Today, we dig into the three different temptations Jesus faced in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry: selfishness, political power, and trying to control God.
Right at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, he visits a fiery preacher named John the Baptist. However, he had his own followers, which shaped how the gospel writers depicted him. But he and Jesus both had the same message: the imminent coming of the Empire of God.
This week, we cannot help but get into the weeds. Because John's prologue is the Scripture that kicks off the New Testament. And it loves philosophy! So we go through and break down, piece by piece, exactly what John is saying here.
Even though we ran short on time, we still were able to have an abbreviated conversation this week about the Intertestamental Period. The two testaments stand 500 years apart, and a whole lot happened in that time, including stuff that must shape how we understand the New Testament.
For our last week in the Hebrew Bible, we look at Daniel. When we bore down into it, Daniel is resistance literature of a subjugated people living under an oppressive empire. And it introduces us to apocalyptic literature, a genre written by those with no earthly chance of vindication—and which we'll see all over the New Testament.
This week, we take a look at Ezra. Last week (for which the audio recording did not work), we looked at the Babylonian Exile that the Judean elites were taken to. However, now they come back to Judah. But there are major class divides that rock the returning exiles, pitting rich against poor. Ezra's religious reforms simply exacerbate this conflict.
This week, we take a pause from our meta-narrative to step back and look at some of the implications of these stories. Rabbi Paul Strasko joins us to give us a helpful perspective on how we should think about these stories about which we so often feel squeamish.
This week takes a somber turn, as we have to work through the grief that the people of Judah experienced with the starvation and subsequent exile brought on by the protracted Babylonian siege of Jerusalem. Along the way of, we look at Jeremiah and Lamentations to give us some insight into how they grieved—and what we can learn from them.