B How were they transmitted? 1) somewhere else : Laci Green likes strawmen?, 2) Variation on the Scriptoria Game,
"I'd be a lot happier, though probably not sold, with strong circumstantial evidence such as documentation of Jesus, the apostles etc. by any of the known secular historians of the era."
OK, Mr B.
Prove from CONTEMPORARY Roman Authors there was an Emperor Tiberius, while you are at it.
As a little light ahead, as a previous exercise, tell us what German authors (German, not Austrian) you read for the period 1933 - 1945 in Germany, and what Russian authors (not exiled) you read for the periods of Russian Revolution up to WW-II about Russia.
As a further little light ahead, I may mention that last generation before Caesar Augustus was the Golden Age of Latin Prose - Cicero, Caesar, Sallustius. They spoke very unabashedly about very recent events. The reign of Caesar Augustus however was the Golden Age of Latin Poetry. You have of course the Res Actae which he wrote himself. You have allusions in Horace celebrating how he beat Cleopatra or in Virgil writing poems in which he is/"was" prophecied. Then go to Tiberius. How many historians in either Latin or Greek are there under his reign?
Here is what I find on wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiberius#Publius_Cornelius_Tacitus - a little lower you have:
One of the few surviving sources contemporary with the rule of Tiberius comes from Velleius Paterculus, who served under Tiberius for eight years (from AD 4) in Germany and Pannonia as praefect of cavalry and legatus. Paterculus' Compendium of Roman History spans a period from the fall of Troy to the death of Livia in AD 29. His text on Tiberius lavishes praise on both the emperor and Sejanus. How much of this is due to genuine admiration or prudence remains an open question, but it has been conjectured that he was put to death in AD 31 as a friend of Sejanus.
The tribute penny mentioned in the Bible is commonly believed to be a Roman denarius depicting Tiberius.The Gospels record that during Tiberius' reign, Jesus of Nazareth preached and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. In the Bible, Tiberius is mentioned by name only once, in Luke, stating that John the Baptist entered on his public ministry in the fifteenth year of his reign. Many references to Caesar (or the emperor in some other translations), without further specification, would seem to refer to Tiberius. Similarly, the "Tribute Penny" referred to in Matthew and Mark is popularly thought to be a silver denarius coin of Tiberius.
The two MAIN non-Christian Historians about Tiberius are Tacitus who was not even born when Tiberius died and Suetonius. Get the picture?
Suetonius is by people like Mr Bradley (up to now) counted as TOO LATE to count as contemporary evidence.
see also list of authors here:
After that, Mr. Bradley, tell us which one of them would have mentioned Christ "if he had existed" as you say. Note that our "serious scholarship" does not count Acts of Pilate as genuine, but that writing DOES very clearly mention our Lord.
"Hans, you just never quit, do you? LOL By the way, it's just M., I don't require all that formality."
Ah, Mr. B., you do not answer my points, did you?