Historians’ Fallacies

My recent columns have concerned methods of academic debate, and the gulf that separates true scholarship from pseudo-scholarship. It’s only fitting here that I should refer to the gold-standard for discussing such issues, namely David Hackett Fischer, Historians’ Fallacies: Toward A Logic Of Historical Thought (originally published by Harper, 1970). Fischer describes good historical methodology [Read More…]

The Curse of Memory

The recent furor over shootings of civilians by police has inspired a lot of discussion about eyewitness testimony and the nature of memory, and the question of just how reliable memory can be. If you read the grand jury testimony in the Ferguson, Missouri, case, a number of witnesses reported things that simply did not [Read More…]


Whenever I teach Christian history, I feel a strong obligation to discuss the methodology of approaching early texts, to understand how they are put together. The best single resource I have ever found for this purpose is Bishop Stephen Neill’s Interpretation of the New Testament 1861-1961, which was subsequently revised and expanded by N. T. [Read More…]