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Thursday, December 7th | The Book of Esther

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
December 7, 2023 6:00 am

Thursday, December 7th | The Book of Esther

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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December 7, 2023 6:00 am

In this episode of Clearview Today, Dr. Shah talks about Esther and how it has been received throughout history.

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Can We Recover the Original Text of the New Testament?


Hello, everyone. Today is Thursday, December the seventh. I'm Ryan Hill, John Galantis, and you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abaddon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-58-25028, or you can email us at contact at That's right, and if you can help us keep the conversation going by supporting the show, you can share it online with your friends and your family, leave us a good review on iTunes or Spotify, anywhere you get your podcasting content from.

We're going to leave a link in the description of this podcast so you can do just that. The verse of the day today comes from Esther, chapter 4, verse 14. I don't think we've done the verse of the day from Esther. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Wow. You know, we're going to talk about Esther on the show today, and up until very, very, very recently, that was a book of the Bible I have never, ever read.

Really? Not even once. So I went into it completely not knowing the story at all, and this is like the verse. This is the verse, oh yeah. This is what everybody kind of quotes, this is what the women's Bible study, they always come to this verse.

And man, it's powerful. Who knows whether you've come to the kingdom for such a time as this? I want there to be that urgency in my life where it matters that I'm here. It matters that I lived. And I think a lot of us don't even think that way or don't even, like at the end of the day, we accomplish so little in our lives that it's like, would the world be any different if I hadn't been born? Probably not.

And I'm terrified of that. I want there to be that moment in my life where it's like, what if I'm here for this? What if God has put me here for this purpose?

Yeah, it mattered. Well, I mean, think about if we really believe that God is sovereign and God is in control over all things and that God is outside of time, then that means that God looked at the time stream, looked at the timeline and said, at this moment in history, John Galantis needs to be alive. At this moment in history, the Clearview Today show needs to be happening.

At this moment in history, you, listeners and viewers, need to be tuned in to the Clearview Today show because I have a purpose in that. So that helps us know that nothing in life is chance. Nothing in life is wasted.

Everything has a purpose because God's plan incorporates us. That is beautiful. And that's throughout Esther, but especially in this verse.

Yeah. And the beginning of that verse also takes away any sort of burden that that will put on you because it says if you remain silent, it's going to come from somewhere else. Like you are completely free to deny that opportunity that God has given to you.

He will get it from somewhere else, but the opportunity and the blessing is for you. The response and the, I would say even the responsibility, I don't want to say the burden of that choice, but the responsibility of that choice is for your benefit. And if you do it correctly, it will necessarily benefit the people around you, maybe even for generations to come. Yeah. Uh, speaking of making healthy choices for generations to come, I have come to a realization. I, wow, this is hard.

Take your time. I don't eat right. We know. I eat pasta. And lots of it. 24 seven.

Yeah. There's a lot of carbs in that. A lot of carbs and pasta. And if I'm going to be healthy for my kids, I got to eat pasta different. Hold on. I'm not going to eat less. In fact, I'm actually going to, I'm going to ramp it up a little bit and eat more, but the protein is going to be clean. I'll tell you what I mean.

That was stupid. So a lot of times people will make their pasta with beef, right? What you're going to want to do is take that beef, throw it in the trash can, eat deer. And I just, I just started filling it up, falling in love with it.

So in response, I made a lasagna with it and I ate the entire pan of lasagna in one night. Not good. That's not good. The protein was clean. That was your mistake.

How was it a mistake? It tasted great. Yeah. You can do clean protein, but if you do clean protein in excess, you're still eating too much. I'm eating too much, but like, it's a math game, right? So let's say, okay, so the lasagna, let's say an entire lasagna is what?

Probably 3000 calories. Yeah. Yeah. Cause you got cheese. I helped cook that lasagna. How big is your pan of lasagna? It was pretty big.

I mean, that's maybe more than 3500. We're talking beef now. We're talking beef.

Yeah. David helped cooked it. We're talking a beef lasagna. You got your cheese. You got all them sheets of pasta. You got like cottage cheese in there, which is also an excellent source of protein. You got all that meat.

I'm going to say 3500. You take, but, but a lot of that is like the two or three pounds of beef that used to cook it. So switch that out with deer. Deer is essentially zero calories. Let's say deer is 10 calories. You're taking it down to 1500, I would say even 14 to 1300 calories for an entire pan of lasagna.

And I split that with David. The majority of the calories is in the noodles and the cheese. Hi, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a new segment of the Clearview today show where we like to call boy math.

This is, this is a bro math, bro math, bro math. If the protein is clean, so is my plate. If the protein is clean, I'm about to get laid. I did eat too much of the lasagna.

I'm concerned about your arteries. Deer doesn't have that many less calories than beef. It has to have some less, right? Not really. I mean, it depends on the kind of beef you get. Like if you get, I get the like for lean beef, like 95, five. Yeah.

Then it's about the same, I would think. Did you like it? It tasted good. Was it good? Yeah.

Yeah. I had David shred up a ton of like, I don't even know what that cheese was, but he put like this dill. It was like, it wasn't, I mean, it was basil, but it was also like dill. And he put it up in the, in the cheese and he took an egg and just cracked it in there.

And it was really, really good filling. And I was like, dang, I usually don't go back for a second plate. And so David was there. He was like, you want me to get a second plate? And I was like, nah, I'm good. He left.

I instantly got a second. It's okay. If he's not there to witness, it doesn't count. But it was deer.

That's what I'm saying. It was, it was clean protein. It was, it was good, clean and non fatty protein. I got really into eating lamb a while back, but that was fatty fat fat. It's good because it is fatty.

That's where all the flavor is. Yeah. Yeah.

Anyway, I don't know. That's my, that's my advice. Just go ahead.

I mean, like I said, this is not advice no one needed. We're going to do that tomorrow. But my advice to you would be start cooking a lot of your meats with deer, especially if you live in the South because it's plentiful. My mom won't touch it. Really? No. No, my mom will not touch deer.

I don't know why. You like it? I like deer. Yeah, me too. I've had a variety of different things like deer for like turkey, like people have like shot and killed turkey.

Just stuff like that. Did you try the raccoon? When they brought raccoon here? Did you like it? Yeah, it was pretty good.

It was different for me. Raccoon, bear. Yeah, we had bear. We had bear lasagna.

Yeah. I would not eat the raccoon again, but I'm glad I tried it. It was good. I thought it was okay. It was a little, it was different. It was, yeah.

I mean, a lot of that goes into preparation. Last shot I was eating snake. I haven't had snake. I've had alligator. Squid, octopus. Yeah, I had squid.

I had calamari. It's okay. So I want to get the rundown of Dr. Charlotte. Like what, what are the most outlandish?

I mean, it's just like a noodle. Just, oh, just kidding. We got to move on because that was a little too silly. We're gonna grab Dr. Charlotte for the rest of the show. But if you have any questions, write in and let us know 252-582-5028 or visit us online at

We'll be back after this. Elizabeth, my darling bride, what would you say is the most beneficial thing you could do for yourself in the morning? Probably drink an entire pot of coffee when sitting.

Well, I'd say that's a close second. No, the best thing you can do for yourself is to start every morning with a daily devotional. Only be one to talk about.

Well, as it turns out, we have two. Right now, you can unlock the power of daily inspiration, wisdom, and spiritual growth in our devotional series, 30 Days Through a Crisis and 30 Days to a New Beginning, written by our pastor, Dr. Abaddon Shah and his wife, Nicole. The 30 Days devotional series is designed to reveal new biblical truths every single day. That's right, and every day is a new revelation to guide you on your Christian journey toward a more meaningful and purposeful life. You can pick up your copy today from our website, that's, or you can grab both books on Amazon, Apple Books, and Audible.

That's 30 Days Through a Crisis and 30 Days to a New Beginning by Abaddon and Nicole Shaw. And don't forget, these are only the first two in an expanding devotional series, so keep your eyes peeled for future installments. Thanks for listening. Now, let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abaddon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028. That's right, and we are seated here in the Clear View Today studio once again with Dr. Abaddon Shah, who is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, pastor, and host of today's show. Dr. Shah, happy Wednesday to you.

And happy to you guys as well. It's the middle of the week, kind of getting over that hump. Yes, they call it hump day, trying to get over that midweek slump. Do you remember, you know what's funny is like, I don't know why, but I still remember those commercials with the camel, with the camel being like, it's hump day. Do you remember that?

Oh, yeah, yeah. I was like, was hump day a thing before that? I never heard of it. Until the camel commercial?

What was that even for? I don't remember. You know what I did hear of it. Yeah. It's just that the Geico commercial.

Yeah, I think it was Geico. Yeah, I think they just popularized it with a camel's hump. Let me ask you this. How clean do you think camel's protein is? Like if I ate camel, how clean do you think that would be? I have no clue.

Is there a gamey? Like, I don't know. Cause I'm trying to, I'm trying to eat the same meals, but switch the protein out.

So it's a little bit cleaner. So like I sent you, I actually sent you a picture of the lasagna that I was making, but I made it with deer. So it's like all the cheese, all the sugary tomato sauce, all the, the carby pasta, that's all still there.

Yeah. But the beef is now deer. So I think the whole meal is healthy. I don't know if we can go that far.

Yeah, no, it was a bodybuilding meal. Cause it's good, clean deer. I don't know if we can go that far. It's one of those things too, where I don't know if you guys have done this cause you've eaten raccoon and you've eaten bear. I have a raccoon, bear, alligator. Alligator. I didn't eat the alligator. What else? Snake, of course.

Python. It's one of those things where you eat just the meat by itself and then it's like, oh, I can tell I'm eating something different. But if you put it in like lasagna or like some meal, you really, you really can't tell that. No, I can tell. Oh, really? When you ate the bear lasagna, could you tell? Yeah.

Really? But no, because I knew it as well. Yeah. If nobody had told me, I would be a little bit confused as to why is the taste like this?

Why is it so chewy or whatever? Yeah. But other than that, even without that, I would say, I would've known something is up. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Cause I had the bear lasagna too.

It does taste different, but you can't quite, if you don't know, you can't quite pinpoint what the difference is. I think just to shake things up, I'm going to forego a clever segue today and say that we're talking about Esther. A bait and switch. That's a joke you can only do once. We're going here?

Just kidding, we're over there. Well, we are talking about Esther today. You know, Esther is a wonderful book in the Bible and it's one that doesn't get a lot of air time in like Bible studies and things like that. I feel like it's mostly relegated to thinking about it like, this is a good women's study because you know, she's one of the big female characters in the Bible. She's the hero of her story, but we don't often hear about it beyond that context, but there's so much that we can learn from Esther and from her obedience to God.

Yeah. The book itself had mixed reception throughout the history of both Christianity and I won't say Judaism, but Christianity and the people of the Old Testament. So it is a tricky one to understand how to interpret this book. How do we see God in this book? How do we see it in line with the rest of the canon of the Old Testament and then the canon of the New Testament?

How do we apply it to our context? And so it is a difficult one to interpret and understand. Yeah, I think I'm kind of with you. Like I hear a lot of women talking about it and it's like, that seems like the go-to of a women's Bible study because it is that strong female character that really does sort of make the Bible stand apart from other religion. Would you call that a Near East religion or is it like, you know what I mean? Talking about, I guess the Old Testament faith? Yeah, kinda. Like what I mean is Islam wouldn't prop up female heroines the way that Christianity does or the Bible does.

Right. But it's a hard one to really explain or answer because when it comes to the issues of canon, the Book of Esther had difficulty, both among the Jewish people and then later on with the Christians. So with the Jewish people, that was one of the books that sort of stayed at the fringes.

Not quite sure if we need to canonize it or not. Just like the three divisions of the Old Testament, which is Torah, Naveam, Ketuvim. Torah is, of course, you're talking about the first five books. Naveam are the prophets.

Ketuvim are the writings. And since the Ketuvim were also sort of had issues with canonization since Esther was part of the Ketuvim, the writings, it also had issues. When it came to Christianity, the Western Church accepted it.

Eastern Church had issues with it. Still do, do you think? Still do in some ways.

Not as much, but still there is a little hesitation. Like Martin Luther wished that the book was not in the Old Testament. Really? I didn't know that.

Yeah. And I don't know what to say about Martin Luther. I like Martin Luther. I do.

I thank God for that man and his stance against Roman Catholicism and all the traditions of the church versus the scriptures and the just shall live by faith. So I'm grateful. But then when it comes to these issues, it's like, yeah, you should not. You lost me there. You really goofed up.

Yeah. For the benefit of our listeners and our viewers at home, can you just take a second and explain what the difficulty was with Esther? Why would people have an issue whether or not it was going to be canonized?

Well, the name of God is not expressly mentioned, but I'll tell you this. Personally, I don't have a problem with the book of Esther. I think it's a great book and it should be in the Bible.

It should be in the Old Testament. So I have no problem with it, but I'm just telling you the problems that people have had. Also, certain sections are missing and things like that.

I don't have time to get into all that, but there are some deficiencies there that people said, not quite sure. Should we let this book in or not? See, I'm thinking of it, but then I also acknowledge this is a product of Western storytelling. So I don't want to put that on the authors of Esther and say they did this intentionally. But I see it like, okay, God's name is not mentioned. So thematically, when God feels absent from his people, he still protects them.

You know what I mean? But I don't want to say that's what the author's intended, but that's just kind of how I see it. He's not mentioned intentionally, so that even though he feels absent, all these things that were coincidence or happenstance that happened, oh, like, hey, it's out of the blue. Esther was saved by this happening. That was really God working behind the scenes. Right, right. And then, of course, kind of questionable content when it comes to the book of Esther.

For example, I'm trying to find it over here. They were both Jewish and Christians kind of were sort of offended by the book's content. You know, the whole thing of the deceit, the hatred, the murder, the revenge, those kind of things. And then there are people who said, you know, the whole idea of Purim is a pagan religion or pagan origin. And I disagree with that. I think it's a fine festival to observe for the Jewish people, not for us Jewish people.

I disagree with all of those things. I believe it's perfectly where it needs to be in the canon. I believe you see the hand of God all throughout the providential working of God in Esther's life. And of course, you know, I believe the Bible builds up women. The Bible honors women. This may have offended some people who felt like, ah, you're glorifying a woman.

You can't do that. So maybe that's one of the reasons why they did not like this book. That's a good point.

Yeah. What, you know, looking at the story of Esther overall and how she was faithful even when, you know, her life was on the line and when she was in jeopardy, her people were in jeopardy. What are some things that stand out as far as like the themes of the book and what we can learn, how we can apply the story of Esther?

Because we've talked about it. It's often touted as like a, this is the women's Bible study, but as men, you know, it's God's word. So we need to, we need to respect it.

We need to learn from it as well. What are, what are some things that we can learn from Esther? For me is this right now, the book of Esther is very applicable, more than it has been in the past 50 years. Look at the antisemitism that's growing in the world around us and sort of trying to infiltrate inside the church where the church people are deciding should we or should we not support Israel and nothing new under the sun.

Under some guise, under some mask, it always comes up and here it comes up again. And so the book of Esther, unlike any other book in the, in the Old Testament, New Testament is very explicitly antisemitic. Oh, not the book is, but the story is very antisemitic.

How can we, with the one seal of the king, completely annihilate the Jewish people? I mean, that's what Esther is about. And so, man, we need to read that book, especially now, not just women.

Men need to read that book. Well, I've never, I'm glad you said that because I have never up until, so we, the reason we're talking about Esther is because we just wrapped up in our converge, that's our, our college and career Bible study on Sunday nights. We just wrapped up the book of Esther and legitimately in 31 years of my life, I'd never read it.

I'd never read the book of Esther. And it was one of those things where once I realized it, I was like, well, maybe we'll do it one day and we can all read it together. And then a couple more years passed and I just had never read it. So once we started going through it, we did a kind of a fun thing where we were like, we're going to get all the way through it. And then on the last night, when we wrap it up, we'll watch the Veggie Tales movie.

And we did, we did. It was really fun, but I really enjoyed it. It was a story that just had everything that we love in stories. It's got like, like just an annihilation of an entire race of people. It's got love interests. It's got like a betrayal and, and he knows this, but we don't know that the king knows that he knows this.

And so there's, there's like plots going on. And ancient customs and traditions and, and mysteries and this mystique. Yeah.

And it offers, and it offers this really interesting glimpse of Jewish life outside of the land. Cause they were in Babylonian exile at that point. Yeah. No, it was Persian.

Because Xerxes was a Persian king. Gotcha. Yep. Was he the one that said that you guys can go back to, that was Cyrus, meet a Persian and then it became more Persian. Gotcha.

So the Persian empire was ruling, Susa, Sushan, the capital. So this, this is dealing with that. It was just really cool to see all these elements of story that we love today written like thousands of years ago, you know, and just how applicable the Bible is and how I think impactful the Bible is into how we still tell story.

The, the human elements that we love were there and they were there on purpose. Yeah. And there's that verse, you know, that, that stands out to everybody, Mordecai's line to Esther.

My favorite, my favorite. Yeah. Really is going to come for the Jews, whether or not you step up, but who knows, maybe you were raised up for such a time as this and that's on t-shirts and that's on coffee mugs and that's on everything, but for good reason. I mean, that's a, that's a good thing for us to kind of keep in front of our faces. I think about that statement all the time, which is maybe I've come to a time such as this because God wanted me to, maybe we are as a staff here, a team here have been put together, brought together for such a time as this. It's true.

Whether other people value that or not, whether other people validate that or they laugh at it or smirk at it or, or talk down about it, that's their problem. Yeah. We have to choose to say, maybe we have been put together for such a time as this. Right.

It's true. So God's going to work regardless of who we are and what we do and all of that stuff. He's, His work will not stop.

Hasn't stopped, will not stop. His purpose is perfect. Even if it doesn't seem like it to us, He is working.

His plan is moving forward. The gospel is moving the way it should be, but we can be out of God's will. That's right. We can miss out on God's blessings in our lives. And God's blessings in our lives.

And we can miss out on the rewards that are coming for those who are faithful and those who, in spite of fears and doubts, step forward and build His kingdom. It's true. And that's what Esther did. And look at it.

Her name is forever made in eternal. That's right. And through God's word. You made a point a while back that I think was really strong. And I've been mulling over it and chewing on it these past few weeks, where you said that the more we mature as Christians, God will not hold our hands through life.

You know what I mean? He's not going to give us training wheels to go through our life. At times, He may seem absent. He may seem distant, but He's trusting us to rely on Him and His faith. And I'm wondering now if maybe the author felt something similar when they omitted God's name. Was it a thing? And I'm just kind of imagining this, but maybe it's a thing where he wants us to put those pieces together. Like the queen fell, Vashti fell, all this stuff started happening. We, as the reader, are supposed to put together that that's God.

Yeah. I mentioned that in our Bible study, not last Sunday night, but the Sunday night before, is many times God veils Himself so that we will learn how to trust Him and walk by faith and not by sight. I mean, how much faith is needed if constantly you see God? I feel God. I sense God. I can see God moving and working. I can see Him changing things, man. I just see Him.

Well, that's nothing. I go to church because I want to feel it. Now, if you're not hearing the truth, if you're not hearing the Word of God, if you're not hearing about Jesus Christ, then okay, find another church.

Go somewhere else. But if you are hearing that, but you're not seeing things, okay, know the difference. You're truly hearing the Word. Truly, the gospel is being preached, but you're not seeing things. Lives are being changed.

Hearts are being transformed. But you yourself are walking in sort of like, man, if God is there and God is working, why can't I feel Him and sense Him in my life? Why can't I feel Him and sense Him in my relationships? Why can't I feel Him and sense Him in my health or whatever? Well, then you are no different than a child.

You need someone to constantly hold your hand and walk with you and you have to feel it and you have to sense it. You know, the average person, they'll go to the movies and they'll have that surface enjoyment. They'll be like, oh, I really love that movie.

It made me feel great. But I know you and I both are really into filmmaking. And so there'll be times where we'll see a movie and then we'll have a conversation and you'll be like, hey, research that. Find out what cameras they used. But they're not going to advertise that. That's not going to be in the movie.

Hey, filmed on this camera. You have to go research it and you have to go make some calls and start looking behind the scenes. And maybe it is that if you see God moving and you're like, I want to do that. I want to be part of that. Maybe you have to start looking behind the scenes and maybe you have to start digging deeper and relying on that faith.

I love that. Could it be that God is inviting us to look behind the scenes? Could it be that God is lining things up so that we, through our eyes of faith, pursue what He's doing? And even if we don't see it concretely, we trust and we believe and we have faith that God is working for us and through us. And sometimes we think in the end, it'll all be vindicated.

That's not necessarily true. The call to the Christian life is the call to come and die, right? You don't have to die to be a Christian. But once you do come to know Christ, the rest of your life is learning to die to self and being alive to God in Christ Jesus, our Lord. And you have to reckon yourself. It's not like you have to go mortify yourself and beat yourself and try to crucify yourself, purposely put yourself in places where you feel like death.

That's weird. But you have to believe that you are dead. You have to believe that it's not about you.

You have to believe that even if you don't see God in your situations, God is still there. And the end of life may not be, it all came together. It all worked out. And the end of life may be a big, fat disappointment. Yeah. You're not guaranteed that happy catharsis that you're... And your deathbed is like, oh my, this is all working out. Yeah, everything lined up perfectly.

No. In God's people's lives, it did not work out. Paul, we don't even know how the man truly died in his last moments. What exactly happened? We have tradition.

We don't have facts. It's like people had to come up with ideas like, what do you think happened to him? Well, the last we know, he was in Rome. If he was in Rome, the last we know, Nero was chopping people's heads off. The last we know, Paul was in prison, so maybe he had his head chopped off.

But what happened to Peter? The last we know, that's pretty much how it works. We go by truth in the promises of God, that God will work all things together for good. What I'm saying is not that life doesn't work out.

What I am really saying is you may not get to see how it ultimately works out. So you have to trust God for that. Absolutely. So good. So important for us. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, or if you maybe learned something about the book of Esther, maybe you have your next devotional that's slated, like you want to start that book, write in and let us know, 2525825028. Or you can visit us online at

Don't forget, you can partner with us financially on that same website. Be obedient to what God is calling you to do. Stand with us as we seek to reach the nations with the gospel of Jesus. John, what's coming up tomorrow? Tomorrow, we actually have a very, very special guest.

We haven't seen him in quite some time. It's Dr. Questions himself, baby! Dr. Questions!

Starting, uh, what's it called? Lightning round questions, starting tomorrow. All of your quick, guess what?

We've been talking about so much New Testament textual criticism. My inbox is like an atomic bomb. It is flooded with questions.

Dr. Questions, I hope you get ready, man, because tomorrow's episode is going to be crazy. I'm ready. Lightning will strike. Boom!

I really wanted to do that in like a deep announcer voice, but it didn't work out. Real quick. The lightning will strike. Lightning will strike.

You sound like Macho Man, Randy Savage. Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah, baby! Stay tuned. We'll see you guys tomorrow. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clearview Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-07 08:16:59 / 2023-12-07 08:30:08 / 13

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