Melchizedek is one of the more enigmatic figures in the Bible. Mentioned in only two passages in the Old Testament (Gen 14:17-24; Psalm 110), he nevertheless drew a lot of attention during the Second Temple Period and the New Testament. Thousands of pages of scholarly research have been devoted to him. Nearly everything said about him produces interpretive problems, from the nature of his name, to its meaning, to his identity as a Canaanite (non-Israelite), to why Psalm 110 favors his priesthood about that of Aaron. This episode of the podcast finishes our discussion of the Old Testament material associated with Melchizedek. Later episodes will be devoted to how he was understood in Second Temple Judaism and the New Testament.

Resources:

“Melchizedek,” Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (IVP)

“Melchizedek,” Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (Brill, Eerdmans)

NB 167 Transcript 1B

Melchizedek is one of the more enigmatic figures in the Bible. Mentioned in only two passages in the Old Testament (Gen 14:17-24; Psalm 110), he nevertheless drew a lot of attention during the Second Temple Period and the New Testament. Thousands of pages of scholarly research have been devoted to him. Nearly everything said about him produces interpretive problems, from the nature of his name, to its meaning, to his identity as a Canaanite (non-Israelite), to why Psalm 110 favors his priesthood about that of Aaron. This episode and the next (1b) of the podcast focuses on the Old Testament associated with Melchizedek. Later episodes will be devoted to how he was understood in Second Temple Judaism and the New Testament.

Resources:

“Melchizedek,” Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (IVP)

“Melchizedek,” Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (Brill, Eerdmans)

NB 166 Transcript

David Burnett returns to the podcast to discuss Paul’s defense of his apostleship and his heavenly ascent in 2 Corinthians 11-12. This episode expands upon an earlier episode on Paul’s ascent, specifically linking it to Second Temple Jewish apocalyptic literature (the Apocalypse of Abraham) and rabbinic material that appears to draw on that earlier material. The link to Abraham in Jewish thought is important, as it informs part of Paul’s comments on being the seed of Abraham.

NB 164 Transcript

Gerald R. McDermott (PhD, University of Iowa) is Anglican Chair of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. Before joining Beeson, he was the Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion at Roanoke College. He is also associate pastor at Christ the King Anglican Church and Distinguished Senior Fellow in the History of Christianity at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion.
In this episode of the podcast we discuss two of Dr. McDermott’s books: God’s Rivals: Why Has God Allowed Different Religions? and Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land.
God’s Rivals raises the question of why there are other religions—why would God permit that? The content of the book takes note of the Deuteronomy 32 worldview discussed so often on the Naked Bible Podcast – that, for biblical writers, the gods were real and allotted to the nations (and vice versa) in judgment at the Babel event (Deut 4:19-20; 17:1-3; 29:23-26; 32:8-9 [per the Dead Sea Scrolls “sons of God” reading]; 32:17). Dr. McDermott surveys early church thinkers reflections on this situation and what it meant in God’s plan of salvation.
Israel Matters discusses the diversity of opinion (positive and negative) in the believing Church toward the people, land, and state of Israel.

Books referenced:

  1. God’s Rivals: Why Has God Allowed Different Religions? Insights from the Bible and the Early Church
  2. Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land
  3. The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land

NB 163 Transcript

The “evil eye” was a widespread superstition in the ancient world, one that continues on into the present day. The belief that one could cause someone harm merely by looking at them, or cast a spell over them by the same means, shows up in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamian, Greece, Rome, and Rabbinic writings. But does the Bible contain any reference to the notion? This episode explores biblical references to having an “evil eye” and discusses the meaning of those references in biblical thought.

Select References:

Marie-Louise Thomsen, “The Evil Eye in Mesopotamia,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 51:1 (1992): 19-32

Edwin M. Yamauchi, “Magic in the Biblical World,” Tyndale Bulletin 34 (1983): 169-200 (Sec IV.C)

Nicole Tilford, “The Affective Eye: Re-Examining a Biblical Idiom,” Biblical Interpretation 23 (2015) 207-221

D. A. Fiensy, “The Importance of New Testament Background Studies in Biblical Research: The ‘Evil Eye’ in Luke 11: 34 as a Case Study,” Stone-Campbell Journal. 2:1 (1992): 75-88

Eastman, “The Evil Eye and the Curse of the Law: Galatians 3:1 Revisited,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 83 (2001): 69-87

NB 162 Transcript

In this episode Dr. Heiser talks to the men behind a new translation project, John Hobbins and Samuel Bray. The first volume of their effort is entitled Genesis 1-11: A New Old Translation for Readers, Scholars, and Translators. Our discussion focuses on the translation enterprise – what translators need to think about as they do their work. The strength of this new project is its thorough documentation by the translators of what and how they were thinking during the process of producing their translation. Over 130 pages of notes about the Hebrew text and its translation issues accompany the translation.

The work comes highly recommended, and Naked Bible Podcast listeners can purchase the resource at a discount.

Preorder HERE and use the code: GETNAKED to receive a discount.

NB 161 Transcript

The episode of Noah’s drunkenness in Genesis 9 has long befuddled interpreters. One of Noah’s sons, Ham, commits some heinous crime against his father. Oddly, though, Ham is not the one cursed by his father. Instead, Ham’s son Canaan bears the wrath of Noah. This episode explores the traditional solutions to the interpretive confusion and offers an alternative based on recent research in the Hebrew text.

Sources:

John Sietze Bergsma and Scott Walker Hahn, “Noah’s Nakedness and the Curse on Canaan,” Journal of Biblical Literature 124:1 (2005): 25-40

NB 159 Transcript

The Ark of the Covenant is well-known because of the popular Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark. That pop culture film offers just one of over a dozen theories on what happened to the Ark of the Covenant. The question arises because the ark is not one of the artifacts taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in the biblical account of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in 586 BC, nor is it listed among the temple treasures returned to Israel in Ezra 1, the account of the release of the captive Judeans. This episode surveys the more interesting and important theories as to the fate of the ark.

Sources:

John Day, “Whatever Happened to the Ark of the Covenant?” Temple and Worship in Biblical Israel (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 422; Bloomsbury T&T Clark; Rev. Ed edition, 2007), 250-270

John Bimson, “Shoshenk and Shishak: A Case of Mistaken Identity?” Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum 6 (1992/93): 19-32

Michael S. Heiser, “Moses as High Priest and Sorcerer? A Response to Graham Hancock’s

Egyptian Explanation for the Ark of the Covenant” Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin 39-40 (1995) 48-65

link referenced:
https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/85762/enigmatic-dead-sea-copper-scroll-reveals-true-locations-lost-temple-treasures/#7h3EPE5c8FKGOWQZ.97

NB 158 Transcript