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How Jesus Became God (Bart D. Ehrman): A Short Review

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 Since one of my favorite topics is the worship of Christ I was interested to see what Bart Ehrman had to say about it in his book How Jesus Became God.


 1. Under Widespread Jewish Beliefs he asserts the following:

 At the heart of the Jewish law was the commandment to worship the God of Israel alone. (page 51)

 My response: The fact that the Lord Jesus is the proper recipient of worship demonstrates that the first Christians believed He was/is God.



 2. In order to escape this fact it reads on page 127 that, "...kings were worshiped-even in the Bible (Matt. 18:26)-by veneration and obeisance, just as God was. Here, Jesus may be accepting the worship due to him as the future king."

My response: Kings were never (properly) worshiped, only God was (properly) worshiped. Indeed, worship is properly due unto "the God of Israel alone" (page 51).


3. On page 248 it reads: But it is interesting, even in the class context, to see that my students' Christological views tend to be drawn more from the Gospel of John than from the other three, earlier Gospels. It is in the Gospel of John, and only in John, that Jesus says such things as "before Abraham was, I am" (8:58) and "I and the Father are one" (10:30). In this Gospel Jesus says, "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" (14:9). And in this Gospel Jesus talks about existing in a glorified state with God the Father before he became human (17:5). That's what many of my students believe. But as they study the New Testament more, they come to see that such self-claims are not made by Jesus in Matthew, Mark, or Luke. So who is right?

 My response: All 4 are correct. The oneness Jesus spoke of in John 14:9 is also taught in Matthew 28:19 where both He and the Father, as well as the Holy Spirit, share in the one Name whereby a person is baptized into. See this passage (Matthew 28:19) and the citations with it in the link I supplied in #1 above. Not only that, this oneness of power (omnipotence) and knowledge (omniscience) is also shared by Christ with the Father (Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22; cf. see footnote #1 in "Matthew 11:27-30" in the link from #1 above). Finally, in Mark 14:62 the Lord Jesus is the Son of Man spoken of in Daniel 7 where He properly receives universal worship due unto God alone (Daniel 7:14; cf. see "Daniel 7:13-14" in the link I provided from #1 above).



Other quotes

4. On page 86 it reads: I realized that some of the authors of the New Testament do not equate Jesus with God. 

My response: All of them (no exceptions) equate Jesus with God. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter and Jude.


5. On page 269 he affirms that Jesus is called "God" in Romans 9:5 in that Christ was "an angelic, divine being before coming into the world; he was the Angel of the Lord; he was eventually exalted to be equal with God and worthy of all of God's honor and worship."

My response: I agree that Jesus is referred to as "God" in Romans 9:5, and He was the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament. But this doesn't mean He was created. See Genesis 48:15-16 in the link I provided from #1 above. The Book of Hebrews presents Christ as "superior to the angels" (page 281) - that is the created angels, because He, as God (1:8), is uncreated and therefore worthy of worship (1:6).

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Anthony Buzzard: First we have the Christology of the Synoptic Gospels, and here it cannot be contended on any sufficient grounds that they give us the slightest justification for advancing beyond the idea of a purely human Messiah. (See the first sentence of the 18th paragraph)

(The underlined above is mine)



 In addition to my response in #3 above I would like to also point out that Matthew 28:18 also teaches that the Lord Jesus is God.



 The same applies to Luke 24:52.




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