Archived Webinar Now available: “Women Protecting Babies from the Beast: Matthew’s Nativity Story and a Celebration of the Feast of Guadalupe”
(Recorded Dec 10, 2013). View this recorded webinar at your convenience.
In commemoration of the Feast of Guadalupe (Dec 12), Elaine and Ched look at the tradition of the “woman clothed with the sun” in Rev 12, how that is imaged in Our Lady of Guadalupe, and its connections with Matthew’s Nativity story and other biblical themes. This webinar was also preparatory for our women’s retreat the following weekend, which included participation in the 20th annual Posada sin Fronteras at the US-Mexico border.
It’s good to recognize milestones. First published by Orbis Books in 1988, a 20th anniversary edition of this commentary with new front matter was issued in 2008. It is still widely used in theological schools, but also is tackled by lay readers in study groups (despite the teasing I get for writing “such a long and difficult tome”). I am grateful that this study has had measurable impact on the seminary, sanctuary and streets alike. People often tell me that it changed their lives—three lovely notes I’ve received over the years are below—and I can honestly say that it changed mine as well. A quarter century later, I’m still trying to embody the discipleship vision of Mark’s gospel in my life and work.
- I was a junior at St. Mary's University in San Antonio Texas in 2003 when I enrolled in an independent study. The sole text was Binding the Strong Man. I was way over my head intellectually at first, having to constantly carry both a standard and theological dictionary. I met weekly with my professor and each time I walked out of the conversation overjoyed. Someone put to words an understanding of Jesus that actually made sense to me. Jesus was once again compelling and worth listening to. My life was never the same. I carried Binding with me everywhere I would carry my Bible, and referenced it every week. I have purchased two copies in addition to my original, which was so covered in notes it was almost illegible. I cannot thank you enough for your work on the Gospel of Mark. You have helped revolutionize my faith and my life in such a way that I cannot imagine ever going back. May the Spirit of God continue to work in and through you. -- Jason Valendy, Nov 2011 (now a Methodist pastor in Saginaw, Tx)
- Binding the Strong Man has been a valuable tool for those of us who are disturbed and wounded by those who still talk about the possibility of doing “objective studies”… Your indignation found resonance in mine; your dreams of rupture, liberation and radical discipleship added to my own. Each day the challenge is more urgent: to enter the house of the strong man, bind him and recover what has been taken from us: the life and dignity of our peoples, of Afro-Latin Americans, of women, children, and impoverished men. Thank you for your expression of the community of those who are “tireless dreamers.”
-- Sylvia Regina de Lima, March 2008 (currently N.T. professor at Universidad Biblica Latinoamericana, Costa Rica)
- I'm a thirty-year old Vancouverite, a recent ThM grad from Regent College and have, in the last few months, read Binding the Strong Man, Who Will Roll Away the Stone?, and Say to This Mountain. I want to thank you for all the effort, thought and care that you put into these works. With all sincerity, I can say that they have been the most powerful and transformative books I have read. The Jesus you present, and the life of discipleship you articulate, is so challenging, radical and encouraging, and in my mind, it rings true to the Biblical text. I've undergone some kind of conversion through them. So thank you. I'm going to continually revisit these books in the years to come, and try to live out this radical and liberating life of discipleship. Many thanks.
-- Steve Heinrichs, Sept 2006 (now Director of Indigenous Relations, Mennonite Church Canada)
For longer reviews see Art Cabrera and Marc Delmonico. Of course you can purchase the book on this site. Finally, to keep things in perspective: A quick Google of “binding the strong man” shows that every URL not referencing my book—which is 90% of them—refers to some version of “spiritual warfare” and/or “prosperity theology” from the U.S. Christian Right! So we’re not exactly winning the hermeneutic battle… which is why the task of reconnecting Word and world continues.
Happy Anniversary, Strong Man!
Save the dates for these upcoming BCM webinars, featuring scriptural reflection, movement history and social justice themes. Our 2014 schedule will be (mostly) the second Tuesday of the month at 5:45-7:15 pm Pacific Time except where noted.
Tuesday, Dec 10:
“Women Protecting Babies from the Beast: Matthew’s Nativity Story and a Celebration of the Feast of Guadalupe.” In commemoration of the Feast of Guadalupe (Dec 12), Elaine and Ched will look at the tradition of the “woman clothed with the sun” in Rev 12, how that is imaged in Our Lady of Guadalupe, and its connections with Matthew’s Nativity story and other biblical themes. This webinar will also be preparatory for our women’s retreat the following weekend, which will include participation in the 20th annual Posada sin Fronteras at the US-Mexico border.
Registration for this webinar is now closed.
Our 2014 schedule will be posted shortly.
Your participation helps us increase our reach and reduce our carbon footprint!
About this site: Our purpose is to provide one-stop access to writing and talks by activist theologian Ched Myers. A biblical scholar and popular educator, Ched is an author, organizer and advocate who has for 30 years been challenging and supporting Christians to engage in peace and justice work and radical discipleship. To learn more about Ched's work, click on the "Life and Activism" tab at the top of the page.
For information about Ched's writing, speaking and the Bartimaeus Institute, click on the tabs above. If you are new to Ched's work, we invite you to play the videos and audio excerpts below to get a glimpse of his approach.
Ched's work is available for free download or for purchase by clicking on the links on the right. We have made available more than 100 of his articles and books, and new pieces will be added as they are published. We also now have more than a dozen audio downloads, with more to come, and we are working on making video presentations available as well. You can search by product or topic using the right hand column. (Note: If you want audio or video but can't figure out how to download them, let us know and we'll burn them on to a CD or DVD for you.)
Pricing protocol: Any of Ched's articles or audio talks currently available elsewhere on the web can be downloaded on this site at no cost (or we provide the link). All other published material, as well as a number of Ched's unpublished talks and sermons and audio, are available here at what we think is a fair and affordable price. The revenues generated by product purchases go to support the work of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries. (Note: A number of you have told us that our prices are too low. If this is your view, please make a donation to BCM by using the "Donate" button at right. Donors to BCM will receive our monthly "Partner's Circle E-News" and three resource mailings a year.)
We hope you'll bookmark this site, and return whenever you want to draw upon this rich collection of reflections on scripture and social issues. Thanks for your interest in Ched's work.
Introduction to Bartimaeus Institute
The call to discipleship in Mark's gospel