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How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus' Divine Nature---A Response to Bart D. Ehrman Paperback – March 25, 2014
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In 2014, well-known author of biblical exegesis, Bart D. Ehrman published How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. In it, he posits that the concept of Jesus as God evolved over time. Five biblical scholars gather here to refute that theory. Although it’s preferable to have read Ehrman’s book before tackling this one, the authors do a relatively even-handed job of stating Ehrman’s case before attempting to demolish it. The topics they discuss include divinization in the ancient world, the Christological claims of the synoptic Gospels, and burial practices at the time of Jesus’ death (even those sympathetic to Ehrman’s case would probably agree that his discussion of the empty tomb contains too much conjecture.) This book, while putting forth arguments well worth examining, is weakened by the fact it contains five voices, and dry, scholarly ones at that. Ehrman has mastered the art of writing in a style suitable for general audiences, making his book more accessible. Still, the two deserve consideration together, and the publisher of this volume has cleverly used a cover image in the same style and color as Ehrman’s book, which may help lead interested readers in the right direction. --Ilene Cooper
'This is a helpful collection of essays by first-rate scholars abreast of the latest research. Anyone who wants a reliable historical account of how early Christians came to see Jesus as God should read this book.' -- Richard Bauckham, Emeritus Professor of New Testament, University of St Andrews, UK
'This set of studies comprise a readable and lively response to Ehrman's book on how Jesus came to be regarded as in some sense divine. Collectively, they identify controversial issues and offer cogently put alternative views that deserve to be noted and that show that the scholarly discussion remains in play.' -- Larry Hurtado, Emeritus Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology, University of Edinburgh
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This work by Michael F. Bird, et al provides a solid theological counter balance to Bart D. Ehrman's work "How Jesus Became God". Ehrman claims to be looking at the topic from an historical point of view, but Bird et al ably critique his view of the history of the topic.