CRUCI-FICTION: Brian Flemming's focus in The God Who Wasn't There was only partially devoted to the subject of the non-existence of an historical “Jesus”.
I'm not a hater though I find myself hating a myth. This is cool with me as it is better than putting hate on a person. So let's start with a DVD which begins to lay out the historical case that not only was “Jesus” not the ‘son of God’, which is should be obvious to all of us, but that he never existed as a man. The Gospel “Jesus” and his story do not appear in the non-Christian record of the time. Philo of Alexandria, the Jewish historian Justus of Tiberias, Pliny the Elder as collector of reputed natural phenomena, early Roman satirists and philosophers never mention him. We know the Josephus entry in Antiquities is a later Xtian interpolation. You may not know the Pauline Epistles make no reference at all to the virgin birth, to Mary and Joseph, to Bethlehem, to Herod, to any words allegedly spoken by “Jesus”, to anything pertaining to “Jesus”' earthly ministry, nor to any of the miracles “Jesus” supposedly performed. Paul mentions only the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, tales handed down to Xtianity from older mythologies as all of “Jesus”' attributes and miracles were already present in earlier myths.
Mithraism, a religion that co-existed with Xtianity but began much earlier, is the best example of this. Mithra was born of a virgin, his birth was celebrated on December 25th, performed miracles with 12 disciples, held a last supper, resurrected after three days on the spring equinox, and ascended to Heaven. Also, Zoroaster, Horus, Krishna, Bacchus, Prometheus, Indra, and a great deal of other deities or legendary characters were born by virgin birth and shared many other attributes with “Jesus”. Empedocles was reported as preaching, curing illnesses, controlling the storms, and raising the dead. Dionysus had a last supper. Bacchus turned water into wine. Osiris died and was resurrected. And so on and so forth. Early Xtians even condemned the idea of the crucifixion because it was considered pagan!
Zoroaster; portrayed here in a popular Parsi Zoroastrian
depiction. This personified image of Zoroaster emerged
in the 18th century, the result of an Indian Parsi Zoroastrian
artist's imaginings. It quickly became a popular icon, and is
now regarded by many Zoroastrians as being historically based.
mother, who is made pregnant by divine actions, of which she is foretold. Horus and Jesus
where the connections between Jesus and Horus-Osiris have been raised. (see Jesus as myth).
Indra is the chief deity of the Rigveda, and the god of weather and
war, and lord of Svargaloka in Hinduism.
But the clinching evidence is that even early Xtian leaders considered “Jesus” purely as a mythical figure and did not know anything about his life. No references to Mary, Joseph, the disciples or the holy places, such as Bethlehem, Nazareth and Calvary. No teachings or miracles. No trial or details of the passion story can be confirmed by history.
In his book "The Jesus Puzzle", Earl Doherty demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that “Jesus Christ” is a fictional character - of which Bill Paulson writes: “ ... Produce a good, sound argument that the “Jesus Christ” featured in the Gospels is the same individual as the “Jesus Christ” whom the NT epistle authors have in mind. Do this and you will be the first person in history to accomplish this task. ...” No such person ever existed. The notion is not a new idea, and has been endorsed by a minority of scholars for over a century. The best evidence comes from the early Xtian writers themselves. The New Testament epistles and most of the non-canonical literature until the mid-2nd century show a resounding silence on the earthly life of “Jesus”.
“ "In the first half century of Xtian correspondence, including letters attributed to Paul and other epistles under names like Peter, James and John, the Gospel story cannot be found. When these writers speak of their divine Christ, echoes of “Jesus” of Nazareth are virtually inaudible, including details of a life and ministry, the circumstances of his death, the attribution of any teachings to him. God himself is often identified as the source of Xtian ethics. No one speaks of miracles performed by “Jesus”, his apocalyptic predictions, his views on any of the great issues of the time. The very fact that he preached in person is never mentioned, his appointment of apostles or his directive to carry the message to the nations of the world is never appealed to. No one looks back to “Jesus”' life and ministry as the genesis of the Xtian movement, or as the pivot point of salvation history." ”And here is an easy to read article on the pieces of the puzzle by Doherty himself:
Pieces in a Puzzle of Christian Origins
His Review of Mel's Passion for the Age of Reason