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 in places what I’m talking about. Yesterday I looked at what he had to say about my views about the Son of Man, today I’ll look at two others. Let me say again that when I pointed out to Larry that I never express the views that he has cited to show that I am curiously ill-informed, he graciously published a second post in which he set that bit of the record straight.
After this post I will discuss in future posts a couple of the areas where Larry does correctly read my views and on which we have genuine disagreements.
The second instance in which Larry read into my book a view that it did not present and that I do not have was rather disconcerting. I had trouble understanding why he drew the inference he did. This is what he says in the original post:
At a few other points, Ehrman refers to the Christology of this or that NT text, noting that Jesus is not pictured as God the Father. I take this as implying that this is significant somehow, as if later Christians did identify Jesus as the Father. But Jesus was never pictured as God the Father, neither in any NT text nor in any classical Christian text thereafter. Indeed, from Justin Martyr onward, Christian writers typically note that “God the Father” and “the Son” are “numerically distinct,” that is, distinguished, in the expressions of the doctrine of the “Trinity.”
I was completely flummoxed by these comments and at first wasn’t sure what to make of them. Does Larry *really* imagine that I think that the later authors of the New Testament maintained that Jesus was God the Father? That I didn’t know that Justin Martyr and other surviving proto-orthodox writers differentiate between the Father and the Son? Really??? How could he imagine such a thing? This struck me as very odd indeed – especially since Larry wanted to use it as evidence that I was not well-informed about early Christology.
OK, so let me make several points (which I also made to Larry in my emails to him).
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