Chris Keith sets out to answer two questions. What lay at the heart of the conflict between Jesus and some of the religious authorities of his day? And how, if at all, did Jesus read Israel’s scriptures?
It’s almost Easter, which can mean only one thing: it’s time for the blockbuster Bible bestsellers. Last week, Bart Ehrman promoted his new book, How Jesus Became God, on NPR’s Fresh Air. Ehrman advances a common argument: Christian conceptions of Jesus’ identity grew more elaborate with time. His followers first perceived Jesus as a remarkable preacher or prophet, but eventually believers came to regard him as God incarnate.
Although I was aware of Ehrman’s book, I missed the publicity blitz.
Reza Aslan’s Zealot arrived with an enormous splash. An engaging and personal interview on NPR’s Fresh Air attracted widespread interest. Then a Fox News interview commandeered Internet coverage. The network’s religion correspondent, Lauren Green, began by asking why Aslan, a Muslim, would write a book about Jesus.