I'm trying to keep up with all the postings here... it's hard when work and life gets in the way. There are not enough hours in the day!!!
Kees, in answer to your question, I think there are some elements in the Christian establishments that are well aware of some of the anomalies mentioned; the Jesus Seminar f.eg; who believe something along the following lines:
It's impossible for the Gospels to be historically accurate, because they record things that simply can't happen, like dead people coming alive again and food multiplying--miracles, in other words. We live in a closed universe of natural order, with God (if there is a God) locked out of the system. If miracles can't happen, then the reports in the New Testament must be fabrications. Therefore, the Gospels are not historical.
Further, if miracles can't happen, then prophecy (a kind of miraculous knowledge) can't happen. The Gospels report that Jesus prophesied the fall of Jerusalem. Therefore, they could not have been written early, but after the invasion of Titus of Rome in 70 A.D. In addition, they could not have been written by eye-witnesses, as the early church Fathers claimed."
Notice that the Jesus Seminar doesn't start with historical evidence; it starts with presuppositions, assumptions it makes no attempt to prove. This is not history; it's philosophy, specifically, the philosophy of naturalism."
It is also my opinion that the same ideas (objections) have been around since the start of the Christian religion, but for the most part kept well hidden for fear of reprisals etc.
If we could prove beyond all doubt that there was a historical Jesus, why are there so many different biographies written all stating completely contradictory events? I've got a friend who believes Jesus came to Glastonbury, some people believe he went to India. I'm sure I've read somewhere there are people who believe Jesus lived in Japan.
"Jesus has been described as variably; a Jew (Mayer), a bastard (Schaberg), a cipher (Thiering), a Qumran dissident (Allegro), a gnosticising Jew (Koester), a dissident Jew (Vermes), a happily married man and father of sons (Spong), a bandit (Horsley), an enthusiastic (possible Zealot?) opponent of the Temple Cult (Sanders) etc."
How can this possibly be one and the same person? It's obvious to me that we are not dealing with a historical character, but with a mythological.
Some scholars believe the Hebrew Bible were originally written in Phoenician form, altought it did not survive in this form. (interesting connection there if it's true, I seem to remember Gene you've traced the Phoenicians to India) and that the Phoenician were Stellar Cult and later Solar Cult Worshippers (A. Churchward).
Sorry.. I didn't intend for such a lengthy post.