You were clearly saying, and the examples you gave supported your claim, that the criterion of embarrassment (alone) was sufficient grounds for asserting certain details are actually historical.
Yes, but you need plausibility also, and these details (or important items) fits well in a reconstruction which is coherent & comprehensible. In the case of Peter not saying Jesus was Christ because of the alleged gag order, there are corroborations in Paul's epistles and other writings.
Before we can do any reconstruction we first need to establish what are clear and unambiguous facts. Without those we cannot begin to think of any reconstruction. That always means we need independent corroboration of some kind. Biblical studies is the only exception that I know of.
But this is what I did. I did not do my reconstruction first and then look for clear and unambiguous facts. For corroboration of Jesus' existence as a human as in gMark, there are corroborations in the Pauline epistles (written around 55), Josephus' Antiquities book 20 & Tacitus Annals. Also in 'Hebrews' which, according to my study, was also early (54) we have more corroborations. And there are no clear and unambiguous facts showing Jesus was believed, in antiquity, never to have existed as a human.
I don't think you recognize your Freudian slip by dropping this line in there, Bernard. Anyone would suspect that you have made up your mind before the research begins that you must have a central role for the historical Jesus in any reconstruction. That's not kosher. That's not how historical inquiry that is genuinely scholarly is supposed to work.
Yes, I already told you there are enough evidence showing Jesus existed on earth. What are you implying? a giant conspiracy in order to retrofit a historical Jesus into a religion which started with only a mythical Jesus? If you have a different theory for this alleged retrofitting, please let me know.
Forget your historical and mythical Jesuses. I am not the least interested in challenging or debunking anyone's religious beliefs or trying to tear down historical Jesus icons. I am quite happy for anyone to assume there is a little historical Jesus at the start of Christianity. All I am interested in is what the data itself allows us to say about the emergence of Christianity. Hell, most scholarly studies of the gospels I know of (at least the ones not clouded by apologetics) acknowledge the Jesus of the Gospels is a mythical reconstruction. That doesn't mean there was no historical Jesus, too. Why are you so jumpy about anyone doing research on emergence of Christianity unless they make their first chapters all about what the historical Jesus said and did?
If Paul said there is a Christ crucified at the center of Christian belief, I think it is legitimate to research how that Christ crucified came to be considered as such. If that cannot be done, then look for different scenarios. But that can be achieved by looking at the available data available. And if without supernatural, with a minimal human Jesus as described in Paul's epistles, a coherent & plausible reconstruction can be made, through critical (including literary) analysis of ancient documents, that's worth taking in consideration.
Maybe you should pay more attention to that approach, rather to constantly throw doubts at any historicity, including the one of John the Baptist.
If the suspects of a crime tell their story (which obviously would exonerate them, one by one!), the first thing that investigators do is to check the stories according to the evidence they collected. That's about what I did.
Then you reject the fundamental methods of historians in other fields and stick with the idiosyncratic and tendentious methods of biblical studies historians (most of them).
If I had tons of data, including local chronicles of the time, letters of witnesses about rather strange events happening during a certain Passover in Jerusalem, of course I would follow the fundamental methods of these historians you have in mind.
Also, I do not follow the methods of biblical studies historians. My methods are more the one of a detective working on a case (more so cold case) with little evidence and dubious or reluctant witnesses.
When I worked in engineering, I was called upon a few times in order to explain from what a rather strange (but expensive) component of a project started from. Or why it would be so important to have a particular feature which does not make much sense?
In the chaotic process of engineering project, these can happen.
Most of the time, I found by going progressively to the source, the initial cause was a misunderstanding, something said but never approved but along the weeks got worked upon.
If you follow that very strict fundamental methods of historians, obviously you'll reach a dead end very quickly, because you never will have all the clear-cut evidence you desire. Not even a need to start, that would be a waste of time. But also, as you said, that would not mean a historical Jesus did not exist. But that would not mean either any mythicist theory (with a lot less pertinent evidence!) could be valid. Your only choice is to stay on the fence because you are ultra skeptical and think a historical Jesus existence cannot be 100% certain, according to the evidence.