In this episode, instead of a high level overview, we delve deep into one complex and much debated passage in Philippians 2 which says that Jesus was "in the form of God". We navigate through various translations, interpretations, and biblical contexts to uncover the essence of this pivotal scripture.
In this episode Dan and Paul embark on an exploration of John's Gospel, unraveling its sense of majesty and mystery right from the opening verses. They discuss the unique structure and content of John's Gospel, comparing it to the Synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—highlighting its distinct opening, key themes, and the explicit purpose stated in John's narrative. They delve into the significance of belief, the role of witnessing, and the powerful symbolism of water and blood, offering a compelling argument for understanding John’s Gospel as a carefully selected collection of events aimed at strengthening the reader's faith in Jesus as the Messiah.
In this episode, we discuss the relevance and impact of Christianity in the modern world. We delve into how aspects of Christianity have influenced society, not only in superficial ways like our calendar, but in deeper things such as values, moral codes, and societal norms. Many fundamental beliefs and values in Western society, such as the sanctity of life and the concept of equality, have their roots in Christian teachings. That may make Christianity relevant in modern society, but does it make it true?
Paul and Dan talk about "intertextuality" - basically, how the meaning of a text is influenced by references to other texts. The Bible (not surprisingly) is full of links between its 66 books. But how far can we take this? Can we go too far and see patterns where there are none (like seeing the face of Jesus in a slice of toast)?!
Relaunching the podcast, Dan and Laurence celebrate by pondering a lesser known Christmas story. They encounter a community of people in the temple at Jerusalem "waiting for the consolation of Israel". They discover that the birth of Jesus is firmly rooted in a backstory. Investigating mystery deaths and incomplete sentences, this is an invitation to have yourself a lesser known Christmas story!
We continue our exploration of the Divine Council worldview by looking at claims made about verses in Deuteronomy 32, the introduction to the book of Job and Psalm 82. It is useful to understand the cultural background to the text of the Bible, but we conclude that it's also important to avoid being distracted by speculative ideas from the main thrust of the Bible message about Jesus reconciling humans to God.
Is the phrase 'sons of God' used to refer to angels? If so, does that include spiritual beings with independent power to oppose God and his people? Using the framework of Michael Heiser's book, Unseen Realm, we start to examine what is termed the 'Divine Council' worldview. This involves grappling with some of the most mystifying parts of the Bible text - but hey, we're just ordinary people trying to understand the Bible better!
Dan and Laurence step into the New Testament for an introduction to the three letters of John.  After exploring the stark contrasts and Torah references in the first letter they then see how the second and third letters apply the theory from the first letter to two opposite situations. And finally, little children, keep yourselves from idols...uh?
In this episode, we finish our series on the 5 books of Moses, the Torah, by looking at Deuteronomy. We find that this book acts as a stage-setter, defining how leaders of this ancient people will be described for the next 600 years. Remarkably, Deuteronomy also makes a surprise appearance at the end of that history, just before Israel were exiled to Babylon.
Where do demons fit into a Biblical theology? We look at the few places they appear in the Old Testament and find them linked to the idols worshipped by the peoples around the ancient Israelites. It turns out they are presented as having no real existence or power.  So why do demons suddenly make a large appearance in the Gospels?