The Human Bible







April 2013
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We start the episode getting up to speed on a basic idea: Does the New Testament say that Jesus is God?

Next: a look at some of the classic examples of excuse-making in the Bible, also known as the convenient-but-confusing “Doctrine of Progressive Revelation.”

Have you ever stopped to think about where Christians think Satan came from? The answer isn’t as simple as you’d think. (This is the Bible, after all…)

Lastly, does the Bible support the idea that Jesus wants a personal relationship with us as our savior? Spoiler alert: No.

Direct download: Episode_030.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 1:02pm EDT

First off, we get up to speed with the Book of Job. Exactly what are we supposed to learn from this story? When bad things happen to good people, are they just being tested? Or are they being punished? Or is it just about suffering as a great learning opportunity?

And while we’re at it, what does all this say about who determines our destiny? Mixed messages result from multiple authors with multiple agendas.

Next, Bob tackles some fantastic audience questions:

· The Book of Mormon has a character named Korihor who is pretty much an atheist. Is this normal—are there any atheists in the Bible—or is this a reflection of the modern times in which the Book of Mormon was written, when freethinkers and humanists were more outspoken and clearly influencing people like Joseph Smith?

· So, zombies in the Book of Matthew?

Finally, did Jesus go to Hell?

Direct download: Episode_029.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:46am EDT

What exactly is the idea behind "love your enemy as yourself"? Bob shows us it's more complicated than you might think: It might be that you're supposed to love your enemy because you're hoping God will be the one to dole out punishment to the wicked (far more severely than you could). Or maybe loving your enemy will, as Bob says, "make your enemy feel like a jerk," thereby psychologically heaping fiery coals on his head.

Also, is it really St. Peter's job to decide who does and does not get into Heaven? And what's the deal with Revelation: isn't the Roman Empire supposed to rise again? We'll get to the bottom of it all with The Human Bible.

Direct download: Episode_028.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:33am EDT

The Human Bible returns for ten more episodes, kicking things off with a question that, if answered, could have literally cosmic implications: Did Ezekiel encounter alien spaceships? It's a more compelling question than you think.

Also, Bob wonders if "did the historical Jesus actually exist?" is the wrong question, but rather, "which one?" The pacifist? The cynic sage? The violent revolutionary? The apocalyptic prophet?

All this in much more in the latest edition of The Human Bible!

Direct download: Episode_027.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:56am EDT

This week we finally answer the big question on everyone's mind: Was Jesus a shape-shifter, YES OR NO?

Also, what exactly is a concubine, in biblical terms?

We answer some great listener questions:

  • What in the world is going on in Matthew 27:51-53 where the author talks about the earth shaking, tombs breaking open, and bodies raising from the dead and appearing to people?
  • What does the Bible have to say about why continual worship and adoration of God is such a big deal?

And finally, answering yet another burning question, we explain, according to the Bible, which insects you can eat, and which you must not.

Direct download: THB026.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 2:58am EDT

As the ancient proverb says, you can't tell the Herods apart without a scorecard. We get up to speed this week on all the different Herods mentioned in the Bible.

It's pretty well known that the Bible can be, to put it mildly, especially unkind to women. This week we take a brief look at one interesting response to that: biblical feminism.

We answer some great listener questions: Who was Nimrod, did he really hunt dinosaurs, and what does Bugs Bunny have to do with it? We seem to know when passages of the Bible were written. What are the ways we can find that information to begin with, and are some passages more accurately dated than others?

Finally, did Jesus predict Muhammad? Is that in the Bible?!

Direct download: THB025.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

Big news! Human Bible t-shirts are now in stock. They're the best way to show the world that while the Bible may not be infallible, you think it's pretty damn fascinating. Pick one up today!

As always, we get up to speed—this time we look at the evolution of a biblical text and learn how the Epistle of Jude is more dependent that one might guess on a book that didn't make it into the New Testament.

We take a look at the Gospel of John and a story about Jesus lying (or... bending the truth?) to his brothers about going to dinner in Judea.

Is God multilingual? How did the Bible come to be written in three different languages?

Was Jesus a non-violent and anti-authoritarian figure? Can the Bible itself be be read as an anti-authoritarian text?

Finally, is reincarnation mentioned in the Bible? Should we all convert to New Ageism just in case?

Direct download: THB024.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT

This week on The Human Bible we get up to speed on the Torah. What sort of laws does it contain, and who enforces them?

Some critics of the gospels claim that they were written by people playing, basically, a big game of telephone—how do apologists respond?

We answer some listener questions: did Moses part the Red Sea, or just catch it at low tide? Singular vs plural in Genesis—is it the story of creation by one god, or many?

Finally, we look at the claim that "God helps those who help themselves." For answers, we examine a not often enough referenced text: the Holy Script of the Life of Brian.

Direct download: THB023.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:56am EDT

This week on The Human Bible, we ask: to whom was the Bible written? Is it meant to be read by anyone that happens to pick it up, or did its authors have a more specific audience in mind?

We take a look at "the day the earth stood still!" The Bible says God lengthened a day for Joshua so he could win a battle—urban legend, or confirmed by science?!

As always we answer some great listener questions: Where do Catholic rituals come from, and can you find reference to them in the Bible? While Jesus is on the cross, why does it seem like it takes him crying out to God for people to realize he might be thirsty?

Finally, we examine a song in the Bible, and, okay, look, it involves rocks and it involves kids. And it's not pretty. Is that really in the Bible?!

Thanks to Andrew and Carrie for the questions answered in this week's episode! 

Direct download: THB022.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:36pm EDT

This week on The Human Bible, we first get Up to Speed by answering some questions: What is the difference between Isreal and Judah? Between Israelite and Jew? And does Jew mean the same thing as Judean?

We flip things around for this week's Apologetics is Never Having to Say You're Sorry: we pick out something from the Bible that is often called a contradiction—and understandably so—but suggest that it is, in fact, not.

As always, we explore some questions from listeners:

Are there numerological "puns" in the Bible? Does the Number of the Beast, 666, spell out NRN CSR or Nero Caesar? If so, are there other instances of this in the text?

Does the Bible say God wants us to be rich and successful, as many mega-churches and televangelists claim?

Finally, does the Bible suggest that God wants people to be gay—but only those people he doesn't like? Is that in the Bible?!

A special thanks to Robert and Greg for submitting the questions answered in this episode. 

Direct download: THB021.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 6:21pm EDT