For anyone who found Dr. Jordan Peterson’s Biblical lecture series on Genesis electrifying, the clinical psychologist and cultural icon has teamed up with DailyWire+ to take his scholarly insights further in his latest endeavor, Exodus with Jordan Peterson.
In the new sixteen-part series, which debuted to the platform’s subscribers on Nov. 25, Peterson engages with seven scholars at a round table where they read through the entire second book of the Bible — pausing throughout to offer analysis, interjections, interpretations, and the occasional debate.
One of the most critical components of the Genesis lecture series, which has over 40 million views on YouTube, is Peterson’s singular perspective, which is informed mainly by his background in psychology, but also his understanding of biology, history, tyranny, Carl Jung, and the complexity of the human spirit.
Of course, Peterson brings his trademark point-of-view to the latest series — but with a twist. Rather than presenting a series of lectures, he’s welcoming viewers into his pre-lecture process. He reveals in the opening episode that he wanted to host a round table before he formulates what will eventually become a lecture series on Exodus.
The results of this effort, insofar as they are previewed in the first two episodes, offer a refreshingly intellectual and honest exploration of a text that’s incredibly challenging — even by Biblical standards.
While Peterson drives the conversation, penetrating insights are presented by his guests: Dr. Douglas Hedley and Dr. James Orr, professors of Philosophy of Religion at Cambridge University; author and social critic Dr. Os Guinness; Dennis Prager, co-Founder of PragerU and author of the Rational Bible Series; Dr. Stephen Blackwood, the president of Ralston College; novelist, screenwriter, and comic book creator Gregg Hurwitz; and the artist Jonathan Pageau.
At first, one might be tempted to think the table is a bit crowded, but the mutual enthusiasm and differing perspectives of the participants serve to propel the conversation forward at a comfortable pace. And while the discussion covers a lot of ground — ranging from how to interpret God’s notorious “I Am That I Am” declaration to the proper way of framing and understanding the Problem of Evil — it never drifts too far from the text of Exodus. Rather than using the book as a springboard for an expansive dialogue, the experts use their conversation as a springboard to explore the expansiveness of Exodus.
Still, the episodes steer clear of evangelizing, opting instead to encounter the text head on — word by word, and verse by verse. At one point, Prager offers a lighthearted observation that a particular verse represents the lone redundancy in God’s speech in the entire Bible. Peterson — an indefatigable analyst of the meaning of every word — capitalizes on the interjection by seeking a deeper meaning. What begins as an offhand comment transforms into an exploration of the historical significance of shoes and the noteworthiness of a barefoot encounter with the soil.
Peterson’s singular exploration of the Bible one book at a time may prompt one to wonder if he eventually hope to reach the Book of Revelation. With his penetrating insights into the fabric of existence, and the aid of other esteemed thinkers, the potential gems to be unearthed are innumerable.
Exodus with Jordan Peterson — a title that slyly positions Peterson as a kind of Moses leading the viewer through the challenging waters of a profound and inspired text — offers the highly anticipated next step in that journey.