God, my arse wrote
I believe that Jesus existed.
The New Testament is so outrageously self-contradictory that you'd practically have to pick out a sentence and assert that "I believe *this* Jesus existed"!!
I see what you're saying, but frankly, because of the above, it is simply absurd and meaningless to say that "Jesus existed", (and it is best to be accurate about this, in order to counter the churches' rampant obfuscations).
It is not unlikely that the fabricators used *some* elements of folk-history at some stage in their fabrications, and of course, they *eventually* asserted that the stories that they had produced did tell about "real events".
Luigi Cascioli contends that the stories of Jesus Christ were fabricated around the historical person "John of Gamala". If you're interested in this I recommend reading his book "The Fable of Christ" which can be bought at LuigiCascioli.it
. Luigi Cascioli is actually taking an Italian priest to court for an abuse of popular credulity and for fraudulently presenting invented "facts" as being events that actually occured. (Way to go Luigi!)
A key point to all this is that, if a historical personage was used it was only to "anchor" their rampant fabrications at some point in history. (Notably just before the chosen land was devastated by the Roman Empire, and it's troublesome people decimated and scattered). There is nothing like a bit of truth to sell the biggest lie, is there?
Jesus never existed, and the gospels were just made up.
Earl Doherty in "The Jesus Puzzle" shows that the epistles were written before the gospels, and tell of a "cosmic" (ie. fanciful, "spiritual" ) Christ-being, with no earthly life to begin with.
Then the gospels were written, and a very few references to a "human" "Jesus" were then inserted into the epistles.
A big part of the gospel tales are built from astrological ideas and tales.
They are invented constructs. They are *not* garbled and mutated accounts of real events and people.