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New Testament Scholar: Christians Should Remember That Jesus Was Human, Too


Dr. Scot McKnight, Author of The Jesus Creed, Also Comments on Christ’s Physical Appearance

Dr. Scot McKnight, a recognized authority on the historical Jesus, said he is often surprised that Christians fail to embrace the realistic aspects of Jesus’ humanity. “He wasn’t just sort of a zombie,” the scholar said, nothing that Christ’s need to eat and sleep were real.

Faithfully Magazine spoke with McKnight on the occasion of his participation in HISTORY’s new series, “Jesus: His Life.” McKnight, a professor at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, was among a diverse group of religious leaders and scholars who contributed to the eight-part program that paints a picture of Jesus from the perspectives of Joseph, Pontius Pilate, Judas, and others who knew him or encountered him during his life and ministry.

Read Faithfully Magazine‘s Q&A with McKnight below. The interview was conducted via phone. The transcript was lightly edited for clarity.

You’ve been writing and speaking about the historical Jesus for a very long time. I’m sure you get all kinds of questions. Have you ever encountered any bizarre misconceptions that even Christians themselves have about Jesus?

You know, this is really interesting because as a professor and as a lifelong learner about the Bible and Jesus, I would say yes. It never seems to change that people are shocked by the humanity of Jesus… He was a first century Galilean Jewish artisan. And I am continually amazed at people who just do not think of him in realistic categories. Our Christian creed emphasizes that he is both God and man, fine, and I believe that. But in being fully human, he was fully human. He wasn’t just sort of a zombie. He was a fully human person who had to eat and had to sleep and had to learn and grow and felt pain and felt anger. I find that to be continually surprising to me that we have not embraced this more.

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Nicola A. Menzie
Nicola A. Menzie
Nicola A. Menzie a religion reporter whose bylines have appeared on the websites of the Religion News Service, The Christian Post, CBS News and Vibe magazine. Nicola is the Managing Editor at You can find her on Twitter @namenzie. Email: nicola.menzie (at)

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