3. Even the New Testament stories don’t claim to be first-hand accounts.
This is true, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be trusted. Both Luke (1:3) and John (21:24) assure their readers that their Gospels are based on eyewitnesses. Bishop Papias (60-130AD) and other early church writers claim that Mark derived his story from the Apostle Peter. Those sound like pretty good sources.
Modern scholarship rejects the consensus of the 2nd century church, that Matthew and John wrote the Gospel that bear their names. If the early church was correct, then two of the Gospel writers are first-hand accounts.
4. The gospels, our only accounts of a historical Jesus, contradict each other.
Sometimes the stories are different, but are these contradictions? For example, Mark claims that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, while Matthew records that there was more than one woman. There is a difference between a partial report and a false report. In this case, Mark and Matthew are giving complimentary, not contradictory accounts.
Other differing accounts in the Gospels (most contain trivial details), can be explained in similar fashion. The early church recognized this.
5. Modern scholars who claim to have uncovered the real historical Jesus depict wildly different persons.
These scholars do not believe that the Bible is inspired by God, so any supernatural claims must be myths. These scholars cannot agree on what is myth and what is history in the Gospels, and they interpret these so-called myths in different ways. How could they possibly discover the same Jesus?
Skepticism is nothing new to Christianity. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).”