Beth Sheppard: The Historian’s Task

Beth M. Sheppard, The Craft of History and the Study of the New Testament (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012), 15-16:

The historian’s primary task may be boiled down to one word: “interpretation.” A historian’s job is to look at the records and material remains relating to a person, event, or phenomenon and describe what happened by creating from the available information a plausible narrative synthesis that includes an explanation and analysis of the subject being studied. Bare facts, lists, or raw data that do not include interpretation are not in themselves histories but may form the artifacts upon which histories may be written.

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