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.