There are three main reasons why the search for the historical Jesus began (of three searches). The first is the problems raised in the Gospels such as consistency, apparent contradictions, historical accuracy, etc. Then there was the problem posed by the Reformation in completely changing the perspective on the Bible and Jesus. Finally, there was the current worldview of modernity. This led many to believe that the Gospels do not give an accurate portrayal of the real Jesus, which caused the need to search through all the sources to find the historical Jesus.
The first search was from 1778-1906. Rationalism and deism became the dominant epistemology and worldviews in the eighteenth century. In 1778 Hermann Reimarus wrote On the Intention of Jesus and the Disciples and was the first to make the distinction between the Christ of faith and the Jesus of history. A gap began to form between history and faith.
Numerous other fictions “lives” of Jesus were written throughout the late eighteenth and into the nineteenth century. These writers included K.F. Bardht (1792), K.H. Venturini (1809), and Heinrich Paulus (1828).