He is trying to piggy-back on the Bill O’Reilly buzz.
It’s a really tired old trope conspiracy theory. Atwills’ atheist fans think Saul of Tarsus was a Roman spy (double-agent?) and that civic intellectuals working for the Roman Emperor wrote the original versions of the (fake) gospels.
One wonders why the Roman Empire had such a hard time procuring enough paper to produce a few hundred copies of their own ‘gospels’ AND why we dont seem to have any authentic copies still in existence.
And its not clear why the Romans would persecute people who believed those fake gospels and wanted to help propagate them.
And it’s not clear why Titus needed to resort to such an extravagant and contrived scheme to suppress the restless people of Jerusalem - which Rome was able to flatten by conventional military means in 70 AD
Atwill’s case against the Resurrection?
Vespasian had some Romans create backdated ‘‘gospels’’ as to use propaganda tools - just in case 50,000 soldiers failed to ‘‘persuade’’ the Jews who was in charge. Those were the same Jews who helped fake the Resurrection of a person who never existed who did miracles nobody ever saw and whose followers Pliny was just pretending to torture.