Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why Did Jesus Die on the Cross?

Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday.  Jesus was crucified because He was in conflict with the Jewish leaders and they wanted rid of Him.  But Christianity has always seen a deeper meaning to the death of Jesus.

Many Christians believe the deeper meaning is that Jesus died so we could get our sins forgiven.  This is what is known as the Atonement in Christianity.  The idea is that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin so we can get forgiveness for our sins.

However, this idea is completely unconnected to Jesus being killed because the Jewish leaders wanted rid of Him.  It’s like trying to fit together two completely separate and unconnected things.

But there’s another way to look at why Jesus died on the cross.  This way sees a deeper meaning to the death of Jesus that is connected to the Jewish leaders wanting rid of Him.  It is found by looking at the roots of the conflict between Jesus and the Jewish leaders, looking at what the Jewish leaders actually were and represent.

By doing this, we develop a completely different way of looking at the death of Jesus, one which pictures God as being for us, on our side, instead of foaming at the mouth wanting to punish us.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

The Gospels: The Life of Jesus

The Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—are the first four books of the New Testament.  They tell what happened to Jesus when He was on earth.  The Gospels present Jesus healing people.  Jesus did not do spiritual healings.  All the healings of Jesus were of physical sickness and disease.

Jesus was also a teacher.  Major teachings of Jesus are found in the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain.  Jesus also used parables.  The parables of Jesus are difficult to interpret.

Twelve disciples assisted Jesus.  Other people also regularly followed Jesus as He traveled around Galilee.

Jesus drew large crowds of people and was hugely popular with the people.  Jesus did not follow Judaism.  The teachings of Jesus were different than Judaism.  This led to conflict between Jesus and the Jewish leaders.  Eventually, the Jewish leaders had Jesus killed.  Jesus was crucified and died on the cross.

But Jesus rose from the grave.  The resurrection of Jesus is the high point in all four Gospels.

This podcast examines the possible existence of what biblical scholars term the Q source.  It examines what is known about the early life of Jesus, before His public ministry.  It also talks about how much of what people say about Jesus and the Gospels in general is speculation.

The religion of Christianity is based on peoples’ interpretations of what Jesus did, and what happened to Jesus, when He was alive on earth as a human being.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

The Bible and Homosexuality

Homosexuality is accepted by an increasing number of people in society, and an increasing number of Christians accept homosexuality.  There is a great divide in American Christianity today over homosexuality.  In this episode, we look at what the Bible says about homosexuality, and then we examine the ways the different factions of Christianity interpret that.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

Christianity and Jerusalem

Do Christians believe God wants modern-day Jews to hold the land of Palestine?  This episode begins by examining how Christianity has traditionally interpreted God’s covenant with Abraham.  Then we see how, in the 1800’s in Britain, a new idea arose that challenged not only that interpretation but also the basic Christian views of Jesus Himself.  Finally, we look at how that idea influenced some very vocal and influential Christian groups in the United States.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

Coptic Orthodox Christianity in Ethiopia

Coptic Christianity, also called Oriental Orthodox Christianity or Monophysite Christianity, is distinguished by the belief that there was only one nature in Jesus.  Western Christianity, however, maintains that there were two separate natures in Jesus.  Why does it matter?  In this episode, we see that each belief leads in a completely different direction.  Also in this episode, we take a look at possible connections between Ethiopia and the Old Testament, including Solomon having a son by the Queen of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian’s assertion that the Ark of the Covenant is in a church in Ethiopia.  Then we look at ancient Christianity in Ethiopia.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

The Only Way to Salvation

Some Christians believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  Sometimes it’s used in the “my way or the highway” sense.  In this episode, we look at a different way of looking at “Jesus is the only way to salvation,” one which concentrates on the concept of messiah.  The concept of messiah is found in many different religions, not just Christianity and Judaism, and in all religions, it says basically the same thing.  Understanding the concept of messiah in religion allows us to understand the true meaning of “Jesus is the only way to salvation.”

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

Why Christians Are Changing Morality

Virtually all Christians agree that morality is unchanging and universal.  So why are so many Christians today changing their ideas about what’s right and what’s wrong?

For a transcript of this podcast, click here

Who Decides Morality?

Who decides whether something is right or wrong?  Is God the Great Rulemaker In The Sky who makes the rules, tells us what He has decided, and them expects us to play the game by those rules?  Or is there something else going on?

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

What Does It Mean to Believe?

There is a lot of emphasis in the New Testament on “believe.”  Why is that emphasized so much?  In this episode, we look at an ancient Jewish idea and, from that, consider the possibility the emphasis on believe in the New Testament is trying to tell us that our beliefs create reality.  An interesting idea, if you’re open-minded enough to consider it.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

The Concept of Ages in the Bible

Most Christians assume the creation account in Genesis is a description of the beginning of everything.  But what if it’s just a description of the beginning of this age?  The concept of ages is found throughout the Bible but is obscured by English translation.  In this episode, we examine some of the hundreds of times the concept of ages is found in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, and consider a totally different interpretation of Genesis chapter 1 and a new perspective on Christianity.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.