“The reason for excluding the Quran and book of Mormon is that they are obviously just random made up stories”
Not to Muslims or Mormons. Which means either you’re smarter than every Muslim and Mormon on the planet, or these religions are designed in such a way as to appear airtight from the inside, keeping members fooled.
You can only see this about those religions because you’re not looking from the inside, but from the outside. Like a bubble made out of one-way mirror. Because you’re looking at Christianity from the inside, it looks as convincing to you as Mormonism appears to a Mormon, or as Islam appears to a Muslim.
You are in the same sort of thing they are, but cannot tell for the same reasons they can’t. Like fish which do not see the water they’re in. I know it does not seem that way to you, but would it? Muslims and Mormons don’t “feel deceived” either.
“Given that all spiritual teachings are mutually exclusive, either one or none is correct.”
All spiritual teachings are not mutually exclusive, but it may seem that way if your only knowledge on the topic is about Abrahamic religions, which are indeed exclusive monotheistic faiths. Probably you have only ever looked into your own religion in any real depth.
“The Bible is the one that I have decided is the most internally consistent and historically verifiable, and actually produces lives that are changed for good.”
Wow! What an amazing coincidence that it’s also the holy text of the religion that was the most popular in the part of the world where you were born. What are the odds of that? ;)
Which books on Islamic apologetics have you read? Can I see a timestamped photo of them on your bookshelf? Which books about Mormon apologetics have you read? Probably you don’t feel the need to. Only the religion you’re raised in ever seems convincing. All the others look to you as obviously made up as yours looks to me.
What you mean by “most internally consistent” is that you have apologetics ready to answer all the contradictions. Muslims also have apologetics for the contradictions in the Qur’an, but you don’t buy it, hence the Bible seems especially internally consistent to you. But then internal consistency is not proof of anything by itself: A well crafted lie is also internally consistent, as it has to be in order to fool people.
As for historically verifiable, this only means it took place in real world locations and referenced real people alive at the time. If I were to write my own holy text referencing modern cities, geographical features, notable events, notable political figures, etc. but also include claims of remarkable supernatural events, it would be on the same level as the Bible in terms of credibility.
If I did this thousands of years before the internet, then information retention would be poor, so eventually if my followers were scrupulous in preserving my writings, only my version of events would survive.
This is why Mormonism is easier to debunk; it was founded very recently compared to the other religions we have so far discussed. So there’s way more surviving writings from non-Mormons about what sort of guy Joseph Smith really was, versus how the Book of Mormon portrays him.
If not for that, the only accounts we would have of Joseph Smith’s life and the foundation of Mormonism would come from the Book of Mormon, which naturally paints a very rosy picture of both. So, with this in mind, is the Bible an objective depiction of Jesus? His life, times, feats, etc.?