Friday, 15 August 2008

"Careless Negligence or Intellectual Dishonesty?"

It's been a while since I last updated myself with book reviews published in journals. So I decided to take some time today catching up with the recent scholarship in the Corinthian correspondence.

I came across a review on Community, Conflict, and the Eucharist in Roman Corinth: The Social Setting of Paul's Letter by P. Coutsoumpos (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2006) published in a well-respected journal, Biblical Theology Bulletin.

To my utmost horror, I came across the following comments by the reviewer in reference to the author's work:

"Coutsoumpos does include a footnote to Fee's commentary, but a significant portion of the argument is taken verbatim and without any indication that the statement is a direct quotation from another source. The exceedingly careless notation continues when Coutsoumpos summarizes his own position: "The best solution to all these data is to view 8:10 and 10:1-22 as the basic problem to which Paul is responding throughout" (p. 67). Without footnote or quotation marks, the statement appears to be the author's own thoughts, but the sentence comes directly and completely from Fee (Corinthians, p. 359). Whether these examples are an indication of careless negligence or intellectual dishonesty is difficult to say, though it is quite certain that the handling of sources in this book does not befit a scholarly work."

This is perhaps the most embarrasing error that a scholar could ever make.

Source: Kelly R. Iverson "Community, Conflict, and the Eucharist in Roman Corinth: The Social Setting of Paul's Letter". Biblical Theology Bulletin. Summer 2007. Date accessed: 15 Aug. 2008.

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