This is from the back cover of my new book: Inventing Jesus: The New Testament Narrative as Fiction. It's available now at: http://inventingjesus.com/
There are over two billion people in the world who self-identify as Christians, but almost all of them know next to nothing about how their faith began. The most amazing thing they don't know is that Jesus was a fictional character created by various communities in the process of breaking away from Temple Judaism.
Peter and Paul, too, are unlikely to have lived. Peter was created as a literary foil for the character of Jesus, and Paul's epistles may have been forged during the early second-century.
This book offers two arguments: first, that there is no evidence for Jesus (or Peter or Paul) outside of the New Testament, and, second, that the excessive diversity and confusion of the first five centuries of Christianity was possible only because there was no human and historical Jesus to serve as an anchor for the faith.
Paul Gabel is a graduate of the History Department at the University of California at Berkeley and has taught history for 33 years. He has previously published "And God Created Lenin: Marxism and Religion in Russia, 1917–1929" (2005).
I hope you'll check it out.