I also cited this to Matt. There was a time when academics saw the Bible as science (or at least "fact") and history (the 19th century). They felt it would be a "piece of cake" to validate the Scriptures through archeology and the examination of historical documents.
When that didn't work out as expected, they completely rejected the authenticity of the Bible--and many became atheists. The movie I cited above sketches out more of a middle ground.
I think you'll find the trailer I posted (and the movie) very interesting.