When we nonbelievers are sitting at our usual weekly watering hole, the question come up, “Why did you leave the church?” A common answer is, “I read the Bible.”
I’m sure in some cases this is not of what really happens. Yet, in some cases I know it to be true.
Bart Ehrman, a New Testament scholar, has provide his own explanation of how he went from being a fundamentalist to an agnostic. He explains it started by carefully reading the of the Bible. In his case, it is believable.
Ehrman was an evangelical and attended the Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College. He then went to Princeton Theological Seminary. At both Wheaton and Princeton he studied Greek and began rereading the Bible.
While he knew even while at Moody there places where the Bible contradicted itself, he saw them as small and insignificant. Eventually, it was in the Book of John he began to see larger problems.
We have to remember the Book of John has the most quotes from Jesus. It includes the quotes most often used to make a point.
What began to bother Ehrman were the claims of John’s Jesus that were so different than those of the earlier Gospels. In John, Jesus says he was a god figure before he was born. This was not how his disciples saw him, nor those who claimed to know him as described in the earlier Gospels. There, he was a man who became a god.
Ehrman knew it cannot be both.