Artwork for Bible Study: Parody and Subversion in Matthew's Gospel

Bible Study: Parody and Subversion in Matthew's Gospel

Bert Newton
ChristianityReligion & SpiritualityNewsPolitics

This podcast series explores the Gospel of Matthew as literature, as a story. I make the argument that the story is one of a nonviolent revolutionary peasant leader named Jesus or Joshua (depending on whether you transliterate from the Greek or the Hebrew). The story, therefore, is sociopolitically subversive. Not only is the story subversive in its content, it is also subversive in its form. It parodies an ancient genre of literature common among the upper classes.I will make the argument that the author of this gospel was a defector from the upper classes (probably the retainer class) who expressed his solidarity with a peasant movement by writing out a version of the story of its foremost champion.The music used in this series comes from several sources. The intro and exit music is a composition entitled "Oaks of Madison" by my good friend Bob Nolty. Much of the interlude music beginning in episode 2 was composed specifically for this series by my friend and brother-in-law, David Ma... more


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Latest Episodes

I did the whole series on The Little Apocalypse in Matthew and did not comment on the use of the term "the elect." So I did this little addendum to give my thoughts on the matterSupport the show (

5 days ago

Jesus tells two parables that demonstrate what "staying awake" or "keeping watch" looks like.Support the show (

11 days ago

In this second section of Matthew's "Little Apocalypse," Jesus starts talking parabolically, calling for his audience to "Stay Awake" for the "Coming of the Son of Man." But what does he mean by "Stay Awake," and what is the "Coming of the Son of Man... more

18 days ago


5 out of 5 stars from 20 ratings
  • We need more of this

    Too much of the Christian story has been co-opted by empire. This wonderful podcast takes us back to the original historical, political, and cultural context of Jesus’ time, revealing the radical and beautiful movement that lies at the origins of Christianity. Highly recommended!

    Apple Podcasts
    United Statesa year ago
  • Great for those who think critically about The Gospels!

    I am on my second listen to this well-researched and deeply thought-provoking analysis of Matthew. Jesus becomes a social justice advocate in ways I had not recognized before. More, this podcast places the Gospels in important and new context. My contemporary sense of how to use this gospel in my daily life is greatly enhanced. Listen and reflect on what you hear!!

    Apple Podcasts
    United Statesa year ago
  • Must listen to appreciate Jesus fully

    This series greatly expanded my appreciation of Jesus, beyond personal piety towards the enormous implications for society that his life, work, and message have. Issues I grappled with for years this book has solved by giving them much greater significance. Eg, why is Jesus called the Son of God, and is he the only Son of God, this book explains that by calling himself Son of God, Jesus challenged directly the oppressor of his time, for the Roman emperors claimed the title Son of God for themsel... more

    Apple Podcasts
    United Statesa year ago
  • Excellent!

    Bert Newton opens up the gospel in a scholarly, witty and profoundly relevant way. I have listened to and taken notes from all 26 episodes so far and eagerly await the release of new ones. These Bible studies have helped form my preaching and my daily life. Excited to see what come new from Vrede House Studios!

    Apple Podcasts
    United Statesa year ago
  • A paradigm shift

    You’ll never read the gospels- or understand your faith- in the same way. Challenging, insightful, entertaining, and yes, subversive. This ain’t your grandma’s bible study!

    Apple Podcasts
    United Statesa year ago

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