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Interview with Trinities.org on How Jesus Became God

I won’t be posting every single interview I do for How Jesus Became God (you will be glad to know); but different interviewers are asking different kinds of questions, and so a range of them doesn’t seem to be out of line.   The one here is for a podcast called Trinities, hosted and produced by a fellow named Dale Tuggy.   Dale is not completely sympathetic with all my views in the book, which makes the interview a bit more interesting from ones that simply lob me softballs.   The interview took place on April 7, and happened over the phone.


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Jesus as God in the Synoptics
Christ as an Angel in Paul



  1. Avatar
    Hank_Z  April 11, 2014

    Bart, I’ve listened to this interview and part one of two with Simon (co-author of the book that disagrees with yours). I’ve listened carefully, and I haven’t yet heard any strong arguments against your thesis, evidence, and argument.

    Have you been surprised by the lack of strong arguments against you…or were you confident of that? I’m sure you evaluated competing evidence and arguments throughout the process of writing your book.

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 13, 2014

      There are lots of arguments about various points I make in How God Became Jesus, but nothing very compelling about the overarching thesis….

  2. gmatthews
    gmatthews  April 12, 2014

    Good interview. That guy was asking some perceptive questions. I’m taking your book along with me on a long Easter vacation to Wrightsville Beach. Can’t wait to get into it!

  3. TracyCramer
    TracyCramer  April 12, 2014

    Great, thanks for posting this. But do please post those interviews where the interviewer tries to challenge you (and any and all others for that matter!)

  4. Avatar
    dec65ek  April 12, 2014

    I thoroughly enjoyed your book, “How Jesus Became God.” It was somewhat technical and I had to re-read sections to make sure I followed you thought. I left church in 2012. How could the God of Love, as I believed, produce so much Hate. In conservative Tennessee, I am shocked at all the hate; to the President, to women, to children, to the poor, and the least advantaged people. (I retired from the Welfare office, thus my bias for the poor.)

    But I have noticed that there are people whose obessesion is to “save” us from ourselves! and I finally realized that many politicians have gotten elected since 2010, i.e. the TeaParty, are out to “save” us from this or that enemy. Wasn’t that Jesus’s teaching that he was “saving” us? Looks to me a poor non academic person, that there are many who are trying to save us. There seems to me that at least 219 are more Saviors in Congress. They have become Gods, or Sons of God themselves!

    Your book is validated by current events, and by every day for 2000 years. My dad, was a college professor at a small Baptist College. He once asked at Sunday Dinner with the preacher, “If there was no God, would people invent him?” Unqualified YES!

    Thank you for an excellent book.

  5. TracyCramer
    TracyCramer  April 13, 2014

    That was a great interview. The interviewer just cut to the chase, giving you the opportunity to really get into the core of your work and book. thanks, tracy

  6. Avatar
    Scott F  April 14, 2014

    This interview and the one with Terry Gross have been very enjoyable and enlightening. I appreciate that the conversation deviated from the contents of the book occasionally providing some bonus material, i.e. on Constantine’s motivations for calling the Council of Nicaea

  7. Avatar
    Scott F  April 14, 2014

    In 1 Corinthians 8:6, it says: “yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”

    Is Paul quoting a creed/hymn that is aligning a little more John’s gospel where it is the Word through whom “All things came into being…” and as it is said of Wisdom?

    More specifically, what does it even mean for all things to exist “through” Jesus/Logos/Wisdom

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 14, 2014

      Yes, it may well be a kind of creed. I think when it says that all things exist (present tense) “through” him, it means that he is the Lord and sustainer of all that exists.

      • Avatar
        Habakuk  April 15, 2014

        I thought this was something like the Demiurg concept that some Greek philosophers had. They thought that the original source of the universe (what we call God) was an absolutely transcendent being without any shape or form and – most importantly – without any possibility to change. Therefore – as change was impossible – this ultimate source of the world was unable to do anything, since doing something always involves a kind of change.

        So how could this source create the world without doing something (i.e. without performing the act of creating)?

        Some philosophers came up with this idea that there is a middle man between the original source and the created world. The source created the world “through” this middle man.

        Then – when Christianity spread in the Graeco-Roman world – this middle man came to be identified with Jesus. Now it was Jesus “through” whom the world has been created.

        This concept of a creation middle man which was prevalent in the Greek philosophy might have contributed to the deification of Jesus. What do you think, Bart?

        • Bart Ehrman
          Bart Ehrman  April 15, 2014

          I think the problem is that the belief in Jesus’ divinity did not originate in Platonic or Platonically influenced circles, but among lower-class uneducated Palestinian Jews.

          But precisely the points you’re making *were* significant later as Christianity spread among the literary elite and they developed more sophisticated Christological views.

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