reply to post by edmc^2
Search history all you want, you won't find any records of those who doubted Jesus' historicity
I'll have a go at Demolishing the historicity of Jesus:
For more than 200 years a minority of courageous scholars have dared to question the story of Jesus. Despite the risks of physical assault,
professional ruin and social opprobrium, they have seriously doubted the veracity of the gospel saga, have peeled away the layers of fraud and deceit
and eventually have challenged the very existence of the godman.
Hermann Samuel Reimarus (1694-1768).1778, On the Intention of Jesus and His Teaching. Enlightenment thinker and professor of Oriental languages at the
Hamburg Gymnasium, his extensive writings – published after his death – rejected 'revealed religion' and argued for a naturalistic deism.
Reimarus charged the gospel writers with conscious fraud and innumerable contradictions.
Francois Marie Arouet (Voltaire) (1694-1778). The most influential figure of the Enlightenment was educated at a Jesuit college yet concluded,
"Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and bloody religion that has ever infected the world ... The true God cannot have been born of
a girl, nor died on a gibbet, nor be eaten in a piece of dough." Imprisoned, exiled, his works banned and burned, Voltaire's great popularity in
revolutionary France assured him a final resting place in the Pantheon in Paris. Religious extremists stole his remains and dumped them in a garbage
Count Constantine Volney, 1787, Les Ruines; ou, Méditation sur les révolutions des empires (Ruins of Empires). Napoleonic investigator saw for
himself evidence of Egyptian precursors of Christianity.
Edward Evanson, 1792, The Dissonance of the Four Generally Received Evangelists and the Evidence of their Respective Authenticity. English rationalist
challenged apostolic authorship of the 4th Gospel and denounced several Pauline epistles as spurious.
Charles François Dupuis, 1794, Origine de tous les Cultes ou La Religion universelle. Astral-mythical interpretation of Christianity (and all
religion). “A great error is more easily propagated, than a great truth, because it is easier to believe, than to reason, and because people prefer
the marvels of romances to the simplicity of history.” Dupuis destroyed most of his own work because of the violent reaction it provoked.
Thomas Paine, 1795, The Age of Reason. Pamphleteer who made the first call for American independence (Common Sense, 1776; Rights of Man, 1791) Paine
poured savage ridicule on the contradictions and atrocities of the Bible. Like many American revolutionaries Paine was a deist:
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant
church, nor by any church that I know of ... Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all." –
The Age of Reason.
Robert Taylor, 1828, Syntagma Of The Evidences Of The Christian Religion; 1829, Diegesis. Taylor was imprisoned for declaring mythical origins for
Christianity. "The earliest Christians meant the words to be nothing more than a personification of the principle of reason, of goodness, or that
principle, be it what it may, which may most benefit mankind in the passage through life.”
Godfrey Higgins (1771-1834). 1836, Anacalypsis – An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis; or an Inquiry into the Origin of Languages,
Nations and Religions. English pioneer of archaeology and freemason.
Bruno Bauer, 1841, Criticism of the Gospel History of the Synoptics. 1877, Christus und die Caesaren. Der Hervorgang des Christentums aus dem
romischen Griechentum. (in English translation). The original iconoclast. Bauer contested the authenticity of all the Pauline epistles (in which he
saw the influence of Stoic thinkers like Seneca) and identified Philo's role in emergent Christianity. Bauer rejected the historicity of Jesus
himself. "Everything that is known of Jesus belongs to the world of imagination." As a result in 1842 Bauer was ridiculed and removed from his
professorship of New Testament theology at Tübingen.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841, Essays. One time Trinitarian Christian and former Unitarian minister held Jesus to be a "true prophet" but that organised
Christianity was an "eastern monarchy".
"Our Sunday-schools, and churches, and pauper-societies are yokes to the neck."
Mitchell Logan, 1842, Christian Mythology Unveiled. “Reigning opinion, however ill-founded and absurd, is always queen of the nations.”
Ferdinand Christian Baur, 1845, Paulus, der Apostel Jesu Christi. German scholar who identified as "inauthentic" not only the pastoral epistles, but
also Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon and Philippians (leaving only the four main Pauline epistles regarded as genuine). Baur was the founder of the
so-called "Tübingen School."
David Friedrich Strauss, 1860, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined. Lutheran vicar-turned-scholar skilfully exposed gospel miracles as myth and in
the process reduced Jesus to a man. It cost him his career.
Charles Bradlaugh, 1860, Who Was Jesus Christ? What Did Jesus Teach? Most famous English atheist of the 19th century, founded the National Secular
Society and became an MP, winning the right to affirm. Condemned the teachings of Jesus as dehumanizing passivity and disastrous as practical advice.
Bradlaugh denounced the gospel Jesus as a myth.
Ernest Renan, 1863, Vie de Jésus (Das Leben Jesu / Life of Jesus). Although trained as a Catholic priest Renan was inspired by German biblical
criticism and wrote a popular biography of Jesus which cost him his job (which he later regained). Renan concluded that the hero of the Christians was
a gifted but merely human preacher, persuaded by his followers into thinking he was the messiah. Renan subsequently wrote a History of the Origins of
Christianity in seven volumes.
Robert Ingersoll, 1872, The Gods. 1879, Some Mistakes of Moses. Illinois orator extraordinaire, his speeches savaged the Christian religion. "It has
always seemed to me that a being coming from another world, with a message of infinite importance to mankind, should at least have verified that
message by his own signature. Is it not wonderful that not one word was written by Christ?"
Walter Cassels, 1874, Supernatural Religion - An Inquiry Concerning the Reality of Divine Revelation
Kersey Graves, 1875, The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviours. Pennsylvanian Quaker who saw through to the pagan heart of Christian fabrications,
though rarely cited sources for his far-reaching conclusions.
I think can dig up some more...