Culture & Entertainment, Opinion & Commentary

Updated on

How much unnecessary sweat did you shed during your studies?

"Delve into the complexities of history and faith, pondering the reliability of recorded events and religious texts. Explore the nuances of belief, truth, and the evolving nature of human understanding. Join the quest for knowledge in a world shaped by diverse perspectives."
Antonius "Ton" Bakker, born May 23, 1961, in the Netherlands, is a writer, speaker, and coach/trainer. With a passion for personal development, he has inspired audiences worldwide.
Antonius Bakker

I'm sure almost all of us have had to deal with it, toiling late at night on your own at your desk in the rented attic room with a feisty landlady. While studying, the assignment had to be finished, or crammed into our heads. At our desk with a specially made desk lamp. Many of us have bravely resisted "heavy" studies. Everything is relative, Albert Einstein once said, so I won't elaborate on what the toughest or longest study is, the men do that in the evening at the bar with a good glass of whiskey behind them.

Delve into the complexities of history and faith, pondering the reliability of recorded events and religious texts. Explore the nuances of belief, truth, and the evolving nature of human understanding. Join the quest for knowledge in a world shaped by diverse perspectives.
"Delve into the complexities of history and faith, pondering the reliability of recorded events and religious texts. Explore the nuances of belief, truth, and the evolving nature of human understanding. Join the quest for knowledge in a world shaped by diverse perspectives."

Many of us still pride ourselves on how and what we learned. The people who once chose to study history often remember the rows of years after many years by heart, and if they think a little longer, the names will also roll out of their mouths. But who has made it possible for us to remember certain things in the history of mankind? Hugenholtz, Tacitus, Flavius Josephus, Titus Livius, and many other historians, each in their own way, contributed a certain piece to our history. It's a good thing they did this, because otherwise we as humanity would all be empty-handed, and maybe we didn't know who we were, or where we came from, but what do we have in our hands? 

We will always have to keep in mind that almost all of history has been recorded through the eyes of people. People who rely on their perception, feeling, and/or opinion about a certain event. I'm sure they weren't alien to anything human either. At what time and under what circumstances did the information they described reach them? 

"Inside?" Were there any witnesses who described the same thing? What was their "mental state" like at that time. Did they write of their own free will or were they forced? Did they receive money for what was needed for their livelihood, or that of their wives or children? Were they adults, female or male? Much history has been proven to have been written by men, especially those who emerged victorious. After all, if you lose, you're not proud, and you don't want to show that to the whole world, right?

I love history and have read many books. Many from long before our time, and many about the history of the faith and the creation of this phenomenon. I have devoured the stories about the Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Zarathustra, Krishna, and many others. For me, it was not directly about strengthening my faith, but more about the history described. What is being told, by whom, and what was the purpose of it. What could we, as humans, learn from this? When I read these books, I read many things that are difficult to apply in that strict form in today's life. Also, I read a lot of almost the same situations, which are told under different names at different times.

Of course, these holy books were all written at different times by different people, often much later than the situations they described. Consider that the first book in the New Testament of the Bible was not written until seventy years after the life of Jesus. When I think about this, I always get the urge to dive into psychology and look at how we humans remember things, and what remains of our thoughts over time. Right now, we live in a much busier time with many more distractions, but still? 

I have also read books with possible explanatory texts about the holy books. Also books by researchers who (in the present time) have examined the Bible for its truthfulness. (The Laughing Jesus, Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, 2006, ISBN 9062719953) Now I also know that the holy books are about believing, and not knowing for sure. According to many, it is there because you accept it unquestioningly, follow it, and practice it. But as I mentioned earlier, I think this is becoming more and more difficult in the present time with all the scientists who are doing more and more to find the truth. Take, for example, the book "Vatican BV" by Gianluigi Nuzzi from 2011. In it, the author, Nuzzi, talks about what he believes to be a secret archive that reveals the truth about the financial and political scandals within the Catholic Church.

According to history, this church has suffered many times from gross scandals. Think of the time of "our" Wills of Orange" (who chased his wife to her death because she cheated on him, while that was normal for him!) The time when Martin Luther showed that the Catholic Church made money from things that were not in the Bible. This was because most people believed their priest because they couldn't read themselves. Also, think of the recently revealed scandals surrounding child abuse in that same church. What has really happened to them? Do people have to hold on to their faith to survive in an increasingly harsh world?

Do Catholicism and other faiths remain intact even though many homosexuals (forbidden love) work there? For me, it's fine, but the Pope, their leader in the Vatican, says different things, right? Think of how the New Testament in the Bible came about in the time of Emperor Constantine (273, 337); he probably had no choice because otherwise his empire would fall apart. He chose the books that had not fallen from his table in one night, and with them, he formed the holy book. The Nag Hammadi writings found later, in which Judas (Judas' gospel) was portrayed much more positively than in the Bible, did not play a role at that time.

History, what do we do with it, and how truthful is it? How many people build their truth and life path on these stories?  How many people live by their own beliefs and truths that cause them to constantly harm others? As mentioned earlier, women in the Middle Ages were often burned at the stake for their claims or truth-finding. The "men" called these "exorcisms" or "witch burnings." William of Orange took his wife's life, even though he probably committed more adultery as a man. The House of Orange continued to rule until the present day. Often, a child could just be conceived by a king in old age with a young woman; otherwise, the family and the royal family would have died out. Has DNA research ever been done here? In short, for me personally, the faith described and the history put on paper by many have many question marks.  It's a pity about all those hours of lonely time in that dimly lit attic room, but the professors of our time will certainly have made the excuse that history is subject to change. But on what do we base the decisions we base on that history? How do we make decisions now?

As a student or adult, you should always base the answers to questions asked of you on facts and truths, right? How is this possible when the truth is still under investigation? Probably "our" academic and scientific world has many answers for this. If we understand that they are setting the way for us in a sincere, independent way. Well, the fact that there are also Catholic and Christian universities in this world makes it even more difficult. PS: See what you can throw away from your studies.

Antonius "Ton" Bakker, born May 23, 1961, in the Netherlands, is a writer, speaker, and coach/trainer. With a passion for personal development, he has inspired audiences worldwide.

Antonius Bakker

Antonius "Ton" Bakker, born May 23, 1961, in the Netherlands, is a writer, speaker, and coach/trainer. With a passion for personal development, he has inspired audiences worldwide.
View all posts by Antonius Bakker

Featured Writers

Culture & Entertainment

Stories that Stir Souls: Illuminating the Path of Storytelling’s Influence

Storytelling: timeless art connecting people through narratives. From prehistoric times to modern tech, it educates, preserves culture, and inspires a better future. Crucial in bridging divides, it reminds us of our shared humanity.
Avatar photo
Yashasvy Singh
Storytelling: timeless art connecting people through narratives. From prehistoric times to modern tech, it educates, preserves culture, and inspires a better future. Crucial in bridging divides, it reminds us of our shared humanity.
Opinion & Commentary

How I Lost and Found My Voice

"Initially, I changed my Malawian accent to fit in. But I learned my voice mattered, and my roots made me unique. Through struggles, I found my true self by embracing my Malawian identity. My journey is chronicled in my books, 'What Kind of Girl?' and 'Some Kind of Girl.'"
caroline Kautsire
Caroline Kautsire
how i lost and found my voice
Opinion & Commentary

Nurturing Values In Children Through Storytelling

How storytelling shapes young minds, instilling empathy and resilience. Explore the power of narratives in nurturing values in children.
Devanshi Joshi
Devanshi Joshi
Culture & Entertainment

From Poetic Pause to Professional Power: The Journey of Emotional Resilience

Moving With Meaning offers guidance in emotional resilience, from introspective reflection to assertive leadership. Through coaching and the 3C Approach, we empower professionals to navigate challenges with grace and determination. Whether early, mid, or late career, we support you in finding purpose and direction in every step of your journey.
author, life coach, and the driving force behind Moving With Meaning LLC
Krystal Clark
Moving With Meaning offers guidance in emotional resilience, from introspective reflection to assertive leadership. Through coaching and the 3C Approach, we empower professionals to navigate challenges with grace and determination. Whether early, mid, or late career, we support you in finding purpose and direction in every step of your journey.

More in Interviews

The author Gabor Holch: Worldwide business leaders who try to comprehend China’s unavoidable impact on their livelihoods often ignore the most important voices: those of expatriate managers with years of experience in the country. Based on interviews with China-based corporate executives over five years, Dragon Suit brings to life the country’s swarming cities, recent economic tsunami, unstoppable middle class.

Finding a catchy book title is a headache, says Gabor Holch

Interview with Gabor Holch, author of "Dragon Suit": Explores expat executives' journey in China's business world, revealing both success and failure stories, reflecting on China's economic evolution and global impact.
first aid kit is an essential part when you choose bike / MTB for riding.

Stefan Eberharter: I always bring my first aid kit with me

Meet Stefan Eberharter, a MTB pro rider who got an excellent skills and training of downhill and other important bike riding skills that will ...
Do you love riding a motorcycle? If so, this article is for you, and if you are a Harley Devidson fan, you must read this interview with Maldita before purchasing one or if you already own one.

Maldita: “I try to travel and discover different cultures”

Do you love riding a motorcycle? If so, this article is for you, and if you are a Harley Davidson fan, you must read this interview with Maldita before purchasing one or if you already own one.