Larry Hurtado mentioned Bart Ehrman’s new pay-per-view blog (imagine that—actually paying money to read a blog—ridiculous!) and in the course of his post he said the following:
Bart’s done some recognized and respected scholarly work too, but, clearly, it’s saying naughty things that antagonize fundamentalists, such as he says he was once, that gets you a literary agent and media attention.)
Interestingly enough, Ehrman would likely count Hurtado among the fundies that he enjoys antagonizing. In his most recent offering Ehrman says, “Apart from fundmanetalists and very conservative evangelicals, scholars are unified in thinking that the view that Jesus was God was a later development within Christian circles” (Did Jesus Exist?, 231).
Hurtado had written quite a bit on the extremely early Christian belief in Jesus as divine. His focus, of course, is on cultic devotion, and he says things contrary to what Ehrman claims when he says that “an exalted significance of Jesus appears astonishingly early in Christian circles” (Lord Jesus Christ, 2, emphasis mine). He refers to “binitarian devotion” as a “veritable ‘big bang,’ an explosively rapid and impressively substantial christological development in the earliest stage of the Christian movement” (135, emphasis mine).
I guess we’ll just have to wait for the book that Ehrman has promised on the subject to see if he does, in fact, count Hurtado as a fundy. I have to imagine that he must, otherwise his comments are mistaken, deceptive, or just hyperbolic.