The Bible Geek Show

The Bible Geek Show

United States

Dr. Robert M. Price answers questions submitted to him at criticus@aol.com This Podcast was created using www.talkshoe.com

Episodes

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-013  

In Revelation one of the churches is congratulated for resisting the teachings of a false apostle, is that a veiled reference to Paul? What do you think of The Complete Jewish Bible? Does non-orthodox Messianic Judaism change anything about what you've learned or studied or what conclusions you have produced? Any thoughts on LA Marzelli, "The Watchers, and the "seed of the Nephilim"? If the Tower of Babel produced diversity in language, than what produced diversity of race (color/bone structure, etc)? What is referred to by â??the branch of the Lordâ?? in Isaiah 2? Might Psalm 71:20 be referring to resurrection at all or is it more likely they only denote that Yahweh helps the righteous when their down and brings them back up on their feet? What do you think about the theory of R.G. Price that the young man in Mark 14:52, based on Amos 2:16, forms the culmination of three Markan allusions to Amos, the others being 2:6 and 2:12? Couldnâ??t we solve a lot of source-critical puzzles if we posited that â??Qâ?? was first an expansion of Mark? Where does Paul explains how remembered oral communications from Jesus were subject to distortion, substitution, and deletion of meaning, not to mention that any concepts communicated were bound within the context of language, unlike his teaching, based on a direct, non-linguistic transmission of information directly from Jesus? Doesn't a blatantly provocative, vulgar and literal image like a crucifix lend itself to not merely state sanction, but enforcement? When did this image become common?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-012  

What do you think of Kenneth A. Kitchen? The recently discovered "Seal of Hezekiah" features Egyptian symbols like the Ankh and the winged sun disc. Does this mean the king was a polytheist? Are there regional idioms of speech in the Bible that might help track down the origin of this or that text? Would the virgin-born Jesus resemble only Mary and not Joseph? What exactly are the theological differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy? What do you think the mid- to long-term prospects are for Islam to be widely studied from a humanistic approach like Christianity often is? Is there any connection between the psalmist Asaph and fable master Aesop? Are there any sections of the Bible that are supported by extra-biblical historical evidence that you are aware of; and, if so, what is it? I read somewhere that the IHS we see on Catholic ritual equipment, such as chalices, is the IHS known as the "Bacchus monogram". Is it true? Why do modern Christians emphasize the inherent complexity of God as a proof of his existence as creator, while Islamic philosophers emphasize the simplicity of God as a proof of his existence?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-011  

What are some core books you would suggest to supplement a read-through of the whole Bible? Since Genesis 5 begins with the line, "This is the book of the generations of Adam," might this chapter have once been its own book? Does Genesis 5 offer a third creation story, or perhaps an alternative continuation of the second creation account that ignores the Cain and Abel story? Are there more extrabiblical stories of Seth out there, similar to the various apocrypha and apocalypses centered around Adam? I s there is any etymological connection between the Biblical character of Seth and the Egyptian god Set? Could canonical Luke be later than John? Suggestions on numerological coded messages re Mary Magdalene, Jesus, David, etc. How common is the error of thinking that "Lord of Hosts" refers to communion wafers? Can you offer any insight into Stoicism and its presence in the Bible? Might the Parable of the Shrewd Manager be Gnostic meaning that "Even if you don't have the gnosis, at least go ahead with ecclesiastical Christianity, because that's better than nothing"? What's your interpretation of the story of David and Goliath? What is the proper pronunciation of erudite/erudition? Could you expand on your theory that Hegesippus is actually just Josephus? What do you think of theories that Josephusâ??s work was reworked or even commissioned by a cabal within the Flavian household and instrumental in the creation of Christianity? Are traditions like Gnostic mystical pantheism gone from modern Christianity? Some translations of Matthew 18:22 say "seventy-seven times," others "seventy times seven." Which is more accurate translation? Could you please explain why the translators of the LXX changed the order of the Hebrew Bible and then also added more books to the canon? If Simon Magus is the basis for the "historical" Paul, does any of the material in the Pauline Epistles go back to the mid-to-late 1st century, even if it's in a garbled form? If all the Gospels are comparatively late, wouldn't we expect a great deal more "Pauline" influence even in Mark?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-010  

Where do the mythologies surrounding the Roman soldiers Longinus and Tiberius Pantera come from? The Yezidis say Satan fell but then was redeemed and restored to his place. Might we consider him a Dying and Rising God? What might the Yazidi faith have to tell us about the origins of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity? What are your thoughts about Vesuvius being a basis for Revelation 8? Why are New Years and Christmas a week apart? Is the reference to Lilith in Isaiah retrofitted to be a name, or is the translation into "screech owl" in the King James a deliberate obfuscation? On a recent Bible Geek, there was a suggestion that boiling a kid in its mother's milk could be a reference. Can you provide a recap of books of the New Testament where multiple books have, or are purported to have, the same author, and is that actually the case? Jesus makes it clear that it is not what we eat that makes us unclean but what comes out (Mark 7:18-23). Does this conflict with Leviticus 11? Does 1 Timothy 4:3? Is it possible that the Mark passage is a reflection of the Gnostic dietary laws? Matthew says Joseph of Arimathea was a disciple of Jesus. Luke says he did not consent to the vote to condemn Jesus. Do these differences imply reliance on earlier oral traditions? Can you explain the ancient belief in two messiahs and how it may be reflected in the NT? If the canonical Pauline epistles were heavily interpolated, why did Marcion seemingly not have access to the originals? Or do you think he did?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-009  

Is learning the original Greek, Latin, and Hebrew truly essential in learning the meaning and context of the Bible? Bart Ehrman, in his Misquoting Jesus, says that the earlier the manuscript, the more errors you find. Which ones is he talking about? Please describe the process of translating Hebrew and Greek manuscripts into modern English. Is the Letter of Mara ben Serapion an independent attestation of a historical Jesus? What exactly does Daniel 9 mean to predict? Why does the Talmud curse anyone who reads Daniel 9:24-27 to calculate the coming of the Kingdom? What do you think are the best books/articles to read on Exodus? E.A. Speiser suggests that chapter 14 was an independent, foreign, "quasi-historical" document that was imported into the rest of the Genesis material, and he takes this as evidence that Abraham was a real historical figure "who was attested in contemporary sources." What do you think of this claim of historicity? Are there any theories about the identity of the "man carrying a jar of water" in Mark 14:13? Why does the pregnant Elizabeth stay in seclusion for 5 months (Luke 1:24)?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-008  

In Gilles Deleuze's essay, "Nietzsche and Saint Paul, Lawrence and John of Patmos," he writes "John of Patmos deals with cosmic terror and death, whereas the gospel and Christ dealt with human and spiritual love. Christ invented a religion of love (a practice, a way of living and not a belief), whereas the Apocalypse brings a religion of power--a belief, a terrible manner of judging. Instead of the gift of Christ, an infinite debt." and goes on to write "...this bearer of glad tidings [Christ] is doubled by the black Saint Paul, who keeps Christ on the cross, ceaselessly leading him back to it, making him rise from the dead, displacing the center of gravity toward eternal life...." What are your thoughts on this, and why do Christians tend to fixate on the death and resurrection of Christ and talk less about things He supposedly said and taught (this has been my experience at least)? Please talk about the importance for biblical studies of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Please give a brief explanation of how the Bible was put together and who wrote it. Re "Lord of Hosts": does one say "a host" or "an host"? Exodus 4:18-31 seems to indicate that Moses was not circumcised. Then how did the daughter of Pharaoh know that baby Moses was a Jew? Why is Elijah is given such preeminence among the Hebrew prophets? Why does the Gospel of John omit the 40 day sojourn in the desert?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-007  

Can you tell me anything about about the origin, authorship, geography or dating of the Meqabyan (or Ethiopic Maccabees) books? Does Galatians 3:1 refer to an early Christian Mystery Play? Is Harold Bloom correct in his derivation of Mormonism from sectarian and kabbalistic sources? Why does the anointing at Bethany make Jesus look like a bit of a jerk? And could the reference to "the poor" denote the Ebionites? Which of your books would be good to cast doubt on the infallibility of the Bible, to account to friends for my loss of faith in it? Does the gospel story of the discovery of Jesus' empty tomb rest upon older Buddhist accounts of the discovery of "Yasa" having disappeared from his bed? Regarding apocryphal gospels and other New Testament-era books that didn't make it into the canon, is it reasonable to assume that we have better access to books that date from the later eras of early Christianity (say, 3rd through 6th centuries) than those from earlier dates?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-006  

What if Mark was signaling that it was actually Simon Peter who was crucified and Andrew was the young man who fled naked from Gethsemane? What are our sources for the story that Antiochus forbade Hebrew worship? Do we have anything substantive beyond The Book of Maccabees, or Josephus -- who himself was probably echoing Macabees? Do you accept the opinion of Dr. James (Mickey) Efird and Bruce Metzger that Revelation was NOT about the end of the world but simply a book written in a well-known genre for that day to give people hope that their persecution under Emperor Domitian would soon be over if they just waited it out? Is it possible that the Synoptics used Marcion's Gospel, the Gospel of Peter, and the Infancy Gospel of James? Do you think the Masoretic text may have been edited in response to Christian doctrine? John's gospel never names Jesus' mother. Might he have been trying to de-objectify her by keeping all portrayals minimalistic, including the obscuring of a name?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-005  

Why does Matthew 5:17-19 say that if anyone should annul the Torah would be called "the Least," implying a single person? Does he mean Paul? Does "witch" in Exodus 22:18 actually mean something like "Poisoner"? Did these "witches" belong to pagan religions? Could you provide evidence from the Pauline letters which may refer to the celestial (i.e., non-historical) Jesus? Acts tells us that Paul was Pharisee and that before his conversion he hunted down and arrested Christians. Can you tell me what type of Christians they were? Origen says the gospel resurrection stories conceal a very advanced esoteric truth. Any idea what it might have been?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-004  

Can Karl Popper's philosophical analysis that all induction is "deductively invalid" and strict reliance on falisification be applied to the question of the historicity of New Testament material? Is the Jehovah's Witnesses idea correct that "Jehovah" is the actual name of God, and everything else, including "Yahweh," are merely titles? Bible Geek standup comedy. What is the OT minimalist understanding of 40 years of wandering in the desert? In Luke 2:1, the shepherds hear that Bethlehem is the "city of David"; wasn't that supposed to be Jerusalem? When did people begin to refer to their canon as the "Bible," rather than "scriptures"? Can you explain the significance of R. G. Collingwood's The Idea of History, and its impact on Biblical studies? Is G. R. S. Mead's theory that Marcionites followed Chrestus, not Christos, valid? Are there any 1st century examples of literature similar to the Gospels, i.e., historical fictions about known mythical figures? When was December 25th established as Jesus' birthday? What are the differences between a theophany and an avatar? Does sorcery require a powerful magic or intention to work, or are just the words enough? Is it possible that Luke's and Matthew's nativity stories were specifically written as polemic against an early version of the Toledoth Jeschu? Thus, neither based on Christian traditions in common? Doesn't the gradual pruning of the branches of Christianity from many diverse sects to orthodoxy point more toward a mythical origin? Possible error: questioner cites R. G. Price: "The Gospel of Mark as Reaction and Allegory" (http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/gospel_mark.htm) as "The Gospel of Mark as Theological Allegory" (http://www.rationalrealm.com/downloads/science/GospelMarkTheologicalAllegory.pdf), found online, by Jonathan Rutherford. Why, if Jesus was not historical, did Christianity rise to such popularity? Multiple observations from the Trickster. When did the first signs of "supersessionism" of Christianity over Judaism appear and what was its history of progression? A recommendation for the Skeptic's Annotated Bible and website. Should the idea that high Christology requires a long development time, e.g., John's Gospel, also be applied to such Gnostic works as The Apocryphon of John, making such works much older in origin? Is the ICHTHUS symbol specifically Christian (acronym), not pagan, in origin? Are all religious figures euhermized historical individuals? Are the mentions of synagogues in the NT really an anachronism? Can you comment on the origin of Wisdom literature, how they became incorporated into the Tanakh, and why the chapter divisions seem so arbitrary? What is your perferred moniker? Can God be "artistically pictured" in a such a way that does not force corporeality on the viewer? Did visual arts affect the perceived historicity of Jesus for early Christianity? How does your mythicist theory differ from Richard Carrier's?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-003  

Can you say something about the Greek words used in the NT for "spirit" and "ghost"? In the Salem Witch trials, the accused could not defend herself by saying she was nowhere the scene when someone claimed to be afflicted by her hex, because it was believed that a witch did not need to be there when it struck. Where would devout Puritans get such a notion? Are there any theories as to why the ancient Hebrews created a day of absolute rest? Have you heard anyone suggest that Abraham failed his test when God asked him to kill Isaac, because he was hoping Abe would use his free will and refuse? Is there real evidence to prove the Epistle of James is not really the work of James the Just? Might the two rival gospel genealogies reflect Mary's laiasons with two different guys named Joseph, one of the Jacob's son, the other Heli's? Has anyone ever researched how many prayers, myths, and stories took root in different cultures in antiquity? Why does everyone say John the Baptist called himself unworthy to tie Jesus' sandals? It says "untie"! Does the New Testament continue the Old Testament use of "feet" as a metaphor for that which YVHV demanded be circumcised? With such varied reporting of a trial of the most important figure in Christianity, how can it all be true? Also, does this prove that Mark's gospel was written first due the brevity of his trial narrative which then Matthew, Luke, and John embellished in their gospels? Is there any uncontaminated reminiscence of the belief system of Simon Magus? How likely is it that the Vatican does hold some of the ancient source material they worked so hard to suppress?

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-002  

Dr. Richard Carrier says the very first Christians were probably Jewish-Christians who doubled as literate Rabbis. Is there any evidence to corroborate this? What is the main evidence leading most scholars believe the New Testament was originally written in Ancient Greek, not Aramaic. Why have scholars retreated from Baur's restriction of genuine Pauline Epistles to Romans, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians? Why was The Shepherd of Hermas not included in the New Testament? Is it likely that Matthew used more of Q than Luke did? Are there any hints of possible Q material in Matthew that wasn't used by Luke? Do you think Strauss's arguments against the rationalists in The Life of Jesus Critically Examined are relevant at all today? And would his book be much different had he known of the Two document hypothesis? Would you please recommend a book/author to read for info on Isaiah? How on Earth were Noah and his family able to pass on the information about the history prior to the Flood? Does the 117th Letter of Pliny offer any real information about Jesus? And might it be a forgery anyway? Where does biblical mythology deal with the rainbow? You've defended several translations from the Jehovah's Witness New World Translation. If they have the truth, why don't you join? Re: Philip K. Dick & Reza Aslan. Re: the relationship between Christianity and Science Fiction.

The Bible Geek Podcast 16-001  

Is the account of the martyrdom of James the Just historical or a conflation of three different versions? Millions of birds starve to death every year, so how do apologists deal with Matthew 6:26? How best to deal with ventriloquists who allege that the Bible predicted things discovered by science only millennia later? What is the real dividing line between the religious believer and those who look at existential questions through a secular prism? The Delay of the Parousia motif in Lovecraft and the NT.

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-062  

How would Christianity (and the world) be different if Jesus and the Book itself were EXPLICITLY the revealed messenger/word of god, a la Islam? Conversely, how would Islam (and the world) be different if it wasn't explicit? In John 20:17 Jesus tells Mary Magdalene, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father." Does this denote Docetism? Don't the raisings from the dead of Lazarus and others make Jesus's resurrection a bit anticlimactic? Is there anything to the claim that these were merely operating-table resuscitations and not resurrections? Since Matthew used significantly more of Mark than Luke did, do you think it's safe to assert the same re: Q? Is some of the "M" material also Q material? If Psalm 16:10 is not about some person whose body doesn't decompose, to what is it referring? Might the healing of blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52 really refer to a spiritual awakening? Might the apocalyptic predictions of the Bible be timeless predictions of an everlasting opposition between good and evil?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-061  

How does the Jewish notion of Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David influence the New Testament? Is the presence of Joshua as one of the scouts in Numbers 13 a later editorial redaction? What's the deal with Caleb's ancestry? He is called both a representative of the tribe of Judah, but it often mentions that he is a Kenizzite. What does it mean by saying that Caleb "hath another spirit in him"? Fascinating stuff from Dr. Barton on Moses' burning bush and the Garden of Eden! Ditto on the Parable of the Dishonest Steward and the "leaven of the Pharisees." Was the Bible written "to convert the masses"? Is it proper to refer to the Christian community of any nation as "The Church"? Is El Elyon a Caananite god that eventually morphed into the Hebrew god? Did Yahweh/God sit down to dinner with Abraham in Genesis 18? Are modern Christians right in interpreting such "God as human" Old Testament sightings as Jesus?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-060  

Is the Angel of Death used for reasons similar to the Angel of Yahweh: an appearance of a God too holy to appear on stage himself? What is your theory as to how or why religion developed at all? What is the purpose of Mark's Transfiguration story? Is it possible to discern any potential "pre-Markan" agendas for this one story? Does the familiar system of Bible citation (BOOK, CHAPTER, VERSE) distort the meaning of the text? In Mark 14:51 who is the young man who flees away naked? Is John's gospel more concerned with John the Baptist's movement than the synoptic are? Isn't the temptation narrative most compatible with an adoptionist Christology? What do we know about the Gnostic Cerinthus? Is the scene with the youth who fled naked in Mark derived from Joseph fleeing from Potipher's wife?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-059  

Why do Matthew and Luke change Markâ??s picture of Joseph of Arimathea? Why does Jesus assume you would be slapped on the right cheek first seeing that most people are right-handed and would therefore slap the left cheek? How can so many people believe the Bible to be the inspired book of God? If, as Bart Ehrman says, Luke can be read as an adoptionist, does that mean Polycarp was an adoptionist? What do we know about the Ebionites? What do you think Mark believed regarding Jesus' resurrection? What are the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus? Why do many of the surviving ancient histories seem to have gaps in them around the time that Jesus supposedly walked the Earth?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-058  

Revelation 1:1 seems to say that God gave the Revelation to Jesus to give to the church. Does this undermines any doctrine of Jesus' divinity, particularly the implications for his omnipotence, and oneness with the Father? Does Revelation 1:7 indicate a belief that Jesus is going to return during the lives of the people who actually executed him (Pilate, Caiaphas, etc.) or just a belief that the Jews would see him? Acts 19 says some Jewish exorcists who tried to imitate Paul's miracles were sons of a Sceva, "a Jewish High Priest." Were there numerous high priests at the same time? Is there any consistent position on eating meat offered to idols in 1 Corinthians? Might the Eden story enshrine a historical memory of the switchover from "Paleo" to agriculture? Luke 3:23 says, "So Jesus ... was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli," Is the "(as was supposed)" supported by any of the manuscripts or is it a later addition added after Jesus had been raised to the status of the Son of God? Where do you and other scholars stand on the question of the authenticity of the James ossuary now? Are there any scholars on board with the claim that the Syriac Peshitta is the basis for Hebrew and Greek versions? With which (if any) of the Synoptic Gospels do you think "John" the evangelist was familiar? Is there anything to suggest that the Gnostics were better educated than the early "proto-orthodox" church, or were various early Christian groups literate and reading a range of materials? Philip K. Dick & Bishop Pike. How did the "good" thief know that Jesus was innocent?

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-057  

In Exodus 1:8, we read about a change in Egyptian leadership from one unnamed pharaoh to another, "who knew not Joseph." So soon? Were there other pharaohs between them? Might the longevity of the Patriarchs be lingering after-effects of Adam & Eve sneaking a bite of the Tree of Life? Is it possible that Mt. Vesuvius was the inspiration for the apocalyptic material in Mark? How do you answer the anti-intellectual verses that suggest that you are suppressing the truth? Secondly, what are some of the major reasons that you reject the truth claims of the Bible and its followers? What are the similarities between Jesus and the Greco-Roman god Serapis? What do you know or suspect about where and for whom each Gospel (and, what the heck, any non-canonical gospels or other particularly interesting books that come to mind) was written? Eisenman argues that Paul attacked James in the 40s, and that this event became the model for the canonical stoning of Stephen. If this were true, how would that fit with Paul's statements in Galatians 1:18-19? Is there any parallel between the Jesus Christ of Revelation 22:16 and Lucifer the fallen angel? If Satan was such a minor figure in the Jewish religion and the Old Testament, and even at times an almost benevolent figure, how or why did he get to be such a major villain in the Christian religion? Since Satan doesn't fall from Heaven until right before J.C. is due for his Second Visit then just who in the hell are these unclean spirits/demons that pop up in the New Testament? Is there really a contradiction in Matthew 11 when John asks if Jesus is the Messiah after having already recognized Jesus when he had baptized him earlier in Matthew? Is there necessarily a contradiction between 1Cor 15:22-23 and Mark 12:18-27, the former saying that the dead will rise when Christ returns, while the latter says that at least some saints already live with God, e.g., Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Might Jesus mean simply that God remains their God and therefore will not leave them dead? Can you explain how Oneness theology and Trinitarianism originated and came to diverge? Valentinus believed in the tripartite nature of man, being made up of body, soul and spirit. Most evangelical Christians believe that the soul and spirit are interchangeable. But Paul speaks of these three separate parts of man in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. I know that Valentinus claimed to be a disciple of Theudas, one of Paul's own disciples. Do you think that Valentinus' strange anthropology is an indication that he may actually reflect Paul's theology more closely than the orthodox church? 1 Samuel 13:1, about Saul's age at his coronation, is variously translated as "one year," "was thirty years old," "was forty years old and a son of one year." What was the original intent of this verse? In his Church History Eusebius outlines his Christology. God is of two natures, Father and Son. Why no mention of the Holy Spirit and Trinity? Who divided scripture into all its chapters and verses? When was it done and how did the worldwide church all agree to adopt these divisions? Re: the possibility of Joseph moving Jesus from his tomb to the criminals' graveyard, William Lane Craig stated that according to Jewish law it was illegal for Joseph to use his family tomb as a temporary holding spot for Jesus. How would you answer this? What is your reasoning concerning the Jewish allegation that the apostles stole the body? What do you know about controversy around Genesis 4:1 implying God begat Cain? What's the most interesting development or revelation in Biblical scholarship/Biblical criticism to come out this year? Jesus and stepdad Joseph are referred to in English bibles as carpenters, but the Koine Greek term is 'tekton', which I believe has a more general meaning of a skilled craftsman or builder. Is there a Koine Greek word specifically for carpenter, which was oddly not used? Can you please provide a handy thumb-nail sketch of Macion's theology? The way some left leaning Christians speak about Christianity, it's as if the religion is about nothing but giving away everything to poor people. Are they correct? What is your opinion of the doctrine of Annihilationism? Are there any Bible Atlases that are particularly well done, or are so laughably wrong? If we don't believe what Acts tells us about Paul, what are the grounds for disbelieving that an individual by that name wrote several principle letters? He could be called Paul, Polycarp, or Paulycarp, for all it matters. Or is the point more to argue that no single person wrote any major portion of what has come down to us in the post gospel New Testament? If there was a mythical Jesus what do you think the point of the relatively short time on the cross is? And much more ...

The Bible Geek Podcast 15-056  

A special Halloween treat! The Geek reads his story "The Righteous Rise", originally recorded as part of the 1/29/2013 episode.

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