In past centuries, going to church was a deeply embedded part of how western society worked. But today, with so much emphasis on personal faith and opportunity to do community activities outside church, is there any point in being part of a religious group and meeting with people? We discover three key reasons: Support, Diversity and Magnifying.
Exploring how churches were organised, we find ourselves discussing the significance of sharing the bread and cup of wine to remember Jesus. As in previous episodes, there are some similarities with churches today, but also some differences that are worth reflecting upon.
Continuing a mini-series on themes from early church history, we look at Jesus' prediction that Christians might be persecuted for believing in him and how that unfolded over the first few centuries of the church. We discover how the church emerged from periods of persecution as a changed institution. Was that a good thing?
We finish our conversation discussing whether the text of the New Testament is reliable by diving into some examples of accidental copying mistakes as well as more deliberate changes that a scribe might make when copying texts.
In this two-part episode we begin a conversation about the discipline of Textual Criticism and what it can tell us about the New Testament that we read today. Is it reliable? How strong is the evidence behind it? Can we ever know how close it is to the original?
We kick off a new 3 part series on aspects of church history and start by exploring the Christian practice of baptism from the early church, through the Middle Ages and beyond. How and why does it change over time, and does it matter?
Ever wondered what it was like to be part of one of the earliest Christian communities in the 1st century church? Follow along with a thought experiment attempting to place a 21st century consciousness into the body of a 1st century Christian! We explore the where, when, what and how of a Christian gathering around 65AD, which builds towards a conversation about which aspects of Christianity should be protected from change, and where we should be flexible.
What should we make of the dragon, the beast of the sea and the beast of the earth in the book of Revelation? We uncover a subversive message for Christians in the 1st century and relevant for any age of history. And yes, we talk about the mark of the beast and the number 666 - finally!
What do you find when reading the Gospels for the first time? What's the historical basis behind it all? How do you deal with all the miracles? We consider ways to think about both what Jesus said and what he did, and how faith might develop from reading the Gospels.
Paul and Dan take another look into how the Bible narrative and the prophets intersect with history, this time focusing on the city of Tyre. Starting with a historical source that every Bible student should be familiar with, Asterix the Gaul, they take a deeper look at a short passage about the island fortress from the prophet Ezekiel.