In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks to Bart Ehrman about his experience of being a born-again Christian, his academic training in New Testament scholarship, his loss of faith, the most convincing argument in defense of Christianity, the status of miracles, the composition of the New Testament, the resurrection of Jesus, the nature of heaven and hell, the book of Revelation, the End Times, self-contradictions in the Bible, the concept of a messiah, whether Jesus actually existed, Christianity as a cult of human sacrifice, the conversion of Constantine, and other topics.
I listened to this episode the other day, it was actually super interesting. Bart Ehrman is a fascinating guest for this podcast. He has a lot of pretty unique ideas on his area of study, if you haven't watched it do yourself a favor and check it out. It's cool hearing someone use the arguments I am accustomed to hearing in defence of faith discussed as counter arguments to the religion.
For what it's worth, I frequently call it "Paulism", because this apostle was the one who pushed to have gentiles included. The new testament itself I see as being rife with allegory and metaphors that were used to make abstractions more easily understandable to the congregants. With that in mind the importance of the several translations over the years is becoming more obvious. There is nothing immune to misinterpretation to be found and even the most fundamental tenets are overlooked when the scriptures are used as an excuse to oppress someone.