So Dujardin works a good classification among the best mythicist theories. He distinguishes the Salomon Reinach's solution (so similar to the lists of reasons about why the crucifixion as the form of death
, since all derived someway midrashically from OT) and the Couchoud's solution (outer space crucifixion, where also the crucifixion is explained midrashically in virtue of the same list
) and his (of Dujardin) own solution (the crucifixion rite
ORIGIN OF THE LEGEND OF JESUS
To suppose finally in Jesus a spiritual historicity, it will be to verify in the documents of history how the myth itself of the crucified god was born from a rite of cruxifixion of the god. And, in accordance with the plan of study outlined above, this third problem is the one that the present volume undertakes to treat, prior to the other two.
Let us briefly recall how the question arises, and what answers have been given.
Nietzsche said, and M. Loisy repeated after him, that a match was enough to set the world on fire; but the match was needed. The historian and art critic Théodore Duret, to whom I explained one day the formation of the evangelical legend, declared himself ready to follow me, but claimed that the "small primitive cell" was at the beginning of evolution. It was a matter of scientists getting their hands on Duret's little primitive cell, on Nietzsche's match.
If the career of Jesus as told in the Gospels is a mythical legend, as the mythicists want it to be and as the last rationalist schools admit it more and more, and as we ourselves claim it, what was the starting point of this myth?
To put the question more precisely, given the belief of Christians, attested from the first century, in a god who came to earth to be sacrificed under the species of crucifixion, what was the origin of this belief?
The God dying for the sake of his followers, the God sacrificed, and also the God resurrected, are universal facts, common to many religions; Catholic scholars deny this, and we can grant them that Christianity has stated them with greater precision; they are, in any case, facts of a general nature, which can be explained completely by the religious evolution of humanity. There is no need to look elsewhere for their origin.
On the contrary, the mode of this sacrifice, the crucifixion, appears to be a particular feature of Christianity; not that Christianity is the only religion whose god was a crucified god; but the crucifixion remains the characteristic feature of the Jesus myth. Where did the crucifixion come from?
Practically speaking, to investigate the origins of the Jesus legend or myth was to investigate why the early Christians pictured Jesus as crucified.
The answer of the rationalists is as simple as it is logical. The gospel legend offered the world a crucified god, because it has its starting point in the crucifixion, real and historical, of a man named Jesus. The idea of the crucified god would thus come from the crucifixion, real and physically historical, of the man who was then made a god. The torture of the miserable agitator or the tiny prophet was the match that set the world on fire.
The success of evhemerism is due to the extreme simplicity of its solutions; it is conceivable that they seduce the minds that do not wish to deepen the problems; it is surprising that scholars find their satisfaction in them, because if clarity is one of the qualities of reality, it is by no means the guarantee of it.
One recalls the hypothesis admitted for a moment by Sir James Frazer; the legend would have its origin in the tragi-farce of a kind of carnival of which Jesus would have been the hero. It is hardly necessary to reply that this is only a variant of the traditional crucifixion; the starting point is a man from among men, who is condemned, not to expiate a common crime, but to play the rather heavy role of the crucified god-king.
In order to repudiate all evhemerism, mythologists must nevertheless explain how the idea of a crucified Jesus came to the first Christians, if this idea was not provided by a historical reality.
Now, it must be said, the evhemerist answer, however unacceptable it may be, is simple and clear; the mythical answers up to now are confused, and, no better than the evhemerist answer, do not come under the laws of the history of religions.
Obviously, a religious movement is born in the collective soul... But let me clarify the question: a god who came to earth, and came to be sacrificed there, that is self-evident; but why the crucifixion?
The idea of a forgery cannot be seriously advanced, and the hypothesis of a concerted invention between the Apostles is a monstrosity.
The first mythical explanation worthy of examination was that brilliantly presented by M. Salomon Reinach. The idea of the crucifixion would have been provided by the prophecies of the Old Testament which the Christians claimed to have been realized by Jesus.
So be it, but these prophecies would have to be known.
The Greek text (because the Hebrew text is altered) of Psalm 22:17 is alleged: «They have pierced my hands and my feet».
That this minute line was the source from which the Christians drew the representation of the crucified god, I remain confused. It appears rather as the miserable stopgap to which they resorted, and belatedly, in order to obtain the prophecy that they wanted to produce at all costs.
We shall see in the next chapter to what extent the nailing of the hands and especially the feet is secondary in the crucifixion. If the prophecies of the Old Testament had had to provide the kind of killing of Jesus, they would have suggested rather the blow of the sword or the blow of the spear. 
Mr. Couchoud has presented, on the crucifixion, the most seductive hypothesis that mythism has yet imagined. Relying on two texts, one taken from Saint Paul and the other from a little-known apocrypha, he makes of the crucifixion an apocalyptic drama, which would have taken place in the mystical ether, between supernatural beings, a kind of vision of the apostle. We will see later that, on the contrary, the epistles represent the crucifixion as a physical act, historically accomplished. But it is enough to note that the hypothesis, however suggestive it may be, does not provide a solution to the problem: why crucifixion rather than any other kind of death? And Mr. Couchoud is obliged to fall back, following Mr. Salomon Reinach, on Psalm 22.
I would like to say that the mythical scholars, as well as the rationalistic ones, have made a mistake. The solution can only be found in the laws of religious formation. Before verifying in the facts of history how they apply to Christianity, let us recall and clarify those which govern the birth of myths.
1st law. — The first of these laws, the most general, is formulated by M. Loisy: "Religious myths are a work of the believing thought on religious things, not on facts".
If all religious formation proceeds from the mystical mentality, the notion of the crucified God can only find its origin in the order of mysticism. The fundamental error of evhemism is to have placed the starting point of a religion in a political event.
Christianity was not born from an episode in the Gazette of the Palestinian Courts, or from a macabre event in the Anecdotal Almanac of the year 27.
"Religious myths," said M. Loisy, "are a work of the believing thought on religious things, not on facts".
It only remains for the master to apply this law to the formation of the Christian myth.
2nd law. — The second law, going further, is that of Robertson Smith: — Myths are born of rites.
No scholar today doubts that, in a general way, myths do not derive from rites. It is enough to apply to Christianity the same laws as to all religions. And if the solution to the problem of the crucifixion has not been obvious, it is because of the exceptional privilege which we see Christianity still enjoying.
Mr. Charles Guignebert recently wrote that "the rites that we find in the mystery religions are prior to the myths, that the rites existed first and that the myths were born afterwards to explain them".  It will suffice to ask the famous historian of religions, as we have just asked his colleague, to apply to Christianity the rule that he has endorsed with his high authority.
The myth of the crucifixion was born from a crucifixion rite.
Because they practiced the rite of crucifixion of their god, the followers of Jesus represented him as a crucified god. And we repeat our comment: they did not crucify him because they represented him as crucified; they represented him as crucified, because their rite was to crucify him.
Mr. Loisy has repeated several times that there was only one certain fact at the origin of Christianity, "the crucifixion of a man named Jesus, by sentence of Pontius Pilate, because of messianic agitation". Yes, only one certain fact: but the millenary rite of expiatory sacrifice, which has its basis in the totemic sacrifice and its crowning achievement in the sacrifice of the mass.
3rd law, the one we have called the law of mystical realism. — For the faith of the believer, the sacrificial victim does not represent the god, he is the god.
A physical operation, under which faith recognizes a spiritual reality.
So now we can imagine, in a first summary view, the ancient Palestinian mystery religion analogous to so many other mystery religions, whose god is immolated in sacrifice and is ritually crucified, then detached from the cross and buried; Hence, the myth of a god put on the cross; this myth is realized, incorporating itself into the rite, in a sacred drama where, among songs, incantations, dances, processions, the god, under the species of his substitute, is immolated, crucified, detached, buried.
For centuries, the drama of the sacred has been renewed periodically. When the faith stagnates, the act is accomplished mechanically, as we see most often around us the celebration of the mass in the sonnolent apathy of the majority of the assistants. But, when faith is rekindled, the believer recognizes again the god under the simulacrum, the god in person, with the same certainty that under the host he will later recognize the body of the son of God, in person, not as a symbol, but in reality.
The myth of the crucifixion has its origin in a crucifixion rite and its realization in the sacred drama in which the god is crucified under the species usual to all sacred dramas.
Christianity, built on a historical event such as a judicial execution, is not a religion. Christianity, born of atoning sacrifice, is a religion born religion, grown religion, in a straight line, as something that was to fill the world. Verum de vero, deum de do.
The non-specialists will understand, I think, why the evhemeristic conception of Jesus is a monstrosity. Why is it so? Because by making Jesus a deified man, it proposes to the immense religion of Christianity a god who is not a spiritual being.
The evhemeristic conception of Jesus is a crime against the spirit, because by making Jesus a man among men, it strikes from human history the purest spirituality it has ever known.
Jesus is not a historical figure; but he is not simply a mythical figure; he is a spiritual being. The gospel legend is neither the distortion of a political event, nor an invention of the intellect; it is the concrete transposition of a phenomenon of spirituality.
For eighteen centuries, and for a time that does not seem to be near its end, the Christian Church has taught, and thousands of millions of human beings have believed, that Christianity was the work of a god who came down from heaven to redeem the sins of men by his death. It is enough to translate the affirmation of faith sociologically to recognize the spiritual historicity of the Passion. The sociological argument is merely a modernized form of the argument from universal consent.
A professor of theology at the University of Berlin, Hermann von Soden, known for his exegetical work and who held a place of honor in liberal Protestantism, came to the 1910 controversy organized by Arthur Drews  to deplore the fact that by denying the historicity of Jesus, one was taking away from mankind "the charm of a beautiful illusion which civilized mankind had been living with for two thousand years".
From an evhemerist, even a pious evhemerist, this seems a strange effrontery.
The beautiful illusion, if one dares to say that there is an illusion, of which humanity has been living for a thousand years, is it to have believed that a man from among men was pushed to the ridiculous flag of divinization? or is it to have believed that a god came down from heaven to redeem the sins of men? Has mankind lived on the god made man, or on the make-up of a man as a god?
Too much has been said about the hatred that the Jews have felt for the Christians throughout the ages. If Jesus was only a man who was made into a god, a somewhat mocking contempt would be more appropriate. And, indeed, one wonders what more pitiful spectacle Christianity could have offered to the laughter of the Jews than the incense it has been offering to one of them for eighteen centuries.
But whether Jesus was or was not a Jew, the question of race would be of little importance; this alone is important: - the good news, the gospel, εὐαγγέλιον, which Renan has brought to men, is that for eighteen centuries they have been burning incense before one of their own kind.
Such is the illusion for which the von Soden have made the punch.
As for us, we will try to tell the divine adventure of the god who left his beautiful throne covered with stars in order to answer the call of a world that was dying without him and for which he had to die... And may your supreme court, Lord, have indulgence for those who, having recognized your divinity, have somewhat doubted your humanity and have not wanted to materialize the legend with which it has pleased you to adorn your holy spirituality.
(Le dieu Jésus
, p. 128-137)