O'Brien NSBT volumes

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This post has 63 Replies | 4 Followers

Posts 776
JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 30 2016 1:36 PM

Bobby Terhune:

Dr. Stanley E. Porter, president of McMaster Divinity College wrote the following about O'Brien.

Please see the link below for all his comments.

https://domainthirtythree.com/2016/09/05/the-shocking-news-of-peter-obrien-and-plagiarism-august-is-the-cruellest-month/

A very interesting and forthright blog regarding publishing and modern commentaries (not to mention the application to O'Brien's situation).  Thanks.

How blessed is the one whom Thou dost choose, and bring near to Thee(Psa 65:4a)

Posts 461
Robert Harner | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 30 2016 2:50 PM

MJ. Smith:

Bobby Terhune:

Dr. Stanley E. Porter, president of McMaster Divinity College wrote the following about O'Brien.

This has been brought up before. I hate to think of the damage done to the reputation of Dr. Porter and McMaster Divinity College.

On the McMaster web site go here and click on "Academic Honesty" to see what they say about plagiarism.

Below is from the Moore Theological College student handbook. To see it go here and scroll to the bottom and click on "Student Handbook" (page 101)

Posts 2467
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 30 2016 10:34 PM

MJ. Smith:

The thing is that a couple of authors made a serious mistake. The humiliation is more than sufficient punishment - simply remove the books from sales and move on. The attempt to justify the mistake is what is doing the most harm to a group of scholars and institutions because of what it implies about their standards.

I agree with this whole-heartedly.

Posts 126
James Milne Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 30 2016 11:15 PM

Peter O'Brien is a very humble and very devout Christian. He often travels to preach and conduct seminars here in Malaysia. In return we give him a small love gift (usually a $20 book token is all we can afford). I have heard him say on a number of occasions in the past that nobody makes very much money writing Christian books. Like John Stott, any money he does make he donates to materials for Pastors in developing countries. The tragedy is that this fund will now be diminished along with his reputation. Please cut him some slack. I really cannot imagine that his plagiarism was deliberate.

Posts 3185
Whyndell Grizzard | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2016 5:13 AM

Whyndell Grizzard:

I think the sensible solution is a letter of apology (even though intentional wrong doing is not suspected) also a list or bibliography of undocumented materials.

This is not unreasonable, since the resources must already be known.

I still say this is the best way to go- but even more Gentleman- show grace, mercy and forgiveness- it is truly the only wat to help heal this situation. We are basically outsiders, but they are in the midst of this controversy, pray for their well being and recovery.

Posts 442
Tony Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2016 7:20 AM

I think this problem is endemic to the commentary genre, as Stanley Porter states.  Even though "there is nothing new under the sun", the publishers want more and more commentaries. There is really not much new scholarship (especially from conservative theologians).  The Word of God hasn't changed, so why should the interpretations change (unless there is new historical or archaeological evidence)?  As a result, new commentaries usually just rehash, restate and synthesize old opinions.  Editors need to be more vigilant in the future to check and recheck sources.  Exhaustive peer review is probably a good idea.  And, texts probably need to be scrubbed by computers to detect plagiarism.  

Director of Zoeproject 

www.zoeproject.com

Posts 383
Daniel Bender | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2016 7:52 AM

Ted Hans:
This is getting rather confusing. Paul acknowledges that these sayings came from one of their poet, he is not putting forward these ideas as if were his or originated with him.  

YesYes

Posts 602
Bill Anderson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2016 8:32 AM

I have always thought it somewhat amusing how the author of the Hebrews attributed this passage:

It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” (Heb. 2:6-8, ESV)

Posts 895
Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2016 7:46 PM

Bill Anderson:

I have always thought it somewhat amusing how the author of the Hebrews attributed this passage:

It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” (Heb. 2:6-8, ESV)

It is kind of neat, and does offer some explanation (plus the development of intellectual property) why quoting the Bible is unique.

"The introductory formula at 1:6 [sic], however, is stated ambiguously, not because the author has forgotten who spoke this psalm or where it occurs in Scripture, but to keep the focus on God, rather than a human agent, as the primary speaker of Scripture. He does not present this quotation as God speaking, of course, because this portion of Scripture is spoken to God—he is the one being addressed."

George H. Guthrie, “Hebrews,” in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos, 2007), 944.

Posts 1577
Kenute P. Curry | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2016 9:01 PM

Do not see what the big deal is over this. We are not perfect. All of us make mistakes. In the Bahamas it is so different; hardly anyone worries about so called "Plagiarism" here.

Anyhow, I agree with you DAL 100%. The right thing to do would have been to allow O' Brien and Varner to fix their work and that's it. End of story. Case closed. BAM!

Posts 26461
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2016 9:22 PM

Kenute P. Curry:
Do not see what the big deal is over this.

Surprised you don't mind theft ... most Logos users have a thing about the 10 commandments. [Sorry but I'm getting frustrated at the continued attempts to justify / mitigate the fault rather than simply accepting it for what it is and moving on.]

Kenute P. Curry:
The right thing to do would have been to allow O' Brien and Varner to fix their work and that's it.
Bobby Terhune:

Jesse,

just a thought, why can't the author fix the existing manuscript? this volume was very well received, and it seems a shame to toss it out.

Jesse Myers:

Hi Bobby, 

Unfortunately, the nature of the text's problems precluded this option.  

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 6401
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2016 10:37 PM

MJ. Smith:

Surprised you don't mind theft ... most Logos users have a thing about the 10 commandments. [Sorry but I'm getting frustrated at the continued attempts to justify / mitigate the fault rather than simply accepting it for what it is and moving on.]

You're just saying that because some weirdo wanted to quote a comment of yours in his paper. I bet you if the guy that wanted to quote you was guilty of the man made plagiarism concept you'd be trying to find a way to justify him too or if he had quoted your idea as his own you would just keep quiet and take it from him. Mistakes, yes...wrong course of action by the publishers...heck yes! 

My 2 cents 😉

Posts 26461
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2016 10:54 PM

DAL:
You're just saying that because some weirdo wanted to quote a comment of yours in his paper.

wikipedia:

The Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) is an Christian ecumenical American seminary located in Chicago, Illinois, and is one of several seminaries historically affiliated with the United Church of Christ. It is the oldest institution of higher education in Chicago, originally established in 1855 under the direction of abolitionist the Rev. Stephen Peet and the Congregational Church (now the United Church of Christ) by charter of the Illinois legislature.

First, it is impolite to call a professor at Colombia a "weirdo" especially since you don't know which professor you are insulting. Second, all but one generation since Stephen Peet has had at least one academic in it ... I'm of the 4th generation. Yes, my Dad was a cattle rancher, my maternal grandfather was an academic ...so yes, I care about a cow's pedigree and the lineage of intellectual property ... and lots of stuff in between. And don't forget, I also care about logic. Stick out tongue

DAL:
wrong course of action by the publishers

Standard, expected course of action ... do you have any counter examples? Were you as outraged when Driscoll's sermons were pulled? Please read http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/11/29/mark-driscoll-and-d-a-carson-believe-pastors-who-plagiarize-should-resign/

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 234
Colin | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 1 2016 11:05 PM

DAL:
You're just saying that because some weirdo wanted to quote a comment of yours in his paper.

Hi DAL, 

That comment seems unjustifiable to me in all kinds of ways. If you take time to read MJ's other contributions to the plagiarism threads you'll see that MJ is certainly not basing her opinion on this episode. She is simply using it as an illustration of an academic going beyond the letter of the law (in this case clear academic guidelines about plagiarism) to give credit for an idea to bless a student/colleague/friend. 

Colin

Posts 1973
Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 2 2016 4:32 AM

It's ridiculous that there is any argument over this.  What Peter O'Brien did was at the least lazy, and at the worst dishonest.  I teach high school English, and my students know that if they copy large parts of another's work and do not cite them properly then they will get a zero (though I do let them rewrite).  There is no argument.  Do we really want to set a precedent where we start excusing this kind of behavior?  Sometimes people on this forum just look for reasons to be obtuse.  That doesn't mean I think O'Brien is a horrible person, but what he did was wrong, and he is suffering the consequences.  If others do the same thing, then maybe all of this will serve as a corrective.

Remember, it's not a matter of using other scholars' works; it's a matter of properly citing them, which is simple.

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

Posts 959
Yasmin Stephen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 2 2016 4:52 AM

MJ. Smith:

Bobby Terhune:

Jesse,

just a thought, why can't the author fix the existing manuscript? this volume was very well received, and it seems a shame to toss it out.

Jesse Myers:

Hi Bobby, 

Unfortunately, the nature of the text's problems precluded this option.  

These two quotes belong to the thread about William Varner's EEC commentary on James (published by Lexham Press), and are not related to the O'Brien volumes (published by Eerdmans and IVP separately).

Posts 1577
Kenute P. Curry | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 2 2016 6:00 AM

MJ. Smith I see what you mean about Mark Driscoll's sermons. I do not own any of the NSBT volumes, because I do not care for D. A. Carson, and his way of teaching. I am seeing the "light" now. So set me straight: Was what O'Brien did, is that he quoted from other Bible Scholars, and did not give credit to them as in a BIBLIOGRAPHY? 

And yes DAL it is very impolite to call anyone a "weirdo" in my book - you were wrong on that one.

Posts 516
Bobby Terhune | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 2 2016 11:01 AM

My understanding is that the author's work in question was cited in the bibliography, but O'Brien was not careful to distinguish between his own thoughts and the author's he quoted. How extensive this was, no one knows yet. Eerdmans said the Hebrews volume was the worst case and O'Brien's other commentaries were less problematic.   

Posts 2467
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 2 2016 11:41 AM

If you are still in doubt about the extent of it, since the material is available you could do a bit of your own research.

Some might complain that the publishers are greedy etc... OTOH we should also consider that they suffered financial loss to right the wrongs, and so far I haven't heard of any talk of suing for breach of contract.

Consider also the wider world, how they look at Christian academics. A witness needs to be maintained.

Posts 1577
Kenute P. Curry | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 2 2016 1:10 PM

Ok thank you

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