In this podcast episode, we read Genesis 39 from the Good News Translation, Today's English Version. In this story, Potiphar's wife attempts to commit adultery with Joseph, and then falsely accuses him of rape. In almost every English translation of the Bible Joseph is described as "well-built and good looking." Two English Bibles, however, omit this information. They are the Geneva Bible and the King James Version. Written during the rise of the Puritan movement, it seems their translators were concerned that it might be sinful to draw attention to someone's physical appearance. Doing so, it was believed, might even "cause others to stumble." For centuries, this way of thinking has made women feel responsible for the sexual conduct of men. Joseph's appearance, however, did not cause Potiphar's wife to make her sinful choices. Similarly, a woman's appearance is never responsible for the sexual behavior of men.
Genesis 38 - Onan, Judah and Tamar: Confronting Sexual Double Standards and Oppressive Patriarchal Traditions
In this podcast episode, we read Genesis 38 from the New English Translation of the Bible. This passage has been frequently misused to demonize human sexuality. The story also highlights double standards and oppressive traditions that are often found in patriarchal cultures.
In this podcast episode, we read Genesis chapter 37 from the Good News Translation, Today’s English Version. This story tells us how Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son, was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. Envy and strife were connected to Jacob’s practice of polygamy. It was a longstanding ancient custom for Jewish men to have either more than one wife at a time, or more than one wife in succession. In the New Testament, both Jesus and the apostle Paul confronted these practices. Sadly, some patriarchal theologians take Paul’s words out of context, in an attempt to prevent women from sharing leadership positions in the church.
In this podcast episode, we read Genesis 35:16-21 from the Good News Translation, Today's English Version. We read about the death of Rachel in childbirth, and how God responds to her tears with a promise of redemption for her children.
In this episode, we read Genesis 35:1-15 from the Good News Translation, Today's English Version. Jacob and his family turn from idolatry. This entails leaving behind jewelry that was engraved with the images of Canaanite gods. This does not mean that women may not wear jewelry. It also does not suggest that the outward beauty of women will "cause men to stumble." In addition to examining the original meaning of Genesis 35, we also investigate the meaning of other biblical "modesty" passages, in their original languages and contexts.
Genesis 34: The Rape of Dinah; Confronting Victim-Blaming and Patriarchal Purity Culture (Trigger Warning)
In this podcast episode, we read Genesis chapter 34 from the Good News Bible, Today's English Version. We read about the rape of Dinah, Jacob and Leah's daughter. We also confront patriarchal commentary on this passage that blames women for the sexual crimes of men.
Genesis 32 and 33: Jacob Shows Humility to Esau; How the Language of this Story Challenges a Patriarchal Translation of 1st Peter Chapter 3
In this episode, we read Genesis chapters 32 and 33 from the Good News Translation of the Bible, Today’s English Version. In this story, Jacob humbles himself before his brother Esau, hoping that Esau will not seek revenge for being tricked out of his birthright. The language of this passage in the Greek Septuagint helps us to accurately translate 1 Peter 3:1-6. In this New Testament passage, when properly translated, wives are not told to “accept the authority” of their husbands; nor does Sarah “obey” Abraham, calling him “master.”
Genesis 30:25 - 31:55, God Thwarts Laban’s Treachery; The Kingdom of God Does Not Follow Earthly Rules
In this podcast episode, we read Genesis 30:25 to 31:55 from the Good News Translation, Today's English Version. In this story, Laban tries to control Jacob through divination and deceit. Jacob is delivered when he has faith in God's promise to him. When fleeing from Laban, Rachel does something that could symbolize an important truth.
Genesis 29:31 - Genesis 30:24, The Children of Leah and Rachel; When Motherhood and Housekeeping are Wrongly Portrayed as God’s Will for All Women
In this podcast episode, we read Genesis 29:31 - Genesis 30:24 from the Good News Translation, Today's English Version. This story tells us how two sisters sought love or social standing by giving birth to male children. Sadly, some movements claiming to be "Christian" have twisted passages from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible in an attempt to portray marriage, motherhood and housekeeping as "God's will" for all women.
Genesis 29:1-30, What the Bible Really Says About Leah; and The Importance of Distinguishing God’s Will from the Customs of a Fallen World
In this podcast episode, we read Genesis 29:1-30 from the Good News Translation, Today’s English Version. Many English translations of this passage do not accurately reflect what ancient Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts say about Leah. Also, though this passage contains historical examples of polygamy, slavery and patriarchy; none of these ancient customs are depicted as “God’s will.”