JC do you have ANY idea what the elements of this historical method even is? Fact is that your dimissal of people's lifelong work without knowing anything about it or them is your bias. Kwinters
I dismiss nothing. Everything is in the pot. Even the canonical garbage.
In Bayesian analysis each bit of data is assigned a likelihood of being relevant and correct. Biases of the contributor are part of the equation. Also it is important to know what you are trying to study.
In re. a Galilean Jewish preacher probably named Jesus or one of the common cognates, who was strongly influenced by Hillel the Elder and the Mithra myths and by his wife (who was never allowed to speak at his gatherings according to Jewish religious traditions) I find his existence to be nearly certain. One critical piece of authenticating data is Paul's need for a popular, charismatic, contemporary preacher to become his Christ.
In re. the words put in his mouth by oral history of contemporaries including his wife who I find quite likely to be the Q source and nearly as likely to be Mary Magdalene, I assign a high probability of authenticity to all. Even in English translations.
In re. the disruptions at the Temple in Jerusalem I find them to be likely in essence and consistent with his preaching in the sticks. That he pissed off the Jewish authorities in some way to cause them to take action against him is even more likely. Whether the Romans even cared is insignificant, but the Jewish authorities probably did try to kill him. Such an important challenge to their authority could not be ignored.
I assign a low likelihood to actual death, but a reasonable probability to his appearance to followers after his punishment by the authorities as a spectacular blow off to his ministry and his resumption of a normal life with family after the show. I find it unlikely that he was a leader of any of the Jesus cults, his part of the show was over.
In re. anything related to God and Christ, there is a high probability of everything being fabulous stories made up by followers and the usurper Paul. Truth value negligible, influence value high.