How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee

Bart D. Ehrman. HarperOne, $26.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-177818-6
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.)
Reviewed on: 02/10/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
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