The main reason for holding to the historicity of the figure of Jesus, as his activities are narrated in the Gospels, resides not primarily in historical evidence but derives instead from a modern theological necessity. Had Jesus not lived among mortals and, more importantly, had he not died and been raised from the dead, the kernel of Christian theology would lose its essence. Yet, theological need hardly counts as either sound historical method or evidence. In order to draw critical conclusions and historical rather than religious answers to our questions, a secular perspective on the subject must prevail . . . (pp. 80-81)
From the book, ”Is this not the Carpenter?”
Excellent article from the archives of Neil Godfrey. Worth a read.