Some people hold the view that the writers of the four gospels felt free to basically make stuff up, to freely shape the narratives they were writing about Jesus' life by either manufacturing stories about his deeds or making up teachings and putting them on his lips.
The idea is that they used the figure of Jesus as a vehicle for their own ideas, and they made up material to serve the perceived needs of their local Christian communities.
It's easy to show that by the second century there were a lot of people identifying themselves as Christians who did exactly this. That's why there were so many Gnostic gospels dating from the second to the fourth century.
But what about the first...READ MORE