Or were they trying to report the facts? People familiar with ancient myths and legends see a huge difference between the New Testament and ancient myths and legends.
“If [a man] tells me that something in a Gospel is legend or romance, I want to know how many legends and romances he has read, . . . I have been reading poems, romances, vision-literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one of them is like this. Of this text there are only two possible views. Either this is reportage ... pretty close up to the facts ... [o]r else, some unknown writer in the second century, without known predecessors, or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern, novelistic, realistic narrative. If it is untrue, it must be narrative of that kind. The reader who doesn’t see this has simply not learned to read.” – C. S. Lewis, “Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism” (1959)