Richard Carrier, on Sources of the Jesus Tradition:
Trobisch … discussed numerous kinds of physical and textual evidence in the manuscripts that only makes sense if the New Testament was published, all 27 books, in codex form, near the end of the 2nd century. He made a pretty convincing case, adding to the case made in his CSER article (issue 2.1, possibly the same as published in Free Inquiry 28.1), which is actually more worth reading than this chapter, as is his book on this subject (The First Edition of the New Testament)….
A.J. Droge’s “Jesus and Ned Lud[d]: What’s in a Name?” both as presented and pre-circulated was one of the most important papers in the field of Jesus myth studies ever produced, and its loss here is a disaster. Even just its inclusion alone (when added to the other good material retained) would have made this book’s list price just about warranted. In it Droge thoroughly documents and analyzes the case of Ned Ludd (“founder” of the 18th-19th century Luddites), providing source citations and scholarship, demonstrating that he did not exist, and yet an entire movement was credited as having been founded by him, complete with biography, tales, and teachings, within a generation of when he was supposed to have lived (about thirty years of his supposed techno-sabotage, and thus within his very lifetime, had he lived, and lived to a commonly reached age). This establishes a useful case to compare with Jesus, to ascertain how likely the same may have unfolded for him (and, of course, it refutes the claim that such a thing can’t happen)….
Hoffmann discussed how the nativity stories were invented to make a point (as is proved by their being completely contradictory, but also by the obvious symbolic and propagandistic elements in them), and not constructed from historical sources or analysis (as neither sources nor analysis appears in them), and if the Gospels can invent such elaborate historical narratives, we can have little hope anything else in them is any more factual. Similarly, the process of deciding the canon proceeded according to circular and dogmatic criteria rather than any objective method of determining document reliability.