I don't claim to prove that Jesus never lived, but rather to persuade you that a historical Jesus is much less likely than you previously supposed.
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 the author of the Gospel According to Mark. 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.
I offer two major arguments: first, that there is no evidence for Jesus (or any of the other gospel Christians) outside of the New Testament, and, second, that the diversity and confusion of the first five centuries of Christianity (the multiplicity of Christianities) was possible only because there was no human and historical Jesus to serve as an anchor for the faith.
The most influential writer of fiction in the history of the world was the author of The Gospel According to Mark (who based many of his stories on Homer's Iliad and Odyssey). The authors of Matthew and Luke vie for second place.
Inventing Jesus features 643 pages of well-researched information and argument. This is a large topic, but a generous font size; numerous illustrations, charts, and maps; and many amazing stories and intriguing theories make this smooth and interesting reading.