Podcast episodes

  • E15: Acts 15: The Jerusalem Council, part 2


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    In this episode, we take a deeper dive into Acts 15 to understand the primary question that is being asked and the answer that is being offered.  We analyze three particular points in the passage that often create confusion: circumcision (v. 1, 5), “conversion” (v. 3), and the “yoke” (v. 10).  Rather than being an anti-Judaism or anti-Torah council, the apostles answer the question of what to do with the Gentiles who are turning to the God of Israel. 

  • E14: Acts 15: The Jerusalem Council, part 1


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    In this episode we give an overview of Acts 15 and the Jerusalem Council where the apostles gather to discuss the issues brought up recently by many Gentiles turning to the God of Israel. Rather than redefining the hope of Israel, the apostles conclude that the Gentiles can be saved from the wrath to come and inherit eternal life without becoming Jews. We work through an overview of the major themes surrounding the discussion in the passage.

  • E13: Acts 10: The Discipleship of the Gentiles


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    In this episode we explore Peter’s vision of the “great sheet” filled with unclean animals and the events which followed. Peter’s interpretation of the vision and the first sermon towards a Gentile audience are often interpreted within a redefined narrative of redemptive history which sees God establishing a ‘new people’. We revisit the events and the how they are described in Acts 10-11 to show that they are actually intended to reinforce the Jewish apocalyptic framework and the Gentiles’ place within that hope.

  • Q&A #2 with Bill, John, and Josh


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    Bill, John, and Josh tackle your questions in this second Q&A episode.  Topics include cross-cultural discipleship, why some solid Old Testament scholars reject first century Jewish eschatology, and how Jews perceived the destruction of the temple in light of Jesus’ words.  Don’t miss the “rapid fire” round at the end!

  • E12: The Death of Jesus Within Apocalyptic Thought, part 2


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    In this week’s episode we discuss the language that the apostles used to describe the effects of the crucifixion of the Messiah. Terms like justification, redemption, propitiation, and reconciliation were understood within the context of first-century Jewish apocalyptic thought, rather than in contrast to it or disconnected from it. Passages like 2 Cor. 5 and Romans 5 illustrate clearly that Paul had the day of judgment and the resurrection of the dead in mind when he was theologizing about the cross.

  • E11: The Death of Jesus Within Apocalyptic Thought, part 1


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    The apostles understood the cross within a first century Jewish apocalyptic worldview. As seen in 1 Cor. 15:3, the interpretation of the Messiah’s death was handed down by the apostles and revolved around Isaiah 53 and the Levitical sacrificial tradition. Thus Paul’s gospel centered on Jesus Christ, “who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age” (Gal. 1:4).

  • E10: Acts 2, Part 3: Psalm 16 and Psalm 110


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    In this episode, we talk through Peter’s use of Scripture in Acts 2. Rather than redefining or realizing Psalm 16 and Psalm 110, Peter employs an apocalyptic hermeneutic (i.e. approach to interpretation), which simply seeks to understand the Torah, Writings, and Prophets in light of their ultimate end. The Messiah was crucified, but God raised him up and seated him at his right hand, where he waits to execute the eschatological judgment of God’s enemies.

  • E9: Acts 2, Part 2: Peter, Pentecost, and Joel 2


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    In this episode, we dive into the beginning of Peter’s explanation of the events of Acts 2. Rather than a redefinition of the ‘last days’, Peter affirms that their expectations were in accordance with the apocalyptic tradition. God promised, expressed in the citation of Joel 2, to pour out his Spirit before the coming Day of God and that all who repent will be saved from the wrath to come.

  • E8: Acts 2, Part 1: The Gift of the Spirit and the Hope of Israel


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    Common ideas in the church today associate Acts 2 and the giving of the Spirit as “the birth of the church” or a break from legalistic Judaism, but the apostles viewed the events of the day of Pentecost as a strong affirmation of Jewish apocalyptic expectations.  In this episode, we begin to look at Acts 2 and what it meant for the early followers of the Messiah. 

  • E7: Acts 1 and the Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel


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    In this episode, we discuss the Jewish apocalyptic context of Acts 1:1-11. Instead of correcting the apostles’ expectations concerning the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, Jesus simply corrects the timing. The witness to the nations in verse 8 is understood within the presupposed Jewish apocalyptic narrative. God is the one driving history, and God is the one who has fixed the day of its conclusion.