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Drew Marshall Show – How Jesus Became God

On May 17th, 2014 I appeared on The Drew Marshall Show with Professor Natalie Evans from University of Waterloo.. The broadcast was recorded  from the studio of CJYE based in Oakville, Ontario Canada.

Drew Marshall begins the show by discussing my spiritual journey initially and then focusing on his latest book “How Jesus Became God.”

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My Debate This Past Weekend
Weekly Readers Mailbag: February 13, 2016



  1. Avatar
    rivercrowman  February 14, 2016

    Good interview! … Thanks for sharing.

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    RonaldTaska  February 15, 2016

    This is a very interesting 20-minute interview although I wish Drew Marshall would have let you talk a little more. Obviously, he is a very interesting person. Some random comments:

    1. I understand getting attacked by both conservative Christians and atheists.

    2. Leaving church does mean leaving a social network. This can be quite wrenching.

    3. Templeton, Billy Graham’s former preaching colleague, left Christianity because he did not understand why God would allow children in Africa to starve when some rain would have been very helpful.

    4. In a couple of his later books, novelist Reynolds Price, raised the question about whether God created the earth and then left it behind to move on to other projects. Price rejected this deist idea in favor of theism with a personal God, but he raised the question in a very powerful way.

    5. That the authors of Matthew, Mark, and Luke somehow failed to mention that Jesus was God is a very powerful and thought provoking piece of evidence.

    Keep plugging away.

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    Boltonian  February 15, 2016

    The point you made that resonated with me can be summarised as, ‘Read widely, think deeply.’ That should apply to all subjects where one feels the urge to voice an opinion. For example, we are privileged to live in a democracy and, in my view, we could show our gratitude a little more by trying to understand the main issues, listening to all sides of the argument, before voting rather than lazily following the tribe.

    Re-Dawkins, I understand that he is not well at the moment; I am not sure if this was the case when the programme was aired.

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    Wilusa  February 15, 2016

    Good grief. He devoted five minutes, at most, of a 22-minute “interview” to the book that was supposedly being discussed!

    And then he didn’t do it justice. I’d think the main thing to be mentioned is that most of the early Christian community came to believe, first, that Jesus had been made divine at his resurrection; then, at the beginning of his ministry; then, at his conception or birth; and finally, that he’d been a preexistent divine being who incarnated as a human. (With the notable exception of Paul, who believed he’d been a “lesser” divine being from the outset.)

    Re the personal stuff…I so can’t understand people’s perceiving a religion as some cherished “social network,” that they miss if they leave it! I found it nothing but stifling. And I’m a woman. (I’ll admit that in the culture I came from, men weren’t religious at all.)

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    Jamescbell  February 15, 2016

    He probably didn’t hear from Richard Dawkins because the latter has just had a stroke.

    • Avatar
      Jamescbell  February 15, 2016

      Scratch that, just seen the date of the interview. Sorry!

  6. talmoore
    talmoore  February 15, 2016

    Dr. Ehrman, your backstory is so foreign to me. I was raised culturally Jewish, but I’ve never been even remotely religious. I still celebrate the high holidays with family, and every once in a while I’ll attend Shabbat dinner somewhere, but otherwise I only identify as Jewish because other people tell me I’m Jewish.

    When I was a child I did believe there was a God, and I did find it weird whenever I heard someone express a lack of belief, but somewhere in my teens — maybe 14 or 15 years old — it suddenly dawned on me that there isn’t actually a God, and everyone who believes there is a God is frightfully mistaken and confused. It was at that point that I became terribly fascinated with how and why people are devoted to a belief that, when examined soberly, is rather obviously false. Why is it so important for the vast majority of human beings to believe something that shows all the hallmarks of being a fiction? So for the past 30 years or so I’ve devoted a fraction of my day to answering that question. Incidentally, that’s one of the reasons I joined your blog.

    • Avatar
      cmdenton47  February 16, 2016

      It doesn’t matter at what age it dawns on you that there isn’t a God. From that point on you are continuously amazed that more people don’t come to realize it. How can they miss something so obvious? How did I miss something so obvious?

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    SidDhartha1953  February 16, 2016

    You commented that there may be other divine beings in the universe, but not one who intervenes in the natural order. Can you suggest some likely descriptors of such a being?

    • Bart
      Bart  February 16, 2016

      I’m not sure what you mean by descriptors. The view that there is an ultimate divine being who is *not* involved is the basic thesis of Deism, going back to the English Deists of the 18th century. Google them and you’ll see places to read.

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        Boltonian  February 16, 2016

        I think that Tom Paine was a Deist of that period, which was one reason he became persona non grata in America after being so influential in the drafting of the Constitution.

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        SidDhartha1953  February 17, 2016

        I couldn’t come up with the right word for what I was asking. I am thinking more in terms of an impersonal force or principle that cannot rightly be described as conscious or intentional. I keep my sanity in the face of the world’s “unfairness” by the thought that whatever made things the way they are did not “intend” to do so — yet the world is as it is and I am not entitled to a suspension of the laws of nature. Maybe a Weak Narcissistic Principle (any other world would not have me in it)? For me, the utility of references to God or Great Reality (my personal favorite) is to remind myself that I am not it and should seek harmony with it. Deism doesn’t seem to fit — is there a term you know of?

        • Bart
          Bart  February 17, 2016

          Not sure. Maybe other readers can make a suggestion. Are you a pantheist possibly?

          • Avatar
            SidDhartha1953  February 19, 2016

            Possibly, though I don’t ascribe any particular divinity to nature in general.

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    Omar6741  February 16, 2016

    Can I ask for recommendations of two or three books on the origin of the virgin birth belief other than Raymond Brown’s “Birth of the Messiah”? I have that last, but I am wondering what books are highly regarded by scholars when it comes to this issue.

    • Bart
      Bart  February 17, 2016

      That’s the definitive study. I don’t know of anything written since then that is as significant.

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    Jason  February 21, 2016

    Why adjust for high def for a radio broadcast? Am I getting worse audio?

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    webattorney  February 22, 2016

    One question related to what you said here. Isn’t Deist a belief in God (whether active or not active in your life) but not necessarily a Christian God? For example, an intelligent design believer would only prove there was a God or Gods, but this would not prove the God was a Christian God.

    • Bart
      Bart  February 23, 2016

      A Deist believes that God exists but that he is not actively involved with the world.

  11. Avatar
    gavm  February 28, 2016

    This moron is complete twit. I feel sorry for you having to do this sort of nonsense every time there is a new book.

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    gavm  February 28, 2016

    Hey Bart why do you honestly think that 2 very good very smart scholars like you and Simon can have a major dissagreement on such a huge issue? I can only think of bias. Can you see how it is very difficult for a layman to analysis all the relevant info and come to decision? How can I say “sorry simion your wrong. I’ll looked at everything and I can say yr conclusion is incorrect”. What ever I choose I will be claiming I know more and a top scholar in the field. How can a layman make such a claim?

    • Bart
      Bart  February 29, 2016

      Disagreements among smart people: happen literally ALL the time! Different assumptions, different conclusions. Unfortunately, there’s no way around it: you have to decide whom to trust!

      • Avatar
        gavm  March 1, 2016

        “Disagreements among smart people: happen literally ALL the time!”
        i 100% understand that to a tee, but let me put it to you like this. imagine you get a MRI. normally you will get 1 report by a radiologist. lets say by mistake you get 2 reports. to yr surprise they completely contradict each other. the first says you have a very aggressive malignant tumor. the 2nd report says its just a begin cyst and very common, nothi. lets say both reports came from very experienced top notch radiologists. would this not be something to be bothered by? would we find this situation acceptable?
        as someone who values truth above all im bothered that in the end it comes down to a point where we just “take a pick” and choose a team. ive always thought of the truth as something you cant choose.
        Also as someone who respects a legit expert of a given field, im also bothered at the idea that i effective claim “i know better than you” to a respected scholar”. it was respect for NT scholars and my confidence that i didnt know better that made me give up the idea that Jesus never existed.

        • Bart
          Bart  March 1, 2016

          Unfortunately, these kinds of differences happen with medical diagnoses all the time! That’s an even bigger problem than differences among biblical scholars!

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