Beliefnet
For Bible Study Nerds

Reader Appeal: Pastors, Teachers, Seminary Students

Genre: Theology / Apologetics

FBSN Rating: B

 

Bart Ehrman has made a cottage industry of creating new, marketable conspiracy theories about Jesus. In the process, he’s made it OK to talk about religion in public places—and spawned an equally profitable “Ehrman-Response” industry. How God Became Jesus is a recent entry into that canon.

Written by nearly a half-dozen theologians, this book lays out a clear, coherent case for the divinity of Christ, refuting Ehrman’s logic in determined detail.

How God Became Jesus follows a natural progression of thought, moving from introductions of Jesus into religious thought in the early chapters, through interpretations and evidences about beliefs in Christ, a look at Ehrman fallacies, and on to discussions of orthodoxy in history and modernity. Of particular interest, to my mind, was Michael Bird’s chapter 3, “Did Jesus Think He was God?” and Simon Gathercole’s chapter 5, “What Did the First Christians Think about Jesus?” Although nothing is definitive in these kinds of works, the insights and evidences raised by Bird and Gathercole are certainly worth discussing.

One interesting note: HarperCollins is the publishing house behind both Ehrman’s book on this topic and this response book, How Jesus Became God. Ehrman’s book is published through their HarperOne imprint, while this one is published through their Zondervan imprint.

So, is How God Became Jesus exciting reading? Not necessarily—but it is important, and it does provide a wealth of information for any thoughtful Bible Study Nerd. Recommended.

 

How God Became Jesus by Michael F. Bird, Craig A. Evans, Simon Gathercole, Charles E. Hill, and Chris Tilling

(Zondervan)

 

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