How Jesus became God The exaltation of a Jewish preacher from Galilee

Bart D. Ehrman

Book - 2014

"In a book that took eight years to research and write, leading Bible scholar Bart D. Ehrman explores how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty Creator of all things. Ehrman sketches Jesus's transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus's followers had visions of him after his death-- ali...ve again-- did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God. And what they meant by that was not at all what people mean today" -- dust jacket flap.

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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : HarperOne 2014.
Language
English
Physical Description
404 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780061778186
0061778184
9780061778193
0061778192
Main Author
Bart D. Ehrman (-)
  • Divine humans in ancient Greece and Rome
  • Divine humans in ancient Judaism
  • Did Jesus think he was God?
  • The resurrection of Jesus: what we cannot know
  • The resurrection of Jesus: what we can know
  • The beginnings of Christology: Christ as exalted to Heaven
  • Jesus as God on Earth: early incarnation Christologies
  • After the New Testament: Christological dead ends of the second and third centuries
  • Ortho-Paradoxes on the road to Nicea
  • Epilogue: Jesus as God: the aftermath.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Ehrman, who has written prolifically about early Christianity, here takes up one of religious history's most profound questions: How did a messianic Jewish preacher become identified as God? This is a particularly astonishing phenomenon when one considers how fast it happened and how different the idea of Jesus as God was from Jesus' actual message. Ehrman writes very personally, especially in the beginning, and this approach draws the reader into a subject that is littered with curves and contradictions. Eventually, all writers who tackle this topic must answer the fundamental question: Did Jesus' followers actually see a resurrected Christ? Ehrman sets up his answer well, first considering the various interpretations of divine humanity in ancient times. When it comes to the resurrection, he explains that whether the apostles actually saw Jesus or saw a vision makes no difference. Their belief in a risen Jesus is what shifted and shaped Christianity. A discussion of later Christologies and heresies becomes complicated, but this fascinating discussion will engage—and provoke—a wide audience. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Challenging traditional notions about Jesus and the New Testament with biblical scholarship is something that Ehrman, professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and prolific author (Misquoting Jesus) has been doing for years. This book will likely ruffle the same feathers with its discussion of how the man from Galilee came to be seen as God. Appealing to nonexperts interested in historical questions about the development of Christianity's central and most basic tenets, Ehrman traces ancient ideas about divinity that likely informed Jesus and his followers, through the biblical record, and into early Christianity. In the process, he shows how claims about Jesus' divinity as it was understood by Jesus and his followers demand nuance. The material leads to some arguments from silence, but Ehrman is careful to note what we can and cannot know, especially where history leaves off and faith begins. As it makes strong scholarship on fundamental issues available to general readers, this is an important addition to the corpus of books about the historical Jesus. (Apr.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Explores the historical Jesus and traces how he was transformed from a Jewish prophet to God himself.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

New York Times bestselling author and Bible expert Bart Ehrman reveals how Jesus’s divinity became dogma in the first few centuries of the early church.The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime—and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself. How Jesus Became God tells the story of an idea that shaped Christianity, and of the evolution of a belief that looked very different in the fourth century than it did in the first.A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman reveals how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty, Creator of all things. But how did he move from being a Jewish prophet to being God? In a book that took eight years to research and write, Ehrman sketches Jesus’s transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus’s followers had visions of him after his death—alive again—did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God. And what they meant by that was not at all what people mean today.Written for secular historians of religion and believers alike, How Jesus Became God will engage anyone interested in the historical developments that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: Jesus was, and is, God.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

New York Times bestselling author and Bible expert Bart Ehrman reveals how Jesus's divinity became dogma in the first few centuries of the early church.The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus's lifetime'and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself. How Jesus Became God tells the story of an idea that shaped Christianity, and of the evolution of a belief that looked very different in the fourth century than it did in the first.A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman reveals how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty, Creator of all things. But how did he move from being a Jewish prophet to being God? In a book that took eight years to research and write, Ehrman sketches Jesus's transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus's followers had visions of him after his death'alive again'did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God. And what they meant by that was not at all what people mean today.Written for secular historians of religion and believers alike, How Jesus Became God will engage anyone interested in the historical developments that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: Jesus was, and is, God.