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How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus' Divine nature---a Response to Bart D. Ehrman Paperback – 24 Mar 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (24 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310519594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310519591
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.6 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Michael F. Bird (PhD, University of Queensland) is lecturer in theology at Ridley Melbourne College of Mission and Ministry in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission, The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification, and the New Perspective, Evangelical Theology, Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts: A moderate Case for Gender Equality in Ministry and editor of The Apostle Paul: Four Views. He is also a co-blogger of the New Testament blog "Euangelion." Craig A. Evans is Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College and author of several books, including Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels (IVP Books, 2006). Simon Gathercole is Senior Lecturer in New Testament at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, UK, and author of several books, including The Pre-existent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark and Luke (Eerdmans, 2006).


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Format: Paperback
This is the conclusion from my full review available on my blog (via my Amazon profile)

I have mixed feelings about this book. While it functions well as a critique of Ehrman's How Jesus Became God, it could have been so much more if it broadened its horizons a little. With such a stellar lineup tackling a hugely important topic in an accessible way, this had the potential to have a unique and lasting place as a popular introduction to Christology and alternative to Ehrman's approach. I was looking forward to a book that I could recommend to people who wanted to dig into the issues but weren't going to be reading someone like Bauckham any time soon! Admittedly, this was a very high expectation, but at the very least I hoped for more of a standalone positive case than simply sniping at Ehrman's troops on the wall. However, with the time constraints on the authors, I probably expected too much. What we have instead is a fairly narrow-focus book with some great positive contributions - exactly what I should have expected! So as not to leave the review on a negative note, if you are curious about Ehrman's views and how other scholars would respond, or even if you are interested in all things Christology, then certainly pick up How God Became Jesus! I don't think that one needs to read How Jesus Became God to benefit from this work, though it would bear more fruit. How God Became Jesus holds up very well for what it is intended to do, and also serves as a good launching pad to other related avenues of research.

[Many thanks to Zondervan for providing a copy of How God Became Jesus in exchange for a balanced review.]
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Format: Paperback
This was written as a response to Bart Ehrman’s recent work, How Jesus Became God. With two subtitles, ‘A Response to Bart D. Ehrman’ and ‘The Real Origins Of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature’ it should be clear to any would-be reader that this should not be read as a standalone book. If one were to do so, then it might appear a bit of a hodge-podge of different aspects of christology.

The lead editor of the work is Michael Bird, who contributed to the introduction, conclusion and two of the chapters. The other contributors are Craig Evans (1 chapter), Simon Gathercole (1 chapter), Chris Tilling (2 chapters) and Charles Hill (2 chapters). After obtaining an advanced copy of Ehrman’s book, this team set about a quick response, which is why this was published almost in conjunction with How Jesus Became God.

I was particularly looking forward to reading Michael Bird’s contributions as I greatly enjoyed his contribution to Justification: Five Views where he advocated the ‘progressive reformed’ view of justification. How disappointed I was, then, when I read the flippant tone with which Bird had written. Appealing to mass popular culture, he takes some cheap pot-shots at Ehrman, unnecessarily denigrating him and failing to treat Ehrman’s views in a mature and reasonable way. Later on, he attempts to pass these incidents off as humour, but there is nothing funny about them. Rather, it is demonstrative of a poor lack of judgement on Bird’s part.

Thankfully, the other responses are, on the whole, much more carefully thought out. To pick up on one item, there is a good response to one appeal made in form criticism: that of the criterion of dissimilarity.
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By Mac McAleer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How God Became Jesus v How Jesus Became God

This is a response to Burt Ehrman's bestselling book How Jesus Became God written by five biblical scholars. I ordered both this and Ehrman's book because I wanted to see both sides of the argument. The publishers had kindly supplied the authors with a pre-publication version of Ehrman's book. The result was a timely response, so timely that in the UK their book was delivered before Ehrman's. Thus I found myself mentally constructing Ehrman's book from the response to it. This reminded me of Contra Celsum by the early Church father Origen, where Origen refutes the attack on Christianity by the pagan Celsus. We have Origen's work but that of Celsus is lost and can only be inferred from the response.

However, this book "How God Became Jesus" cannot stand alone. Reading it requires a previous reading of "How Jesus Became God". The authors, five historians of the early Church, who all happen to be believing Christians, thought it was important to produce a critique of another historian of the early Church who used to be a Christian and who states that he is ". . . no longer obsessed with the theological question of how God became a man".

The writing style is accessible, readable, and sometimes even jokey; this is true for all the chapters even though they are written by several different authors. Inevitably, a Christian faith would help. As I am unfamiliar with biblical scholarship and theology I sometimes found myself understanding the words of the arguments, but not the meaning.
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