While reading Bart Ehrman’s Jesus, Interrupted, I came to realize how atheists often wish to have their cake and eat it too. The sad part? It often works.
Ehrman discusses some of the contradictions that can be find in the Bible, which are mostly minor and do not cause any change in doctrine no matter how you look at them, and says this is reason to believe that the Gospels are all wrong and contrived for evangelical purposes only, and not for writing an accurate history. But for some reason, most scholars agree that when stories are too similar to each other with no variation, this is a tell-tale sign of them being forged because it shows that the authors were probably collaborating. just like if I were to ask 20 who saw a crime to describe the suspect was and they all said 6’4″, about 250 lbs, white male with a blue shirt that had an outline of a woman on it and he was wearing white Nike’s and some straight leg Hollister jeans, I would be pretty naïve to think that it was merely a coincidence that they all said the exact same thing. So some variation is necessary to be considered legitimate…
But wait a sec, isn’t that what Ehrman is complaining about? Some slight variations? At one point he even discusses how they used different wording of what Jesus said. Duh? Can we really expect them to say verbatim what He said based on their memory or even a witness’ memory? And if they used the exact wording, surely he would jump on that and say that they were working together and that they are therefore unreliable. Please people, get your heads on straight and quit being so obstinate. You can’t have it both ways.
Now that’s what I call having your cake and eating it too, which would be nice if you could, but you can’t, and we (atheist and theist alike) need to point this out when anybody tries to do so.