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How Jesus Became God

Uncover the extraordinary story behind an idea that has shaped our civilization: the Christian belief that Jesus of Nazareth was none other than God the Almighty.
How Jesus Became God is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 306.
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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Could have been consolidated He is a great teacher and the course was very interesting and informative. And his knowledge is extensive and impeccable. And particularly noted, that though an agnostic himself, he presented the material forthright with no agenda. But at times the course seemed repetitive. Other times, overdone.. A whole 32 minutes EACH on gods who became human and humans who became gods? I get the point! Jesus was not the first person to ever been considered a god. I don't need to know EVERY incident where and when this happened. Also didn't need to know every detail of every Christian sect who was in disagreement with Christian theology. The point was made. Which is informative. I get it. Beyond that, do I really remember or care, exactly who, said exactly what, exactly when? I would recommend this to a friend with the advice to watch it with a finger on the fast forward button. .
Date published: 2022-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Scholars or sheep? Amazing boatload of ancient history. It is obvious that the human brain desired a supreme being in their lives. The growth of Christianity is amazing. However the reference that if not Christianity we would be pagans today. Having the desire to have a god/gods, we could be worshiping Elmo, Bart or Mozart. Someone would be on the pedestal.
Date published: 2022-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How Jesus became God I bought this lecture to further my understanding of the Bible teachings of today and of my beliefs about Jesus and religion. I tend to look at religion from a historical perspective and not what we would like to believe is accurate.
Date published: 2022-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative and objective. Good clear and easily understandable speech. great historical presentation.
Date published: 2022-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dr Ehrman, besides being well informed, can deliver his lectures with a pleasant voice.
Date published: 2021-12-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very thought provoking. The lectures are very well done and have helped me see other perspectives. The instructor provides direct references to Biblical passages as well as non scriptural historical material.
Date published: 2021-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant and Informative I thoroughly enjoyed Professor Ehrman’s presentation. Extremely informative and opened my mind why and how Jesus became God. More importantly, the evolution of such developments with him becoming more Devine sooner starting from his resurrection, babtism, birth and finally considered Devine, equal to god the father and existing before creation and for eternity! He articulated brilliantly this process historically with facts, evidence, references both from the scripture and other historical references. I am sure some religious people will attack him for such presentation. However, these are not his views or opinions but he refers to historical evidence and reads us such evidence mostly from the Bible itself! I have seen some who criticize him for being bias (anti-religious) because he is agnostic. But I use the same logic against such criticism. Those blindly believing in faith are biased against those who don not believe in their faith or brand of their faith. Therefore, they are biased against ethicist and thus not qualified to criticize him. Professor Ehrman’s contribution in understanding Christianity, it’s development especially to the creation of the new religion for the western world is outstanding. You will not learn any of these concepts if you are preached by a minister or priest!
Date published: 2021-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fascinating historical perspective Prof. Ehrman provides an articulate historical narrative of early Christianity. The lectures were dense sometimes, but all well organized and structured. He covers a lot in this course, as the topic deserves. As agnostics raised around the Christian faith, my wife and I welcomed his explanations. They allowed us to grasp concepts and ideas that were blurry and all over the place. As of now, it seems we can better talk with our friends (Christians or not) about such developments. Very interesting conversations are happening already. Finally, I can relate to believers being off put by the professor's tone. As a scholar, his positions are clear and authoritative. Ironic? Yes. But not disrespectful. Anyway, this can really bother those who oppose his conclusions. Besides the quality of his presentation, I admire his courage to expose his views as he did. Even as a historian (not a theologian), not an easy task.
Date published: 2021-12-14
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Overview

What exactly happened, such that Jesus came to be considered God? To ask this question is to delve into a fascinating, multilayered historical puzzle-one that offers a richly illuminating look into the origins of the Western worldview and the theological underpinnings of our civilization. In 24 provocative lectures, Professor Ehrman takes you deeply into the process by which the divinity of Jesus was first conceived by his followers, demonstrating how this conception was refined over time to become the core of the Christian theology, our culture, our thought, and our world.

About

Bart D. Ehrman
Bart D. Ehrman

After his crucifixion, Jesus' disciples came to believe he'd been raised from the dead and made a divine being. What had seemed like defeat became for them the ultimate cosmic victory.

INSTITUTION

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Dr. Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his undergraduate work at Wheaton College and earned his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Professor Ehrman has written or edited 27 books, including four best sellers on The New York Times list: Misquoting Jesus: The Story behind Who Changed the Bible and Why; God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question-Why We Suffer; Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know about Them);and Forged: Writing in the Name of God-Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. Professor Ehrman also served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature, Southeastern Region; book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature; editor of the Scholars' Press monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers;and coeditor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae. Professor Ehrman received the John William Pope Center Spirit of Inquiry Award, the UNC Students' Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Professorship (awarded for excellence in undergraduate teaching).

By This Professor

How Jesus Became God
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The New Testament
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Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication
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The Triumph of Christianity
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How Jesus Became God

Trailer

Jesus-The Man Who Became God

01: Jesus-The Man Who Became God

First, consider the huge historical significance of the Christian belief in Jesus's divinity, in terms of its effects on Western civilization as well as today's world. Learn about different scholarly views of the historical Jesus, and trace the remarkable diversity of early Christian thought regarding Christian identity, scripture, and theological understandings of Jesus.

33 min
Greco-Roman Gods Who Became Human

02: Greco-Roman Gods Who Became Human

In the ancient world, there were many accounts of "divine" mortals. Track this phenomenon in the Greco-Roman polytheistic religions, noting the overlap between the human and divine worlds. Explore three ancient models of divine men, in both mythology and Christian scripture, as gods take on human form and humans enter the heavenly realm.

32 min
Humans as Gods in the Greco-Roman World

03: Humans as Gods in the Greco-Roman World

Delve further into the interface between the human and the divine in pagan cultures. Examine narratives describing people born of the sexual union of gods with mortals, highlighting examples such as Alexander the Great. In the Roman and Egyptian worlds, look at cases of humans who were exalted to the status of gods.

32 min
Gods Who Were Human in Ancient Judaism

04: Gods Who Were Human in Ancient Judaism

Here, discover accounts of divine humans and other godlike beings within ancient Judaism. In Genesis and Exodus, explore conceptions of divine beings that appear in human form. In other Jewish texts, study narratives of humans who become angelic beings, as well as stories of the offspring of angels and humans.

31 min
Ancient Jews Who Were Gods

05: Ancient Jews Who Were Gods

In ancient Judaism, beings other than the one true God could be considered to be or even called God. Learn about the divine figure of the Son of Man, and the Jewish conception of a "second God". Observe how divine attributes of God were personified, and how humans such as the kings of Israel were deified.

27 min
The Life and Teachings of Jesus

06: The Life and Teachings of Jesus

In approaching the historical Jesus, consider why the New Testament Gospels are the only useful early sources on his life, and study the criteria used by scholars for evaluating the Gospels as history. Then investigate Jesus's apocalyptic worldview, which envisioned the imminent end of history and a coming kingdom of God.

32 min
Did Jesus Think He Was God?

07: Did Jesus Think He Was God?

This lecture explores what Jesus said about himself, as well as what he specifically preached. Grasp the nature and purpose of Jesus's ethical teachings, and his view of himself as a prophet of the coming kingdom. Study the Jewish conception of the Messiah as a warrior-king who would overthrow the enemies of Israel.

31 min
The Death of Jesus-Historical Certainties

08: The Death of Jesus-Historical Certainties

Regarding Jesus's final days, review the events that we know about with relative certainty. Learn about his reasons for being in Jerusalem, and the political tensions surrounding the Passover celebration there. Consider what led to his arrest, the nature of the charges against him, and what we can infer about his trial.

31 min
Jesus's Death-What Historians Can't Know

09: Jesus's Death-What Historians Can't Know

Look now at events surrounding Jesus's death that we cannot know about with certainty. Assess the plausibility of the Gospels' accounts of his arrival in Jerusalem, the date of his crucifixion, and the matter of his burial. Grasp how Christian writers made changes in the accounts of his death to serve theological ends.

31 min
The Resurrection-What Historians Can't Know

10: The Resurrection-What Historians Can't Know

Jesus's resurrection stands as the basis for the entire Christian faith. But what can we know historically about the resurrection? Here, dig deeply into the question of what historians can and cannot demonstrate about the past, and consider aspects of the stories of Jesus's resurrection that are historically doubtful or unknowable.

34 min
What History Reveals about the Resurrection

11: What History Reveals about the Resurrection

What was it that caused Jesus's followers to believe he had been raised from the dead? Investigate the disciples' visions of Jesus, alive again after his death, as reflected in Paul and the Gospels. Learn also about the tradition of doubt in the resurrection, and the meaning to early Christians of being resurrected.

32 min
The Disciples' Visions of Jesus

12: The Disciples' Visions of Jesus

In exploring the first claims about Jesus's resurrection, this lecture discusses the phenomenon of visionary experience as understood by modern researchers. Learn about the variety of religious and bereavement visions people experience, and the ways in which the disciples' visions and beliefs about Jesus combined to impact their conception of him as divine.

30 min
Jesus's Exaltation-Earliest Christian Views

13: Jesus's Exaltation-Earliest Christian Views

What did the earliest Christians believe about Jesus's divinity? Delve into Romans and Acts for what they may tell us about early Christian thought, identifying the "pre-literary" creeds they quote from. Observe how these creeds indicate a view that Jesus was adopted as the Son of God precisely upon his resurrection.

31 min
The Backward Movement of Christology

14: The Backward Movement of Christology

Over time, Christian thought pushed the origin of Jesus's divinity further and further back in history. Trace this development by looking at views of Jesus in the New Testament Gospels. Focus on the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, noting their differing versions of when Jesus became the Son of God.

30 min
Paul's View-Christ's Elevated Divinity

15: Paul's View-Christ's Elevated Divinity

Paul's theology represents a transition between early conceptions of Christ as exalted by God upon his death and later views of his innate or eternal divinity. Trace Paul's seminal role within the early church, and his view of Jesus as a divine being whose actions raised him to a higher level of divinity.

32 min
John's View-The Word Made Human

16: John's View-The Word Made Human

The Gospel of John differs significantly from the other three canonical Gospels in its conception of Jesus. Investigate John's contention that Jesus had always been the Son of God and the equal of God the Father. Contemplate John's identification of Christ as the embodiment of the word of God, or "logos".

31 min
Was Christ Human? The Docetic View

17: Was Christ Human? The Docetic View

In the second and third centuries, Christian groups followed radically different beliefs and theologies. Learn about the "docetists", who believed Jesus was not human, but only appeared to be so, highlighting Marcion, a docetist who conceived of two distinct gods-a God of the Jews and a God of Jesus.

29 min
The Divided Christ of the Separationists

18: The Divided Christ of the Separationists

Among early Christian groups, the Gnostics demonstrate yet another view of the divinity of Jesus. Explore the fundamental tenets of Gnosticism, with its notion of secret knowledge as the source of salvation. Discover the Gnostic "separationist" view of Christ, according to which the divine Christ inhabited, temporarily, the human Jesus.

30 min
Christ's Dual Nature-Proto-Orthodoxy

19: Christ's Dual Nature-Proto-Orthodoxy

By the fourth century, the theological understanding known as "orthodoxy" became predominant. Investigate the relationship between orthodoxy and "heresy", or conflicting conceptions of the faith, and evidence that orthodoxy was not the original form of Christianity. Learn about early "proto-orthodox" writers, and their contention that Jesus was both fully God and fully human.

32 min
The Birth of the Trinity

20: The Birth of the Trinity

The doctrine of the Trinity asserts that God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all individually God. Look into the origins of this mysterious claim, noting that the Trinity appears nowhere in the Bible. Learn about the conception of "modalism", which proposed that the three are manifestations of one being, and modalism's opponents.

32 min
The Arian Controversy

21: The Arian Controversy

In the third century, sharp divisions existed between Christians, involving how to explain the relation of God the Father to Christ and the Holy Spirit. Examine the proto-orthodox thought of Novatian, and learn about the "Arian controversy" stemming from the highly divisive view of Christ as a subordinate deity created by God.

31 min
The Conversion of Constantine

22: The Conversion of Constantine

The Christian conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine was a momentous turning point for the faith. Learn about the relationship of the Roman Empire to early Christianity, and the specific reasons why Christians were persecuted by Rome. Grasp Constantine's motives for converting to Christianity and for becoming directly involved in theological controversies.

32 min
The Council of Nicea

23: The Council of Nicea

Constantine called the famous Council of Nicea in 325 CE, to resolve the conflicting views of Christ's divinity. Examine the theological issues at stake, pitting the Christological views of Arius against those of Alexander of Alexandria. Contemplate the political implications of the outcome, and the resulting orthodox creed, establishing Jesus fully as God.

31 min
Once Jesus Became God

24: Once Jesus Became God

Conclude by considering the historical ramifications of the Nicean affirmation that Jesus was God. Learn about the growing Christian faith's effects on paganism and the advent of anti-Jewish thought and action. Observe how the theological debates continued, and review Jesus's path to becoming the object of faith for billions today.

33 min