In the last podcast episode we continued our series on studying the Bible in light of its various types of literature – its literary genres. We looked at parables and offered some guidelines for interpreting them. In this episode, we’re going to briefly look at another familiar type of biblical literature that is at times badly misunderstood: the proverb.

 

NB 27 Transcript

In the last podcast episode we continued our series on studying the Bible in light of its various types of literature – its literary genres. We looked at an example related to the New Testament – how the literary features of Greco-Roman phantom tales and “post-mortem appearances” of the dead inform our reading of NT resurrection accounts. In this episode, we’re going to focus on a type of literature that appears in both testaments, but which is most familiar in the New Testament:  the parable.

 

NB 26 Transcript

In the last podcast episode we continued our series on studying the Bible in light of its various types of literature – its literary genres. We’re going to continue that effort in this episode and shift gears into the New Testament.

I want to look today at two familiar episodes in the life of Jesus: the incident where he walks on the water and his disciples think they are seeing a ghost, and his appearances to the disciples after his resurrection. It may sound surprising, but the ancient world of which the NT was part actually had many stories about ghosts and what scholars call “post-mortem appearances” of the dead. New Testament scholars have investigated how the New Testament writers both utilized and subverted these genres in their attempts to communicate what it was they experienced and believed about Jesus.

 

NB 25 Transcript

In the last podcast episode we continued our series on studying the Bible in a way that amounts to more than reading by taking a look at the legal genre in Old Testament books. Today we’re focusing on another genre – military annals. I think the best way of illustrating how this genre can matter for interpretation is to begin with a problem that it solves, one that biblical scholars have grappled with for centuries. More specifically, I’m speaking of the problem of the unrealistically large numbers in the exodus and wilderness journey of Israel. In this episode of the Naked Bible podcast, I’ll illustrate this problem from the biblical material, mention a commonly proposed solution, and then introduce you to what I think is a better solution—one that derives from the type of literature we’re dealing with in the exodus, wilderness, and conquest narratives.

 

NB 24 Transcript

In the last episode of our series on studying the Bible, we transitioned to an important area of study: learning to read the Bible in terms of the various types of literature found in its pages. Our first example concerned reading narrative, where I recommended reading biblical stories like fiction — like you would read a novel. In this episode we focus on the legal genre of the Bible using a controversial example from Exodus 21.

 

NB 23 Transcript

In the past few episodes of the podcast series on learning how to really study your Bible, I’ve focused on the issue of how critical it is to take the Bible in its own context, not a context that is familiar to us, like modern evangelicalism or the Reformation. I want to transition now to another important area of study: learning to read the Bible in terms of the various types of literature found in its pages.

In this episode, we’ll talk about how to read narrative intelligently. I recommend reading it like fiction — like you would read a novel. The problem is that we read the Bible like we read a textbook. That kills inquisitiveness.  Read it like a novel; read it like the writer had an agenda or a plan – because he did.

 

NB 22 Transcript

In the last podcast, I recommended the best books and reference sources for understanding the religion and culture of the ANE for OT study. This episode wraps up my overview of taking the Bible’s own context seriously by immersing oneself into the intellectual worldview of the biblical writers by taking a look at books dealing with the literature of the Second Temple period for NT study. Scholars who are steeped in this material have produced fine material for  explaining how the Second Temple period worldview contributes to NT interpretation. My goal in this episode is to direct you to the some of the best reference works and monographs in that regard to enrich your NT study.

 

NB 21 Transcript

We’ve talked in previous episodes about how the best way to understood the original context of the biblical writers is to immerse yourself in the worldview of the civilizations with which the biblical writers had regular contact.  We’ve already spent several episodes on my recommendations for accessing the texts of the ancient Near East and Second Temple period – the intellectual output of the civilizations and cultures that form the original contexts of the Old and New Testaments. In this episode and the next, I want to recommend the best books and reference sources for understanding the religion and culture of the ANE and Second Temple period. Scholars who are steeped in this material have produced many essays explaining the worldview of these civilizations and how that worldview matters for biblical study and interpretation. My goal is to direct you to the best of those resources. As is our pattern, we’ll devote this episode to the ANE, the context for the OT, before moving to the Second Temple period, the context for the NT, in the next episode of the podcast.

 

NB 20 Transcript

The series on Bible study continues with the emphasis on interpreting the Bible in its own context. The context we’re discussing is the world of the ancient Near East (with respect to the OT) and the Second Temple period with respect to the NT. Interpreting the Bible in these contexts means thinking like a person living at these times. The best way to do that is to immerse yourself in the worldview of the civilizations of these eras with which the biblical writers had regular contact.  That is accomplished by immersion in the written sources of these civilizations. The last episode of the podcast dealt with the need to tap into the written material of the ANE since that is the context for the OT. In this episode we’ll turn attention to the NT context, the Second temple period (6th century BC-1st century AD). As in the last episode, all print and online sources I mention in the podcast are found (with links) at the “Bibliography and Resources” tab here on the podcast website.

 

NB 19 Transcript

The last episode of the podcast dealt with the need to tap into the intellectual output of the ancient Mediterranean world — the Bible’s own context – in order to start thinking the thoughts of the biblical writers. This episode takes this recommendation further by directing listeners to the best volumes and websites for English translations of ancient literature pertinent to biblical studies. The episode focuses on the civilizations that give the OT its context – the civilizations of the ancient Near East (ANE). Dr. Heiser recommends books (whether hard copy or digital form) as well as websites for tapping into ANE literature.

 

NB 18 Transcript