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

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 of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 2.5: Matthew’s portrait of Jesus – New Moses, part 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher. View credits for my introductory music remix.

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

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; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher. View credits for my introductory music remix.

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

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 – Suffering Son, part 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher. View credits for my introductory music remix.

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

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

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher. View credits for my introductory music remix.

Podcast 2.1: Introduction to Early Christian Portraits of Jesus

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 of Hebrews. This episode is part of series two (“Early Christian Portraits of Jesus”) of the podcast.

Podcast 2.1: Introduction to Early Christian Portraits of Jesus (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher. View credits for my introductory music remix.

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

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 an historical and literary look at “Early Christian Portraits of Jesus”, including the gospels.

Podcast 1.12: Legacies of Paul – Women and leadership, part 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here). approx 32 minutes

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You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher. View credits for my introductory music remix.

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

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 Jesus-followers in the second century. This episode is part of series one (“Paul and his Communities”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 1.11: Legacies of Paul – Women and leadership, part 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher. View credits for my introductory music remix.

Podcast 1.10: Paul’s response to the Romans

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 one (“Paul and his Communities”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 1.10: Paul’s response to the Romans (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher. View credits for my introductory music remix.

Podcast 1.9: Paul and the situation at Rome

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 episode is part of series one (“Paul and his Communities”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 1.8: Paul and the situation at Rome (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher. View credits for my introductory music remix.

Podcast 1.8: Paul’s response to the Galatians

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 Paul’s complicated positions regarding the Torah (the law) and its relation to non-Judeans (approx. 35 minutes). This episode is part of series one (“Paul and his Communities”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 1.8: Paul’s response to the Galatians (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher. View credits for my introductory music remix.

Podcast 1.7: Paul and the situation in Galatia

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. 25 minutes).  This episode is part of series one (“Paul and his Communities”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 1.7: Paul and the situation in Galatia (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher.  View credits for my introductory music remix.

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

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 likes of Dio Chrysostom. The use of the body metaphor in chapter 12 further confirms Paul’s employment of civic discourse (approx. 20 minutes). This episode is part of series one (“Paul and his Communities”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 1.6: Paul and the followers of Jesus at Corinth, part 3 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher. View credits for my introductory music remix.

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

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 the Ancient Mediterranean podcast. (approx. 32 minutes).

Podcast 1.5: Paul and the followers of Jesus at Corinth, part 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher. View credits for my introductory music remix.

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

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 among the Corinthians that led Paul to write his letter, primarily the issue of social and spiritual divisions within the Jesus groups at Corinth (in 1 Corinthians, chapters 1-4). This is the first of three episodes on 1 Corinthians (approx. 25 minutes).

This episode is part of series one (“Paul and his Communities”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 1.4: Paul and the followers of Jesus at Corinth, part 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher.

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

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 part of series one (“Paul and his Communities”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 1.3: Paul’s response to Jesus-followers at Thessalonica (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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You may subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher.

Podcast 1.2: The Situation at Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians)

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 episode three, which will look at how Paul responds to this situation in his letter, known as 1 Thessalonians in the New Testament (approx. 36 minutes). This episode is part of series one (“Paul and his Communities”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 1.2: The Situation at Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians) (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 1.1: Paul in his own words

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).

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You may subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher.