Thankfully for me it started in my early/mid 20s.
I was a typical middle class guy coming from a good loving christian family. As a child and teen I went to church every Sunday and Wednesday and was
very active in the church.
Once I got to college I started interacting with people who weren't like me (i.e. white, christian, male, straight, etc.) and it opened my eyes to
other viewpoints. I stopped going to church, not because I didn't believe anymore, but because, well, I was in college, and I liked to party.
Around towards the end of college I wanted to get back into church and though I'd give it a fair shake. I really wanted to know the back story of the
bible and how it came to be. I was looking at evidence of the flood, Jesus, who wrote what book, etc. That's really where I started to question
everything about the Bible and the internet was the force behind it all.
So much information is out there about religion on the internet. I didn't have that available to me growing up. All I knew was what my preacher and
parents said. At first I believed everything I saw on Zeitgeist. Then I started reading some actual scholars on the Bible. Bart Ehrman is one.
Once you look into it, you find things like:
-1 John 5:7, the main verse on the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is a later addition. Yea, there are other verses that one could interpret as
possibly mentioning the trinity, but the only explicit one is a later (much later) addition.
-John 7:53-8:11 is the story of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery. This is a later addition.
-Mark 16:9-20 is a later addition. Mark is the oldest gospel and it originally ends with the empty tomb. Nothing after that is present in the oldest
-Luke chapters 1 and 2, again later additions
-The Serpent mentioned in Genesis is never called Satan. Its that; just a serpent. Satan coinciding with a serpent doesn’t happen until Revelation
which was written 100’s of years after Genesis.
-Genesis mentions camels 23 times. Domesticated camels do not show up in archaeology until the last third of 10th Century BCE, which is well after
the supposed time of events of Genesis.
-Jews were never enslaved by the Egyptians. No evidence of them being there. No evidence of Egyptians even having slaves at all. The workers were
well paid Egyptians.
-No evidence of the Exodus
-The flood story is taken from the Epic of Gilgamesh. There is no evidence of a worldwide flood. Localized flood stories (which would be worldwide
to those people) were numerous. See the book "The Ark Before Noah".
-The Tower of Babel is taken from an Assyrian story
-The Instruction of Amenomope and Proverbs 22-23 are similar
-We don't know who wrote the 4 gospels. Gospels aren’t mentioned by name until 180 CE in Irenaeus of Lyons's book "On Heresies"
-The Pauline epistles are numbered at 13. However 7 are considered genuine (i.e. written by one person), and the rest are either disputed, or
definitely not written by him.
-It is said that Moses wrote the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). Scholars have come to conclusion through textual analysis that this
is not possible and have developed the Documentary Hypothesis, which states there are 4 different writers named J,E,D, and P
-Jesus quotes Moses and his books several time in the gospels. Well if Moses didn't write the Pentateuch, then is Jesus wrong?
-The evidence of Jesus is lacking. I'm not saying he didn't exist, but nothing from his lifetime exists. We have Paul's Work (dated around 50 CE), The
Gospels (which range from 70 to 110 CE), Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny, etc. There are things about the extra-biblical references that I don't like, but
I'm not going into detail (think forgeries)
-Christians are never mentioned in the NT. The 3 times they are traditionally seen are translated as Chrestians, which means "followers of good" or
"good doers". The Chrestus/Christus, Chrestiani/Christiani thing is a whole other debate which is really interesting as many early texts are labeled
as Chrestiani. Im still studying this.
I could go on and on about this, but these are a few things I have struggled with since actually studying the Bible. The weird thing is....these are
topics that Bible Scholars have known for a while. These are taught in Theology schools. I don't see how one can objectively look at these and
believe in Biblical innerancy.
In the end I came to the conclusion that a Jesus figure most likely existed and his story grew over time. He was an apocalyptic preacher with a few
followers and somehow his story took off. If you look at the earliest to latest stories on him, you can see details added every iteration.
I know more about the Bible now than when I was going to church every week and from what I can tell I know more than my friends who still attend
church. I may not attend church anymore but I find The Bible (and religion in general) fascinating. However, I don't like the way gay people are
treated and the way science is looked down upon (evolution and global warming). I still go to church with my family when I am home. I actually got
pissed off at the preacher last time I went for him saying that same sex marriage was the beginning of bestiality and people would eventually marry
their pets. I almost walked out. The stupidity is astounding sometimes.
I like the Jesus figure and the good he stands for (most of it is good). However I can't logically come to the conclusion that its all true. Given
the fact the Earth is millions of years old, you would have to believe there is a 1500 year period where magic happens. All the magic stories in
different cultures before that are false, and all the magic stories after Jesus are false. Oh yea....the magic stories of other cultures in that 1500
year time frame are false also.
It just doesn't make sense.
I don't regret the church (maybe the tithing part) because I made some awesome friends that I love today. The community part was great. There were
definitely the judgmental people there, but overall it was positive. My family and wife still think I am a believer and I doubt Ill ever mention my
questioning. I'm no too worried about it, and I don't want to cause a rift. My family has done a lot for me and I don't want them to feel like they
I don't see religion being around too much longer. Maybe another 75 years or so. The internet and the age of information is causing problems.
Religion may be growing in underdeveloped nations, but its shrinking in places that are becoming more educated. One in five now identify as "Nones"
in the US and its growing.
(hope this wasn't a rant and was decently put together. I'm often not good at putting thoughts to words)
edit on 20-4-2015 by KidOK because: (no reason given)
edit on 20-4-2015 by KidOK because: (no reason given)