The Bible For Normal People

By Peter Enns and Jared Byas

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Subscribers: 928
Reviews: 2

 Jul 1, 2020
Podcasts like TBFNP have become church for me. At a time when I didn't feel welcome anywhere, I've discovered I'm not alone and that God is still speaking to me. I think I'm ready to listen now.

 Nov 16, 2019


The Bible for Normal People is hosted by Peter Enns and Jared Byas

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Episode Date
Episode 138: Pete & Jared - How Love Changes the Meaning of the Bible
What does it mean to “speak the truth in love?” On this episode we’re taking about Jared’s new book Love Matters More ( ) and what it should actually look like for Christians to interact with people they disagree with. Show Notes → ( ) Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries:
Sep 14, 2020
Episode 137: James Kugel - Challenging Our Assumptions About the Bible
Ancient interpreters made all sort of assumptions about the Bible much like we do today. What do their assumptions tell us about how to interpret the Bible today? James Kugel breaks down the function of the Bible throughout history and how it has changed from antiquity to today. Show Notes → ( ) Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries:
Sep 07, 2020
Episode 136: Ariel Sabar - Telling the Truth About Jesus' Wife
Just because someone claims to hold the truth doesn't mean they actually do. On this episode, investigative journalist Ariel Sabar tells us the fascinating story of how a Harvard professor was duped into believing she made a discovery that would turn the Christian world upside down. But as it turns out, truth is not always subjective. Show Notes → ( ) Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries:
Aug 24, 2020
Episode 135: Gary Anderson - How the Bible Talks About Sin
What is sin? It’s something we talk about often but rarely take the time to define. Gary Anderson has written a book on the subject so we brought him on the show to explain it to all us normal people. He sheds light on some common misconceptions and explains the history behind our modern understandings of sin. Show Notes → ( ) Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries:
Aug 10, 2020
Episode 134: Ilia Delio - Grounding God in Evolution
On this episode, Pete and Jared discuss the intersection of faith and science with scientist and theologian Ilia Delio. They get into why these two subjects have historically been at odds and why it holds us back to continue believing they actually are. Show Notes → Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries:
Jul 27, 2020
Episode 133: Pete Enns - The Book of Job
What's the deal with Job? In this episode, Pete gives an overview of the book, pushes back on some readings you might have heard in the past, and points out some significant features that can help us better understand it. Show Notes → ( ) Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries:
Jul 13, 2020
Episode 132: Joe Gordon - A Conversation About Inspiration
Joe Gordon is a professor at Johnson University in Tennessee. In this episode, we talk with him about his book Divine Scripture in Human Understanding. We discuss what it means for the Bible to be inspired and how that affects how we read and use the Bible. Show Notes → ( ) Support this podcast at — Want to advertise on this podcast? Go to and sign up.
Jun 29, 2020
Episode 131: Pete & Jared - Did the Bible Get it Wrong?

We’re answering some listener questions from the Ask Pete page and answering the bigger question: Did the Bible get it wrong? We talk about the return of Jesus, David being a man after God’s own heart, and if there is a right or wrong way to read the Bible. 

Show Notes →

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Jun 15, 2020
Episode 130: Drew Hart - The Bible, Race, & White Supremacy (REISSUE)
We’re revisiting an episode from Season 1 in which Dr. Drew G. I. Hart shares about the Bible and white supremacy. We get into what exactly white supremacy is and how it has influenced how we read the Bible and our theology. 
Jun 08, 2020
Episode 129: Brooke Prentis - Reading the Bible Through Aboriginal Eyes

Brooke Prentis is an Aboriginal leader and CEO of a Christian organization in Australia called Common Grace. On this episode, she shares with us some Aboriginal perspectives on the Bible and how the Bible speaks to the injustices that Aboriginal people have faced and continue to face.

Show Notes →

May 25, 2020
Episode 128: Matthias Henze - The Bible & Second Temple Judaism

What happened during the time the writings of the Old Testament stopped and the New Testament writings began? People didn’t stop writing and what they wrote helps us better understand the context of the Bible. On this episode we talk with Dr. Matthias Henze who studies this in-between time period and he shares with us what he's learned about the world in which Jesus lived. 

Show Notes →

May 18, 2020
Episode 127: Miguel De La Torre - Diverse Voices in Biblical Scholarship

Many of us believe that our interpretations of the Bible are generally the same as everyone else's. But does that make them them good? On this podcast episode, we talk with Professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies, Miguel De La Torre about why we all need to examine where our biblical interpretations come from and why we need to diversify our understandings of the Bible. 

Show Notes →

May 11, 2020
Episode 126: Kirsten Powers - The Journey To Grace

In this episode, Jared and Pete are joined by political correspondent Kirsten Powers, to talk about her journey of faith, her openness to the mystery of God, and how she’s learning to treat others with a higher level of grace.

May 04, 2020
Episode 125: Pete Enns - Big Ideas that Shaped Biblical Scholarship: Julius Wellhausen and the Pentateuch

Biblical scholarship has grown a lot over the centuries but there are some ideas that are just so good they never go away! On this episode of the podcast, Pete looks at one of those foundational ideas: Julius Wellhausen’s documentary hypothesis. Wellhausen and others saw inconsistencies in the Old Testament and their discoveries shaped how we understand the historicity of the Bible. 

Show Notes →

Apr 27, 2020
Episode 124: Yii-Jan Lin - Immigration & the Book of Revelation

Under the hood of America, we see an interesting history of using the book of Revelation to talk about immigration. Our guest, NT scholar Yii-Jan Lin walks us through the profound impact the book of Revelation has had on the US dialogue about people coming into our “City on a Hill.”

Show Notes →

Apr 20, 2020
Episode 123: Jared Byas - Rediscovering Jonah - Part 1

In this episode Jared begins to tackle the book of Jonah by asking, “What kind of book is this?” as well as introducing the first chapter. Just because Jesus mentions Jonah does that mean we have to believe it’s historical? What is the historical context for the book? And what is the message it’s trying to convey?

Show Notes →

Apr 13, 2020
Episode 122: Emerson Powery - The Bible as a Source of Liberation
The writings of formerly enslaved people tell us a lot about how they viewed the Bible. We sat down with Professor Emerson Powery to talk about how the Bible was used around the institution of slavery and how it can be both a book of oppression and a book of liberation. 
Apr 06, 2020
Episode 121: Pete and Jared - Pete and Jared Talk About the Afterlife

On this week's episode, Pete and Jared are talking about the afterlife. What is it and what does the Bible say about it? 

Show Notes →

Mar 30, 2020
Episode 120: Jack Levison - The Spirit, Wind, & Breath of God in the Bible

If we look under the surface, we find a fascinating conversation about the Spirit of God in the Bible. Considering the word for Spirit, Wind, and Breath of God is often the same in the Bible, how are we to understand the relationship between them? We talk to Jack Levison about this mysterious and interesting intersection.

Show Notes →

Mar 23, 2020
Episode 119: Xavier Ramey - Diversity, Social Justice, and the Gospel

Dr. Martin Luther King says “All people are caught in an Inescapable network of mutuality.” So what does that mean when it comes to the gospel, the Bible, and how we navigate racial equality? In this episode, we talk to Xavier Ramey about diversity, inclusion, and how our Christian faith impacts how we see community, organizations, and institutions today.



Mar 16, 2020
Episode 118: Meghan Henning - Does Hell Exist?

This week Pete & Jared talk to Meghan Henning about hell. She shares with us her knowledge of the ancient world Jesus and the New Testament writers were familiar with and how they might have understood hell. 

Show Notes →


Mar 09, 2020
Episode 117: Pete Enns - Reading the Old Testament Christotelicly

That 50 cent word describes something many Bible readers have noticed: the way the New Testament writers quote the Old often has little to do with what the Old Testament writers were actually trying to say. Jesus was in fact a surprise development in Israel’s story, but the New Testament writers nevertheless believed Jesus to be the true purpose or goal (Greek telos) of God purposes. And that belief led them to some pretty creative interpretive adventures that Christians today are still trying to wrap their heads around.

Show Notes →

Mar 02, 2020
Episode 116: Sarah Ruden - Getting Inside the Head of Paul & Jesus

Translating the Bible is more than just about being woodenly accurate. We’re humans after all. In this episode, Pete and Jared talk to Sarah Ruden, who talks about using our imaginations to put ourselves in the place of the biblical writers, emotions and aesthetics and all. With a background in translating classical literature, she helps us read the Bible within a fuller context, both humanly and literarily.

Show Notes →

Feb 24, 2020
Episode 115: Alison Cook - Your Emotions Are Not Your Spiritual Enemy

Sometimes it can be easy to forget the psychological ramifications of our faith. The way our faith shapes the language we use to talk about tragedies and sadnesses in our life can be life-giving or it can really mess us up. In this episode we talk to Alison Cook, an expert on the intersection of faith and psychology, about some of the ways, as Christians, our views on our emotions can be harmful and better ways to frame our feelings.


Feb 17, 2020
Episode 114: Pete and Jared - How to Read the Bible in 2020

It’s hard to know where the Bible fits into our political views, our ethical stances, and how we live out life. Pete and Jared point out how many of us might be using the Bible in disrespectful and irresponsible ways as well as parsing out why we even need to bother with the Bible at all in 2020.


Feb 10, 2020
Episode 113: James Martin - The Gift of Imagination in Reading Scripture

Christianity is diverse and so are all the ways Christians have read the Bible through the centuries. James Martin helps us understand a Jesuit practice of reading Scripture that engages both the head and heart. Also, he’s met with the Pope. So of course he has good things to say.

Show Notes →

Feb 03, 2020
Season 4 Teaser

Here's what's coming up in Season 4 of The Bible For Normal People podcast

Jan 27, 2020
Episode 112: Pete and Jared - How “How the Bible Actually Works” Works

Here in our last episode for Season 3, Pete & Jared take a deeper dive into Pete’s latest book and how we can further answer these questions, “What is the Bible and what do we do with it?” 

Show Notes →

Dec 16, 2019
Episode 111: Tom Oord - Uncontrolling Love of God

This week, Pete & Jared sit down with Tom Oord and discuss the things God can and cannot do and how that affects our view of the world, the Bible, and salvation. 

 Show Notes →


Dec 09, 2019
Episode 110: Pete Enns - Pete Ruins Exodus (Part 6)

In this final episode of the Dundee Award Winning series, Pete looks at the significance and symbolism of the tabernacle, which takes up a whopping 13 chapters, and the Golden Calf episode, which threatens to derail the entire plan—were it not for Moses’s quick intervention.

Show Notes →

Dec 02, 2019
Episode 109: Megan DeFranza - The Bible and Intersex Believers

On this episode of the Bible For Normal People, we look back to Season 1 when Pete and Jared talked with theologian Megan DeFranza on a topic that deeply affects the lives of many, but that few Christians are even aware of. And Megan might surprise you about what the Bible and church history have to say about it. 

Show Notes →

Nov 25, 2019
Episode 108: Pete Wehner - Faith, Politics, & Polarization

You may have noticed that we’re in a political season with a lot of charged rhetoric, so we decided to bring on someone who isn’t like that. Like at all. We have Pete Wehner, political commentator and columnist joining us to talk about this deep problem of polarization and how we might allow our faith to better fuel our political conversations.

Show Notes →

Nov 18, 2019
Episode 107: Cindy Wang Brandt - Raising Children in the Faith

A lot of parents who no longer hold to the same beliefs about the Bible and God they did when they were children are left wondering, “But how do we raise our kids?” Author and speaker Cindy Wang Brandt helps us with the question: How can our kids hold to the Christian faith without going through some of the more painful parts of an evolving faith?

Show Notes →

Nov 11, 2019
Episode 106: Jared Byas - 5 Principles for Biblical Interpretation

When we ask, “What does this passage mean?” the answer is a little more complicated than we might expect. Jared looks at some basic principles of biblical interpretation and how they might help us better read our Bibles.

Nov 04, 2019
Episode 105: Wil Gafney - Womanist Midrash (Reissue)

This episode originally aired as Episode 46 on April 23, 2018

This week, Jared & Pete talk to Wil Gafney about womanist interpretation of the Bible. In their discussion, Wil brings up fascinating nuances in the text and challenges the predominantly patriarchal interpretation of the past. 

Show Notes →

Oct 28, 2019
Episode 104: Jeff Chu - Grief As A Biblical Practice

This week’s guest is Jeff Chu—author, journalist, advocate, co-creator of Evolving Faith—and our topic is grief, a universal experience that is often difficult to talk about it. We experience grief when confronted with death, of course, but grief is also a presence whenever we go through changes and upheavals in life where we mourn the past as we face an uncertain future. 

 Show Notes → 

Oct 21, 2019
Episode 103: Pete Enns - Pete Ruins Exodus (Part 5)

Pete continues his award-winning, mind-bending—almost surreal—series on the book of Exodus. In this episode he looks the laws in chapters 20-24, namely the 10 Commandments and the so-called “Book of the Covenant.” What were these laws about back in the day and what do we do with them now?

Show Notes →


Oct 14, 2019
Episode 102: Jonathan Martin - Pentecostalism as Mysticism

In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, Pete and Jared talk with Jonathan Martin about the beauty of Pentecostalism, the value of being taught to listen to the Holy Spirit from a young age, and the importance of experiencing other Christian traditions.

Show Notes → 


Oct 07, 2019
Episode 101: Andrew Perriman - Does the New Testament Predict the Future?

In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, Pete and Jared talk with Andrew Perriman about the eschatology found in the Bible and how history helps us understand these apocalyptic texts. 

 Show Notes → 


Sep 30, 2019
Episode 100: Pete & Jared on Genesis

In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, Pete and Jared talk about the themes in their newly upgraded book: Genesis for Normal People! They give us a taste of the multifaceted nature of Genesis.

 Show Notes →


Sep 23, 2019
Episode 99: Jennifer Knust - The Bible As A Living Document

This week Pete & Jared talk with Jennifer Knust.


Show Notes →

Sep 16, 2019
Episode 98: Pete Holmes - Pete Holmes Talks About Comedy, Sex, & God

In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, actor, comedian, and enlightened guru Pete Holmes joins Pete & Jared to talk about his interesting journey of faith and the importance of moving from reading the Bible with your head to reading it with your heart.

Show Notes →



Sep 09, 2019
Episode 97: Pete Enns - Pete Ruins Exodus: Part 4

In this episode, Pete continues his deep dive into the book of Exodus covering chapters 14-19: the departure from Egypt and three-month journey to Mt. Sinai.

 Show Notes →

Sep 02, 2019
Episode 96: Jared Byas - Christian Ethics

In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, Jared responds to Skillet lead singer, John Copper, and his public statement, "What in God's Name is Happening in Christianity?" Jared unpacks Christian ethics and the origins of our collective concept of right and wrong.

Show Notes →


Genesis for Normal People: A pay-what-you-can online class about Genesis. For reals?! Get tickets for Sep 23, 2019.



Aug 26, 2019
Episode 95: Cheryl Bridges Johns - The Bible & Women’s Spirituality

This week Jared and Pete sit down with author and theologian Cheryl Bridges Johns as she describes the important role that women play in the divine narrative.



Aug 12, 2019
Episode 94: Pete & Jared - Do We Know God is Good From the Bible?

In this episode Pete and Jared tackle this question and others that our listeners are asking. If you have a question for Pete & Jared, submit it on the Ask Pete page of the website and it might be featured on an upcoming blog post or podcast episode.


Resources mentioned in this episode:

Jul 29, 2019
Episode 93: Keesmaat & Walsh - Resisting Empire in the Book of Romans

This week Biblical Scholar Sylvia Keesmaat and Theologian Brian Walsh talk about what Paul was up to in the book of Romans. We visit topics like salvation and politics and how maybe those words don't mean what we thought when it comes to the New Testament.


Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Jul 15, 2019
Episode 92: AJ Levine - Jesus, Judaism, & Christianity (REISSUE)
Jul 01, 2019
Episode 91: Pete Enns - Pete Ruins Exodus (Part 3)

Pete continues his award-winning (his cat seems to like it) and mind-altering series on Exodus by diving into chapters 5-13: Moses and Aaron’s first confrontation with Pharaoh (which did and did not go well) and the story of the plagues, which are loaded with all sorts of symbolic, theological, and mythic meaning.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Jun 17, 2019
Episode 90: Richard Rohr - The (Biblical) Universal Christ

In this episode, Richard Rohr begins with his famous "tricycle" analogy and then explores how Christ expands our understanding of ourselves, the world, and God.


Jun 03, 2019
Episode 89: Pete and Jared - David’s Sordid Past: This Ain’t No Kids Story

In this week’s episode, Pete and Jared take a close look at the call of David and the battle with Goliath (1 Samuel 16-17) to show how these biblical stories already portray David as a morally complex character from the beginning. These stories also tell us something of the intricate and layered nature of biblical storytelling. ssed.



May 27, 2019
Episode 88: Rachel Held Evans - Reading The Bible Creatively

This week’s episode with Rachel Held Evans is among her last podcast interviews, recorded 2 months before her untimely passing on May 4. We offer this episode, unedited, in Rachel’s honor and as a testimony to her humor, insight, power, gentleness, and courage. 




May 20, 2019
Episode 87: Robert Alter - The Art of Translating the Bible

Robert Alter has spent most of his life committed to studying the Bible and the last two decades creating an entirely new translation of the Old Testament. Pete and Jared talk about some of the insights he has gained from seeing the Bible as a literary masterpiece.



May 13, 2019
Episode 86: Pete Enns - Pete Ruins Exodus (Part 2)

Pete continues his series in Exodus chapters 3 and 4. God reveals his plan to use Moses to deliver the Israelites from Egypt and Moses does everything he can think of to get out of it. He finally gets on board with the program, but not without a last minute bizarre twist and close call.

Jeffrey Stackert Episode - Season 2

May 07, 2019
Episode 85: Austen Hartke - The Bible & The Lives of Transgender Christians

Austen Hartke shares his journey of being a transgender Christian and discusses how the Bible might speak to the inclusion of all people into the people of God.


Apr 29, 2019
Episode 84: Jared Byas - Paul is Frustrating: On Fornication & Wives Obeying Husbands in Colossians

Why does Paul say there are no longer slaves but then turns around and tells slaves to obey their masters? What gives? Do wives need to submit to their husbands just because Paul says so? Geez, Paul can be so frustrating.

Apr 22, 2019
Episode 83: Judy Stack - The Gospel of Matthew on Integrity & Hypocrisy

What is Matthew all about? Why does it look the way it does? In this episode Judy Stack takes us to school and helps us to see the Gospel in a new light.

Apr 15, 2019
Episode 82: Linda Kay Klein - Breaking Free From Purity Culture

Having grown up being told her body was bad, Linda Kay Klein was on a mission to hear from women about their own experiences with Purity Culture. In this episode we talk about what the Bible has to say about sexual purity and maybe more importantly, what it doesn’t.



Apr 08, 2019
Episode 81: Pete & Jared - Truth is Subjective . . . Even in the Bible

When people find out that the Bible is ancient, ambiguous, and diverse, they often ask, "Is the Bible true then?" Pete and Jared dive into the topic and talk about how truth–in the Bible–is subjective.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

"The Historical David" by Joel Baden

"Luv is a Verb" by DC Talk

Is the Bible True? Course

Apr 01, 2019
Episode 80: Jonathan Walton - Reading the Bible Through the Lens of Love

What does it mean to remain faithful to the Bible but also have a moral imagination that might extend beyond the Bible? How can that be done? We talk with Jonathan Walton about how he connects those dots and why he feels it’s the way to remain faithful to the Bible.


"A Lens Of Love" by Jonathan Walton


Mar 25, 2019
Episode 79: Austin Channing Brown - Preaching the Bible in the Black Church

This week on The Bible for Normal People, we have Austin Channing Brown as our guest. She shares about her experience growing up in various churches and what we can learn from black churches - especially when it comes to preaching the Bible.


I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

Mar 18, 2019
Episode 78: Pete Enns - Pete Ruins Exodus (Part 1)

There’s a lot more going on in the book of Exodus than what you’ve seen on the big screen or heard in church. More than a story of deliverance, Exodus is a subtle literary creation that contains many surprises when we read it closely. Join Pete here for Part 1 of this series where he looks at some big picture issues (like “did it happen?”) before walking us through the themes of chapters 1 and 2.

Mar 11, 2019
Episode 77: Elizabeth Enns Petters - Anxiety in the Life of Faith

Anxiety in the life of faith is a conversation that needs to happen more often. Elizabeth Enns Petters talks with us about her journey and how her old views on the Bible contributed to her anxiety and how her new views on God and faith have given her a new perspective on life.

Twitter: eepetters
Instagram: elizabethpetters
Mar 04, 2019
Episode 76: Xavier Pickett - So When Did White Christian America Lose Its Mind?
Feb 25, 2019
Episode 75: Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch - The Bible & Film

We talk often about how the Bible isn’t opposed to culture but is deeply embedded in it. Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch shows us how true that is in film by walking us through a few popular movies and how they relate to the Bible.


You can find Rhonda's list of movies at the end of this blog post.


Feb 18, 2019
Episode 74: Pete & Jared - God’s Children Tell the Story

All human beings are encultured creatures and limited by their humanity—as were the Biblical writers, and evidence for that jumps out at us at every page. The raw and limiting humanity of Scripture is to be embraced and celebrated rather than explained away.

Feb 11, 2019
Episode 73: Propaganda - What Does Christian Art Even Mean?

Hip Hop artist Propaganda joins Pete and Jared for the season 3 opener and shares some deep—and we mean deep—thoughts about the music industry, artistic integrity, and what being Christian in all that means and doesn’t mean.


Feb 04, 2019
Season 3 Teaser

Here's a sneak peek of what's coming in Season 3 of The Bible For Normal People podcast.


Jan 28, 2019
Episode 72: What Is the Bible & What Do We Do with It: Season 2 Recap

In this episode, Jared and Pete look back at all of their guests in Season 2 to talk about language, history, and how personal experiences can't help but affect how we read the Bible. All in the effort to ask that perennial set of questions: What is the Bible and What do We Do With It?

Dec 17, 2018
Episode 71: Brad Jersak - The Bible And Orthodox Faith

In this episode, Jared & Pete talk to Brad Jersak about how Orthodoxy views the Bible, and some other things, and how those differ from Evangelicalism.


Resources mentioned in this episode:

Dec 10, 2018
Episode 70: Pete Enns - TGC Doesn’t Really Get Progressive Christianity and Atheism

In this episode, Pete responds to an article from The Gospel Coalition entitled, "3 Beliefs Some Progressive Christians and Atheists Share." He takes issue with the harmful rhetoric that polarizes Evangelicalism creating an "us vs. them" mentality among brothers and sisters in Christ. He points out that Progressive Christianity shouldn't be a pejorative term but one that describes a creative and inquisitive faith seeking to evolve with their understanding of the scripture.

resources mentioned in this episode:

Dec 03, 2018
Episode 69: Daniel Kirk - Five Things You Need to Know About the Gospel of Mark

In this episode, Pete and Jared speak with Daniel Kirk about the Gospel of Mark. Mark's gospel goes to great lengths to provide unparalleled detail and symbolism that get more and more meaningful the deeper you traverse into the text. You'll find yourself anxious to read through it again and again!

Nov 26, 2018
Episode 68: Trey Pearson - Hey Jesus

In this episode, Pete & Jared speak with Trey Pearson, former lead singer of the popular Christian band Everyday Sunday. Two years ago, Trey came out publicly and lost the support of his record label, church and many friends. He shares openly about the isolation and heartbreak that he endured being ostracized from his faith community. But he found hope and joy in accepting who God made him to be. And has a renewed love for the Bible and for God through new ways of reading and thinking about scripture.

Nov 19, 2018
Episode 67: Jonathan Merritt - Re-imagining Sacred Speech
Nov 12, 2018
Episode 66: Jared Byas - The Book of Jeremiah

In this episode, Jared takes us into the book of Jeremiah and delves into some of the historical and cultural signifigance of the text.


A Commentary on Jeremiah: Exile and Homecoming by Walter Bruggemann


Nov 05, 2018
Episode 65: Kent Sparks - Where Did the Israelites Come From?

In this episode from Season 1, Jared and Pete talk to Dr. Kent Sparks about the origins of the Israelites. Along the way they get into the nature of the Bible, the nature of the Christian faith, fundamental theological issues like soteriology, and the nature of God. After all, you can't talk about anything without talking about everything.




Oct 29, 2018
Episode 64: Kevin Makins - Reading the Bible Toward Unity Not Uniformity

This week Pete & Jared sit down with Kevin Makins, founding pastor of Eucharist Church in Hamilton, Ontario. They talk about community, how he reads the Bible and how it informs the culture of his faith community.

Oct 22, 2018
Episode 63: Pete Enns - What Does the Bible Have to Say about Politics—American or Otherwise?
What does the Bible have to say about politics? Nothing, really. On the other hand, a lot—but not the way many tend to think. Rather than supporting a political agenda, the biblical story challenges us to hold those agendas to account when they fail to promote justice. What is needed more then another clever politician with resources to ram things through are prophetic voices that remain distant from adopting wholesale any party ideology.


Oct 15, 2018
Episode 62: Brent Strawn - A Gentle Reminder that the Old Testament is Part of Our Bible and You Can't Avoid It
This week, Jared & Pete talk to Brent Strawn about the Old Testament. They discuss some of the common criticisms of the Old Testament and how the modern Church has over-emphasized the New Testament much to its detriment.
Follow Brent on Social Media:
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
Oct 08, 2018
Episode 61: Pete & Jared - Creeds, Confessions & Statements of Belief

In this episode, Pete & Jared discuss the value that creeds have in shaping the way we practice our faith. And how they can sometimes fall short, as demonstrated by the modern Statement on Social Justic & The Gospel.



The Statement on Social Justice & The Gospel

The Nashville Statement

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

The Bible for Normal People


Oct 01, 2018
Episode 60: Mark Smith - Who Is Yahweh & Where Did Yahweh Come From?

In this episode, Jared & Pete talk to Mark Smith about the origin of Yahweh and how the term was understood in the first century.



Sep 24, 2018
Episode 59: Jared Byas - How to Talk to People You Disagree With

In this episode, Jared tackles the question of how to engage with people that believe differently that we do. Many times we're guilty of shutting down the conversation and alienating people with opposing viewpoints rather than seeking to hear and understand their perspective. Jared shares some excellent tools in helping us move the conversation forward.


Sep 17, 2018
Episode 58: Bill Schniedewind - When and Why the Bible Was Written

In this episode, Jared & Pete talk to William M. Schniedewind, professor of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures at UCLA. They discuss the challenges of accurately capturing the oral tradition of the Hebrew scriptures and what we can learn from looking at the history and context of how it was written.


Resources discussed in this episode:

Sep 03, 2018
Episode 57: LIVE from Wild Goose

The Bible for Normal People podcast LIVE from the Wild Goose festival


Wild Goose Festival
Aug 13, 2018
Episode 56: Pete Enns - Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament
Aug 06, 2018
Episode 55: Rachel Held Evans - Unraveling and Re-Raveling the Bible (from Season 1)

In this reissue from Season 1, Jared and Pete talk to Rachel Held Evans on wrestling with doubt, how women are portrayed in the Bible and loving the scriptures even through personal doubt and deconstruction.


Jul 23, 2018
Episode 54: Jared & Pete - Q & A

In this episode, Jared & Pete answer questions submitted from The Bible For Normal People community.


resources mentioned in this episode:

Wild Goose Festival
Jul 09, 2018
Episode 53: Sarah Bessey - Connecting The Holy Spirit & The Holy Bible

In this episode, Pete & Jared talk with Sarah Bessey about her background in the Word of Faith movement, her deconstruction, and her journey to finding freedom in the Scriptures as she learned to read and understand it in a new way. They also discuss how to raise kids with strong faith without transferring your own doubt and theological baggage to them.


Wild Goose Festival
Jun 25, 2018
Episode 52: Pete Enns - Ecclesiastes

In this episode, Pete takes a look at 9 things you need to know to get  the somber book of Ecclesiastes. He cautions us against an optimistic reading as the author intends to question everything—even God. It's a book that's not for the faint of heart (or for the new believer), as you need to have weathered the storms of faith to fully appreciate the tough questions being asked . . . and ultimately, the hope found within!

Jun 11, 2018
Episode 51: Jamie Wright - Jesus, Justice & the Mission Field

In this episode, Pete and Jared talk with Jamie Wright, whose experience as a missionary in Costa Rica had led her to question the church, missions and evangelicalism all while retaining her deep love for and faith in Jesus.


May 28, 2018
Episode 50: Rob Bell - What is the Bible?

)In this episode, Jared & Pete talk with Rob Bell about his new book, "What is the Bible" and his own evolution in his thinking about the Bible

[re-broadcast of Episode 1 from March 20, 2017]

The Bible for Normal People
Patreon page
Wild Goose Festival
May 21, 2018
Episode 49: Pete & Jared - Critical Thinking

In this episode, Pete & Jared define critical thinking and unpack what it means to read the Bible critically. They suggest that a "God said it, that settles it" approach to scripture may not factor in the context, audience and literary style that the author employs in writing. Thinking critically about how we approach scripture allows us to experience the fullness and richness of the text.

Patreon page
Wild Goose Festival
Evolving Faith conference
May 14, 2018
Episode 48: Jeffrey Stackert - Who Wrote the Pentateuch?

In this episode, Pete & Jared speak with Jeffrey Stackert about the origins of the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Old Testament. Rather than looking at the books as separate works written by Moses, they discuss the documentary hypothesis which suggests that the Pentateuch was compliled from four sources. And many of the contradictions in the text may actually be indications of converging viewpoints from editors  including or omiting details to preserve the integrity of the text.

May 07, 2018
Episode 47: Audrey Assad - Deconverting From Certainty

In this episode, Pete & Jared speak with recording artist Audrey Assad about her music, her theology, and the shift from her conservative fundamentalist roots to Catholicism.

Apr 30, 2018
Episode 46: Wil Gafney - Womanist Midrash

In this episode, Jared & Pete talk to Wil Gafney about the Womanist interpretation of the Bible. In their discussion, she brings out fascinating nuances in the text and challenges the predominantly patriarchial interpretation of the past. 





Apr 23, 2018
Episode 45: Pete Enns - Romans for Normal People

In this episode, Pete (joined by his cat Marmalade) shares 10 things essential to understanding the book of Romans. He's quick to point out a number of varying opinions about this important letter and suggests that the ways in which we've come to understand Paul's writings may be incomplete at best. And the trite ways that some of the more familliar passage have been recited are far from Paul's original intent.

Apr 16, 2018
Episode 44: Craig Allert - Where Did the New Testament Come From?

In this episode, Jared & Pete talk to Craig Allert about how the canon of scripture was curated. They also discuss the doctrine of "sola scriptura" and how the intertestimental books can be beneficial in bringing addition context and detail to our understanding of scripture.

Apr 09, 2018
Episode 43: Jared Byas - Is the Bible True?

This week Jared walks us through the ways in which the Bible is true and in some ways untrue. He'll start by unpacking what we mean when we talk about truth and give us some helpful insights into how we can approach historical facts that sometimes seem to be at odds with the Biblical text.


Apr 02, 2018
Episode 42: Barbara Brown Taylor - How the Bible is Curated

In this episode, Jared & Pete talk to author, teacher and Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor. They discuss the many different stages and "human fingerprints" involved in getting the Bible from the original manuscripts to the printed translations that we read, including our own theological history and tradition.

Mar 26, 2018
Episode 41: William Paul Young - Reimagining the God of the Bible

In this episode, Pete & Jared talk to William Paul Young, author of the NY Times bestselling book and feature film, "The Shack." Young describes his thought process behind his controversial portrayal of God the Father as an African-American woman and reminds us that we all bring some level of interpretation to the Biblical text.


Mar 19, 2018
Episode 40: Richard Rohr - A Contemplative Look at The Bible

On this week's episode we have Fr. Richard Rohr to talk about a contemplative approach to the Bible.

[re-broadcast from March 26, 2017 (Episode 2)]

Mar 12, 2018
Episode 39: Understanding Deuteronomy & the Story of Israel's Kings

In this episode, Pete and Jared discuss Deuteronomy, the so-called “Deuteronomistic History,” and why God in these books is so over-the-top angry most of the time.

Mar 05, 2018
Episode 38: Peter Rollins - The Bible as a Sacred Object

On this episode, we talk with Peter Rollins about how Christians have made the Bible (along with their views of God) into a "sacred object.” And, spoiler alert: that's actually not a good thing.

Feb 26, 2018
Episode 37: Cynthia Shafer-Elliott - What Archaeologists Do & Why It Matters

Archaeologist Cynthia Shafer-Elliott turns a 2D Bible into a 3D picture by digging up artifacts from everyday ancient Israelite life. These were real people with real habits and customs that we never really see on the pages of the Bible.

Feb 19, 2018
Episode 36: Pete Enns - 7 Things You Need to Know about How the Book of Proverbs Works

In this episode, Pete Enns works through 7 big-picture issues that help us see what Proverbs is all about and why the idea of Wisdom is such an absolutely central and vital biblical concept that many know very little about.

Feb 12, 2018
Episode 35: Brian McLaren - The Bible As A Weapon

Jared & Pete talk with Brian McLaren about the dangers of a "weaponized Bible" and how our own bias and interpretation may cause us to reach some incomplete conclusions

Feb 05, 2018
Episode 34: Jen Hatmaker - Changing Your Mind About the Bible: A Survivor's Guide

In this season 2 opener, Pete & Jared talk with Jen Hatmaker about what can happen, emotionally and relationally, when you change your mind about the Bible. And how to survive it with your faith intact. 

Jan 29, 2018
Season 2 Teaser

Here's a glimpse of what's coming in season 2 of The Bible for Normal People, featuring Jen Hatmaker, Barbara Brown Taylor, William Paul Young, Brian McLaren, and Cynthia Shafer-Elliot.

Jan 23, 2018
Episode 33: Pete and Jared - What Is The Bible & What Do We Do With It?

Season 1 wrap-up. Pete and Jared reflect on the first season of guests and topics and how they helped inform the big questions that drive this podcast. Season 2 is coming late January or early February 2018!

Dec 18, 2017
Episode 32: Carolyn Custis James - Moving Beyond Patriarchy

On this episode, Pete and Jared speak with Carolyn Custis James. Carolyn is an award-winning author who thinks deeply about what it means to be a female follower of Jesus in a postmodern world.

Dec 11, 2017
Episode 31: The Bible For Normal People: LIVE From Penn State University

In our continuing effort to corrupt the minds of college students (because college students don't already have currupt minds), Pete and Jared recently took a road trip to Penn State to record an episode of The Bible for Normal People in front of a live audience

Dec 04, 2017
Episode 30: Pete Enns - Taking a Shot at Divine Violence

On this episode of The Bible for Normal People, Pete Enns—without any adult supervision whatsoever—gives his own take on divine violence, specificially: the Flood story, the curses in Deuteronomy 28, and, of course, the one every one wants to talk about, God's command to the Israelites to wipe the Canaanites off the face of the earth and take their land. And a good time was had by all.

Nov 27, 2017
Episode 29: Anthony Le Donne - The Gospels as Memories of Jesus

On this episode, Pete and Jared speak to New Testament scholar Anthony Le Donne about The Gospels as memories of Jesus rather than strictly speaking "historical" accounts. Le Donne is the author of several books on Jesus and the Gospels and also edits the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus.

Nov 20, 2017
Episode 28: Greg Boyd - Jesus & Divine Violence

The week’s guest is pastor and author Greg Boyd, and our topic is how the crucifixion of Jesus helps us see divine violence in the Old Testament from a fresh angle.

Nov 13, 2017
Episode 27: Pete and Jared - Authority, Revelation, and Inspiration

On this week's episode, Pete and Jared riff with great eloquence and profundity on three big words that come up sooner or later whenever you start talking about the Bible, especially when you start thinking about the Bible in new ways. Is the Bible still authoritative? What does that even mean? Same with Revelation and Inspiration.

Nov 06, 2017
Episode 26: Drew Hart - The Bible, Race, and White Supremacy

On this episode, Pete and Jared speak with Drew Hart about race and the Bible. Hart is assistant professor of theology at Messiah College, author of Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism, and an activist with ten years of pastoral experience.

Oct 30, 2017
Episode 25: Jared Byas - Jonah

On this week's episode, Jared digs deep into that theologically deep, literarily complex, and definitely not "children's story,"  the book of Jonah.

Oct 23, 2017
Episode 24: Nyasha Junior - Womanist Biblical Interpretation

This week's episode looks at Womanist Biblical Interpretation with Pete and Jared’s guest Nyasha Junior, assistant professor in the department of religion at Temple University in Philadelphia. She writes, teaches, speaks, and frequently tweets on race, gender, religion, and their intersections.


Oct 16, 2017
Episode 23: Beverly Gaventa - What is The Book of Romans Trying To Do?

This week, Jared and Pete speak with Beverly Gaventa. Beverly is Distinguished Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Baylor University and Helen H.P. Manson Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis Emerita at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her latest book is called “When In Romans”.

Oct 09, 2017
Episode 22: Pete Enns - 5 Things Jesus Wants You to Know about the Adam Story

In this week's episode, Pete Enns lays out 5 things to keep in mind when reading the Adam story that will challenge your preconceptions, offer fresh points of view, and likely turn our entire political climate around for the better.

Oct 02, 2017
Episode 21: Jon D. Levenson - Resurrection in the Hebrew Bible

On this episode, Pete and Jared talk with Hebrew Bible scholar and theologian Jon D. Levenson about where the idea of resurrection shows up in the Hebrew Bible and early Judaism, what it means when it does, and how some of that finds its way into the New Testament. 


Sep 25, 2017
Episode 20: Diana Butler Bass - Reading the Bible as an Experience & Relationship

This week Pete and Jared talk with speaker, author, and theologian Diana Butler Bass about her love for the Bible that has led her beyond code words and conventions to something deeper and more spiritually sustaining.

Sep 18, 2017
Episode 19: Megan DeFranza - The Bible and Intersex Believers

On this episode of the Bible For Normal People, Pete and Jared talk with theologian Megan DeFranza (actually, Megan educates us) on a topic that affects deeply the lives of many, but that few Christians even know is a topic. And Megan might surprise you about what the Bible and church history have to say about it. 

Sep 11, 2017
Episode 18: Jared Byas - Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally

This week, Jared Byas takes on his first solo episode. Since he's a plebeian and doesn't have his own Wikipedia page (unlike Pete), he begins with a little autobiography and the recurring theme of taking the Bible seriously but not literally. And encourages us, no matter how we read the Bible, to stop using "literally" altogether. 

Aug 27, 2017
Episode 17: Denis Lamoureux - The Bible, Evolution, & Christian Faith

This week on The Bible for Normal People, Pete and Jared speak to Denis Lamoureux on a topic that never seems to go away. Lamoureux is associate professor of science and religion at St. Joseph’s College in the University of Alberta. 

Aug 14, 2017
Episode 16: Ellen Davis - What is the Practical Value of the Old Testament?

On this episode, Pete and Jared talk with Ellen Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School, about the value of the Old Testament for Christians.


Jul 31, 2017
Episode 15: Brian Zahnd - Violence in the Bible and What to Do with It

On this week's episode, Pete and Jared speak with Brian Zahnd about violence in the Bible. Brian Zahnd is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church (Saint Joseph, MO), and he writes, blogs, and Tweets regularly on the problem of violence in the Bible. His next book Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God is set to be released August 2017. 

Jul 17, 2017
Episode 14: Matthew Vines - The Bible and The Gay Christian

On this episode of the Bible For Normal People, Pete and Jared talk with Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian, about the complexities of biblical interpertation surrounding human sexuality.

Jul 03, 2017
Episode 13: Marc Brettler - On Being a Jewish Biblical Scholar

On this episode, Pete and Jared talk with Marc Brettler on the conversation between the insights biblical scholarship, Jewish tradition, and the nature of the Bible.

Jun 19, 2017
Episode 12: Pete Enns and Jared Byas - Faith and Doubt: No, You're Not the Only One

On this episode, Pete and Jared discuss how doubt in the life of faith is normal, biblical, and spiritually beneficial.

Jun 05, 2017
Episode 11: Benjamin D. Sommer - Jewish Views on the Bible

On this week's epsiodeJared and Pete speak with Ben Sommer, professor of Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary (NYC). Christians have A LOT to learn from Jews about how their Bible works.  

May 29, 2017
Episode 10: Pete Enns - The Israelites Believed in Many Gods.

In this week’s episode, Pete Enns explores "monolatry," the ancient Israelite belief that many gods existed but only one God, Yahweh, was worthy of worship. The ancient Israelites were not monotheists, and thinking they were obscures the theology of many passages by imposing an idea the Israelites would not have understood.

May 22, 2017
Episode 9: Daniel Kirk - Understanding The Human Jesus

New Testament scholar Daniel Kirk joins us this week to discuss the humanity of Jesus and why that shouldn't be obscured. 

May 15, 2017
Episode 8: Kent Sparks - Where Did the Israelites Come From?

On this week's episode Pete and Jared talk with historian and Old Testament professor Kent Sparks about the mysterious origins of the Israelites.

May 08, 2017
Episode 7: Pete Enns and Jared Byas - Teaching the Bible to Your Children

On this week's episode Jared and Peter talk about their experiences with the challenge of teaching the Bible to children. 

May 01, 2017
Episode 6: AJ Levine - Jesus, Judaism, and Christianity

On this week's episode of The Bible for Normal People, we speak with Amy-Jill Levine on understanding Jesus is his Jewish context. Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and the author of a number of books including Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi.

Apr 24, 2017
Episode 5: Mike McHargue - That Topic that Isn't Going Anywhere Anytime Soon: Science and the Bible.

On this week's episode, we talk with Mike McHargue about science and faith.  Mike is the author of Finding God in The Waves and the host of two popular podcasts, The Liturgist Podcast and Ask Science Mike. 

Apr 17, 2017
Episode 4: Walter Brueggemann - Resurrecting the Bible in The Mainline Church

This week's podcast is a discussion of the state of the Bible in the mainline church with Old Testament scholar and theologian Walter Brueggemann.

Apr 10, 2017
Episode 3: Rachel Held Evans - Unraveling and Re-Raveling the Bible

On this week's episode, we speak with Rachel Held Evans on unraveling and re-raveling the Bible. Rachel has written three best-selling books exploring her evolving journey of faith.

Apr 03, 2017
Episode 2: Richard Rohr - A Contemplative Look at The Bible

On this week's episode we have Fr. Richard Rohr to talk about a contemplative approach to the Bible. 

Mar 27, 2017
Episode 1: Rob Bell - What Is The Bible?

On this week's episode we talk to Rob Bell. He is the author of the upcoming book What Is The Bible? and the controversial New York Times Best-Seller Love Wins.

Mar 20, 2017
Introduction, with Pete Enns and Jared Byas

This is the introduction to Bible for Normal People: The Only God Ordained Podcast on The Internet. Serious Talk About the Sacred Book with Pete Enns and Jared Byas.

Mar 13, 2017