Nerdiness isn’t anything new. While the subject matter has changed and the obsessions are different, nerds have been around since the beginning. Even the Bible is littered with nerds of the highest caliber. Here are the top five nerds of the Bible.
Jacob may be known as the father of Israel, but he also may be one of the earliest recorded nerds in human history. While growing up, Jacob was known to stay inside and hang out around the house while his brother Esau was out among the fields. If Jacob were alive today, he would definitely be holed up inside his mom’s basement, losing more pigment from his skin by the hour. Jacob’s nerdiness is thrown into starker contrast because of his brother; nerds always look nerdier when standing next to a jock. This is why I always hung out with other nerds; when I compared myself to others who were nerdier than me, I would always feel better.
If you’ve ever read Romans you know that Paul was a super nerd. He crafts a solid theological foundation for the Christian faith by looking at the history of Judaism and its completion in Christ. Paul identifies himself as a “Pharisee among Pharisees” which means that he was no stranger to hitting the books. He was the kind of nerd who would have been made fun of a lot for studying when he was a kid but would have had the last laugh when he became a successful Internet entrepreneur.
We don’t know much about the Magi. In spite of what popular Christmas carols say, we don’t even know how many Magi actually came to visit Jesus. What we do know about them, though, is that they were nerds; to be more specific, they were astronomy nerds. They looked at the sky, saw the changes in the stars and knew that the King of the Jews had been born. If the Magi and I were friends, I feel like we could sit around and enjoy watching Star Trek together, unless they preferred Kirk over Picard.
Samuel was a nerd from the beginning of his life. As a young boy he spent the night sleeping in the house of the Lord next to the Ark of the Covenant. Nerds are no strangers to spending the night in odd places in order to feed their obsessions. When Episode I released, I remember being upset with my mom because she wouldn’t let me spend the night outside the theater to get tickets. Even though it was May, who wants to spend the night outside of a movie theater? Samuel understood the need to spend the night in a different place in order to feed an obsession. Obsessed with the Lord, though, is way better than being obsessed with anything to do with Jar Jar Binks.
Luke was a doctor; he had to have been a nerd. Even back when medicine had more to do with magic than science, Luke would have still been pretty nerdy. It would have taken a lot of studying and effort to learn about bleeding someone dry with leeches. I’m all right with Luke being a nerd, though; I’m all right with any doctor being a nerd. I want my doctor to have spent his or her time studying instead of hanging out with friends or watching sports. A lonely, nerdy doctor is a good doctor.
Looking at this list, nerds can count themselves in some good company. These nerds did more with their lives, though, than play video games and level up. Nerds can make a positive impact, they just need to focus their nerdiness and penchant for obsession on things that matter…like erasing Jar Jar Binks from history.
What nerds can you identify in the Bible?