>From my perspective, it is more likely that such a character never existed,
>cant even find an objective accounting of such a person.
As an interesting side note:
One of the pieces of evidence pointing towards such a person are the copies of the arrest warrant issued for him. Apparently, among other things, he was a hunchback.
There is a lot of interesting information out there about him and his brother James and their political struggles for control of the Essene community. Also, the Essene definition of a "virgin birth" boiled down to a woman being pregnant before she got married. In other words, this guy was the illegitimate heir to a particular lineage, while his younger brother was considered the legitimate heir. Add in some Essene colloquialisms mis-interpreted by a non-essene (I'm forgetting his name at the moment, but the actual founder of the Christian church - I think it was either Paul or Peter). You start to get the miraculous. That's when the memes _really_ take over.
eg-s. of mis-interpreted colloquialisms:
"The dead" were non-essenes. "Raising someone from the dead" meant converting them to the essene beliefs and lifestyle. "Loaves" were the specialised priest class who served the bread and wine at the religious ceremonies and "fishes" were the people you were attempting to convert. Jesus performed a highly irregular act by allowing people not properly "ordained" to assist in the ceremonies, thus "multiplying the loaves and fishes" and so on.
One of the more interesting ones: religious officials wore special robes while performing baptisms. These could become quite cumbersome when wet, so there was a special pier for them to walk on to go far enough into the water to baptise without getting their robes too soaked. This led to the expression "walking on water>"
Also, I have a few questions and comments for the recent posters:
Just a few thoughts for conversation.