Everyone loves a story. They don't even care if it's false, as long as it is entertaining. If someone says it's a true story, they will believe it because it was such a good story.
The HERO story
The ultimate story for the everyday man is the "idol worship HERO" story.
This story has been told since the dawn of history. It involves a hero that is God like, half man half God. There is an imenent severe problem where everyone will be hurt, and only he can rescue the day. He overcomes the challenge and everyone respects him and he can get the girl of his choice.
Then there is the Ultimate HERO story. It personifies God as the Hero. It involves a human that had a divine birth that was special. It involves a predicted birth and a supernatural conception. As a child of age 13 this individual was exceedingly wise compared to the smartest adults of the time. He escapes a mean ruthless ruler that want to kill him because the sooth sayers have predicted he will be just and overthrow the ruler. He has a divine calling and fights demons. He becomes popular and is hailed as a king. Then the tide turns and he is betrayed and is not popular, and then he is executed. This execution is often on a hilltop. Then our hero is vindicated and taken to heaven where he reins there.
This story has been going on forever and is seen in the characters of Hercules, Apollonius of Tyana, Padma Sambhava, Gautama Buddha, Krishna, just to name a few. There are many variants of this story but the drama is always the same.
The Jesus story fits this God HERO story almost perfectly. Which makes it suspect as to it's authenticity. Man's desire to idol worship is so great. Both temples were destroyed because of idol worship. This idol worship includes the desire for everyone to idol worship even the story teller, themselves, by revering them as knowing the answer to life. So verification of the historical events of an idol worship story is so important.
FOURTY-ONE known and respected Historians of the time period have written NOTHING about Jesus !!! There were also THREE HUNDRED known writers that wrote about life in those times. Not one mentioned Jesus or any of the fantastic stories that aledgedly occurred in the New Testament.
1. Being born of a virgin mother;
2. Three Magi following the brightest star forever to see the demigod;
3. The slaying of the innocent babies;
4. Raising the dead, healing the blind and lame;
4. Having the sky turn to blackness when Jesus died;
5. Earthquakes in the region;
6. The zombie saints coming out of their graves going to Jerusalem; and
7. The Resurrection.
At least one of these world headline news events would have at least a small mention by at least one of the foregoing historian and writers. But, NO, they are totally silent!
Nothing about the miracles, nothing about the dead Saints rising form the their graves after the crucifixion and walking around the city, as is depicted in the New Testament.
52 The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. Matthew 27:52
Nothing was written about the fantastical story of mass infanticide throughout the region.
When Herod saw that the wise men had tricked him, he was furious. So he gave an order to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem and in the surrounding area who were two years old or younger. This was in keeping with the time he learned from the wise men. Matthew 2:16
Nothing about the 500 Roman soldiers that were sent to rescue Paul from the crowds, and the Romans kept good records.
23 Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight.
24 Provide horses for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix.” Matthew 23:23
It seems these historians didn't write anything because they had already passed away, so the second and third century story writing of the New Testament could be done. There would be no witnesses for several generations to refute the story.
These known histornians were : Apollonius, Appian, Appion of Alexandria, Arrian, Aulus Gellius, Columella, Damis, Dio Chrysostom, Dion Pruseus, Epicetus, Favorinus, Florus Lucius, Hermogones Silus Italicus, Josephus, Justus of Tiberius, Juvenal, Lucanus, Lucian, Lysias, Martial, Paterculus, Pausanias, Persuis, Petronius, Phaedrus, Philo-judaeus, Phlegon, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Plutarch, Pomponius Mela, Ptolemy, Quintilian, Quintius Curtius, Seneca, Statius, Suetonius, Tacitus, Theon of Smyrna, Valerius Flaccus, and Valerius Maximus.
There are only several and only possible references whose authenticity is questionable.
Josephus who wrote in 93 C.E. with a reference however there are two versions. Someone edited the original.
The first version made a reference to "James, the brother of Jesus. with the translator at his own whim adding to his translation a phrase that he thought should have been written. The added phrase was "known as the Christ."
The second version is much longer and is known to have been added by someone to the original text. It was a statement to bolster Christianity.
There were two Yeishus from the areas around Jerusalem that were special and were written about in the Jewish Talmud.
Yeishu Ben Pandira
This Yeishu was stoned to death and hung on a tree. His crimes were treason and sorcery. He died on the eve of Passover in Jerusalem. This happened during the reign of alexander Jannaeus (106 to 79 BCE). This occurred 100 years before the alleged birth of the Christian Jesus.
This Yeishu had five disciples whose names were; Mattai, Naqi, Neitzer, Buni, and Todah. The disciple name Mattai is a close name to Matthew and could be where the name Matthew came from.
Yeishu Ben Stada
This Yeishu lived 100 years after Jesus’ alleged birth. He was also stoned and hanged for treason and sorcery on the eve of Passover. But his death occurred in Lydda not Jerusalem. It is said that he brought spells from Egypt in a cut in his flesh. He was called a madman. He was caught by hidden witnesses.
Neither was crucified on a cross. Both were 100 years apart from the alledged birth date of Jesus.