A genuine enquirer should always prefer the ‘source’ rather than opinion or assessments of other enquirers!
By that I mean, I read Augustine about the matters he writes about of his time. Examination of his ‘environment’ and laterally in any direction to include church material and secular history to verify or corroborate what he asserts or concludes. Where he appeals or cites someone from previous to his time, he would be ‘closer’ to that ‘witness’ than more centuries later.
Then you shift your examination ‘back’ to the previous witness or witnesses and repeat the process…until you ‘touch’ The Apostles…to Peter…to Christ.
That is how an enquirer satisfies reliability and credibility. Moreover, all assertions for and against thereafter from all quarters can be addressed or ‘examined’ against such a balanced and comprehensive body of intell and knowledge.
But perhaps, I did misunderstand your question.
In the spirit of inquiry though, WELCOME to the Forum