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Secular historians who believe that Jesus existed rely on the Gospels as essentially historical, but inflated, accounts of his life. Each of the Gospels could have been written anywhere from Egypt to Rome, and the estimated dates for their writing range from around 50 CE at the earliest estimates to about 150 CE at the latest, with a minority of people proposing dates into the 4th century.
The traditional explanation for the origin of the Gospels has been that they were each written independently by people who were either disciples of Jesus or who received their information from disciples of Jesus.
Jesus Myth - The Case Against Historical Christ By - January 03, 2007 The majority of people in the world today assume or believe that Jesus Christ was at the very least a real person.
Perhaps he wasn't really "the Messiah", perhaps he was not "The Son of God", and perhaps he didn't actually perform miracles and rise from the dead, but he really was a great moral teacher who traveled around Galilee with followers and got arrested by the Jews and crucified by the Romans right? In fact, a close examination of the evidence shows that the best explanation for the story of "Jesus Christ" is what we call "mythology".
The Gospels are the sole source of information about this figure; everything that we "know" about "him" depends on these sources.
After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter.
Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him.
Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.
Here Irenaeus basically repeats the statement of Papias, most likely getting his information from Papias, and then adds a statement about the Gospel called Luke and the Gospel called John.