You're going to have to offer more explanation than that.
You're going to have to offer more explanation of why more explanation than that is required. It exactly meets the 'challenge' set by Jon.
You still need an explanation for why those stories were made up,
This seems a strange question.
Why were the Harry Potter stories made up? Why were the Bilbo Baggins stories made up? Why were the Jesus stories made up?
It seems less parsimonious that the answer to the first two (and many more like them) is: "Because people like fantastical stories.", but the answer to the last one has to be "Because a Jesus existed.".
The challenge was to provide explanations. For instance John would describe the change in the view of the Messiah to be a reaction to Jesus' failure and death. How is it explained by "Jesus was made up" ?
Well, the initial view of a messiah was made up and the subsequent view of a messiah was made up. This is similar to the initial view of Gollum as being a simple 'monster' that attacks Bilbo in The Hobbit, but who then develops into a more complex sympathetic character in LoTR.
If you do not consider the relevant history or the usage of the writings your view might have merit. Unfortunately, ignoring these things is not rational. As Jon has pointed out there are features of the Gospels that seem inconvenient to the authors, or to go against views they would be expected to have. These features need to be explained.
There is no relevant history of a Jesus, except in the bible. To include that circular argument is not rational.
And you need an explanation of why the stories are not well written? Perhaps because there were many people making up different bits. This can often be seen in spin-off books from TV series. Authors have their own 'agenda' and will twist existing background stories to suit their wishes.
We need an explanation for the origin of Christianity, too. Why is it more parsimonious to assume some unknown origin than to accept that there is some basis to the claims of Early Christians ?
I am not suggesting that the origin is unknown. I am suggesting that people made it all up. There is no evidence for the claims of early christians in relation to a Jesus, But there is plenty of evidence of people making stuff up.
Of course, you just made that up... Or in other words just asserting that something was made up without understanding what happened is more a cheap excuse than a good explanation.
Yes, I made up an explanation - based on the massive amounts of evidence that we have the people make up fantastical stories. This is compared to the zero non-biblical evidence we have for a historical Jesus.
I said nothing about the quality of the writing. I am more interested in aspects of the story that appear to go against the agenda of the Gospel authors. For instance - to reuse a point made earlier - the Gospel authors are not happy to let the Romans take the blame for Jesus' execution. Why would they make that up ? Or are you proposing that the story predates Mark ?
My last post answered these questions: Badly made up stories are made up badly.
I am not suggesting that the origin is unknown. I am suggesting that people made it all up.
But apparently you don't know who or when or why.
Did your parents conceive you? Do you know where or when or how or why? No? Then clearly you were not conceived.
Or how the Gospels came to be accepted as fact.
And the reason they became accepted as fact is because people are frequently ignorant, superstitious and irrational. Lots of people believe (as fact) that you will get 7 years bad luck if you break a mirror. That doesn't make it even slightly true. But this is off-topic, I expect.
There is plenty of evidence that not all documents are made up, too. Perhaps you would like to explain why we should assume "made up" as a default.
Because extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. 'Made up by people' is the simple, common, parsimonious choice. Even non-biblical documents have to be validated.
So, the question becomes: If the whole story was just made up, and the Roman involvement in Jesus' death is clearly not a favorable point to the story tellers, why on Earth mention the Romans at all?
The people that made up the first version didn't like the Romans. The people that re-wrote those parts liked the story but didn't want to offend the Romans as much.
"why on Earth mention the Romans at all?" And why on Earth mention the Americans at all in a European thriller?
Perhaps it was because the Romans were a world-power that had an effect on everyone's lives. It's always exciting to have a 'baddie'. Sometimes you need to tone down the 'badness' for the children though.
Obviously then, the evidence that people also write historical accounts, and stories which are elaborated historical accounts is evidence against your hypothesis, then. Perhaps you would like to explain why you did not take this into account.
Those historical accounts also need to be verified, or they are given the weight they deserve of "might be true - might not be true". Those documents which have fantastical elements are considered to be fiction. Historians do not believe that the Homer's odyssey is an accurate historical document.
Perhaps you would like to explain why other historical documents need to prove their veracity but the bible is exempt?
In other words you have to assume that they made up things contrary to their own agendas. WHich goes against what you said earlier.
I don't know what their agendas were. Do you?
I am not using lack of evidence against your hypothesis (although you have nothing much) I am pointing out that you haven't got much of an explanation. This is why the hypothesis that there was a historical Jesus is better than your hypothesis - it really explains more evidence (as opposed to proposing ad hoc explanations)
Please show me what is not explained by "It was made up". All you seem to have so far is that you can't believe that people would make up a religion. But I am fairly sure that you don't believe that all religions are true - therefore some of them must be made up.
But the Gospels would be competing with the real story of how Christianity arose. What happened to that story ? Have you any evidence for your explanation of that ?
What story is that?
But there are no extraordinary claims being made here. That an ancient document should be based on true history is not extraordinary at all.
But when that document starts ascribing to supernatural events, it is making extraordinary claims. We don't read about George and The Dragon and then conclude that dragons existed. We don't even conclude that George existed.
Most of the others weren't executed in the same sense as Jesus. They led rebellions that were certain to give the Romans a reason to care. Those are in no way like Jesus and refer more to what the Jews considered a real messiah to be, someone who would liberate them.
Most of the others also weren't alive when jesus is meant to have lived, so Jon's use of the word 'common' is unfounded. (His list only had 60 messiah claimants over ~2000 years. Considering how many people have lived and died in the past 2000 years - 60 seems like an infrequent occurance.)
So, when Jon claims: "'Messiahs' were common; almost all of them ended their lives executed by the Romans." he doesn't have any evidence that there were messiahs or that messiahs were common or that messiahs were mostly executed by Romans.
Your very simple question: "where did you get this information?" was answered with a lie. The correct answer is: "Jon made it up."
Why would someone just make up a lie to cover their lack of knowledge.......... *cough*religion*cough*
So, who did make up the story, and how do you know that they didn't have a real person to hang their fictions on ?
This could be an endless list of 'turtles all the way down'.
Since the jesus myth seems to be based on the horus myth and/or the mithra myth, I doubt we will ever be able to answer that question. If there is a real person that those myths are based on, then he was around a long time before jesus was meant to be alive.
This could be an endless list of 'turtles all the way down'.
But it isn't because we are only interested in Jesus, for the purposes of this discussion.
So, you want to ignore the origins of the jesus myth because we are only interested in jesus? If you want to know who (if anyone) the jesus character was based on then you must include the characters that the jesus character was based on. Or are you just saying that you are happy to stop at mithra because that is far enough back to show that there was no historical jesus?
My understanding is that those claims are extremely dubious.
What claims regarding mithra are dubious? The striking similarities seem to be fairly well accepted.
Or is it simply your own doubt that you are describing?
No, I'm saying that for the purposes of working out what the historical Jesus was like or if there was a historical Jesus it doesn't matter whether Horus or Mithras were based on real people
Please explain why the person that the jesus character was based on doesn't matter when discussing the jesus character.
From what I've heard the claim that the similarities predate Christianity is dodgy for a start.
From what I've heard they aren't dodgy. There are definite similarities. They may not all be as clear-cut as some mithra's supporters might want, but they still exist. This is because finding information on mithra is difficult due to it being a long dead religion. Interestingly though, there is a more varied selection of archaeological evidence for mithra than for jesus.
Though it seems that if the jesus character is based on a character in a pre-dating religion, then you would rather not discuss it. But if jesus is a copy of a different character then you need to identify that historical character, as there is no actual historical jesus.