It’s interesting that people want first of second generation documentation of Jesus “aside from the Bible.” That would be like asking for first of second generation documentation of Roman Emperors “aside from the Roman Senatorial Class.” There is no such documentation for the Emperors of Rome, so why should anyone demand such documentation for a persecuted Jew who commanded no more than a small band of disciples and died on a Roman cross?
Consider the Roman Emperor Nero. For fourteen years (from AD 54 to 68), Nero Caesar was the flippin’ Emperor of the Roman Empire. With a reign spanning fourteen years, his reign was among the longest of the Roman Caesars. He was, without a doubt, the most powerful and influential man in the entire world for fourteen years. He ruled the greatest empire on earth for fourteen years. You have heard of him. All of your friends have heard of him. Everybody with a high-school education has heard of him. Are you following me so far? Good.
Can you cite anybody who actually knew Nero Caesar who wrote about him? What about someone who knew someone who knew Nero Caesar. Can you cite me such a name? What about someone - ANYONE - who even lived during Nero’s lifetime, who ever wrote about him? What about someone - ANYONE - who KNEW anyone who lived during Nero’s lifetime? The man was the EMPEROR of Rome for fourteen years! Surely there is SOMEBODY.
You cannot cite any such source. And, notice that I have not imposed some idea that the sources must NOT be Roman citizens (as some insist on non-Christian historians who wrote about Jesus, because, apparently, Christian historians who write about Jesus are presumed to be unreliable, but Roman historians who write about Nero are presumed to be reliable, even though there WERE no such Roman historians).
The “most contemporary” historian to write about the Emperor of the Roman Empire for fourteen years wrote about 100 years after Nero’s death. The next closest “contemporary” authors (all of - ahem - two of them) wrote fifty years later (about 150 years after Nero’s death). 150 years after the death of the most powerful man in the world, we have all of three historical accounts. All written by Romans. All were of the Senatorial class.
The scant three authors who wrote about Nero between 100-150 years after his death were Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio, who were all members of the Roman Senatorial caste. I have no idea who was the first non-Roman historian to write about Nero, but I think I am safe in assuming that it was a LONG time later.
Jesus is FAR better attested to in the historic record than the Emperor Nero. But nobody questions Nero’s historic authenticity.