How Jesus Became God


When Bart Ehrman was a young Evangelical Christian, he wanted to know how God became a man, but now, as an agnostic and historian of early Christianity, he wants to know how a man became God.
(Quote from “If Jesus Never Called Himself God: How Did He Become One?” NPR Fresh Air)


Stained glass artwork of Jesus.

“If Jesus had not been declared God by his followers, his followers would’™ve remained a sect within Judaism — a small Jewish sect,” says historian Bart Ehrman.

Cover of Bart Ehrman's book.I came across this engaging, excellent public radio interview of researcher, biblical scholar and author Bart Ehrman today. He was interviewed by Terry Gross in connection with his book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee.

You can listen to the actual interview by going to the NPR Fresh Air program site or by clicking on the stained-glass image of Jesus above.

Ehrman is a credible and responsible research scholar on topics of religion, particularly Christianity. I admire his writings and his research findings, having read some of his earlier books. He used to be a Christian evangelical fundamentalist who is now an agnostic. I highly recommend reading Ehrman, in addition to listening to the Fresh Air interview.

Here are excerpts from the interview in which Ehrman makes a very fascinating point about the resurrection of Jesus.

Was Jesus put in a tomb and three days later that tomb was found empty? Well, that’s a historical question. And to answer it, it doesn’t require any set of religious beliefs; you can simply look at the sources and draw some historical conclusions. …

Before I wrote this book and did the research on it, I was convinced, as many people are, that Jesus was given a decent burial, and on the third day the women went to the tomb, found it empty, and that started the belief in the resurrection.

Apart from the fact that I don’t think Jesus was given a decent burial — that he was probably thrown into a common grave of some kind — apart from that, I was struck in doing my research by the fact that the New Testament never indicates that people came to believe in the resurrection because of the empty tomb. This was a striking find because it’s just commonly said that that’s what led to the resurrection belief.

But if you think about it for a second, it makes sense that the empty tomb wouldn’t make anybody believe. If you put somebody in a tomb and three days later you go back and the body’s not in the tomb, your first thought isn’t, “Oh, he’s been exalted to heaven and made the son of God.” Your first thought is, “Somebody stole the body.” Or, “Somebody moved the body.” Or, “Hey, I’m at the wrong tomb.” You don’t think he’s been exalted to heaven. In the New Testament it’s striking that in the Gospels the empty tomb leads to confusion but it doesn’t lead to belief. What leads to belief is that some of the followers of Jesus have visions of him afterward.
(Bart Ehrman Interview)


About Marc of Contemplative Pathways

Marc teaches contemplative meditation in the context of "contemporary mysticism" under the style of "Contemplative Pathways." His spiritual work is backed by a profound understanding of mystical teachings and the mystical life, that is rooted in fifty (50) years of personal study, practice and spiritual unfoldment (inner realization and spiritual experience).  In the course of his spiritual journey, he has received the gifts of mystical discernment and spiritual transmission. Marc has been conducting classes and meetings on contemporary mysticism and meditation at the San Francisco Bay Area for over fifteen years, usually in a classroom, lecture, seminar, workshop, online meeting, or group practice setting. He has facilitated study groups and workshops for centering/contemplative meditation practice meetings since the 1980s. Marc's teaching work meaningfully shifts consciousness in students through the process of spiritual transmission and mystical transformation.  He enables others to embark on the spiritual journey by understanding the Truth teaching and by living its principles in their daily lives. His methodology of instruction is divinely inspired and firmly rooted in pure, authentic mysticism.  Marc's approach to the subject of contemporary mysticism is essentially nondenominational, nonsectarian, culturally interfaith, transreligious, definitively unitive, and unequivocally nondualistic. Within the context of the great shift in consciousness presently occurring all over the planet, Marc’s work focuses on individual and collective spiritual instruction and transformation. He promotes the practice of contemplation or meditation as the vehicle for spiritual transcendence and ascension to the higher dimensions of mystical consciousness. His other contributions to worldwide spiritual awakening and the global contemplative movement include spiritual mentoring, spiritual direction, and spiritual healing work. Marc is firmly committed to the vision of a global spiritual awakening and the divine promise of humanity’s mystical illumination. His brand of mysticism is the only true contemporary mysticism born of 21st century illumination and spirituality.  
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