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Products>How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins Of Belief In Jesus' Divine Nature—A Response To Bart D. Ehrman

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins Of Belief In Jesus' Divine Nature—A Response To Bart D. Ehrman

Publisher:
, 2014
ISBN: 9780310524359

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Overview

In his recent book How Jesus Became God, biblical critic Bart Ehrman argues that the earliest disciples did not believe Jesus was God, and that Jesus did not claim this about himself.

In How God Became Jesus, Michael F. Bird, Craig A. Evans, and other top scholars respond to this latest challenge to orthodox Christianity. Subjecting Ehrman’s claims to critical scrutiny, they offer a historically informed account of why the Galilean preacher from Nazareth came to be hailed as “the Lord Jesus Christ.” They contend that, rather than being an invention of the church centuries after Christ’s death, Jesus’ divinity is clearly evident in the earliest Christian sources, immediately following his resurrection.

Resource Experts
  • Rebuts Bart Ehrman’s theory of the origin of Jesus’ divinity in How Jesus Became God
  • Argues that the earliest Christian sources present Jesus as the divine son of God
  • Features the work of five leading biblical scholars
  • The Story of Jesus as the Story of God by Michael F. Bird
  • Of Gods, Angels, and Men by Michael F. Bird
  • Did Jesus Think He was God? by Michael F. Bird
  • Getting the Burial Traditions and Evidences Right by Craig A. Evans
  • What Did the First Chris tians Think about Jesus? by Simon Gathercole
  • Problems with Ehrman’s Interpretive Categories by Chris Tilling
  • Misreading Paul’s Christology: Problems with Ehrman’s Exegesis by Chris Tilling
  • An Exclusive Religion: Orthodoxy and Heresy, Inclusion and Exclusion by Charles E. Hill
  • Paradox Pushers and Persecutors? by Charles E. Hill

Top Highlights

“However, exactly when, where, and why Christians first began to make such elevated claims about Jesus’ heavenly origins and divine nature is a historical question and one that can only be answered through a concerted investigation of the evidence.” (Page 12)

“The cast of scholars who have done the most to promote this paradigm of an early and relatively strong identification of Jesus with the God of Israel is known within scholarly circles as the EHCC, or, ‘Early High Christology Club.’ The names Martin Hengel, Richard Bauckham, and Larry Hurtado are associated with this ‘club.’” (Page 13)

“Whether Jesus of Nazareth really is God, as Christians of all varieties have historically claimed, can only be answered as a matter of faith. It comes down to whether one believes the early church’s testimony to Jesus attested by Holy Scripture that he is the Son of God.” (Page 12)

“When I say that Jesus knew himself to be God, I mean that he was conscious that in him the God of Israel was finally returning to Zion (i.e., Jerusalem) to renew the covenant and to fulfill the promises God had made to the nation about a new exodus.” (Page 52)

“The idea that one becomes an angel upon death is called ‘angelomorphism,’ and in relation to Christ is known as ‘angelomorphic Christology.’” (Page 36)

Contra Ehrman, these authors demonstrate the Gospels are reliable and coherent historical sources; that Ehrman misrepresents Roman policy regarding crucifixion and non-burial; that he mischaracterizes Matthew and Luke when arguing they know nothing of Jesus’ pre-existence; that his schema of competing and evolving exaltation and incarnation Christologies is contrived, misleading, and historically implausible; and that his charge of contradictory Christologies in early Christian writings is itself contradicted by the biblical evidence.

Andreas J. Köstenberger, senior research professor of New Testament and biblical theology and director of PhD studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, on The Gospel Coalition

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

Contra Ehrman, these authors demonstrate the Gospels are reliable and coherent historical sources; that Ehrman misrepresents Roman policy regarding crucifixion and non-burial; that he mischaracterizes Matthew and Luke when arguing they know nothing of Jesus’ pre-existence; that his schema of competing and evolving exaltation and incarnation Christologies is contrived, misleading, and historically implausible; and that his charge of contradictory Christologies in early Christian writings is itself contradicted by the biblical evidence.
  • Title: How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature—A Response to Bart Ehrman
  • Author: Michael F. Bird
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Print Publication Date: 2014
  • Logos Release Date: 2015
  • Pages: 240
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Jesus Christ › Divinity--History of doctrines--Early church, ca. 30-600; Ehrman, Bart D. › How Jesus became God; Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ › Historicity; Jesus Christ › Person and offices
  • ISBNs: 9780310524359, 9780310519591, 0310524350, 0310519594
  • Resource ID: LLS:HWGDBCMBRTDHRMN
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T00:40:39Z

Michael F. Bird is lecturer in theology at Ridley Melbourne College of Mission and Ministry. He is the author of several books, including Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission, The Saving Righteousness of God, and with James Crossley, How Did Christianity Begin?

Reviews

4 ratings

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  1. Alessandro

    Alessandro

    1/12/2023

  2. Michael Hansen
  3. Glenn Crouch

    Glenn Crouch

    7/20/2018

    Whilst having read Ehrman's book "How Jesus Became God" or at least being familiar with the arguments that Ehrman advances are a big plus when reading this response, I don't think it is a requirement. Many of the ancient apologetic works (a number of which are referenced within) are one side of the argument. There is still great value. This is a collection of essays arguing against the thesis that Ehrman proposes in his book in regard that over time Christians changed from seeing Jesus as someone who was exalted as God at his resurrection to exalted at Baptism, to exalted at his conception, to being God prior to his incarnation - with the latter taking hold in the Nicaean period. The authors take various strands of the argument and examine Scripture, Early Church Fathers, Historical Evidence and Archaeology to propose flaws (if not complete error). I found this to be quite an easy read, and does stand well as good book on the apologetics for Jesus as fully God and fully man of the Christian creeds.
  4. David

    David

    4/2/2016

    I'd like to see Ehrman's stuff here as well as other liberal scholars. To enable me to really delve into the arguments posited by both sides and come a more reasoned position in my own mind.
  5. Unix

    Unix

    1/12/2016

Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!

$14.24

Regular price: $18.99
Save $4.75 (25%)