About 8/2006, I encountered (searching on my computer):
"Did Pope Leo X [Pope 1513 – 1521 (1475 – 1521)] Really Refer to Jesus as a Myth? James Patrick Holding [Christian apologist]". [from: http://www.tektonics.org/lp/popeleox.html].
The subject has interested me for about 12 years, when I quoted:
"What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!",
in my article for The Freethought Exchange, July/August 1995, 100. 1997, I placed the epigram on my website (www.christianism.com, 73).
I thank James Patrick Holding ("Apolgetics Ministries") and associates, for the research, sources, comments, humor, etc.
John Bale, 1574, is given as the source of the above epigram.
_____ _____ _____
I encountered the John Bale, 1558 Latin edition, with the epigram.
John Bale, led to his friends, Robert Barnes and John Leland, as possible sources of the epigram.
I researched Pope Leo X.
Johann von Mosheim led to Peter Bayle and Mornay du Plessis, and Mornay du Plessis led to Sannazaro (who I also found in Bale) as a possible source of the epigram.
I was led to Ulrich von Hutten as a possible source.
Somehow I was led to research epigrams and pasquinades and censorship.
I became extremely interested in the Renaissance and Reformation. Erasmus amazed me!
My latest ponderings, regarding "who dunit":
the epigram (composed by whom? "Pasquino"? Sannazaro? Leo X? Bembo? Erasmus? by whom?) was orally communicated to Erasmus, who might have rephrased (or composed) it; Erasmus and colleagues, orally disbursed it. John Bale, had the boldness to print it. John Bale (if he knew) would not disclose Erasmus as a source (protection).
Authors through the centuries, commonly, have taken "fable" (Latin: "fabula" [see 169-170]), to be "fiction". "My" professional Latin translators (see 166-169), indicate it can be "story" (yours to define [see 168-170]), etc. This interpretation, could be a more probable fit, for Leo X as (attributed) speaker of the epigram.
Reformers ("Protestants") might have twisted "Leo's" use of fabula; denigrating Leo (and their religion (mythology)).
Yet, heterodoxy was in fashion (see 101, 102, 143, 144).
All very interesting!, but I have not found an earlier source for the epigram, presented by John Bale, 1558 (see 166-167):
"Quantum nobis ac nostro coetui prosuerit ea de Christo fabula, satis est seculis omnibus notum."
[translation] "It is sufficiently well-known to all ages how much this story about Christ has benefited us and our company."
Of course, the epigram, with fabula synonymous with fiction, is correct historically.
These researches include the Renaissance and Reformation, and often center around 1500, and the personalities: Desiderius Erasmus (1455 – 1536); Leo X, Pope 1513 – 1521 (1475 – 1521); Martin Luther (1483 – 1546).
Spellings have been illegible, centuries old, several languages (included for scholarship and scholars), etc. Please notify me (email@example.com) of known errors in reproducing the sources.