Some skeptical Biblical scholars see Christianity as largely a creation of St Paul.
It is supposed that as a pro-Roman Jew Saul desired to create a religion that would unite Romans and Jews and end their conflict.
Pauline Christianity appears from this perspective to be a mix of Orphic Mysticism (see Orphic Mysteries), Jewish Gnosticism, Greek Cynicism and an element of the Nazarene teachings of the historical source of Paul's Christ.
After Paul got the ball rolling Christianity took on a life of its own, absorbing a variety of pagan myths, mystical ideas and developing various theologies through the 'visions' of its various fanatical converts.
This view remains highly controversial of course!