Reading Recommendations: On Being Human

Reading Recommendations: On Being Human

I was privileged recently to deliver some teaching on what it means to be human to a mission team at a charity. They seemed to enjoy it, so I sent a follow-up email. This blog post offers a few things that I think would be helpful places for people to start reading about what it means to be human from the perspective of Bible and Theology. I’d welcome suggestions in the comments – particularly from non-White/Western authors, who aren’t represented here (though are to a small extent in my longer Bibliography).


Introductory – if you can read this blog, you’ll be comfortable with these books.

John Behr, Becoming Human (Eastern Orthodox Scholar) – superbly simple unpacking of the ‘becoming’ aspect

Mark Meynell, What Makes Us Human (Evangelical Anglican, working with Langham globally) – best short readable primer

Paul Gooder, Body (Anglican New Testament scholar) – really helpful on the body, without going off on tangents


Mid-level – if you read this blog regularly, including the longer parts, these should be fine.

Klyne R. Snodgrass, Who God Says You Are (American New Testament scholar) – single best book on human identity I’ve read so far that I can recommend to most people who read.

Rowan Williams, Being Human (Anglican Philosopher/Theologian) – more philosophical but readable short book.

Nancy Pearcey, Love Thy Body (American evangelical scholar and author, Houston Baptist University [but not a Trump kind of American evangelical!]) – masterful application of theology of the body to some big issues.


Academic – bit more technical, but generally very readable.

Susan Eastman, Paul and the Person (American New Testament Scholar) – superb look at theological anthropology in the bulk of the NT.

Gordon McConville, Being Human in God’s World (OT Scholar) – great place to start looking at the OT, this is v. readable.

Ed. Crisp and Sanders, The Christian Doctrine of Humanity (ecumenical academic essay collection. See review for more)


High Level Academic – either niche or technical, these are more nuanced and academic, but not impenetrable.

– Ephraim Radner, A Time to Keep (Canadian Anglican) – I haven’t finished my review but it’s a superb book.

Richard Middleton, The Liberating Image (American/Canadian OT Scholar) – mind-blowingly good on Genesis 1-11. Not reviewed as interacted heavily in MA thesis, but link is to where you can read a related article.

Richard Lints, Identity and Idolatry – an NSBT Volume, so biblical theology. V concise and helpful

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