If you are going to quote sources, you should use more credible ones without an agenda. The very title "From Jesus to Christ" implies the notion held by liberal scholars that Jesus was a man, never claimed to be otherwise and that after his death some of his followers decided for some unknown reason to claim he was divine. Dominic Crossan was the usual spokesman that would be trotted out to speak for the Jesus Seminar - a group of liberals - most of whom were not even scholars- who for the most part held that same view.<quoted text>
Yes, the Creation and Flood stories came from earlier Sumerian mythology.
In the earliest Christian movement, there were actually many different writings circulated, and many traditions about the sayings of Jesus. Some of the leaders were concerned to say, "Well, which of these writings can be read in church? Which are the right ones? Which are the best ones?" And Irenaeus, the leader of a church in France in about the year 170, declared that "The heretics boast that they have many more gospels than there really are. But really they don't have any gospels that aren't full of blasphemy. There actually are only four authentic gospels. And this is obviously true because there are four corners of the universe and there are four principal winds, and therefore there can be only four gospels that are authentic. These, besides, are written by Jesus' true followers."
...In the second and third century, we know that there were many other gospels that were developed. We have a charming array of popular kinds of stories of the life of Jesus.
...Irenaeus was a Bishop of Lyon...[He] was particularly noted for his writings in which he tried to combat various kinds of so-called heretics of the second century. Most of these were people who would consider themselves Christians.
...It may surprise people to know that it's really not until the year 367 that we have a list of New Testament books that conforms exactly to the list of the twenty-seven books we would call the New Testament today. So throughout the second and third centuries there was quite a lot of fighting about which ones are in and which ones not.
...The diversity of Christianity is certainly closely related to the proliferation of gospels. Even the gospels which we have in the canon of the New Testament are not of one mind, but really represent very different religious positions and very different images of Jesus.
...I think the composition of a four-fold gospel canon reflects complicated developments during the course of the second century. One of the factors that played a role here certainly was the fact that certain gospels were revered in certain ecclesiastical centers, so it may be that Antioch had a special affection for the Gospel of Luke. We don't know that for a fact, but this is certainly an element in the development of the gospel canon.
...If we return to Irenaeus' argument for the canon, I think precisely the contrary is closer to a more responsible historical reconstruction, and that is that there's some kind of consensus among people in the Jesus movement as to what constitutes reliable tradition, reliable literature - literature that they want to read or they want to hear over and over again, and other kinds of literature that they don't want to hear. And, of course, there are groups that have differences of opinion about this.
The quote from Irenaeus is deliberately misquoted to make his points about the Gospels look ridiculous. The actual quote is that "The Gospel ....fittingly has four corners..." not "it is obviously true because of the winds, etc.". There is a huge difference. The twisting of the quotation is to serve the argument that Irenaeus is arguing for a new concept and had a weak arguments. Rather he appeals to the symbolism of the four winds, etc BECAUSE he has four gospels, not the other way around.