begun.

Duration: 00:28:34


1.53 Evil King Manasseh and the Reformation of Josiah

3/26/2017
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The Bible tries to explain why the evil King Manasseh reigned for more than 50 years in peace and solitude, while his sublimely virtuous grandson, Josiah, was slaughtered in his prime. Josiah conducts a religious revolution and discovers the book of Deuteronomy.

Duration: 00:27:29


Bonus 16: After Life - Surviving the Apocalypse

3/19/2017
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In this co-released episode, Steve Guerra of the History of the Papacy podcast and I finish (for now) our series on the apocalyptic literature, with a discussion of how views on the afterlife changed in the Second Temple period.

Duration: 00:53:11


1.52 Isaiah and Micah, Prophets of the Assyrian Crisis

3/12/2017
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Isaiah's ambiguity has made him a crowd-pleaser for over 2,500 years. He introduces a bunch of shiny-new theological ideas previously unknown in the Bible. Christians read into his book prophecies of the Christ. Micah is his counterpoint.

Duration: 00:26:34

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