This podcast series explores the Gospel of Matthew as literature, as a story. I make the argument that the story is one of a nonviolent revolutionary peasant leader named Jesus or Joshua (depending on whether you transliterate from the Greek or the Hebrew). The story, therefore, is sociopolitically subversive. Not only is the story subversive in its content, it is also subversive in its form. It parodies an ancient genre of literature common among the upper classes.I will make the argument that the author of this gospel was a defector from the upper classes (probably the retainer class) who expressed his solidarity with a peasant movement by writing out a version of the story of its foremost champion.The music used in this series comes from several sources. The intro and exit music is a composition entitled "Oaks of Madison" by my good friend Bob Nolty. Much of the interlude music beginning in episode 2 was composed specifically for this series by my friend and brother-in-law, David Martyn. In episode 1, most of the interlude music is royalty free music by various artists who will be credited on the Subversive Wisdom website, once that site gets up and running.The icon art work is by David Martyn.
Episode 28: Jesus and the Wise and Easy Yoke, Matthew 11:25-30
Jesus is the broker of God's wisdom to the people, a wisdom for a new society that is not oppressive.
Episode 27: Matthew 11:16-24
Ever wonder about that parable about the children playing games in the marketplace? I unpack that one in this episode.
Addendum to Episode 26
Just a clarifying thought that I had after I published the last episode...
Episode 26: The Power of Interpretation, Matthew 11:1-15
Matthew has been showing how Jesus and his movement fulfill the visions of the prophets. In chapter 11, the fulfillment theme gets stated so forcefully that it becomes evident that Jesus does not merely fulfill the visions of the prophets but...
Episide 25: Resisting the Empire and Revealing the Secrets, Matthew 10:24-42
Jesus says that secrets will be revealed. Listen to this episode to learn what those secrets are!
Episode 24: Jesus Prepares his Disciples for the Empire's Brutality
What does Jesus mean when he says that his disciples will not finish their mission of going through the towns of Israel "before the Son of Man comes"? Listen to this episode to find out.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Must listen to appreciate Jesus fully
This series greatly expanded my appreciation of Jesus, beyond personal piety towards the enormous implications for society that his life, work, and message have. Issues I grappled with for years this book has solved by giving them much greater significance. Eg, why is Jesus called the Son of God, and is he the only Son of God, this book explains that by calling himself Son of God, Jesus challenged directly the oppressor of his time, for the Roman emperors claimed the title Son of God for themselves. Similar with the notion that Jesus can forgive sins: Again this peasant created a movement to free his people by claiming a power that the Roman emperors claimed for themselves.
Note that the author, Bert Newton, has a similar reflection on the Gospel according to John, titled Subversive Wisdom, Sociopolitical Dimensions of John's Gospel. Fascinating!
Bert Newton opens up the gospel in a scholarly, witty and profoundly relevant way. I have listened to and taken notes from all 26 episodes so far and eagerly await the release of new ones. These Bible studies have helped form my preaching and my daily life. Excited to see what come new from Vrede House Studios!
A paradigm shift
You’ll never read the gospels- or understand your faith- in the same way. Challenging, insightful, entertaining, and yes, subversive. This ain’t your grandma’s bible study!