When it comes to Jesus.
Do you think that he existed
Do you think he is all mythology and fan fiction
This is where a little research goes a long way. Most of the aspects of the Jesus story are very common story tropes, such as the virgin birth, the miracles, the persecution, and the resurrection. This may be why Christians are so adamantly discouraged from seeking knowledge about other religions, in order to "protect" the devout from all of the obvious commonalities between Christianity and other mythologies.
To me it doesn't matter whether he existed, didn't exist, or is a composite of many people (my vote). The important thing is that there is no evidence of any divinity, so what does it matter. If christians want to think he existed, fine, but his existence or lack there of is not evidence of divinity or a basis for a way of life.
It is possible there was some teacher/person known as "Jesus" who lived and taught in the Middle East during the first century in whom the deity attributes (virgin birth, performance of miracles, 3 days in the tomb, resurrection etc.) of pagan gods (Horus, Attis, Dionysus, Krishna, Mithra etc.) were applied to for the sake of his story, legend, and myth. It was just a new version of similar stories that had worked in the past for the control of the weak, to keep slaves down etc. The Jesus of the Bible never existed...
I think a person is at the root of the later myths about him. And, elements of the lives of various messiah figures that existed over the span of several years could have ended up in the Jesus narrative. Had this person been fully fabricated, I would think they would have done a better job of it. The Jesus story, his nature (human, son of god, or god himself) and what he taught are too contradictory. And, the OT prophesies supposedly about him are too obscure or downright wrong. I would think they would have tailor fit his life's story to fit them better. But, in the end--what does it matter? If a person did exist--he was a human--he was NOT a god in the flesh and his miracles are fabrications. And, if he didn't exist--well, we get the same result. So, here is my take: 1) a messiah figure who was crucified (as were many) named Jesus probably existed but was not well known outside of his circle so as to be noticed by historians of the time 2) Jesus the attention drawing, miracle working, born of a virgin, son of god, actually god himself...never existed.
As much as I don't care about Santa Claus either, I'm sick to death of religion and having to keep seeing people obsess over it or his or any other name connected with it. Why can't people get what this site is actually about, living without any of that? If you're still on the fence about it or can't stop talking about it, go play elsewhere... this is supposed to be one place we don't have to deal with it. It's more than annoying. I don't come into your house and play my music or change your TV station!
I've read research and accounts from archeaologists that state there is no contemporary evidence of jesus.... that this yeshua character was not talked or written about until 30 years after his supposed crucifiction... you would think there would be some written accounts about a man performing miracles, the way there was written accounts of aristotle, but yet nope.
Too many similarities to other prophets and mythologies not to be a composite and worked into a story that allows the governments (or the people with money influencing the government) to make the followers of the religion blindly fall into line, without thinking too much.
Most Christians haven't even read the bible, and those who have actually needed bible study classes to learn what to make of the stories. A religion that needs to be explained to the brain to that extent isn't teaching folks right from wrong, but how give up thinking for oneself and instead just follow what the church leaders say.
There aren't any historical accounts that name this Jesus, which lends to the idea he was simply made up by the writers of the gospels, each who have differing accounts.
Caesar's Messiah by Joseph Atwill offers some food for thought. [caesarsmessiah.com]