Understanding the Humanity of Jesus
In this new addition to our Conversations series, BioLogos senior fellow Pete Enns asks N.T. Wright to respond to questions that have come to BioLogos via Twitter, email, and its blog. The first question for Wright is as follows:
Q: What do you think is the biggest misunderstanding that western 21st century evangelicals have about Jesus and how does it stunt their understanding and witness?
A: Wright offers that one of the most common misconceptions is the idea that because Jesus is divine therefore he couldn’t have had any questions about his life or his vocation—or he that couldn’t have meant it when he wondered if there could have been another way in Gethsemane. One of the key things to remember, says Wright, is that in the great formulations of faith in the early church, the humanity of Jesus is every bit as important as his divinity. That isn’t a “clever balancing act,” he notes, rather it is a very profound insight on the part of the early church. The divinity of Jesus isn’t an abstract thing—instead, it is very much entwined with his humanity. The lack of recognition of the human aspect of Jesus, however, is something that much of evangelical understanding has a hard time with and that ultimately prohibits one from actually engaging with what the Gospels are all about.
Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.
N.T. Wright is a leading biblical scholar, former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England, and current Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, University of St Andrews. He studied for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and was ordained at Merton College, Oxford. Wright holds a Doctor of Divinity from Oxford University in addition to several honorary doctorates. Wright has also written over fifty books, including the multi-volume work Christian Origins and the Question of God and his two most recent books Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters and How God Became King.