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Blog / Bart Ehrman and His Critics: Highlights from the Ongoing Discussion About Jesus’ Divinity

Bart Ehrman and His Critics: Highlights from the Ongoing Discussion About Jesus’ Divinity

Bart Ehrman's newest book, 'How Jesus Became God.'

Bart Ehrman’s newest book, ‘How Jesus Became God.’

It’s been over a month since Bart Ehrman’s How Jesus Became God arrived on bookstore shelves. In it, Ehrman—no stranger to controversy on the subject of Christianity—argues that the identification of Jesus with God was an idea imposed on him much later by the developing Christian church. This claim is at odds with those of orthodox Christianity, which has always held that Jesus’ divinity was a true and essential element of the Gospel.

Ehrman’s book has not surprisingly been met with considerable criticism from Christian writers and thinkers. We featured an interview with one such critic: Michael Bird, who (along with four other Bible scholars) published How God Became Jesus, a rebuttal of Ehrman’s book.

That interview is well worth reading if you missed it. However, in the weeks since, Ehrman’s book has triggered a great deal of fresh discussion. Here are some of the most interesting pieces of discussion that I’ve noted.

Many (but not all) of the pieces I’m about to link to are quite critical of Ehrman’s book. But before we jump straight to the rebuttals, it’s worth taking some time to let Ehrman make his case. The best way to do that is to read his book, but short of that, NPR has posted a lengthy and interesting conversation with Ehrman about How Jesus Became God:

You can read some highlights from the interview at, along with an excerpt from How Jesus Became God.

Now, let’s move on to some of the responses to Ehrman, positive and negative:

'How God Became Jesus,' a rebuttal of Ehrman's newest book.

‘How God Became Jesus,’ a rebuttal of Ehrman’s newest book.

As you can see, there’s a robust discussion taking place right now about the divinity of Jesus, and how and why people choose to believe in it. While Christians might understandably not be thrilled with a book like Ehrman’s, we can be thankful for the opportunity it presents to discuss, think through, and proclaim our belief in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Filed under Apologetics, Books