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How Jesus Became God

The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


New York Times bestselling author and Bible expert Bart Ehrman reveals how Jesus’s divinity became dogma in the first few centuries of the early church.

The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime—and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself. How Jesus Became God tells the story of an idea that shaped Christianity, and of the evolution of a belief that looked very different in the fourth century than it did in the first.

A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman reveals how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty, Creator of all things. But how did he move from being a Jewish prophet to being God? In a book that took eight years to research and write, Ehrman sketches Jesus’s transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus’s followers had visions of him after his death—alive again—did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God. And what they meant by that was not at all what people mean today.

Written for secular historians of religion and believers alike, How Jesus Became God will engage anyone interested in the historical developments that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: Jesus was, and is, God.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 10, 2014 – Challenging traditional notions about Jesus and the New Testament with biblical scholarship is something that Ehrman, professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and prolific author (Misquoting Jesus) has been doing for years. This book will likely ruffle the same feathers with its discussion of how the man from Galilee came to be seen as God. Appealing to nonexperts interested in historical questions about the development of Christianity's central and most basic tenets, Ehrman traces ancient ideas about divinity that likely informed Jesus and his followers, through the biblical record, and into early Christianity. In the process, he shows how claims about Jesus' divinity as it was understood by Jesus and his followers demand nuance. The material leads to some arguments from silence, but Ehrman is careful to note what we can and cannot know, especially where history leaves off and faith begins. As it makes strong scholarship on fundamental issues available to general readers, this is an important addition to the corpus of books about the historical Jesus.

Customer Reviews

Jesus is God

There is a ton of evidence both from scripture and extra biblical sources that confirm that not only did Jesus believe, behave and have the attributes of God, but that His followers, those around Him and the historians all concur , He was believed to be diety. He forgave sins (only God can) He is refered to as “My Lord and my God”. He accepted worship (only God) He had control over nature , sickness and death (only God) and came back from the dead (only God) seems to be a pattern here. Even Jewish and Roman historians point toward first centruy believers going to their deaths because of Jesus who they worshipped “as though he was a god”. This is another attempt by bart, just like his last few books, to sow the seeds of doubt over the fact that he is disgruntled because he doesnt, by his own admission, understand suffering and evil in the world. nothing new to be found in these pages, just repackaged drivel that he has written before. Dont waste your time or money.

About time someone overturned the myth.

The truth is that the first century Christians saw Jesus as an enlightened man, not as God. It was only much later that Jesus was deified into the figure preached by orthodox religion today. Too bad the original message of Jesus was twisted into the "only son of God" myth. As this book points out, the real and original message was to awaken to the kingdom of God within (Luke 17:21) not worship a human being mythologized as God.

Very Detailed

Thoroughly researched and well-presented. Not religious-oriented but a substantial historical account of how generations believed in Jesus.

How Jesus Became God
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Christianity
  • Published: Mar 25, 2014
  • Publisher: HarperOne
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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