That's what some people say; that Jesus’ followers made up stories about Him. Some even go so far as to say that the very existence of Jesus is a total fiction. My question then is, why this Jesus? If they were going to write a fiction, why would they write a fiction that made themselves look stupid? If you're going to invent a story, why not make your hero look good? Here's what I mean.
If Jesus was a real person but wasn't who He said He was, then He really was a nut case. After all, if you know anyone who thinks s/he's God, it's because you either met that person on the psych ward or you know very well that the person needs to be admitted to the psych ward.
If Jesus is a fictional character that you want to make people think is Great:
. Why invent a crazy "hero."
. Why have Jesus submit to John's baptism?
. Why mention that Jesus' family thought He was nuts
. Why invent a Messiah that doesn't meet the expectations of the religious authorities?
. Why write about ministry failures on the part of Jesus followers?
. Why show Jesus freaking out over a fig tree that shouldn't have had figs anyway?
. Why call Jesus, The King of the Jews when He didn't rule over Israel?
. Why invent a ridiculous story about a virgin birth? An illegitimate hero? C'mon.
. Why would the authors talk about themselves in such a way that makes them seem incompetent, foolish, selfish and dull of mind?
Why document these things if they aren't true? When historical scholars find these kinds of stories, when stories fit the "criteria of embarrassment" scholars hear authenticity. They hear truth. Why can’t atheists overcome their bias and allow for personal honesty when judging the authenticity of the New Testament documents?