"I think there probably was a Jesus... but everything we know of him is 2nd hand, generations later, motivated retells. So, I take the stories for what they are and what they say... and don't worry too much when Jesus contradicts himself or the Pauline epistles head in different directions.
In the end, those who scream most loudly about the Bible being the "Word of God" usually have a very thin knowledge of how it came about or what it contains. In my sect, Evangelicals, we would regurgitate the same 500 verses annually, while pretty much ignoring the other 30,000.
Ultimately, I think most folks find the Jesus they want in the Bible. I have friends of all different economic, social, and political persuasions... and funny enough, all of them quote Jesus and claim to be followers. Jesus has many faces."