As I have outlined in my post, "The Raging Battle For The Jesus Of History" there is an ongoing fight over whether Jesus really existed or whether he was just a myth promoted by people who had some kind of utopian vision for their society.
|Dr. Bart Ehrman|
Recently, agnostic Bart Ehrman had to take one of his fellow non-believers, who calls himself "The Infidel Guy" (some guy named Reggie), to school on the historical Jesus. When The Infidel Guy mentioned that Paul may have lied about Jesus, and Dr. Ehrman asked "Why would he lie?" it seems that everything fell apart. Not only is there no good reason to believe that Paul lied, there is no historical reason to believe that Jesus did not exist and that Paul was not referring to him.
What really hyped things up was that Ehrman suggested that the sources such as Robert Price, who has spent great time promoting that Jesus was a myth (made a lot of money too) is not credible at least in Dr. Ehrman's eyes. Although I find it hard to believe that Ehrman was unfamiliar with Price as he seemed to appear at least on radio, because he at least knew about his employment, stating that he was not a professor, and at least one book he wrote. Ehrman also seems to discredit Dr. Hector Avalos as merely an Old Testament scholar, with the implication that he wouldn't offer any insights on the historical Jesus either.
In short I guess if atheists want to know anything about the historical Jesus, they should consult Dr. Ehrman which seems to be a two edged sword that Erhman uses to cut whomever might get in his way.