Glad we came to an understanding regarding your question.
(Of course all this ignores the vast gap between, say, the Sinai theophany, and the first written evidence for that theophany. Indeed it is quite obvious that everything about JS is much better documented than anything about the Old Testament.).... As I already said, I agree with you that the resurrection is better documented than the first vision. That's not my point.
One of the factors that I think needs to be introduced into this whole discussion is the greater degree of documentation we will have in general, naturally, for events closer to our own time. This is only partially the result of the fact that those events are more recent. In addition, literacy is far greater for modern times, especially in the West, than for medieval times, and greater for medieval times than for ancient times. On top of that, technological developments made the production of texts increasingly more prolific in modern times. This means that, "all other things being equal" (as you had put it in another post), we would normally expect far more documentation for modern events than for ancient ones. Thus, a priori, we would expect documentation for the Resurrection to be superior to that for the Exodus and documentation for the First Vision to be superior to that for the Resurrection...all other things being equal.
Let's take an alternative example: Paul's vision on the road to Damascus. We have no first-hand account in any of Paul's writings, despite the fact that we have more primary sources from Paul than any other NT writer. The account of Paul's vision comes from Luke in Acts. And the two accounts differ in some significant ways. So, with the JS first vision we have:
1- Less of a time gap between the event (1820) and its first narration (1832) than with Paul
2- We have first hand account by JS, and a second-hand account by Luke for Paul
3- We have contradictions in Luke's account of Paul's vision
4- We have no mention of the vision in Paul, despite having more first-hand documents from Paul than any other contemporary NT figure.
So, if the problems with the JS first vision narratives are sufficient to dismiss their authenticity, then why are the problems with Paul's road to Damascus vision insufficient to dismiss it's authenticity?
The comparison is apples to oranges, for reasons I've already explained (in a different thread, I think).
* Paul's vision is just one of the encounters that many human beings had with the risen Jesus following his death and burial. Paul's vision is significant inasmuch as it adds yet another witness to the long list of witnesses who reported seeing the risen Christ. Each of these witnesses' experience was, in a sense, a private experience. In some cases that was physically and literally the case: Mary Magdalene, Peter, and James all had experiences in which they were alone when they saw the risen Jesus. Oddly, though, everyone keeps bringing up Paul, as though this is a more significant example than Mary or Peter or James. I don't see how.
* The significance of Paul's encounter with the risen Christ was simply that it confirmed the truth already attested by many individuals, namely, that Jesus had risen from the dead, that he was thereby vindicated as the Messiah and Son of God, that his resurrection revealed that his death had been a sacrificial death for our sins and not punishment for any sins of his own, and that in Jesus God had initiated the promised new covenant. We can get all of this without Paul, although Paul provides the most detailed theological resources in the NT for understanding these things. By contrast, the First Vision, if it happened, was an experience unparalleled not only in Joseph Smith's day but in all history (as several LDS presidents and other apostles have rightly asserted) and inaugurated a new dispensation, the Restoration.
* In the first-century culture of Paul, writing played a far lesser role than it did in the nineteenth-century culture of Smith (see above comments on this issue). Thus, we would generally speaking expect a greater gap between event and first written report for any significant first-century event than we would for any significant nineteenth-century event.
The above observations show that even it were true that the First Vision was better attested than Paul's Damascus road experience, we would still have good reasons to reject what the First Vision purportedly means (Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration) even while accepting what Paul's experience purportedly means (Jesus has risen from the dead, is the Messiah and Son of God and mediator of the new covenant). But I also disagree with your arguments for viewing the First Vision as better attested.
* It is not true that "we have no mention of the vision in Paul." Although Paul does not narrate his experience of seeing Jesus on the road to Damascus, he does provide us with the basic facts concerning this event. From Galatians 1-2 and 1 Corinthians 15, written between 49 and 56, we learn that Paul was a zealous Pharisee and persecutor of the Christian church, that he saw the Lord, that what he saw convinced him that Jesus had risen from the dead, that his encounter with the risen Christ took place sometime after all of the other resurrection appearances, that it took place about three years before he met any of the apostles, and that he was in or near Damascus when he saw the Lord. Paul's earliest epistles, written around 49-51, affirm that Jesus had risen from the dead (1 Thess., Gal.). From these two Pauline epistles, then, we can establish the general location, the approximate date, and the essential nature of the experience, as well as how it fit into the stream of Paul's life.
* The Lukan account in Acts 9 and the accounts in Paul's speeches in Acts 22 and 26 agree on all of the essential elements of the story. The only apparent discrepancy is an extremely picayune issue, namely, what Paul's traveling companions did or did not see and hear. Since this apparent discrepancy is part of the same, single text (i.e., Acts), evidently Luke did not see it as a discrepancy. The three tellings of Paul's conversion give no indication or suggestion of any theological development, or of a story that grew with the telling, or anything else of the sort. On the other hand, the differing accounts of the First Vision appear in separate texts produced at different times, appear to have discrepancies of some significance (e.g., whether Smith had already come to believe that all the churches were wrong before he prayed), chronologically fit into a pattern of Smith's theological development, and represent a story that grew bigger with the telling (the Lord in the 1832 account; the Father and the Son in the 1838/1839 account).
I think the above observations negate your reasons for concluding that the First Vision is better attested than Paul's conversion encounter with Christ.
The question I'm asking is not about the veracity of the events. I accept the authenticity of Paul's vision. The question I'm asking is about consistant application of historical methodology. Anti-Mormons consistently apply a hyper-credulous standard when evaluating biblical texts, but a hyper-critical standard when evaluating LDS claims. All I'm asking is that you apply the same standard to both sets of issues.
I hope what I have written here helps you to understand why I do not think I am guilty of the inconsistent methodology you allege.