I'm not using the quote function anymore as it sucks, the formatting in the text box is crazy. So I'll use italics.
Why not an actual man called Jesus?
He may have been called Jesus, but the name isn't really the duck, he was far more than his name. He may or may not have been called Jesus, if it was just one man. That's the point, we don't even know basics like that.
No of course not. That was invented to connect him to an OT prophecy. Matthew and Luke use very different stories to achieve that.
That's one example that's known to be untrue, I probably shouldn't have started with it, but many of the others are just assumed to be true, and they are just assumptions in many cases.
I think he did make claims of that sort. Otherwise his failed claims would have been written out of the story.
But that's my point, we don't in fact know what claims he made as there are no eyewitness testimonies. The gospels are ultra-secondary sources. I'm going to stoop to the level of 'why not' now and ask, if the miracles were made up, why not much of the rest? I don't like arguments from ignorance, but I feel compelled to make that one.
Why? Are the words attributed to Socrates any less interesting if they were written by somebody else and put in the mouth of a mythical Greek philosopher?
I'm confused. I think you may have misread me there as that was exactly my point. Socrates's ideas are what's interesting, not so much his life story, assuming he existed, which I know is heavily disputed, hence I chose him as an example. Many of Jesus's sayings are rendered hollow if he didn't exist, Socrates's sayings aren't, unless he too at some point claimed to be the son of god.