mlinssen wrote: ↑Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:10 pm
I just can't help of thinking that "biblical historians" never even started any study in History, let alone that they got a degree in it, whereas "proper historians" all did.
The pinnacle of the church sponsored education system until recent centuries was the Doctor of Theology which opened all sorts of important doors within the church industry (and still does).
"If I had to produce my own candidate, I would go back to the first half of the
eighteenth century and name Pietro Giannone, who meditated deeply on the relation
between ecclesiastical and political history and about 1742 wrote in prison
a sketch of the history of ecclesiastical history which would be published only
in 1859 (Istoria del Pontificato di Gregorio Magno in Opere di Pietro
Giannone, ed. Bertelli-Ricuperati, Naples, 1971).
The truth is of course that historians of the church are still divided on the
fundamental issue of the divine origin of the church. The number of professional
historians who take the Church as a divine intitution -- and can therefore be
considered to be the followers of Eusebius -- increased rather than decreased
in the years after the FIrst World War. On the other hand the historians who
study the history of the Church as that of a human institution have consolidated
their methods. They have been helped by the general adoption in historiography
of those standards of erudite research which at seems at one time to have been
confined to ecclesiastical historians and controversialists. We sometimes forget
that Eduard Meyer was, at least in Germany, the first non-theologian to write a
scholarly history of the origins of Christianity, and this happened only in 1921.
-- p.151, The Classical Foundations of Modern Historiography, Arnaldo Momigliano
Needless to say, just like referring to biblical texts as "historical records", thereby suggesting that they contain historical events, religiots abuse the term "historian" in order to suggest that whatever they say is firmly based in the study of History and thus has (fairly undisputable) historic value
Not just the biblical texts classed as NT canonical (highly valued holy writ) and NT apocryphal (poor cousins). The industry relies upon the "Ecclesiastical History" of Eusebius which they suggest contain historical events concerning the transmission of these two classes of NT texts to the 4th century and the waiting arms of Constantine
"Those who accept the notion of the Church as a divine institution
which is different from the other institutions
have to face the difficulty that the Church history reveals only too obviously
a continuous mixture of political and religious aspects:
hence the distinction frequently made by Church historians of the last two centuries
between internal and external history of the Church,
where internal means (more or less) religious
and external means (more or less) political.
"At the beginning of this imposing movement of research and controversy
there remains Eusebius of Caesarea. In 1834 Ferdinand Christian Baur
wrote in "Tubingen" a comparison between Eusebius and Herodotus:
Comparatur Eusebius Caesarensis historiae ecclesiasticae parens cum
parente historiarum Herodoto Halicarnassensi.
We can accept this comparison and meditate on his remark
that both Herodotus and Eusebius wrote under the inspiration
of a newly established freedom.
"The separation of religion and politics
is at the root of modern historiography.
Paradoxically, Christian ideas penetrated into modern historical books
only in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,
when faith in Christianity was at its lowest.
This was due to the attempt at giving one meaning to the historical process
as a whole --- from the origins of the world to the triumph of reason or to
the advent of the classless society.
When that happened, modern historical methods
had already been shaped upon their ancient models.
Modern philosophy of history - on a Christian basis -
and modern historical methods - on a classical basis -
have never quite agreed with each other.
It would take another book - one which I should probably
not be able to write - to disentangle the implications
of this elementary fact.