The Peoples’ Communist Bible Study: Luke, Acts, etc. / The Full Series Recap


Beginning last December, I began a series on my Radical Righteous Love podcast entitled, “The Peoples Communist Bible Study” which was planned to go through the Gospel of Luke into the early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles and answer the question, “was Jesus a proto-communist?” I was joined each week by my supportive co-host Loraine from Texas, a fellow seminarian from Meadville Lombard Theological School where she, many others, and I are working to become ordained religious leaders. One exception to this pattern is the episode for Palm Sunday, which was actually a “pilot” of the concept created in April of 2016 with my friend Rev. Dwight Welch of Oklahoma.

The PCBS series is not polished, as you will see, as we often took some digressions and other mishaps. Someday, I hope to create a more polished version of this study as a either a book or video series.

Here is the list of episodes in order of the events in the texts we studied with descriptions

1. Pilot Episode

Tonight, Charley and Loraine will pilot a new podcast series, The Peoples Communist Bible Study, which will explore the political and economic meaning of the gospel stories.This episode will introduce the direction of the series and introduce our two co-hosts to their listeners.

2. Advent & Mary

We read through the “Magnificat” and discuss what it tells us about the radical perspective of the early Christians. We’ll also talk about the Jewish prophets and their influence on the tradition.

3. Politics of the Birth of Jesus

This week we’ll look at the birth stories in the gospels of Luke and Matthew and discuss the political aspects of these stories.

4. Jesus – The Early Years

Join us for a discussion of the early years of the life of Jesus up to his baptism and temptation and the political implications of this narrative.

5. Jesus: Early Ministry

Tonight we will look into the accounts of Jesus’s early ministry. Topics will include.”kingdom of God” what does it mean?; healings and exorcisms; factions in 1st century Judaism; and more!

6. The Manifesto of Jesus / Sermon on the Plain

We open with some reflections on Luke 5:33-39. Then we’ll take up an extended analysis of the “Sermon on the Plain” which is Luke 6:20-49 and contains the clearest statements of Jesus against class domination in any Gospel.

7. “Was Jesus a Proto-Feminist?”

Loraine and Charley will discuss the circle of women followers of Jesus described in Luke 8. We’ll also look at the feeding of the multitude and end the episode with some discussion of the “Lord’s Prayer.

8. Rich Young Ruler

Continuing our tour through the gospel of Luke to the story of the Rich Young Ruler and other texts

9. From the Vault: Palm Sunday Proto-Pilot Edition

This week, Charley is joined by Rev. Dwight Welch of Norman OK United Church for a dialogue about the revolutionary politics of Jesus and the meaning of the resurrection. This episode is the pilot of a new series of podcasts “The Peoples Communist Bible Study.” Dwight and I begin with Palm Sunday, which was celebrated in the Western churches last week, go back to the Lukan “Sermon on the Plain” which declares “Blessed are the poor.” Briefly consider whether bodily resurrection is the main point of the Easter stories, then discuss how these very old stories mean something today, if not what conventional Christiainity claims they mean.

10. Jesus The Rebel / Execution / Triumph

This episode will look at Luke’s gospel’s account of the crucifixion and resurrection and the political aspects of these stories.

11. The Politics of Jesus’s Crucifixion

Was Jesus a rebel and crucified for that reason? What was the role of Pliate and the Roman Empire in the crucifixion?

12. The Politics of the Resurrection

Loraine and Charley will study the resurrection story in Luke and the Jewish background to that story, especially its political meaning. The vision of the resurrection of the dead appears in the Hebrew prophets as the culmination of the divine promise to redeem the Jewish faithful from their oppression. Our study will take that insight into the story of Jesus’s resurrection in Luke.

13. The Commune of Jerusalem / Second Coming

Loraine and Charley will look at the story of the Pentecost, The Jerusalem Commune, and the Second Coming. As always, we will pay attention to the political and economic meaning of these stories.


3 thoughts on “The Peoples’ Communist Bible Study: Luke, Acts, etc. / The Full Series Recap

    1. Good question and I am not sure I answered it specifically in any episode. Luke’s story leads to the Acts of the Apostles and the case I was making hinged on the story of the first Jerusalem Commune created by the followers of Jesus after his crucifixion and resurrection.

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