When reading historical accounts of famous and influential people (such as Roman Emperors, but NOT a ragtag preacher like Jesus) in approximately Jesus’ time, we have found evidence of political bias, where the authors deliberately invented stuff to lionize or vilify their subject. An example is of Nero indifferently playing his violin as the city of Rome burned. There’s no doubt that Rome had a major fire during his reign, but the account of the fiddle playing (it would have actually been a lyre) is surely fiction.
Yet, most people don’t automatically view Roman historians who write about Roman emperors as unreliable. Even though we have evidence that a lot of them were.
However, when people ask for historical sources about Jesus, they typically dismiss Christian historians as unreliable (there were 65 Christian historians who wrote about Jesus up to 150 years after his death, compared to just three for the Emperor Nero).
We are quite sure that Roman historians who wrote about Roman emperors simply made stuff up. Yet, they are regarded as reliable until demonstrated otherwise.
Is there any evidence that ANY of the 65 early Christian historians who wrote about Jesus (or Christian topics) simply made stuff up? I’ve been studying the Early Fathers for my entire adult life, and I have never heard such a claim or encountered any obvious fiction in their writing. I’m not talking about doctrinal accuracy - I’m talking about records of historic events (the martyrdom of Polycarp, for example).
This question would obviously not include “forged” documents of a later writing which were made to appear more ancient (and were long believed to be so).
We’ve caught Roman historians in lies about Roman Emperors. Has anyone caught any Christian historians in lies about Jesus or early Christian events?
If not, why do Roman historians tend to get a “pass” while Christian historians are automatically considered unreliable?