People telling their individual stories has universal appeal.
Bart Erhman is the Chair of Religious studies at the University of North Carolina. He has written bestsellers and academic books and articles.
As a teen, Erhman was smitten with literalism. Literalism treats every word in the Bible as literally true.
He spent three years at literalist Moody’s Bible College. He wanted to take his skills to the broader field of theology where his was confident he could hold his own as a literalist.
He moved on to Princeston Theological Seminary. By then he was skilled in reading Greek, the language of the New Testament.
In a class on the Gospel of Mark, he decided to write a paper on Mark 2 which has a story that refers to the Temple “when Abiathar was the high priest.” The problem with this sentence is that in the Old Testament it was not Abiathar who was the high priest, but his father, Ahimelech.
Erhman, the literalist, spent days developing an argument that there was no disagreement between the two accounts. Disagreement was impossible. His argument involved use of a Greek word and that Abiathar might have functioned as a high priest while not holding the title.
His Professor wrote on the bottom of his paper, “Maybe Mark simply made a mistake.”
This stunned Erhman. He had to admit the Professor was right.
Eventually, he came to see other inconsistancies in the Bible and left literalism behind.
Misquoting Jesus by Bart Erhman, p. 9.