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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2014
In his recent book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher From Galilee historian Bart Ehrman explores a claim that resides at the heart of the Christian faith that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. According to Ehrman, though, this is not what the earliest disciples believed, nor what Jesus claimed about himself.
The first response book to this latest challenge to Christianity from Ehrman, How God Became Jesus features the work of five internationally recognized biblical scholars. While subjecting his claims to critical scrutiny, they offer a better, historically informed account of why the Galilean preacher from Nazareth came to be hailed as the Lord Jesus Christ. Namely, they contend, the exalted place of Jesus in belief and worship is clearly evident in the earliest Christian sources, shortly following his death, and was not simply the invention of the church centuries later.
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 the John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins at Houston Baptist University, and author of several books, including Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels (IVP Books, 2006).
<P>Simon Gathercole is Senior Lecturer in New Testament at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, UK, and author of several books, including <EM>The Pre-existent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark and Luke</EM> (Eerdmans, 2006).<STRONG></STRONG></P>
Jimmy ReaganWest Union, OHAge: 35-44Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5Timely Book!June 16, 2014Jimmy ReaganWest Union, OHAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5It is hard to believe. That one rouge scholar could elicit such press is at least hard for me to believe. Still, that is the case and many are quoting Ehrman as if he actually spoke with authority. He speaks as if he has that unquestioning authority and some are at a loss at how to refute him, especially to someone who blindly accepts him. Enter this volume, subtitled "The Real Origins Of Belief In Jesus' Divine Nature", and published by Zondervan, that is written by five scholars. Michael Bird, Craig Evans, Simon J. Gathercole, Charles E. Hill, Chris Tilling contribute.
Ehrman's positions are explained carefully and fairly before they are answered. The authors each hold the belief that Jesus is God in the full sense of the word.
They prove that Ehrman is guilty of "parallelomania" is describing what early Christians believed. That is, he finds something in one document and then demands it means the same in another. That is both arbitrary and illogical and alone refutes a big portion of Erhman's work.
They also showed his interpretive categories were faulty. For example, he randomly picks Galatians 4:14 as his key, attaches a far fetched meaning, and then reads it into every Christological passage. That is reckless.
Ehrman wants us to believe that our current views on the deity of Christ developed slowly over time, but that is simply not the case. It sprang directly from Jesus' personal followers.
The writers write as scholars and make a few concessions that I could not. Still, this is a real help at a time of need.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.