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As a community wiki answer: Authorial ignorance. It doesn't test the scope of knowledge of the author Authorial context. Similar texts produced in the similar time. General source context. Survival rate. Did only controversial idiocy survive in the libraries. Did this survive monastery burning because it was being used to insulate a bamboo wall? ...


Historians and the general public choose it. The term for these names are epithets. Specifically, the ones you mentioned are cognomens, since they go behind (or before) the given name. In contrast, a sobriquet replaces the proper name altoghther. Like us normal people, important figures do not generally get to choose their own nicknames. Instead, it is ...


I think we must see what the people from that country felt about the leader or person. For example, we see Hitler as a negative character and Churchill as a positive one. But the reality is that Hitler was much more liked by Germans than what we can imagine. So this might be one way to analyze. Otherwise, history is written by the victor.


Thomas Pornin's answer is very good answer to the question of "Can we know anything about Jesus?" But since your question was technically "What do we know about Jesus?", I thought I'd add a few facts about Jesus that the majority of secular and religious historians alike agree upon. Jesus existed Virtually no serious historian believes that Jesus never ...


Gospels are a source, like any other. If we were to exclude sources simply because they were written down four decades after the facts, then most of History would disappear. For instance, most of what we know on Genghis Kahn is from The Secret History of the Mongols, a document which was written several decades after his death. Fact is that known sources on ...


Books on the history of Christianity are inevitably influenced by the author’s own religious prejudices. In my opinion the most objective books are those from the end of the 19th century by writers like Wellhausen (Old Testament) and Harnack (early Christianity). At least they treated the subject as a serious historical discipline.


If you are serious about learning the history of Christianity, you should be motivated to find more books period. A single book, especially one attempting to cover a massive subject like Christianity, cannot possibly suffice for anything beyond a cursory read. It will be "incomplete" regardless of how old or new it is, if only because you're fitting ...

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