Below is a short excerpt from Richard Carrier’s exhaustively researched book, The Historicity of Jesus.
Ancient literature had common Hero narratives. The story of Jesus conforms to many such examples.
Consider Jesus, Socrates and Aesop:
1. They all came from humble backgrounds
2 All were exalted as exemplary men…
3. …depite all of them having opposed the established religious authorities
4. All attacked the sin and greed of the political elite
5. All attended the parties of sinners and ate and drank with them.
6. Yet all consistently denounced sinners and sought to reform them.
7. All taught with parables, questions and paradoxes.
8. All taught to despise money and have compassion on others.
9. All taught that they wanted to save everyone’s soul.
10. All were despised by some and beloved by others for their teachings.
11. All were publicly mocked in some way.
12. All were renowned for being physically ugly or deformed.
13. All were executed by the state for blasphemy, a crime they did not commit.
14. All were actually executed for speaking out against the sin and greed of the authorities.
15. All voluntarily went to their deaths despite all having had the power to escape.
16. All prophecied God’s wrath would proceed their killers and all were right.
17. All were subsequently revered as martyrs.
18. All at the outset have been given a gift of the spirit from God: Aesop was given a spirit which gave him a supernatural power of speaking. Socrates was given a spirit which counseled him and gave him wisdom and Jesus was given the Holy Spirit.
“..Even if Jesus existed, we have to worry about how much of his life is structured and forced into this model…Aesop and Jesus were itinerant preachers and died in holy cities…”
“Yet, there is no evidence Aesop actually existed. He was most likely invented to attribute his name to a collection of stories which he didn’t write.”
– Richard Carrier, The Historicity of Jesus
Something to think about.