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History

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The term history comes from the Greek word ιστορία, historia, which means "an account of one's inquiries," and is also the source for the English word story.[1] History is a discipline that Christians and creationists view with realism (See: critical realism) as opposed to a postmodernism type of philosophy.

History follows today from its Greek roots as an important field of study involved with recording, researching, and interpreting past events. Essentially the historian has five types of evidences from which a coherent hypothesis about and event can emerge. The evidences are then integral to the application of the historical method, and they are; (1) testimony (2) artifacts (3) contextual considerations (4) probability and (5) weighing of evidence.[2] Understanding the past provides insights into the present, which in turn helps us make wise decisions about the future. Historical sciences are descriptive in nature, governed by probability and plausibility offering some form of exact description, namely the condition and location of ancient artifacts left in the past but found in the present. Archaeologists are field researchers involved with finding and unearthing these remains, recording the context in which they are found, and making judgments about their purpose and meaning. The types of artifacts studied by historians include ancient writings, pictures, statues, buildings, vessels, and numerous other objects. The study of such artifacts can help reconstruct the lives and events of former cultures or individuals. However archaeology is only one side of the coin when undertaking historical study of the past. To reconstruct the other side of the coin, a lot of gaps have to be filled, introducing a measure of tentativeness to the whole academic discipline of history.

The word history within the modern academic setting has settled on essentially three definitions which are;

  1. What happened in the past.
  2. The study of what happened in the past.
  3. The literature about what happened in the past.[3]

Historical method

Main Article: Historical method

Within modern historical studies the historical method (historical-critical method) forms coherent hypotheses of past events by showing clarity of the cause and effect chain. This is of utmost importance for writing history (See: Historiography) because historical methods construct genealogies of events that make up the life of a particular historical character.[4] The methodology can lend the exegete or student of Scripture highly contextualized readings of ancient religious texts.

The Bible and History

Caves at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden.
Main Article: Bible

The Bible is a collection of short books recording the history of the world, the Jewish people, the life of Jesus, and the early Christian Church. All creationists agree that the Bible be interpreted as history, not metaphor or allegory unless context dictates otherwise. Due to its being prized as the coveted word of God, the Bible has been better preserved, and translated into more languages than any other book in history. Original manuscripts can be found in the oldest written languages on Earth, and it also contains the longest running genealogical sequence known to exist, spanning approximately 4000 years. There is simply no other book in existence that offers a better chronological record of the early history of the Earth.

Ecclesiology

Main Article: History of Christianity

A ecclesiastical historian specifically studies the history of Christianity, also known as ecclesiastical history. Church history studies the remarkable history of the growth of Christianity as a movement, in numbers and influence. Today the institution founded by Jesus Christ is the largest and most influential religion in the world, despite multiple efforts to stop its spread.

A methodical, scientific study of the growth and development of this movement must examine the claims that its Founder made and the evidence that bears out those claims. They include a declaration that the church would never die and that the Holy Spirit would continue to guide its growth and development in order to save mankind from its sin.

Within the historical method an ecclesiastical historian must study the tension between the free will of man and the possibility of supernatural intervention in any event. That God is an external causal agent acting in nature producing miracles cannot be analyzed by the scientific method. But when examination of historicity takes place through the historical method recognition of supernatural intervention is common for the ecclesiastical historian and should be seen as what sustained the church on the path that it has followed. [5][6]

Historical Jesus studies

Main Article: Historical Jesus

The term historical Jesus refers to the scholarly reconstruction of the first century figure Jesus Christ most notably written about in the first century text of the New Testament. Characterized since around the 18th century, the quest for the historical Jesus in biblical scholarship consists of rigorous historical methods and European Enlightenment ideals like logic and reason as opposed to faith.[7] Historical Jesus research is an in-depth process that culls together in a critical manner many diverse sources in search of evidence for a historical portrait of the person Jesus Christ. During the process employing a broad spectrum of interrelated fields within modern academia such as; psychology, theology, anthropology, history and science.

History and Science

Main Article: History of Science

In the past two centuries, attacks against the Christian faith have grown at an alarming rate. Critics have tried to use all possible fields of study and investigation to assault the Bible. In the minds of some, "science" has turned out to be their best weapon. This is all the more surprising when we consider the history of science. Prior to the 1800s, most practicing scientists were theists, today they are mostly are atheists. In fact, the majority of the founding fathers of the various science disciplines believed in God, and felt as though their investigations were aimed at understanding His handiwork. Among these historical creation scientists are Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo Galilei.

History of creationism

Main Article: History of Creationism

The history of creationism encompasses several thousand years of thought regarding the origin of the universe, earth, and life with reference to one or more creative agents. In varying forms, it is the dominant view of Orthodox Christianity, Islam, and Judaism,[8] as well as Chinese Taoism, Greek Stoicism, and many animistic belief systems. It was the dominant viewpoint among European scientists until the mid 19th century (see historical creation scientists and the list of present-day creation scientists), but was not subject to a rigorous research program, because the historicity of Genesis was largely taken for granted.

History of evolutionism

Main Article: History of Evolutionism

The history of evolutionism is indeed a long history but one that starts with not only the official theory itself, but rather naturalism and the philosophical thinking that even pre-dates that. It can be traced to the abandonment of the consideration of God or some other supernatural force as the sole cause of the creation of the universe.

Paleontology

Main Article: Paleontology

Paleontology is the study of the forms of life existing in prehistoric times, chiefly by studying the fossils of plants, animals, and other organisms. A paleontologist is a scientist who studies aspects such as morphology, behavior, and how ancient life interacted with their environment. Within paleontology, there are branches or areas of specializations based on the particular type of organism. The study of prehistoric humans is known as Paleoanthropology, animal paleontology is Paleozoology, and the branch which studies ancient plants is called Paleobotany.

Notable Historians

See Also

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References

  1. History By Wikipedia
  2. Craig S. Keener, Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts (Baker Academic 2011), pg. 21
  3. The Gospels as Historical Biography By Dr. Richard Bauckham. February 15, 2011.
  4. A Sense of History: Some Components, Number 11. Nothing is more important for historians than to chart cause and effect -- even though nothing is harder to prove by Gerald W. Schlabach.
  5. Kirsch, Johann Peter. "Ecclesiastical History." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. Accessed September 16, 2008.
  6. History of Christianity by Wikipedia
  7. A Review of; The Historical Jesus: Five Views by Beilby, James K., and Paul Rhodes Eddy, eds. Review written by Pieter F. Craffert for the Review of Biblical Literature. 2011[1]
  8. Morris, Henry M (1984). History of Modern Creationism. San Diego, California: Master Books Publishers. p. 17. ISBN 0-89051-102-0. 

Books

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