Few passages in the Bible are as familiar to Bible readers as John 3, the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. John 3 of course gives us memorable lines, such as “you must be born from above” (more popularly, “you must be born again”) and of course John 3:16. The chapter has also produced famous interpretive headaches, like “unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). This episode of the podcast seeks to explicate this verse by exploring the strength of the idea that the exodus and its Old Testament imagery provides the context for interpreting John 3.
In Matthew 16:19; 18:18 Jesus tells the disciples they have the authority to “bind” and “loose” in heaven and on earth. What does this language mean? What is being bound or loosed? In what way does the “binding” and “loosing” operate? Is “heaven” the afterlife residence of believers or something else? This episode of the podcast explores these passages with the help of parallels from the Bible and Second Temple Period Jewish literature and reaches a fascinating conclusion: Binding and Loosing refers to exorcism and authority over supernatural powers of darkness.
In Luke 24:36-43 the resurrected Jesus appears to the disciples. To help cure their disbelief, Jesus asks them if they have something to eat. The passage records how Jesus is given a piece of fish which he eats before their eyes to establish his resurrection is physical. Some English Bible translations of Luke 24:42 include “some honeycomb” with the fish. Others omit the detail. This episode of the podcast discusses why English translations differ and what the honeycomb detail telegraphs in terms of the theology of the resurrected Jesus.