Ehrman Review Published
My commissioned review of Bart Ehrman’s book, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, has just appeared in the latest issue of Christian Century (August 6, 2014), pp. 26-28. It’s given a review-essay place, and I was allowed a reasonably generous word-count, which permitted me to engage a number of key issues in the book.
I applaud Ehrman’s ability to communicate scholarly issues in an accessible manner, and also I hope that the book will help make a general readership more aware of the fascinating questions connected with the early eruption of Jesus-devotion. Ehrman indicates that in the course of doing his research he came around to the recognition that it erupted early and quickly, and didn’t develop as an incremental process.
I’m also critical of several matters, however, and have to give the book a mixed verdict, therefore. I think he presents some matters in a one-sided fashion (e.g., his treatment of how Jesus’ body was disposed of after crucifixion, or his treatment of early resurrection-visions). And I don’t think that he offers a valid basis for his claim that the earliest “high” christology involved seeing Jesus as an angel. On these and some other matters, the book seems to me to mis-fire. But it’s always good to have one’s own research focus presented to a wider readership, even if I’m not satisfied with the presentation.
Thanks to a commentor on this blog site, I can now note that the review is available online here.