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Apparently there was a fight in the high school lunchroom. The principal asked many students and teachers who witnessed the fight to write down what they saw and who they think started the fight.

Unfortunately, the principal received conflicting accounts that disagree, not only as to who started the fight, but also as to who was involved and when the fight actually started. Why are there different stories? Who are the types of people who might have seen this fight? What might make one person’s story more believable or plausible than another’s?

Historians spend their time figuring out the past – how events, people, places and ideas are interpreted, remembered, explained, and judged to be trustworthy.

Humans of every kind do this as well. We consider people’s perspectives, biases, evidence, and trustworthiness.

At “The Twelve,” we don’t always get it right. Some of our readers think the writing is too political, too leftist, too centrist, too rightist, too preachy, not preachy enough, too academic, too biblical, too Reformed, not biblical enough or Reformed enough. That’s fair. That’s also the point.

To figure out how to interpret information, we need to source, contextualize, and corroborate. We need to read and compare multiple pieces of evidence to figure out what is most reliable and how it all fits together. That’s what “The Twelve” does best. We include multiple voices and view topics from different angles and the readers consider our perspectives, biases, evidence, and trustworthiness.

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Thanks for reading, commenting, agreeing, disagreeing, and being a part of “The Twelve.” We appreciate you.

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Rebecca Koerselman

Rebecca Koerselman teaches history at Northwestern College in Orange City, IA.

2 Comments

  • Thomas Bartha says:

    Thank-you, Rebecca, along with the other writers who consistently offer wise words and valuable insights. Increasingly this journal has become for many readers, a vital part of each day. Deep gratitude.

  • RLG says:

    Thanks, Rebecca, for your take on The Twelve. Readers do get a variety of “takes” when reading this publication. Most often the individual authors of articles believe they are giving the most believable scenario, the one that should be held by all. And yet there are many accounts given, as to what actually happened in that lunch room, what happened in that car accident, what happened in that shooting, what happened the day Jesus was crucified. The writers of Biblical canon were smart. They only allowed accounts of history that agreed with their own take (agreed upon bias) to be allowed in the official canon. All others were excluded. But of course, only allowing accounts with a certain bias doesn’t make such accounts true, any more than a so called biography of Donald Trump’s election win in 2020. Common sense and reason is a good place to begin when determining the truthfulness of an account. So keep an open mind when reading the Twelve, but not so open that you exclude the obvious and reasonable truth. Thanks Rebecca.

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