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Is This the Next Testament?

I’ve been enjoying a lot of podcasts. Isn’t everyone? The most impressive thing I’ve noticed is the rise in podcasts that present amazing, wise and well researched views of the oldest book in popular culture. Bible podcasts are a stunning new thing.

There are a number of reasons for this. Obviously, the ease of creating and disseminating a podcast is a huge factor. The technology is simple. The potential reach is global. So, for the bible loving human, there is a feast of astounding new learning to be found. Okay, most of the learning isn’t that ‘new’, like the fact that Jesus didn’t ‘rise from the dead’, he was resurrected and that’s a huge difference. I learned this just recently. From a podcast.

Sharing Biblical Knowledge in a Consumable Way

This sort of stuff has been trapped in bible colleges and theological textbooks until now. Today the theology-nerds, normally afraid of the sunlight, have an opportunity to share their knowledge in a simple, consumable way. For examples of the best, just visit Bibleproject, Or That’s good from you, a very robust discussion by my colleagues at Tabor, who are both women. Yes, the word of God in the mouths of wise women. Just like the bible is meant to be. In the past months, I have been exposed to failures in translations; the way Plato has bent the church out of shape; how the book of Jonah may be a long, zany Jewish joke; is the Rapture as real as Harry Potter? … and so much more. All of which has made me, and millions across the globe, sit up and go ‘Wait, that’s not what I always thought!’

As wonderful as all this new wisdom is, it comes with a big problem attached. There are over 4 million podcasts out there as of January 2023, on all manner of subjects. Most of them are listened to by a handful of people. Some of them are really weird, really ‘wrong’ or just trying to be trouble. But amongst them is this wealth of truly powerful knowledge that a genuinely wise seeker needs to check out. And it’s not a new thing. Go with me here; podcasting is a new thing, but podcasts are often exploring an old idea.

The Bible Reframed for a New Generation

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul writes letters to the faithful explaining the Old Testament. These letters were read out in the gatherings of the faithful, shared, and copied. An early podcast of sorts. Even Jesus says ‘You have heard it said [in what we call the Old Testament]… but now I say to you…[in The New Testament.] The Bible was being re-framed for a new culture, a new generation, and a new people. No longer just for the Jews, the truth was now for everyone. That’s what makes the testament ‘New’. It was the same story of impossibly huge love but told for a new family. And now it’s happening again.

The ‘truths’ of what we call our bible, which have been bent out of shape over time, are being rediscovered and re-presented for a new culture, a new generation, a new people of God. You and me. This new podcasting of our culture is shaping the ancient story and exploring what it actually means today. Just like the apostles and writers of the New Testament did. So perhaps in a century or two, we will have the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Pod Testament. If you haven’t had a listen yet, maybe it’s time.

This Sunday we launch a podcast ‘The OddFather Podcast’ which explores faith from a cultural perspective. Have a listen sometime

https://www.theoddfather.net/

Dr Pete Court Lectures in Creative Writing and Communication at Tabor College.He joins Aiden in the Arvo on Wednesdays to talk science and is a novelist and writer.

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