Video: How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee

Epigraph: 

The Originator of the heavens and the earth! How can He have a son when He has no consort, and when He has created everything and has knowledge of all things?

Such is Allah, your Lord. There is no God but He, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He is Guardian over everything.  (Al Quran 6:102-103)

Prof. Bart Ehrman

Prof. Bart Ehrman: Author of several best selling books about the New Testament and early Christianity

A book by Bart D. Ehrman  (Author)

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.

Holy Trinity, fresco by Luca Rossetti da Orta, 1738–9 (St. Gaudenzio Church at Ivrea).

Holy Trinity, fresco by Luca Rossetti da Orta, 1738–9 (St. Gaudenzio Church at Ivrea).

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.

Order the book in Amazon

About the author:

Bart D. Ehrman (born 5 October 1955) is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ehrman is a leading New Testament scholar, having written and edited over twenty-five books, including three college textbooks. He has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring fourNew York Times bestsellers. Ehrman’s work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, theHistorical Jesus, and the evolution of early Christianity.

Categories: CHRISTIANITY, Highlight, Trinity, Video

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31 replies

  1. Zia, A little food for thought before informing you that Jesus and indeed the Bible DOES SPEAK OF JESUS BEING GOD HIMSELF.

    Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman in “Science Speaks” VOUCHED FOR by the American Scientific Affiliation sets out THE ODDS of any one man IN ALL OF HISTORY fulfilling EVEN ONLY 8 of the 60 major prophecies (& 270 others) FULFILLED BY CHRIST.
    The PROBABILITY that Jesus could have fulfilled even 8 such prophecies would be 1 in 1017. That’s 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000.

    JESUS CLAIMED TO BE GOD

    I AM:
    Jn 8:24,28,58; 13:19; 18:5-6 [Gk. ego eimi, “I am” – no “he”]. Ex 3:14-15; Dt 32:39; Isa. 41:4; 43:10; 46:4; 52:6).
    Shepherd: Jn 10:11,14. Ps 23:1; Isa 40:10-11; Eze 34:15; Heb 13:20; 1Pet 2:25; 5:4; Rev 7:17.
    First and Last: Rev 1:17-18; 2:8; 22:13,16. Cf. Isa 41:4; 44:6; 48:12,17.

    JESUS IS STATED/IMPLIED TO BE GOD
    Jesus is God: Jn 20:28. Cf. Mt 4:10 & Lk 4:8 = Dt 6:13.
    Jesus is God seen: Jn 1:18. Cf. Gn 12:7; 17:1; 18:1; 26:24; Ex 34:5-7; Isa 6:1-3
    Jesus is Lord: Rom 10:9; 1Cor 12:3; Php 2:10-11 NIV.
    Jesus is the one and only Lord: 1Cor 8:6; Eph 4:5; Jude 4. Cf. Dt 6:4; Zec 14:9.

    Jesus IS the Almighty
    Rev 1:7-8. Cf. Rev 17-18; 2:8; 21:6; 22:12-13,16,20; Gn 17:1; Ex 6:3.

    GOD WITH US: Mt 1:23; Jn 1:1,14; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom 9:5; Php 2:5-6, Col 2:9; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:8; 2Pet 1:1; 1Jn 5:20. Cf. Dt 4:35,39; 1Sam 2:2; 2Sam 7:22; 1Ki 8:60; 1Chr 17:20; Isa 45:5,18,21; Joel 2:27.

    Jesus IS salvation): Mt 1:21. Cf. Jn 17:11-12; Acts 4:10-12; Php 2:10.

    Jesus IS King of kings: Rev 17:14. Cf. 1Tim 6:15; Ps 10:16; 47:2; Zec 14:9.

    Jesus IS Lord of all: Acts 10:36; Rom 10:12. Cf. Josh 3:13; Ps 97:5; Mic 4:13; Zec 4:14.

    Jesus IS Lord of glory: 1Cor 2:8. Cf. Ps 24:10; Isa 42:8.

    Jesus IS Lord of lords: Rev 17:14; 19:13,16. Cf. 1Tim 6:15; Dt 10:17; Ps 136:1,3.

    Jesus IS the Rock: 1Cor 10:4. Cf. 1Sam 2:2; 2Sam 22:32 = Ps 18:31; Isa 30:29; 44:6-8; Hab 1:12.

    Jesus IS the Saviour: Tit 2:13; 2Pet 1:1,11; 3:18; 1Jn 4:14 NIV. Cf. Isa 43:3,11; 45:21; Hos 13:4.

    Please check these few verses and then we can go further, because there are umpteen more.

  2. @musalmaan masala
    Jesus could fulfill prophecies, even if he was a prophet of the All Knowing and All Powerful, God the Father. If you read the verses above in light of the book presented here, you will understand them better. The book explains how and why some of these verses came to be part of the New Testament, while there are so many others to show his human nature and human vulnerabilities, presenting a more plausible and human story.

    John 17: Showing Jesus to be a Prophet of God and Not Divine

    Breaking News: Jesus Always Prayed to God the Father, Never to Himself or the Holy Ghost

  3. Zia,
    While on earth, Jesus was the mirror image of the God. The Bile says at that point, even though He was still God, He did not consider it appropriate to be disrespectful to the Father.
    Any king who desecrates his throne has undone himself.
    Praying to the Father did not make Him any less divine. Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons and raised the dead without invoking the Name of the Father. The prophets and the disciples never did that.

  4. @Namelee

    In the Bible do we find God the Father and Holy Ghost praying to the other two in the Holy Trinity?

    May be not you, but, if our open minded Christian brethren and sisters ask themselves these questions, they may be led to more pure form of Unitarianism.

    Peace and Love!

  5. Jesus was a Jew amongst the Jews, born in Jewish family. He never claimed that he was God. He could never utter such bad words amongst the Jews.
    He had come to help the Jews only. They did not accept him even as a prophet. The elders of the Jews accused Jesus of many wrong things. Blasphemy was not one of those things.
    Jesus never wanted to start a new religion. He preached only to the Jews. We love Jesus and all the Jewish prophets. We love the Jewish faith and their people. We, Ahmadi Muslims know all about Jesus and his mother.

  6. Zia, Muslims have failed or rather REFUSED to understand and acknowledge the Trinity, even though it stares at them right in the face in the Bible.

    “Praying to one another” is inane logic to put forward a point which has no meaning. THEY ARE ARE NOT 3 but 1.
    1 x 1 x 1 = 1

    Christians worship One single God. The same one God of the Hebrews. The same one God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The one who is capable of being in ALL PLACES at ALL TIMES in ALL FORMS

    Among these forms are;
    1. The Creator in Heaven (sometimes referred to as “the Father.”)
    2. The form of flesh (sometimes referred to as “the Son.”)
    3. The form of spirit (sometimes referred to as “the Holy Spirit”)

    THESE ARE NOT “three separate entities or beings” but rather, three parts of the whole.

    Many Muslims fail to understand this.

    Zia did you know that, “YOU” are a trinity?

    Are “you” simply flesh and bone? Are “you” just the physical..and nothing more?

    YOUR physical is the least of what you are. YOU ARE

    1. Mind 2. Body 3. Spirit

    THAT IS A TRINITY “YOU” are comprised of three parts. Your physical body, your mind..and the most important part, your spirit.
    But are “YOU” 3 people?
    NO.
    You are ONE person.. ONE being.. comprised of three parts.

    We, as humans ARE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF OUR CREATOR (Read Genesis). We are a trinity being, and SO IS HE.
    Christians DO NOT ‘.worship a trinity..’

  7. Zia,
    In the Bible God the Father acknowledges the Divinity of Jesus.
    Hebrews 1:8 “BUT UNTO THE SON HE SAITH, THY THRONE, O GOD, IS FOR EVER: A SCEPTER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE SCEPTER OF THY KINGDOM”.
    If what you call Unitarianism upholds anything outside of this, then it is not Christian.
    You like referring to the Jehovah’s Witnesses as preaching something akin to your belief. But their version of the Bible says the same thing.
    It is not only the Bible which confirms the Divinity of the Lord Jesus. The quran does the same thing too. Jesus is the only person the quran calls holy. There is no reference by allah to Muhammad as ‘holy’. If there is, do not hesitate to let me know.
    I read somewhere you saying that Prof William Lane Craig admits that there is no Trinity in the Old Testament.
    Well the word ‘Trinity’ does not exist in the New Testament either. That does not mean there is no Doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
    From the creation account in Genesis, the Trinity is very much alive. There are three personalities who are involved. The Father created through the Word. Verse 2 of Genesis 1 says that the “SPIRIT OF GOD MOVED UPON THE FACE OF THE WATERS”.
    To confirm this, God says in verse 26 “–LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, AFTER OUR LIKENESS–.
    Consolidating this Tri-Unity, God resorts to the singular pronoun in verse 29 “AND GOD SAID, BEHOLD I HAVE GIVEN YOU EVERY HERB–“.

  8. In the video below Bart Ehrman claims that thoughtful Christians have always claimed Trinity to be a mystery, because you cannot understand it. If you think you understand it, you actually ‘misunderstand,’ it.

    I agree with the his claim and I also believe that it is not only a mystery but a paradox.

  9. @Namelee you did not answer my question above.

    In the Bible do we find God the Father and Holy Ghost praying to the other two in the Holy Trinity?

    May be not you, but, if our open minded Christian brethren and sisters ask themselves these questions, they may be led to more pure form of Unitarianism.

    Peace and Love!

  10. Zia,
    Everything about religion is always taken to be a mystery. That is why the quran says that some of its verses are ambiguous as their meaning is only known to allah.
    However, there is nothing about the Holy Trinity which defies common sense. I have always used the human being as an example. To the muhammadan, the body and soul form man or woman. But both exist in different dimensions such that when the body dies, the soul still lives on.
    In the post you ‘moderated’ out of existence, I quoted General Babangida who said that the human body is a perfect example of ‘one in many and many in one’. There is no contradiction.
    I pay practically no heed to Bart Ehrman. He does not fit my definition of a scholar.

  11. Peace Bro.Zia,what the trinitarian christians have to come to grips with is the many contradictions in the Bible and that alone will open up their eyes,Jesus himself said in John 17:3 that there is only One true God, Who is the one Who sent him,so he clearly rules out himself as being God and any trinity.Then regarding the so-called trinity (1)the Father’s name is Yahweh,(2)the son’s name is Yahshua (Jesus),what is the Holy Spirit’s name? Deuteronomy 6:4 says God is One,Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 46:9,Isaiah 45:5, say God is One,and there is none like Me,regarding the plural word Elohim in Genesis,it simply means majesty /power/authority as in the middle east even kings and rulers were addressed in the plural number in reference to one person.Take a look at Smith’s Bible Dictionary1997 edition page 220 under God,it is very eye opening.The Qur’an in many verses say in reference to Allah,We ,Us does that mean that Allah is more than One? Of course not. The reference to man being body,soul and spirit is an extremely weak reference as that comprises one single being(person),but the trinity speaks of three distinct persons,and what makes it even more complicated Jesus is also body ,soul and spirit,so with the weak example ,where does that lead us.The trinity doctrine is old pagan fables ,just as the crucified and resurrected savior stories.Go to the Christadelphian website,they are christian and they bring up much Biblical proof against the trinity,they also prove from the Bible that Jesus had no prior existence,before he was born as a baby,they also show how biased sectarian translations can be misleading, a christian minister from Christ Fellowship Ministries ,F.Paul Haney did a good job in debunking the trinity doctrine,and there are many more ,who are coming to their senses and acknowledging that God is One.I could bring much more Biblical proof that Jesus is not God and he never told anyone that he was God.Also there is only One Savior and He is the One God,read Isaiah 43:11,Isaiah 45:21,22 ,no crucified savior,just the living God who can never die,and there is much more.Thank you,Bro.Tayo

  12. Zia, the silence is deafening. Why are you side stepping the arguments I put forward?
    Ghulam Sarwar, I do not think you have read the verses I have quoted, where Jesus CLAIMED He was God and also all the things written about Him.

  13. Zia,
    I replied to your last comment since yesterday but it is yet to be posted. It seems there is black-hole that swallows some comments which are offensive to the powers that be at TMT.
    You asked if Jesus was ever prayed to by the Father and the Holy Ghost. I replied that in Hebrews 1:8, the Father acknowledges the divinity of Jesus “BUT UNTO THE SON HE SAITH, THY THRONE, O GOD IS FOR EVER AND EVER: A SCEPTER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE SCEPTER OF THY KINGDOM”.
    That is more more profound than praying to. Again, if Jesus praying to the Father diminished or nullified His deity, then allah, that also prayed, can not be divine.

  14. Ghulam Sarwar,
    The response I submitted to your last comment has sunk into the black-hole of TMT. But I will try again with my fingers crossed.
    There are many inexactitudes in your comment. The first is that Jesus’ crucifixion had nothing to do with blasphemy. The Holy Bible says otherwise and I have reasons to believe the Bible whose account is supported by secular history.
    Mark 13:61 “–AGAIN THE HIGH PRIEST ASKED HIM, AND SAID UNTO HIM, ART THOU THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE BLESSED?”.
    :62 “AND JESUS SAID, I AM—.
    :63 “THEN THE HIGH PRIEST RENT HIS CLOTHES AND SAITH, WHAT NEED WE ANY FURTHER WITNESSES?
    :64 “YE HAVE HEARD THE BLASPHEMY: WHAT THINK YE? AND THEY ALL CONDEMNED HIM TO BE GUILTY OF DEATH”.
    It was the ‘sin of blasphemy’ that caused the Sanhedrin to condemn the Lord Jesus to death.
    Your second fallacy is claiming that Jesus only preached to the Jews.
    The land of Israel of Jesus’ time was cosmopolitan. There were people of diverse cultures and nationalities. They all heard Him. He preached to the Samaritans, as was the case with the woman at the well who went into the city calling on others to come and see the Messiah. The Romans heard Him and He even healed a member of the household of a Roman officer. The Phoenicians heard His message and a woman of that tribe whose child was sick received healing.

  15. Ghulam,peace,the problem you are not addressing is that the Bible is not consistent and full of contradictions,lets address your subject you quoted Mark 13:61-64 as proof of Jesus’ divinity,but first let me make a correction,it is Mark14:61-64,what I would like to show you is due to the Bible’s inconsistencies,what are we to believe? (1) In relation to Mark 14:61-64 Matthew 27:12 -26 in relation to the same incident verse 12 clearly states Jesus did not answer,then on to verse 26 ,Jesus is scourged ,then led to be crucified.(2) In relation to Mark 14:61-64,this is what is found in Luke 22:63-71,in these verses there is not one single word consistent with Mark’s account,then look at 23:1-24,I ask you,how was it possible for all this to happen in one night,all this going back and forth?(3)In relation to Mark 14:61-64,lets look at John18:13-40 and John 19:1-16 again nothing in these verses is consistent with Mark14:61-64,my question to you,which one of these conflicting statement are we to believe?Matthew 27:12 says Jesus did not reply to the high priests,Mark14:62 Jesus answers,Luke 22:67-70 is another story,John 18:33 now Pilate is the one questioning Jesus and mind you there are a whole lot of more contradictions example (1)Jesus betrayed by Judas’ kiss Matthew 26:49,Mark 14:45,Luke 22:47,48 (?)now the story changes entirely in John 18:5_8, no kiss and Judas and his arresting colleagues fell to the ground,now this is a lot of fallacies,why I questioned marked Luke 22:47,48 ,there is no completion of the kiss.(2)There is a lot of confusion of the time frame if you match the four Gospels account of the same incident.(3)John 18:13 Jesus is led to Annas the father in law of high priest Caiaphas,Luke 22:66 it is now the chief priests and scribes Mark 14:53 and Matthew 26:57 say the high priest ,chief priests,elders and scribes,(4)Matthew 27:28 A scarlet robe was put on Jesus in Mark 15:17 it is now a purple robe (5)Luke 23:26 ,Matthew27:32 ,Mark 15:21,Simon,a Cyrenian bears Jesus’ cross,John 19:17,Jesus bears his own cross,I could still cite more contradictions ,but this is enough,all the so-called verses purporting to support Jesus divinity are sectarian or misunderstood verses as there are too many verses which prove that Jesus was only a man a Prophet of God and nothing more,regarding John 3:16,as Jesus being the begotten son of God cannot be taken literal as God does not beget but if taken metaphorical there is plenty support for it please read the following verses for others begotten of God,1John 3:9,1John 4:7,1John5:18 I must close now,I will leave some for later,thank you Tayo.

  16. Tayo,
    I am greatly handicapped because your obscurantist brothers at TMT will not allow me to respond to your comments.
    What you have called ‘contradictions’ amounts to making a mountain out of nothing. Since nothing stands on a vacuum, these so-called contradictions do not hold.
    It is not strange that witnesses to an incident or event do not report verbatim on what took place. Each person reports what he/she considers to be important to him or her and from those reports a clear picture emerges. Take a look at how the Ferguson or Paris incidents were reported by the media houses and it will be seen that they did not use exact same words unless where one quoted from the other.
    The different descriptions of the events do not erode the central theme of the message: that Christ was tried, convicted, crucified, He died, was buried and on the third day He rose from the dead.
    Secular historians hardly produce accounts of the same event verbatim. For instance, the accounts of Hannibal crossing the mountains to attack Rome are not exactly the same. They are differences. But no one denies that the military campaign actually took place.
    Had the Gospel writers given the same description, there would have been charges of collusion.
    Sir Edward Clarke, a British High Court judge, after examining the evidence said :”TO ME THE EVIDENCE IS CONCLUSIVE, AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN THE HIGH COURT I HAVE SECURED THE VERDICT ON EVIDENCE NOT NEARLY AS COMPELLING. AS A LAWYER, I ACCEPT THE GOSPEL EVIDENCE UNRESERVEDLY AS THE TESTIMONY OF TRUTHFUL MEN TO FACTS THEY WERE ABLE TO SUBSTANTIATE”.
    Now, let us look at the contradictions in muhammadan literature.

  17. Namelee, I face the same black hole. I sincerely hope there is an Interstellar “worm hole” where TMT takes a short cut and moves forward.
    You and I are not handicapped, we are hog tied. Now I wonder if I should use the word “hog”. It may just not be “politically correct” and my post may not be published because of it.

  18. Brother NAMELEE. I pray to Allah to remove the wool from your eyes and the seal from your heart so that you can see and accept the simple crystal clear truth and be guided and forgiven for blaspheming by assigning partner to Almighty God! If not, you will come to know the truth on judgment day but it will be too late. I sincerely hope this won’t be the case for you.
    Peace be with you
    Nez

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