I’m 15 years old and I’m an agnostic/atheist depending on your definition. I am sure of my position and can back it without using the bible, but should I read it to appease others? I know my atheist Biology teacher did for that very reason
I can back my atheist position with or without the Bible. I can also argue with the Bible that according to one of Jesus’ sermons I am a Christian and will go to heaven. So you see how advantageous it is to know the Bible inside out, backwards and forwards. It baffles believers and even frightens them.
Should you be expected to read it? I think that’s a moot point. Read it for the fun of it. Research the history behind the scenes depicted in it. Books I found helpful in this areand . Read agnostic New Testament scholar ’s criticisms of it. Compare Ehrman with the evangelical New Testament scholar . As you read these guys, you will learn about textual analysis and biblical criticism, which is what they do, studying the biblical text scientifically to figure out its validity.
Ehrman and Wallace obviously come to opposite conclusions. Figuring out why will give you sharper tools and stronger arguments—not to mention make your bible-reading much more interesting while at the same time appeasing others.