How God Became JesusI’ve given it some thought and I’ve figured out how I will review How God Became Jesus and How Jesus Became God. Considering the books have parallel(ish) chapters, I plan to review the books side by side in a series of posts. I will probably overview a chapter at a time, or maybe a topic, and present “both sides” of the debate. Then at the end I’ll give a final review of both books.

This allows me to take my time getting though both books, but I can still post about them regularly. My concern is that I am just another blogger. In addition to the five fine scholars in How God Became Jesus, evangelical scholar Andreas Köstenberger has already reviewed How Jesus Became God for The Gospel Coalition, and others more qualified than me will follow suit. So what can I bring to the table? So I hope this approach will be somewhat unique.

Anyway, since I summarized Ehrman’s book, here’s Bird (& co)’s outline. I’ve not included the five excursus as they are attached to their relevant chapters.

How God Became Jesus: Outline

  1. The Story of Jesus as the Story of God (Bird). Introduces the Christological debate, Ehrman’s position, and their response.
  2. Of Gods, Angels, and Men (Bird). The Jews were monotheists and there are significant differences between intermediary figures (angels, etc) and the early Church’s teaching about Jesus, who is identified with the one God.
  3. Did Jesus Think He was God (Bird)? Jesus probably understood Himself as a divine agent, sharing in God’s prerogatives and embodying God’s presence in Himself.
  4. Getting the Burial Traditions and Evidences Right (Evans). Evans responds to Ehrman’s claims about the resurrection.
  5. What Did the First Christians Think about Jesus (Gathercole)? The Synoptic Gospels do in fact present Jesus as sharing the divine identity and being preexistent, and are closer to the rest of the NT than Ehrman allows.
  6. Problems with Ehrman’s Interpretaive Categories (Tilling). Tilling examines Ehrman’s basic methodology and claims about monotheism and Christology.
  7. Misreading Paul’s Christology: Problems with Ehrman’s Exegesis (Tilling). Tilling examines Ehrman’s exegesis head-on.
  8. An Exclusive Religion: Orthodoxy and Heresy, Inclusion and Exclusion (Hill). Ehrman’s claims about the early church’s Christological debates are put under scrutiny and shown to be lacking.
  9. Paradox Pushers and Persecutors (Hill)? Hill continues tracing the development of the early church’s Christological viewpoint, showing that our Christology did not come from “heresy hunters” pushing their unique view in the early church.
  10. Concluding Thoughts (Bird). Bird wraps up the book!

I will begin posting my way through the book as time allows, and I welcome comments!

[Many thanks to Zondervan for providing a copy of How God Became Jesus in exchange for a balanced review.]