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How Jesus Became God Hardcover – 28 Apr 2014

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How Jesus Became God + How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus' Divine nature---a Response to Bart D. Ehrman + Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (28 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061778184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061778186
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


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, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and author of Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews

About the Author

Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. He came to UNC in 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. A graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois), Professor Ehrman received both his Masters of Divinity and PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary, where his 1985 doctoral dissertation was awarded magna cum laude. Since then he has published extensively in the fields of New Testament and Early Christianity, having written or edited 21 books, numerous scholarly articles, and dozens of book reviews. Among his most recent books are a Greek-English edition of The Apostolic Fathers for the Loeb Classical Library (Harvard University Press), an assessment of the newly discovered Gospel of Judas (Oxford University Press), and two New York Times bestsellers: God s Problem (an assessment of the biblical views of suffering) and Misquoting Jesus (an overview of the changes found in the surviving copies of the New Testament and of the scribes who produced them). Among his fields of scholarly expertise are the historical Jesus, the early Christian apocrypha, the apostolic fathers, and the manuscript tradition of the New Testament. Professor Ehrman has served as President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical literature, chair of the New Testament textual criticism section of the Society, book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature, and editor of the monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers (Scholars Press). He currently serves as coeditor of the series New Testament Tools, Studies, and Documents (E.J. Brill), coeditor in chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae, and on several other editorial boards for journals and monographs in the field. Winner of numerous university awards and grants, Professor Ehrman is the recipient of the 1993 UNC Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, the 1994 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for excellence in teaching. Professor Ehrman has two children, a daughter, Kelly, and a son, Derek. He is married to Sarah Beckwith (PhD, King's College London), Marcello Lotti Professor of English at Duke University. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mac McAleer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a long, detailed, well written book which presents a view of the early Christian Church that many may find surprising. I personally found it a little unsettling and this reaction may be the power of this book. I was not sure about the material and its interpretation. The problem is that you need to be a New Testament scholar to be in a position to read this book critically. It is a best-seller in the USA, which surprises me. Why would Christians want to read a book that so profoundly undermines their beliefs and why would non-Christians be interested? The answer is: Because Christians read it to refute it and non-Christians read it to understand the origins of the Christian and post-Christian culture in which they live.

THE ARGUMENTS: Ehrman starts with a description of the treatment of the divine in pagan society where there were many gods and many levels of divinity. He then moves on to the treatment of the divine in the monotheistic Jewish society including attitudes to angels, to heretical Jewish beliefs of a second divinity, the "Son of Man", in Daniel and the non-canonical Book of Enoch and the traces of pagan divinities in the older parts of the Old Testament. Did Jesus think he was God? Ehrman says that Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher and as such could not consider himself as God but could consider himself as the messiah. It would be the Son of Man, separate to Jesus, who would bring the apocalyptic change on earth in God's name and it would be Jesus who would be king of this new reformed kingdom. Ehrman says there was no empty tomb; the Romans would not have allowed the body to be buried after crucifixion. He notes that the references to the risen Jesus are all inconsistent with each other.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Professor Read on 14 Jun 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent overview of early Christian history. A brilliant but succinct analysis of the Two Powers in Heaven and the concept of the Angel-of the-Lord as a foundation out of Biblical Judaism towards arguing Jesus was of the Elohim.
A clear explanation given of how Jews understood the term Messiah king-prophet idea and Christianity's evolution of it into the 'Son of Man' and the Son of God idea, eventually formulating Jesus into God, although he himself never states "I am God". The Quran also refers to Jesus (Isa) as the "Word" of God and "Messiah" son of Mary. This book gives a very helpful understanding for any Muslim of the origins and context in which these ideas gradually evolved in Judaeo-Christianity, well before Islam.
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By Zonnebloem on 28 Oct 2014
Format: Hardcover
I fully recommand Bart Ehrman's books. But this time, pay attention not to buy Bird's book. The title is 'similar' and you find the reference on the same 'amazon' page when you look for Ehrman's book.
Maybe, Ehrman's "How Jesus Became God" can be considered as some sort of sequel of his excellent "Did Jesus exist?" (HarperOne, 2012). If you read French, you could also start with M. Sachot's "L'Invention du Christ" (Odylle Jacob, 1998, sept. 2011) before reading "How Jesus Became God". I hope Ehrman's students fully realize how lucky they are.
P. Godin
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