posted on Feb, 28 2015 @ 11:28 AM
a reply to: 5StarOracle
can you tell me what historians do please?
Historians are people who try their best to find out the truth about things that happened and what people did a long time ago. The word 'historia'
is Ancient Greek and means 'research'. So what historians do is research.
The things we research are old writings and the remains of vanished communities. Research into vanished communities is a special field, called
archaeology, but the results from archaeology feed into history. But most historians concentrate on writings.
When an historian finds something written in an old book, she doesn't automatically accept it as true. She'll look for other writings that
corroborate the story or disagree with it; she'll investigate whether the writer of the old book based his account on writings by other authors, and
then she'll research who they
got their information from, and so on. Down deeper and deeper into the rabbit-hole of evidence, till (if she's
lucky) she'll find a reliable eyewitness account, or a sworm courtroom testimony, or an ancient land-deed inscribed on a stone, or some other writing
or object that will prove once and for all what really did or did not happen.
Much of the time, we don't get so far down that rabbit-hole. Most of the time the trail of evidence peters out long before you get to the actual
event or person you're researching. That's the trouble with those sources you quoted, all of them; they were all writing long after the event, and
we don't know where they got their information from.
When the trail goes cold, the historian's job is to analyse whatever evidence is available and give an informed opinion on what might have happened,
and how. Since historians are people and people are all different, their opinions are often different also. Thus historical controversies are born.
The existence of Jesus is one of those controversies. It is not a matter for believers; it's a matter for historians to argue over. Why should it
matter to a believing Christian whether or not there is any evidence for the existence of Jesus? If you believe in him, you believe he existed and
that's that, fini
Anyway, that's not a topic I'm interested in discussing; I just wanted to explain what historians do.