Retelling the Bible
1.10 A Name
As Mary catches some sleep, lying on the ground near the manger, Joseph ponders many things. He wonders about the strange report he heard from some shepherds earlier this evening and the meaning of the birth of his son and of the name that both he and Mary have chosen to give to him.
1.9 The Ram’s Horn
The announcement of a Year of Jubilee comes to the small village of Nazareth. All males are called to return to their ancestral homes. Many of the villagers seem doubtful when they hear where this proclamation is coming from, but one young carpenter and his intended wife feel a stirring in their hearts.
1.8 A Council of the Resistance
Judas the Galilean and his Pharisee friend Zadok lay their plans for resistance against Roman power in Galilee and Judea at the time of the census - yes, the same census during which the Gospel of Luke says that Jesus was born. How will these two great stories interact?
1.7 A traveler at the door
After their long and difficult journey, Mary and Joseph finally arrive in Bethlehem and seek shelter even as Mary approaches her time to deliver. They are seeking hospitality in a very particular place - just not necessarily at the particular place we have long assumed.
1.6 A Conversation on the Way
As Mary and Joseph walk down the long road towards Bethlehem, their conversation reveals a number of surprising things about the purpose that they see in this dangerous journey.
1.5 A Stark Warning
Mary and Joseph, on their way to Bethlehem, pass through a village that has been recently destroyed. As they search through the rubble and ruins, trying to understand what has taken place, they are confronted with a frightening truth and realize how dangerous this journey of theirs may prove to be.
1.4 The Stranger
A stranger comes to the village of Nazareth in this retelling of the Christmas Story (specifically the story of the Annunciation) that will help you understand both the historical context of Luke’s nativity story and the use he is making of Old Testament imagery and ideas.
1.3 The Betrothal
The formal betrothal of Mary and Joseph is something alluded to in the gospels but it is never described. First-century readers and listeners would have had some clear ideas of what such a betrothal would have looked like so I have taken the opportunity to fill in the background with a relatable story of how Mary and Joseph came to be engaged.
1.2 The Region between Samaria and Galilee
Mary and Joseph are traveling toward their goal in Bethlehem when they come into a region — the region between Galilee and Samaria — that highlights the volatile political times in which they are living. This episode will help you to understand the historical circumstances in which the Gospel of Luke describes the birth of Jesus taking place.
Episode 1: The Journey as it is usually seen
This is the first episode in the new “Retelling the Bible” Podcast. We will spend the first season retelling the story of the birth of Jesus as it is told in the Gospel of Luke, focussing specifically on the journey that Luke says that Mary and Joseph took from Nazareth to Bethlehem. This story raises all kinds of historical questions and makes me wonder how its author really meant for people to understand it. I suspect that we have largely missed many of the points that Luke was trying...