What is Historicity?

What is Historicity? February 18, 2015

In his blogs of the past few David Bokovoy has been using the term “historicity” in a rather idiosyncratic way, leading to a great deal of confusion.  Here is his definition.

“Historicity” means the act of producing a work that attempts to depict an accurate representation of the real past. 

Personally I’ve never seen the term used in this manner.

According to the readily available Wikipedia:

Historicity is the historical actuality of persons and events, meaning the quality of being part of history as opposed to being a historical mythlegend, or fiction. Historicity focuses on the truth value of knowledge claims about the past (denoting historical actuality, authenticity, and factuality.) The historicity of a claim about the past is its factual status.

I have consistently used the term in my discussions with this standard meaning.  Readers of our blogs need to understand the term is being used in two different ways.

But even if one were to accept Bokovoy’s unusual definition, I reject his claim that the biblical authors intentionally attempted to NOT “produc[e] a work that attempts to depict an accurate representation of the real past.”  Quite the contrary, whether they were correct in their beliefs and understanding or not, biblical authors who wrote historical-style books (e.g. not Proverbs) clearly believed they were accurately describing the real past. 

PS It is also unfortunately that David refuses to engage me in a direct discussion on these matters, answer my questions, or even provide links to my comments.  I’d be happy to answer any questions from him, or to allow him to post response on my blog.


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