Was Jesus just your average Joe?
Many people skeptical of the truth of the Christian faith hold fast on the idea that Jesus of Nazareth was just an ordinary man among many others.
According to them, the origin of the Christian faith can be understood as follows:
1) After the death of Jesus the disciples experienced wonderful hallucinations which made them believe he rose from the dead
2) They didn’t believe in an empty tomb, this aspect was completely irrelevant for them
3) Paul held the same belief
4) Later writers made up stories about the honorary burial of Jesus and the empty grave
There are many not-implausible, contradictory theories about the historical Jesus which are hard to evaluate owing to the lack of hard data.
But I believe this kind of scenarios can be ruled out as being unlikely.
There were after and before Jesus time quite a few Jewish apocalyptic prophets who suffered an atrocious death as martyrs. Why did none of their followers develop a faith in the resurrection of their master? Why did none of them develop a faith that their master was God Himself?
Both aspects were present within the early Church very soon after the death of Jesus.
So I believe that the minimal conclusion that there is something special about Jesus of Nazareth is warranted.
Further conclusions are going to be hugely dependent on the presuppositions of one’s worldview.