Bible (According to my Sister): The Maccabees

We’ve made it to our 25th episode, and Abbey is finally addressing a holiday! She’s talking about the Maccabees this week, which kind-of includes the story of Chanukah (but not dragons, apparently).

Meanwhile, Shannon is DISTRAUGHT! She’s been bested by a romance novel and isn’t sure how to cope.

Music is: Guitalele’s Happy Place by Stefan Kartenberg (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/JeffSpeed68/56194 Ft: Kara Square (mindmapthat)

Transcript for Episode 25: The Maccabees

Intro music plays under intro: (Guitalele’s Happy Place by Stefan Kartenberg)

Abbey: Hey I’m Abbey

Shannon: And I’m Shannon

Both: And We’re Sisters!

Shannon: My big sister abbey has a masters of divinity from Earlham School of Religion and has been telling me bible stories, for probably 15 years.

Abbey: And my little sister Shannon has seen 13 versions of Jesus Christ Superstar and has read parts of the sermon on the mount. Together we’re brining you fun facts, historical context and bible stories

Shannon: Well bible stories according to you

Abbey: [Laughing] no according to you

Shannon: According to you!

Abbey: This is the Bible.

Shannon: According to my sister.

[Music Fades]

Shannon: Hey Abbey.

Abbey: Hey Shannon. Sooo how’s life?

Shannon: Life is fine, except okay, so – The main part of my job ended like a month ago and then it got cold enough that I couldn’t work outside every day for hours and hours on end and it is amazing how fast I go from like “everything is great,” to like “if I don’t go outside and do something, everything is the worst and everything is going to BURN!” It was bad.

Abbey: So I’m hearing you say you’re intense

Shannon: I’m intense and it’s winter now, and so it gets darker quicker, and I’m not outside in the sun from like six am to like ten.

Abbey: Yeah. The other day we were gonna go for a walk and it was like for o’clock and I was like “ah so we should probably leave soon so we can actually have a good walk,” and Eli was like “why?” and I’m like, “well the sun sets at five thirty so if we don’t go to the park now to take a walk it’s not gonna happen.” He was like “ahh, that’s true.” Yeah it gets dark early, but I’m okay with that because I love December. It is the most magical, wonderful, time of the entire year.

Shannon: Uh huh yeah okay why’s that, Abbey? Huh?

Abbey: Well A number of reasons 1) My birthday is in December

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: A few days after-

Shannon: That’s the one

Abbey: -this podcast goes up. Which is always fantastic because it’s the one day a year when I’m okay with everyone paying attention and loving me.

Shannon: That’s usually my thing .What’s important to know is that the other 364 days of the year all the attention should be on me.

Abbey: Uh hum whatever, and then it’s Christmas, which is my favorite holiday cause it’s about joy and peace and happiness and miracles and light coming back into the world and I always just get super happy. uh not so much about the capitalizati- CONSUMERISM –

Shannon: Consumerism!

Abbey: -stuff that is now attached to Christmas and how Christmas decorations were up in like October, but December is awesome. I just love every minute of it and it snowed this week so it looked like winter and Christmas feelings and oh it was just magical.

Shannon: That sounds perfect well I’m glad it’s December and I’m glad you’re very very happy about that.

Abbey: I am.

Shannon: So now that we’ve talked all about December, and how wonderful and amazing it is. Can you talk about something else that’s wonderful and amazing? You actually have not told me the topic for the Bible Story Corner so I can’t make a good transition here.

Abbey: Ohh okay you wanted to know the topic.

Shannon: I don’t know you can tell me about it after we do the transition music.

Abbey: Sure let’s do that.

Shannon: Okay. Bible Story Corner.


[Transition Music]

Shannon: What’s the topic what’s the topic what’s the topic. I haven’t even gotten a hint.

Abbey: Oh well in some ways you have, so this – my original plan was to do this for our one celebration thing.

Shannon: But-

Abbey: But then I – but I looked at the calendar and I realized this podcast comes out in the middle of Hanukah and I was like we should totally do kind of a Hanukah-related thing. So we’re doing the first four chapters of first Maccabees.

Shannon: Which is –

Abbey: Is one of the books of the bible that is not in most protestant bibles, so it’s the deuterocanonical or apocryphal section of the bible.


Abbey: Not in this story.

Shannon: Oh

Abbey: But this is the kind of the written up story of Hanukah. Vaguely.

Shannon: You should have told me I would have brushed up on my Chanukah story by watching the rugrat’s Chanukah episode.

Abbey: Ah. Sorry. I it I wasn’t trying to keep it from you I just kind of happened.

Shannon: Didn’t come up in polite conversation.

Abbey: No, things like that.

Shannon: I think I do remember you telling me about it. Okay well this is gonna be awesome cause this is like the first time we’re like really gettin’ off the beaten path.

Abbey: Yeah exactly I thought that’d be so much fun. Ah. So I will cav- caveat?

Shannon: Yeah do we need to put like a disclaimer on here that we’re not Jewish.

Abbey: Yeah. Uh. Okay first we are not Jewish. I guess second off this podcast is not about Hanukah it’s about the first four chapters of first Maccabees.

Shannon: Okay

Abbey: Which includes Hanukah but maybe not in the way we think of Hanukah and you can also see the Hanukah story in second Maccabees, but this is such off the beaten path for most people and also for myself and there’s also a lot of context so I wasn’t gonna try to mush the two stories together cause they’re very different.

Shannon: What’s insane is that usually you like pin point one tiny thing in the bible and you can talk about it for a really long time and I feel like this time you’re like casting a very wide net.

Abbey: I know so this is gonna be really different for me.

Shannon: Okay

Abbey: Alright, so along with this being a big story, I’m not getting down into the nitty-gritty details. Putting that out there. So first Maccabees starts with Alexander the Great.

Shannon: What?

Abbey: The greek Macedonian guy who goes and conquers a whole bunch of the Middle Eastern Greek top of Africa part and made-

Shannon: Are you serious!?

Abbey: Yes. So it starts there and he conquers a whole bunch of things and then he dies and so he leaves his kingdom to different decedents, so they break it up into three different kingdoms. Israel’s included in that and then over time they end up being ruled by Antiochus IV, who then goes and fights a battle with the people who were in charge of the Egypt region and he wins and so that’s one little box. And also there’s this little section that talks about how a whole bunch of the jews living in Jerusalem were like, “you know what? We should be more like the gentiles ‘cause things have gone bad since we haven’t been hanging out with them,” and they ask the king if they could build a gymnasium and have greek sports and some of their culture there, and the kind was like “yes,” so they did that.

Shannon: So okay, this is so bizarre to me ‘cause I feel like we angled in onto like the historical story from an angle we haven’t ever done before. Like from the greek angle-

Abbey: Nope

Shannon: So like from the story of Israel side, which is kinda the history I’ve been following, where’s this happening?

Abbey: Do you mean literally?

Shannon: Honestly I’ve like-

Abbey: Okay so in the Israel historical context okay,

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: So they’e been conquered by Babylon –

Shannon: Kay

Abbey: And then the Persians have conquered Babylon and sent the Israelites back to Israel-

Shannon: Okay

Abbey: They’ve rebuilt their temple and they’ve been living there under Persian rule for al long time-

Shannon: Okay

Abbey: until Alexander the Great comes in and conquers the Persian Empire at which point he’s in charge. Start the story of the Maccabees

Shannon: So this is after most-

Abbey: Does that help?

Shannon: of the stuff we’ve talked about in the old testament?

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: Kay

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: Cool okay

Abbey: It’s all over.

Shannon: Okay

Abbey: So anyways, so now they’re being ruled by Antiochus IV and –

Shannon: And he was put in place by somebody else not exactly put in place by god.

Abbey: He

Shannon: Eh?

Abbey: Yeah. I mean he’s just kind of a descendent of the people Alexander the Lreat left in charge –

Shannon: Kay

Abbey: He is not nice to the people living in Israel. He-

Shannon: Boo

Abbey: – starts defiling the… the temple and the sanctuary putting in like false items and um sacrificing animals that shouldn’t be sacrificed on their alter and just defiling the whole place and he also says that they can’t practice their religion anymore basically.

Shannon: Doubld boo

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: To a really extreme extent, the people the people who have any kind of religious writing that is Jewish are persecuted. If women have their sons circumcised they’ll be killed and their sons will be hanged from their mothers neck.

Shannon: Ahhh

Abbey: So he’s really like, just trying to destroy their religion.

Shannon: Mh-hm

Abbey: And out of this a man named Mattathius arrives. Well him and his sons and he’s a priest and he and his family moved from Jerusalem out to a place called Odeon I think— I couldn’t find a pronunciation of this— but it’s a smaller town/community out kind of in the wilderness. And at one point one of the king’s people comes to the town and goes to Mattathius and says “You’re one of the leaders in the community. If you do this burnt offering to a non-Jewish god it would show the people in the community that they should do it too and to follow the king” and he’s like “no, I will not do this.”

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: “It is wrong. It is terrible,” and he had this big spiel but somebody else from the community once he’s done speaking goes up and says, “I’ll do it.” At which point Mattathius get into this violent rage and kills the man who says he would do the offering.

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: And then he turns to everyone else and says “anyone who wants to follow the law come with me.” And they leave and go out into hiding. Meanwhile there’s this other group of people who have also fled from their communities so they don’t have to follow these new laws banishing Judaism and it’s families and their farm animals and the king finds out about what Mattathius did and he sends his soldiers in to kill these people and they go in on the Sabbath— which is the day when you’re not allowed to do anything-

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: -and they pretty much just massacre all of these people because their tradition say that they can’t fight on the Sabbath.

Shannon: Kay

Abbey: So Mattathius and his people hear about this and are really upset and so they sit and they talk about it and decide they’re going to change the law to make it so that they can fight on the sabbath, and more people start joining them and they go an fight at least one battle against the king’s people. Then Mattathius dies and he leaves in charge his son Judas Maccabees. Which is where the name Maccabees comes from. Okay so Judas Maccabees is appointed like the military leader and one of the king’s generals decides, “you know what I’m gonna go and fight Judas and his people and I’ll win great favor with the king.” So he takes a few hundred, maybe a few thousand men to meet up with Judas and Judas and his people start marching towards this general and they see how many people there are and his soldiers are like “oh I don’t know if we can beat them” and Judas is like “winning isn’t in the strength of the people. Winning comes from heaven. And we are fighting for our land, for our people, for our religion. Don’t be scared.”

Shannon: Kay

Abbey: And they next day engage, and they win the battle. And all the gentiles go and flee to the Phillistines. The king hears about this is really upset. There’s a small little side story I’m going to skip over. He leaves a different general in charge and commands him to basically go and fight Judas.

Shannon: Right.

Abbey: And so this guy goes he gets a whole bunch of people. He goes meets Judas, the same thing happens.

Shannon: Right

Abbey: And then on the next year this general again goes “okay.” He gathers even more people like like this huge number of people to go meet him to the point where like everyone knows that judas and his men are just going to be just crushed. They said the slave people come like slave catchers or slave sellers come to buy anyone who lives from the battle who’s going to get sold into slavery because that’s what happens after

Shannon: Yeahhh okay

Abbey:  You sell the remaining people into slavery.

Shannon: They’re- they’re sitting there in the stadium ready for a bloodbath.

Abbey: Yeah. Ppetty much.

Shannon: That’s bad. Okay. Yeah.

Abbey: Yeah. Umm

Shannon: [Nervous laughter] this isn’t going well, Abbey. I mean it’s going well for now but

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: Okay

Abbey: So they come up and again Judas and his men come they obviously look overwhelmed and a whole bunch of military kind of things happen and another great speech. I’m not going to get into details but basically again they crush and destroy this army. So Judas and his men crush the reigning king who’s in charge of his area. Like the king is still alive but his general and his men get destroyed.

Shannon: People an’t see me but I’m staring at this like the final boss fight in a movie. I’m just like –

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: “Whatttt???”

Abbey: Yeah and at this point there was like this huge battle-

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: -So they are able to go into Jerusalem and go up to the temple which is finally back inter possession.

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: And they’re able to clean it. So they go in and the priests start cleaning it up and making it holy and they tear down the old alter and they build a new one so that there’s nothing that’s been defiled on it and the people come and they throw this huge celebration and rededication of the temple, and they decide that every year at this date they’re going to re0celebrate the rededication of the temple.

Shannon: Okay

Abbey: And that is what becomes Hanukah.. There’s for anyone who knows anything about Hanukah there’s usually the story about the oil and the lamp and the oil –

Shannon: yeah

Abbey: – lasting for eight days that’s not in first Maccabees it’s not even in second Maccabees that’s something that’s been added on later.

Shannon: But that’s the story that’s in Rugrats.

Abbey: Yeah  and that’s a complicated separate thing about Hanukah that I went and tried to figure out, and they are said it was kind of a tradition that was added on quite a bit later.

Shannon: Okay

Abbey: They think the reason it lasts for eight days is because it’s around the same time as another Jewish holiday that lasts for that long so they think they kind of maybe delayed the celebration and kind of connected it to a ah I think it’s pronounced “Sukket” holiday-

Shannon: Okay

Abbey: which is a holiday festival that lasts for eight days so they think there is some kind of connection at some point in history to later on oil story is added. But the the Hanukah come from this great big battle and the rededication of the temple. Taking it back from away from this Antiochus IV greek king. And I know that was long, and complicated and I left out a tons of details, but I thought it was important to see the history leading up to that and why it was an important moment to them.

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: And what was going on

Shannon: I’m having different feelings about this story than I have about any other story you’ve told before like and even though it’s like it’s violent and there’s was —which still like you know have the weird feelings about— but like I this felt more like a sport story you know where the under dogs just kept like

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: Fighting back and fighting back and they were definitely doing it for a good cause and a good reason and like they won in the end and they got to celebrate at the temple. Like it felt like it had the right beats to a story whereas some of the other ones you’ve told have been like “and then he got like really mad so he gathered some of his friends and then they went an attacked these people” and you and I sit here and are like, “Okay uhhhmmm, how do we make this palatable?” Whereas this one felt more like an underdog sport story. You know?

Abbey: Yeah, and it was. In may ways. Um. Do you want me to start talking about things I found or do you wanna like process more?

Shannon: No. I would love to hear some of the things that you found that I kinda want you to zoom in for me, so that I know where to look.

Abbey: I guess a little bit more of context. First Maccabees is in the selection of stories that isn’t in the Jewish bible, and it’s only in certain Christian bibles. And so finding some commentaries were a little bit more challenging

Shannon: Okay so. So this is in the Catholic bibles right?

Abbey: Yes. What I found was it was considered an important text, one to be read, but not to the same inspired nature of the other stories, and we don’t know why. There’s numbers of theories of why it’s not put in with the other books but it’s just not.

Shannon: Okay

Abbey: So Hanukah actually isn’t a high holy holiday to the Jews ‘cause it’s not in their more dominant texts, shall we say.

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: Which I thought kind of cool. What I’m mostly found from Jewish and Christian texts sort of surprised me in the story. And I’m trying to figure out again how to say this. So let’s start with these we’ll call them Israelites were the minority group in this kingdom. So this story raises the question of how do you respect the minorities in your community? How do you let them have their own traditions? How do you invite them to be part of the larger community, and how do you protect their rights?

Shannon: [Laughing] You just do because you’re not a mean person. What do you mean?

Abbey: It isn’t so much like how, but it’s like raises the question of like we struggle with this, even in our county, right. Yes you just do it but like these people weren’t respected, and out of that grew this war.

Shannon: Okay

Abbey: I guess there was lots of conversations of how do you have many traditions in the same nation but not splinter it and fight? This story was written from the point of view of Israelites and so of course Antiochus is demonized.

Shannon: Mh-hm

Abbey: ‘Cause that’s what you do with people you’re fighting against. You immediately demonize them and make them non-humans. And you can see that up through our society today and so reflections on that and then there was a flip side which I brushed over this a little bit but Mattathius and Judas were political terrorists. They were zealots.

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: One thing I forgot to mention in the story is after they won their first or second battle they went into towns and forced people to start following Jewish practices that they thought they should follow. They they forcibly circumcising children who hadn’t been circumcised.

Shannon: Oh there’s the part of the story that makes me sad.

Abbey: Yeah. So they were political terrorists. So when is something revolution? When is something terror? How do you proceed with that? Um so this this part was raised by some Jewish commentators

Shannon: Ok

Abbey: Ah the difference between political terrorism and revolution and holding both of these tensions because these people were religious zealots while they’re heroes in this, which is awesome they were also doing some not nice things too.

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: Jewish law limits legitimate zealotry is how they termed it, because they see how that could turn into bad things very quickly the I am right and if you’re not with me you’re against me and I can do whatever.

Shannon: We’ll zealot kind of means that like fanatisms

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: Yeah.

Abbey: Yeah so Jewish law doesn’t support that but while it’s not in their sacred texts or their bible it’s still an important thing where a religious zealot gets in power so how do you wrestle with that.

Shannon: Right

Abbey: Maccabees legitimizes it. They compare Mattathius to Moses and another zealot who shows up in the book of Numbers but either between the words he says or directly comparing him to they show the oh see he’s part of a tradition it’s okay he has the blessings of god basically to do this.

Shannon: I mean yeah, that’s the only way he could have won.

Abbey: Yeah exactly. Which bring in the idea of like inner strength versus numbers just because you have numbers on your side while that’s awesome. We’ve seen time and again if people are fighting for their homeland or their religion they’ll either win or it’s really hard to destroy them.

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: Because they’re coming from a place of

Shannon: Deep roots

Abbey: Yeah there’s a reason behind it. There’s this desire that makes them stronger and harder to destroy.

Shannon: Mh-hm

Abbey: It can also be seen as liberation from colonial powers.

Shannon: Course, yeah. I mean obviously.

Abbey: Yeah. That’s exactly what’s happening here. Um

Shannon: Some random person came in said “this is your king now.”

Abbey: Yeah and then uh, “I think not.”

Shannon: “No”

Abbey: Yeah. Another underlying thing; Remember at the beginning of the story when some of the Jews were like. Hey let’s hang out with the gentiles and have these gymnasiums built and-

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: So it’s not even just ah the Israelites versus this other power. It was the Israelites fighting with amongst themselves and it’s harder to see it specifically in first Maccabees, but the people who were the term is “being hellenized” who were being friends with the gentiles they were people in Jerusalem in the urban centers and the people who were more traditional and didn’t want to associate with the gentiles were in mostly the rural communities.

Shannon: Yeah of course

Abbey:  So there’s this urban rural poor wealthy conflict there as well.

Shannon: Kay

Abbey: So who also has the right to say what is Jewish? What is the true religion? Fighting back and forth. So I guess what I found really cool was all of these ties to what’s going on right now. We can see in our own culture and context. I haven’t really read Maccabees before. I mean I skimmed it here and there, so I wasn’t expecting the layer of oh this is here, and this layer is here and and this is how people are viewing it as not hero or demonizing either side, but looking at it and asking “what can this tell us about today?” which I always do. I do I just really appreciated how different layers it had in terms of that

Shannon: Yeah. It’s a lot. There’s a lot of places I could sink my teeth into, I think.

Abbey: Yeah.

Shannon: And wonder about.

Abbey: And I think I’ve I’ve felt like there’s so much there and I I’m doing a very broad picture because it’s a new topic for me as well as probably most people who are listening to this.

Shannon: What happens to me whenever I edit this is that I’ll get to listen to this story like two or three more times and I have like fifty more thoughts about it but while you were telling the story definitely where- the first place in my brain went to so I’m just going to go with my impulses-  like this doesn’t even seem relevant now that mention those things, but like when do we fight? ‘Cause this is like the first time that you’ve made a case that made sense for violence-

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: -in the bible

Abbey: Yeah. Somebody else brought that up, but they were looking specifically  at the group of people that didn’t fight on the Sabbath and then got massacred so

Shannon: Yeah that’s

Abbey: When do you kind of martyr yourself? When do you like say no this is my tradition and I’m not going to go against it even if that means I’m going to be killed? And when do you say “this oppression if bad enough I’m going to stand up and fight against it.” Yeah you can fight to take care of yourself so you’re not being killed and slaughtered.

Shannon:  Yeah

Abbey: ‘Cause that’s not okay either and I mean they were being their religion was being persecuted and I mean they were the king wanted to annihilate them, and I it totally makes sense that it was like “No we’re fighting.” I’m not going to be a martyr to this. I have rights and let’s work together to make this happen.

Shannon: So the number on question you get when you’re talking to people and you say like “I’m a quaker, it means I’m a pacifist is, they’ll be like well would you have fought Hitler” and I don’t really want to get into that but like maybe not worthy to like fight or kill for but where would my line be? Like what’s what’s my line for where I’ll say no that there’s an instance where I’m gonna stand up and and fight. Do I have one? Is it never? Am I always gonna like the kind of romanticized version of pacifism for a lot of Quakers is out being like more creative than the bad guys more stubborn than the bad guys like smarter than them, wittier, luckier like that’s the narrative, and then god creates the miracles that allows those traits to be the things that win? As opposed to violence.

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: So that’s that’s like the pacifist narrative but is there an instance? Is there a line where I’m gonna punch back?

Abbey: I don’t know how this fits into the our conversation per say, but there’s this really awesome guy named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He lived this out. He was a Lutheran pastor in Germany during world war II and through his studying he became a pacifist he went “god calls us to be non-violent and a pacifist” and then he got tangled up- not tangled up- he purposefully stayed in Germany when he had a chance to escape and he joined a resistance movement against Hitler and joined a plot to assassinate Hitler and what he specifically said was “what I am going to do is a sin. Killing Hitler is a sin, but I think it’s just as much of a sin to let him continue doing what he’s doing, and so I’m willing to take this sin.”

Shannon: Yeah yeah

Abbey: And I don’t know where I would draw the line. I think. I think my line would be much more willing to die for my principles um and I say that from a place of privilege I get that. But I would probably want to take my privilege and be I think my line I’d be willing to take my privilege on the line and die for it if it helped other people who didn’t have that privilege.

Shannon: M-hm

Abbey: That’s my line. So I don’t think I would joining violent revolutions.

Shannon: So there – there’s like a bajillion and one nuances to that, but I would like that’s what I was thinking about when I we were talking is like what what is the point where you know fighting to get your country back or to fight back against a really bad leader makes sense?

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: We could go on for forever.

Abbey: Yeah. Those are good questions to ask.

Shannon: Yeah.

Abbey: I think that might be what I have

Shannon: I know but I wanna – I’m looking at the time like we can’t talk about this for forever.

Abbey: Oh gosh

Shannon: But I want to

Abbey: Yeah and like I’m still like digesting it cause like honestly I have maybe skimmed the story once in seminary.

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: I was like. Oh this is cool and I loved, everyone was talking about like let’s talk about um migrant situations and –

Shannon: Oh I could have attached it to every social issue we have right now that was the scariest part.

Abbey: Yeah it was just like boom boom boom. This whole story is about social issues and I was like I was not expecting social issues from this story. I’m trying to see if there’re any way I could actually connect this to Hanukah but

Shannon: Yeah Abbey?

Abbey: Um

Shannon: I don’t know if we can because I don’t have any personal connection to Hanukah outside of the Rugrats tv show.

Abbey: I guess I realized that this podcast was happening when Hanukah was happening and many Christians maybe vaguely know the story of Hanukah?

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: And it would be really interesting to get more of the context and where it comes from and like why this was so important to them even if it’s not a high holy day it was still them reclaiming their land and their temple and this huge celebration that came after it to the point like let celebrate this every year.

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: It was just really nice. I guess. And I was sort of surprised that the whole oil thing wasn’t actually in Maccabees came out later, but the eight days of celebration at is in there and

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: Something happy happened to them.

Both: [happy laughter]

Abbey: For a brief little bit

Shannon: There was something happy in bible history.

Abbey: Yeah. Happy Hanukah to anyone who is Jewish and listening to this.

Shannon: Absoluetly yeah. I hope we did it a little bit of justice.

Abbey: A little bit. And to the Christians maybe now you understand a little bit more of the context of what it is and

Shannon: And also you got to hear this really cool story from Maccabees which is only like found in the catholic bible which is awesome.

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: Yes

Abbey: Diving into those other texts.

Shannon: Even if there aren’t dragons in them…next time.

Abbey: Well at least not in this one.

Shannon: Next time on our HBO special we’ll have some dragons.

Abbey: I will find dragons for you, Shannon.

Shannon: Game of Thrones, According to my Sister

Abbey: You don’t want that.

Shannon: [Laughter] Good story.  Silly stuff with Shannon? So we have a nice transition?

Abbey: Yeah, Yeah. and so we’re not spending- so we don’t have a two-hour long podcast

Shannon: Yeah. Anyway.

Abbey: Silly stuff with Shannon

Shannon: Silly Stuff with Shannon

[Transition music]

Abbey: So Shannon what are you brining me? Did you finish the romance novel I’ve been getting texts from you about for days?

Shannon: Abbey… You know some of –

Abbey: Yes Shannon

Shannon: -my defining characteristics

Abbey: Yup

Shannon: Stubborness, persistance

Abbey: Did it prevail?

Shannon: I have never felt so defeated in my life. By anything.

Abbey: [Laughter]

Shannon: I have read book about muskrats out of sheer stubborn will.

Abbey: And you finished the book about the Quaker business meeting in space.

Shannon: I read a book about quaker business meeting gin space. I watched The Notebook. I have do so many things out of stubborn spite. You know the reason I don’t shave my legs is because you once said oh you’ll want to someday and I went nuh-uh. I am stubborn and spiteful. I did everything I could think of to try and get through this book. And I am not saying it is a bad book, I just — super not my genre. I told everybody I was like “If I show up dead to the next podcast it’s gonna be because this book killed me” and I got close to that point and then went. “I can’t. Cannot do it. I’ve already waste six hours of my life.”

Abbey: I didn’t bring-

Shannon: ABBEY IT WON!

Abbey: Something finally defeated Shannon

Shannon: Romance novels 1: [fake sobbing] Shannon 0

Abbey: But you’re at least alive

Shannon: I’m alive. I ate a lot of chocolate trying to get through it. ‘Cause I’d be like “Okay Shannon, do a page and then you get a cookie!”

Abbey: [Laughter]

Shannon: What would be- Abbey you’re so good at formatting your segments. What am I supposed to do here? This thing exists guys. It exists! Somebody wrote a romance novel about the bible. Jeeze okay. So let’s back up. Remember us talking about Liz Curtis Higgs? Couple weeks ago.

Abbey: Yup yeah.

Shannon: And how she had written these romance novels?

Abbey: M-hm

Shannon: Set in Scotland.

Abbey: Yeah, and I thought they sounded really entertaining.

Shannon: I was so excited. I thought they would be awesome. I knew like it wasn’t my genre but I thought like You know, cool. This is a cool thing. Unique take on a story. [Sigh]

Abbey: And

Shannon: I have a general rule that I don’t like to talk bad about things like I don’t- I don’t like it when — You know on like YouTube there just like this genre of people who just make fun of movies, or just like-

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: point out all the things that are bad about something? So I don’t wanna do that. Like in general as a human being. And I don’t wanna say this book is

Abbey: So lets no talk about the badness of the book. Let’s talk about Shannon’s reaction to romance.

Shannon: Novels. Cause I think that’s what it is because like I got on Goodreads. I was like okay. I’ve never read a romance novel in my like because I functionally like just don’t get it on like a human level so like I knew I wouldn’t like it but I thought like maybe I’ll get attached to some of the characters or something and so I got on Goodreads and there were like rave reviews. I think people who enjoy these kinds of books thought it was like really good because the characterization of the people in it like they like how the characters changed they love how the characters weren’t like all good people, and I totally agree they were very three-dimensional characters. Liz curt- like the author of this book does settings amaz- like you could eat the settings she was describing they were all so rich and delicious! Unfortunately there weren’t any UFOs, aliens, time travel, you know like the stuff I like in books so it was like, kind of hard. But like she did all of that really well. Unfortunately I just didn’t care. So the story like. The story is of um Jacob and his brother and then Leah and Rachel and how Jacob ends up at their homestead and ends up marrying Leah and I think it ends right after Leah has her first son. So that’s the timeline of this story. It starts with Jacob’s mother being told by god in a dream that the younger son is supposed to inherit the land and it ends with Leah’s first son. So like it follows the bible story pretty closely. There’s some things changed at the end um ‘cause he doesn’t end up marrying both of the sisters obviously in this book. I don’t know if it’ll happen in the next one. I’m not sure I’m gonna live to find out.

Abbey: I hope not ‘cause that’s illegal

Shannon: Yeah… I don’t know what was going on in Scotland at the time. Anyway so like it followed the story really well. And I think, people who might not know that story really well then got to read this got to learn the story of from the bible really well and unfortunately I don’t know the biblical story at this point. I know the story from the Red Tent and this book so like I can’t tell you how biblically accurate it is-

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: -but the people on Goodreads seemed to think it was pretty biblically accurate

Abbey: I’ll take their word for it.

Shannon: So, one of the things I did note was like. You know in the 1920’s um silent films, that they used the bible as a means to get away with smut.

Abbey: Uh-huh. Yeah I do know that.

Shannon: That was not that case here, and I’m a little disappointed. I was hoping it was gonna be

Abbey: It was a Christian romance novel

Shannon: Yeah. I was hoping. Yeah it is a Christian romance novel, but I thought it. I thought it would tip a little bit more towards like not super risqué cause you know there still that balance where you like you know how we talked about the balance. Like it has to be serious.

Abbey: Yeah

Shannon: Serious enough that they take it seriously, but not so boring that it’s like not so boring that it dull to watch. So I was hoping it would tilt a little more towards like campy and swoony and it didn’t.

Abbey: And it didn’t

Shannon: It was very.

Abbey: awe

Shannon: It was very much biblical and so I didn’t get enough of that like swoony.

Abbey: So okay so Shannon here’s

Shannon: I don’t

Abbey: Here’s the ultimate question

Shannon: I don’t know what to do

Abbey: Of this whole thing

Shannon: Yeah

Abbey: Are you going to read the sequel?

Shannon: No, but I’m totally gonna go look up the Goodreads reviews of it to find out what happens. ‘Cause I like totally want to know what happens but I totally don’t think I can read four hundred pages, to find out.

Abbey: And then report back.

Shannon: Yeah. I— I was like dreading this Abbey. I love this podcast to death.

Abbey: I know

Shannon: But I was dreading trying to figure out how to do this.

Abbey: I think Shannon uh floundering is hilarious.

Shannon: I’m a broken person. Is that okay?

Abbey: I works for your segment.

Shannon: Does it? Is that okay?

Abbey: Yes.

Shannon: Okay.

Abbey: Yes.

Shannon: I just feel like I owe people more than me just being sad into a microphone. But it’s how I’m feeling and I have a lot of feelings, and these feelings are sad. Can we do the outro now?

Abbey: Yes. I think that’s the perfect way to end it.

Shannon: Good. Abbey?

Abbey: Yeah, Shannon.

[Outro music begins]

Shannon: [Attempts to compose herself] Okay, so at the end of every episode we ask a very important question, and this time, Abbey, I’d like to know like what is the bible?

Abbey: Oh You’re going to love this. The bible is a bodice busting romance novel.

Shannon: Is it a bodice-ripping romance novel!?

Abbey: Which is why you’ve never read it.

Shannon: [Laughing hard] You made it better!


Shannon: Hey Everyone, this is little sister Shannon popping in with your notes and updates at the end of this episode, nothing too new or exciting but we do want to thank as always Stefan Kartenberg for use of our intro and outro music it’s Guitalele’s Happy Place featuring Kara Square. You can find more of their music by following the link on our facebook page or checking out the link in the info box for this episode. We are on iTunes as well as Spotify if you enjoy what you’re listening to tell a friend or leave us a review or a rating on either of those platforms any of the platforms you listen t o us on. You can reach out to us online with questions or comments. We are on Facebook at Bible Sisters and you can e-mail us uhh the email address is BibleSistersPodcast@gmail.com. I think that’s all for the news and updates. Uh … we will be back on December 19th. Until then have a wonderful couple of weeks, and I hope you get lots of snow and lots of fun.

[Outro music fades]

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