How Jesus Became God: The Exhaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee
By Bart D. Ehrman
HarperOne is the publisher. When will it be published? On March 25, 2014. Language: EnglishISBN-10: 0061778184Language: English Hardcover with 416 pages of text. 6 x 9 Inches are the dimensions.
- ″How Jesus Became God makes the most astonishing and complex topic in the history of Christianity accessible to every reader, and it provides a clear and balanced discussion of how various Christians—and non-Christians—see Jesus.″ ″How Jesus Became God is a clear and balanced discussion of how various Christians—and non-Christians—see Jesus.″ The Gnostic Gospels were written by ELAINE PAGELS, a Princeton University professor of religion and author of The Gnostic Gospels ″Ehrman has pulled it off again again!
- It is in this colorful and fascinating work that he provides a sophisticated, comprehensive, and wide-ranging treatment of early Christian Christology and everything that it encompasses.
- Ehrman demonstrates his abilities as an interpreter of both biblical and nonbiblical materials as he traces the development of the idea of Jesus from a completely human apocalyptic speaker to a fully divine creature in this book.
- This is an important and easily accessible work by a researcher of first rank,″ says the reviewer.
- A lecturer at Harvard Divinity School and the editor of The New Oxford Annotated Bible, MICHAEL COOGAN, says: In his writing, Ahrman displays vitality and clarity, but above all, he demonstrates intellectual honesty.
- He de-mystifies a subject on which biblical experts are all too often in disagreement with one another.
- ″This book contains valuable information for both believers and nonbelievers.″ —JOHN J.
COLLINS, Yale University’s Holmes Professor of Old Testament In what way was it possible for the One God to have a son in the ancient monotheism?For this tiny messianic group, Jesus of Nazareth has been risen from the dead, as Ehrman explains in his book.He introduces the reader to a Jewish universe filled with angels, cosmic forces, and many semidivinities, one of whom is Jesus of Nazareth, who has been raised from the grave.″How Jesus Became God presents a fascinating review of Nicea’s prelude,″ says the author.The author of Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, PAULA FREDRIKSEN, says:
- Leading Bible scholar Bart D.
- Ehrman analyzes how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee who was killed for crimes against the state came to be regarded as equal with the one God Almighty, the Creator of all things, in a book that took him eight years to study and write.
- Ehrman depicts Jesus’ change from a human prophet to the Son of God, who was exalted to divine status during his resurrection, in his book The Transfiguration.
- That Jesus, the Galilean prophet, had risen from the dead was only realized after several of his disciples had visions of him after his death, in which he appeared to be alive once more.
- And what they meant by it was very different from what people today mean by it.
- As a historian, rather than a believer, Ehrman provides answers to the following questions: How did Jesus’ transition take place?
- How did he make the transition from being a Jewish prophet to being the God of the universe?
Because of the significant developments that have occurred throughout history, we may learn not just why Jesus’ disciples began to assert that he was God, but also how they came to accept this claim in such a variety of ways.How Jesus Became God, written for secular historians of religion as well as believers, will engage anybody interested in the historical circumstances that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: that Jesus was and continues to be the Son of God.
[PDF] How Jesus Became God
- Leading Bible scholar Bart D. Ehrman investigates how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee who was killed for crimes against the state came to be regarded as equivalent to the one God Almighty, the Creator of all things, in a book that took him eight years to research and write. Jesus’ metamorphosis from a human prophet to the Son of God, who was elevated to divine status upon his resurrection, is shown by Ehrman. Nobody believed that Jesus, the prophet from Galilee, had transformed into God until some of his disciples saw visions of him after his death—when he was alive again. And what they meant by it was very different from what people today mean by the same phrase. When it comes to the questions: How did this transition of Jesus take place?, Ehrman speaks as a historian, not as a believer. How did Jesus make the transition from being a Jewish prophet to becoming the God of the universe? In addition to revealing why Jesus’ disciples began to assert that he was God, the dramatic shifts in historical perspective also indicate why and how they came to comprehend this claim in such a variety of ways. When it comes to the historical circumstances that led to the affirmation at the center of Christianity: that Jesus was and continues to be God, How Jesus Became God is a must-read for both secular historians of religion and religious believers.
- How Jesus Became God is a book authored by Bart D.
- Ehrman and published by Harper Collins that may be downloaded or read on the internet.
- This book was published on March 25, 2014, and it contains a total of 416 pages.
- Available in three formats: PDF, EPUB, and Kindle.
- An extract from the book: Bart Ehrman, New York Times bestselling author and Bible specialist, demonstrates how Jesus’ divinity became accepted as gospel doctrine throughout the first several decades of the early church.
- The idea that Jesus of Nazareth was and continues to be God is at the center of the Christian religion.
- However, this was not the belief of the original disciples during Jesus’ lifetime, and it was also not the belief of Jesus himself at the moment of his death.
A new documentary entitled How Jesus Became God examines the narrative of a concept that helped establish Christianity, as well as the growth of a belief system that looked substantially different in the fourth century than it did in the first.In this book, Ehrman, a skilled expositor of Christian history, scripture, and traditions, explains how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee, executed for crimes against the state, came to be regarded as equal with God Almighty, the Creator of all things.But how did Jesus make the transition from being a Jewish prophet to being the God of the universe?With this book, Ehrman depicts Jesus’ metamorphosis from a human prophet to the Son of God, who was elevated to divine status as a result of his resurrection.It took Ehrman eight years to study and write the book.That Jesus, the Galilean prophet, had risen from the dead was only realized after several of his disciples had visions of him after his death, in which he appeared to be alive once more.
And what they meant by it was very different from what people today mean by it.How Jesus Became God, written for secular historians of religion as well as believers, will engage anybody interested in the historical circumstances that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: that Jesus was and continues to be the Son of God.Books that are related
How Jesus Became God
How God Became Jesus
How Jesus Became God
- Bart Ehrman, New York Times bestselling author and Bible specialist, demonstrates how Jesus’ divinity became accepted as gospel doctrine throughout the first several decades of the early church.
- The idea that Jesus of Nazareth was and continues to be God is at the center of the Christian religion.
- However, this was not the belief of the original disciples during Jesus’ lifetime, and it was also not the belief of Jesus himself at the moment of his death.
- A new documentary entitled How Jesus Became God examines the narrative of a concept that helped establish Christianity, as well as the growth of a belief system that looked substantially different in the fourth century than it did in the first.
- In this book, Ehrman, a skilled expositor of Christian history, scripture, and traditions, explains how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee, executed for crimes against the state, came to be regarded as equal with God Almighty, the Creator of all things.
- But how did Jesus make the transition from being a Jewish prophet to being the God of the universe?
- With this book, Ehrman depicts Jesus’ metamorphosis from a human prophet to the Son of God, who was elevated to divine status as a result of his resurrection.
It took Ehrman eight years to study and write the book.That Jesus, the Galilean prophet, had risen from the dead was only realized after several of his disciples had visions of him after his death, in which he appeared to be alive once more.And what they meant by it was very different from what people today mean by it.How Jesus Became God, written for secular historians of religion as well as believers, will engage anybody interested in the historical circumstances that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: that Jesus was and continues to be the Son of God.
Religion Book Review: When Jesus Became God: The Epic Fight Over Christ’s Divinity in the Last Days of Rome by Richard E. Rubenstein, Author, Richard Rubenstein, Editor Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $30 (368p) ISBN 978-0-15-100368-6
- Richard E.
- Rubenstein is the author, and Richard Rubenstein is the editor of this work.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers (HMH) a monetary amount of $30 (368p) 978-0-15-100368-6 is the ISBN for this book.
- The narrative of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, as told in the Gospels, are well-known in Western literature.
- But the Gospel accounts do not explicitly address or resolve the theological question of Jesus’ divinity, which is left to the imagination.
- No one among the disciples becomes embroiled in a debate about whether Jesus is entirely God or totally human in the traditional sense.
- It took over 300 years for these issues to be brought up in such a serious fashion that Christianity was irreversibly altered by the discussion.
After Auschwitz, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), Rubenstein, a Jew who famously declared that God died ″″after Auschwitz,″″ examines the details of a fractious period in early Christian history when Christianity was defining itself against other religious sects through a number of councils and creeds.Rubenstein is the author of the book After Auschwitz, which became a bestseller.Rubenstein focuses his attention on the violent debate between Arius, a presbyter of Alexandria, and Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, despite the fact that he discusses numerous of the issues involving the divinity of Jesus.He claimed that Christ did not share God’s essence, but rather was the first creation created by the Father, and that this was sufficient evidence for his claim.As an alternative, Athanasius maintained that Christ was entirely God, saying that the incarnation of God in Jesus restored the image of God to fallen humanity via his death and resurrection.Rueben Rubenstein brings to life the lives and activities of these two figures, and he also explains how the Council of Nicea in A.D.
325 formed the Christian orthodoxy that was eventually used to condemn and expel Arius as a heretic.According to the author, as a result of the Council of Nicea, ″″God became a Trinity to Christians.″″ Heresy was elevated to the level of a felony.Judaism has become synonymous with infidelity.″″ As early Christianity formed against the backdrop of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, Rubenstein’s vivid historical drama provides a panoramic vision.
Who Wrote the Bible?: Friedman, Richard: 9781501192401: Amazon.com: Books
There has been much anticipation for the reissue of Who Wrote the Bible?, a contemporary classic that the New York Times Book Review described as ″a thought-provokingperceptive guide.″ Who Wrote the Bible?identifies the individual writers of the Pentateuch and explains what they can teach us about the Bible’s origins.It was believed for thousands of years that Moses was the single author of the first five books of the Bible, known as the Pentateuch, and that this belief continued today.
According to tradition, Moses was divinely directed to record the most important events in the history of the world, including the creation of humans, the worldwide flood, the laws as they were handed down at Mt.Sinai, and the cycle of Israel’s enslavement and liberation from Egypt.He did so in the book of Genesis, which can be found in the Hebrew Bible.
In spite of this, these accounts — and the numerous contradictions between them — raise difficulties.For example, why does the first chapter of Genesis declare that man and woman were created in God’s image, but the second chapter says that woman was created from man’s rib?One story of the flood claims it lasted forty days, while another claims it lasted no less than one hundred and twenty-five.And why do certain stories appear to be based on the history of southern Judah, while others appear to be based on the history of northern Israel?Richard Friedman’s Who Wrote the Bible?, first published in 1987, joins a growing number of contemporary scholars in demonstrating that the Pentateuch was written by at least four distinct voices, separated by borders, political alliances, and specific historical moments, and then brought together by brilliant editors.
The author, rather than casting doubt on the Bible’s authenticity, draws attention to the fact that it was authored by actual individuals, as described in these conflicting testimonies.Friedman’s pioneering and best-selling book is a complete and authoritative response to the subject of who exactly wrote the Bible and when it happened.
What do you believe?
Feature According to psychological experts who are investigating the causes and consequences of atheism, believers and nonbelievers may have more in common than people know.Date of creation: 1st of July, 2020 11 minutes to read Page 52 of the printed edition of Vol.51, No.
5 Comment: Although ″In God We Trust″ is the official motto of the United States, religious belief looks to be on the decrease in the country.Based on research conducted by the Pew Research Center, 4 percent of American adults declared themselves to be atheists in 2018 and 2019, compared to 2 percent who declared themselves atheists and 3 percent who declared themselves to be agnostics in 2009.According to the study, another 17 percent of Americans classified their religion as ″nothing in particular,″ a significant increase from the previous year’s 12 percent (Pew Research Center, 2019).
According to Will Gervais, PhD, an evolutionary and cultural psychologist at the University of Kentucky, polls may underestimate the real number of nonbelievers since atheists are typically stigmatized and may be unwilling to identify themselves.His research reveals that the real frequency of atheism may be closer to 26 percent, and that it is virtually probably higher than the official figure of 11 percent (Social Psychological and Personality Science, Vol.9, No.1, 2018).Despite the growing number of atheists and agnostics, they are not widely understood by the general public.
Despite the vast amount of research being done on religion and spirituality, comprehensive studies of nonbelievers have only just begun to gain momentum in the last 10 or 15 years.In the past hundred years, psychologists, like Miguel Farias, PhD, who is a professor of psychology and the director of Coventry University’s Brain, Belief, and Behavior group, have examined belief primarily through the prism of Protestant Christianity.″It wasn’t until lately that we discovered there were so many folks out there who we hadn’t really looked at.The truth is that in order to examine belief properly, we must take into consideration the wide range of things that atheists or agnostics could think.″ Since then, academics have been able to build a more accurate picture of the psychology of nonbelief.Though religious countries such as the United States, where atheists still face hostility, a growing body of data reveals that nonbelievers and believers may not be that unlike after all.
Nonbelief occurs in a variety of shapes and sizes.An atheist is defined as someone who does not believe in a deity, whereas an agnostic is defined as someone who does not think it is possible to know for certain whether or not a god exists.You may be both an atheist and an agnostic at the same time; an agnostic atheist doesn’t believe in god but also believes that we will never be able to determine whether or not he exists.
Gnostic atheists, on the other hand, are confident that no deity exists and believe this with absolute conviction.But nonbelievers frequently use these words in an inaccurate manner—and many individuals who do not believe in a deity are opposed to labels in general.Ms.
Farias contributed to a report on the interdisciplinary, multi-institutional Understanding Unbelief research program, which was launched in 2012 and is a three-year project that will investigate nonbelief in countries such as Brazil, China, Denmark, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.The researchers discovered that only a small percentage of nonbelievers preferred the labels ″atheist″ or ″agnostic,″ with many choosing phrases such as ″nonreligious,″ ″spiritual but not religious,″ ″secular,″ ″humanist,″ or ″freethinker.″ People who indicated they don’t believe in God in the United States, for example, classified themselves as atheists only 39 percent of the time (Understanding Unbelief, University of Kent, 2019).Contrary to popular belief, studies are beginning to narrow down the characteristics that determine whether or not someone believes.People with strong critical thinking abilities, such as evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins, PhD, have notably argued that anyone with strong critical thinking skills should reject religion.It is believed that persons with superior analytical talents are more likely to be nonbelievers than those with less analytical ability, because belief in a higher power demands having confidence in something that cannot be demonstrated.
The converse of this argument is that believers may be more susceptible to intuitive thinking, believing in their hearts that a god exists even in the lack of objective proof.Gervais was one of several researchers who released findings in 2012 indicating that analytic thinking was connected with atheism (Science, Vol.336, No.6080, 2012).Newer evidence, on the other hand, calls into question the notion that analytical thinking drives people to abandon religion.As Gervais points out, ″the contemporary picture is a lot more complicated.″ Using two different populations, Farias investigated the differences between analytic and intuitive thinking in two different settings: a culturally and religiously diverse group of people traveling on a spiritual pilgrimage route in Spain, and adults from the general population in the United Kingdom (see Figure 1).
- The researchers discovered that there was no correlation between intuitive thinking and religious belief in either group.
- Participants’ cognitive inhibition, or their capacity to suppress intuitive ideas and impulsive acts, was improved in a comparable trial in which Farias employed neurostimulation.
- If supernatural belief is related with intuitive thinking, increasing cognitive inhibition should lead to an increase in skepticism about supernatural claims.
- However, the researchers discovered that lowering cognitive inhibition had no influence on religious or spiritual views or practices (Nature Scientific Reports, Vol.
- 7, Article 15100, 2017).
- As Farias explains, ″These studies imply that there is no relationship between analytical thinking and atheism or agnosticism.″ Other discoveries have only served to strengthen that notion.
Gervais and colleagues looked outside the United States, drawing on a worldwide sample of more than 13 different civilizations to investigate the relationship between belief and cognitive reflection, or the capacity to resist gut emotions and ponder on situations.In just three nations, they discovered that cognitive reflection was connected with atheism: Australia, Singapore, and the United States.And even in those nations where the association was able to survive, the link was only of small significance (Judgment and Decision Making, Vol.13, No.3, 2018).Despite the fact that ″popularatheist speech trumpets how reasonable and analytical they are,″ Gervais asserts that their claims are not backed by our best scientific evidence.
Despite the fact that atheists are not innately analytical, there is evidence that some of them may adopt a scientific worldview….Since religious people frequently resort to their beliefs to cope with stress and anxiety, Farias wondered if nonbelievers would consider putting their confidence in science instead of religion during times of stress.His research included a comparison of two groups of competitive rowers, one of whom was preparing to compete in a high-stress competition and the other who was participating in a low-stress training session.Despite the fact that both groups scored low on religiousness tests, rowers in the high-stress group expressed a higher belief in science than rowers in the low-stress group.In a second experiment, Farias predisposed participants to contemplate their own mortality, which is a circumstance that frequently motivates individuals to defend their religious beliefs.
- The primed group, like the control group, expressed stronger faith in science than the control group.
- As a whole, these findings show that scientific inquiry, like religious inquiry, may be a source of personal meaning (Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol.
- 49, No.
- 6, 2013).
″In some countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, science has almost taken on a godlike status,″ Farias says.According to other research, nonbelievers may be able to find meaning in science and nature as well.Researchers led by Jesse L.
- Preston, PhD, of the University of Warwick in England discovered that while religious people were more likely to cite religious events as sources of spirituality, nonbelievers were more likely to report spiritual experiences related to nature, science, meditation, or so-called ″peak″ experiences as sources of spirituality (such as riding a motorcycle or using psychedelic drugs).
- Despite the fact that the sources of spirituality were different for religious and nonreligious persons, both religious and nonreligious people were moved by the encounters (Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol.
- 70, No.
- 1, 2017).
Religion and health
When taking a mountain hike or going on a roller coaster ride, atheists may experience moments of spirituality, but are these experiences as beneficial as religious experiences?According to a large body of research, belonging to religious organizations and attending religious services are associated with better physical and psychological health.For example, ″if religion is good, then atheists should be less healthy,″ says David Speed, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of New Brunswick in Canada.
″But we don’t find that,″ says Dr.Speed.Data from the 2008 General Social Survey, a large survey of a representative sample of adults in the United States, was used by Speed to compare people who believed in God with people who did not believe in God.
The results revealed that the two groups had similar levels of self-reported health.However, it should be noted that adamant atheists had a more negative reaction to religion than believers.The health of people who claimed they did not believe in God was worse overall when they reported atypically high participation in religious events (for example, people who participated because of family or social pressure) (Journal of Religion and Health, Vol.55, No.1, 2016).
As a result, it appears that religious attendance or prayer does not provide any intrinsic benefits.″ ″You have to be in the right frame of mind in order to reap the benefits,″ Speed explains.According to Speed and Luke Galen, PhD, a professor of psychology at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, when it comes to health benefits, belief may be less important than all of the other factors that come with participating in organized religion, such as social support.According to Galen’s findings after reviewing the literature on the benefits of religious belief, most of the benefits of religious belief can be attributed to factors such as social engagement and being a member of a social network that is supportive.Similar to how religious people benefit from belonging to a religious organization, atheists who participate in like-minded groups, such as humanist organizations or atheist alliances, benefit from belonging to such organizations (Science, Religion & Culture, Vol.2, No.3, 2015).
- ‘It’s not so much the religious belief as it is the unique sauce.
- According to him, ″it’s simply being a member of a welcoming community of like-minded individuals.″ Based on his other research, it appears that having strong convictions about your worldview may be more important than your beliefs about anything else.
- He discovered that religious believers and atheists who were confident in their religious beliefs reported greater overall well-being than those who were unsure or confused about their religious beliefs in the first place (Mental Health, Religion & Culture, Vol.
- 14, No.
- 7, 2011).
- People in the middle of the curve may experience some distress or anxiety as a result of the lack of coherence in their worldview, according to Dr.
Religion is not just associated with improved health; it is also associated with other favorable outcomes.Additionally, research reveals that religious belief is associated with prosocial actions such as volunteering and contributing to charitable organizations.While religious belief and participation in a specific religious organization are important, Galen’s research reveals that prosocial advantages are more closely associated with general group membership than they are with religious belief or membership in a specific religious group (Social Indicators Research, Vol.
122, No.2, 2015).In fact, he claims that while religious individuals are more inclined to volunteer or donate to charity activities that are tied to their religious views, atheists tend to be more giving to a broader range of causes and different groups than religious people.
At the same time, atheists and other nonbelievers continue to be subjected to significant stigma, and they are frequently seen as less moral than their religious counterparts.After conducting a survey spanning 13 nations, Gervais and colleagues discovered that individuals in the majority of countries instinctively felt that serious moral transgressions (such as murder and mutilation) were more likely to be committed by atheists rather than religious believers.This anti-atheist prejudice was also present among those who classified as atheists, indicating that religious culture has a significant impact on moral judgements, even among those who do not believe in gods or religion (Nature Human Behaviour, Vol.1, Article 0151, 2017).Nonreligious individuals, on the other hand, are comparable to religious people in a variety of ways.
For example, in the Understanding Unbelief study, Farias and colleagues discovered that, across all six nations in which they conducted research, both believers and nonbelievers rated family and freedom as the most essential values both in their individual lives and in society at large.The scientists also discovered data that refuted the commonly held belief that atheists feel that life has no purpose.They discovered that the opinion that the cosmos is ″ultimately meaningless″ was held by just a minority of nonbelievers in each country studied.In Farias’ opinion, ″people think that they have extremely diverse sets of beliefs and opinions about the world, but research appears that they most often do not,″ he adds.Meaning, on the other hand, may emerge from inside rather than from without in the case of nonreligious people.In another study based on data from the General Social Survey, Speed and colleagues discovered that in the United States, atheists and the religiously unaffiliated were no more likely than persons who were religious or nurtured in a religious environment to feel that life has no value.
- Atheists and those who are not involved with any religion, on the other hand, were more prone to feel that meaning is created by the individual (SAGE Open, Vol.
- 8, No.
- 1, 2018).
- According to Speed, ″there are messages asking people to love their family and work hard or to be a decent person, but they all appear to arrive at quite identical conclusions.″ Gervais goes on to say that neither believers nor nonbelievers can claim the moral high ground.
- According to a more distant perspective, religions may have had a role in establishing large-scale cooperation.
- Taking a closer look, it’s really the most secular countries on the planet at the moment that are doing the best job taking care of their most vulnerable, refraining from being violent, and engaging in other actions that appear virtuous,″ he argues.
It’s a jumble, but we can state with confidence that the intuitive link between religion and morality is a lot greater than any genuine relationship,″ says the author.In the United States, a country whose religious traditions are deeply ingrained, there is still much to learn about those who do not believe in God.Gervais argues that belief occurs at the ″intersection of culture, evolution, and cognition,″ and that there is ample reason to give it a shot.″Religion is a fundamental component of human nature, and any scientific explanation of religion must include an understanding of atheism,″ says the author.
Atheism, agnosticism, and nonreligious worldviews are the focus of this special issue.Psychological Studies of Religion and Spirituality (R.W.Hood Jr.
and colleagues, eds.), 2018 Atheists Schianove, R., and Gervais, W.M.(2017), Social and Personality Psychology Compass, Springer-Verlag.Understanding Unbelief: Atheists and Agnostics Around the World Bullivant, S., et al., University of Kent, 2019.
Understanding Unbelief: Atheists and Agnostics Around the World
1.According to surveys, atheism and agnosticism are on the rise in the United States, yet nonbelievers are still a relatively understudied population.2.
Research across cultures and countries has discovered that there is no clear correlation between analytical thinking and a proclivity for atheism, despite prior findings to the opposite.While research reveals that atheists share comparable values with religious people and that a majority feel that life has a larger meaning or purpose, stigma and bigotry continue to be associated with them.
When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome – Kindle edition by Rubenstein, Richard E. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
Early Christianity as it grew against the backdrop of the Roman Empire in the fourth century is described as ″a panoramic picture of early Christianity as it developed against the backdrop of Rome in the fourth century″ (Publishers Weekly).The tale of Jesus, as well as the account of Christian persecutions throughout the Roman Empire, are well known to most people.But the history of intense discussion, civil war, and murderous riots inside the Christian community as it was forming is a side of ancient history that is rarely discussed in academic circles.
When the fourth century comes around, Richard E.Rubenstein transports readers to the streets of the Roman Empire, where a pivotal argument about the divinity of Jesus Christ is being contested.Following the rule of a Christian emperor, followers of Jesus no longer had reason to be concerned about the survival of their monotheistic faith.
As time passes, however, they begin to divide into two camps about the direction of their worship: Is Jesus the son of God, and therefore not the same as God?Alternatively, is Jesus precisely God on earth and, as such, equal to Him?Two charismatic clergymen are at the front of this savage argument.Jesus, according to Arius, an Alexandrian priest and poet, is a lesser being than God, notwithstanding his holiness.Bishop Athanasius, a smart but angry man, believes that any reduction of Jesus’ divine status is the work of the devil.
There stands Alexander, the strong Bishop of Alexandria, who is responsible for finding a solution that would keep the empire intact while also keeping the Christian faith alive in Alexandria.The author, Rubenstein, has meticulously researched the historical, theological, and social contexts of one of the most pivotal times in the history of religion, and has created a realistic recreation of that period.As the New York Times put it, ″A beautifully dramatic novel…Rubenstein has transformed one of the great battles of history into an absorbing story.″ “God: A Biography,” by Jack Miles, from the Boston Globe.
How Jesus Became God
Bart Ehrman, New York Times bestselling author and Bible specialist, demonstrates how Jesus’ divinity became accepted as gospel doctrine throughout the first several decades of the early church.The idea that Jesus of Nazareth was and continues to be God is at the center of the Christian religion.However, this was not the belief of the original disciples during Jesus’ lifetime, and it was also not the belief of Jesus himself at the moment of his death.
A new documentary entitled How Jesus Became God examines the narrative of a concept that helped establish Christianity, as well as the growth of a belief system that looked substantially different in the fourth century than it did in the first.In this book, Ehrman, a skilled expositor of Christian history, scripture, and traditions, explains how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee, executed for crimes against the state, came to be regarded as equal with God Almighty, the Creator of all things.But how did Jesus make the transition from being a Jewish prophet to being the God of the universe?
With this book, Ehrman depicts Jesus’ metamorphosis from a human prophet to the Son of God, who was elevated to divine status as a result of his resurrection.It took Ehrman eight years to study and write the book.That Jesus, the Galilean prophet, had risen from the dead was only realized after several of his disciples had visions of him after his death, in which he appeared to be alive once more.And what they meant by it was very different from what people today mean by it.How Jesus Became God, written for secular historians of religion as well as believers, will engage anybody interested in the historical circumstances that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: that Jesus was and continues to be the Son of God.
How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee: Ehrman, Bart D.: 9780061778186: Amazon.com: Books
Ehrman, who has written extensively on early Christianity, here tackles one of the most important problems in religious history: ″What is the meaning of life?″ How did a messianic Jewish speaker come to be regarded as God’s representative?This is an especially remarkable phenomena when one considers how quickly it occurred and how unlike the notion of Jesus as God was from the actual teaching of Jesus.This style takes the reader into a subject that is rife with curves and paradoxes, and Ehrman’s writing is quite personal, particularly in the beginning.
The essential question that must be addressed by all writers who write on this subject is this: Did Jesus’ followers genuinely witness the risen Christ?Ehrman establishes a strong foundation for his response by first analyzing the numerous views of divine humanity that existed in ancient times.When it comes to the resurrection, he says that it makes no difference whether the apostles saw Jesus in person or if they saw him in a vision.
Their belief in a resurrected Jesus was the catalyst for the transition and shaping of Christianity.A study of later Christologies and heresies may grow confusing, but this intriguing conversation will engage—and provoke—a wide audience with its provocative questions.Ilene Cooper is the author of this piece.
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN JESUS BECAME GOD makes the most amazing and complicated issue in the history of Christianity accessible to every reader, while also providing a clear and impartial explanation of how many Christians, as well as non-Christians, view Jesus.Elaine Pagels, professor of religion at Princeton University and author of The Gnostic Gospels, is an expert on the subject of religion.This vibrant and fascinating work by Ehrman provides a sophisticated and comprehensive examination of early Christian Christology.
Ehrman demonstrates his abilities as an interpreter of both biblical and nonbiblical materials as he follows the development of the concept of Jesus.This is an important and easily accessible work by a researcher of first rank,″ says the reviewer.A lecturer at Harvard Divinity School and the editor of The New Oxford Annotated Bible, Michael Coogan, shares his thoughts on the subject.
In his writing, Ahrman displays vitality and clarity, but above all, he demonstrates intellectual honesty.He de-mystifies a subject on which biblical experts are all too often in disagreement with one another.″This book contains valuable information for both believers and nonbelievers.″ – John J.Collins, Yale University’s Holmes Professor of Old Testament It begins where the historical Jesus tales finish and goes on to explain how this enthralling story has endured for hundreds of years.This book is candid and clear, and it lays out what appear to be overly intricate issues that separated early Christians in a fair and accessible manner.″ The Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard University, Harvey Cox In what way was it possible for the One God to have a son in the ancient monotheism?
This is the account told by Bart Ehrman, who introduces the reader to a Jewish universe filled with angels, cosmic forces, and an infinite number of semi-divinities.″How Jesus Became God presents a fascinating review of Nicea’s prelude,″ says the author.The following is an excerpt from the book Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, written by Paula Fredriksen, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and author of the book.In the beginning of the book, Ehrman writes in a very personal manner, and this technique draws the reader into a topic that is rife with curves and paradoxes.″This engaging conversation will engage and challenge a large audience,″ says the moderator.- A list of books ″Ehrman’s work presents issues that should pique the curiosity of everyone.
- represents a real exchange of ideas among knowledgeable researchers.″ Christian Century is a publication dedicated to the Christian faith.
- ″Bart Ehrman has made a career out of delving deep into some of the most challenging topics at the junction of faith and history,″ writes the New York Times.
- – According to the Boston Globe
Book Review: ″How Jesus Became God″ by Bart D. Ehrman
404 error pages It’s one of the pleasures – and challenges – of reading a historical novel about human history, whether it’s set in the last few decades or several centuries ago.It’s not uncommon to discover that assumptions and understandings about particular events that are now widely held to be true are oversimplifications or outright incorrect interpretations of what happened.A second comparable advantage is the knowledge that beliefs about a historical event that are now regarded established and undeniable may have formerly been thought out of the question, if not outright inappropriate to even discuss at the time.
According to the subtitle of his book How Jesus Became God, Bible scholar Bart Ehrman investigates one such situation of changing knowledge, which he characterizes as ″The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee.″ Christian modern-day believers consider Jesus to be a member of the Trinity, alongside God and the Holy Spirit, and believe that Jesus is made of the same material as God and has existed for the same amount of time that God has existed.While acknowledging that they were not the views of the very first Christians, Ehrman contends that they were.In this book, Ehrman shows how early Christian belief of Jesus’ divinity grew throughout the years and decades immediately after his crucifixion, based on an examination of the language of the New Testament.
He then goes on to show how, within a few of centuries, the notion of Jesus as a member of the Trinity came to be established and accepted.According to Ehrman, the belief in the resurrection triggered early Christian ideas of Jesus as something more than a mere human being, and even as divine.In the book, he makes no attempt to establish or deny the existence of the resurrection, stating that such arguments fall beyond the scope of historical research and are ultimately a question of faith and believe on the part of the reader.It is instead his starting point that early Christians thought the resurrection occurred, and it is from this basic conviction that a subsequent view of Jesus’ divinity arose as a result.In the first few chapters, Ehrman describes the many ways in which people in ancient cultures perceived humans as having the ability to transform into gods.
It will come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with the myths of ancient Greece and Rome that the three models he describes from these early societies are captured in sections descriptively entitled: ″Gods who temporarily become Human,″ ″Divine Beings born of a God and an Earthling, ″ and ″A Human who becomes Divine.″ A survey of these models is followed by the presentation of concrete examples of them, both to establish their broad conceptual acceptance in pre-Christian periods and to serve as a foundation for comparison with assertions made by Paul and the Gospels.Furthermore, Ehrman demonstrates that variants of these three models emerge in ancient Judaism, despite the religion’s monotheistic heritage; as a result, these conceptions were prevalent in the Jewish culture where Jesus was born, raised, and preached.A basic summary of Judaism up to the time of Jesus’ crucifixion is followed by instances from the Old Testament of each type of human divinity, culminating in the crucifixion itself.According to him, the Jewish people understood that there may be gradations of divinity, for example, the angels in heaven in relation to God, and that this was a common concept throughout history.Once Ehrman has established the pre-existing cultural forms of thinking about supernatural creatures throughout Jesus’ historical period, he turns his attention to the key issue of his title: ″how did Jesus become God?″ The important question for Ehrman here, and throughout the book, is ″in what sense″ was Jesus seen to be divine, given the various gradations of divinity supposed to be attainable (ranging from angels, for example, to God himself).Beginning with an overview of the materials accessible to a historian investigating this subject, he goes on to discuss the Old and New Testaments, with a special emphasis on the writings of Paul, as well as the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, among other things.
- He outlines how theological historians investigate these writings, as well as the analytical techniques that are employed to determine what historical facts can be deduced from them, in his book.
- For example, when these sources were written, how they appear to be reporting similar events, whether they appear to be reporting similar events, whether they appear to have had one or the other earlier, yet unknown, source material, and so on are all covered in his summary of the current scholarly consensus.
- His demonstration of how historians study these writings to elucidate both a historical knowledge of Jesus’ life and the evolution of early Christian ideas in the years after his crucifixion is an important part of the course.
- Ehrman begins by examining how Jesus most likely perceived himself, specifically whether or not he perceived himself as God, on the basis of these techniques of reading the passages in question.
- Ehrman claims that while Jesus called himself (and thus thought of himself) as the messiah, from a historical perspective of the sources, he cannot be shown to have called himself (or considered himself) God.
- He bases his claim on an examination of what is reported about Jesus in the earliest works of the New Testament.
While Jesus says in John’s Gospel, the most recent of the Gospels, that he is God, Ehrman argues that such assertions do not exist in any of the previous Gospels and, as a result, ″are part of John’s unique theology; they do not appear in the historical record of what Jesus said.″ (125) When it comes to the resurrection, Ehrman draws on the historical record that is accessible to us (that is, the Gospels) to point out significant events related with the resurrection that are impossible to know without further research.He focuses in particular on two issues: whether or not Jesus was given a proper burial, and whether or not his tomb was discovered to be empty later on.His argument is that these occurrences ″are vulnerable to historical dispute″ in both cases, based on a historical interpretation of the Gospels, as well as our contemporary understanding of Roman crucifixion and burial procedures during that time period (151).His next section describes the events surrounding Jesus’s resurrection that he believes can be considered known from historical evidence in the Gospels, including three key points: (1) some of Jesus’s followers believed that he had been raised from the dead; (2) they believed this because some of them had visions of him after his crucifixion; and (3) this belief led them to reevaluate who Jesus was, so that the Jewish apocalyptic preacher from rural Galilee came to be considered the Messiah.For each of these occurrences, he gives evidence from the Gospels, including data that is consistent with what historians and scientists from other areas have learned about the belief systems and behaviors of the historical period.The author, having provided the groundwork for the history of the world up to and including the time of Jesus’ crucifixion in the first half of the book, then goes on to answer his central question of how Jesus came to be thought to be God, and in what sense he was understood to be God.
Over the course of the final four chapters of the book, he shows evidence from the Gospels that, in the decades following the resurrection, there was a fast shift in Christian thinking of when Jesus became divine, as well as the degree of his divinity (i.e., how similar to God he was believed to be).In his book, The Case for Jesus, Ehrman claims that in the immediate aftermath of Jesus’ crucifixion, his followers and others came to believe that he had been raised from the dead and elevated to heaven by God.He bases his argument on evidence from the Gospels.As a result, the very first Christians thought that Jesus was a person who, after dying on the cross, was elevated to the divine status.According to Ehrman, over the years following the crucifixion, this knowledge progressed quite swiftly.
- Even while he concedes that the process was not without its difficulties and that it occurred in different ways and at varying speeds throughout the various groupings and congregations, Ehrman maintains that a ″backward trend of Christology″ began as a result of these developments.
- (236) Consequently, belief in Jesus’ elevation shifted to even earlier moments in his life: in Mark, it moved to the moment of his baptism by John the Baptist, and subsequently in Luke and Matthew, it moved to the moment of his birth (or more precisely his conception).
- The unifying thread running across all of these perspectives, however, was that Jesus was a human who was transformed into a divine being.
- The development of ″incarnation Christologies,″ which believe that Christ was a preexistent divine entity who became human before returning to God in heaven, was a great step forward for subsequent Christians.
(249).Ehrman examines evidence from the letters of Paul indicating Christ was described as an angel who came to Earth in human form, but the writings of John characterize Jesus as God who came to Earth.A part of the transition in Christian belief that began around the end of the first century C.E.
- was the recognition that Jesus was made of the same stuff as God, an understanding that would culminate in the Nicene Creed, which was written in the early fourth century C.E.
- and effectively established the concept of the Trinity.
- Despite this, the road from John to Nicea was not without its bumps, and Ehrman devotes an entire chapter to examining various ″Christological dead ends.″ In his conclusion, he observes that ″within Christianity.
- there is a right view and lots of wrong views,″ and he provides a sampling of some of the ″wrong views″ that demonstrate the variety of ways in which Christian theologians of the second and third centuries C.E.
- attempted to explain the relationship between Christ and God, and how the vast majority of these views were ultimately deemed heretical.
The Roman Emperor Constantine exerted considerable pressure on the parties involved, and a significant step forward in settling the situation was achieved.Ehrman points out that in the early fourth century, Constantine converted to Christianity and declared it to be the ″preferred religion″ (345) of the empire, according to Ehrman.Beyond his own religious views, Constantine likely did this in order to reap the benefits of Christianity as a social, cultural, and political force that might unite the world.In 325 C.E., when he discovered that Christian views of the relationship between Christ and God were causing a rift among Christian theologians and their followers, he called on them to come together and resolve their differences, which resulted in the declaration of The Nicene Creed and the formalization of the concept of God as three persons in one God.An Epilogue extends the scope of the book beyond what was agreed upon at Nicaea, and presents a sample of the on-going debates within the Church in the years that followed, which concerned the finer issues of true teaching.
He cites several cases in which what was regarded orthodox at one point in time is reinterpreted as heretic just a few years later, in the face of a new, more established orthodoxy, which he believes is a common phenomenon.In addition to his work as a professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Ehrman has authored a number of works on Christian history and traditions, and he is therefore no stranger to this field of research in general.According to the author’s account in the book, he was born-again in high school, converting to a conservative evangelical Christian faith.
- Later, however, after studying at a bible institute and while pursuing an advanced degree at a Theological Seminary, he began to have doubts, which grew to the point that he now considers himself an agnostic.
- As a theologian, he has the intellectual background to assess the data and lay forth his opinion, while also understanding that there is a critical and obvious separation between what is regarded as faith and what can be studied from a historical viewpoint.
- His book begins with the following statement: ″I have attempted to tackle this topic in a way that will be instructive not just for secular historians of religion such as myself, but also for believers such as my friend who still believe that Jesus is, in fact, God.″ I am unable to take a position on the theological topic of Jesus’ divine status as a result of this.
- Instead, I’m interested in the historical evolution that lead to the assertion that he is the Creator of the universe.
- This historical development almost certainly took place in some form or another, and what people personally believe about Christ should not, in theory, have an impact on the conclusions they draw about the events of the time period in question.
- (3) Later in the book, he acknowledges that fundamentalists (such as himself in the past) who understand the Bible literally and as the infallible word of God will most certainly reject this historical approach as being inappropriate for the time being.
- The historical record that we have received through the Gospels and the letters of Paul provides a clearly explained and fascinating examination of how early Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus developed in the decades following his crucifixion, and Ehrman’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in a more thorough understanding of this development.
- With deft skill, Ehrman weaves together these New Testament writings with descriptions of beliefs and practices prevalent in the Greek, Roman, and Jewish societies of that era, striking the perfect balance between convincing detail and engaging overview.
- Have you read this book, any other books by this author, or even books that are similar to this one written by another author?
- I’d be interested in hearing your comments.
- Other book reviews may be found at: FICTION Bookshelfand BOOKSHELF WITHOUT FICTION
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- Pages with an error code of 404 One of the pleasures – and challenges – of reading a book that explores human history, whether it goes back a few decades or several centuries, is the frequent discovery that assumptions and understandings that are now widely accepted about particular events can be discovered to be oversimplifications, if not outright incorrect interpretations of what actually occurred.
- A second similar benefit is the realization that views about a historical event that are now considered established and unquestionable may have once been considered out of the question, if not outright unacceptable to even consider at that time.
- According to the subtitle of his book How Jesus Became God, Bible scholar Bart Ehrman investigates one such instance of evolving understanding, which he summarizes as ″The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee.″ Christian modern-day believers consider Jesus to be a member of the Trinity, alongside God and the Holy Spirit, and believe that Jesus is made of the same material as God and has existed for the same amount of time that God has existed on the planet.
- But Ehrman argues that these were not the beliefs of the very first Christians, according to him.
In this book, Ehrman traces how early Christian understanding of Jesus’ divinity evolved during those years and decades immediately following his crucifixion, based on an analysis of the words of the New Testament.Afterwards, he demonstrates how, within a few centuries, the concept of Jesus as a member of the Trinity came to be established.Early Christian views of Jesus as something more than a human being, and even as divine in nature, according to Ehrman, began with the belief in his resurrection.In the book, he makes no attempt to prove or disprove the existence of the resurrection, noting that such discussions fall outside the scope of historical analysis and are ultimately a matter of faith and belief on the part of the reader.As an alternative, he begins with the premise that early Christians believed in the resurrection of Jesus, and that subsequent understanding of Jesus’ divinity grew out of that core belief.
- Humans were perceived by people in ancient societies as having the ability to become divine in the book’s opening chapters, which Ehrman describes in detail.
- It should come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with the myths of ancient Greece and Rome that the three models he describes from these early societies are captured in sections descriptively entitled: ″Gods who temporarily become Human,″ ″Divine Beings born of a God and an Earthling, ″ and ″A Human who becomes Divine.″ A review of these models is followed by the presentation of concrete examples of them, both to demonstrate their widespread conceptual acceptance in pre-Christian times and to serve as a basis for comparison with statements made by Paul and the Gospel writers.
- Furthermore, Ehrman demonstrates that versions of these three models appear in ancient Judaism, despite the religion’s monotheistic tradition; as a result, these concepts were present in the Jewish society where Jesus was born, raised, and preached his message.
- A general overview of Judaism up to the time of Jesus’ crucifixion is followed by examples from the Old Testament of each model of human divinity, which is then followed by examples from the New Testament.
- As he points out, there was a Jewish understanding that there could be gradations of divinity, such as the angels in heaven in relation to God, which existed in the ancient world.
- After establishing the pre-existing societal modes of thinking about divine beings during Jesus’ time period, Ehrman moves on to the central question of his title: ″how Jesus came to be the Son of God.″ Throughout the book, Ehrman’s central question is ″in what sense″ was Jesus considered divine, given the various degrees of divinity considered possible (ranging from angels, for example, to God himself).
- As a starting point, he provides a summary of the sources available to a historian researching this question: the Old and New Testaments, with a particular emphasis on Paul’s letters, as well as the four Gospels (Mark; Matthew; Luke; and John), among others.
- As an example, he describes how theological historians study these texts, as well as the analytical tools they employ to determine what historical facts can be deduced from them.
- For example, when these sources were written, how they appear to be reporting similar events, whether they appear to be reporting similar events, whether they appear to have had one or the other earlier, yet unknown, source material, and so on are all covered in detail.
- His demonstration of how historians analyze these texts to elucidate both a historical understanding of Jesus’ life and the development of early Christian beliefs in the years following his crucifixion is an important part of the book.
Ehrman begins by examining how Jesus most likely perceived himself, specifically whether or not he perceived himself as God, on the basis of these approaches to analyzing the texts.When Ehrman examines what is reported about Jesus in the earliest works of the New Testament, he concludes that while Jesus identified himself (and thus thought of himself as the messiah), he cannot be shown to have identified himself (or considered himself) as God from a historical perspective of the sources.While Jesus claims in John’s Gospel, the most recent of the Gospels, that he is God, Ehrman argues that such claims do not appear in any of the earlier Gospels and, as a result, ″are part of John’s distinctive theology; they do not appear in the historical record of what Jesus actually said.