93 episodes

This podcast takes a journey through the Gospel of Matthew, unpacking its story of Jesus as a peasant leader of a nonviolent movement for a new society that he calls “The Kingdom of Heaven.” Each episode explores literary, cultural and historical context, passage by passage.

Bible Study: Parody and Subversion in Matthew's Gospel Bert Newton

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 26 Ratings

This podcast takes a journey through the Gospel of Matthew, unpacking its story of Jesus as a peasant leader of a nonviolent movement for a new society that he calls “The Kingdom of Heaven.” Each episode explores literary, cultural and historical context, passage by passage.

    Episode 1: A Parody of Pedigree: Matthew 1:1-16

    Episode 1: A Parody of Pedigree: Matthew 1:1-16

    In this episode, I describe how the genealogy in Matthew is actually a parody of a genealogy. In the gospel in which Jesus instructs his followers to "call no one on earth 'father,'" this list of fathers is intentionally ironic.I also talk about other "trickster" texts in the Bible such as the praise of King Solomon and the story of the rise of Joseph to the second most powerful person in Egypt. These stories are not what they appear to be.

    • 20 min
    Episode 2: The Virgin Birth, Matthew 1:18-25

    Episode 2: The Virgin Birth, Matthew 1:18-25

    The "virgin birth" of Jesus, the title "Son of God," and the concept of the forgiveness of sins all had resonances in the first century Mediterranean world that they no longer have today. Understanding what those terms and concepts signaled, as well as how this story "fulfilled" the prophetic texts will greatly expand our understanding of what this story was all about.

    • 23 min
    Episode 3: Matthew As Parody

    Episode 3: Matthew As Parody

    This episode is the only one that will not look at one particular text (all the other episodes will continue progressively through Matthew), but rather at the book as a whole. I make the argument in this episode that the whole Gospel of Matthew parodies a genre in the ancient world to get across a very serious message.

    • 23 min
    Episode 4: The Magi, Matthew 2:1-12

    Episode 4: The Magi, Matthew 2:1-12

    The story of the Magi evokes sentimental, feel good memories of Christmas for many of us, but this story, for its original audience, signaled hopes of liberation from a brutal occupation.

    • 18 min
    Episode 5: The Flight into Egypt, Matthew 2:13-18

    Episode 5: The Flight into Egypt, Matthew 2:13-18

    In this episode, Jesus and his family become refugees. Fleeing their home country, which is under the brutal occupation of a foreign empire, they take refuge in Egypt, which, according to their national history, was both the place of their people's slavery and also a refuge for those escaping the Babylonian invasion.With this story, the author of Matthew introduces the themes of Jesus-as-Moses and Jesus-as-Israel by using Exodus imagery. The texts from Jeremiah 31 and Isaiah 53 also play an i...

    • 19 min
    Episode 6: John the Baptizer, Matthew 3:1-17

    Episode 6: John the Baptizer, Matthew 3:1-17

    If this series has not been controversial already, it gets even more controversial in this episode. I make the claim that Jesus joins a liberation movement already in progress to get his start as "Messiah." Also I will assert that temples in the ancient world were government institutions that served as mechanisms through which the ruling classes controlled the people. A significant part of the movement of John the Baptizer was to undercut temple authority.

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

interfaithquaker ,

Radical, witty view of Jesus and Matthew's Gospel

I love this radical and witty interpretationsof Matthew's Gospel that combines sound scholarship with a compelling vision of Jesus as the founder of a revolutionary movement seeking to overturn empire and bring about a new society based on equality, justice and peace. Bert not only writes about the subversive wisdom of Jesus, he lives it in his daily life and his social activism on behalf of racial and housing justice. I've enjoyed listening to this podcast while walking through my neighborhood. Bert is a wonderful companero!

jdonalds3 ,

We need more of this

Too much of the Christian story has been co-opted by empire. This wonderful podcast takes us back to the original historical, political, and cultural context of Jesus’ time, revealing the radical and beautiful movement that lies at the origins of Christianity. Highly recommended!

Memadojo ,

Great for those who think critically about The Gospels!

I am on my second listen to this well-researched and deeply thought-provoking analysis of Matthew. Jesus becomes a social justice advocate in ways I had not recognized before. More, this podcast places the Gospels in important and new context. My contemporary sense of how to use this gospel in my daily life is greatly enhanced. Listen and reflect on what you hear!!

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