Rules of Historical Reasoning

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Rules of Historical Reasoning

Post by neilgodfrey »

Paul the Uncertain wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:13 pm Neil

I'm still waiting for your definition of historian. In the meantime, if we can agree that the definition I offered,
So like Bernard you, too, cannot name a single professional historian who does not write according to the rules set out by Day.

Yet you claim to know what Day writes is not how history works, and you claim to know how best to change the methods of historians you have never read and know nothing about.

Your only interest in exchanges with me is playing fatuous word and sophistic games.

I suggest you have never even read a work by a professional historian and all your bluster to the contrary will not advance a case to the contrary one whit.
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Paul the Uncertain
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Re: Rules of Historical Reasoning

Post by Paul the Uncertain »

Neil
I suggest you have never even read a work by a professional historian and all your bluster to the contrary will not advance a case to the contrary one whit.
Do you deny that I. Bernard Cohen was a historian, or do you assert that I lied when I said I read his book?
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Rules of Historical Reasoning

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Paul the Uncertain wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:32 pm Neil
I suggest you have never even read a work by a professional historian and all your bluster to the contrary will not advance a case to the contrary one whit.
Do you deny that I. Bernard Cohen was a historian, or do you assert that I lied when I said I read his book?
I have deleted this post because it was 1) offensive, and 2) it was based on wrong information and seriously misrepresented what Paul meant to say.

Paul, I apologize.
Last edited by neilgodfrey on Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bernard Muller
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Re: Rules of Historical Reasoning

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to Neil,
So you have not read any modern professional historians' works that don't write according to the "rules" set out by Day. None. And you have not read even a professional historian's definition of secondary sources in this thread that you present as knowing so much about.
Well, Richard Carrier is a historian, with a doctorate in ancient history from Columbia University.
I think he is very knowledgeable on many aspects of ancient history, but does his book "On the Historicity of Jesus" follow Day's rules? heck no. Do you disagree?

Cordially, Bernard
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Rules of Historical Reasoning

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Bernard Muller wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:38 pm to Neil,
So you have not read any modern professional historians' works that don't write according to the "rules" set out by Day. None. And you have not read even a professional historian's definition of secondary sources in this thread that you present as knowing so much about.
Well, Richard Carrier is a historian, with a doctorate in ancient history from Columbia University.
I think he is very knowledgeable on many aspects of ancient history, but does his book "On the Historicity of Jesus" follow Day's rules? heck no. Do you disagree?

Cordially, Bernard
So you haven't read any professional historian's work apart from one, Carrier.

But did you really read Carrier? Carrier not only deploys Day's "rules" but he goes all the way with Day by explicitly going Bayesian --- all in accord with Mark Day's discussion of the use of Bayes in history in the same book.

Have you really read Carrier's OHJ? Did you read the OP with the five rules? I went through them again and of course Carrier applies them. Which one and where do you see him ignoring any of them?
(1) ..... the historian should prioritize primary sources, though should nonetheless be critical of these sources. Primary sources are those which transport the historian directly back to the past that the documents describe and of which they were a part, permitting the historian knowledge of that past without the accretion of subsequent interpretation and tradition.
Carrier employs a different definition of Day's terms but his argument conforms to Day's rule nonetheless. Have another look at OHJ chapter 7.
(2) Criticism of sources is two-fold; not only with regard to the claims of those sources concerning their intended topic, but with regard to the implicit claims of those sources concerning themselves. The second sort of criticism is the investigation into the document’s authenticity, established by asking whether the author could have written it, whether they could have been where they claimed to be, whether the paper, authorial style and handwriting permit the truth of the self-proclamation of the author. ...
Ditto, chapter 7 for starters again.

(3) Source criticism is extended beyond the establishment of the identity of the author, to so-called ‘internal’ features of the source: the author’s aim, their ideological background and their intended audience. It is assumed that knowledge of these facts will aid the historian’s use of the source. (Exemplification of this point has already been suggested, in the case where the historian would be wise to find out whether the author had reason to lie, and why they might have done so.)
No-one who has read Carrier's OHJ can fault him for ignoring #3.

(4) Source criticism should also trace the path connecting the source with the historian, asking why it has survived and in the form that it has. ...
Again, Carrier addresses this point explicitly. See 7.7
(5) The historian is warned not to depend too much on a single document, but rather to utilize a wide range of evidence. This warning is to some extent implicit in the demand for source criticism, since it is obvious that no serious source criticism can proceed without employing knowledge gained from other sources.
This is the main strength of C's OHJ: he has probably brought together a wider range of sources and evidence than most historians have in their studies of Christian origins. He has not always discussed each piece of evidence in as much detail as some other historians, but his range of evidence is one of the most comprehensive I have read. Did you read past chapter 3 at all?

Or perhaps you can tell us where C "heck no" does not write according to Day's 5 "rules".

I have had my criticisms of Carrier's OHJ but I cannot fault him for supposedly not writing according to the basic methods taken as standard for historians.
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Re: Rules of Historical Reasoning

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to Neil,
Or perhaps you can tell us where C "heck no" does not write according to Day's 5 "rules".
See http://historical-jesus.info/70.html. I also think here he broke other rules also, big time.

I have a lot more: to be provided on demand.

And about providing names of "historians" not following the 5 rules, I answered about "repackager" kind of historians. But after that, you moved the goal posts and changed "historians" to "professional historians".

Cordially, Bernard
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Rules of Historical Reasoning

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Bernard Muller wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:26 pm to Neil,
Or perhaps you can tell us where C "heck no" does not write according to Day's 5 "rules".
See http://historical-jesus.info/70.html. I also think here he broke other rules also, big time.

I have a lot more: to be provided on demand.

And about providing names of "historians" not following the 5 rules, I answered about "repackager" kind of historians. But after that, you moved the goal posts and changed "historians" to "professional historians".

Cordially, Bernard
You clearly are not prepared to name any historians apart from Carrier that you supposedly have read. You are just blabbing hot air when you fatuously declare that historians do not apply Mark Day's rules or that they are too idealistic to be of any practical guidance.

I have no intention of chasing after your web pages. You obviously cannot support your claim here that Carrier does not adhere to the basic principles of historiographical methods and you obviously have not read any works by historians that you are prepared to tell us about, period.

You are a time waster, interested only in yapping at my heels and attacking Carrier for good measure, pretending to know what historians do and don't do though you haven't even read any of them and can't even recognize what the only one you have read actually does do.
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Re: Rules of Historical Reasoning

Post by Bernard Muller »

to Neil,
First, I read the whole book of Carrier (OHJ).
Second, your ideas about plan A and your view on Carrier's work are proof of what your leaning and biases are. Carrier following the 5 points all along his book? It's a joke. No wonder you do not want to see my arguments against that. And for your plan A, I already expressed what I think.
BTW, I do not think Carrier got any accolades from professional historians, not even prominent mythicists. Correct me if I am wrong.

Cordially, Bernard
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yalla
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Re: Rules of Historical Reasoning

Post by yalla »

Review by Rafael Lataster on Carrier's OHJ .."To be published in the Journal of Religious History, around December 2014."
http://www.raphaellataster.com/articles ... r2014.html
An extract
"As a result, this work far outdoes anything the typically-amateurish mythicists have produced to date but is also methodologically superior to the work of more respected and mainstream historicist scholars."
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MrMacSon
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Re: A plan, or Plan A . . .

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neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:30 am A plan, or Plan A. . . as a suggestion for one approach to start an inquiry into the origins of the earliest Christian sources.

Among the earliest 'sources' are the canonical gospels. Let's take the Gospel of Mark as the earliest of these.

... concur with those who make 70 CE its earliest likely date.

I take Irenaeus's reference to the 4 canonical gospels as an indicator that the Gospel of Mark was known to him -- ca 170 CE as the latest possible date for its composition.
I have some problems with
  • calling the canonical gospels 'sources' - they're really just narratives, or texts / literary texts (at this stage of investigation),
  • taking Mark as the earliest gospel, and
  • taking Irenaeus's reference to the 4 canonical gospels as an indicator that the Gospel of Mark was known to him

but I think the datings - the earliest, the terminus a quo, and the latest, the terminus ad quem - are likely
  • though it is possible the terminus ad quem is later than 170 ad.


I think this is really good -
neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:30 am
A question that might be worthwhile: what conditions or situations were prevalent throughout or at various moments through the period 70 to 170 CE that match the theme and interests expressed in [the Gospels] of Mark?

I think this is really interesting -
neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:30 am
My "plan A" of attack is based on the model used by a number of "Copenhagen School" names who posit that much of the Pentateuch narrative was inspired by (created to meet a need for) new settlers in the land of Canaan at the time of the Persian conquest. The new inhabitants were brought by Persians to Canaan from Mesopotamia, and others came up from Egypt, to form the colony of Jehud. As was done elsewhere with mass migrations (forced) new ideologies and/or gods were created to justify the move and give the new inhabitants a new identity in their new land and (often) among native inhabitants with different language and customs.

I sometimes have wondered what would happen if we apply a similar type of model to the gospels. Would it work? Of course the above model is a thesis that derives from applying the standard techniques of historical inquiry I have set out at the beginning, at the OP here. So my interest is to work within those "rules" for the gospels, too.
I think it's likely the Christian texts arose among "new inhabitants a new identity in their new land and [in conjunction with] native inhabitants with different language and customs."


neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:30 am
Then we come to the Bar Kochba rebellion. How reliable are the accounts of persecutions of Christians under Bar Kochba?
I think a question that ought to precede that one^ is: were there Christians in the time of Bar Kochba?

Bar Kochba's episode can probably be associated with crucifixions galore, though.
Yep, probably.

[*]Justin, around 150, knows of persecutions of Christians.
I'd say: the texts attributed to Justin [Martyr] contain references to [or narratives of] persecutions

.
Last edited by MrMacSon on Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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