Episode 12: Christmas Special – The One Where We Ruin the Nativity Scene

The traditional Christmas story is well-established in Christian imagination: Mary and Joseph arrive in the town of Bethlehem as strangers, only to find “no room in the inn.” With nowhere to go, they find shelter in a lonely stable and Christ is born into the company of livestock.

But what if that story has been shaped more by Christian tradition than what’s actually in the text? We take an in-depth look at the birth of Christ as told in Luke’s gospel and unpacked by Dr. Kenneth Bailey in Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes. With a keen understanding of ancient Near Eastern culture and Greek language, Bailey helps us see a much more realistic version of the Christmas story, full of richness and beauty that has been overlooked for centuries.

Click here to download the excerpt of Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, generously provided by InterVarsity Press

Sign up for the IFBR Christmas devotional:

Episode 11: How Reading Together Changes Communities w/ Pastor Chris Morrison

“What became clear immediately was how different our discussions were about God’s Word.”

We’ve spent the past few episodes talking about why community Bible reading and organic conversations make all the sense in the world, but what difference does it actually make?

Pastor Chris Morrison’s church was the very first church to try Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience, and it completely changed how they interact together around Scripture. Chris joined us to talk about their experience.

Watch Chris’ video story:

Episode 10: 4 Steps to Recovering Community Bible Reading

In our last episode we traced the historical shift of the Bible from a book read in community to one read in private. Today, we take a look at the problems inherent in only reading alone, then suggest 4 ways we can work to recover the community interaction around the text that God’s people have enjoyed for so long.

Bowling Alone:
Unleashing the Word:
Learn more about Immerse:
Order Immerse (use code IFBR10 for 10% off!):

Episode 9: From Synagogues to ‘Quiet Time’: How the Bible Became Privatized

From a book read, heard, and discussed in community to a book experienced in quiet isolation. How did we get from there to here?

Nehemiah 8 Story
Destroyer of the Gods by Larry Hurtado

Episode 8: (Part 2) How Literary Genre Unlocks Meaning w/ Jeannine Brown

Understanding biblical genres (poetry, narrative, letter, etc.) strikes many people as too boring or too academic to prioritize. But the authors chose these genres for a reason, and knowing how to read them can make all the difference.

“The way we’ve read the Bible is very much monochromatic – as if it’s all the same thing…I think we need to get past that.” Dr. Jeannine Brown joins us to discuss the importance of understanding the different types of literature in the Bible, and how being attuned to literature can unlock the Bible in “full color.” Part 2 of our interview with Dr. Brown.

Jeannine Brown Bio
Scripture as Communication: Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics
Gospels as Stories