The e-mail I received is in bold with my response in regular text and my later additions for clarity in italics. The mail came in on September 29, 2000 and my response was sent on October 2,2000.
I have a question for you:
How did Christianity arise from a mythological story about a man rising from the dead? What I mean is that 2000 years later your argument, I hear but where is this argument proposed in the first century? One must admit it is hardly likely that a myth could have lasted so long only to be contested some 1500-2000 years later.
Let me know what books there are that argue against Jesus rising from the dead that were written around the Gospel timeframe that says that this whole story is a FABLE.
For a very long time, the story of Osiris was taken as literal by ancient Egyptians, thousands of years were involved before reality overtook the gods. Thousands of years between Zarathustra and now and there are still Mazdayaznians. Same for Krishna. Does age and currency mean truth to you, or is it just age that equals truth? That doesn't make sense to me. As a skeptic it is nonsense to dismiss all the others while keeping one (because I don't recognize any real differences between them)...that nonsense (to me) is sense to you and all the other participants in all the other religions because you see differences between tham all. And yet, a Muslim and a Hare Krishna each rejects the other based on faith alone. I can't argue that current events are a good indicator of how past events worked to you because you have faith in a particular, and special, view of the past. What I can argue is that based on the past, it makes sense to me to view the past as similar to the present. And based on that similarity I dismiss them (religions) all because the present is full of religions that have long histories. That is to say, IT IS conceivable that a myth could have lasted 2000 years.
Two places I would point you:
"Historical Islam", a critique of the reliability of the over a millennium long history of Islam, and
"Historical Jesus", a critique based on two books: Price's Deconstructing Jesus and Freke and Gandy's Jesus Mysteries.
The idea being that from a perspective of long years history might be seen clearer than the view from the present of the present.
Lastly, I'm not familiar with and haven't heard of any past works critical of belief in Jesus' resurrection. But since Christians were hounded as traitors to the Roman rule and to traditional Judaism it seems likely that such a criticism existed. Also, resurrected god men are not unusual, Bacchus, Mithras, and Osiris come easily to mind. I do not think the unbelievability of a claim is necessarily a good indicator of the truth of the claim. That, of course, doesn't answer your question but is as close as I can get.