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For one, the gospels themselves are admittedly propagandist: "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have through his name." (John -31) The writers peppered the gospels with Old Testament references — most details of Jesus' life are Old Testament references.
The key issue is the title "King of the Jews" (ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΤΩΝ ΙΟΥΔΑΙΩΝ in Greek).And even Mark seems to imagine the Jews could assemble a large armed force, and indeed arrest Jesus with one (Mk. ; according to John 18:3, they even came with six hundred Roman legionairies, a full cohort).A major issue with using the Gospels is that in terms of time Matthew and Luke do not agree as to when Jesus was born.This alters the narrative slightly to portray Judas' actions towards the end of Jesus' story not as a betrayal, but as following the instructions of Jesus himself.Considering that it is canonical Christian belief that it was God's plan to have Jesus brutally murdered, this does make some sick and twisted sense.Thus, as Acts would have it, Claudius Lysias had no difficulty dispatching hundreds of soldiers and cavalry from within Jerusalem to escort Paul outside the city (Acts -24), and Paul was able to be arrested even in the middle of a riot.
As Josephus relates in Antiquities 20.1, the Romans regularly killed political undesirables surrounded by hundreds of fanatical supporters, without wasting time on an arrest or trial.
"Can you imagine a movement today claiming that a soldier in World War Two rose physically from the dead, but when you asked for proof all they offered you were a mere handful of anonymous religious tracts written in the 1980's?
Would it be even remotely reasonable to believe such a thing on so feeble a proof? The first reference to the Gospels in a manner we can cross check didn't appear until c180 CE, nearly 150 years after the supposed events and some 50 to 110 years after the Gospels are thought to have been written down.
The gospel of Mary Magdalene, possibly the most famous Apocrypha for example, depicts her being second to Jesus rather than Peter.
It also insinuates that Mary and Jesus were lovers, and forms the basis of alternative interpretations and conspiracies such as in Holy Blood, Holy Grail.
According to academic research, each of the four canonical gospels as well as extra biblical gospels (e.g.