The Book of Mark (not Mark's writing, obviously, just entitled that) is widely known as the first Gospel.
But what if it's a work of fiction? At the time, certain Hero Myth books were common and popular. Similarities to the Hero Myth books (Oedipus, the Iliad, etc.) include the third person narrative, son-of-god credibility, miracles, magic, ghosts, witches, followers, alleged wisdom, fall and redemption, and resurrection.
Mark's original book did not include the last twelve verses. Curiously, those verses are the ones that tell Uncle Mortimer that it's OK to handle snakes and drink poison. Those verses were added hundreds of years later. Mark's book ended with an empty tomb, and some frightened women who ran away and told no one about their find.
Quite the cliffhanger, is it not? And could the other three Gospels and further books simply be sequels?
Without Paul of Tarsus, there would be no Christianity, of this much we're certain. Some scholars surmise that Paul's writings predate the Gospels. For instance, Paul never mentions Jesus' miraculous birth or his miracles, nor does he mention the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 BCE. The Gospels say that Jesus foresaw the destruction. What is more likely is that the Gospels were written after the destruction.
So... what if a Greek scholar was familiar with the Pauline myth of Jesus, yet had no history of the man? What is he to do but write one, using the familiar hero myth components that Greeks had come to expect of important mythological people? Add in a few prophetical satisfactions, and voila! Athens Times Best Seller!
I'm not saying it happened this way, but it's not the least plausible explanation of the situation we've heard.