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Media: How Jesus became God – Ehrman vs Gathercole Pt 2

Here is the second part of my radio "debate" (rather, exchange of views) with Simon Gathercole. To refresh your memory (or in case you didn't see the earlier post with the first part), Simon is a Senior Lecturer in New Testament at Cambridge University. He is a serious and well-known scholar, and also happens to be an evangelical Christian. We disagree on a lot of things, but we are civil about our disagreements, and I respect his opinions even though I disagree heartily with many of them -- especially on the topic at hand! This part of the program focuses more on Paul than on the Gospels. Again, this was recorded for, played on, the program called "Unbelievable" for Christian Premier Radio in the UK (headquarters in London), hosted and moderated by Justin Brierley.   Brought to you in association with Please adjust gear icon for 720p High-Definition:

Fresh Air with Terry Gross and the Dish Book Club with Andrew Sullivan

I mentioned in an earlier post that the only way a trade book begins to sell well is if it gets media attention.   It is really, really hard to get media attention, and there’s very little that an author can personally do about it.  Authors have publicists (at the publisher) who try to get attention in print, radio, and TV; that’s what they do for a living, they do it all the time, they have the necessary contacts, and the know-how, and the experience, and so on.   But at the end of the day, it is always a matter of whether a journal, newspaper, radio program, TV show etc. is interested, and wants to do a piece on the book.   Every author wants a part of the action, and there’s only so much action to go around.   And sometimes, from the author’s point of view, it seems like a very frustrating crapshoot indeed. With that said, I’m happy to announce that I have recorded an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air, which will be [...]

2017-12-14T23:26:57-05:00April 6th, 2014|Book Discussions, Public Forum|

Women at the Tomb

Here I’ll continue my thread on topics that I changed my mind about or came to see in doing my research for How Jesus Became God.   One of the most important things I changed my mind about was the idea that Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty three days after his death. When I was a Christian, of course I thought that was the case.   But even when I had become an agnostic I thought it was probably a historical tradition: it’s found in all four Gospels, for example, and the fact that the stories indicate precisely it was *women* who found the tomb did not seem like something Christians would want to make up.  (And so, as an agnostic, I had to come up with alternative explanations for why the tomb was empty.  But…) I changed my mind.  Most of my change came from my investigation of Roman practices of crucifixion.   As it turns out, standard policy appears to have been to have left the bodies of corpses on the crosses to decompose, as part [...]

The God Augustus

Yesterday I started a thread dealing with things that I learn, discovered, or changed my mind about in the course of doing the research on How Jesus Became God. This then is the second post on the topic. In this instance I was struck with a blinding realization of something that I guess I knew for a long time, but it had never nailed me between the eyes before. Once it did, it completely changed how I decided to write the book. Fundamentally changed it. I realized – duh!!! – that the environment within which Christians were calling Jesus God was *everything*, not just a minor side note (as it is often treated by NT scholars). This realization assaulted me one day when I was minding my own business, snooping around an archaeological site in Turkey. Here’s the story as I tell it in the book, at the beginning of chapter 2. ********************************************************** When I first started my teaching career in the mid 1980s I was offered an adjunct position at Rutgers University. My teaching [...]

Jesus as the Adopted Son of God

I would like to devote several posts – maybe half a dozen – to issues that I deal with in How Jesus Became God that represent new insights that I had while doing the research. In most instances these are changes in what I used to think. (Scholars who never change their minds about something are the ones you the ones you need to look out for!) I’ve never written a trade book where that was the case before (although it happens all the time in doing a serious research monograph). By my count, this is the thirteenth trade book I’ve written, and in virtually every case (I can’t think of an exception) my research either was almost completely done before I even proposed writing the book (e.g., for my book on the Da Vinci Code, or for Misquoting Jesus) or the research simply rounded out what I pretty much already thought (e.g., Lost Christianities or Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene). These books, in other words, are different from scholarly books entirely because of the [...]

2020-04-03T17:14:00-04:00April 2nd, 2014|Book Discussions|

Why It Matters

In my recent Huffington Post article I try to explain why it *matters* that the early followers of Jesus began calling him God, and I try to make the case that it matters not only for Christians (most of whom think Jesus *is* God, so that the development of that doctrine is obviously important) but for all of us, Christian or non-Christian, who are interested in the history of our civilization. My statement to that end has been misunderstood by several, maybe lots (?), of readers, and I need to explain what I mean and do not mean. Here is what I say in the article: FOR THE REST OF THIS POST, log in as a Member. Click here for membership options. If you don't belong yet, NOW'S YOUR CHANCE!!!  How did that happen?  How did we get from a Jewish apocalyptic preacher -- who ended up on the wrong side of the law and was crucified for his efforts -- to the Creator of all things and All-powerful Lord?  How did Jesus become [...]

2020-04-03T17:13:51-04:00April 1st, 2014|Book Discussions, Reader’s Questions|
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