Did Constantine the Great compose the bible, vote on Jesus' divinity... etc?

I read a fiction book that I'm sure most of you also read. It told a story of how Constantine the Great lived ~600 yrs after Jesus' death. He was himself a pagan and wanted to unite his country with one religion; Christianity. He had text burned, and added other text to exemplify Jesus' godliness. He then composed a book for the masses to learn from and called it the bible. It tells of how he and the other politicians of the time voted on whether or not he was the son of god, and he almost didn't win the position. I understand some of this book is fiction and some is not. I want to focus on this part and learn the truth. Also, how do you know, where did you get your information.

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Of course not, Dan Brown only piqued my interest. Now I search for the truth, thanks for your input.
I wasn't specifically talking to you, bud
My concern is that many people come to atheism through scientific and philosophical reasons mainly. That's great, because it means that most atheists have a good knowledge about physics, chemistry, biology, etcetera... However, it also means that their history is usually stuck at a high school level and they buy into myths like those in The Da Vinci Code or Zeitgeist far too easy.
Rationality and scepticism must be applied in all areas of investigation, even history!

In my experience people learn to check their facts better after they've been slapped around in debate once or twice. So that's what I'm doing! ;)
Check out Doherty's, The Jesus Puzzle.
Doherty's documentaries and books are non-peer-reviewed unscholarly pieces of garbage. They're not taken seriously by any serious objective historian (save for those two atheist apologists, Carrier and Price. Then again, they're not serious) so neither should you.
Dear Dan DuPree,

A Dead Sea Scroll scholar, John M. Allegro proposed in the 1970s that early Christianity was a cult based on the altered state of consciousness created by a type of hallucinogenic mushroom, “Jesus” being code for the phenomenon. It is quite a demotion – from God incarnate to an edible fungus, albeit a foodstuff.

Many arguments seriously undermine the “non-existent Jesus” Theory. The concept of inventing purely fictional characters was unknown at that time: even completely imaginary stories were peopled either with figures from myth or, as in Plato’s dialogues, real historical characters. Even fabricated tales about Jesus would have been based on a real man, who must have made some sort of impression.

Then there is the “irrefutability principle,” which, as applied to this issue, is explained by Geoffrey Ashe: “If Jesus had not been a real person, somebody would have said so.” From the very beginning Christianity had its opponents in both the Jewish and Pagan worlds, but even they took Jesus’ existence as real. Finally, why should such time and energy have been devoted to convincing people about the reality of a non-existent man? Why did so many people invest so much effort in perpetuating a completely false memory?
Claudia - you mention "figures from myth." Someone had to invent them at some point. Could Jesus not be an example of an evolving myth? He certainly seems to take on mythic qualities in later as opposed to earlier accounts. Also, I think the non-Christian world was largely unaware of or unconcerned with Christianity during the time when the existence of Jesus could have been credibly challenged. It was just another weird Jewish sect as far as most people were concerned.
Myths are not, in my understanding, fictions. They are enhanced histories.

One example in support of an actual person being the inspiration for the Christ was the fact that the gospels go to some trouble to place Jesus in Bethlehem for his birth when it was, supposedly, known that he came from Nazareth. It seems likely that they would have saved themselves some trouble if he was a complete fiction.
That's just one of the many indications that there was indeed a historical Jesus. Among others:
- we have three references to Jesus in recorded history, by two of the best historians of their time: Tacitus and Josephus
- in one of those references, Josephus mentions (in passing) James, the brother of Jesus. Non-existent mythical figures don't have existent flesh-and-blood brothers.
- early Christian preachers in Palestine were talking about a man who was crucified less than a decade ago after causing a disturbance in the Temple. If this was all a lie, someone would have noticed (especially the Temple Priesthood)
- and then there's the various awkward elements in the gospels where we see them trying to shoe-horn a historical Jesus into a Messianic role; the way in which they try to make the crucifixion look less humiliating than it was, the way they sugarcoat his dying words, the way they try to mention what a small and unimportant town he came from, the way they try to white-wash the Romans from blame in Jesus' crucifixion (coming up with an absurd and ahistorical story),... all of it is evidence that these things actually happened and Christians had to spin them in order to make the whole story more believable.
Jesus Mythers have to make all this evidence go away with awkward and contorted assumptions and leaps of faith. That's why it's not taken seriously by anyone except (i) New-age pagans who want a knock-out argument against Christianity (ii) heavily biased atheists who want a knock-out argument against Christianity. Neither side are particularly good role-models.
Your examples sound a bit like spin. Tacitus does not, I believe, mention Jesus but refers to a Christ, of which there was more than one. The others are just interpretation.
Sorry, but it's not spin: Tacitus refers to a Jew who was called Christ (i.e. the Anointed) who lived during the reign of Tiberius and was crucified by the Procurator Pontius Pilate (cross-referencing those two dates gets you a date of crucifixion somewhere from 26 to 36 AD).
So either you make the assumption that there were two Jews who were both called the Christ, who both lived during the reign of Tiberius and who were both crucified during the reign of Pilate... or we use Occam's Razor and state the obvious: this is a reference to Jesus.
That's not spinning anything; if anything, Jesus Mythers need an enormous amount of spin to make this look like anything other than a clear mention of Jesus.

As for some of my statements being "interpretations", so what? In ancient history we use reasonable interpretations of evidence all the time to come to historical facts. If mine (actually not mine, they're used by every scholar I've read) are unreasonable, please do tell me why ;)
Perhaps I was being too argumentative. I've heard and read so many different pieces of evidence to prove or disprove the historicity of Jesus that they all begin to sound equally suspect. It's hard to determine which historian or scholar to trust so I lean toward arguments which use reason. I'm not an expert on the subject so I'll just shut up now.
No problem.
To be honest, there is no on-going discussion on the historicity of Jesus: that debate was settled way back in the 19th century; nowadays all scholars (save a fringe minority) accept that a historical Jesus existed. The reason is that any objective analysis of the evidence clearly points to this being the only reasonable conclusion.
The only ones who take the Jesus Myth hypothesis seriously are unobjective atheist apologists like Richard Carrier and Robert Price (yep, atheists can have irrational biases too). In my opinion, these guys make us all look stupid, and that's why I encourage people to check out real scholars.




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