Prof. Ehrman,

I found this in the LA Time Review of Zealot. Is this correct?

“Aslan had an epiphany, however, when presented with a basic fact of biblical scholarship: When Jesus called himself the Messiah, he had a specific Jewish idea in mind. In Jewish thought, he could never be a divine being.”

Christians made Jesus divine but Jesus did not believe he could be divine?

Maybe this is partly what it means when people say Jesus was Romanized because Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar were divii (divine). Also, Pharaohs, say 18th dynasty, were divine.

Dr. Bart D. Ehrman:

Well, the messiah *could* be divine. But he wasn’t for Jesus. I deal with this at length in my new book, where I argue that Christians came to think of Jesus as divine, although he did not see himself that way at ALL.


Jesus dies.
The Catholics say he went to visit the souls in Hell or something–I went to Catholic schools from 7th to 12th grade. I don’t quite remember.

2nd draft:
Jesus dies.
He ascends to Heaven where God transfigures him into the Son of Man.
Jesus comes out of his tomb on Easter Sunday as Son of Man to rule the Kingdom of God.

For Jesus to go from Healer-Teacher to a Son of Man, king of the Kingdom of God, with the Easter story, Jesus would have to be divine.

Dr. Ehrman, the Son of Man at the right hand of the Power HAS TO BE DIVINE.

Dr. Ehrman, you say the messiah could be divine, but he wasn’t for Jesus. Even without Jesus being transformed into the Son of Man between crucifixion and resurrection, if the messiah was the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the power, how could he not be divine? Do you really explain in your book that Jesus did not see the Son of Man as divine given his proximity to the throne?