Data Over Dogma

Daniel McClellan and Daniel Beecher

  • 1 hour 4 minutes
    Episode 67: Prophets, Kings, and Terrible Men with Aaron Higashi

    Dr. Aaron Higashi is one of our favorites, and we're not alone! The folks over at The Bible for Normal People are fans, as well, and have enlisted Aaron to write a "for normal people" book about First and Second Samuel. These two books include some of the Bible's most famous and most infamous characters and moments.

    If you've ever read about the exploits of biblical David, and wondered if he is, in fact, a good guy... well, Dr. Higashi is right there with you. We'll ask him about his take on David and many other biblical figures and stories, and the conclusions may surprise you. Or not. This is Data Over Dogma, after all.

    Look for Aaron on the various social media places under the handle @abhbible.

    Preorder 1 & 2 Samuel for Normal People: A Guide to Prophets, Kings, and Some Pretty Terrible Men here: https://www.amazon.com/Samuel-Normal-People-Prophets-Terrible-ebook/dp/B0D7KBPRVN


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    15 July 2024, 9:00 am
  • 1 hour 4 minutes
    Episode 66: Thou Shalt Not

    Christian nationalism marches onward in the United States, and our hot take is: that's bad. Louisiana has now passed a law mandating putting a poster of The Ten Commandments™ in every classroom in the state. Lawmakers claim that they're providing historical context for the laws of the land. Historians say that's bunk.

    So what's really going on here? Are the Exodus 20 top-ten really the foundation that undergirds all law and order in modern society? Does it matter what version/translation is used? Is ten even the right number, according to the Bible?

    This week, we're diving into the the decalogue. Louisiana politicians are pretending that they apply to everybody, but we're going to question if they even apply to Christians! We'll see how things shake out... Thou shalt not want to miss it!


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    8 July 2024, 9:00 am
  • 1 hour 2 minutes
    Episode 65: I Got Soul, and I'm Super Bad

    People talk all the time about souls. "He's my soulmate." "It was so scary, my soul left my body." "I'm going to destroy that piano if you don't stop playing Heart and Soul." But what are we actually talking about? Is there really a non-corporeal entity, an animating force inside each of us? Or are we just crude matter? And what does the Bible have to say about it?

    This week on Data Over Dogma, we're getting soulful. We'll discuss the development of the concept of the soul, and some very surprising ways that concept shows up in the Bible. Do NOT trust a woman with a pillowcase until you've heard this episode!


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    1 July 2024, 9:00 am
  • 1 hour 2 minutes
    Episode 64: The Historicity of David

    It's a judge and a king this week, and both are fascinating! First we're looking at Deborah, a prophet, a judge, and a really interesting figure whose story gets told twice in the Bible: back-to-back! Women often get short-shrift in the Bible, but Deborah's story is pretty satisfying. She's tough and her army wins the battle, and even more awesome-- she's not the only badass woman in the story! Stay tuned for the exciting (and gratuitously gorey) conclusion!

    Speaking of staying tuned, you're DEFINITELY going to want to stick around for our second half, where we discuss one of the most important figures in the whole book! Who was this David character? A lowly shepherd who rises to be King? A roving warlord? A bisexual rapist? DID HE EVEN EXIST AT ALL?


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    24 June 2024, 9:00 am
  • 1 hour 1 minute
    Episode 63: Wrastlin' With God

    It's questionable heroes week here on the Data Over Dogma show, and we've packed in some big names! How big? How about the guy they named the whole tribe of Israel after? You know... Jacob. We're asking the big questions here: do striped sticks really make sheep have spotted lambs? Is a cruel trick fair-play if the other person falls for it? And most importantly- if you beat a stranger in a wrestle, does that stranger get to change your name?

    Then we look at famous strong-man and the judge of Israel with possibly the poorest judgement, Sampson. Yes he was absurdly foolish with Delilah, but more importantly: what's the deal with all those foxes?


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    17 June 2024, 9:00 am
  • 59 minutes 30 seconds
    Episode 62: The Book of Enoch

    It's the book that didn't make the cut. Enoch (or first Enoch, if you're nasty) is an important book, both historically and religiously. As a matter of fact, New Testament writers considered it scripture. So why, when you open your Bible at home, is Enoch nowhere to be found?

    This week we're exploring the mysteries of the book that got the boot. Where did it come from? Was it really written by Enoch the patriarch (hint: no)? Why was it not included in the popular canons? Is there anyone that still considers it scripture (hint: yes)?


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    10 June 2024, 9:00 am
  • 1 hour 4 minutes
    Episode 61: Christmaker! With James McGrath

    Get ready for some fascinating stuff! It won't be a baptism by fire, but we will be immersed in some cutting edge information about John the Baptist. Dr. James McGrath joins us to discuss John and his new book Christmaker. And trust us- you're going to learn some cool stuff.

    Many people's image of John is just a wild-haired itinerant preacher dressed like a cave man and roaming the desert and dunking people in water every chance he got. It turns out, he was likely a far more important and more interesting figure than that. Was he a disciple of Jesus, or was it the other way around?


    For early access to an ad-free version of every episode of Data Over Dogma, exclusive content, and an opportunity to support our work, please consider becoming a monthly patron at:

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    3 June 2024, 9:00 am
  • 58 minutes 4 seconds
    Episode 60: Silence, Woman!

    Well, strap in y'all, because we're going after two of the most famous passages in all of the Bible. One of them is a nice story of Jesus and his mercy, the other is... less nice. Both are about women. And look out, M. Night Shyamalan, because we have a twist ending for both!

    We start it off with the story of the woman taken in adultery. This is the beloved tale that Jesus ends with "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." A lovely, poetic moment for the prince of peace. Did it really happen? You'll have to tune in to find out.

    Then we turn to one of the more pernicious of all scriptures. It's the bit about women being silent in the church. To this day, this scripture is a favorite of those who want biblical support for their oppressive ideas about gender roles. Are these people justified?


    For early access to an ad-free version of every episode of Data Over Dogma, exclusive content, and an opportunity to support our work, please consider becoming a monthly patron at:

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    27 May 2024, 9:00 am
  • 1 hour 7 minutes
    Episode 59: The End(s) of Monotheism W/ David Burnett

    They said they were going to do it, and doggonit, it got did! This week David Burnett makes his triumphal return to Data Over Dogma to discuss the recent academic conference on monotheism that he, Dan McClellan and others organized at Brown University. And if that sounds boring or dry to you, hold onto your butt, because—fire in the hole!—they were dropping bombs!

    The whole goal of this conference was to challenge any notion that the people of ancient southwest Asia (meaning the people who wrote the Bible) were monotheists in any meaningful way. Christian and Jewish people today may only believe in a single God, but the same probably couldn't be said for the people who wrote their scriptures.

    David and Dan will report on papers from some heavy-hitter scholars that discuss this incendiary topic, and honestly they might just blow your mind. Unless you're a regular Data Over Dogma listener. Then, they might just be super interesting.


    For early access to an ad-free version of every episode of Data Over Dogma, exclusive content, and an opportunity to support our work, please consider becoming a monthly patron at:

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    20 May 2024, 9:00 am
  • 1 hour 13 minutes
    Episode 58: Translation Frustration

    When people say they've read "the Bible," what do they mean? Well generally what they DON'T mean is that they read source texts in their original languages. Most of us don't have the time or desire to learn how to read ancient Hebrew or Greek, so we're at the mercy of other people to figure out how to render the two thousand plus year old writings into our language. That leaves us with a problem: how do we know which translation to use?

    This week, Dr Dan is going to give the low-down on the many, many translations and version we have. We'll talk about why different versions popped up, and what the biases and goals of the various translators might have been. And we'll give specific examples of the differences between versions, exploring the massive difference a small word choice can have.


    For early access to an ad-free version of every episode of Data Over Dogma, exclusive content, and an opportunity to support our work, please consider becoming a monthly patron at:

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    13 May 2024, 9:00 am
  • 54 minutes 50 seconds
    Episode 57: Does the Bible say the Earth is Flat?

    It's perhaps the most surprising conspiracy theory to pop up in this century. Humans have known that our planet is a sphere for literally thousands of years. Why, in a day of more advanced science than ever before, would people suddenly abandon that knowledge? Well, before our collective eyeballs all get too strained from rolling them, let's all pause to look at the probable origin of the flat-Earth insistence: The Bible.

    Does the Bible actually say that the Earth is flat? If it does, are readers meant to take that claim seriously? Are Bible-believing Christians obligated to deny the sphere?

    Then, it's Mea Culpa time! Dan McClellan has been convinced that a position he has espoused on social media and on this very podcast was incorrect. It's a minor thing with very little theological importance, but it actually has some interesting implications. It's to do with two jackasses. Or maybe three, if you count Dan.


    For early access to an ad-free version of every episode of Data Over Dogma, exclusive content, and an opportunity to support our work, please consider becoming a monthly patron at:

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    6 May 2024, 9:00 am
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