05 September 2018

Look: The Bible Project


+JMJ+

Can't say enough good about these folks! Between the YouTube Channel, the growing community engagement they provide, the podcasts, and the solid Bible teaching, these folks are an apostolic force to reckon with. We've used them as a resource in the RCIA class and the Lay Dominicans use them as well.

They don't use a lot of denominational markers, so I'm honestly not sure which Christian tradition(s) they call home. They do seem to come from a more reformed tradition, based on a couple of points which I'll mention below, and I'm going to wager centrist-to-conservative, but from my Orthodox and Catholic journey I've not heard anything I can disagree with.

You may have seen one or more of their videos which are in that "talking while someone does a whiteboard" style.


Every one of their videos is at once a very good Reader's Digest version of the contents of the books, as well as a very good teaching/commentary experience. They have other videos on different Biblical themes, what we would have called a "word study" back in the day. I've not watched these videos. I'm looking forward to that!

Their Bible Project podcast has been my latest experience and it was the depth of the podcast talking about God (which will be the theme of videos this fall) that moved me to write this post. Their current series explores the Bible text with an eye to the ancient cultures in which that text was written and in a way that may be surprising to the podcasters as well as many of their listeners, they come up with a very not-protestant World View. I'm not talking about the flat earth, here (they deal with that) but rather about a world filled with God's power and God's actions.

You don't need to take my word for it. Give a listen. Watch any of their videos. Start here, which they do without ever using the words "Lectio Divina":


I think they avoid words like "Lectio" because these words are not part of their tradition. There were two long, painful moments in the podcasts when I wanted yell out (in the first case) "Sacraments. The word you're looking for is sacraments." The second time was "Saints. Invocation of Saints".  It is amazing that they come to these realizations going from Hebrew words and ancient cultural markers, but that's what the Catholic and the Orthodox always say: "just taste and see, and you'll be one of us..."