Author: MikeHeiser

Naked Bible Podcast Episode 151: Ezekiel 37

Apologies – I forgot to post this episode! Ezekiel 37 is one of the most familiar in the entire book, but that familiarity really extends only to the first fourteen verses. The chapter actually contains two oracles which telegraph the same ideas and work in tandem. This episode discusses the vision of the dry bones, particularly the debate over whether it provides information on a theology of individual bodily resurrection, and the prophecy of the two sticks representing the rejoining of the two halves of Israel. Both parts of the chapter relate to the restoration of the entire nation...

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Naked Bible Podcast Episode 152: Ezekiel 38-39, Part 1: Who or What is Gog?

As was the case with Ezekiel 37, these chapters are among the most familiar in the entire book of Ezekiel. This first of two episodes on these chapters focuses on the terminology: Gog, Magog, Meshech, Tubal, and Togarmah. It also addresses the fallacies of translating Hebrew nesiʾ roʾsh as “prince of Rosh” and interpreting the phrase as modern-day Russia, and the difficulties ancient translators had with the term. An alternative understanding of Gog is offered, one that is consistent with the supernaturalistic worldview of the “foe from the north” motif in Old Testament thought. The episode is now...

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Peeranormal Podcast Episode 08: Do Transplant Recipients Take on the Personality of their Donor?

There have been dozens of documented cases where the recipient of a transplant, often involving the heart, apparently take on the personalities of the organ donor. Recipients also report memories of the donor, and memories that belong to the donor, despite never having met the donor. These cases range from very young children to adults. How can memories and behaviors be transmitted from one person to the next when brain and neural tissue is not involved? Does this phenomenon relate to the question of consciousness? For the episode’s source articles and to listen, click...

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This is What Encourages “Truth by Anomaly and Outlier” Thinking

I’ve blogged about the problem of how the peer review process in the sciences has been compromised by laziness and money. Here we go again: “Sting Operation Reveals Science’s Insane Fake News Problem.” As the article’s author notes by way of explaining his title: This sting operation was the first systematic analysis on editorial roles in science publishing, adding concrete evidence to a problem past stings have shed light on. There are a whole lot of “predatory” scientific journals out there, journals that take advantage of scientists’ need to produce articles by publishing anything for a fee, without checking to make...

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The (Pseudo) “Doctrine” of Fallen Angel Salvation: Research Sources

Just a brief follow-up on the subject of whether fallen angels can be redeemed. One of the curious points to me in this matter has been how some refer to the idea of angelic salvation as a “doctrine.” That word conveys the impression (intentionally, I presume) that the idea that fallen angels can be saved is something that someone who mattered, somewhere in the early historic Church, taught the idea. That isn’t true. There is no “Christian doctrine” of angelic salvation. That said, the idea was indeed discussed in the early church — specifically in response to Gnosticism (and to be more particular here, Valentinian Gnosticism). These Gnostics tried to defend the idea using gospel accounts of Jesus’ baptism and the epistles of Paul by playing, in modern parlance, “word games” with the vocabulary — instead of doing exegesis, they gave new, esoteric meanings to certain terms and then ran with the result. This, for me, has explanatory power. The teaching that angels can be redeemed comes right out of Gnosticism. No surprise. Gnosticism has infected the modern evangelical and Pentecostal church in several ways, most likely unbeknownst to the vast majority of people in those groups. Consequently, I don’t think that those who espouse this idea are “real” Gnostics (though they may be), the idea nevertheless has deep Gnostic roots and has always been outside the stream of...

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