Yep, I’m a mythicist, but I did not start out this way. But assume for the sake of this discussion that Jesus is historical. I also am not assuming that modern people are not gullible, but we are definitely more educated and likely more reasonable.
My point was that the 1st century Palestinian Jews could believe John the Baptist rose from the dead. This is the claim Synoptic Gospelers make. Modern Christian apologists claim that 1st Century Jews would never believe the Resurrection unless it was a bodily one. Well, they are not paying attention to their Gospels’ claims.
There probably were several rabbis names Jesus that were killed by the Romans, perhaps even crucified. However, taking the Gospels at face value, you can’t tell me that Synoptic Jesus is the same as Jesus of John’s Gospels. And even these two Jesus’ are unlike the Jesus of Hebrews (Epistle).
Historians find a vast array of beliefs among the Jews of the 1st Century.
> At this very time in history Judaism split into more than twenty sects, including the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, Hemerobaptists, Nasaraeans, Ossaeans, Herodians, Therapeutae, Bana’im, Hypsistarians, Maghariya, Masbotheans, Samaritans, Galilaeans, Qumranians, Essenes, Dositheans, Sebuaeans, Gorothenes, and a dozen others (see “2. The Heady Days of Jewish Diversity” in Richard Carrier, “The Spiritual Body of Christ and the Legend of the Empty Tomb,” Jeff Lowder & Bob Price, eds., The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave (2005): pp. 107-10, 198-201). They all differed and often fell into heated debate over the proper beliefs and community values, yet they all thrived. Some rejected the Torah, some credited an angel with the creation, some worshipped Moses as Christ, some permitted obeisance to idols, some practiced astrology, some accepted baptism as an atonement for sins, some rejected a literal interpretation of the scriptures, some scorned the Jerusalem Temple, some believed Herod was the messiah, some denied the existence of souls or angels or spirits of any kind, and some denied resurrection altogether.
Notice, some worshipped Moses as Christ! Were they Christian? Perhaps they were, who knows.
Also, we find that in Corinth there were people in the church who said there were no resurrection(s). How many people were there and what kind of a ‘Christian’ were they?
There were some heretics that did not preach that Jesus has has come in the flesh! This was considered a heresy by the group that survived to our times, but how many people believed in Jesus as a pure spirit being and not a human? We’ll never know, but it’s important to acknowledge these differences among “Christians”.
I’ve found it puzzling that even John the Baptist did not join Jesus. According to the Gospel of John, both John the Baptist and Jesus were baptizing people, implying these were different sects, while John the Baptist, supposedly, held Jesus in a very high regard. So, why didn’t John the Baptist become Jesus’ disciple? There are so many questions like this that the more I ponder them, the more likely the gospels appear to be made up tales (and not good ones, either)
Even Luke’s Gospel appears to be an edit job
Luke 9:18 And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying,…
Jesus was alone and praying, but the disciples were with him and he questioned them… O…K…
And, notice this Gem from Justin Martyr on Christ similarities to the other deities of that time
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm (ch 21)
And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all; Æsculapius, who, though he was a great physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and so ascended to heaven; and Bacchus too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and Hercules, when he had committed himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the sons of Leda, and Dioscuri; and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though sprung from mortals, rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus. For what shall I say of Ariadne, and those who, like her, have been declared to be set among the stars? And what of the emperors who die among yourselves, whom you deem worthy of deification, and in whose behalf you produce some one who swears he has seen the burning Cæsar rise to heaven from the funeral pyre? And what kind of deeds are recorded of each of these reputed sons of Jupiter, it is needless to tell to those who already know. This only shall be said, that they are written for the advantage and encouragement of youthful scholars; for all reckon it an honourable thing to imitate the gods. But far be such a thought concerning the gods from every well-conditioned soul, as to believe that Jupiter himself, the governor and creator of all things, was both a parricide and the son of a parricide, and that being overcome by the love of base and shameful pleasures, he came in to Ganymede and those many women whom he had violated and that his sons did like actions. But, as we said above, wicked devils perpetrated these things. And we have learned that those only are deified who have lived near to God in holiness and virtue; and we believe that those who live wickedly and do not repent are punished in everlasting fire.
At least Justin was consistent. He did not deny the miraculous of others’ religions, just attributed the works to the wicked devils.