Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Plagiarists: Beware of Biblical Scholars!

This is a story that I've been following for some time but haven't posted on over here. I'm mentioning it here because the whole episode has produced a line that will be immortal.

Over at his blog, New Testament scholar, Mark Goodacre (Duke University), has been highlighting an obituary of Marvin Meyer, a recently deceased biblical scholar, which appeared in the British paper, the Telegraph. As Mark shows, the obituary was obviously plagiarized, using Wikipedia and the New York Times. 

A paper in England, the Private Eye, is now covering the scandal. This one line made my day:
"Moral of the story," Goodacre tells the Eye: "if you are going to plagiarize, don't do it when writing obituaries of scholars whose work involves source criticism of texts."
Of course, "source criticism" involves the effort to identify the original sources used by the authors of the biblical texts. In fact, Mark has famously written a devastating critique of the "Q" hypothesis, namely, that Matthew and Luke both borrowed from a primitive, now lost source of Jesus' teachings. I highly recommend his work.

1 comment:

Mark Goodacre said...

You are too kind, Michael! And on this one, I must underline that Todd Brewer was the one who smelt a rat.