Richard Dawkins, " The God Delusion " p122, " It is even possible to mount a serious, though not widely supported, historical case that Jesus never lived at all, as has been done by, among others, Prof G.A Wells of the University of London in a number of books including, " Did Jesus exist ?"
I think there is something to be said in the C.S. Lewis idea~ ' That if Jesus is not the Saviour & Son of God as claimed then the story is in large part lies and lunacy ' [ only he said Jesus is either Liar, Lunatic or Lord ].
There are advantages to saying Jesus never existed. This line avoids giving succour to Islam. Islam likes to down grade Jesus to just a prophet like their Coran says. I like to think Jesus never existed, it means I am in disagreement with the Coran. . There is not enough firm evidence to warrant anything else.
How come none of the women folk is recorded as retaining some of Jesus clothing ? His mother isn't said to have given his childhood clothes to anyone. None tried to ask for or buy the undergarment mentioned at John 19v23. Why did no one try to keep the ' original ' cross of Christ ? What about his carpenter tools ? Not even a lock of hair ? No sculpture of his head ? What about the scrolls of Scripture he owned ?
For examples of events from O.T. rewritten as miracles of Jesus compare Elisha feeding of a hundred with 20 loaves of barley bread with some left over in 2 Kings 4v42-44 Vs Jesus feeds 5000 in Matt 14v13
Or Elisha brings the Shunammite woman's son back to life in 2 Kings 4v8-36 Vs Jesus raising Lazarus in John 11v38-43
But then compare Elijah's magic refilling oil jar trick of 1 Kings 17v16 to Elisha doing the same trick in 2 Kings 4v3. These old writers had a limited imagination. Why didn't that oil jar keep refilling eternally, it could have made the owners the most wealthy people on Earth ?
If Jesus had super-human ability to recognize the truth then he would have said, " Plant & animal life evolved by natural selection. Culture evolves, study all the stories of religion and you will see how people have kept adding to and warping earlier tales. Look at all human technology and see how it has advanced in design, little by little. "