BibleWorm
Episode 250 (Replay) Resisting Ethnic Nationalism (Esther 3:1-11 and 7:1-10)

Episode 250 (Replay) Resisting Ethnic Nationalism (Esther 3:1-11 and 7:1-10)

July 25, 2021

On this episode from August 2, 2020, BibleWorm continues our summer series on the Forgotten Books of the Bible with a look at Esther 1:1-22, the story of the Persian Queen Vashti and her refusal to appear before the king. We discuss the fragile egos of the king and his courtiers who fear the capacity of women to say no. We talk about the power of the patriarchy and the lengths it will go to to suppress voices of dissent. We admire Vashti’s courage to protect her own sense of dignity and the dignity of all women even though it costs her the crown. And we wonder about the ripple effects of such acts of courage, which make ruling ideologies tremble, if only for a moment.

Episode 249 (Replay) Resisting the Patriarchy (Esther 1:1-22)

Episode 249 (Replay) Resisting the Patriarchy (Esther 1:1-22)

July 18, 2021

On this Episode from July 26, 2020, BibleWorm continues our summer series on the Forgotten Books of the Bible with a look at Esther 1:1-22, the story of the Persian Queen Vashti and her refusal to appear before the king. We discuss the fragile egos of the king and his courtiers who fear the capacity of women to say no. We talk about the power of the patriarchy and the lengths it will go to to suppress voices of dissent. We admire Vashti’s courage to protect her own sense of dignity and the dignity of all women even though it costs her the crown. And we wonder about the ripple effects of such acts of courage, which make ruling ideologies tremble, if only for a moment.

Episode 248 (Replay) Reading Ruth Against the Grain (Ruth 1:14-18 and 3:1-15)

Episode 248 (Replay) Reading Ruth Against the Grain (Ruth 1:14-18 and 3:1-15)

July 11, 2021

On this episode from July 19, 2020, BibleWorm explores Ruth chapters 1 and 3, trying to imagine Ruth’s own perspective and calling out some of the ways that the book portrays painful parts of the immigrant experience. We see how the scene at the threshing floor plays on the worst stereotypes of Moabite women, and how Ruth’s beautiful statement of loyalty to Naomi also carries with it an erasure of her own heritage. We try to recognize our own blind spots, and lean into the scholarship of others who can help shed new light.

Episode 247 (Replay) Making Ancient Israel Great Again (Ruth 2:1-20 and 4:9-17)

Episode 247 (Replay) Making Ancient Israel Great Again (Ruth 2:1-20 and 4:9-17)

July 4, 2021

On this episode from July 12, 2020, BibleWorm continues our summer series on the Forgotten Books of the Bible, with a look at the book of Ruth 2:1-20 and 4:9-17. We look at the way the book of Ruth challenges anti-immigrant sentiment in the time of Ezra-Nehemiah and in our own day. We discuss how the book lifts up the foundational contributions of Ruth the Moabite, whose persistence saves the family line of King David, without whom ancient Israel would never have been great in the first place. We think about how the book tries to counter anti-immigrant sentiment by depicting Ruth as hardworking, culturally astute, and dedicated to her Israelite mother-in-law Naomi. We also wonder what damage such rhetoric might do to Ruth—but that’s a conversation for next week.

Episode 246 (Replay) Solidarity and Allegory (Song of Songs 5:2-9 and 8:5-10)

Episode 246 (Replay) Solidarity and Allegory (Song of Songs 5:2-9 and 8:5-10)

June 27, 2021

On this episode from July 5, 2020, BibleWorm continues our study of the Song of Songs, learning more about the awesome and fearsome passion of our young lovers, and seeing the jarring ways in which the world around them - well, to be more specific, the men around them - seeks to control that passion. And in case you weren’t sufficiently challenged to read this as both erotic poetry and an allegory about our relationship with God, how bout we flip the roles in that allegory and see what happens then? You know you want to try.

Episode 245 (Replay) The Joy of Sex (Song of Songs1:12-2:6 and 7:1-13)

Episode 245 (Replay) The Joy of Sex (Song of Songs1:12-2:6 and 7:1-13)

June 20, 2021

On this episode from June 28, 2020, BibleWorm continues our summer series on the Forgotten Books of the Bible, turning our attention to Song of Songs 1:12-2:6 and 7:1-13. We wonder at the presence of erotic love poetry in the biblical canon and wrestle what it means for our understanding of bodies, sexuality, and God. We explore themes of sexual empowerment, invitation and consent, and the joy of sex. We think about how the Song invites us to admire and respect human bodies, challenging a culture that alternately shames and sexualizes bodies for profit. Mostly, we consider how this ancient text, set free in our churches and synagogues, might empower us to speak more authentically about human sexuality.

Episode 244 (Replay) Trauma Has Many Voices (Lamentations 3 and 5)

Episode 244 (Replay) Trauma Has Many Voices (Lamentations 3 and 5)

June 13, 2021

On this episode from June 21, 2020, BibleWorm continues our study of Lamentations, meeting an individual survivor in chapter 3 and hearing the voice of the community in chapter 5. We raise up the differences between this individual man’s relationship to his suffering compared to what we heard from Daughter Zion last episode, and look expectantly to the communal voice to tell us which perspective is the better on to adopt. Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t. Instead, in magnificent and strikingly ambiguous poetic language, it creates space in scripture to hold multiple perspectives on suffering.

Episode 243 (Replay) Trauma and Protest (Lamentations 1:18-22 and 2:10-22)

Episode 243 (Replay) Trauma and Protest (Lamentations 1:18-22 and 2:10-22)

June 6, 2021

On this episode from June 14, 2020, ibleWorm continues our summer series on the Forgotten Books of the Bible with Lamentations 1:8-22 and 2:10-22. Written in the wake of the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, Lamentations presents the community’s response to trauma given in multiple voices. This week we look at the voice of the funeral singer, a bystander who has witnessed the trauma but not experienced it, and Daughter Zion, the personified city of Jerusalem, who has experienced trauma and humiliation in her body. We talk about the role of protest in faith, the urgency of speaking truth before power, and the theological imperative to challenge God. We also think about the role of allies, who can recognize the pain of the traumatized, share in their sorrow, and encourage them to use their voices.

Episode 242 (Replay) For Everything There is a Time (Ecclesiastes 1:4-11 and 3:1-11)

Episode 242 (Replay) For Everything There is a Time (Ecclesiastes 1:4-11 and 3:1-11)

May 30, 2021

On this episode from June 7, 2020, BibleWorm continues our look at Ecclesiastes, focusing on 1:4-11 and 3:1-11. We ask ourselves—is it really true there is nothing new under the sun? We look at that most famous poem “To everything there is a season,” and see exactly why you’d best not look at only the net total of life’s experiences. And we wonder what Qohelet might say about issues of justice in our time.

Episode 241 (Replay) Everything is Vapor (Ecclesiastes 1:1-3 and 8:16-9:10)

Episode 241 (Replay) Everything is Vapor (Ecclesiastes 1:1-3 and 8:16-9:10)

May 25, 2021

In this episode from May 31, 2020, we return to our summer series on the Hebrew Festival Scrolls with a look at Ecclesiastes 1:1-3 and 8:16-9:10. We discuss Qohelet’s idea that everything is mere breath and ask what it means to live in a world where nothing adds up to much of anything. We talk about the inscrutability of God and why good people often suffer while the wicked get all the rewards. We ask whether it is possible to accomplish anything meaningful in life and, if not, how we might be better off to reorient our goals to enjoy the moments of each day, whether playing with a toddler or listening to the birds sing. Also, Amy asks what kind of person would use Ecclesiastes as a wedding text. Hint: It was not Amy.

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