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Podcast Episode

Does the Dragon Sometimes Win?

In the story of the Bible, the dragon is a recurring symbol of chaos, death, and destruction. The good news is, Yahweh is the dragon slayer, and he gives humans power over the dragon too. But in the Bible—and in our own lives—we can encounter stories like Job’s. The scroll of Job explores what happens when a righteous person, someone who should be experiencing God's Eden blessing, gets their life co-opted by the dragon instead. In this episode, join Tim and Jon as they explore the story of Job.

Episode 13
1hr
Oct 30, 2023
Play Episode
Show Notes
Episodes

Timestamps

  • Part one (00:00-14:13)
  • Part two (14:13-20:05)
  • Part three (20:05-29:56)
  • Part four (29:56-37:55)
  • Part five (37:55-46:28)
  • Part six (46:28-59:31)

Referenced Resources

  • Piercing Leviathan: God's Defeat of Evil in the Book of Job (New Studies in Biblical Theology, Volume 56), Eric Ortlund
  • Playing With Dragons: Living With Suffering and God, Andrew R. Angel
  • Interested in more? Check out Tim’s library here.
  • You can experience our entire library of resources in the BibleProject app, available for Android and iOS.

Show Music

  • “Defender (Instrumental)” by TENTS
  • Additional sound design by the BibleProject team

Show produced by Cooper Peltz with Associate Producer Lindsey Ponder, Lead Editor Dan Gummel, and Editors Tyler Bailey and Frank Garza. Mixed by Tyler Bailey. Transcript edited by Grace Vang. Podcast annotations for the BibleProject app by Hannah Woo.

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Scripture References
Genesis 1-2
Genesis 1
Job 3
Job 9
Job 41
Job 1:8-12
Genesis 22
Job 42
Job 40:19
Matthew 26:36-46
2 Kings 25
Job 1:6-7
Job 3:8
Job 7:11-12
Job 9:2-9
Job 9:11
Job 26:5-12
Job 26:13-14
Job 12
Job 16
Job 38
Job 40
Job 40:9-14
Job 42:5-6

19 Episodes

New
Episode 18
The Dragon of Revelation
The Revelation, the last scroll in the Bible, is an apocalyptic vision about the reordering of the entire cosmos. And like the conclusion of any good story, it brings together all the themes in the Bible, including the theme of the dragon. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss the dragon in John’s Revelation.
58m • Dec 4, 2023
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Episode 17
The Dragon in Paul's Letters
The biblical theme of the dragon is a way to think of a personal foe, the Satan, and an impersonal force—the relentless power that exerts itself over humanity and all of creation. In this episode, Tim and Jon look at how the Apostle Paul talked about death and disorder almost as if they were dragons, starting with Paul's letters to the Romans and the Corinthians.
56m • Nov 27, 2023
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Episode 16
The Only Way to Slay the Dragon
The theme of the chaos dragon runs all through the story of the Bible—along with the biblical authors’ expectation of a coming king who will one day slay the dragon for good. That dragon-slaying king is Jesus, but the way he defeats the dragon is not what anyone expected. In this episode, Tim and Jon explore what it means to truly gain victory over the dragon.
52m • Nov 20, 2023
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Episode 15
A Human With Power Over the Dragon
As we’ve traced the theme of the chaos dragon in the Bible, we’ve come to expect what the biblical authors expect: a dragon-slaying king to come. When the gospel authors introduce us to Jesus, they’re quick to show that Jesus is human, yet he wields power beyond what other humans possess. He triumphs over snake-like adversaries in the wilderness, subdues chaos waters with a word, and even has power over spiritual beings. In fact, Jesus does all the same things God himself does. In this episode, join Jon and Tim as they explore what it means for Jesus to be God’s anointed dragon-slaying king.
47m • Nov 13, 2023
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Episode 14
Daniel and the Four Monsters
Daniel 7 describes an incredible, apocalyptic dream had by the prophet Daniel where he sees four chaos monsters oppressing the people of God. Just like the other dragon stories we've encountered in the Bible, Yahweh shows up in Daniel's vision as the ultimate dragon slayer—only this time, he's not alone. There's another human-like figure who comes riding in on the clouds to fight the dragon. In this episode, Jon and Tim explore the theme of the dragon in the scroll of Daniel.
50m • Nov 6, 2023
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Episode 13
Does the Dragon Sometimes Win?
In the story of the Bible, the dragon is a recurring symbol of chaos, death, and destruction. The good news is, Yahweh is the dragon slayer, and he gives humans power over the dragon too. But in the Bible—and in our own lives—we can encounter stories like Job’s. The scroll of Job explores what happens when a righteous person, someone who should be experiencing God's Eden blessing, gets their life co-opted by the dragon instead. In this episode, join Tim and Jon as they explore the story of Job.
1hr • Oct 30, 2023
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Episode 12
What Does it Mean to be Evil?
Did God create disorder and chaos? What does it actually mean to be evil? And how do you tell your kids that in the Bible dragons are actually the “bad guys”? In this episode, Tim and Jon respond to your questions from the first half of the Chaos Dragon series. Thank you to our audience for your incredible questions!
59m • Oct 16, 2023
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Episode 12
The Dragon Slayer in the Psalms
While the chaos dragon is not God’s rival — it’s the rival of creation – it is God’s enemy. The Psalms sometimes portray creation as the ordered result of Yahweh’s battle with the dragon, to bring order out of chaos. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss two psalms that look back to the cosmic battle at the beginning of creation and also look ahead to a day when Yahweh will give his own dragon-slaying power to a human image of God.
49m • Oct 23, 2023
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Episode 11
Was the World Ever Perfect?
The theme of the chaos dragon raises some challenging questions. For instance, if God created a perfect world and humans messed it up, why did the dragon and the chaos waters exist at the beginning of the universe? Why would God allow the potential for chaos at all? In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss God’s goodness and the existence of evil, through the lens of the chaos dragon theme.
1hr 2m • Oct 9, 2023
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Episode 10
Jonah and the…Chaos Dragon?
The story of Jonah employs all the major motifs of the theme of the chaos dragon: chaotic waters, a servant of God who rebels against him, and a great sea monster. But the story doesn't call it a sea monster—the story calls it a great fish! Join Tim and Jon as they discuss Jonah, thrown into the deep abyss and swallowed up by death, and the reality that even the belly of the beast is no match for Yahweh.
59m • Oct 2, 2023
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Episode 9
The Dragon-Like Behavior of Three Nations
When Israel chooses to act like the chaos monster instead of living like the people of God, God brings judgment on them. How? He sends other bigger monsters after them, namely, Babylon and Egypt. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss the scrolls of Jeremiah and Ezekiel and their focus on the dragon-like behavior of these three nations––as well as God’s promise to bring about justice for each and every dragon in the end.
48m • Sep 25, 2023
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Episode 8
Isaiah and the Dragon
What happens when the entire nation of Israel consistently aligns themselves with the dragon? They themselves become a chaos monster Yahweh has to deal with. In this episode, Tim and Jon explore the scroll of Isaiah and the prophet’s indictment of Israel for choices that betray the image and blessing of God they were meant to bring to the world.
57m • Sep 18, 2023
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Episode 7
David and Goliath the Dragon
So often the symbol of the chaos monster shows up embodied by a human bent on oppressing other people. Goliath, one of the Bible’s most well-known bad guys, is depicted as having scaly armor like a snake and defying not just Israel, but Yahweh. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss the theme of the dragon in the story of David and Goliath.
51m • Sep 11, 2023
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Episode 6
Women Who Slayed Dragons
In today’s episode, we once again encounter a theme that’s becoming all too familiar: humans becoming chaos monsters. Jabin, king of Canaan, and Sisera, the commander of his army, are depicted as serpents in Judges 4, and the humans who overcome these two dragons are two women, Deborah and Jael. Join Tim and Jon as they explore the theme of the dragon in the scroll of Judges.
51m • Sep 4, 2023
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Episode 5
Power Over the Dragon in Exodus
God created humans to bear his image, but sometimes we choose our own destruction and start to look a lot more like chaos monsters instead. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss a human who the prophets frequently called a sea dragon: the Pharaoh who ruled Egypt and enslaved Israel in the scroll of Exodus. If Pharaoh is the seed of the serpent, who is the seed of the woman in Exodus? Listen in to find out!
52m • Aug 28, 2023
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Episode 4
The Creature Crouching at the Door
Genesis 3 is probably the most famous serpent-featuring story in the Bible—the moment we get to see humans and the nahash interact for the first time. Because the serpent lures the humans into choosing their own demise, it’s also the moment Yahweh announces that the seed (descendant) of the serpent will remain a rival to the seed of the woman. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss Genesis 3-4 and talk about what happens when humans themselves start to act like the chaos monster.
48m • Aug 21, 2023
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Episode 3
Ferocious Dragons and Rogue Stars
Dragons show up on page one of the Bible, named among the beings that feature in the seven-day creation narrative in Genesis 1. God creates dragons to inhabit the chaos waters, and we meet one early on that tries (and succeeds) to get the first humans to choose their own destruction. Why would God create these creatures? What is their purpose? Join Tim and Jon as they talk about the literary function of dragons in the Bible.
48m • Aug 14, 2023
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Episode 2
The First Worldwide Meme
When we read the word “myth,” often what comes to mind is a fictional story. However, a myth is a way of exploring universal concerns of human existence, using symbols for things we may or may not have words to describe. The dragon is one such myth—a symbol humans have used for millennia to talk about chaos and death. Some might say it was one of the first worldwide memes. In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss ancient Near Eastern literature about dragons.
50m • Aug 7, 2023
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Episode 1
Dragons in the Bible
*Nahash*, *tanin*, *leviathan* –– the Bible is full of strange words describing a creature many modern readers can’t quite categorize. All these words are ways of referring to a monster of the deep, a dragon. In this episode, Tim and Jon kick off a brand new theme study, the chaos dragon, with a look at the language the Bible uses to describe this creature.
47m • Jul 31, 2023
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