Suppose the bible was written by an evil spirit who loves suffering (our suffering, not his own) but who has no power over anyone who has not agreed to submit to him. On this idea, when we die, we become free spirits in a spiritual realm unless we have enslaved ourselves.
It's amazing how much of what we see fits the notion. The biblical god's commands to slaughter outsiders certainly fits a being who loves suffering. A current desire for fresh victims also fits the notion well. Consider: Biblical followers tell you that their god is good. They also give varied excuses why your conscience is not a good measure when it says his actions are not.
It is expected that such a wicked being would want to people to submit to him sight unseen. If we make a good / evil determination first, we are likely not to submit. What is particularly interesting is that it explains satanism as well. Satanism appears to be a fake opposition designed to send people running scared into the biblical spirit's clutches.
The Jesus tale does not defeat the possiblity. There may have been a Jesus who was only a pawn in this game. Furthermore, some of the grand claims may well have come later.