The “christology wars” are already hitting the media circuit with articles on Ehrman’s book and ours featured at RNS on “Was Jesus Divine?” and the Huffington Post on how Ehrman’s book has been “instantly rebutted”.
The RNS says:
The two books are an unusual publishing experiment, in which HarperCollins arranged to have a team of evangelical scholars write a counterargument to its hot-selling superstar writer. Ehrman and the evangelical team exchanged manuscripts and signed nondisclosure agreements so as not to pre-empt each other, but otherwise worked independently for their own HarperCollins subsidiaries, HarperOne and Zondervan.
Let me clarify that this is not quite what happened. Harper Collins did not “arrange” for Ehrman’s book to have an evangelical counter-point. The story behind the book is that I was walking up and down the book exhibits at SBL 2013 seeing the big poster for Bart Ehrman’s HJBG, knowing where it was probably going, and ruing the fact that Muslims and JW’s were gonna think that all their Christmas’ had come at once, and I’d be getting many, many emails from people asking for help after being assailed with arguments drawn from Ehrman’s latest tirade against orthodox christology. So I decided to embark on some pre-emptive pastoral apologetics by recruiting a posse of ninja-jedi-master-seal-team-6 scholars who could take on Ehrman at his own game and win. So initiative for the book did not come from HarperCollins, HarperOne, or Zondervan, but from Zonderbird, a sub-division of Zondervan Inc., for which I am CEO, CFO, and COO, and head of the secret santa committee.
The Huffpost states:
To the quintet of evangelicals, Ehrman is prone to profound confusion, botched readings and scholarly fictions.
They insist that Jesus’ divinity was no mere afterthought but the essence of his message. His divine nature was signaled through miracles, forgiveness of sins and biblical allusions that point to Jesus exercising the prerogatives of Israel’s God and meriting worship, they say.
“Bart clearly fudged the evidence, omitting several relevant pieces of evidence and then misinterpreting other pieces,” Evans said. “In short, (we) had the opportunity to set the record straight — at the same time that Bart’s book makes its appearance.”