If someone thinks the disciples were deliberately deceiving people with their claims, they might hypothesize this: the disciples expected Jesus to liberate Israel from Roman rule and establish the kingdom of God in which the disciples would occupy the most prominent positions. When Jesus was executed, the disciples were thrown into profound shock. Their dreams had been shattered and they went into hiding. Once they had recovered their composure, they sought to attain the power and influence by claiming that they had witnessed the miraculously risen Jesus. They were perpetuating a hoax. With the retelling of this story, other details came to be added over time such that Jesus was a miracle worker, a great ethical teacher and even the Son of God. Eventually, these stories were written down and some were recognized as orthodox by the church and are called the Four Gospels.
One of the ways in which the hoax theory is refuted is the argument from embarrassment. Though the argument from embarrassment is normally used as an argument for the truthfulness of testimonies that contain embarrassing details, it is also an argument for the likelihood of the testifier’s sincerity.