b. How does one explain who Jesus really was? Was he a single figure or two or three different people?
deny the avatar/sage status of a single historical Jesus is, to me, as grievous as it is to assert that He is alone in that status. To identify earlier avatars as His predecessor, or He as their subsequent is just a subtle variation on the first point. They are a string of pearls woven into the ordinary cloth of humanity.
Anthony, PB, nor translations of the Bible are internally consistent
in using WORD or LOGOS. These are sliding terms, sort of Mystical and Metaphysical
relative pronouns. This isn't sloppy or careless thinking, but rather, it's
exactly where thought and vision touch (notice all the various senses getting
wit: the Greek Bible says "en on arche" meaning "the One IS Idea." The Vulgate Latin says "In Principium Verbum Est" meaning "In Principle, The Word IS" and the King James (inspired translation) says "In the Beginning Was the Word" The first is true metaphysics, the second ontology, the third cosmology. All are correct, but none are identical.
believe/recall that PB is primarily using the third version in his writings, because he was/is writing for the generic Christian world, not the scholars & metaphysicians. Anthony went the other way, as we know, with different results.