Character in Context
Episode 66: Gospel of Mark 11–The Second Controversy–Contagious Holiness and the Sinner’s Dinner

Episode 66: Gospel of Mark 11–The Second Controversy–Contagious Holiness and the Sinner’s Dinner

July 3, 2020

What happens when Yeshua/Jesus has the audacity to eat with a Roman collaborator and his sinner friends? The controversies are heating up and, this time, the scribes of the Pharisees are the ones with a beef against the Messiah's choice of eating companions. 

The book I mentioned this week is Craig L Blomberg's Contagious Holiness, highly recommended

Episode 65: Gospel of Mark 10–The First Controversy–Your Sins Are Forgiven?

Episode 65: Gospel of Mark 10–The First Controversy–Your Sins Are Forgiven?

June 26, 2020

Nowadays, we take it for granted that Yeshua/Jesus can forgive sins but in this first of the five controversy dialogues of Mark 2/3, it is nothing short of revolutionary and potentially blasphemous to make that claim. So, what's the big deal? This week, we will be looking at the belief, as expressed in the Talmud, that a sick man would not recover unless his sins were forgiven by God first. Up to this point, Yeshua's battles have all been against the demonic and sickness--but now He faces an entirely different kind of opposition--humans.

Episode 64: Gospel of Mark 9–The Yahweh-Warrior of Isaiah

Episode 64: Gospel of Mark 9–The Yahweh-Warrior of Isaiah

June 19, 2020

So, we've finally reached the end of Mark chapter one and I wanted to cover in more depth a concept that I have only hinted at in the past--the Yahweh-Warrior motif of Isaiah and Mark. How on earth are we supposed to pull together all of the images in Scripture of Yahweh as the shepherd and warrior coming personally to save His people and gather in the nations? That's exactly what Mark has been laying out the groundwork for in the first chapter of his Gospel. Exciting stuff!

We're also going to look at pre-Christian Jewish pseudepigraphic writings about the priestly Messiah that bear some interesting similarities to Mark's Gospel--along with some very notable differences. 

Episode 63: Mark Part 8–Messiah and Metzora

Episode 63: Mark Part 8–Messiah and Metzora

June 12, 2020

This week we will be closing up Mark chapter one with the shocking story of Yeshua/Jesus healing the leper. We'll talk about Biblical tzara'at vs modern-day leprosy aka Hansen's disease, and cover a bit of Torah portion Metzora, which covers skin diseases. I will also be talking about lashon hara, evil speech, and what we can learn about how we are to control our tongues based on Miriam's affliction and in light of the George Floyd tragedy.

Episode 62: Mark Part 7–The Fever and the Fallout

Episode 62: Mark Part 7–The Fever and the Fallout

June 5, 2020

After Yeshua's triumph on Friday night at the synagogue, he follows Peter home to his mother in law's home and cures her of a fever. The following night, after the Sabbath, the fallout that results from being a miracle worker in an age without modern medicine begins to take its toll. But what's the problem? Certainly, He wants to draw crowds and be famous, right? Isn't that the best way to get people to hear His message? Not so much.

Episode 61: Gospel of Mark Part 6–The Sabbath, the Synagogue and the Unclean Spirit

Episode 61: Gospel of Mark Part 6–The Sabbath, the Synagogue and the Unclean Spirit

May 29, 2020

Okay, no more mister nice guy! This week Yeshua/Jesus moves on from his commissioning and calling of disciples in order to start fulfilling His mission as the Yahweh-Warrior, Israel's Savior, by delivering a man of a demon right in the middle of the local Synagogue--resulting in the amazement and approval of the gathered worshippers. We're going to talk about the Sabbath, early synagogues and where they did (and did not) originate, and ancient naming magic--which is what I think the demon was trying unsuccessfully to leverage against Yeshua here.

Here are those archaeology websites for information on Synagogue excavations http://www.pohick.org/sts/index.html and also https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-2000-year-old-synagogue-at-gamla-the-oldest-yet-found-in-israel/

Episode 60: Strokes and the Parable of the Snake Who Escaped

Episode 60: Strokes and the Parable of the Snake Who Escaped

May 22, 2020

This broadcast is going to be very different than my usual fare. I am going to talk about what it is like to have a stroke and what it is like to be in recovery. It's my hope that by being open and honest about the struggles that people will be able to be a better support to loved ones going through this sort of thing--be it TIA's (transient ischemic attacks or mini-strokes), mild, moderate, or severe strokes or TBI (traumatic brain injuries).

Plus, through a parable, God taught me something incredibly important about His provision and protection and my sometimes ridiculous response to it that might amuse and maybe even edify you.

Episode 59: Gospel of Mark Part 5–Fishers of Men

Episode 59: Gospel of Mark Part 5–Fishers of Men

May 15, 2020

This week we're going to explore the amazing work of scholar Mendel Nun, who emigrated from Latvia to Israel in 1939 and spent twenty years fishing on the Sea of Galilee as a kibbutz member. As this was before the advent of modern "invisible" nets, he developed first-hand expertise in ancient fishing methods. I am really excited about this episode and about introducing you to the unique work of this brilliant scholar. His insights into the fishing narratives in the Gospels are just so eye-opening. This is a picture of him with nets like the ones that Simon, Andrew, James, and John were using, and would have to be stripped down naked in order to use--in the middle of the night, no less.

Here is a pic of him in his youth--you can see that these fishermen were not wimps! It was hard, back-breaking, dangerous work. Not for the timid.

Mendel Nun stripped down to fish on the Sea of Galilee

Episode 58: Gospel of Mark 4–The Baptism, the Temptation, and the Melchizedek Scroll

Episode 58: Gospel of Mark 4–The Baptism, the Temptation, and the Melchizedek Scroll

May 8, 2020

Last week we talked about the role of John the Baptist but this week the action will transfer over to Yeshua (Jesus) and his baptism and temptation in the wilderness. The Gospel of Mark has a number of significant differences from the accounts found in Matthew and Luke because of the story he wants to tell--namely, how Yeshua ben Yosef from the backwater village of Nazareth is the Greater Exodus fulfillment of Isaiah 40-55. We are also going to take a brief look at 11Q13, better known as the sectarian Melchizedek Scroll.

Episode 57: Gospel of Mark 3–Elijah the Forerunner

Episode 57: Gospel of Mark 3–Elijah the Forerunner

May 1, 2020

What do the Hebrew Bible, the Gospels, and Josephus all have to say about John the Baptist? Was he really a Baptist? (That was a joke)

We're going to dig into Isaiah, Malachi and Exodus in order to explore the very unique calling of the older cousin of Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth, as well as his position as a priest.

We're also going to tackle another manufactured controversy--this time about whether or not John was really eating bee honey or date honey.