Did everyone go to high school with exactly one dude who read this book in high school and then came to school brandishing his new power of (understanding that that Bible does not represent a total unified understanding of Christianity, but a complicated and somewhat cobbled together book of myths and stories) like a cudgel?
I think there’s two versions of these guys: atheist guy and conspiracy theory Christian guy. This second guy might also be a total overlap with “I read the Celestine Prophecy” guy. My guy was this second guy. I went to church as a kid, and like with a lot of protestant churches, all the cool and fun parts of the Bible as we knew was already stripped bare. So this guy learning that there were competing Gospels, that there were actual mythological stories taken out, that this group of Christian gnostics had a much different understanding of God and Christianity (more akin to elements of Buddhism and secular humanism in parts), well that was catnip for him.
I didn’t realize though that this book is the one that spelled it all out for him. And it’s also a book that clearly had some influence over The Da Vinci Code (the revelation part, not the Da Vinci part). And for all that, it’s a curious and interesting academic reading of these found manuscripts, which, if you’re not really a Christian anymore, make a lot of sense as far as ancient documents go. Medieval monks finding Lucretius also had some curious impacts of world knowledge.
But I guess it’s also kind of hard to place a (personal) reading of this book in context without further study, as I was already told a lot of the stuff here by that guy in my high school.