Week 8: How Jesus Became God, Part 2
1. Ehrman, How Jesus Became God (2014), chapters 4-6.
Ehrman continues by discussing in detail what the historian can and cannot say about the resurrection, including a fascinating aside on the question of whether Jesus received a decent burial. Again, this is not something we can resolve as historians (we have no sources) but one can put forth plausible (and less plausible) arguments based on the cultural and political norms of the time. Did Ehrman persuade you of his conclusion?
Ehrman goes on to discuss what we can know: what believers in Jesus thought occurred. But it’s important to realize that that was not any one uniform thing. What does it mean to be resurrected? What kind of body does one have, if any?
In one of his most useful contributions, Ehrman points out that for a survivor to understand that she has had personal contact with a dead loved-one is not unusual. Historians need not understand the resurrection appearances of Jesus as “miracles.”
In chapter six, we start to consider the development of Christology.