In general, legends in that AD 30 Mediterranean did not stick and pervade.1 They rather struggled in vain. There may not even be one exception to this, but if there is an exception it is truly an exception. This is relevant because if this were true of Greco-Roman/Jewish issues in general, then all the more it would be true of the Jesus stories (which, as seen below, have even more checks and balances in place than normal).
Whether or not it predominated over legend (a seperate question) in the AD 30-70 Mediterranean, witness-based testimony on Jesus’s life and ministry truly thrived.
• Lk: “Jesus-bio witnesses were the teachers.”
• Apostles as witnesses oft taught & started churches.
• Witnesses etc. were actively relaying testimony.
• The 1st church passed down tons of Jesus-bio.
• Christians were orally passing down Jesus-bio.
• Lk says Jesus-biographies were being written.
But so what? Plausibly…
• Unwarranted Jesus-bio also thrived alongside it.
Most of the Jesus-biographical content reported in the gospels faithfully falls within what the relevant witnesses were themselves saying and approving.
• Gospel authors got it all witness-approved or close.
• Gospels spew witness-based stories.
• Gospel stories are not lies/legends.
• Gospel stories are a subset of 1st church’s.
• The Gospels are historically reliable.
• Pop Jesus-bio was a subset of what witnesses said.
Unjustified Jesus-biography easily formed, circulated, and stuck in AD 30-70.
• Christians didn’t relay Jesus-bio in a controlled way.
• Christians did invent Jesus-bio.
• The Gospels spew verified inaccuracies.
But in favor of unjustified Jesus-biography not easily forming, circulating or sticking:
• Time causes compression of data (not expansion).
• Christians passed down Jesus-bio in a controlled way.
• Deviant Jesus-bio usually gets killed by witnesses.
• Christians didn’t lie-invent Jesus-bio.
• Witness-based Jesus accounts pervaded.
• Pop Jesus-Bio was a subset of witness-testimony.