According to your philosophy of teaching, it seems you have the same viewpoint as the agnostics. In my mind that is building theories on very loose and sandy ground. Nevertheless, what you believe is certainly your choice, and I am not about to debate that.
a. the view that any ultimate reality (such as a deity) is unknown and probably unknowable : a philosophical or religious position characterized by uncertainty about the existence of a god or any gods
b. an attitude of doubt or uncertainty about something"
That uncertainty is a foundational building block of Harnack's theology, as I understood the quotations cited.
Wrestling with where I should begin, perhaps, starting by mentioning the one aspect of Human Nature having to do with our instinctive tendencies for self preservation, that is, self justification. People, scholarly or not, will grab anything that agrees with their positional mindsets, their philosophies, or their religions. It is very much like the political clusterfuck we are experiencing in the State of the Union, disregarding actions and their ensuing consequences, we mindlessly pick a side most familiar to what opinions we have already adopted.
We don't even take the time for the cement to cure, making for a very weak foundation.
Notwithstanding all that, the revisionist history and all the self- justifying, misrepresentations and errant interpretations of Scripture have been piling up into a toxic landfill whose stench reaches up into God's nostrils - a real Gehenna.
What people do with the Bible or, even likewise, with the U.S. Constitution is their choice. But like the Bible warns, there are ways that seem right, but the end of those roads lead to destruction.
The New Testament states that the common people "heard Him gladly." And "the Jews" refers to the Jewish leaders and their sect who were intent on protecting their ill gotten gains under Roman rule - their wealth, their status, and their power over people.
The Zealots were certainly looking for a conquering General to overthrow the Romans. However, both groups overlooked Isaiah 53, written hundreds of years beforehand, that told of the sufferings and rejections of the Messiah.
In addition, Jesus said. "Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose." - Matthew 5:18.
I can't help it if people choose to omit verses and twist Scriptures into saying something quite contrary to God's purposes. It seems to me that people abuse the Bible to suit their own liking. For another possibly illuminating example, Matthew 16:23 - "Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Was Jesus calling Peter Satan or just challenging the thought that Satan put into his head? I believe the latter is true.
So, who's inventing what? And who needs to read the Bible and not, as Harnack suggested, accept dogma mindlessly, but use their own heads?
All the ensuing history of Christianity precipitated from misunderstanding the Bible and often advanced by religious leaders who were supposed to know what they were talking about. Unfortunately, just like the Phariscal sect, they had ulterior motives just like their forerunners: They wanted to maintain their wealth, influence in government , and powerful prestige. Truth was not high on their agenda.
I suppose I've said all I need to, except that it is amazing how people can research what exactly people were thinking centuries ago, and can research the reasons and sources that persuaded them to come to such nihilistic conclusions.
1a: a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless
b: a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths
2a: a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility
b capitalized : the program of a 19th century Russian party advocating revolutionary reform and using terrorism and assassination." (ibid).
Again, you are using a lot of revisionist history and selectivity to support your theory.
Recently, I watched a documentary which articulated the historical fact of Christians imprisoning and even burning other Christians at the stake, and supporting those actions in, supposedly, a Biblical way! I think that they thought the way they chose was right, too!
The sending signals to the Roman Empire was also an error. Paul advised Believers in the Jesus sect to keep their heads down as they were an illegal religion opposed to the official State Religion. which was, as you said, polytheistic. The Pharisee and Roman citizen, Saul, who was later called Paul, was also searching for Christians to throw them in the Jewish jails or even have them stoned to death.
Let me insert here that the Jews had no legal authority to crucify anyone under Roman capital crimes... only the Romans - not for nothing. Also, Jews had no relations with the Samaritans as they were considered anathema. Rome was doing the Jewish leaders a favor.
I suppose I should bring this little amateur dissertation to a close. So just two more points: Obeying the Ten Commandments was not historically Israel's strongest suit. Idolatry kept worming its way into the culture, resulting in various consequences and Diaspora. Polytheism didn't seem to offend them all that much. Besides, to your repetitive assertion about the New Testament being anti-Semitic, Jesus affirmed, "Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose." and "But I warn you - unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!" - Matthew 5:17 and Matthew 5:20.
In conclusion, I mean no offense, but building a case on a foundation of opinions and opinions of opinions, and utilizing building materials from revisionist history is a house of straw, not of wood, nor stone... the foundation is sinking in the muck.
You might choose to reread the New Testament letters of the apostles, Peter, John, James, and possibly Barnabus' letter to the Hebrews, Matthew, Mark, John, and Luke/Acts, maybe the NIV or NLT translations... Context. Context. Context.
One potato, two potato,
three potato, four,
I am getting very tired,
Putting down the books,
and opening the door!
Here's a group of students practicing the power and presence and their personal relationship of Jesus which I hope you find interesting - Talking To Jesus | Elevation Worship & Maverick City