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How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee Hardcover – March 25, 2014
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“ In this lively and provocative book, Ehrman gives a nuanced and wide-ranging discussion of early Christian Christology. Tracing the developing understanding of Jesus, Ehrman shows his skills as an interpreter of both biblical and nonbiblical texts. This is an important, accessible work by a scholar of the first rank.” (Michael Coogan, Harvard Divinity School lecturer and editor of The New Oxford Annotated Bible)
“Ehrman writes with vigor and clarity, but above all with intellectual honesty.He demystifies a subject on which biblical scholars too often equivocate. Bothbelievers and non-believers can learn much from this book.” (John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament at Yale)
“This careful book starts where the ‘historical Jesus’ accounts ends and lays outhow this absorbing story continued for centuries. Candid and direct, it unfoldswhat often seem to be the unnecessarily complicated controversies that dividedearly Christians in a fair and understandable manner.” (Harvey Cox, Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard)
“How did ancient monotheism allow the One God to have a ‘son’? Bart Ehrman tells this story, introducing the reader to a Jewish world thick with angels, cosmic powers, and numberless semi-divinities. How Jesus Became God provides a lively overview of Nicea’s prequel.” (Paula Fredriksen, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and author of Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews)
“Ehrman writes very personally, especially in the beginning, and this approach draws the reader into a subject that is littered with curves and contradictions... This fascinating discussion will engage—and provoke—a wide audience.” (Booklist)
“Ehrman’s book raises questions that should interest us all... [and] represents a genuine conversation among informed scholars.” (Christian Century)
“Bart Ehrman has made a career of zeroing in on some of the most difficult questions at the intersection of faith and history.” (Boston Globe)
Top Customer Reviews
In Ehrman's previous works he has argued that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet who predicted the end of the known world and the coming of the Son of Man in his generation who would subsequently rule over the re-created world. Most scholars seem to agree with Ehrman, but others disagree with this view of Jesus, most notably Geza Vermes, Burton Mack, Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, Stephen Patterson, Bruce Chilton, John P. Meier, Gerd Thiessen, Elisabeth Fiorenza, S. G. F. Brandon, Morton Smith, Reza Aslan, along with mythicist scholars Richard Carrier and Robert M. Price. Some of these different views of Jesus would require a different road-map to get to the high Christology of the fourth century, especially the mythicist view. So from the very beginning as we travel this map there are these obstacles.
Passing over those disagreements though, Ehrman's map seems to me to be a fairly standard mainline one which I've read in other works. Michael Coogan, John Collins and Paula Fredriksen probably agree with Ehrman since they wrote blurbs for it. Robert Funk, the founder of the Jesus Seminar, in the last chapter of his book "Honest to Jesus," says some of the same things.
Regardless, I'm very glad Ehrman wrote it. It's written so that the general populace can understand it. He has a way of communicating these ideas very well.Read more ›
Not only does Bart deliver a tight and well-reasoned argument for when, how, and why Jesus came to be thought of as divine by his earliest followers, he does so in a way that is deeply sympathetic to Christianity and believers alike. While Bart candidly discloses his own disbelief in the divinity of Jesus and the general Christian position, he constantly engages the reader/listener (Audible) with his own ongoing development since his early days as a fundamentalist believer, often with honest and incisive self-reflections as to how he continues to refine his position with different approaches to the evidence.
And yet—even given this apparently unbridgeable chasm between Bart and the Christian faithful—his love for the subject, period, and texts shines through without a doubt. I often read comments directed at Bart by Christian believers to the effect of, "Why do you spend so much time studying Christianity and teaching about it if you *hate* it so much?" Or, "If you're an agnostic, then why do you waste your time debating about Jesus?"
While these kind of questions and comments betray a total lack of intellectual rigor, they all rest on a fundamental misconception: that you're unable to love a subject and yet disagree with central tenets of that subject as it is commonly understood. It's clear that Bart unabashedly loves the intricacies of how and why Christianity came to dominate the West, and his labor in the area has helped to illuminate much of this material for us, his popular audience.
And here's the real genius of this book: this book presents the culmination and epitome of Bart's scholarly career in the context of THE CENTRAL QUESTION of the Western world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent piece of s scholarly work that illuminated many questions I have had for a long time. It also took me well over a year to read because I kept going back over what I... Read morePublished 20 hours ago by J.T.
Facts are hard to believe sometimes if we have been brainwashed all our lives. Thank you, Bart Ehrman.Published 3 days ago by J. R. Ellis
Another excellent book by Dr. Ehrman. He answered the questions I had in mind for some time as well as offered additional insight into the historical background of the development... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
I can easily identify with Professor Ehrman, having been born into a family of heavily practicing Roman Catholics. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gerald Cecere
Interesting reading. I thought he had to stretch things in a few places but overall pretty insightful.Published 1 month ago by rwells