65 minutes | Apr 20, 2023
The Bible Geek Podcast 23-007
Where in your own scholarship do you think you insert yourself--your personality, your religious beliefs, your ethics, your political beliefs, your worldview--most? And how do you, as a scholar, try to avoid falling prey to that common fate? Is there an early form of Christianity that, had it somehow won out over what became mainstream Catholic (and then eventually also Protestant) Christianity, you think would have better served humanity through the millennia? If so, how and why? Do you think the doubting Thomas passage in John was meant to be a polemic against the gospel of Thomas which seems to have been authored and gaining traction at the same time? Be fruitful and multiply AND Replenish the earth are two separate commands, not one joined together with a comma. In other words, God didn't command Adam and Eve to replenish the human population. Are we to assume that some unknown author in the first century/early second century put together the so-called Q sayings? And for what purpose? Did the author ascribe the sayings to some fellow named Jesus prior to the fleshing out of the Jesus character in the gospels? Is the Q theory wholly dependent on an assumption of a historical Jesus? A recent Facebook posting from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, showed a picture from their collection and gift shop book of a message written out on a potshard. This message, written in Aramaic from the 5th Century BCE includes the sentence "Let me know when you will be celebrating Pascha (Passover).” Doesn’t that imply it was a “moveable feast” reflecting agriculture rather than commemorating a historical occasion, the exodus? In the Parable of the Two Sons in Matthew, it reads: “But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go. “Which of the two obeyed his father?” They replied, “The first.” The footnote reads: "Other manuscripts read “The second.” In still other manuscripts the first son says “Yes” but does nothing, the second son says “No” but then repents and goes, and the answer to Jesus’ question is that the second son obeyed his father." What do you think is the origin and reason behind the contradicting manuscripts of this parable? What do you think is the intended meaning? I still find intriguing is Saul's
95 minutes | Mar 13, 2023
The Bible Geek Podcast 23-006
I'm curious whether any of your opinions on Biblical or Christian history going from a more rare or fringe view toward a more mainstream or conservative one? Is it not a False Dichotomy to say that the only two possibilities are Inerrant Divine Revelation and Atheism? I'm wondering when and how the change as to understanding the nature of authority, authorship, and inspiration of the Bible came to be. If Revelation has actual grammatical mistakes, how do most Bible translations account for those? Does two power theology legitimize the trinity as somehow Jewish? Or is two power theology a distinct theological concept which is incompatible with the trinity? Is there any basis for believing Jesus is the angel of the lord?
96 minutes | Mar 12, 2023
The Bible Geek Podcast 23-005
What exactly does Orthodox Christianity understand is happening at the crucifixion regarding the incarnation and death of the Son of God? How can a timeless being die, etc.? Why is the Last Supper/Eucharist associated with Passover and not Yom Kippur? I don't understand how there could be an original group of Christians without an individual who prompted all of the enthusiasm about him being the Messiah in the first place. In other words, how did this concept (i.e. that Jesus - who had not liberated the Jews and had been killed by the Romans - was the Messiah) become so proliferated that there were numerous (and very different) ideas about who he was without an historical figure to inspire it all? How did you apply Wrede’s “Messianic Secret” theory to Jesus Mythicism? Also, what might lead to the conclusion that Jesus was a revolutionary?
41 minutes | Feb 21, 2023
The Bible Geek Podcast 23-004
It seems one of the main reasons Christianity was initially attractive was the promise of eternal life. And certainly, going to heaven was always the carrot I saw as a kid a couple thousand years after Christianity began. But isn't that sort of a cheap, crass, or selfish reason to believe in Jesus as savior, to believe in God, to follow the various rules as your church understands them? A reward? Do you think there will be a movement to pronounce biblical proper names closer to the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic original? If you could have your wish granted for the recovery of one lost text, what would it be? A number of traditional scholars, most notably Bart Ehrman, REALLY dislike mythicism in general, and its presence in the online world of popular biblical studies. Why such hostility? In the 1946 novel Independent People by the Icelandic writer Halldor Laxness, we read of an old woman who invokes "Jesuspeter." Have you ever heard of anything like this? In Genesis 1:28 (KJV) YHWH tells the First Couple to "be fruitful and multiply and replenish the Earth..." Huh? What exactly are they supposed to be replenishing? The planet is just a few days old and it's hardly been "plenished" in the first place!
127 minutes | Feb 5, 2023
The Bible Geek Podcast 23-003
THE EARLY DATING AND AUTHORSHIP OF THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS: If you find that the swoon theory is not a “far fetched” theory, why don’t you promote it more than say mythicism, docetism, etc.? Do you think in an earlier version Cain’s murder of Abel was actually a human sacrifice? On a recent episode you mentioned Elijah originally being a sun god. Is there any archeological evidence of this? I know you wonder whether Joseph of Arimathea is fictive, put in to fulfill a prophecy in Isaiah. Could it be that buried-in-a-tomb is also a plot device? On the one hand there is the "All things are all lawful unto me," there is no sin since we are not under the Law. On the other hand, Paul repeatedly recites a list of behaviors (largely sexual behaviors) that will exclude one from eternal life. My question to you, "How do you reconcile these two things?" My understanding is that James the Just is generally considered a minor disciple if not actually not a disciple at all. If that is the case, then how could he have become the head of the Church and the Twelve? Could Jesus - who was wholly human and “holy" divine - ever become ill? The “miracle” of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the story of Juan Diego has numerous parallels with Christian origins, mainly in the form of its "evidences" being thoroughly debunked. Are there other such cases? Why the emphasis on a "sister as wife"? (1 Cor. 9:5) Were other early apostles in the habit of taking unbelieving ones? Leading to the practice being frowned upon?
54 minutes | Feb 4, 2023
The Bible Geek Podcast 23-002
What would Friedrich Nietzsche think of the comic book character Superman? I would like to know if you think the New Testament outlines a clear path to salvation. If so, what must a man do to be saved? Can you please describe what you consider to be Christianities greatest contributions to human society? What is meant by "High Christology" and "Low Christology"? Where do you think we see the earliest textual evidence for “the invention of ancient israel” as Lemche calls it? Is there anything in the bible telling us that reincarnation is part of the life cycle?
81 minutes | Jan 3, 2023
The Bible Geek Podcast 23-001
Why is it that the officially sanctioned oracular devices such as the Ephod (Urim and Thummim) are considered acceptable means to discern truth, while those who practice other techniques might earn the death penalty for their efforts? Often the biblical writers don't condemn specific cultural practices, but will speak on their difficulties, e.g., polygamous marriage. Any other examples? Might Jesus have been a Judaized version of Zeus? Is the story of the drunken Noah cursing Canaan a biblical version of a myth of conflict between various Sumerian, Babylonian, and Persian gods?. Any thoughts on the Jesus stories and possible relationship to Apollo and Seleukos/Asclepius? Could Apollo's anchor symbol have been modified to become the first appearance of the cross symbol? Why do those whom Jesus heals and tells not to tell anyone do so anyway? And why arren't they punished? Have you read the Primary Chronicle of the Kyvian Rus? There is a later portion where one of the Kyvian monarchs decides to investigate the larger religions and makes a decision to adopt the Byzantine version of Christianity. I would appreciate some commentary on the different schools of religious thought captured within.
37 minutes | Dec 30, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-017
I know you think that the criterion of embarrassment is not a valid argument for the historicity of Jesus since what is embarrassing for one generation or group of Christians was not the same for another. However, the following points are startling pieces of evidence where the gospel writers are embarrassed enough to revise the story or reluctantly accept it: 1. Jesus's place of birth: Implied as being in Nazareth in Mark, but changed to Davidic/Judaean Bethlehem in Matthew and Luke. 2. The revision of the baptizing of Jesus by John in Mark and Luke to make the subservience of the baptist clear in Matthew and John. 3. Matthew's claim that Jesus' fame reached "all over Syria" even though Jesus journeys mostly in the northern Galilee (with one notable visit to Phoenicia) 4. The proclamation of Jesus in Matthew that he has not come to overturn the Law (despite pretty much doing so everywhere else) but to fulfill it. 5. The amazement of the Nazareth crowd in Mark regarding how and where Jesus, the son of an artisan-peasant, got his wisdom and knowledge of the scriptures. 6. The confusion of Jesus with John the Baptist who, according to Herod, was Jesus raised from the dead (as you have commented on). It implies the baptist was the greater figure. 7. The suffering and despair of Jesus on the cross in Mark versus the fatalist triumphalism in Luke and John. 8. The piercing of Jesus' side in John to show he really did die to defend against charges he had not been on the cross long enough (12 hours being minimum even if he had been flogged). 9. The detailed resurrection appearances in John compared with the very limited accounts of them in Mark and Matthew.
85 minutes | Dec 16, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-016
Do you think there are any passages in the "Pauline" epistles that look like they might be written by Simon Magus? What do you make of Valentinus’s claim that he was in the apostolic line of “Paul” and had secret teachings through Paul's disciple Theudas? If this is true, and Paul is Simon, can any Valentinian-like doctrine be found in any passages in Paul that might, therefore, be likely candidates for an original scrap of Simon's writing? Isn't it suspicious that a Savioe should actually be named "Savior" (Yehoshua)? Wasn't Jesus really, by "holy spirit," intending a dynamic and fresh experience of life in the present moment? I suffer from OCD (scrupulosity) and have an intense fear of going to hell for losing my belief which is totally irrational I know, but certain sensational claims by exorcists have made me wonder if it's all real after all. How can claims like this be rationalized? It seems it is impossible to hold in mind all facades of the jewel that is Jesus, when contemplating him, or having a personal relationship with him in one's mind. In their contemplation of him, are Christians really relating to one character or a cast of characters? Matthew 28:9-10 seem superfluous. Why does the risen Jesus simply repeat what the angel said only a moment before? Could it be that some of the supposed “appearances” can be explained by Jesus' early followers noticing people that reminded them of Jesus and they managed to convince themselves it really was Jesus? Because as odd as that sounds it seems to be what the two men in Lk. 24 did. I doubt that the Flavians invented Christianity. They were so pragmatic and hard-nosed that their strategy would have been simply to crush their enemies.
40 minutes | Dec 10, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-015
Is the passage in Revelation 11:7-12 about the 2 witnesses somehow related to the Passion and Resurrection narratives of the gospels? How do you think we can discern if a text critical method produces sound (or sound enough) readings and/or artificially constrains the possible meanings of a text? In the Pistis Sophia, there are references to "five trees," from which five divine beings apparently came (with Melchizedek from the fifth). He also notes that Jesus is made to say in the Gospel of Thomas that "there are five trees in Paradise ... and one who knows them will not taste death." What are they? Doesn't there come a point where the reader interprets the story in a way that the author does not intend, but is still a valid interpretation?
14 minutes | Dec 10, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-014
Bible Geek Holiday Special Dr. Price reads a sermon about the 1947 movie "Miracle on 34th Street" titled "He Really is Santa Claus"
68 minutes | Dec 9, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-013
Who are Gog and Magog? It seems like angels have been largely written out of the script for fundamentalists. Is that your experience? Do you think this is a way for fundamentalists to avoid seeming Roman Catholic? What happened to the early Jewish Christians? How did your family react to your apostasy or backsliding or de-conversion or however you describe it? How could Jesus have been genuinely human if he never sinned? Tell us about Bruno Bauer. Do you know whether anyone has made a serious, well researched argument to change the BCE/CE dating scheme to something more centered in the Western/Hellenistic/Enlightenment Eras? Might the Emmaus story be based on a dream? Or the resurrection appearance of Romulus on the Alba Longa? What do you make of the references to anti-natalism in the Bible?
131 minutes | Nov 20, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-012
Could you explain the story of Oedipus Rex as a religious figure, who had all the "signs and trappings of a deity" (Alan Dundes) I think I heard you say that the OT doesn't prophesy about a Messiah. Did I misunderstand you or did you say this? Does Matthew 19:13-15 seem to not fit between the other verses? Seems like it was added much later. How would Pilate be able to converse with Jesus? Could Jesus have known Greek? Why no updates to the Bible? Is there any proof that the Bible was ever intended to be anything but a fictional endeavor? If so, where can that be found? Deuteronomy 34:5-6 say Moses died and was buried. Some say that’s a sneaky way of saying he didn’t die but was taken up to heaven alive, so he was still available to be one of the Two Witnesses in Revelation. But is that cogent? Maybe some non-canonical scripture told it differently? You’ve mentioned some influences that took you from liberal Christianity to atheism. These were Derrida, Don Cupitt, and the 19th Century critics of the New Testament. What were some ideas these individuals shared that were significant in your transition from liberal Christianity to atheism? Do you have any references you could share concerning the nineteenth-century circuit-riding preachers and their “behaviors” when moving from town to town? What do fundamentalists make of Jude 9, where the writer alludes to an apocryphal story? Whence the belief that angels do not sing? Some speculate that the Holy Spirit was included in the Trinity in order to mirror the theology of Neoplatonism, where it speaks of a World Soul poised between the First Father and the Demiurge/Logos. Thoughts? In what book(s) do you discuss “hermeneutical ventriloquism”? What is your view on Roland Barthes’s “death of the author” position against pursuing authorial intent as it relates to the Bible? What are the most important aspects of Derrida’s poststructuralism for critical textual scholarship generally? Is there any indication in the Bible that the messiah might return as a female? Is there any indication in the Bible that the messiah could not possibly return as a female?
52 minutes | Oct 15, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-011
Do you know if the term "beyond time and space" began to be used to describe God after Einstein's theories were proven? In the Pistis Sophia, there are references to "five trees," from which five divine beings apparently came (with Melchizedek from the fifth). And Jesus is made to say in the Gospel of Thomas that "there are five trees in Paradise ... and one who knows them will not taste death." What might they have been? Gnosticism taught that one gains salvation through knowledge, as opposed to grace, faith, works, etc. But isn’t that equally true for any Christian church that requires one to accept a particular creed? You have several times mentioned the similarities between certain gospel stories and novels from the same period. Is there a list of, or source for, said novels? In Strauss's "Life of Jesus Critically Examined it reads "Numerous rabbinical passages were cited to demonstrate, that it was consonant with Jewish notions to consider a son of pious parents to be conceived by the divine co-operation, and that he should be called the son of the Holy Spirit, without its being ever imagined that paternal participation was thereby excluded." Are you aware of these rabbinical passages? Is the story of Cain and Abel about the clash of the farmer archetype and the hunter/gatherer archetype? In Paul: A Critical Life Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, in his discussion of Acts' claim that Paul studied in Jerusalem under Gamaliel, raises John Knox's objections to the claim. What you make of Knox's points, as well as Murphy-O'Connor's comments?
35 minutes | Sep 17, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-010
One topic: Universalism/Universal Salvation
68 minutes | Aug 30, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-009
Birger Pearson argues for a Jewish pre-Christian origin for Gnosticism, but Bart Ehrman says that view is passé. Why do you agree with Pearson? Did some Gnostics use Son of Man as an important title as opposed to the ways Vermes said? Or am I just taking "title" too seriously, since it's on the brain because I just read Vermes? Is the doctrine of the Trinity more of a Catholic device than other faiths? What is your assessment of the hypothesis that Matthew and Luke both drew independently from Didache, at least for portions of what scholars would later call "Q" ? What sort of model of the Earth and the broader cosmos would a person construct if one had only the Bible as a description of the world? Are the Flat-Earthers right about the biblical account of Earth’s shape? Most people believe that Jesus foresaw his own death. I have been searching the internet and there doesn't seem to be any passages before Matthew 16:21–23 that would fit this narrative.
47 minutes | Aug 29, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-008
In Geza Vermes's Jesus the Jew he says many scholars reject his understanding of Jesus as a Galilean charismatic sage like Honi or Hanina ben Dosa, as well the contention that “son of man” was not a title. Please explain. Do you have any wisdom to impart in the subject of full Holiness? Do you see any reason to believe the traditional stories of the martyrdoms of Paul and Peter? Could the Gospel of John be considered Pauline?
50 minutes | Jul 19, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-007
Tell us about Bruno Bauer. Do you know whether anyone has made a serious, well researched argument to change the BCE/CE dating scheme to something more centered in the Western/Hellenistic/Enlightenment Eras? Might the Emmaus story be based on a dream? Or the resurrection appearance of Romulus on the Alba Longa? What do you make of the references to anti-natalism in the Bible? Is the passage in Revelation 11:7-12 about the 2 witnesses somehow related to the Passion and Resurrection narratives of the gospels?
37 minutes | Jun 29, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-006
Mark has the crowd hail “the kingdom of our father that is coming,” while Matthew has “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.” Is it possible that Mark believed Jesus was the Messiah ben Joseph and still expected that Simon bar Kochba would appear as the Messiah ben David? And that Matthew wrote after bar Kochba was defeated and makes Jesus fulfill both roles? Don’t you realize that the Clementines were written in the 4th century, not the 2nd as your heroes F.C. Baur and Bruno Bauer thought? Why the seeming neglect of Nehemiah?? Could the writing ascribed to Mark by Papias be something other than our canonical Mark? You mentioned that Karl Marx had a death bed religious conversion. I could not find anything about that online. Did you confuse him with someone else? Pope Gregory I identified Mary Magdalene with the woman who washed Jesus's feet in Luke 7:38. Why think either was a prostitute?
77 minutes | Apr 11, 2022
The Bible Geek Podcast 22-005
James D.G. Dunn (Unity and Diversity in the New Testament) says that the Ebionite gospel omitted Matthew’s Nativity story because they were adoptionists, implying that their Christology was secondary, not the original. But couldn’t Matthew have added it? Is there any truth to current claims that loads of Muslims are converting to Christianity after experiencing visions of Jesus? How would you critique the liberal church today? Was Philip the disciple an accountant or a math wizard? In John 6:5-7 he makes a lightning-fast calculation of the cost of enough food to feed the huge crowd. And how dare he contradict the Son of God by saying there wasn't enough food to feed the multitude? How can the word ἔλεγεν be variously translated as: “said,” “had said,” “was saying,” “had been saying,” “had already been saying,” etc? Why didn't God kill Job's wife? Was it so that Job's wife could advise him to die? In Mark 10:29,30, Jesus promises 100 mothers in this world to the one who gives up their mother to follow him. Why would someone want 100 mothers? In verse 29 Jesus mentions giving up one's father, but verse 30 omits fathers from the compensation promised in this world. Why? Mark's Jesus doesn't mention giving up one's spouses to follow him, and accordingly doesn't promise a 100-fold return in spouses. Jesus lists parents, siblings and offspring, and a couple of forms of property. This seems to parallel Job. What's the significance of omitting this class of property/family? Are we to believe that the Philistines had the architectural know-how to build a temple that would support 3,000 people on the roof (Judges 16:27)? What are some of the earliest Christian sects who disagreed with the doctrine of the trinity? What arguments did they give?