Jerusalem is the Bible’s image of what a city of God should be. But from the earliest moments of its founding, it's clear that even this city has problems. What will it take for a city to truly become like the garden of Eden? In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss the founding of Jerusalem and what it will take for God and humans to dwell together.
At last, there’s a positive example of a city in the Bible, the capital city of Egypt under the rule of Joseph. In this episode, join Tim and Jon as they explore how a city—usually a perpetrator of death and violence—can become a source of life under the leadership of a wise human image of God.
If Babylon is the worst city in the Bible, then Sodom and Gomorrah are a close second. The injustice and oppression in Sodom and Gomorrah are so pronounced that God sends a flood of justice to completely wipe out these two cities. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss the theme of the city and the darkest parts of human nature.
Content warning: Today's episode contains some mention of sexual abuse, rape, and incest.
You may have heard that Babylon was the biggest, baddest city in the Bible, but where did that reputation come from? Who founded the city, and what made it so detestable to God? In this episode, join Tim and Jon as they explore the story of the half-human, half-god Nimrod and the city he founded.
As the story of the Bible unfolds, humanity grows more and more violent. Cain is more violent than his parents, and his descendants are more violent than him. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss Lemek, Cain’s far more murderous descendant, and humanity’s escalating violence that prompts God to flood the earth.
In the story of the Bible, cities are a bad thing. They’re a symptom of humanity’s violence and attempts to protect themselves instead of trusting God. In fact, in the second chapter of Genesis, God “builds” something for humanity’s protection. And it’s not a city—it’s a woman. In this episode, Tim and Jon explore the theme of the city and the first thing God builds.
The theme of the city in the Bible is a surprising one. When cities are introduced in the story, they’re depicted as “bad”—a human response to increasing violence and the need for self-protection—and gardens are depicted as humanity’s ideal setting. However, in the book of Revelation, the new creation Jesus brings is a city. What’s going on here? Join Tim and Jon as they start exploring the biblical theme of the city.
“Jesus the anointed one” is the literal translation of the Greek title “Christ,” frequently applied to Jesus. In this podcast episode, Tim and Jon discuss both this title and Jesus’ baptism, which the gospel writers depict as his anointing ceremony. Listen in as we explore the theme of the anointed in the New Testament and how Jesus’ followers become anointed ones too.
Do the biblical authors consider women the second-born siblings of men? Were Joshua and Caleb rivals? Why is Korah, the disgraced rebel, honored in the Psalms? In this episode, Tim and Jon dive into your questions from the firstborn series. Thank you to our audience for your insightful questions!
David’s life gives us two parallel portrayals of what it means to be God’s anointed one: one is victorious—God’s anointed is the giant feller and the snake crusher. The other one is a suffering servant, waiting patiently in the wilderness for God’s deliverance. In today’s episode, join Tim and Jon in the Psalms, where they’ll explore both David’s victory and his suffering and discuss how Jesus saw himself living out both those roles too.
David was Israel’s greatest king, but even he failed to live as God’s anointed one. When Isaiah prophesied about the ultimate anointed one to come, he said that not only would this deliverer come from the line of David, but they would be a new David altogether. What does this mean? Learn more in this episode as Tim and Jon discuss the theme of the anointed in the Isaiah scroll.
Israel’s first anointed king, Saul, consistently makes choices that put him in conflict with God and the responsibilities God has entrusted to him. This turns Saul into the first anti-anointed one—or put another way, the first antichrist. In this episode, Tim and Jon explore the theme of anointing in the stories of Israel’s first two kings, Saul and David.
What’s so special about oil? Why does the Bible specify that oil—not water or wine—must be used to anoint a person or place? In this episode, Tim and Jon continue discussing the biblical theme of anointing, exploring why God designates oil to symbolically represent the life-giving power of his Spirit.
The title most often applied to Jesus is “the anointed one”—that’s what the Greek word “christ” means! But what is the practice of anointing? What does it signify, and who gets anointed? The practice of anointing people with oil is a theme we can trace throughout the entire story of the Bible. In this episode, Tim and Jon start a brand new theme study all about anointing.
In our final episode of the Firstborn series, we look at the New Testament’s description of Jesus as the firstborn of creation. Join Tim and Jon as they explore some of Paul’s letters, the book of Hebrews, and the Revelation, and discover how Jesus reveals who God is––and what it means to be truly human, too.
Under levitical law, touching anyone unclean would make you unclean too. But when Jesus touches people who are unclean, they get healed and become clean instead––it’s like his holiness is contagious. In this episode, Tim and Jon talk about the way Jesus uses his power and authority as the cosmic firstborn.
The authors of the gospel accounts in the Bible—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—regularly refer to Jesus as the Son of God, a title that’s connected to the theme of the firstborn. In this episode, Tim and Jon explore what it means that Jesus is God’s Son through the stories of his baptism and testing in the wilderness. Listen in to find out how Jesus uses his power in a way we’ve never seen another human do before.
In the scroll of Samuel, Israel demands a king in place of the judges that have been ruling over them. It sounds like a simple enough request, but Yahweh calls it idolatrous. Why? In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss the motives behind Israel’s request and the role of Israel’s first kings, Saul and David, in the unfolding theme of the firstborn.
This episode is a special re-release of an interview we did in 2018 with Dr. Michael Heiser. Mike has been a significant influence to Tim’s own scholarship and, by extension, much of BibleProject’s content, as well as to thousands of other people. Mike is in the final stages of his battle with pancreatic cancer, and we want to honor his incredible life by sharing this episode again.
Hannah was an oppressed woman, scorned by her husband’s rival wife because of her barrenness. But the way she prayed and trusted Yahweh through this hardship became a remarkable example of how God works through the lowly to subvert human notions of power and status. In this episode, join Tim and Jon as they trace the theme of the firstborn in the scroll of Samuel.
How does the plague of the firstborn from Exodus fit into the biblical theme of the firstborn? And what does it mean when Yahweh calls Israel his firstborn son? In this episode, Tim and Jon explore the theme of the firstborn in the Exodus scroll.
Early in the story of the Bible, God chooses the family of Abraham, his son Isaac, and Isaac’s son Jacob as his chosen representatives to bless other peoples. But these families are full of the same rivalry, envy, and division present in any other family. What is God doing with these less-than-ideal candidates? Join Tim and Jon as they trace the theme of the firstborn in the narratives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Only a few pages into the story of the Bible, the story starts to get really bleak. Cain kills his brother Abel, Cain’s descendants become famous murderers, and Noah’s youngest son violates his father and mother. And all of it happens because humans decide that power is worth the cost of harming others. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss the dark side of human nature and the God who favors the powerless—the people who choose to trust him for blessing and exaltation.
It’s not explicitly stated, but the theme of the firstborn first appears in the opening narratives of the Hebrew Bible. In Genesis 1 and 2, Yahweh elevates humans, the latecomers of creation, to rule the land. In Genesis 3, a snake, who is some kind of spiritual being, tricks the humans despite their authority as God’s image bearers. This story is echoed in other accounts of sibling rivalry that continue throughout the Hebrew Bible. Join Tim and Jon as they discuss the land rulers and sky...