Category Archives: Uncategorized

Marriage in the Bible: The New Testament

What is a biblical view of marriage?  In last week’s episode, we saw that marriage in the Old Testament is totally different than how we think of marriage today.  This week, we look at what the New Testament has to say about marriage.

In the New Testament, we find what many Christians believe is the religious basis of marriage.  We then look at marriage among major New Testament figures and consider the question of whether Jesus was married.  We next look at Jesus’ troubling teachings on adultery and divorce.  We also find the New Testament has other troubling things to say related to marriage.

In the latter Middle Ages, the institutional Church decided marriage could be yet another revenue source and another source of power in society.  It was at that time that The Church made marriage a part of institutional Christianity.

But are the claims institutional Christianity makes about marriage born out by things contained in Scripture?  In this final segment of a two-part series on marriage, we will conclude our overview of what the Bible says about marriage.  Then, you won’t have to depend on what other people tell you the Bible says about marriage; you will know for yourself what the Bible says about marriage.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

Marriage in the Bible: The Old Testament

What does the Bible say about marriage?  Is “one man/one woman” traditional marriage what the Bible promotes?  In this first part of a two-part series, we look at what the Old Testament says about marriage.

First, we look at what many Christians consider to be the biblical basis for marriage.  Related to this, we next look at the reason opposite sexes are attracted to one another.  Both are connected to a passage from Genesis that says, “And they shall be one flesh.”

We look at multiple wives, the practice of polygamy.  Polygamy was common in the Old Testament.  Then we look at concubines and arranged marriages.  We discover a surprising thing about the marriage “ceremony” itself in Old Testament times.  In contrast to much of marriage in Christianity today, marriage in the Old Testament was not in any way considered to be a religious affair.

A look at the seriousness with which adultery was regarded comes next.  Related to adultery is the issue of divorce, which in Old Testament times was normally allowed and very easy.  Then we consider some interesting issues related to rape and engagement.

Overall, we will see that marriage in the Old Testament was much different than we think of marriage today.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

How to Get Your Sins Forgiven

Many Christians believe the purpose of Christianity is to get your sins forgiven.  This idea says God is a God of justice who demands payment for sin.  Jesus paid the penalty for sin by His suffering and death on the cross, and now God is able to extend an offer of forgiveness.  Jesus suffered and died on the cross so that forgiveness would be possible, but each person, individually, has to “get” forgiveness.

But does the Bible itself indicate that God demands payment for sin?  Some claim it does, but does it?  We’ll look through both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and instead of finding that God demands payment for sin, we’ll find something entirely different.  Rather than payment for sin, rather than forgiveness of sins, we’ll find that the real issue is repentance.

Many people believe repentance means being sorry for your sins and asking for forgiveness.  But is that really what repentance means?  Again, we’ll look at the Bible, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and discover that repentance means something entirely different.

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

 

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