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Podcast Review: BEMA Discipleship with Marty Solomon

Podcast Review: BEMA Discipleship with Marty Solomon

Podcast Review: BEMA Discipleship with Marty Solomon

2 November 2021

Teacher Marty Solomon (right, in white) started the BEMA Discipleship Podcast when he became President of Impact Campus Ministries. Utilising his time as a minister, teacher and scholar, the podcast is just one expression of the BEMA Discipleship program.

Reviewed by Jessica Morris

Given all 66 books of the Bible were written for a Middle Eastern audience, it’s ironic that we often read them through a Western lens. Enter the BEMA Discipleship Podcast, the mammoth effort of preacher and teacher Marty Solomon and his student Brent Billings, who take us meticulously through each book, theme, and Bible story in light of its original context.

Modelled after the traditional teaching method of Jewish culture, where a Rabbi teaches students through discussion and invites questions, Solomon is our guide. His fountain of knowledge is unyielding, ranging from the authorship of the Bible to cultural, religious and societal norms of the day. In this, Billings represent us – the eager, inquisitive, and ready to learn student. He doesn’t always have the answer to Solomon’s questions. But his thoughts and ideas are intuitive to the listeners, kindly guiding us to become fully immersed in the experience of the text.

The fact this each episode coincides with a group study also celebrates the original context of Scripture, and a presentation is available for most episodes. It is worth noting that Solomon and Billings are both white, American males. And through his study, Solomon has been drawn to reclaim his Jewish heritage. They rely heavily on their years of research and experience to give us rich and thoughtful perspectives about the scriptures. They also regularly differ from other sources and happily note when they are not experts in a topic.

As I review this, there are more than 244 episodes in the BEMA podcast, and they recommend you start from the first episode and listen the whole way through. This takes us through six parts – Torah, Prophets and Writings, the Gospels, the Early Church, Church History, and Post Scripts. While the early sessions focus nearly entirely on Biblical texts, later seasons expand into historical writings and tradition.

It is possible to jump between episodes depending on your interests. After immersing myself in the first 10 episodes of BEMA, I leapt from the story of Abraham to the Gospel writers, learned about the betrayal of Jesus, better understood a letter in Revelation, and then had a quick history of the Church from AD100-300. It’s fair to say I still have a lot to learn. But that’s the beauty of BEMA and the culture in which the Bible was written. We never stop learning – we just grow closer to God as we immerse ourselves in his Word.

The BEMA Discipleship podcast is available on Apple Podcasts. Visit the official website here.

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