I’ve actually had two people throw this conspiracy theory at me, that Jesus was invented by the Flavians as a way to deceive the Jewish people into becoming good Roman citizens or something. I know where this idiocy originates; some unqualified scholar who wanted to disprove Christianity came up with this theory and published a book on it; I won’t dignify it by naming him.
Anyway, the basic concept is that the Flavian emperors invented Christianity shortly after destroying the Jewish Temple in AD 70; the main points of ‘evidence’ are that there is no historical evidence of Christianity prior to AC 70, and that Flavias Josephus was in on the conspiracy and wrote a bunch of parallels in his writings that matched up with New Testament writings.
I know that it’s like trying to punch through a brick wall, but has anyone else come up against this and had a good rebuttal? Logic apparently doesn’t work on the proponents of this theory.