Greetings John W. Loftus:
I took particular attention to your statement: He (Ehrman) begins by describing the difference between a vertical reading of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) with a horizontal reading of them. A vertical reading is simply taking one Gospel at a time and reading through it. A horizontal reading, however, is where we place the gospels side by side and read them together to see the differences in the accounts. When we read the Gospels horizontally we find discrepancies, irresolvable differences, and even contradictions, not only in the small details, but also when it comes to major ideas presented by the authors.
What the modern scholars fail to understand is the fact that the countless discrepancies are not really discrepancies at all, because they were intentionally inserted into the text so that the scriptures could not be read literally. And while in your case the intent of the original authors has been fulfilled because you have come to reject the written text as being gravely flawed, you are yourself as much of a victim as the faith-based believers you attack in your writings. In all instances, it was quasi-secular and government intervention into the affairs of religion, that left the great void that has left believer and critic alike spiritually sterile and destitute.
Throughout all times the authors of the scriptures and the genuine spiritual shepherds have been perpetually hunted down as heretics -- and thus, they were forced to use the common believer as a type of mule that unknowingly carried a Spiritual Trojan Horse from each time-period into the next. And while I am still in the process of re-editing the document, the article that explores this Trojan Horse reality is An In Convenient Truth (see http://Ebionite.com/AnInconvenientTruth.htm
). And that modern quantum physics has already proven the vision of the mystic and author of the scriptures to be true, is presented at http://TheThreeLies.com#ScienceProves
. And in this chapter of The Three Lies the article explores why the authors intentionally inserted quasi-historical accounts that were not true, and possessed no degree of accuracy.
While you are correct that faith-based believers have been duped, so too has the modern critic such as yourself. By design, when someone such as yourself realized that the Church Father Origen was correct, and only a "simpleminded ...idiot" could believe the literal text of the scriptures, when you posed questions there was supposed to be a person of wisdom and insight there to guide you into uncovering the true meaning of the text. But, in the case of Christianity, it was government control of the Church and its doctrine, that used their armies to silence the men of wisdom -- causing the society to spiral down into the Dark Ages of absolute ignorance from which they have yet to immerge.
Fortunately, because the faith-based believers were used as mules, and they carried with them a Spiritual Trojan Horse that possessed the innate ability to act as a catalyst for the few -- and the government is not at this time hunting down the people of wisdom and spiritual insight -- the time has arrived where the truth can be told with respect to many of the important questions you raise. In Daniel Murphy's review of Ehrman's book he writes "What to do with the very clear evidence that some of the currently accepted gospels have been tampered with over time, with later versions of the gospels inserting whole passages that are absent from the earliest texts of the canonical books that have been recovered? What to do with some Pauline letters clearly not written by Paul (they contain references to events that didn't happen until after Paul had died)? Professor Ehrman has some cogent thoughts on the matter."
And from a more spiritual perspective, this problem is explored at http://BibleCorruption.com
If the Church over the first three centuries of our Common Era hadn't perpetually tampered with the text, then the most ignorant within the Church would have never been annexed by Pagan Rome in the fourth century -- wherein, a series of emperors provided the power to wipe out all those who refused to accept the religion of the emperor. And because they had -- like the Pharisees, thrown away the Key of Knowledge -- the greater part of the Church has remained spiritually destitute to this very day. But the fact of the matter is, that both the Ebionite Nazirenes and the Spiritual (Gnostic) Christians who were representative of the true people of the New Covenant, were hunted down and murdered. And once the soul and spirit of the Church was gone, all that was left was a corpse that unknowing faith-based believers continue to garnish in remembrance of what once was. But fortunately for mankind, in the manner of mules they carried with them the Spiritual Trojan Horse that had locked within the body, the potential to restore the necessary knowledge to defeat the ignorance that afflicted mankind because of secular and pseudo-sectarian intervention into the core teachings of the Church.
GodSpeed in TheWay,
PO Box 780
Graham, NC 27253
aka Brother Of Yeshua/Jesus
cc: Daniel Murphy