A dividing line between a historical Jesus and a non-historical Jesus?
Taking the non-historical Jesus as being the gospel Jesus - then there is no dividing line. There is a void. The gospel Jesus is a bit like that Emperor with his invisible clothes - underneath the miraculous clothes he is naked.
What that means is not that one has to go searching for a naked historical Jesus......it means that you have no way to identify any one individual as the historical Jesus. The Jewish gospel writers were sticking to their guns here - no Jewish man is going to be deified. (a point further observed in Josephus with his many Jesus figures....)
Thus, searching for a no-name, naked, Jesus is a pointless waste of time. It's not even a needle in a haystack - there is no needle...
There is one major historical claim in the gospel story. Roman agents crucified a 'king of the Jews'. The question is when did Rome do that? Yes, the gospel story is set in the time of Pilate - but that gospel story also includes references to King Herod (40 b.c. and to Lysanaus (40 b.c.) - indicating that the time of Pilate is not the beginning but the end of the story the gospel writers are articulating. A story that began 70 years earlier.
1. Antigonus entered and seized Jerusalem forcefully in 40 BCE - Jesus is depicted as triumphantly entering Jerusalem in the passion
2. Antigonus cuts off the ears of his uncle - Jesus repairs the severed ear of the sentry
3. Antigonus had a 3 year reign - Jesus had a 3 year ministry
4. Antigonus is the crucified king of the Jews.
5. Antigonus was executed in Antioch - "....The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch". Acts 11.25.
Of course, there is more to the gospel Jesus story than the crucifixion - but that cross has become the very symbol of Christianity. I would suggest that it is the Roman execution of a King of the Jews that became the model for the gospel writers for their Jesus crucifixion story.
To turn the Jews away from Antigonus in order to diminish his memory - beheading won't do that - but a dishonorable element of his execution could do that. Hanging him on a cross/stake and flogging him. A curse to the Jews (Gal.3.13) An event best forgotten. But Paul turned the cross around - from being a curse to being the instrument of salvation. Obviously, not by upholding physical crucifixion - rather to move away from such anti-humanitarian concepts and place value in spiritual sacrifices - intellectual or philosophical 'sacrifices'.
(I've often wondered about the OT curse of hanging on a cross/stake/tree - maybe it's about the evil doer/criminal being removed from terra-firma - feet above the ground. Feet removed from the sacred ground, feet no longer able to dishonor or bring shame to the sacred ground, feet no longer able to defile the sacred ground)
I'm out of my comfort zone re the synoptic problem.I have long enjoyed Antigonus as a likely suspect for the Christ cult passion account. Timeline fits well as well, for me anyway, as this helps support an early Paul, for at least some of the letter fragments. The only thing that bothers me now is how well does it fit with the views of Marcion?
As for Paul - I follow Brodie with this figure not being historical.
If Paul is a literary figure, like JC, then issues of is he early or late don't feature. Viewed as a composite figure one can have an early and a later Paul. i.e. 'Paul' represents two developments in NT story development. Maybe the early 'Paul' is Marcion and the late 'Paul' someone else. As Brodie suggests, a school of scribes were involved in the development of the NT story. (that Marcion is dated late would indicate that his teaching still survives at a late date - Marcion would then simply be a school of thought, of ideas).
With that view of things - Marcion, the ideas involved in that 'school', would be pre 70 c.e. The later 'Paul' post 70 c.e.
Would Marcion be interested in Antigonus and Jewish history? Indeed. However, if the early philosophical, spiritualizing, movement was to emphasize spiritual issues, issues to widen the scope of OT ideas in order to appeal to the Gentiles, then any nationalistic concerns would have to be put on the back-burner. Progress, however, is not to turn ones back on ones origins - so eventually the Jewish root would need to be accommodated. An origin story of birth narratives and history would need to be written up. Two steps forward but one step backwards - remembering where one has come from. Something along these lines....
That said, I now have Galatians (apparently 'found' by Marcion) and 2 Corinthians (seemingly not known by the earliest Christian writers) in my crosshairs as possibly being spurious, at least in part, to the original Pauline corpus.
As it sits now I am leaning towards the compiled letters of Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and 1 Corinthians, in collected letter form, and a core of Romans being original to an early Paul with the rest of the letters being added over time to support an evolving orthodox Christianity with the bulk added in the second century.