This wise man fought for justice, championing the cause of the poor and the oppressed. He rejected organized religion, showing tolerance—not judgment—for the outcast and the socially marginalized. He promoted universal love and the brotherhood of man. His unflinching commitment to speak truth to power cost him his life, but his legacy lives on. He is a model for us today of love, acceptance, and inclusion. His name is Jesus of Nazareth.
That is the story, in sum. It’s a noble tale, to be sure. But it’s a falsehood, a fiction, an urban legend. Though the story is parroted like a mantra by multitudes—even echoed reflexively by otherwise sound spiritual leaders who ought to know better—no such Jesus ever existed. Rather, taken as a whole, this version of Jesus is just another example of another Jesus bringing another gospel like the ones the apostle Paul anathematized to the Galatians.
Footnote: Koukl gives us a lot to think about (even though some parts are at variance with what I teach).