B.S., engineering, LeTourneau University, 2002; B.A., Thomas Aquinas College, 2010; M.A., Early Christian Studies, University of Notre Dame, 2012; Ph.D., Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity, University of Notre Dame, 2018; Teaching Assistant, University of Notre Dame, 2011, 2014-2016; Instructor of Record, University of Notre Dame, 2011, 2016; Tutor, Thomas Aquinas College, 2017-.
When he arrived at Thomas Aquinas College in 2006, Joshua Noble (’10) was unlike most of the other freshmen: He was 27 years old, a college graduate, an engineer — and an atheist.
Raised in a fundamentalist Protestant home in northeastern Texas, he earned an engineering degree, and then worked for four years with the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program in Idaho. During this time, while debating Mormon missionaries, he first encountered critical biblical scholarship. “It undermined the fundamentalist biblical foundations of my faith,” he says, leading him to dismiss Christianity as intellectually unserious.
Nonetheless, he continued to seek “some kind of answer to the great philosophical and theological questions” that have intrigued man throughout time. He thus soon found himself drawn to Thomas Aquinas College, with its emphasis on philosophy and theology, as well as its great books curriculum and discussion-based classes. “I applied, got in, and sold everything I owned that would not fit into two suitcases,” he says, “then I made my way to campus.”
At the College he found his future wife, classmate Amy (Schneir ’10), but not his faith. “I had this silly idea that if I investigated everything like a science problem, I could come to a clear, scientific decision about whether or not Christianity was true,” he says. “At the College, I came to recognize that that’s not the way I would ever come to a final answer, but I did come to see that the Catholic intellectual tradition is rigorous and intellectually serious. That removed a lot of my roadblocks to faith.”
The Nobles married two weeks after their graduation, and two weeks later they departed for the University of Notre Dame, where Dr. Noble began a master’s program in early Christian studies. Soon thereafter, he experienced a profound moment of grace.
“I was sitting there, struggling with ideas about myself and sin, when on a whim I picked up a copy of St. Augustine’s Confessions,” he recalls. “I flipped through it for five minutes, threw it down on the bookcase, and said, ‘That’s it. I’m in.’ I was received into the Church three weeks later.”
Over the next seven years he would earn his master’s degree, complete his coursework for a doctorate in biblical studies and, with Mrs. Noble, welcome three young sons. In 2017 the family returned to California when Dr. Noble joined the College’s teaching faculty.
- “The Meaning of ἔχοντες χάριν πρός in Acts 2:47: Resolving Some Recent Confusion,” New Testament Studies (forthcoming)
- “Almsgiving or Training? Clement of Alexandria’s Answer to Quis dives salvetur,” Studia Patristica (2017)
- “‘Rich toward God’: Making Sense of Luke 12:21,” Catholic Biblical Quartely 78: 302-20, 2016
- Review: Reading the Early Church Fathers: From the Didache to Nicea, by James L. Papandrea, Religious Studies Review 40: 163 (2014)
- Review: To Train His Soul in Books: Syriac Asceticism in Early Christianity, by Robin Darling Young and Monica J. Blanchard, eds., Religious Studies Review 40,163 (2014)
- Review: Works on the Spirit: Athanasius the Great and Didymus the Blind, by Mark DelCogliano, Andrew Radde-Gallwitz, and Lewis Ayres, eds. Religious Studies Review 39: 115 (2013)
- Review: On the Two Ways: Life or Death, Light and Darkness: Foundational Texts in the Tradition, by Alistair Stewart, ed. Religious Studies Review 39: 115 (2013)
- “Common Access to Land and Sea: Polemical Eschatology in the Sibylline Oracles,” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, November 19-22, 2016
- “Almsgiving or Training? Clement of Alexandria’s Answer to Quis dives salvetur,” XVII, International Conference on Patristic Studies, August 10-14, 2015
- “Giving to God in Luke’s Parable of the Rich Fool: ‘Toward’ a Better Translation,” Midwest Region Society of Biblical Literature Meeting, February 6-8, 2015
- “‘For this Life Only’: Denial of the Afterlife in 1 Cor 15,” Midwest Region Society of Biblical Literature Meeting, February 7-9, 2014
- “‘All Things in Common’: Acts and the Saeculum Aureum,” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, November 23-26, 2013
- “Augustine, Barthes, and the Death of the Author,” North American Patristics Society, Annual Meeting, May 23-25, 2013
- “‘All Things in Common’: Acts and the Saeculum Aureum,” Midwest Region Society of Biblical Literature Meeting, February 8-10, 2013