About Madelon Maupin
Although Madelon Maupin's academic background includes both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biblical Studies, it is probably her 35+ years in business and her strong emphasis on written and verbal communication that give BibleRoads its "punch." Madelon spent 15 years in the newspaper industry, cultivating a commitment to highly focused, content-rich presentation and a strong research background. Over the next 20 years she headed a leadership consulting firm in Los Angeles, where she worked with some of the film industry's top firms and developed a capacity for clear, direct verbal communication. Ever since closing her consulting firm, it has been Madelon's joy to focus full-time on BibleRoads.com, which allows her to combine all of her skills in the talks and workbooks she presents on Biblical topics. Madelon's goal is to help others unlock the Bible in a non-denominational way so that they can discover the Scriptures' spiritual meaning and application to their lives. By delving into the history, politics, geography, customs, and culture of all the Biblical periods and books, she aims to enable readers and listeners to dive deep into these subjects themselves so they can find their own spiritual answer.
Thank you, Maddie, for such practical “aha” insights. But what touched me even more, if possible, was hearing, “See you in the Scriptures.” See you in Genesis 1. See you at the burning bush. See you at the Red Sea. See you emerging with Elijah from the cave. See you with Naaman as he washes clean in a murky river. See you in Jesus’ “Go and sin no more.” See you walking with Jesus over the waves. See you on the Mount of Transfiguration. See you at the foot of the cross, and at the open tomb. See you on… Read more »
What a wonderful insight! I too have always wanted to know what Jesus wrote when his turning his back on self-righteousness, anger, envy,etc first is the key here.
Amen and Amen! What a wonderful and helpful insight, Madelon. You’ve answered that life-long question, and how appropriate that you revealed that I’ve been asking the wrong question! It’s not what he was writing, but why! Yes, I agree; this “history-stuff” is vital! Thank you.
Thank you so much! I always learn from your insights. We are blessed that you are generous in your sharing. I will never look at that story in the same way again.
Thanks for all you do to make the Scriptures relevant and practical in today’s world.
Thanks so much, Madelon! Your insight and research helped me see also that Jesus not only did an “end of discussion” but also showed that he would not get “sucked into” any form of mortal combat. This will help me remember not to react or get defensive when the next mortal question/comment comes my way!
Thank you for this great insight and explanation!!! Reminds me of an experience at work decades ago. I was concerned about my “no drinking” stance at the firm’s upcoming New Year’s Eve party as I’d been taunted by a few co-workers beforehand. At the party, when a tipsy co-worker dared me to try the spiked punch, saying it was “really good” I essentially “wrote on the ground”, answering “I know” and walked away. She was so surprised by my (unplanned–and untrue!) response that she sobered right up. Months later she told me she had stopped drinking alcohol herself after that.
I love your insights! Thought I’d share a quote from Teddy Roosevelt that I just came across: “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
Wow, Madelon.! Thanks so much. I’ve always wondered what Jesus was writing in the dirt. Nothing! Perfect.
Thank you, Madelon!
Thanks. Really enjoyed this. Most explanation I’ve heard has been on possibly Jesus was writing. This is enlightening and helpful to have the background. Indeed another reason Bible scholarship is useful and relevant; cultural-historical-social context is so helpful in getting a fuller meaning from Bible text. Would you consider sharing the source (or sources) from which you got this? Love to have that for future reference.
Thanks so much, Madelon! I remember those Sunday School discussions with the focus on the “what” of his writing. Recently I realized that while in other instances Jesus certainly didn’t mince words about hypocrisy, in this case he let them make their own decision. He must have trusted that their innate honesty would lead them to make the right decision. Your insight expands that for me. Laura’s experience at the party illustrates that too – thanks for sharing!
I love that you were compelled to doggedly pursue this issue, knowing that there had to be an important reason why (not what) he actually wrote on the ground, while they were all confronting him, trying to trap him. The fact that you were guided to unearth that ancient Macedonian custom is almost as gobsmackable as the discovery itself; except for the fact that we know that nothing is accidental when motivated and guided by divine Mind. Also, I love the ramifications for us today, to consciously, prayerfully, stand up to the lying material senses trying to entrap us. We… Read more »
Lovely Maddie! So perfect. I love that your research brought you to a similar point as I had gained through inspiration. As I was praying about this story one day the message came that Jesus wasn’t writing anything that we needed to know about but that he was taking himself out of the confrontation and pausing, making space, for God to act. Jesus always turned to his Father, saying,”My Father worketh hereto and I work.” I LOVE this story because we see this obedience of Jesus in action. He let God work.
I loved your ending message! Bible study is not just a nice thing to do it’s a necessity!” I have found that to be so true in my life. And being part of Bible roads has really helped keep my focus true.
See you in the Scriptures – yes multiple meaning words. I had an encounter the other day while my friend and I were closing the RR. A young girl with no shoes on came running across a busy roadway yelling as if she needed help. She ran up to us and I asked if there was something we could do to help her. Upon this she flew into a tirade of unmentionable words and angry accusations. I stopped to listen to the Father as she screamed on in our faces. My friend headed for her car and advised me to… Read more »
My Sunday school teacher said, “the first time he wrote their names. The second time he wrote their sins against their names” I thought that was probably correct when I was six years old.
I thought that they used the woman who was his espoused and they thought that, that carrot was more than he could push aside. It would have been more than any of them could have resisted. It only makes his spiritual stance that much more a slap in the face of the tempter.
Oh my gosh, you hit the nail on the head. Instead of analyzing why I was feeling frustrated, I realized I was being played by negative conversation and reports. The weight is lifted when one sees that it is not events or people but just suggestions that we can reject out of hand. It is just that simple.
Thank you so much. I’ve learned this lesson in organizations. When someone criticizes or judges another, it is important to say “we’ve not going there.” Keeping quiet is agreeing but challenging sets up an argument and we can become its victim. Often we don’t know for a fact whether something is true or not. “We’re not going there” stops the discussion and gets us back to our purpose.
Thanks so much for another great (and thought-provoking) vlog, Madelon! Your description of what the writing meant, as opposed to what it was, got me to thinking about the phrase we hear occasionally, “Drawing a line in the sand,” meaning, “I’m not going further and neither are you!” I did a bit of searching and there are many different possible sources for that phrase reaching all the way back into antiquity…Jesus’ encounter with the Pharisees was among them. I love the way you end your vlogs with, “See you in the Scriptures”! A Sunday School teacher once taught us that… Read more »
Some speculate he was writing out the sins of the accusers.
Madelon, thank you for this rich insight that inspired me to look at George Lamsa’s book about the idioms of the Bible. For the term “Writing on the ground,” he has “Doodling,” which places a focus on the act of writing rather than the content of the writing. And then I looked up the citation from your transcript and discovered that I had already underlined it on page 629 in the volume on John in The New Interpreter’s Bible. What a treasure to unearth again!
Thank you Maddie, I love your discovery on the why and not the what Jesus was writing. In your conclusion relating news media to the accusers I think it is important to distinguish honest and professional news media which informs and is a key component of our democracy from the false and inflaming narratives so rampant on social media. Engaging with those promoting false narratives is ineffectual as it just perpetuates their purpose of creating havoc through fear and anger. Thank you for your continual work to bring the scriptures into our every day thoughts and inspiration to our study!
Thank you Madelon what a wonderful discovery! I loved hearing about that custom and it makes absolute sense to me. I never really thought about what he wrote or not but loved when he turned their question back on them. Kind of hard for any of us to say we have always acted in the right manner, this made the crowd look at their own behavior. We can and should do better in our own lives and help others on the way. Lots of Love!
Thank you for sharing that lovely insight. You made my day!
Oh my! NOW I understand why you always stress that we need to look at “What does the text say.” I thought that was a “well, sure!” But now I see how we can sometimes insert meaning that is not there, and hide the intent and instruction of the actual text. Instead of thinking that the Scripture was incomplete, and left out an important detail, you searched and found a much more valuable and useful explanation of what was written, instead of guessing, and missing the guidance. And what amazing counsel – that when we are under attack – to… Read more »
Thank you so much Madelon for sharing this insight. I too had always wondered what he wrote. My husband said he thought Jesus was writing the names of each Pharisee and scribe in the earth, to show how earthly-minded or material-minded and literal they were being in living their interpretations of the scriptures. Jesus had said to his disciples, “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven,” to express his delight with their learning to be spiritually minded.
Oh, Madelon, I loved loved loved this! Thank you!!!