My Next Project

I’ve had several people ask what I’m working on, now that How Jesus Became God has come and gone from.   The answer is: the very next thing!   And it’s something that I’ve gotten really excited about, as excited as I was about How Jesus Became God.  For some reason, when I was doing that book over the past couple of years, I thought that it was going to be the climax of my trade book publishing career, and ...

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Why I (Actually) Discuss Hallucinations

In this post I continue with my response to Larry Hurtado’s critique of How Jesus Became God.  In the previous posts I dealt with factual errors – where he assigned views to me that I do not state and do not have.  As I have pointed out, Larry was generous to retract these critiques in a subsequent post on his blog.   In this post I want to deal not with a factual mistake but with an assertion he ...

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More Misreadings of How Jesus Became God

This will be my final post in which I indicate places where Larry Hurtado has critiqued How Jesus Became God by attributing to me views that I don’t have and positions that I have never taken.    These are the only positions – the ones that I have never taken – that he charges me with in order to show that I am lacking in expertise and, as an outsider to the field of early Christology, simply don’t know ...

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Larry Hurtado’s Critique of How Jesus Became God

One of the leading scholars of early “Christology” (i.e., early portrayals/beliefs about Christ) in the English speaking world is Larry Hurtado, emeritus professor of New Testament at the University of Edinburgh.   Larry is an established New Testament scholar, with additional expertise in such fields as the Gospel of Mark and textual criticism – the area of his dissertation work in the 1970s.   I first came to know Larry in connection with textual criticism.  He was probably 10 years ahead of ...

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Form Critics and Oral Tradition

Once it came to be realized that Mark’s Gospel – the earliest of our surviving accounts of Jesus – was driven not purely by historical interests in order to record biographical information with historical accuracy, but was (like the other Gospels) written in order to convey theological ideas in literary guise, the movement to use Mark to write a “Life of Jesus” more or less collapsed on itself, for a time and among most New Testament scholars. What arose from ...

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More Background on Oral Traditions

Up until the 1920s, critical scholars who were deep into questions of New Testament studies had focused a lot of their attention (not all of it, obviously) on questions of textual criticism (how do we know what the “original” text was?) and source criticism (what are the written sources lying behind the New Testament – especially the Gospels?). The former was a matter of concern largely because it was thought that the words of Scripture were inspired by God – ...

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My Other Next Book

In my previous post I indicated that I am debating over my next trade book (for general audiences. The one I described there has to do with how Christians appropriated the Jewish Scriptures for themselves, leading to (and being implicated in) the rise of Christian anti-Judaism. It’s a fascinating topic, and I’m definitely planning on writing the book. But something else has come up that is driving my research right now instead, and I suspect this will be ...

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How Jesus Became God!!

It is time – well past time, some of you may think – for a new thread.   And one is oh-so-ready-to-hand.    My new book, How Jesus Became God, will be released on Tuesday (March 25).  I am unusually eager for that to happen.  I’ve never had a trade book (i.e., written for a popular audience) that I’ve been as invested in.   Many of my other ones have done well, and I’ve been proud of each and every one ...

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Is History Possible?

One other section that I attended at the Society of Biblical Literature meeting in Baltimore was devoted to the field of social memory and the historical Jesus. This was a very interesting panel, of four papers, devoted to what we can say about the recollections of Jesus found in the Gospels, based on what psychologists now tell us about memory, and what historians familiar with this psychological work are saying about how the past can be remembered. I found one ...

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