I thought I would honor Good Friday by estimating the IQ of Jesus Christ. According to scholar Michael Hart, Jesus Christ was the third most influential man of all time, behind only the Prophet Muhammad and Issac Newton.

Assuming about 106 billion people have lived since the time of Christ, and Christ was one of the three most influential, that puts Christ at the one in 35 billion level in terms of influence. Normalizing the distribution, that makes Christ 6.53 standard deviations more influential than the average human.

Worldly success, whether measured by money, power, or influence, seems to correlate about 0.4 with IQ, and assuming this correlation can be applied globally and historically, Christ being 6.53 standard deviations more influential than the average human suggests he was 0.4(6.53 SD)= 2.61 standard deviations more intelligent than the average human.

Now on an IQ scale where Northwest Europeans have a mean of 100 and an SD of 15 (for their particular age and time), the average human has a mean IQ of 90 with an SD of perhaps 17. Thus Christ being 2.7 standard deviations smarter than the average human implies an IQ of 2.7(17) + 90 = 134.

Of course this is an extremely crude estimate based only on one predictor (influence), so don’t take it too seriously, as the estimate’s standard error is little better than a random guess. I’m sure people who have studied Christ could make a much better estimate than I can.

An IQ of 134 is extremely high (smarter than roughly 99% of Northwest Europeans of one’s generation). Of course it should be noted that because of poor nutrition, people thousands of years ago were probably about 20 IQ points lower in real intelligence than people today, so compared to modern white norms, Christ might have scored 114 (around the level of today’s average white university graduate) on a the most culture reduced tests.

But if we were to clone Christ and raise him in today’s America, he would probably score around IQ 134. To put that number in perspective, the average student at the World’s best university (Harvard) has an IQ around 130, as does the average president of the United States.