Was Jesus Divine, If So, When and How?

November 2, 2014

“Some Quakers see ourselves as the authentic Christianity revived; others prefer to avoid thinking of us as Christians at all. To both sides of Quakerism’s Bible divide, it can seem as if those who call themselves Christians have always believed that Jesus was God and always defined his divinity in identical ways. Ehrman shows that simply is not so.”

That’s from a book review I wrote that is in the November issue of Friends Journal. The review is of How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, by Bart D. Ehrman (HarperOne, 2014).

The review is worth reading though you probably need to be a subscriber to gain access. The book is all the more worth reading. Ehrman shows there’s a good deal more complexity than it may seem to us today in whether and how Jesus was divine and when, if he were, divinity was conferred upon him: at he beginning of creation? at his birth? at his baptism? at his crucifixion? Serious people have argued all of these positions and still others have argued that Jesus never claimed special divinity for himself.

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About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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