It has been so helpful, freeing, and humbling to learn varying intellectual perspectives and personal experiences with the Bible. Moving away from a church that valued soundbite-able sermons, I'm very grateful for each genuinely thought-provoking episode.
Knowledge and humor
I’ve learned a lot from this podcast! So appreciate the knowledge shared in an accessible and way, often mixed in with some humor
I literally turned off the first 2 episodes I listened to 5 minutes in, but now this is like crack for my armchair theologian ambitions! Thanks guys!!
Best Podcast Ever
Thank You, Thank You
Love this podcast so much. I so enjoy hearing the Bible taught by people who are actually educated by modern biblical scholarship, archeology, and science. These guys make it all accessible and do it with just enough occasional sarcasm to make it funny. The guest speakers are always a treat. Doing a lot for my faith. Thank you. Keep it up.
Is anyone normal?
Listened to podcast with Pete Holmes. Was he on psychedelics during interview?
Only Good Ordained Podcast?
That’s their intro to every podcast. The only God ordained podcast. Are you serious? Even as a joke it’s not funny when you introduce every episode the same way, same intro theme.
Thank God for a way to read the OT
This is not a quick hit podcast, but well worth the time listening. Listening to these episodes is giving opportunity to consider some of the difficulties with biblical texts and my personal biases.
I’m not really normal
I’m not really normal, but I enjoy the research put into this podcast. Very educational about the Bible. I am a self taught theologian, I read Hebrew and will soon be learning Greek. I like asking questions about everything, and Pete and Jared present good questions.
Wonderful Scholarship & New Perspectives
I absolutely love this podcast! I am a very academic person and am very ethically driven and was raised pretty conservative so I was always troubled that there was only one way to read the Bible. This podcast has been so enlightening and has provided so many pathways for me to come back to my faith in a deeper way and explore scripture with a new type of love. I couldn’t recommend it enough! Might be too difficult of an entry point for someone who is coming out of a conservative circle without any prior exposure to more progressive theology or biblical scholarship- but it’s perfect for anyone who is open minded and truly wants to learn more about how to use the Bible correctly and addressing ethical and scholarship issues in a way that’s accessible. Amazing!!! Pete and Jared, you guys are the best!!
let down listener
Please have Pete on again. That was the best podcast ever !
Yay! A Peter Enns Podcast!
I’m a pastor who used “The Bible Tells Me So” in my congregation’s All-Time-Favorite Book Study Group. So, I am thrilled to now be able to recommend this podcast. Smart, entertaining and thought provoking. What a service to modern “normal people” who are trying to sort through all the cultural and historical freight the Bible holds in its pages. Thanks!
The Bible for Normal People is a great way to learn the Bible on the go. Pete and Jared share a wealth of knowledge and invite guests to illumine the study of the Bible in fresh and exciting ways. They can both dig deep with academic discussion and keep it light with humorous banter. If you are looking for new perspectives on ancient scriptures, this podcast is for you.
Thank you so much for bringing a high level of scholarship to normal people! I’ve found
so much solidarity and validation that the podcast has brought to questions that I have that I was never exposed to in my Christian higher education in Social Work in undergrad and grad because of my discipline. Peter-thank you for for your resistance to certainty, it’s given me incredible encouragement that my doubt and earnest desire to think authentically about experiences and struggles in understanding scripture. Jared- thank you for your earnest and accessible language, your emotional intelligence and attention to emotional concerns about learning and seeing the Bible in new ways has made me feel safe as I’ve explored scripture.
Listened to one episode as a new listener. My observations of the speaker’s beliefs: 1) The God of the Bible is not perfect, and at times evil. We should not use Him as a guide for how to live. 2) The Bible is contradictory, outdated, and untrustworthy. We should not use the Bible as a guide for knowing right and wrong. 3) The “loving” Jesus is different from the cruel God of the Old Testament and the only safe bet because “love” (as the speaker understands it) always wins. 4) The Spirit of God guides each individual into understanding all truth, and, therefore, right from wrong.
I really appreciate that the speaker sought to emphasize love and that Jesus is the ultimate example of how to be a good person and love others. However, I do not agree with how love is defined (although it was never clearly defined) in the episode. I gathered from listening that his idea of love is that love does not punish or discipline. How could a loving God punish “evil”? Love disciplines wrong doing (Hebrews 12:5-11). Did Jesus love the money changers when he drove them from the temple? Of course he did. Also, Jesus and God the Father are in harmony in nature and morality (John 17). You can’t choose to follow one and reject the other (12:44-50). The God of the Old Testament was loving, patient, gracious, and forgiving. He waited in the days of Noah for 120 years for the people to turn from wickedness while the ark was being built (Gen. 6:3; 1 Pet. 3:20). He gave the Canaanites 400 years to repent before they were destroyed (Gen. 15:13-16). God has always done what is right. When we don’t agree it is not God who is wrong, but us (Isa. 55:8-9).
Likewise, I am thankful that the speaker emphasized the work of the Holy Spirit for knowing right from wrong. But, there are still issues there. First of all, the promise that the Holy Spirit would guide into all truth was given to the apostles in John 14, 16, not to every individual Christian. Second, The Holy Spirit inspired scriptures guides us and teaches how to live and equips is for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Holy Spirit will never guide you to do something contradictory to the Word of God.
Also, I’m glad that they brought to attention that some people are still trying to bind Old Testament ordinances. I would add that the speaker does not appear to understand that the Old Law has been fulfilled and done away with, and that today we are only accountable to the New (Col. 2:14; Heb. 7:12; 8:13; 9:16-17). Therefore, Christians are not subject to the regulations given at Mt. Sinai through Moses (Col. 2:16-17; Gal. 5:1-4). Those laws were given for Israel only (Exo. 19:5-6; 31:16-18).
I like the idea of having a podcast that explains the Bible for “normal” people. However, I cannot in good conscience recommend this podcast and would warn everyone to stay away from these false teachers (I do not label them so lightly or in the spirit of hatred) who are seeking to shipwreck the faith of some. I do believe their teachings to be destructive and dangerous. This I do knowing that Jesus also called out spiritual teachers who sought to lead his sheep astray. True love is not always easy and sometimes places us in position to be targeted. I’m afraid some will take this review to be hateful and out of touch with modern society and thinking. I just ask that everyone please consider what I have said and examine the Scriptures to see if it is true.
Honest and accessible
I really appreciate Pete and Jared’s ability to make complex material accessible to normal people like me! They are clearly world-class intellectuals and could engage in academic debates with the best of them. But they’re ability to break down the concepts has rejuvenated my own curiosity and improved my understanding of the scriptures.
Thoughtful and Stimulating
Thank you, Pete and Jared, for this podcast. I find it stimulating, interesting and illuminating. It's a great listen.
JTM - Iora
Thank you Peter and Jared for continually giving me new things to think about! You have introduced me to a number of ideas and concepts that I had thought might have merit and have presented additional foundations for the same. Your guests are eclectic and interesting and I have fattened up my book and music libraries both!
Catching up as fast as I can!
(Just started season three)
All Blessings on your work!
A treasured favorite
Thank you Pete and Jared for your time, insights and wisdom. So often I embrace perspectives offered here that are refreshing, reassuring and at times box-breaking.
I've found this podcast extremely helpful and refreshing. It's honestly helped me regain hope in people--which I don't think is its intended purpose--by explaining the Bible, how it's shaped Christianity, and how people interact with and interpret it.
Just be warned, Pete and Jared are not pastors. They are theologians. You will get A LOT (as in tons, and tons) of Bible, but no preaching. (Thank goodness!!!!!!) Also, it is imperative you bring your sense of humor along for this journey; you will need it.
Oh, Pete and Jared are irresistibly gracious
This is my third time updating my review. I keep coming back to these guys and wrestling with my own theology. I’ve been harsh on them in the past, but am coming around to them. I kind of love them now.
Been having my own little faith-life-crisis and getting back in touch with my liberal side. I have to say I’m very grateful for “creative” Christianity as Pete calls it. I don’t agree with him all the time, but he is right on many things! I’d love to see conservative evangelicals give him some more love and space in the circle.
Enjoyable yet dangerous
I did enjoy listening to the conversations in this podcast, very good podcast hosts. However they communicate a very subjective belief in God and the Bible. It seems they believe God’s Word is not really Gods word, just text written by men who experienced God through their own culture and context. They would encourage us to do the same.
I appreciate some of the honesty and even agree with some points. However if the whole Bible is not Gods literal word then we are left with no “moral compass” to point “true north”. God has left us to figure it all out through whatever the world around us says is “good” or “right”. Did God leave us to guess our way to heaven, giving only some truthful hints in a partial and flawed “map”? Is God apathetic to whatever we decide is morally acceptable based on our world view?
Great show but Slow it down!
living on mission
I am new to this podcast and so far I am enjoying it but I would really love to hear the guests have a chance to respond. Jen often speaks over the guests, cuts them off and doesn’t give them a chance to respond to her praise or comments. Other than that I am digging her stuff!!
I love this podcast. So interesting and like the title suggests, done in a way that is understandable for those of us who aren’t bible scholars.
The Bible with context
I've often felt like I'm missing so much of the meaning of the Bible unless I'm digging deep into the culture of the period, the political mood, the lives of the writers, and so much more. That kind of depth is common in this enlightening podcast. I come away from each one with a feeling that I had no idea what I had been missing in my 50 plus years of reading the scriptures.
If your faith background is fundamental like mine and you feel like there's got to be more, this will satisfy some of that longing for more truth.
As a fellow (aspiring) Bible nerd...
I really enjoy Pete and Jared’s take on the Bible and the guests they bring in. They bring their own expertise, as well as great guests who also bring in their expertise...add a little snark and you’ve got an enjoyable and fun duo with Pete and Jared that makes Bible study fun and interesting. Thanks for the great content fellas!
For such a time as this...
I have been following breadcrumbs on this journey of faith finding many great scholars and teachers and so far these guys are my favorite! I think Jen Hatmaker said her favorite thing about Pete Enns is his snarky attitude. It’s also my favorite!
Every single episode has been transforming but the one I have found to be the most helpful was Jared Byas’ episode on “How to talk to people you disagree with”.
My Dad and I had our first heated discussion in years because he started noticing my turn from conservatism and neo-evangelism. Jared’s podcast helped TREMENDOUSLY and I feel like my best self because of it.
I love their dry sense of humor as they illuminate themes (and questions) in the Bible through thoughtful study and humility. This podcast has helped me see that there is something worthwhile to the Christian tradition (that I was raised in) rather than throw it out completely. Thank you, Pete & Jared for saving all of the babies out of the bath water.
UMC Pastor Steve
Fabulous and thoughtful.
Amazing Bible podcast for thinkers
I can't say enough good things about the way Pete and Jared explain the history, theology, and scholarship of the Bible. Their guests are always fascinating to listen to.
It's been a big step for me, because I have a LOT of baggage from my upbringing, to the point where for many years I could barely read the Bible without a panic attack.
It's true that they don't have many "conservative" scholars, but frankly that would be a bit like inviting the local Anheuser-Busch owner to an AA meeting. It's not the right target audience.
Why do you only cover 4 plagues?!?
only 4 plagues
Hi Pete! I’m a huge fan and have read most of your books. Love them and this podcast. But you’ve covered the plagues of Egypt a number of times in your books and just recently on your podcast and every time you only mention the 4 same plagues. Can you cover the other 6, if nothing else but to affirm that your point holds water for those plagues as well? It just seems disingenuous when you point out the same thing and omit the same plagues over and over.
Great guests and conversation around the Bible. Really informative and thought provoking. Peter Enns is a good teacher.
Yes people, ordained comment is a joke
It’s really refreshing to have so many conversations with bright and educated Christians and I love this show. The main reason I’m writing this review however is because so many reviewers are getting their knickers in a twist about the G-d ordained podcast joke. YES of course they are having fun!! Their sense of humor is fantastic. Enjoy it and relax :)
Sincere but wrong
This podcast has high rankings in sincerity and love but misses the mark of what Christianity is. It is a good podcast to listen to if one wants to know exactly what progressive Christians believe and teach. I thank them for their commitment in proclaiming what they believe. Although I disagree with them on many topics I applaud them for their polite and winsome manners.
Deep dive with wise friends
This podcast is introduced as being God ordained. I believe that. I also believe it’s hosted by extremely wise and open minded men which can be a rarity in many corners of the online ‘world’. I never leave any episode dying for lack of knowledge. If anything, I leave wanting more and think that I too need to pursue a degree or two in some theological study. I’m deeply appreciative of the effort these men put into the preparation for the shows. I’m also very excited about how well they prepare to honor their guests with an honest conversation and welcoming discussion about their perspectives and publications.
Lie back and think of England
I have long been a fan of Rachel held Evans and was listening to your recent podcast with her about her new book. I took a break about halfway through to work on my Precepts Bible study and felt a definite schism in my brain. I am the black sheep of the study, the one who tends to poke and say, “ what if we looked at it from this direction?“ I have asked the ladies in the group how they handle doubts or questions about something that occurred or an action that God took that seems horrendous. They just take it on faith. That’s when I thought of just lying back and thinking of England. Whatever you have to do to get through it. I’ll be listening more.
This is such a powerful, thoughtful, open space for learning about how to engage with an intensely potent and frequently confusing spiritual text.
Episode 85- Nope. Sorry Guys.
So I chose this episode to sample to see if this podcast was for me and I must say I was thrown back quite a bit. Yes as a Christian, love should abound. We are to love as Christ loved us. That kind of love has no discretion and no bounds. BUT... Where you lost me was using the word self identity. I realize homosexuality is not addressed at face value in the scripture but to say it's fully accepted as one's identity once saved by Jesus I believe is not correct. We DO NOT have a "self" identity anymore once we become a Christian. Our identity is lost in Christ's blood on the cross. Our identity then becomes His. We are to convert ourselves wholly to God through his Son. Transgender aside, whatever you identified yourself as before hand no longer matters. To truly be a Christian should mean we no longer "self identify". That's where too many of today's chruches have gone astray. Telling people that your allowed to be whatever you want to be and follow Christ. That's completely wrong. No your not. Once coming to Christ, one should change ones mindset away from self and all towards God's will. All said, I will say I did enjoy the openess about this topic but I must say you guys bended the truth of the scripture to meet your own needs and that's wrong. Your falsely leading people astray and I pray they discover the truth elsewhere soon.
P.S to say this is the "Only God Ordained" podcast is WAAYYY off. I hope that was for a joke.
Helping me deepen my faith & more
Pete and Jared are helping me deepen my faith and my ability to love and embrace people.
I grew up ultra-conservative/fundamentalist Charismatic Christian. Over the past 10 years, my understanding of God (and esp of the Bible) has undergone a significant shift. I’d say it’s a move away from bibliolatry and toward a more healthy, godly relationship with the sacred text. (Of course me from 20 years ago would cry “Heresy!”)
The respect that Pete and Jared have for people and for the Bible is incredibly instructive. Their knowledge is deep and their hearts are big. I’ve learned so much from the wide array of guests that they interview.
I’m a better person for listening to this show. And I think a better Christian too.
I found this podcast listening to Jen Hatmaker-wow! I feel like scales are coming off my Sunday school mind, but in a good, constructive, and learned manner. I’m going back to the first podcast so I don’t miss out on a word!
Brilliant Blend of Spiritual and Intellectual
TB4NP is among my top 3 favorite podcasts. I never miss an episode and having just discovered it, am trying to catch up 2 years worth. Open minded, insightful, curious, reclaims Christianity for the rest of us.
Not Normal, But Still Love the Show
I really appreciate the diversity among the guests on Pete's show. Pete is great at revealing the Word of God for what it is underneath all the coats of paint that we have put on it over the centuries. Important work in a confusing time for many Christians.
Loving the Bible again
I’m right in the middle of rebuilding walls after lifelong conservative evangelical ones came crashing down in the midst of no longer being able to stomach deciding who’s in and who’s out of the faith; the election of Donald Trump; being no longer able to reconcile the ministry of Jesus with the wrathful and fickle God of the OT; and finally a stage 3 cancer diagnosis at the age of 37. There was just no more energy to pretend. This podcast is helping me love the Bible more than I ever have and giving me back sacred Scripture. I’ve started with episode 1 and am binging them all!
Take the Bible for what it says
These guys are twisting scripture! I don’t recommend listening to them unless you want to hear how messed up their theology and interpretation of scripture is. They need to take the Bible literally.
This podcast has allow to save my faith, to kkep believing in the God of the Bible without having to believe everything I was taught. Just learning a new way (for me) to read the sacred book has lead me closer to living as Christ wants me to live
This podcast has been really good for me in a long season of struggling with a changing view of God and the Bible.
A Breath of Fresh Air
At 76, I have been hearing teaching and studying for over 50 years. This podcast is wonderful.
Thank you----filling up my geeky bible love take
Just started listening, and don't want to stop. Exactly what I was looking for in regards to helping me work through the Bible
Love this podcast. It’s so needed and I’m grateful for their grace and wisdom.
What a breath of fresh air!
Free From It All
Keep it Super Simple (kiss). What a wonderful podcast! Bringing the ancient book to our modern world.
I love this podcast. It’s so good to learn about new ways to read and interpret the Bible. As someone who has struggled with my faith for a long time, this podcast is a breath of fresh air.