When the new Testament was being written, they had fierce fights about whether Jesus should be considered a historical person. The Council of Alexandria in 161 AD declared it heretical not to believe Jesus existed.
How could there even have been a debate about Jesus existing? Could you imagine a serious debate today over whether Elvis or Houdini existed? Surely, all kinds of people would have met him, or whose parents had met him. It was not that long since Jesus had reputedly died.
There were other problems with the gospels obvious even then, e.g. Jesus supposedly growing up in Nazareth which did not exist at the time. The people who wrote the gospels were unfamiliar with the geography of the holy land. They were just making it up.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)