Jesus would be a Hufflepuff

In honor of the fact that the final installment of the Harry Potter movies opens at midnight tonight I'd like to try to answer a theological question:

Which Hogwarts house would Jesus be in?

Slytherin? Gryffindor? Hufflepuff? Ravenclaw?

As all the cool people know (Muggles and conservative evangelicals will have to catch up), the Hogwarts students are sorted into their houses by the Sorting Hat based upon the personality match between the student and the House.

Gryffindor values courage and bravery. Slytherin values ambition, cunning, and pure blood status. Ravenclaw values intelligence and learning. And Hufflepuff values...

Well, what does Hufflepuff value?

According to the song the Sorting Hat sings in The Order of the Phoenix (H/T to Andrea for helping me find this), the first three founders of Hogwarts were looking for very particular students. Here's the relevant part of the song:

Sorting Hat Song--Order of the Phoenix

In times of old when I was new
And Hogwarts barely started
The Founders of our noble school
Thought never to be parted:
united by a common goal,
They had the selfsame yearning
To make the world's best magic school
And pass along their learning.
"Together we will build and teach!"
The Four good friends decided
And never did they dream that they
Might someday be divided,
For were there such friends anywhere
As Slytherin and Gryffindor?
Unless it was the second pair
Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw?
So how could it have gone so wrong?
How could such friendships fail?
Why, I was there and so can tell
The whole sad, sorry tale.
Said Slytherin, "We'll teach just those
Whose ancestry is purest."
Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose
Intelligence is surest."
Said Gryffindor, "We'll teach all those
With brave deeds to their name"
As observed, Slytherin, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw pick very particular students. So who does Helga Hufflepuff pick? The song continues:
Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot,
And treat them just the same."
Hufflepuff takes the leftovers. The kids who don't fit into the other houses. This impression is strengthened as the song continues:
These differences caused little strife
When first they came to light,
For each of the four founders had
A House in which they might
Take only those they wanted, so,
For instance, Slytherin
Took only pure-blood wizards
Of great cunning, just like him,
And only those of sharpest mind
Were taught by Ravenclaw
While the bravest and the boldest
Went to daring Gryffindor,
Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest,
And taught them all she knew...
That's that theological point I'd like to hit on: "She took the rest." Hufflepuff took the misfits, castoffs and rejects. This isn't to say that Jesus lacked courage, intelligence, or cunning ("Be as shrewd as serpents!"). Just that, theologically speaking, I think Jesus' life and ministry identifies him more as a Hufflepuff, the willingness to hang out with and embrace the misfits, rejects, and castoffs.

So that's what I think: Jesus would be in Hufflepuff House.

So be sure to wear your black and yellow house colors tonight!

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35 thoughts on “Jesus would be a Hufflepuff”

  1. Hooray for Hufflepuff!  Thinking of Jesus' words, "My Father's house has many rooms..."  (Jn. 14:2)  Room enough for all kinds :-)

  2. I wonder...

    I've always liked this essay on Hufflepuff:

    It may have some bearing on this idea. Some extracts:

    "For that matter, Helga *herself* didn’t just adopt the students that caught none of the other three founders’ attention. I’m sure that when she was given any say in the matter, Helga, like Godric, Rowena and Salazar would have actively selected her students, and Helga didn’t select for duffers. Helga was very carefully selecting for “team players” and “team builders” from whom her collection of defaults could learn by example. Neville, amiably off inside his own head, is not even close to being Hufflepuff material. The off-in-their-own-little-world types, like Neville, do much better when thrown to the lions than to the badgers, who tend to regard non-participation in peer activities in the light of a mortal sin.


    In the case of Helga, the issue is not quite such a blatant contradiction as with Salazar. Helga would teach any child who needed teaching. But, regardless of what she taught her students, the lesson that her House now teaches them is how to work together as a team. Not every child is inherently capable of that kind of cooperation. Nor is that a lesson that all children will agree to learn. (Just try to imagine young Tom Riddle in Hufflepuff. Go on, I dare you.) Clearly the Hat must have some criterion for being confident that the children Sorted into Helga’s House will learn its lessons.

    And, really, look at everything everyone says about the ’Puffs when they are trying to be nice, or at least neutral. All of those very particular virtues are exactly the ones that best grease the wheels of cooperative efforts.

    Modern-day Hufflepuff is emphatically NOT the house that you get sent to if you lack any distinguishing characteristics. Where that particular misreading is concerned, the problem is one of perception, in that the ’Puffs identify themselves so completely with their “peer group” that to most outsiders’ eyes they all blend together.


    The Hufflepuffs generally come in last because they move at the speed of their weakest member — but they always finish the course. And the ’Puffs have zero tolerance for loners or “odd ducks”. They also have a nasty tendency to gang up on outsiders, slackers, or people who are perceived to have deliberately let their side down. [Note: you do NOT want to alienate the Hufflepuffs. There are a lot of them. And they stick together. Far more solidly than the Slytherins, whose alliances are tactical, strategic — and temporary.] For his own sake, it’s a damn good thing that Neville is not in Hufflepuff."

  3. Cedric Diggory (Hufflepuff), even if he went on to be a vampire, always struck me as one of the most memorable characters.  Kinda the Harry in the shadows.

  4. I'm glad you mentioned Cedric. He is evidence that JKR did not intend for the Hufflepuff house to be thought of as second-rate to the other houses. Even if they don't often win at Quidditch, in the Tri-Wizard Tournament a Hufflepuff student was meant to be the very best representation of Hogwarts as a whole. And I believe that a good case could be made that Cedric would have won the tournament outright if Crouch Jr. hadn't rigged the game.

  5. Spoilers to follow, folks.

    You know, I thought the series had an unredemptive ending. The children of Slytherin all picked up their parents' racism and violent desire for power, and followed Voldemort into battle. If there's a moral in addition to love being stronger than death, it's that the system of the Houses destroys love and leads to death. (Thus my little outpouring of frustration here

  6. I agree, Richard. As a child reading the earlier Harry Potter books, I identified with Gryffindor, because of course that's the heroes' house (and also because I was in the red house at my own school and we too had a particular rivalry with the green house). Then last year I finally got round to reading the last few books, and I was very struck by how much I preferred Hufflepuff to the other houses. Gryffindors are arrogant jerks, Ravenclaws are smart alecs, and Slytherins are bigots, but Hufflepuffs are actually decent human beings. (Though, truth be told, I would without a doubt have been sorted into Ravenclaw...)

  7. Richard,

    "Prophetically Predicting the Place of the Unclean ~ The Quantum Location of Disgust in Marriage and Divorce ~ Beck Answers ..."

    ... is there a cleaner way to cross-post?  ... don't want to pollute your blog?  .. a stand-alone blog or thread for "Unclean"? -- what's good manners in this?  



  8. I've always considered myself a Christian AND a Hufflepuff. Glad to know others see the connection, too.

  9. Jesus would be in Slytherin.  More genocide has been carried out in his name than any other figure in history.  Keep fooling yourselves though, it's cute.

  10. Your points are well-made. Yet the only canonical story we have of Jesus's childhood is teaching in the temple, and being admired specifically for valuing being in his Father's house. Teaching is a Ravenclaw trait; value of ancestry a Slytherin. We also have the (non-canonical!) Infancy Gospel of Thomas where Jesus again shows traits of cunning, knowledge, and vengeance.Divinity aside, as an adult the teachings of Christ would fall easily into the Hufflepuff category (perhaps he'd be the Head of House), but adults aren't sorted by the hat. Given the sparse knowledge we have of his early years, I think Jesus would have been sorted a Slytherin (fully Man) in order that his unsinfulness would have been all the more remarkable (fully Divine).

  11. Isn't this kind of a stupid thing to say about the creator of the universe?

  12. ... and I thought I was a HP geek. After reading this post and all the comments, I fold. And that is DESPITE having gone to the 12:15 showing of Deathly Hallows II last night. 

    Not that being a HP geek is a bad thing ... 

  13. Great!!!!

    Didn't Jesus warn us that whatever we did to and however we treated "the least of these" did to/treated Him?

  14. I guess it depends on if you think the Creator has a sense of humor and whimsy. 

  15. Understood. The point here, thought, isn't that Jesus would be attending Hogwarts. Because, at the very least, Hogwarts doesn't exist. In a similar way Jesus wouldn't be in Oz or Narnia.

    The point here is simply to note how the Hogwarts houses are sort of like a personality test and that, given those personalities, Hufflepuff seems to reflect certain Christ-like characteristics.

  16. Perhaps. But I suspect each of the four Gospels belongs to a different house. Consider:

    Matthew = Slytherin

    Mark = Gryffindor

    Luke = Hufflepuff

    John = Ravenclaw

    And, as was already suggested, Jesus is the Sorting Hat.

  17.  He was also a darkskinned unattractive jew from Galilee. people didnt expect anything good from galilee

  18. That's the thing I hate most about the epilogue. SPOILERS: It felt to me that one of Dumbledore's greatest goals was to unite the students--to remind them that their allegiance to good was far more important than that of the house they belonged to. But in the end, 15 years or so after the events of the books, Harry's son is still terrified that he might be in Slytherin, because that's where the evil wizards go. Harry tries to convince him that that would be okay, but the idea is still there. Everyone still thinks that Slytherin is nothing but a Dark Wizard factory. It's disappointing that the message of tolerance hasn't been able to prevail. Realistic, maybe, but still disappointing.

  19. Jesus would be the sorting hat :)

    I don't think any Hogwarts house is better than another. They all have nice people and not so nice people. Obviously in Harry Potter most of the dark wizards come from Slytherin, but it was stated that while "most dark dark wizards come from Slytherin, most Slytherins are not dark." The fact is that Gryffindor and Slytherin have a house rivalry because they are both competitive and so there is some tension between them. This means that a lot of the Slytherins don't have friends in Gryffindor. Slytherins also resented the fact that Dumbeldore (a former Gryffindor) showed some obvious favoritism towards Gryffindor, which they thought was unfair. It also doesn't help that some Slytherins have some not-so-nice parents. But evil wizards can come from any house, even Gryffindor. After the final battle at Hogwarts, its revealed that Slytherin is no longer a "pure blood" house... At the end of the day each house has its own positive and negative traits. Like Gryffindor can be brave but hot-tempered. Slytherin is ambitious, resourceful, and intelligent but also cunning. Ravenclaw is intelligent, witty and original, but can be over-competitive academically. Hufflepuff is loyal, true and hard-working, but they often don't make the greatest wizards (they can be great, but there are less notable wizards from Hufflepuff than any of the other houses. Some say its because they are more well-rounded but not as brave, bold, original, determined, and ambitious as the others). It doesn't really matter though. I have often been sorted into Hufflepuff house and I think thats where I would fit in the most... Im a general nice and humble person, but Im not that brave, bold, original, cunning or ambitious. Looking at all the people that I know personally, and I think most would end up in Ravenclaw and then Gryffindor and Slytherin (in equal amounts).

  20. Jesus never told people to kill. He told them not to kill. He didnt want people forcing others into things. People who kill do so because of their own faults. Also, other religions have been involved in wars and genocide too. Even atheists have been involved in stuff like that. Hitler was an atheist. So its not really fair to attack a religious figure just because some people are cruel enough to kill, cheat, steal, etc.

  21. There is an interesting page that links Hogwarts houses with a person's Myer-Briggs personality type. But your Myer-Briggs type would be more valid if you took a good online test and answered enough questions (like 50+). The page is called "The Sorting Hat of Harry Potter and Myer-Briggs Personality Typology." I found it rather accurate, but I can't speak for everyone :)

  22. Thanks for the great post on your blog, it really gives me an insight on this topic.

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