Bart Ehrman admits that the Gospel writers thought Jesus was God

Dr. White reviews the debate between Bart Ehrman and Justin Bass, on his Dividing Line program of Nov. 5, 2015.  (see embed at bottom)

That debate can be found here, “Did the Historical Jesus claim to be divine?”

Ehrman admitted:  “Yes, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in different ways, thought that Jesus was God”.  (a little after the 18:50 mark of the Dividing Line program below.)

Our Muslim friends, did you hear that?

Also, Ehrman says that John 8:58 and John 10:30 are clear references to the Deity of Christ.

Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58)

The Jews therefore picked up stones to stone Him . . .  John 8:59

“I and the Father, we are one.”  (John 10:30)

The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. (John 10:31)

Dr. White shows how the context of John 10:27-29 – “My Sheep hear My voice . . .” shows the unity of the Father and the Son to be Savior – just as Yahweh says “I am the only God; I am the only Savior” in the OT.  (especially Isaiah 40-66).

Dr. White made a great point to Muslims, that they keep trying to use John 14 and 16 to claim that Muhammad is prophesied about in the Gospel, but that not only does not make any logical sense, since the “comforter”/”counselor”/helper/ paraclete is the Holy Spirit “who will be in you” (John 14:16-17); and it is inconsistent to try and use one part of the Gospel of John in that way, and reject the rest of it.

Ehrman also agrees that John 14:9 and 17:5 teach the Deity of Christ:

“If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”  John 14:9

“Father, Glorify Me with the glory that I had with You before the world was created.”  John 17:5

About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Bart Ehrman, Historical Jesus, Historical reliability of the Bible. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Bart Ehrman admits that the Gospel writers thought Jesus was God

  1. Mark says:

    Thanks for the post, Mr. Temple. I still have to watch the debate, but it looks interesting.

  2. Sam Shamoun says:


    I saw ijaz mentioned Abdullah bin Salam as proof for the Quran. If you want to see why Salam’s conversion is a joke that ends up proving the Quran and Muhammad are a farce then please read my article:

  3. Ken Temple says:

    Thanks Sam. Great material. I am going to try to digest it more so I can use it.

  4. Dirk says:

    Found this site via the Blogging Theology Bart Ehrman thread and tried to post this video there – it appeared briefly but seems to have been taken down by that site’s admin. Hope you don’t mind me posting it here 🙂

    William Lane Craig absolutely destroying the credibility of Ehrman…..

  5. Dirk says:

    Tried to post this earlier but for some reason it did not show.
    I found your site via the Bart Ehrman thread on Blogging Theology and thought you would be interested in this video of William Lane Craig absolutely destroying Ehrman’s credibility….

    I posted it originally on the BT site and it seems that the admin over there deleted it. Sad.

  6. Ken Temple says:

    Thanks Dirk!
    Sorry I did not see your comments until just now. (Nov. 13, 2015, 2:15pm)

    I am glad you posted this here; because I was wondering what it was, because I saw your comment at Paul Williams’ site that he had deleted your post of William Lane Craig’s answer to Bart Ehrman.

    I look forward to watching and listening this.
    Paul W. deleting your post is sad indeed.
    Seems Williams can’t deal with a good response.

    By the way, first time posters are moderated, but after that, you are in; so feel free to come by and comment another time.

    Thanks again.

    • Dirk says:

      Thanks for putting the post up and sorry for the double post -didn’t realize it had gone to moderation.

      Hope you find the video helpful in your work. Like I said on the BT site, I have family members who converted to Islam – who, BTW are extremely good folks – yet I cannot for the life of me understand how they can accept a religion that is so obviously indefensible rationally, morally, and theologically.

      I have watched dozens of muslim/Christian debates online and the only positive arguments for Islam seem to be trivial “wowzwer” arguments i.e. the Quran is so literarily beatific that it must be from God, dubious claims of numeric miracles, obviously false claims of scientific miracles, and the like. All are absurd as the basis for belief, yet seem to be the best that Islamic apologists have to offer.

  7. θ says:

    ” Article says: “I and the Father, we are one.” (John 10:30)..“Father, Glorify Me with the glory that I had with You before the world was created.” John 17:5 ”

    Even any kindergarten kid can easily point a fatal flaw in this weak argument. If Jesus is already “one” with the Father, why would he need his pastime glory to be “returned” back by his Father?

    After all, his unifying glory is eventually shared to Disciples, hence where’s a unique thing on this glory? How or what actually are Trinitarians reading of the Bible after all?
    Jn 17
    22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

  8. CD-Host says:

    I’m not sure why this should be a surprise that Ehrman thinks the gospel writers believed in the divinity of Christ. He made his reputation decades ago on the issue of orthodox corruption (around 1989) that the original Christian movements that wrote the bible had a theological view of Jesus consisting of adoptionism, seperationism, docetism. He’s never argued that they held that Jesus was held to be a human prophet. This is a lifelong position.

  9. θ says:

    “CD-Host says: the gospel writers believed in the divinity of Christ. ”

    What matters is what Jesus thinks who he is. Jesus says he is the Son.
    The Gospel writers says Jesus is a man. Never do they render Latreuo to the Son, just Proskuneo. An awkward reaction of Abraham when seeing his days is just giving a smile. Although seeing his glory, yet Isaiah dismisses preexistence of Jesus by not addressing him as the ones who send him.

    Verses John 9:35-38 are Biblical inference that negates the divinity of “Son” (John 10:36), in which Jesus defines “Son of God” as a mortal Lord “Adon” rather than a divine “Adonay”:
    Jn 9
    35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

    The word “Lord” in John 9:36 for “Son of God” in John 9:35 must be “Adon” in Hebrew because it just correlates with “Proskuneo” in John 9:38.
    “Adon” is a title of mortal reverence. It is used to Abraham husband of Sarah, Prophets, Kings, Angels, et cetera.

    Jesus differentiates “God” from Jesus himself in John 7:17: “whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” John 7:17 is one of the strongest proofs that rebuts a Trinitarian version of John 1:1. If Jesus were Word since the beginning per John 1:1, why does Jesus (supposing the Word) differ from God? Why does the Word differ from God?

    Once again, in John 10. Jesus openly declines to be called “gods” at the perfect time when Jews truly pressure him to claim a divinity, but he just calls himself the Son.
    (i) Jesus says he is one with the Father thru a mechanism “in-and-in”, but eventually he uses ” *he * called them gods” rather than ” *I * called them”.
    (ii) Jesus says “he called *Them * gods” rather than “he called *Us* gods” to include himself.

    Being in-and-in with the Father is not something too unique.
    Book of 1John can be loosely called the book of “in-and -in” due to the extensive use of the word “in him” in exchange for both God and Christians.
    1Jn 3
    24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.

    • CD-Host says:

      First off theta (θ) you are quoting me a bit out of context. “Ehrman thinks the gospel writers believed in the divinity of Christ” and “the gospel writers believed in the divinity of Christ” are quite different statements even though obviously the 1st statement contains the 2nd.

      As for your argument..
      a) The word “Lord” in John 9:36 for “Son of God” in John 9:35 must be “Adon” in Hebrew. John is in Greek, containing Greek poetry, Greek structures, Greek wordplay and Greek philosophy. Why would anything in John be originally in Hebrew?

      b) The Logos and the Theos are distinct being in Greek thought including Hellenistic Judaism. The Logos is a divine projection from the Theos in the middle realms the same way your shadow is a project of you but is not you. The question is whether the author of the poem that opens the Gospel of John views Jesus as divine not whether he believes in a trinity.

      etc… You aren’t refuting Ehrman in the above.

  10. θ says:

    “CD-Host says: Why would anything in John be originally in Hebrew?”

    Hebrew language is more specific than Greek. There are Adonay and Adon for Lord. Adonay must be Adon but not all Adon is Adonay. Similarly there are Jehovah and Elohim. Jehovah must be Elohim but not all Elohim is Jehovah.
    On the contrary, Hebrew doesn’t differentiate the Word from words unlike in Greek philosophy.
    John’s Gospel is not a unique source in Hellenistic religion. Jews have Septuagint, Greek apocrypha, and other Gospels in Greek. The easiest way to understand “Logos” is to use the Tanachic quote in the Matthew’s, Mark’s and Luke’s.
    In Greek, there’s the Word in the sense of personalisation, “he” is visible (hence not God) by mortal eyes, is heard (hence not divine) by ears, is touched (hence not Jehovah) by hands, and is comprehensible (hence not Adonay) by perception.
    1Jn 1
    1 That which was from the beginning, which we have *heard*, which we have *seen* with our eyes, which we have *looked* upon, and our hands have *handled*, of the Word of life; 2 For the life was manifested, and we have *seen* it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us; 3 That which we have *seen* and *heard* declare we unto you,

  11. θ says:

    “CD-Host says: The Logos is a divine projection from the Theos in the middle realms the same way your shadow is a project of you but is not you. ”

    In Tanachic understanding, Logos is divine (by predication or attribution), but it is not the gods (by identification), nor another separated person from Jehovah. Otherwise, Jews would have worshiped him. Isn’t quite bisarre that Jews don’t identify the divine word by which Jehovah creates the heaven with his Son?
    Ps 33
    6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

    The New Testament does differentiate the Word from word. Now, the question is, does John 1:1 talk about Jesus as person, or uttered word heard by creation, or just the remaining potency of speech within God?
    In Unitarian understanding, the prologues of John 1:1-3 undoubtedly identify the word with the same divine word in Psalm 33:6. That is, now, by (thru, via,) the same divine word one heavenly Son of man is made.
    Isn’t Jesus as pure as heaven?

    Philo has two definitions: Logos Prophorikos (“uttered word”) and Logos Endiathetos (“word remaining within”). On Logos Endiathetos, Philo identifies it as potency within God. On Logos Prophorikos, Philo says “Logos of the living God is the bond of everything, holding all things together and binding all the parts, and prevents them from being dissolved and separated.” Hence, Logos Prophorikos is God’s instrument in the creation. But it doesn’t mean there’s no Logos remaining within God.
    Still in relation with creation, Stoics added other Logos Spermatikos (generative principle of the Universe). Heraclitus used Logos for a principle of order and knowledge. Aristotle applies Logos to a reasoned discourse or “argument”. Isocrates defines Logos as speech, reason, and civic discourse.

  12. Ken Temple says:

    θ –

    I appreciate you reading my blog and responding so much lately.

    you write so much every day; sorry I don’t have time to read everything you are writing and respond to every detail.

    You have an interesting take on things. What kind of Muslim are you? I asked you before and you never answered. Are you a former Christian?

  13. θ says:

    “Ken Temple says:What kind of Muslim are you? I asked you before and you never answered.Are you a former Christian?”

    No, I never think to be a Christian. But since childhood I admire fascinating story of all Prophets, miracle, angels, jinn, including that of what we call Injil. Believing in Jesus, Moses, and Abraham alongside Prophet Muhammad can be in Islam.
    I consider myself a Moslem, that’s all. Is Abraham a Shi’ite? No. Is Moses a Wahhabi? Are our Moslem Prophets Ismailis, Abedis, Hanafis, Mu’tazilis, Sufis? No. It is just several names that later Moslems invented for pragmatic identification. The ways toward Allah can pragmatically and tactically vary but also can overlap each others in main issues.

  14. θ says:

    “Article says: Also, Ehrman says that John 8:58 and John 10:30 are clear references to the Deity of Christ.Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58)“I and the Father, we are one.” (John 10:30)Ehrman also agrees that John 14:9 and 17:5 teach the Deity of Christ:“If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” John 14:9“Father, Glorify Me with the glory that I had with You before the world was created.” John 17:5”

    At most, the Gospel writers think Jesus has the Preexistence in the past as impersonal “thing”. Abraham saw the glory of the Son, Isaiah saw him, Moses wrote about him, but nobody worships him. It proves it is just an impersonal attribute without identity.

    The point Jews, Arians, and Unitarians always underline as theological emphasis on the Preexistence is that the Preexistence doesn’t mean divinity. The Preexistence has nothing to do with divinity.

    Also in Rev 11:11 John talks about Preexistence of two upcoming Prophets who still stand at God’s presence, but it doesn’t mean they are divine. In Rev 11:11 angel tells John that there are two unknown Prophets who preexistently stand in the soul (perhaps before the world began) in the presence of God, and they shall be sent down in the future as two mortals.

    Moreover Philippians 2:6 is a nice rebuttal of Jesus’ divinity. So ironic the verse sides with the Unitarians instead. Phil 2:6 uses the word “isos” that points out the plural equals. Hence, it would have made the Son’s form another rival of God’s nature. Other explanation is, the Son’s form is just an attribution that is generated later by the nature.
    Once again, why did nobody worship that Son’s form before? It proves the form is just an impersonal attribute without identity.

    Also Proverbs 8 that uses the figurative speech of poetic description to personify the impersonal Wisdom. Why did nobody worship that eternal Wisdom before? It proves it is just an impersonal attribute without identity.

    The absence of divine service (Latreauo) and worshiping (Proskuneo) of the Son is the weakest point in the argumentation of the Preexistence. The absence of divine service (Latreauo) and worshiping (Proskuneo) of the incarnated Son is also another endgame for the Trinitarians.
    Why have Jews worshiped the Father who doesn’t undergo incarnation? Moreover, the argument of incarnation into the flesh on purpose to make the Son perfected or matured implies that the Son is not divine.

Comments are closed.