Category Archives: Podcast

The Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast (by Philip A. Harland, York University) explores social and religious life in the Greco-Roman world, especially early Christianity including the New Testament. Half-hour episodes are released monthly. These episodes are not scripted; they are edited versions of improvised lectures from point-form notes.

There are several series in the podcast:
Series 1: Paul and his communities (2007 – 2008).
Series 2: Early Christian portraits of Jesus (2008).
Series 3: Diversity in Early Christianity: “Heresies” and struggles (2009)
Series 4: Honouring the Gods in the Roman Empire (2009-2010)
Series 5: The Historical Jesus in Context (2011)
Series 6: Associations in the Greco-Roman World (2011)
Series 7: Visions of the End (2012)

Podcast 8.10: Jealous Satan, the Image of God, and the Serpent in the Life of Adam and Eve

Here I discuss the expanded story of Adam and Eve that emerged around the turn of the common era as a way of explaining the motivations of Satan (primarily jealousy) in connection with both the creation of humans in the image of God and the serpent in the garden.

Podcast 8.10: Jealous Satan, the Image of God, and the Serpent in the Life of Adam and Eve (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 8.9: A Satanic Empire in John’s Apocalypse (ca. 80-100 CE)

Here I discuss Satan in John’s Apocalypse (Revelation), pointing out how this author pulls together many strands of the story of Satan and does so to demonize an external power: the Roman empire.

Podcast 8.9: A Satanic Empire in John’s Apocalypse (ca. 80-100 CE) (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 8.8: Internal Functions of the Rhetoric of Satan in Paul and John (ca. 50-110 CE)

Here I introduce Paul’s apocalyptic worldview and go on to discuss the way in which some early Christian authors or leaders (e.g. Paul and the elder John) used the language or rhetoric of Satan or evil personified figures (e.g. Antichrist) to label and combat internal opponents within the Christian communities.

Podcast 8.8: Internal Functions of the Rhetoric of Satan in Paul and John (ca. 50-110 CE) (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 8.7: The Devil and Beelzebub in Early Biographies of Jesus (70-100 CE)

Here I discuss how the authors of the synoptic gospels portray Jesus in conflict with demons and with the Devil.

Podcast 8.7: The Devil and Beelzebub in Early Biographies of Jesus (70-100 CE) (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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

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 Sea Scrolls (ca. 100 BCE) (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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

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).

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Podcast 8.4: Other Predecessors of Satan from the Hebrew Bible

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).

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Podcast 8.3: Predecessors of Satan from Persia (Zoroastrianism)

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).

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Podcast 8.2: Predecessors of Satan from Canaan and Israel

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).

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

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 first among the predecessors of Satan are monsters (who are also gods) found within Mesopotamian mythology in the second and first millenia BCE.  The so-called “combat myth” is a fundamental building block of Satan’s story.

Podcast 8.1: A Cultural History of Satan – Predecessors from Mesopotamia (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 7.8: Introduction to Daniel’s Historical Apocalypse

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 with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 7.7: 1 Enoch – Fallen Angels in Early Apocalypticism

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).

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

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.

Podcast 7.6: 1 Enoch – An Introduction to the Earliest Apocalypse (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 7.5: Origins part 3b – Israelite Prophets 2

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).

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Podcast 7.4: Origins part 3a – Israelite Prophets 1

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 here).

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Podcast 7.3: Origins part 2 – Zoroastrian apocalypticism

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).

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

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 Judean Apocalypticism) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 7.2: Origins part 1 – Ancient Near Eastern Combat Myths (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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

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 the New Testament).

This is the first of two series, with this one dealing with both the predecessors of apocalypticism and the period up to the writing of 1 Enoch and Daniel (ca. 160s BCE).  The second series will come later and deal with later Judean and Christian apocalypticism, beginning with the Dead Sea Scrolls.  This is part of series 7 (Visions of the End 1: Origins of Judean Apocalypticism) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 7.1: Visions of the End – What is Apocalypticism? (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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

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).

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

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 and Ethnic Stereotypes, part 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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

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 podcast.

Podcast 6.12:  Jesus Groups as Associations and Cultural Minorities, part 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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

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 Cultural Minorities, part 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.10: Judean Immigrant Associations, part 2

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 here).

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Podcast 6.9: Judean Immigrant Associations, part 1

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 of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.9: Judean Immigrant Associations, part 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.8: Phoenician Immigrant Associations, part 2

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 Immigrant Associations, part 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.7: Phoenician Immigrant Associations, part 1

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 episode continues on into the Roman imperial period.  This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.7: Phoenician Immigrant Associations, part 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.6: Approaches to Studying Ethnic Associations and Identities

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 the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.6: Approaches to Studying Ethnic Associations and Identities (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.5: Associations and the Roman Empire

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).

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

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

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 world. This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.3: Judean and Christian Groups as Associations (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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