Minding Scripture

University of Notre Dame

A Podcast where divine word and human reason meet.

All Episodes

Join our hosts as they discuss scriptural portrayals of King David. Who is David in the Bible and the Qur’an? How does this figure allow us to understand Biblical and Qur’anic concepts of kingship, including the idea of a king-messiah?

Aug 2

56 min 38 sec

Join hosts and special guest Mark Noll to discuss how slavery was portrayed and understood in the Bible and how this affected debates over slavery in the United States.

Jul 6

56 min 29 sec

Join Tzvi Novick and guest professor Gary Anderson to discuss the historical meaning behind Scriptural metaphors for sin. 

Jun 7

1 hr 6 min

Join our hosts and special guest Dr. Javad Hashmi to explore the cosmology of the Qur'an and its relevance today. Are the Qur'anic descriptions of creation, including the afterlife and the supernatural, compatible with modern science? How should these verses be understood by believers today?

May 3

1 hr 1 min

Join our hosts to discuss violence as it is portrayed in the Bible and the Qur’an. Can martyrdom and jihad be reconciled with a scriptural longing for peace on Earth?

Apr 5

57 min 58 sec

Both the Bible and the Qur'an teach believers how to worship God, how to seek forgiveness for sins, and how to advance spiritually. What are the rituals of the Bible and the Qur’an, and why do they matter? 

Mar 1

57 min 50 sec

What do scriptural depictions of the prophet Noah and the worldwide flood found in the Bible and Qur'an reveal about God's relationship with humanity?

Feb 1

57 min 17 sec

Join our hosts Gabriel Reynolds and Tzvi Novick in this bonus episode as they explore the Gospel of John from a Jewish perspective. Does the content of the text provide insight into first-century Judaism? 

Jan 11

28 min 10 sec

Guest star Matt Fradd joins our host Professor Reynolds to discuss the Gospel of John, their exploration drawing liberally from the works of Thomas Aquinas. 

Jan 4

55 min 12 sec

In this episode, our hosts discuss how Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scripture and tradition portray marriage, chastity, and lust. 

Dec 2020

49 min 34 sec

Guest Professor Stephen Barr delves into particle physics, cosmology, and creation science in this new episode discussing the relationship between science and scripture.

Nov 2020

57 min 21 sec

While you might be aware of Islamic tradition regarding the revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammed by the angel Gabriel, have you ever wondered how it was recorded and transmitted? Did Muhammed write down this divine message, or did transmission take place via another method? In this episode, our hosts Gabriel Reynolds, Francesca Murphy, and Mun’im Sirry are joined by Professor Shady H. Nasser, an associate professor of Arabic Studies at Harvard who provides his understanding of the variant readings which have arisen within Islamic tradition. 

Oct 2020

58 min 35 sec

This week, our hosts discuss one of the most critical, and potentially divisive, figures in their religious traditions: Abraham. How do Jews, Muslims, and Christians view this influential figure? Is it right to emphasize his role as the progenitor of the three “Abrahamic” religions? Abraham's calling is the beginning of the story of election, and he is considered the first monotheist. Yet how did he arrive at belief in God? Was it by reason or by faith? And does God's command to Abraham to sacrifice his son represent an ethical dilemma?

Sep 2020

1 hr 3 min

Fr. Olivier-Thomas Venard, Dominican priest and professor at the École Biblique in Jerusalem, joins Francesca Murphy and Gabriel Reynolds for this episode of Minding Scripture. Fr. Venard bridges intellectual worlds—modern French literature, the philosophy and theology of Thomas Aquinas, biblical archaeology and historical-critical study of the Bible, literary theory and linguistics—and finds their convergence in the words of Scripture. Fr. Venard discusses his trilogy on Thomas Aquinas as well as a major, long-term project he directs at the École Biblique: “The Bible in its Traditions,” a presentation of the biblical text in its polyphony of different textual versions, translations, interpretations, and artistic receptions.

Aug 2020

1 hr

Under the conditions of globalization, more religious people than ever find themselves in close contact with members of other religious traditions. Our hosts convene in this episode for a scriptural conversation on religious pluralism. How is the religious “other” discussed in the scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? How do each of these traditions interpret the fact of multiple religions? Is the multiplicity of religions positively willed by God—or just permitted by God as a result of human failings? They explore the question at the heart of our podcast: Can we disagree religiously and still be friends?

Jul 2020

45 min 34 sec

This episode we welcome a distinguished New Testament scholar, Amy Jill Levine, who is the world expert on the Jewishness of the New Testament. She engages questions like, Why are anti-Jewish readings of the New Testament just bad readings of the text? What are some of Jesus’ parables that are clarified by reading them as Jewish parables? What does it mean for Jews to study the New Testament, either academically or as part of their self-understanding as Jews? Was there such a thing as “normative” Judaism at Jesus’ time, over-against which Jesus comes across as an aberration? What’s the difference between saying “Bible,” instead of “Old and New Testaments”—or saying “Hebrew Bible” or  “Old Testament” instead of “Tanakh?” Is there any sense to term “Abrahamic religions” as an umbrella for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? How can a deepened knowledge of Judaism nourish the theological imagination of Christians? 

Jun 2020

52 min 56 sec

What importance do developments in critical scholarship on the Qur’an have for the life of faith? How have Muslims traditionally understood the Qur’an? What were the nineteenth- and twentieth-century beginnings of Western critical scholarship on the Qur’an, and what are its motivating questions today? Where do Western critical scholarship and traditional reading of the Qur’an converge? Do the findings of Western critical scholarship fundamentally challenge traditional Muslim understandings of the Qur’an, and how, more generally, does critical study of the Qur’an affect Muslims’ lives of faith?

May 2020

48 min 41 sec

In light of the global Coronavirus pandemic, this month’s episode of Minding Scripture reflects on sickness, healing, and isolation in the Bible and in the Qur’an. What sources of hope do we find in the Abrahamic traditions for a time of sickness and quarantine? How might these three traditions interpret the pandemic and the quarantine religiously?

Apr 2020

44 min 4 sec

This month, Minding Scripture, which brings together the life of the mind and the life of faith, asks guest speaker Nathan Eubank and one of our hosts, Tzvi Novick, how historical-critical scholarship in both the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament has developed over the last two centuries and what its current place in our understanding of the Bible should be.  What is historical criticism and how did it begin? What is the enduring value of historical criticism, both intellectually and for the life of faith? What are some of its enduring achievements? What does the Epic of Gilgamesh, the psychology (or not) of Jesus, and the Jewishness of Paul have to do with all this? Our hosts discuss the progress and regress, tensions and achievements of historical criticism from the eighteenth century to the present. 

Mar 2020

59 min 17 sec

Life after death is a central concept in all three Abrahamic religions. What happens to a person after death? How do Judaism, Christianity, and Islam envision heaven and hell? And what can the faithful expect at the resurrection?

Jan 2020

39 min 5 sec

Moses serves as a model to the prophet Muhammad in the Qur’an, represents the tribe of Israel in the Hebrew Bible and prefigures Jesus in the New Testament. With no external, historical sources to rely on, how do the three Abrahamic religions read Moses, a figure whose meaning is discerned by faith?

Jan 2020

43 min 8 sec

Robert Alter, translator of the Hebrew Bible, and David Bentley Hart, translator of the New Testament, are our guests in this episode, where they answer questions on staying faithful to the original Hebrew and Greek texts, on words which have accumulated layers of meanings over the course of centuries, as well as on translating ambiguities and connotations which are no longer accessible to us today. Remember to leave a review if you have enjoyed listening to this episode! 

Dec 2019

1 hr

Jesus is a figure of great importance in the holy scripture of Islam, in the Qur’an. Can belief in Jesus join together Christians and Muslims, then? In an interview with Mun'im Sirry, Francesca Murphy and Gabriel Said Reynolds explore the commonalities between qur'anic and biblical account of Jesus, while also shedding light on the differences: the miracles which are not mentioned in the Bible, why Jesus' is not considered divine, and why the Qur'an is ambiguous regarding Jesus' death. 

Nov 2019

40 min 32 sec

Together with John Meier, the hosts explore the figure of the historical Jesus. Read more in the show notes to this episode. 

Oct 2019

43 min 44 sec

The inaugural episode of Minding Scripture explores the figure of the first human, Adam, in the Bible and in the Qur’an. >>View this episode's Show Notes

Sep 2019

44 min 22 sec

Learn about the questions that animate Minding Scripture, a new podcast from the World Religions World Church program at the University of Notre Dame. 

Aug 2019

3 min 7 sec