There has been a lot of buzz about Bart Ehrman’s latest volume, How Jesus Became God (HarperOne, 2014). Ehrman tackles the issue of early Christology, in particular how early Christians came to regard Jesus as divine.
Not surprisingly, Erhman rejects the traditional Christian view on the subject, namely that Jesus was regarded as God because he claimed to be God and was, in fact, God. Ehrman offers an alternative thesis:
It will become clear in the following chapters that Jesus was not originally considered to be God in any sense at all, and that he eventually became divine for his followers in some sense before he came to be thought of as equal with God Almighty in an absolute sense. But the point I stress is that this was, in fact, a development (p.44).
In case anyone is wondering, I am currently working on a review of Ehrman’s new book and hope to have it out soon. In the past, I have reviewed a number of his books, including Misquoting Jesus, Jesus Interrupted, and Forged. While the topic of each of these books varies, Ehrman’s overall point is always the same. It is the standard I-used-to-believe-Christian-belief-X-but-now-I-know-it-is-wrong message.
There are already other great reviews out there, such as the one from Andreas Kostenberger and, of course, the full-length response, How God Became Jesus (Zondervan, 2014).
In the meantime, I am slated to be interviewed about Ehrman’s new book tonight at 9PM (EST)/6PM (PST) on Greg Koukl’s nationally syndicated program Stand to Reason. I have enjoyed going on Greg’s program in the past (see prior interviews here, here, and here). Tune in if you can!