Bangersmash:"This may be the case, but did any of these previous frauds have such an impact, that the dating system as we know it today is measured around their death? Or that the Bible itself is the most widely distributed and sold book in the history of mankind? Or that there are a total of only 10 physical copies recording Caesar’s writings, yet there are approx. 22,000 copies of the New Testament (the most abundant of all historical manuscripts)?"
I am aware of those facts, but you can't use pure circumstantial events to argue the greatness of a man.
The reason the bible is the most distributed (not sold) book in the worls is due to many circumstantial facts.
1- In antiquity, only a relative handful of people knew how to read and write. Guess who made 100% sure they knew how to read and write beatifully... That's right, priests. They were pretty much the only group on earth that could, as a group, write, and copy BOOKS. Now what book would they write copies of? Why, the one that supports our way of life of course. The bible. They did write/copy some other books, but obviously the creation of bibles was of utmost importance before Guttenberg.
1- The world before what we call modernity was pretty much ruled by FEAR. Religion was (and is) mostly used to create fear in people. The fear of being cast out or destroyed by refusing a religion ("accept this religion or you burn in hell" or "accept this religion or WE will burn you"). Thus doing anything without professing to be devout to such religion was tantamount to social or literal suicide. This is why almost all art prior to the 19th century dealt with rulers or religious figures, nothing else. Paint a king without insinuating that he is the hand of god and prepare to be kicked out of the kingdom, at best. At worst, you would simply be executed and your family be declared heretics.
In this historic climate, a guy named Guttenberg invents the first machine that can crank out copies of books that don't have to be written by hand. Now, what book would he start copying? obviously, the bible. This becomes the reason and justification for the proliferation of printing machines. Many groups are intent on having thousands of bibles accessible to dictate dogma, and many different versions of it are created to fit individial regions. This is the biggest wave of massive distribution.
3- The Europeans discover America (the continent) and do their damndest to kill every indian who doesn't take a christian name and accepts the bible and religion. They are taught to read by missionaries solely so they can swallow the bible, creating a level of catholic/christian devotion among the poorest people south of old California, all the way down to Argentina. And as you know, poor people made up 99% of the population of these areas before the 19th century. Today you can still see the force with which this religion was ingrained in these people by simply talking to them or visiting their countries and seeing spanish, italian and portuguese-built churches in the smallest little towns.
4- Religious groups KNOW that they must secure media and distribution of it, since the beginning of time. Today you get a free bible in every hotel room in the US as a matter of custom. Have you ever thought how this came to happen? How did it happen that among the first special interest programs on television (if not THE first) were catholic/christian vehicles? Churches were among the first institutions to have community newsletters, networking events and recruitment drives outside of the military.
That a simplistic account, and there's a lot more than that, but it serves to point out that the reason the bible is as widely distributed as it is has little to do with how great its contents are. Don't forget that catholicism/christianism has expanded by missions, mandate and force throughout history. Expansion is at the heart of the harvesting of influence.
Hardcore muslims (not all) do this by requiring that children spend most of their early years banging their heads against the Quran, literally learing EVERY word of the book. This is basically programming. It is next to impossible to de-program a human mind that has been programmed this way from an warly age, and this applies to the Quran, the Bible, or any other dogma you wish to impart on a child. So, right off the gate, these kids serve as a built-in expansion method by assuring they will teach their kids in turn the same way. Most religions are programming of the mind, with clever "hacks" such as turning our native untuition of the unknown (we all know there's a lot of things we don't know) into their preferred, unprovable, inexplicable and impossible to explore image. It is very hard for a human mind to resist this, especially when it's only a child...
Well damn, that was a long rant. Sorry