The Bible Project
The Bible Project is a non-profit animation studio that produces short-form, fully animated videos to make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere. We create videos, podcasts, and study guides that explore the Bible’s unified story. The Bible is a divine-human book that speaks God’s word to his people. We believe it ultimately points us to Jesus, who has the power to change individuals and whole communities when we let the biblical story speak for itself. We focus on the Bible's overarching themes and each book’s literary design and are committed to understanding the Bible in its historical context.
Character of God: Exodus 34:6-7 - The Bible Project (June-30-2020). Biblical authors often referenced and quoted their favorite parts of Scripture, and the list of God's character traits found in Exodus 34:6-7 is the most repeated and re-quoted text in the Bible. In this video we'll explore this foundational description of God's attributes that illustrates what God values and why he acts the way he does.
BibleProject Podcast on Apocalypse - Does the Bible Predict the End of the World? Are these the end times? Why does the Bible use language of fiery judgment? And what is the mark of the beast? In this episode, Tim and Jon answer your questions about how to read apocalyptic literature.
The Bible Project (June-09-2020) Apocalypse. It’s the apocalypse! But what exactly does that mean? The Bible is filled with dreams and visions about human history coming to a climax, and they’re usually packed with intense imagery and strange symbols. In this video, we’ll explore the meaning of the word “apocalypse” in the Bible, and we’ll learn some basic steps for reading this literature with more wisdom and insight.
The Bible Project (April-29-2020) New Testament Letters: Literary Context. In the New Testament, there are 21 letters written by early Christian leaders to communities of Jesus' followers in the ancient Roman world. These letters are rich with theology and guidance for what it means to be a community of Jesus followers, but they can also be dense and hard to understand. In this video we’ll explore the literary style of ancient letter writing and show you how to trace the core ideas from a letter’s beginning all the way to its end.
The Bible Project (April-08-2020) Water of Life. In the beginning of the Bible, God transforms a desolate wilderness into a garden through a stream that waters the ground and brings life wherever it goes. This image gets developed throughout the biblical story as wells, cisterns, rain, and rivers all become images of God’s creative power. In this video, we’ll explore the “water of life” theme through the biblical story and see how it leads to Jesus, who presents himself as the one bringing living water to a world that is desperately thirsty.
BibleProject (March-18-2020) Podcast: Is the Tree of Life Practical? We are concluding our Tree of Life series with a question and response episode. In this episode, Tim and Jon respond to audience questions on the theme of the Tree of Life in the Bible. Thank you to everyone that submitted questions!
The Bible Project - New Testament Letters: Historical Context. In the New Testament, there are 21 letters or epistles written by early Christian leaders to communities of Jesus' followers in the ancient Roman world. A wise reading of these letters involves learning about their historical context. Who were the letters written to, where did the recipients live, and what prompted sending the letter? In this video, we explore the different layers of historical context with these letters, so that we can better understand the wisdom they still have to offer.
The Bible Project (February-18-2020) Tree of Life. In the opening pages of the Bible, God gives humanity a gift that they quickly forfeit—eternal life that comes by eating from the tree of life. In this video, we explore the meaning of this powerful image and how sacred trees play a key role throughout the story of the Bible. It all leads up to Jesus himself, who died upon a tree so that he could become a new tree of life for all humanity.
The Bible Project (January-29-2020) How to Read the Bible: The Parables of Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth was a master storyteller, and many of his most well-known teachings were told as parables. But these stories were designed to do much more than simply "teach." Jesus said the parables were designed to both reveal and conceal his message about the arrival of God's Kingdom. In this video, we explore the main themes in Jesus' parables and ask why he used them as the primary vehicle for his message.
The Bible Project (January-08-2020) Sabbath. On page one of the Bible, God orders a beautiful world out of chaotic darkness within a sequence of six days. And on the seventh day, God rests. This introduces the major biblical theme of patterns of seven that conclude with God and humans resting together as partners. In this video, we explore the theme of seventh day rest and the biblical concept of Sabbath. We also look at why Jesus adopted this idea as a major part of his own mission to bring God's Kingdom to earth.
Word Study: Martus - "Witness" - The Bible Project (November-26-2019). In the Bible, the word “witness” is used to describe both a person and an action—someone who sees something and then talks about what they’ve seen. Similar to today, this word is used in both legal settings and to describe an experience with God. But what’s most interesting about the word witness is how it illuminates the story of Scripture, especially the role of the people of God. In this video, we explore how this word contributes to the overarching story of the Bible.
The Bible Project (November-11-2019) How to Read the Gospel. The New Testament contains four ancient biographies of Jesus of Nazareth, and altogether they are called “the Gospel.” Each one tells the story as an announcement of good news that the crucified and risen Jesus is the true ruler of the nations. In this video, we explore why these accounts were written and how you can read them with greater insight.
The Bible Project (September-06-2019) Temple. In this video, we explore how Israel’s temple in the Bible is described as the place where God’s space and humanity’s space are one. In fact, the whole biblical drama can be told as a story about God’s temple. In the opening pages of Genesis, God creates a cosmic temple, and in the person of Jesus, God takes up personal residence in his temple-world. By the end of the biblical story, all of creation has become God’s sacred temple.
The Bible Project (August-05-2019) Sacrifice & Atonement. God is on a mission to remove evil from His good world, along with all of its corrosive effects. However, He wants to do it in a way that does not involve removing humans. In this video, we trace the theme of God’s “covering” over human evil through animal sacrifices that ultimately point to Jesus and his death and resurrection
The Bible Project (August-04-2019) Public Reading of Scripture . Reading the Bible aloud with a group of people is an ancient practice. In fact, the origins of the Bible are deeply rooted in it being read aloud in public. Explore with us the origins and development of this fascinating biblical topic, and how it offers us a model for engaging the Scriptures in our own day.
The Bible Project (August-04-2019) Overview: 1 Samuel.Watch our overview video on the book of 1 Samuel, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. In 1 Samuel, God reluctantly raises up kings to rule the Israelites. The first is a failure, and the second, David, is a faithful replacement
The Bible Project (Auguct-03-2019) Overview: Revelation Ch. 1-11.Watch our overview video on the book of Revelation, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. In Revelation, John's visions reveal that Jesus has overcome evil by his death and resurrection, and will return one day as the true king of the world.
The Bible Project (August-03-2019) Overview: Genesis Ch. 12-50. Watch our overview video on Genesis 12-50, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. In Genesis, God promises to bless rebellious humanity through the family of Abraham, despite their constant failure and folly.
The Bible Project - (july-30-2019)-Sacrifice & Atonement .God is on a mission to remove evil from His good world, along with all of its corrosive effects. However, He wants to do it in a way that does not involve removing humans. In this video, we trace the theme of God’s “covering” over human evil through animal sacrifices that ultimately point to Jesus and his death and resurrection
The Bible Project (july-29-2019) Word Study: Chara. In this video, we explore the unique type of joy to which God’s people are called. It’s more than happy mood, but rather a choice to trust that God will fulfill his promises.
The Bible Project (july-15-2019) The Story of the Bible. Episode 2 summarizes the overall story of the Bible as a series of crossroad decisions. All humanity, followed by the Israelites, redefine good and evil and end up in Babylon. They are followed by Jesus, who takes a different path that opens up the way to a new creation.
The Bible Project (july-11-2019)sermoh Overview: Genesis Ch. 12-50. Watch our overview video on Genesis 12-50, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. In Genesis, God promises to bless rebellious humanity through the family of Abraham, despite their constant failure and folly
The Bible Project (july-10-2019) Overview: Ruth. Watch our overview video on the book of Ruth, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. In Ruth, an Israelite family faces tragic loss, and God uses the faithfulness of a non-Israelite woman to bring restoration into the family of David
The Bible Project(july-09-2019)The Book of Deuteronomy. Moses delivers his final words of warning and wisdom to the Israelites before they enter the promised land. This is the epic conclusion of the Torah! And, spoiler alert: Moses dies
The Bible Project (july 08 2019) The Law. In this video, we explore the importance of the ancient laws in the Old Testament. Why are they in the Bible, and what do they say to followers of Jesus? We explore how they fulfilled a strategic purpose in one key phase of the biblical story, leading up to Jesus who fulfilled the law and summarized it in the call to love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
The Bible Project: The Book of Numbers. A road-trip gone bad. Israel leaves Mt. Sinai only to rebel against God at every step. God responds with short-term severity and long-term generosity as He leads them into the promised land.
The Books of Solomon - The Bible Project. Bible study (June-27-2019). The wisest king of Israel, King Solomon, is associated with three books of the Bible: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. Each book offers a unique perspective on how humans can rule with wisdom and the fear of the Lord. In this video, we briefly explore how the message of each book fits into the overall story of the Bible.
Christian Motivation (June-14-2019) The Bible Project: The New Humanity. In the opening pages of the Bible, God appoints humans to rule the world on his behalf. But when they rebel, the biblical story leads us on a search for a new humanity that will be God’s faithful partners, forever. This is the plot conflict of the biblical story that leads to Jesus, and we explore it in this final video of our Spiritual Being series.
The Bible Project (June-02-2019) Gospel of The Kingdom. In this video, we trace the origins of the word “gospel” and how it ties the story of the Old Testament together with the story of Jesus and his announcement of God’s kingdom. Jesus brought God’s rule and reign to the world in a very upside-down way, which is the best news you could ask for.
The Bible Project (May-23-2019) The Satan and Demons. The storyline of the Bible presents a populated spiritual world, full of creatures who are in rebellion against their Creator, just like humans. For lots of fascinating reasons, our modern conceptions of these spiritual rebels are based on serious misunderstandings of the Bible. So let’s go back to the book of Genesis and start over as we learn about the powers of spiritual evil in the story of the Bible.
The Bible Project (May-03-2019) Angel of the Lord. The Angel of the Lord is one of the most fascinating spiritual beings in the Hebrew Scriptures. Every time this figure appears, he’s depicted as if he is God, but also an angel sent by God. In this video, we explore this paradoxical character and discover how he prepares us for the grand claims that will be made about Jesus in the New Testament.
The Bible Project (April-17-2019) Reading Biblical Law.
Have you ever wondered why there are so many ancient biblical laws in the first books of the Bible? What are modern readers supposed to do with them, and why are some of them so odd? In this video, we explore why the laws were given to ancient Israel and how they fit into the overall storyline of the Bible.
The Bible Project (April-14-2019) Read Scripture: Joshua. Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Joshua, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. In Joshua, after Moses' death, Joshua leads Israel and they settle in the promised land currently occupied by Canaanites.
The Bible Project (April-05-2019) Angels and Cherubim.
Did you know that angels in the Bible don’t have wings? Or that cherubim are not cute, chubby babies? In this video, we explore the biblical portrayals of these spiritual beings to understand just who they are and what role they play in the story of the Bible.
What on earth is the divine council? Well, for starters, it’s not on earth! This biblical phrase describes the concept of spiritual powers that God created to have authority alongside humans... until everyone rebels and creates huge problems that only Jesus can resolve. We dig into all of this and more in episode three of our Spiritual Beings series.
So who are the sons of God and the heavenly host in the Bible? And how do the stars and angels fit into all of this? Welcome to an exciting area of biblical theology that will bend your modern mind! From Genesis 1 onward, the biblical authors present the sun, moon, and stars, also called the host of heaven (Genesis 1:16 and 2:1), as creatures who rule with delegated authority (Genesis 1:14-18), just like humans do on the land. These are the creatures being referred to in the phrase “host of heaven” throughout the Bible (1 Kings 22:19 and Luke 2:13). They are also implied in the divine title Lord of hosts (i.e. “Lord of all creatures, heavenly and earthly,” see 2 Samuel 6:2, Psalm 24:10, and Isaiah 6:5 for helpful examples). These heavenly beings are distinct from angels, which means “messenger,” because their job is not to communicate messages. Rather, this group is described as God’s throne-room staff team. They perform many roles and go by many titles; they are the sons of God or host of heaven who celebrate God’s decisions (Job 38:4-7), dialogue about his policies (Job chs. 1-2 and 1 Kings 22:19-23). Moses and the prophets tell us that some of these beings were behind the rebellion of Babylon in Genesis 11 (Deuteronomy 32:7-1 and Isaiah 14:1-23), where they lured the nations into worshiping them, leading to corruption and injustice (Deuteronomy 4:19-20 and Psalm 82). These are the spiritual powers that Jesus confronted in his mission to bring God’s Kingdom (Luke 4:1-13 and 10:17-20), and when Jesus was raised from death, he assumed authority over all of these powers (Matthew 28:18-20 Ephesians 1:18-21). Jesus’ victory over these powers will be completed when he returns to do away with the ultimate enemy: death itself (1 Corinthians 15:22-27). So the divine council is a really important biblical theme that helps us understand the cosmic significance of the story of Jesus and the Kingdom of God.
The Bible Project (February-28-2019) Elohim. Did you know that the biblical word for God is actually a title and not a name? And did you know that this title can refer to other spiritual beings as well as to the creator God? In this video, we explore the biblical terminology for spiritual beings and how this helps us understand what the Bible means when it says that “God is one.”
The Bible Project - Intro to Spiritual Beings, Live Stream at 5PM (February-14-2019). In the first pages of the Bible, we’re introduced to God and humans as the main characters. But there’s also a whole cast of spiritual beings who play an important role throughout the Bible, though they’re often in the background. In this video, we begin to explore these beings and how they fit into the unified storyline of the Bible.
The Bible Project - Acts Ch. 21-28, Live Stream (January-31-2019). In the final video in our Acts series, we trace Paul’s final journey to Jerusalem and then into a Roman prison. But paradoxically, Paul’s suffering leads him into the heart of the Roman empire where he gets to announce God’s Kingdom over the nations.
WATCH NOW - The Prophets - The Bible Project (January 17, 2019). The books of the Old Testament prophets are packed with dense poetry and wild imagery. If you’ve tried to read them, odds are you were both intrigued and confused. In this video, we’ll learn how these books contribute to the storyline of the Bible and why it’s worth learning how to read them more attentively.
The Bible Project (December-24-2018) Son of Man. If you thought “Christ” was Jesus’ last name or the title he gave himself, think again! The title Jesus most often used for himself is the "Son of Man.” In this video, we’ll explore the meaning of this fascinating phrase and see how it invites us into the larger biblical story.
The Bible Project (November-29-2018) Acts Ch. 13-20 - Animated Bible Study. What was it like for the apostle Paul to travel around the Roman Empire announcing the good news about the risen Jesus? What drove him to plant new Jesus communities in city after city, and how did people respond to his message? In our third video on the book of Acts, we’ll explore all of this and more!
The Bible Project (November-15-2018) - The Book of Psalms. The book of Psalms is the largest collection of poetry in the Bible. In this video we’ll explore the design shape and main themes of this marvelous book, which was crafted to be read from beginning to end. The Psalms are an invitation to a literary temple where you can meet with God and hear the entire biblical storyline retold in poetic form.
The Bible Project (November 1, 2018) - The Way of the Exile. If followers of Jesus are to give their total allegiance to God’s Kingdom, how should they relate to the governments and power structures of their own day? In this video, we’ll see how the experience of Daniel and his friends in Babylonian exile offers wisdom for navigating this tension. Following Jesus in the 21st century means learning the way of the exile.
The Bible Project (October-18-2018) God. The God portrayed in the Bible isn’t easy to understand, but what if we could better understand what it is that we can’t understand? In this video, we will explore the complex identity of God displayed in the storyline of the Bible, and (surprise!) it all leads to Jesus.
The Bible Project - Image of God. This video traces the idea of humans as co-rulers alongside God, who are commissioned to develop the world and its resources and take it into new horizons. How has this human vocation been compromised by our selfishness and evil, and how did Jesus open up a new way of being human through his life, death, and resurrection?
The Bible Project (Sept 20, 2018) - New Testament Overview. This video breaks down the literary design of the entire New Testament and how it continues the story of the Hebrew Scriptures.
The Bible Project (Sept 13, 2018) - What is the Bible Project? The Bible is one unified story that leads to Jesus, but we don't always treat it that way. At The Bible Project, we make animated videos that explore the books and themes of the Bible.
The Bible Project (Sep 7, 2018) - Word Study: Avon - "Iniquity". Iniquity is a biblical word that very few people use anymore, and even fewer people know what it means! In this video, we’ll explore the significance of this word in ancient Hebrew, and discover a whole new way to think about our selfish decisions and their consequences.
The Bible Project (Sep 7, 2018) - Metaphor in Biblical Poetry. Understanding how metaphors are used in the Bible is an essential tool for reading biblical poetry. Anytime someone describes one thing to describe another thing, they are using metaphorical thinking whether they realize it or not. Metaphors are everywhere in the Bible and in our everyday speech. In this video, we’ll explore this crucial aspect of biblical language.
The Bible Project (Aug 17. 2016) - The Book of Ecclesiastes. In this book we hear the skeptical voice of “the teacher.” He observes that living by the book of Proverbs doesn’t always bring positive results. Sometimes life is hard and defies neat explanations. How do you live with that tension, and still strive for wisdom? Ecclesiastes is the second of the three biblical wisdom books.
The Bible Project (May 6, 2015) - The Book of Leviticus Overview. God invites Israel to live in close proximity to His holy presence. Which seems awesome, but it’s actually dangerous. This book explores how the sacrificial rituals and purity practices cleared the way for morally corrupt Israelites to become God’s covenant partners.
The Bible Project (May 4, 2016) - The Book of Proverbs. This book is the accumulation of wisdom from generations of godly insightful people. It promotes a life of virtue and “fear of the Lord,” so that you can truly experience the good life. Proverbs is one of the three books that explore these themes of biblical wisdom.
The Bible Project (feb 15, 2017) - What Is The Bible? This is episode 1 of an ongoing series that explores the origins, content, and purpose of the Bible. Here you'll be introduced to a condensed history of how the Bible came into existence, and the different forms of the Bible in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christian traditions.
full text "The Bible Project (feb 15, 2017) - What Is The Bible? "
The Bible: it's one of the most influential books in human history. It explores the big questions of why we exist. It's inspired many people to do amazing things, and... confused many others. And you've probably got one, sitting around... somewhere. So. What is the Bible actually? Well, the Bible is a small library of books, that all emerged out of the history of the people of ancient Israel. And in one sense, they were just like any other ancient civilization. But among them were a long line of individuals called prophets, and they viewed Israel's story as anything but ordinary. They saw it as a central part of what God was doing for all humanity. And, these prophets, were literary geniuses. Really? Yeah, they expertly crafted the Hebrew language to write epic narratives, very sophisticated poetry, they were masters of metaphor, and storytelling, and they leveraged all this to explore life's most complicated questions about death, and life, and the human struggle. So, there's a lot of different authors writing this book. Yeah and these texts were produced over a thousand year period, starting with Israel's origins in Egypt. Then leading up to their kingdom, with their first temple. But eventually they were conquered by the Babylonians, who took them away into exile. Then, at a crucial moment in their history, many Israelites returned to their land. They built a second temple, they reformed their identity, and this is when the Jewish Scriptures begin to be formed into the shape that we have them today. Okay, the Jewish Bible... what's in it? Well in Hebrew, it's called by an acronym: Tanakh. The "T" stands for "Torah." (Sometimes called "the law.") That's Israel's five-book foundation story. The "N" stands for "Nevi'im," the Hebrew word for "prophets," and this section consists of the historical books that tell Israel's story from the prophets' point of view, then you get the poetic books of the prophets themselves. The "K" stands for "Ketuvim" - the Hebrew word for "writings." This is a diverse collection of of poetic books, wisdom books, and more narrative. And the Jewish people believe that through all of these literary works, God speaks to His people. Now, there are other Jewish writings being produced during this Second Temple period as well. Yeah, a really diverse group texts, and these too were highly valued in Jewish communities. And there was debate from ancient times, about whether or not some of these should be considered part of their scriptures. So... this is a lot of different writings, over a long period of time... Why did they put them all together like this? Well all together, these texts tell an epic story, about how God is working through these people to bring order and beauty out of the chaos of our world. And it all builds up to a hope for a new leader who would come, and renew all creation... And then the Tanakh concludes... and this leader never comes! So it's an expertly crafted work but it's missing an ending? That's exactly right. Now, few centuries later, a Jewish prophet comes onto the scene, named Jesus of Nazareth. He claimed he was carrying the Tanakh story forward. Yeah so Jesus, did a bunch of cool stuff... was killed... But his followers claimed he was alive from the dead. Yeah, they said that Jesus was that long-awaited leader who would restore the world. And so his earliest followers called "Apostles," they compose new literary works about the story of Jesus, (they called these "good news," or "the Gospel"), they formed an account, called "Acts," about the spread of the Jesus Movement outside of Israel, and then they circulated letters to different Jesus communities all around the ancient world. And they saw these writings as part of the scripture. Yeah, the Apostles wrote all of this is fulfillment of that epic story found in the Tanakh. And they were continuing the literary genius of the Jewish tradition. They also believed that God was speaking to His people through these texts, alongside the scriptures of Israel. So that's the Old & New Testament, but what did the early Christians think of the other Second Temple literature? Well different groups had different views about some of these books. But we know they read them and valued these texts, because they pass them along with the Jewish Scriptures. Okay, so we've got the Tanakh, (the Jewish scriptures), we got these other Second Temple period works, then the writing of the Apostles about Jesus. And that's a lot of literature... so what's in my Bible? So the Christian movement has taken different forms over 2,000 years, and from the beginning, all Christians recognized the Tanakh and the New Testament as scripture. And for centuries, much of the Second Temple literature was read that part of the biblical tradition. The Catholic Church eventually made it official, and called some of the books from this collection the "deuterocanonical books." Some Orthodox churches used even more books from the Second Temple literature, and then in the 1500's, during the Reformation, Protestant Christians wanted to go back to the oldest writings of the prophets and Apostles, so they accepted only the Old & New Testaments. Okay. I think I got it. But... how does a collection of books produced over a thousand years, by all these different authors, tell one unified story? Yeah, that's the question we'll address in our next video. Hey I'm Jon, and I'm Tim! This is The Bible Project, we believe the Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus, and has profound wisdom for the modern world. So we're creating videos to show that! This was the first in a brand new series, that we're starting, "How to Read the Bible," But we have lots of other kinds of videos. And you can find it all for free on our website, at jointhebibleproject.com. In fact, there you can find a handout that will accompany this video; just goes into more detail on the information that is video is about, and... lots of other resources. So check it out, and you can also be a part of this by supporting us at thebibleproject.com. Our goal is to make all these resources available for free, to anybody, anywhere, and we can do that because of your support. So thanks so much you guys. Thanks.
The Bible Project (August-04-2018) Classroom Call. We are now accepting student applications for The Bible Project Classroom! To apply, you must teach the Bible in some capacity and be familiar with The Bible Project's work. Go to thebibleproject.com/classroom for more information and to fill out a student application. Each class will hold 12 students and will feature a new book of the Bible each quarter. The first class will be held this October in Portland, Oregon. International applicants are more than welcome to apply!
The Bible Project (May 19, 2014) - Heaven & Earth. What does the Bible really teach about heaven, and what is heaven’s relationship to earth? In this video, we explore the surprising biblical viewpoint that heaven and earth were meant to overlap, and how Jesus is on a mission to bring them together once and for all.
Messiah - The Bible Project. In this video, we explore the mysterious promise on page three of the Bible, that a promised deliverer would one day come to confront evil and rescue humanity. We trace this theme through the family of Abraham, the messianic lineage of David, and ultimately to Jesus who defeated evil by letting it defeat him.
Read Scripture: Genesis Ch. 1-11 - The Bible Project. Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Genesis, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. In Genesis, God makes a good world and commissions humans to rule it, and then they give in to evil and ruin everything.
The Bible Project (July-06-2018) Special Announcement. We've been working really hard this past year and now we have a special announcement for our audience! Stay tuned for more information this summer.
The Bible Project (June-21-2018) Acts Ch. 8-12 . Our new video on Acts Ch. 8-12 explores how God’s Spirit transformed Jesus’ followers from a small collective of messianic Jews in Jerusalem, into a multi-ethnic movement that quickly spread throughout the nations.
The Bible Project (Apr 5, 2017) - Holy Spirit. In this video, we explore the original meaning of the biblical concept of “spirit” and what it means that God’s Spirit is personally present in all of creation. Ultimately, the Spirit was revealed through Jesus and sent out into the lives of his followers to bring about the new creation.
The Bible Project - The Book of Genesis Overview - Part 1 of 2. God makes a good world and installs humans as its rulers. Humanity rebels and ends up ruling the world in a destructive way, leading to violence, death, and the founding of the city of Babylon. God’s response is to set in motion a plan to rescue and bless the whole world through the family of Abraham.
Acts Ch. 1-7 - The Bible Project (June-07-2018). The book of Acts shows how God fulfilled His ancient promises to restore His blessing to all the nations through the offspring of Abraham: Jesus of Nazareth. In this video, we'll explore how Jesus and the Spirit renew the people of Israel and prepare them to announce good news to the nations.
Holiness - The Bible Project. In this video, we explore the paradox that God’s holiness presents to human beings. God is the unique and set-apart Creator of all reality and the author of all goodness. However, that goodness can become dangerous to humans who are mortal and morally corrupt. Ultimately, this paradox is resolved by Jesus, who embodies God’s holiness that comes to heal His creation.
Jon: You've probably heard the word "holy" before or at least sang it in a church song once or twice. And for most people, this idea is really just connected to being a morally good person... So… God is 'holy' because he's morally perfect. Tim: Yeah, that is part of it... but in the Bible the idea of 'holiness' is even bigger and more rich. What it's really describing is how God is the creative force behind the whole universe. He's the one and only being with the power to make a world full of such beauty and life. And so all these abilities they may God utterly unique, which is the meaning of the word 'holy'. A helpful way to think about God's holiness is by using the sun as a metaphor. The sun is unique, at least within our solar system, And its really powerful. Its the source of all this beautiful life on our planet.
And so you could say that the sun is 'holy'. And you can actually take this metaphor even further in that the whole area around the sun is also 'holy'. Jon: Yeah because the closer you get to the sun the more intense it gets. Tim: yeah, exactly. So that very power and goodness that generates all this life is also dangerous.
I mean the sun, if you get too close, will annihilate you. And in the same way there's this paradox at the heart of God's own holiness because if you're impure his presence is dangerous to you and not because it's bad, but because its so good. And so the first time we see this paradox of God's holiness, it's in the story of Moses and the burning bush. Jon: So God tells Moses to take off his sandals because he's standing on holy ground. And Moses covers his face in fear and God says "hey don't come any closer". Its intense. likely that intensity of God's holiness Tim: It's actually that intensity of God's holiness that's explored even more in the stories of Israel's temple which was the main place where God's holy presence was located and at the center the temple was this room called the Most Holy Place it's the hotspot of God's presence. and whether you're an Israelite living in the land around the temple or a priest working right in the temple, you are in proximity to God's holy presence. which is dangerous. Jon: Yeah, this is a problem. So how is it supposed to work? Tim: Well in the Bible the solution is that you need to become "pure". Jon: So like being Morally Pure? Tim: Yeah, and that's easy enough to understand... ...but the Bible spends a lot of time talking about another kind of purity being Ritually Pure which is a state where you separate yourself from anything related to death like touching things like diseased skin, or dead bodies, or even certain bodily fluids. all these make you impure. And becoming ritually impure isn't necessarily sinful.
What's wrong is waltzing into God's presence when you're in an impure state. And so that's why God gave the Israelites very clear instructions for knowing when they were impure... steps to become pure, so that they could go into the temple again. Jon: So that's what the book of Leviticus is about. Tim: Right. But it doesn't stop there. This idea keeps developing So later in the scriptures we find this really interesting story by a prophet named Isaiah. And he has this crazy vision where he's in the temple and he's right in God's presence. He's totally terrified. Jon: Yeah. He knows the rules. He shouldn't even be in there. And he's worried about being destroyed.
Tim: And then this crazy creature called a Seraphim. Jon: Yeah, that is a crazy creature. Tim: Totally. So it flies over with a hot coal. And then it sears Isaiah's lips with the coal and says something really weird... "Your guilt is taken away and your sin is atoned for." Jon: So this burning coal somehow makes Isaiah pure. Tim: Yeah, its remarkable because normally if you touch something impure it transfers its impurity to you. But now here's this new idea where you have this coal, this very holy and pure object, and it touches Isaiah and it transfers its purity to him. Isaiah is not destroyed by God's holiness, he's transformed by it. I mean the implications of this are just huge. But there's one more development, this time from another prophet, Ezekiel. And he has this vision where he's standing at the temple and he sees water trickling out from it. And then that water turns into a stream and then a grows into a deep river that starts flowing through the desert leaving this trail of green trees behind it. And then it flows into the Dead Sea making everything fresh and alive. Jon: So, instead of becoming pure first and then going into the temple... ...here God's holiness comes out from the temple making things pure bringing them to life. What does it all mean?
Tim: So, we don't know. Until we meet this man Jesus. And he claims that he's fulfilling all of these ancient visions but in surprising new ways. So Jesus, he went around touching people who are impure... ... people with skin diseases, a woman with chronic bleeding, or dead people... and when he touches them, their impurity should transfer over to Jesus ... ... but instead, Jesus' purity transfers to them and actually heals their bodies. Jon: Jesus is like that holy coal in Isaiah's vision. Tim: Right.
And Jesus claimed that he was the human embodiment of God's own holiness. and that he and his followers were now God's temple so that through them God's holy presence would go out into the world and bring life and healing and hope. And so this is why Jesus described his followers as having streams of living water flowing out of them. Jon: So this is our part of the story where we find ourselves now, but where is it all heading? Tim: so the last pages of the Bible end with a final vision about God's holiness... This time it's by a guy named John. And in his vision we see the whole world made completely new. The entire earth has become God's temple. And Ezekiel's river is there flowing out of God's presence, immersing all of creation, removing all impurity and bringing everything back to life.
The Bible Project - The Book of Job. How do you trust God even when life isn’t fair and you suffer for no good reason? Job’s story invites us to consider what it means that God runs the world by wisdom, and how this truth can bring peace in dark times. Job is the last of the three books that explore these themes of biblical wisdom.
There are three books in the Bible known as the wisdom literature Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job The first proverbs showed us that God is wise and just Yeah we learned that God has ordered the world so that it's fair the righteous are rewarded the wicked are punished in other words you get what you deserve. But then we meet Ecclesiastes who observes people don't always get what they deserve Yeah he said the world isn't always fair. The life is unpredictable and hard to comprehend just like smoke. And this makes you wonder okay well is God wise and just?
Exactly and so it's that question that is being explored in the final book of wisdom Job. Alright let's dive in. So Job begins with the strange story that takes place up in the heavens which are described something like a heavenly command center. So God is there with these angelic creatures called the sons of God and they're all their reporting for duty. And God points out this guy Job his servant showing our righteous and good he is. Then one of these angelic creatures approaches He's referred to in Hebrew as The Satan. The Satan, who is this?
Well, this word is actually a title which literally means the one who is opposed. So out of this whole crew he is the one questioning how God is running the world. And he proposes that Job might not actually love God that he's only a good person because God rewards him. If God were to take away all of the good things he gave to Job then we would see his true colors. So he thinks Job is just working the system?
That's exactly right. Maybe he's obeying just to get what he wants. So God agrees to this experiment and allows the Satan to inflict suffering on Job. And Job losses everyone and everything that he cares about. It is devastating. And remember he deserves none of this God himself said so The remarkable thing is that in the midst of all this suffering, Job still praises God. At least for chapters one and two. But then in chapter 3 we find out how he's really feeling inside. He unleashes this palm that reveals this devastation. It's a long elaborate curse on the day that he was born After this some of Job's friends come to visit him to offer their help and all of them are like Job, you must have done something horribly wrong to deserve this. After all, we know God is just and we know the world is ordered by God's justice and fairness so you must be getting what you deserve. And for the next thirty four chapters the friends and Job go back and forth in very dense Hebrew poetry. His friends keep speculating about why God might have sent such suffering and even start making up lists of hypothetical sins that Job must have committed. But after each accusation Job defends his innocence. And Job is innocent. He is!
He's also on an emotional roller coaster At some moments he's very confident that God is still wise and just. Yet another moments he's doubting God's goodness. He even comes to accuse God of being reckless unfair and corrupt. So by the end of the dialogue Job demands that God come and explain himself in person. And God does so he comes in the form of a great storm cloud Now God doesn't give Job a direct answer. He doesn't tell Job about the conversation with the Satan Yeah he does something very different . He takes Job on a virtual tour of the universe. He shows Job how grand the world is. And he asked him if he's even capable of running it or understanding it just for a day .
He shows how much detail there is in the world. Things that we might see every day but really don't understand at all. But God does he knows it all intimately. He pays attention to the beauty and operations of the universe in ways that we haven't even imagined and in places that we will never see.
Then to conclude God shows Job two wonderous beasts and brags about how great they are. Yeah they are dangerous. I mean they would kill you without even thinking about it And God says they're not evil. They're actually a part of his good world. And then that's it that's God's whole defense. It's kind of weird.
I mean what was this all about? It seems to be this. From Job's point of view it looks like God is not just. But God's perspective is infinitely bigger. He is dynamically interacting with a whole universe of complexity when he makes decisions. And this is what God calls his wisdom. So Job asking God to defend himself is actually kind of absurd. He couldn't comprehend this kind of complexity even if he wanted to. So where does this leave us? Well, leaves Job in a place of humility. He never learned why he suffered. And yet he's able to live in peace and in the fear of the Lord But that's not where the book ends because after this God restores to Job double everything he had lost. And this again is surprising. I mean, is this a reward, is God saying "Congratulations Job you passed this elaborate test."
No I mean the whole book just made the point that Job losing everything was not a punishment and so now getting it back isn't a reward. So why is he gonna get back? Apparently God in His wisdom decided to give Job a gift we don't know why but what we do know is that Job is now the kind of person who no matter what comes good or bad he can trust God's wisdom And that's the book of Job and the end of our wisdom series.
The Bible Project - Word Study: Pesha - "Transgression". "Transgression" is one of those Bible words that seems clear until you have to explain it to somebody. In this video, we'll explore the fascinating and sophisticated meaning of this biblical "bad word." Get ready for a sobering reflection on human nature.
Most people assume the Bible has a lot to say about how messed up humans are. And, that is true. It is also true that the Bible's vocabulary about this topic sounds odd to modern people, using words like "sin", "iniquity" or "transgression". So, the Bible's perspective on the human condition is often ignored or treated as ancient and backwards. This is really unfortunate because, through these words, the biblical authors are offering us a deeply profound diagnosis of human nature. Iniquity refers to behavior that is crooked. Sin refers to moral failure. Transgression is a fascinating word that you for sure have not used in conversation recently. So let's focus on it for a few minutes. In Old Testament Hebrew, the noun is "pesha" and the verb is "pasha". In the New Testament, the Greek word is "paraptoma". They are usually translated as "transgression", sometimes as "rebellion" and in older translations as "trespass". These words refer to ways that people violate the trust of others. Pesha describes the betrayal of a relationship. Since there are many kinds of relationships, a lot of different behaviors can be called "pesha". Like, if two nations are in a relationship, we would call that a "treaty". "Pesha" would describe the breaking of that agreement. Like in the biblical book of 2 Kings we read, "After the death of King Ahab, Moab peshad with Israel."
This is usually translated, "Moab rebelled against Israel." But in biblical Hebrew, you don't pesha against someone, you pesha with them. That is, you break trust with that person. The same idea appears in an Old Testament law about theft. If an Israelite is away on a trip and somebody sneaks into their house and steal something, that is robbery. But, if the thief was your neighbor, it is pesha, because they are someone you should be able to trust. Or, there is a story about Jacob running away from Laban, his uncle. Laban accuses Jacob of stealing some Idol statues. He searches all of Jacob's belongings and finds nothing. So Jacob shouts, "What is my pasha?" "How have I violated your trust?" But the sad irony is that the statues were stolen by Jacob's wife who is Laban's own daughter. Talk about breaking trust. So, pesha involves one person or group violating a relationship of trust with another. This is a really common word in the Bible because it's one long story about a broken relationship between God and the Israelites. At Mount Sinai, they agreed to worship only their God and to care for the poor among them. But they did not. So God raised up prophets to confront them. Like Micah, who said, "I'm full of power, with the Spirit of the Lord and with justice and courage so I can declare to Jacob his pasha." Or the Prophet Amos.
He accused the Israelites of pesha. Specifically, for idolatry and selling the poor for a pair of sandals. He also accused other nations, like Tyre who profited from capturing whole towns and then selling them into slavery. Or the Ammonites for murdering the innocent to enlarge their borders. For Amos, these are all acts of pasha. They violate the universal trust that exists between all humans who are made in the image of God He watched these leaders ignore or justify the mistreatment of humans in the name of national security or a strong economy. But, for Amos, it was a betrayal of humanity. It makes perfect sense why these prophets associate pesha with words like "treachery" or "falsehood". In the Greek New Testament, the Apostle Paul develops this portrait of humans as "trust breakers" using the word "paraptoma". He recalls the story in Genesis about "Adam", that means "humanity" in Hebrew. In that story, humanity breaks trust with God and seizes authority to discern good and evil on their own terms. Paul calls this the "paraptoma of Adam", humanity's violation of trust with God and with each other.
It leads to a complicated web of betrayed and broken relationships leading towards violence and death. But, for Paul, that is not the last word. He says, "If death came to all by the paraptoma of a human, how much more will God's gracious gift overflow to many by means of a human, Jesus the Messiah" Instead of letting humanity destroy itself in treachery, God raised up a human who would allow our pesha to do its worst to him. Here, Paul is drawing on the Prophet Isaiah's portrait of the suffering servant, the one who would commit no violence or have any treachery on his lips. Yet, he would be counted among those who pasha, bearing their failures and interceding on their behalf. This is the surprising story of the Bible, that God's response to humanity's pesha and paraptoma was to be trustworthy on our behalf. The Apostles claim that in Jesus, God took responsibility for our betrayal so that he could open up a new future and a new way to be human: the way of faithfulness, trustworthiness and integrity. That is the kind of human that Jesus was and is. And, it is the kind of humans he wants to create as he faithfully guides our world into the new creation. That is the fascinating story behind our biblical words for transgression.
The Art of Biblical Poetry - The Bible Project (May-24-2018). Did you know that a third of the Bible is ancient Israelite poetry? Poetry is a rich and artistic form of human communication, but often the most difficult to read. In this video we’ll explore the unique characteristics of biblical poetry, so you can discover its beauty and power for yourself.