I was brought up Christian. My family was Christian, I hung around with Christian friends, had church with Christians. Christianity was obvious to me at the time. It just was. I never questioned it. Until I did.
I ended up with so many questions and no real answers. Most had to do with conflicts between the Old and New Testament (sorry if calling them “Old and New” could be offensive, it’s just how I know them). I would see two almost unrecognizable Gods in both books. I would see Jewish laws that seemed like they were ignored in the NT. How come the Old and New Testament seem to have different views on Heaven/Hell? AFAIK, the OT doesn’t even mention the Hell we see in the NT. Why would the Old Testament mention all these things that will signify a Messiah’s coming, just to ignore them when Jesus came?
I would ask my Christian teachers about these things. I would ask them about OT verses I found tricky or tough to understand as a Christian and they would say “The OT is not meant for us today, it’s meant as law for the Israelites”. If we were going to dismiss it then why was it even in the Bible? It always seemed like these Christian teachers would pick and choose what they want from the OT. Ignore what they don’t like and only focus on what they do like. The OT would say one thing and the NT would say another. I would ask my teachers and they would say “you need to consider the context more” and things like that. To me it seemed like excuses.
As Christians we were taught that the Bible is infallible. We were taught that there were no errors, no inconsistencies and any “inconsistencies” we found were a result of our limited knowledge. But these inconsistencies I found kept piling up and up. The logical conclusion as a Christian was if that the Bible has inconsistencies, then the Bible is wrong. And then if the Bible is wrong, then God surely must be fake.
Obviously I was very young in my faith. But I had always been taught that the NT was what I should focus on. The “new” law. Implying the Jewish law is no longer needed
This eventually culminated in me losing my faith altogether. Christianity was religion to me. I couldn’t even comprehend that other religions (Judaism) could be correct. Christianity was all I knew. So I completely denied the existence of God, since if Christianity is wrong then all religion must be wrong.
Come to today. After my Christian father encouraged me to reconsider my faith (or lack thereof) I decided to do research. At first I was going to just ignore him but I felt the urge to research for some reason. So I did. Everything seemed pretty fruitless at first. Obviously the first thing I did was address inconsistencies.
Then it hit me like a truck. These “inconsistencies” only exist due to the NT. I couldn’t find any inconsistencies in the OT itself. Suddenly it all made sense. I can’t even really put into words how much things cleared up for me. All these problems and gripes and issues I had with the Bible, vanished.
I don’t even really know what to say. I’m still in shock really. I’m still trying to learn more before I say anything conclusive, but wow. Just wow.