His field was law. A court of law is rather different from a peer review by experts in one's field. Greenleaf's arguments should be evaluated on their merits of course. He wrote in the 1800 so didn't have recent evidence.I would say that we would need historians of the period to give accounts from Jewish as well as Christian and pagan sources.
The church created a dogma for various purposes having to do with struggles between different groups. At the core of religion may be experiences of something beyond the ego, but the dreary dogmas of free will, Satan,heaven, hell and who's righteous and who isn't is secular politics played out by theocratic priests striving for control.
That Christianity was adopted by Constantine is historically well documented. The further back from that event the more difficult it becomes to document what was going on in the various sects of Judaism, Christianity being a sect of Judaism that was adopted by some gentiles. By the time we get to trying to find a historical Jesus not much is there. The mythical Jesus of the church has been well established culturally for over a thousand years.
Religious theories are much easier to create than scientific ones and basically don't have requirements of proof. This can be seen in modern times with the Moonies, the flying saucer stuff, etc. People find it easy to create religions and believe in them. And by the way the flying saucer people did die for their belief that they would be taken on board the comet, so early Christian martyrs are not unique in that.
The Jews and Christians had a power struggle over interpretation, practise, etc. Each side claiming they represented God. But I think the divinity doesn't need representation. The laws of gravity work beautifully without need of advocacy. I wish people would stop attributing their religions to the source of the universe. It's tacky to assume the source of gravity and quantum mechanics etc. would create such a botched job as Bibles, Korans, and religion in general.
So what field are you speaking of, Ifen? There is much documentation from educated professionals regarding the accuracy and meaning of scripture. I keep hearing refutations, yet I see no documented evidence by these "experts" whom you mention.
I'll quote my post that you were responding to.
I would say that we would need historians of the period to give accounts from Jewish as well as Christian and pagan sources.
I plan to reread or at least review the book soon. It is a fascinating study and well worth reading. I checked it out of the local library. It was since damaged but when I asked about it they ordered a new copy.
I think it's the offer the Church dreamed up to allow them to steal the lands and possessions of Jews, persecute them, drive them out, etc. Kind of like the WMD in Iraq, it was an official excuse to do what seemed profitable at the time. The pious believers support this especially by not asking questions because that would not be believing so endangering their souls and thus the leadership, sacred or profane, do what they want and get maximum cooperation from the faithful.
It does seem that first Christians and that includes Paul thought Jesus would return very soon within the lifetimes of some them.
It appears to me that later Christians i.e. the Catholic church had to develope a religion that would fill in the void that the failure of Christ to return had created for them. At the core of this is the denial of failure and a living for a future time that seems about to happen, should happen any day now, only year after year for 2 milenia it hasn't. Talk about dopamine fueled anticipation!