In my previous post I began to discuss Larry Hurtado’s evaluation of How Jesus Became God.   For the link to his initial post, see   As I indicated, after I read his comments we had some exchanges on email, and he graciously agreed to correct several of his mistaken comments, in which he attributed views to me that I do not have and never expressed in my book.  (These views, which I do not hold, are the reasons he claims I’m out of date and ill informed).  The post in which he gives his corrections can be found here:


In this post I’d like to begin to reiterate the points that he makes in the second post, but quoting his initial comments that I thought were in error, and saying a few things about them.

The first comment that startled me was the following:

As I’ve mentioned, on several matters Ehrman seems ill-informed and/or not current.  For example, he assumes that the expression “the son of man” (used numerous times by Jesus in the Gospels) was a recognized title of a figure well-known in ancient Jewish eschatological hopes.  So, Ehrman continues (on this assumption), Jesus must have been referring to this future figure, not to himself.  But from at least the 1970s it has been clear that this assumption is baseless.  There is, in fact, no evidence that “the son of man” was a fixed title, or that there was a known figure who bore it, in ancient Jewish tradition.  So (as is clearly the way the Gospel writers took the expression), Jesus’ use of “the son of man” (NB:  with the definite article) seems to have been simply a distinctive self-referential expression/idiom.

This comment startled me because in fact this is not a view I state anywhere in my book, and it is not a view that I have, or have had for, well, as far back as I started having informed views on the matter (I suppose around 1981?).   Why would Larry think that I believed that “the Son of Man” was a “fixed title” in early Judaism?   That it was a widely recognized title that Jesus simply borrowed from the mainstream of Jewish apocalyptic preaching?  (Since I never say any such thing)

My hunch is that it is  because of this:

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