Two titans are being released today and will no doubt cause internet carnage in their wake. One book is called How Jesus Became God and the other, How God Became Jesus, is responding to it. The former is from the (in)famous skeptical scholar Bart Ehrman, and the latter is from a supergroup of evangelical scholars – but hopefully unlike supergroups, they’re actually good together – Michael Bird, Simon Gathercole, Craig Evans, Charles Hill, and Chris Tilling. These two books tackles the questions of whether Jesus’ earliest followers considered Him as divine or whether this was a later development in the church.
I have a keen interest in Christology and hope to be able to review both books. It’s difficult to get hold of Zondervan books for review copy over here in the UK; I’ve been in talks with Chris Tilling himself as to how I can get hold of one of his copies from London (God bless him!) and have yet to hear from Harper in the UK whether they can/will provide a review copy. I look around at my fellow bloggers feeling a little like a sprinter realizing he missed the starter pistol, but I’m not complaining… (It’s not a race, after all, right?).
“This is a helpful collection of essays by first-rate scholars abreast of the latest research. Anyone who wants a reliable historical account of how early Christians came to see Jesus as God should read this book.”
—Richard Bauckham, Emeritus Professor of New Testament, University of St Andrews, UK
“This set of studies comprises a readable and lively response to Ehrman’s book on how Jesus came to be regarded as in some sense divine. Collectively, they identify controversial issues and offer cogently put alternative views that deserve to be noted and that show that the scholarly discussion remains in play.”
—Larry Hurtado, Emeritus Professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, University of Edinburgh, UK
Lastly, here is one of the authors, Craig Evans, discussing Ehrman’s book and his.