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Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean Podcast by Philip Harland

Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean Podcast

by Philip Harland

Product Details

Running Time
30 Mins.

Description

The Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast explores social and religious life in the Greco-Roman world, especially early Christianity including the New Testament. Half-hour episodes are released bi-weekly from September to June (with a summer break in July and August). These episodes are not scripted; they are edited versions of improvised lectures from point-form notes.

There are five series in the podcast so far:

1: Paul and his communities (12 episodes)
2: Early Christian portraits of Jesus (11 episodes)
3: Diversity in early Christianity: "Heresies" and struggles (16 episodes)
4: Honouring the gods in the Roman Empire: Asia Minor (8 episodes)
5: The Historical Jesus in context (14 episodes)


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Podcast Episodes




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 Podcast Website:
http://www.philipharland.com/Blog/category/podcasts/

Podcast 8.6: Mastema in Jubilees and Beliar in the Dead Sea Scrolls (ca. 100 BCE)

Author: Philip A. Harland
Thu, Apr 03, 2014


Here I continue to trace the development of evil personified figures in Judean literature around the turn of the first century BCE, focussing on Mastema (Enmity personified) and Beliar or Belial (Worthless One).  I also discuss the Prince of Darkness in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Podcast 8.6: Mastema in Jubilees and Beliar in the Dead […]

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Podcast 8.5: Fallen Angels in 1 Enoch (ca. 225 BCE)

Author: Philip A. Harland
Fri, Mar 14, 2014


Here I discuss 1 Enoch’s expanded story of the fallen angels headed by Azazel and Semyaz (based on an interpretation of Genesis 6), which came to play a crucial role in the emerging story of Satan. Podcast 8.5: Fallen Angels in 1 Enoch (ca. 225 BCE) (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). You […]

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Podcast 8.4: Other Predecessors of Satan from the Hebrew Bible

Author: Philip A. Harland
Tue, Feb 04, 2014


Here I explore other building blocks of Satan’s story from Israelite culture by looking at arrogant foreign kings and angels or messengers of God in the Hebrew Bible. Podcast 8.4: Other Predecessors of Satan from the Hebrew Bible (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes […]

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Podcast 8.3: Predecessors of Satan from Persia (Zoroastrianism)

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, Jan 01, 2014


Here I discuss the battle between Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu in Persian Zoroastrianism in relation to the role of Satan within Judean apocalypticism. Podcast 8.3: Predecessors of Satan from Persia (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher.

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Podcast 8.2: Predecessors of Satan from Canaan and Israel

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Dec 02, 2013


This episode continues to consider the centrality of the “combat myth” for the subsequent origins of Satan, considering Ugaritic (Canaanite) and Israelite examples of a god slaying a chaos monster, such as Leviathan. Podcast 8.2: Predecessors of Satan from Canaan and Israel (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). You may also subscribe to […]

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Podcast 8.1: A Cultural History of Satan – Predecessors from Mesopotamia

Author: Philip A. Harland
Fri, Nov 01, 2013


This series of the podcast investigates the origins, history and functions of personified evil from ancient Judean (Jewish) and Christian culture to modern, Western culture.  We begin with what you might call the pre-history of Satan by exploring the building blocks of what ultimately became the story of Satan within Judean and Christian circles.  The […]

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Podcast 7.8: Introduction to Daniel’s Historical Apocalypse

Author: Philip A. Harland
Thu, Sep 05, 2013


Here I introduce the “historical apocalypse” of Daniel, including a discussion of the kingdoms in king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (ch. 2) and the historical context of chapters 7-12 (the visionary apocalypse proper) during the time of the Hellenistic king Antiochus IV Epiphanes (in the 160s BCE). Podcast 7.8: Introduction to Daniel’s Historical Apocalypse (mp3; archive.org page […]

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Podcast 7.7: 1 Enoch – Fallen Angels in Early Apocalypticism

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sun, May 05, 2013


Here I examine the importance of the story of the fallen angels in 1 Enoch 1-36 for Judean apocalypticism, dealing with the literary genre of the otherworldly or cosmic journey apocalypse. Podcast 7.7: 1 Enoch – Fallen Angels in Early Apocalypticism (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). You may also subscribe to this […]

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Podcast 7.6: 1 Enoch – An Introduction to the Earliest Apocalypse

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Apr 01, 2013


Here I begin to introduce our earliest example of the Judean apocalyptic worldview and our first example of an otherworldly journey apocalypse as a type of literature, 1 Enoch (which most likely dates to about 225-200 BCE).  The next episode examines the so called “Book of Watchers” in 1 Enoch chapters 1-36 in more detail. […]

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Podcast 7.5: Origins part 3b – Israelite Prophets 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sun, Mar 03, 2013


Here I continue to discuss the importance of the prophets in the Hebrew Bible for the subsequent development of apocalypticism, dealing with Zechariah and Isaiah 24-27 (sometimes known as the “Apocalypse of Isaiah”). Podcast 7.5: Origins part 3b – Israelite Prophets 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). You may also subscribe to […]

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Podcast 7.4: Origins part 3a – Israelite Prophets 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Fri, Feb 01, 2013


Here I discuss the importance of the prophets in the Hebrew Bible for the subsequent development of apocalypticism, beginning with a survey of important events in the history of Israel and discussion of a passage in Ezekiel (chs. 37-39). Podcast 7.4: Origins part 3a – Israelite Prophecy 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options […]

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Podcast 7.3: Origins part 2 – Zoroastrian apocalypticism

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sat, Jan 05, 2013


Here I turn to Persia (Iran) in order to examine Zoroastrian apocalypticism and its relation to Judean apocalypticism.  This is part of series 6 (Visions of the End: Apocalypticism) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 7.3: Origins part 2 – Zoroastrian apocalypticism (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). You may […]

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Podcast 7.2: Origins part 1 – Ancient Near Eastern Combat Myths

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sat, Dec 01, 2012


Here I go back to the earliest Mesopotamian mythologies (starting about 3000 BCE) about the gods in order to trace a recurring pattern — labelled the “combat myth” by scholars –  that later came to play a role in Judean (Jewish) apocalypticism.  This is part of series 7 (Visions of the End 1: Origins of […]

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Podcast 7.1: Visions of the End – What is Apocalypticism?

Author: Philip A. Harland
Thu, Nov 01, 2012


In this first episode I begin to define apocalypticism with reference to (1) a worldview or ideology focused on an imminent end of the world, (2) social groups that live out that worldview, and (3) a type of writing or genre of literature (e.g. the book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible and John’s Revelation.in […]

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Podcast 6.14: Cultural Minority Associations and Ethnic Stereotypes, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Oct 01, 2012


This final episode in the series continues the discussion of how negative ethnic stereotypes (including accusations of human sacrifice, cannibalism, and incest) impacted immigrant associations and cultural minorities, including groups of Jesus followers. Podcast 6.14: Cultural Minority Associations and Ethnic Stereotypes, part 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). You may also subscribe […]

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Podcast 6.13: Cultural Minority Associations and Ethnic Stereotypes, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Sep 03, 2012


This and the following episode explore ethnic stereotypes as they impacted associations of Judeans and Jesus-followers, placing these groups within the context of ethnic rivalries. In this episode, I discuss common negative stereotypes about Judeans found within writings of the elites, particularly the Roman Tacitus and the Greek Egyptian Apion. Podcast 6.13: Cultural Minority Associations […]

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Podcast 6.12: Jesus Groups as Associations and Cultural Minorities, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sat, Jun 02, 2012


Here I continue to discuss groups of Jesus followers in Asia Minor with case studies of 1 Peter and Revelation (John’s Apocalypse), focusing on both indications of identity construction or maintenance and signs of assimilation or acculturation.  This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean […]

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Podcast 6.11: Jesus Groups as Associations and Cultural Minorities, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Thu, May 03, 2012


This episode introduces groups of Jesus-followers within the context of associations, Judeans, and cultural minority groups, setting the stage for case studies of Jesus groups in Asia Minor.    This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 6.11: Jesus Groups as Associations and […]

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Podcast 6.10: Judean Immigrant Associations, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Fri, Mar 02, 2012


This episode continues the discussion of Judean immigrant associations, turning to archeological evidence for assimilation and integration in the Roman era.    This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 6.10: Judean Immigrant Associations, part 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options […]

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Podcast 6.9: Judean Immigrant Associations, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, Feb 01, 2012


This episode introduces Judean (Jewish) associations or synagogues in the Greek cities of the Roman empire and begins to consider evidence in Josephus’ Judean Antiquities regarding the first century BCE.   This sets the stage for other episodes on the archeological and epigraphic evidence regarding Judean immigrant groups in the Roman era.  This is part […]

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Podcast 6.8: Phoenician Immigrant Associations, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, Jan 04, 2012


This episode continues the discussion of  Syrian or Phoenician ethnic groups or immigrant associations, moving into the Roman imperial period.  This includes a discussion of two inscriptions involving Israelites (or Samaritans) settled on Delos.  This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 6.8: Phoenician […]

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Podcast 6.7: Phoenician Immigrant Associations, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Thu, Dec 01, 2011


This episode involves a case study of Syrian or Phoenician ethnic associations in the ancient Mediterranean, preparing the way for a comparison with other immigrants from the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, especially Israelites and Judeans (Jews).  This episode deals primarily with the Hellenistic period in the second and first centuries BCE and the following […]

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Podcast 6.6: Approaches to Studying Ethnic Associations and Identities

Author: Philip A. Harland
Tue, Nov 01, 2011


Here I discuss concepts of identity, assimilation, and other sociological and anthropological tools for studying immigrant groups or ethnic associations in the ancient context, preparing the way for an investigation of Phoenician, Judean, and other immigrant groups or cultural minorities. This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of […]

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Podcast 6.5: Associations and the Roman Empire

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sat, Oct 01, 2011


Here I discuss the relation between associations and the Roman empire, including Roman authorities and the emperors. This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 6.5: Associations and the Roman Empire (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). You may also subscribe […]

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Podcast 6.4: Associations and Greco-Roman Society – The City

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sun, Sep 04, 2011


Here I discuss the relation between associations and Greco-Roman society with a focus on the Greek polis or city.  This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 6.4: Associations and Greco-Roman Society – The City (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). […]

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Podcast 6.3: Judean and Christian Groups as Associations

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, Jun 01, 2011


Using Josephus and Philo as a starting point, here I discuss how Judeans (Jews), Christians, and others in the ancient world could express the identities of Judean synagogues and Christian congregations in terms of association-life. Although peculiar cultural minorities in some respects, Judean and Christian groups can be studied alongside other associations in the Greco-Roman […]

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Podcast 6.2: Social, Religious, and Burial Activities of Associations

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sun, May 01, 2011


Here I explore the internal activities of associations, pointing to intertwined social, religious, and burial purposes that these groups served for their members.  We take a close look at one particular association devoted to the god Zeus and the goddess Agdistis at Philadelphia in Asia Minor (LSAM 20). This is part of series 6 (Associations […]

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Podcast 6.1: Introduction to Associations in the Greco-Roman World

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Apr 04, 2011


In this first episode of the series, I discuss our evidence for associations and guilds in the Greco-Roman world and outline the various types of these groups, including family-based, occupation-based, cultic-based, and ethnic-based groups.  This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 6.1: […]

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Podcast 5.15: Jesus as a Messianic King?

Author: Philip A. Harland
Tue, Mar 01, 2011


Here I discuss first-century Judean concepts relating to an anointed one, or messiah, particularly a kingly messiah, and discuss contemporary figures who were viewed as kings. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 5.14: Jesus as a Messianic King? (mp3; archive.org page […]

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Podcast 5.14: Jesus as Prophet

Author: Philip A. Harland
Tue, Feb 01, 2011


Here I discuss first-century Judean concepts of the prophet and place Jesus within the context of other contemporary figures who were viewed as prophets. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 5.14: Jesus as Prophet (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options […]

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Podcast 5.13: Jesus as Healer and Exorcist

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sat, Jan 01, 2011


Here I investigate the historical Jesus within the context of contemporaries who were viewed as healers and exorcists in Galilee and Judea. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 5.13: Jesus as Healer and Exorcist (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options […]

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Podcast 5.12: Jesus as Teacher, part 2: Present or Future Kingdom?

Author: Philip A. Harland
Tue, Nov 30, 2010


This is the second of two episodes that consider the historical Jesus in the role of teacher. Here I discuss evidence regarding Jesus’ conception of the “kingdom of God” and the scholarly debates regarding Jesus’ present or (imminent) future focus. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of […]

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Podcast 5.11: Jesus as Teacher, part 1 – Method and Content

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Nov 01, 2010


This and the following episode consider the historical Jesus in the role of teacher. Here I discuss the form or method of his instruction, and begin to introduce the centrality of the “Kingdom of God” to his teachings.  This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient […]

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Podcast 7.9: Daniel’s Visions as Veiled History

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sat, Oct 23, 2010


Here I further explore the first-person visionary account in Daniel chapters 7-12, our earliest example of an historical apocalypse as veiled history. Podcast 7.9: Daniel’s Visions as Veiled History (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher.

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Podcast 5.10: Jesus and his Mentor, John the Baptizer

Author: Philip A. Harland
Fri, Oct 01, 2010


Here I consider evidence from Josephus and the Gospels regarding John the Baptist and his importance for studying the historical Jesus. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 5.10: Jesus and his Mentor, John the Baptizer (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading […]

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Podcast 5.9: Jesus in the Context of Educated Groups and Leaders

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sun, Jun 13, 2010


In order to provide a context for Jesus in the role of a teacher, here I discuss contemporary educated Judean groups and leaders, including Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes, and the Dead Sea sect. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 5.9: Jesus in […]

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Podcast 5.8: Jesus, the Galilean and Judean

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sat, May 15, 2010


Here I discuss Jesus as a Galilean and a Judean.  I do so by looking at cultural life associated with the Jerusalem temple in the first century and the relations between cultures in Judea and Galilee. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. […]

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Podcast 5.7: Jesus, Galilee, and Israelite History, part 2 – To the Time of Jesus

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Apr 19, 2010


Here I continue to place Jesus and Galilee within the broader context of Israelite history. This episode works through the Hellenistic and Roman periods, including the time of Jesus, and finishes with a discussion of social and economic life in first century Galilee and Judea. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in […]

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Podcast 5.6: Jesus, Galilee, and Israelite History, part 1 – Until the Second Temple

Author: Philip A. Harland
Thu, Apr 01, 2010


This and the following episode place Jesus and Galilee within the broader context of Israelite history. This episode begins with the Assyrian period (700s BCE) and concludes with the Persian period, with the construction of the second temple (ca. 500 BCE). This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions […]

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Podcast 5.5: Scholarly Portraits of the Historical Jesus, part 2 (Sanders)

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sun, Mar 14, 2010


This is the second of two episodes that explore two contrasting scholarly portraits of the historical Jesus, those of John Dominic Crossan (Jesus as egalitarian peasant) and E.P. Sanders (Jesus as apocalyptic prophet). This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 5.5: Scholarly […]

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Podcast 5.4: Scholarly Portraits of the Historical Jesus, part 1 (Crossan)

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Mar 01, 2010


This and the following episode explore two contrasting scholarly portraits of the historical Jesus, those of John Dominic Crossan (Jesus as egalitarian peasant) and E.P. Sanders (Jesus as apocalyptic prophet). This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 5.4: Scholarly Portraits of the […]

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Podcast 5.3: Studying the Historical Jesus – Sources and Problems, part 3

Author: Philip A. Harland
Fri, Feb 12, 2010


This episode is the final of three that introduce key historical sources and problems in reconstructing the life of a peasant from Galilee, the historical Jesus. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 5.3: Studying the Historical Jesus – Sources and Problems, […]

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Podcast 5.2: Studying the Historical Jesus – Sources and Problems, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Tue, Feb 02, 2010


This episode is the second of three that introduce key historical sources and problems in reconstructing the life of a peasant from Galilee, the historical Jesus. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 5.2: Studying the Historical Jesus – Sources and Problems, […]

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Podcast 5.1: Studying the Historical Jesus – Sources and Problems, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Jan 11, 2010


This episode is the first of three that introduce key historical sources and problems in reconstructing the life of a peasant from Galilee, the historical Jesus. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 5.1: Studying the Historical Jesus – Sources and Problems, […]

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Podcast 4.6: Honouring the Emperors as Gods

Author: Philip A. Harland
Tue, Nov 17, 2009


Here I explain emperor worship and the various types of honours for the emperors as gods, including imperial cults at the provincial, civic, and local levels in Asia Minor.  This is the final episode in series 4 (Honouring the Gods in the Roman Empire) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 4.6: Honouring […]

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Podcast 4.5: Justice from the Gods in Lydia

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Nov 02, 2009


Here I discuss the active role of the gods in punishing transgressors by focusing on indigenous practices in the region of Lydia, particularly the propitiation or confession inscriptions.  This is part of series 4 (Honouring the Gods in the Roman Empire) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 4.5: Justice from the Gods […]

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Podcast 4.4: Messages from the Gods – Apollo at Claros and Didyma

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, Oct 14, 2009


Here I discuss messages from the gods, or divination.  One way in which the gods were thought to communicate with individuals, groups, and communities was through oracles such as those of Apollo at Claros and Didyma.  This is part of series 4 (Honouring the Gods in the Roman Empire) of the Religions of the Ancient […]

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Podcast 4.3: Salvation from the Gods – Asklepios at Pergamon (Pergamum)

Author: Philip A. Harland
Thu, Oct 01, 2009


Here I discuss the way in which people in Roman times believed that gods saved them in their daily lives, focusing on the case of the healing sanctuary of Asklepios at Pergamon (Pergamum).  This is part of series 4 (Honouring the Gods in the Roman Empire) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast […]

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Podcast 4.2: A City and Its Patron Deity – Artemis of Ephesus

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Sep 14, 2009


Here I discuss civic cults in Asia Minor and Ephesus with a focus on the relationship between a city and its patron deity (in this case Artemis Ephesia).  This is part of series 4 (Honouring the Gods in the Roman Empire) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 4.2: A City and Its […]

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Podcast 4.1: Introduction to Honouring the Gods

Author: Philip A. Harland
Tue, Sep 01, 2009


This is the introductory episode for a series that explores the various ways in which people in the Roman empire, especially in Asia Minor, honoured and communicated with their gods.  This is part of series 4 (Honouring the Gods in the Roman Empire) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 4.1: Introduction to […]

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Podcast 3.16: The Gospel of Mary – Secret Knowledge from the Ultimate Disciple

Author: Philip A. Harland
Tue, Jun 02, 2009


Here I discuss this dialogue gospel in which Mary Magdalene is presented as Jesus’ favourite disciple and the instructor of true knowledge. I explore notions of salvation in terms of the ascent of the soul, as well as the way in which this writing reflects struggles among different groups of Jesus-followers. This is part of […]

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Podcast 3.15: The Gospel of Philip, part 2 – Ritual Enactments of Salvation

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, May 13, 2009


Here I finish the discussion of the Gospel of Philip by focusing on the way in which notions of salvation were enacted in the practices of the followers of Jesus who used this writing. In particular, rituals such as the “bridal chamber” illustrate the connections between sex (as a metaphor) and salvation in the mindset […]

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Podcast 3.14: The Gospel of Philip, part 1 – Ideas of Salvation

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, May 04, 2009


Here I discuss the Gospel of Philip (perhaps best known in connection with the Da Vinci Code). This episode deals with the author’s worldview and ideas about the condition of humanity, preparing the way for a second episode on the practices and rituals that enacted salvation. This is part of series 3 (“Diversity in Early […]

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Podcast 3.13: The Wisdom of Jesus Christ and Middle Platonism

Author: Philip A. Harland
Tue, Apr 14, 2009


Here I use two related Nag Hammadi writings — Eugnostos the Blessed and The Sophia of Jesus Christ — as a window into forms of Christianity that were heavily influenced by Middle Platonic philosophy, particularly in regard to cosmology and the divine Triad. This is part of series 3 (“Diversity in Early Christianity: ‘Heresies’ and […]

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Podcast 3.12: Secret Book of John, part 2 – Salvation from the Material Realm

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, Apr 01, 2009


Here I continue to explain the worldview of the Apocryphon of John, particularly its notions regarding the material realm, the inferior creator god (demiurge), and salvation from this realm. This is part of series 3 (“Diversity in Early Christianity: ‘Heresies’ and Struggles”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 3.12: Secret Book of […]

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Podcast 3.11: Secret Book of John, part 1 – The Spiritual Realm

Author: Philip A. Harland
Thu, Mar 12, 2009


Here I begin to explain the worldview of the Apocryphon of John, one of the Nag Hammadi writings (part 1 of 2). Like other writings in that collection, this author makes a clear distinction between the perfect spiritual realm, also known as the “fullness”, and an inferior material realm created by a jealous god or […]

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Podcast 3.10: Introducing Gnostic Worldviews

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sun, Mar 01, 2009


Here I set the stage for the study of specific Nag Hammadi and related writings by outlining in broad terms some common denominators in the worldviews traditionally labeled “gnostic”. This includes discussion of the Middle Platonic assumptions of many authors. I also deal with the importance of knowledge (gnosis) in the understanding of how salvation […]

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Podcast 3.9: Marcionites and the Unknown God

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sun, Feb 15, 2009


Here I explore Marcionite forms of Christianity, which contrast significantly to the Judean forms discussed in the previous episode. Followers of Marcion believed that the legalistic God of the Hebrew Bible was to be distinguished from the loving, unknown Father-God who sent Jesus, and that Law was opposed to Gospel. This is part of series […]

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Podcast 3.8: Jewish Followers of Jesus, part 2 – Pseudo-Clement

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Feb 02, 2009


Here I continue to explore Jewish followers of Jesus by examining key passages in an apocryphal novel attributed to Clement of Rome, also known as the Pseudo-Clementine writings. In particular, an opening letter claiming to be written by Peter to James and the story of Peter’s debates with Simon Magus (a cipher for Paul) provide […]

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Podcast 3.7: Jewish Followers of Jesus, part 1 – Ebionites

Author: Philip A. Harland
Fri, Jan 16, 2009


Beginning with James the brother of Jesus and the Jerusalem church, here I trace evidence for Judean followers of Jesus and discuss their gradual marginalization. In particular, I focus attention on Jewish-Christian groups that the patristic sources (e.g. Irenaeus, Epiphanius) label “the Ebionites”, or “poor ones”. This is part of series 3 (“Diversity in Early […]

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Podcast 3.6: Sources for the Study of Diversity – Gnostic, Apocryphal, Patristic

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Jan 05, 2009


Here I sketch out our main sources for the study of various Christian groups or “heresies” in the second and third centuries, including discussion of the early Christian Apocrypha, the Nag Hammadi writings (associated with “gnosticism”), and the Church Fathers. This is part of series 3 (“Diversity in Early Christianity: ‘Heresies’ and Struggles”) of the […]

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Podcast 3.5: Diversity in Asia Minor – A Regional Case Study

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, Dec 17, 2008


Here I use the region of Asia Minor (Turkey) as a case study that allows me to outline various strands and styles within Christianity in the first and second centuries. I then go on to outline our approach to studying the worldviews and practices of Christian groups and “heresies”. This is part of series 3 […]

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Podcast 3.4: Docetic and Judaizing Opponents of Ignatius, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, Nov 26, 2008


Here I discuss Ignatius’ Judaizing opponents, who advocated certain Jewish beliefs and practices. I also deal with Ignatius’ strategies in combating groups he considered heretical. This is part of series 3 (“Diversity in Early Christianity: ‘Heresies’ and Struggles”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 3.4: Docetic and Judaizing Opponents of Ignatius, part […]

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Podcast 3.3: Docetic and Judaizing Opponents of Ignatius, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Tue, Nov 04, 2008


There are two main groups of opponents combated by Ignatius of Antioch in his letters to followers of Jesus in Asia Minor: Docetic and Judaizing opponents (part 1 of 2). This episode introduces Ignatius (who wrote in the early second century) and explains the position of his docetic opponents, who thought that Jesus only appeared […]

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Podcast 3.2: A Schism in John’s Community, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Thu, Oct 16, 2008


Here I continue to consider the opponents in John’s epistles (part 2 of 2). These epistles provide evidence of an early Christian schism over how to view Jesus’ humanity. This is part of series 3 (“Diversity in Early Christianity: ‘Heresies’ and Struggles”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 3.2: A Schism in […]

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Podcast 3.1: Introduction to Diversity – A Schism in John’s Community, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Sep 29, 2008


Here I delve into the issue of diversity in early Christianity by using the opponents in John’s epistles as a starting point (part 1 of 2). These epistles provide evidence of an early Christian schism over how to view Jesus’ humanity. This is part of series 3 (“Diversity in Early Christianity: ‘Heresies’ and Struggles”) of […]

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Podcast 2.11: Hebrews’ Portrait of Jesus – Highpriest Melchizedek, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sat, Sep 13, 2008


Here I discuss the way in which the book of Hebrews portrays Jesus both as highpriest Melchizedek and once for all sacrifice (part 2 of 2). In particular, I explore the ways in which this author is saturated by the Hebrew scriptures and influenced by Platonic philosophy. This is the final episode in series 2 […]

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Podcast 2.10: Hebrews’ Portrait of Jesus – Highpriest Melchizedek, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, Aug 27, 2008


Here I discuss the way in which the book of Hebrews portrays Jesus both as high-priest Melchizedek and once for all sacrifice (part 1 of 2). This is part of series 2 (“Early Christian Portraits of Jesus”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 2.10: Hebrews’ Portrait of Jesus – Highpriest Mechizedek, part […]

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Podcast 2.9: John’s Portrait of Jesus – Son and Word, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Fri, Jun 27, 2008


Here I continue to discuss how the gospel of John portrays Jesus as both the Word of God and the Son sent by the Father (part 2 of 2).  This is part of series 2 (“Early Christian Portraits of Jesus”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 2.9: John’s Portrait of Jesus – […]

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Podcast 2.8: John’s Portrait of Jesus – Son and Word, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sat, Jun 14, 2008


Here I discuss how the gospel of John portrays Jesus as both the Word of God and the Son sent by the Father (part 1 of 2). I also deal with this gospel’s stress on the importance of “signs” pointing to Jesus’ identity and the way in which Jesus (“Lamb of God”) is viewed as […]

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Podcast 2.7: Luke’s Portrait of Jesus – Prophet Elijah, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sun, Jun 08, 2008


Here I continue to discuss how the gospel of Luke portrays Jesus as a prophet like Elijah, which also entails presenting Jesus as a saviour to the poor and marginalized of society (part 1 of 2). This is part of series 2 (“Early Christian portraits of Jesus”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. […]

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Podcast 2.6: Luke’s Portrait of Jesus – Prophet Elijah, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, May 14, 2008


Here I discuss how the gospel of Luke portrays Jesus as a prophet like Elijah, which also entails presenting Jesus as a saviour to the poor and marginalized of society (part 1 of 2). In this first part, I provide some important background for understanding this two volume work, Luke-Acts, both as ancient biography and […]

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Podcast 2.5: Matthew’s portrait of Jesus – New Moses (part 2)

Author: Philip A. Harland
Tue, Apr 29, 2008


Here I continue the discussion of Matthew’s portrait of Jesus as the new David and new Moses (part 2 of 2). I also delve into tensions between Matthew’s community and other groups of Jews or Judeans in the late first century. This is part of series 2 (“Early Christian portraits of Jesus”) of the Religions […]

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Podcast 2.4: Matthew’s portrait of Jesus – New Moses, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sat, Apr 12, 2008


Here I discuss the Judean portrait of Jesus as the new David and new Moses in the Gospel of Matthew (part 1 of 2). This is part of series 2 (“Early Christian portraits of Jesus”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 2.4: Matthew’s portrait of Jesus – New Moses, part 1 (mp3; […]

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Podcast 2.3: Mark’s portrait of Jesus – Suffering Son, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sun, Mar 30, 2008


This continues the discussion of how Jesus is portrayed in the narrative of the gospel of Mark, namely as the secretive and suffering Son of God (part 2 of 2). This is part of series 2 (“Early Christian portraits of Jesus”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 2.3: Mark’s portrait of Jesus […]

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Podcast 2.2: Mark’s portrait of Jesus – Suffering Son, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, Mar 12, 2008


Here I consider how Jesus is portrayed in the narrative of the gospel of Mark, namely as the secretive and suffering Son of God (part 1 of 2). This is part of series 2 (“Early Christian portraits of Jesus”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. Podcast 2.2: Mark’s portrait of Jesus – Suffering […]

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Podcast 2.1: Introduction to Early Christian Portraits of Jesus

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, Feb 27, 2008


Here I discuss some introductory issues regarding the gospels, including their status as ancient biographies or portraits of Jesus and the literary relationships among the synoptic gospels (approx. 45 minutes). This sets the stage for an historical and literary study of portraits of Jesus in Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, as well as the book […]

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Podcast 1.12: Legacies of Paul – Women’s leadership, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sat, Feb 09, 2008


This concludes the discussion of the Acts of Paul and Thecla in relation to the Pastoral epistles, addressing the ways in which Paul was used within debates about women’s leadership in second century groups of Jesus-followers. This is the final episode in series 1 (“Paul and his Communities”). Series 2 (beginning in March) will take […]

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Podcast 1.11: Legacies of Paul – Women’s leadership, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Fri, Feb 01, 2008


Here I look at legacies and interpretations of Paul after his death. In particular, I use several letters written in the name of Paul (the Pastoral epistles) and a novelistic story about Paul and a woman named Thecla (Acts of Paul and Thecla) as a window into debates about leadership of women in groups of […]

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Podcast 1.10: Paul’s response to the Romans

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sun, Jan 13, 2008


This episode considers Paul’s response to the ethnic divisions that existed among groups of Jesus-followers at Rome. Here I discuss Paul’s main arguments regarding the equally condemnable and equally save-able status of both Greeks (or Gentiles) and Judeans, as well as Paul’s view that “all Israel will be saved”. This episode is part of series […]

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Podcast 1.9: Paul and the situation at Rome

Author: Philip A. Harland
Wed, Jan 02, 2008


This episode looks at the situation at Rome in the mid-first century that led Paul to write the letter to the Romans, now in the New Testament. I delve into the purposes in Paul writing and his focus on what he sees as ethnic divisions between Greeks and Judeans in the groups of Jesus-followers. This […]

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Podcast 1.8: Paul’s response to the Galatians

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Dec 17, 2007


This second episode on Paul’s letter to the Galatians looks at Paul’s response to the situation involving opponents that were advocating circumcision. I discuss a plausible apocalyptic rationale for Paul’s notion that circumcision was not an entrance requirement for Gentiles to belong to the Jesus groups. In the process, I also begin to deal with […]

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Podcast 1.7: Paul and the situation in Galatia

Author: Philip A. Harland
Thu, Dec 06, 2007


This episode looks at the situation in Galatia that led Paul to write his letter in the mid-first century. Here I explore the rationale of Paul’s opponents who advocated circumcision among Gentiles (non-Judeans) as a symbol of belonging to God’s people and an entrance requirement into this Jewish movement that considered Jesus the Messiah (approx. […]

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Podcast 1.6: Paul and the followers of Jesus at Corinth, part 3

Author: Philip A. Harland
Mon, Nov 26, 2007


This episode concludes the discussion of followers of Jesus at Corinth with a focus on Paul’s response to the situation (in 1 Corinthians). Here we see Paul’s education in Greco-Roman methods of rhetoric or argumentation. Paul’s arguments for unity and against divisions provide a clear example of deliberative rhetoric, comparable to political speeches by the […]

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Podcast 1.5: Paul and the followers of Jesus at Corinth, part 2

Author: Philip A. Harland
Thu, Nov 15, 2007


This fifth episode continues discussion of the situation at Corinth as reflected in chapters 6-15 of 1 Corinthians, dealing with problems that arose due to the socially superior position of some Corinthian Christians and the spiritually superior claims of others. This episode is part of series one (“Paul and his Communities”) of the Religions of […]

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Podcast 1.4: Paul and the followers of Jesus at Corinth, part 1

Author: Philip A. Harland
Thu, Nov 01, 2007


This fourth episode begins to look at the followers of Jesus at Corinth through Paul’s letter known as 1 Corinthians in the New Testament. After discussing the city of Corinth, I go on to consider the history of Paul’s interactions with these Christians, which was characterized by rocky relations. Then we delve into the situation […]

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Podcast 1.3: Paul’s response to followers of Jesus at Thessalonica

Author: Philip A. Harland
Fri, Oct 19, 2007


This third episode looks at Paul’s response to followers of Jesus at Thessalonica, including his attempt to comfort these socially dislocated Christians, his use of familial language to build up their identity, and his use of praising (demonstrative) rhetoric. It also begins to consider Paul as an apocalyptic Judean (approx. 32 minutes). This episode is […]

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Podcast 1.2: The Situation at Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians)

Author: Philip A. Harland
Sat, Oct 13, 2007


This second episode looks at the situation among followers of Jesus at Thessalonica in Macedonia in the mid-first century. Considering the ethnic and social makeup of the earliest Christians, this episode also discusses two main problems faced by these followers of Jesus: “afflictions” and the death of fellow-followers of Jesus. This prepares the way for […]

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Podcast 1.1: Paul in his own words

Author: Philip A. Harland
Fri, Oct 05, 2007


This inaugural episode in series 1 (Paul and his communities) uses incidental autobiographical references in Paul’s letters as an avenue into the study of Paul, his letters, and early Christian groups (approx. 27 minutes). Podcast 1.1: Paul in his own words (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). You may subscribe to this and […]

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