Zwingli-Jahr 2019

In Deutschland geht das Reformationsjubiläum zu Ende, in der Schweiz fängt es erst richtig an: 2019 ist Zwingli-Jahr. Eine Pfarrerin fordert mehr Fortschritt in der Ökumene: «Wir sollten den Katholiken das Fraumünster schenken.»


Zwingli- on the Magistrate

zwingli_study2I declare, quite differently from what our friends hold, that a magistrate cannot even be just and righteous unless he be a Christian. Take away from the magistrate, who is above the fear of man, the fear of God, and you make him a tyrant.

Infuse into the tyrant the fear of God, and of his own accord he will do more freely and faithfully what the law orders than any terror could have caused him to; and out of a tyrant you will make a father on the pattern of Him whom as a result of faith he begins to fear and to serve, namely, God.  — Huldrych Zwingli

The Plague of Plagiarism in Academia, By Professors!

Every single academic (especially O’Brien and Koestenberger) need to read this piece in the Guardian.  It begins

When a professor ripped off my work in a journal, they escaped unpunished. How can we expect academic originality from students if we don’t uphold it?

Indeed!  And oh, saying ‘I’m sorry’ isn’t punishment.  Punishment is demotion or being fired.

I always assumed plagiarism to be mainly committed by a few lazy students and over-ambitious politicians. But ever since discovering plagiarism of my own work, I’ve come to see it as more pervasive.

Three years ago, I was reading up on recent research in my field, when I stumbled on a sentence that read quite familiar. Re-reading the entire paragraph, I realised these were my words – I’d published them on an academic blog two years before.

It turned out a whopping 285-word chunk in the article was copied verbatim, just minimally changed, but several other sections in the article used my arguments without credit. No footnote or reference acknowledged my work.

I was stunned because I couldn’t believe a full professor of high global standing – a respected leader in their field – would do this. I was also flattered because, of course, imitation is a form of praise. Mostly I was angry because an important article of mine had recently been rejected, but here was another person getting my half-baked blog thoughts published under their name. But I was also worried, because I now had to prove the originality of my work. Even now, I still fear reprisals if I were ever to publicise the incident; I avoided my institution while the plagiarist recently visited.

As a first step, of course I consulted the internet, and, bizarrely, I found numerous sources of advice for plagiarists – but not for those who have been plagiarised. These included tongue-in-cheek advice for academics, such as the “top five law-proof strategies when busted for plagiarism”.

Go and read the whole.  You owe it to yourself.  You owe it to academia.  And if you’re lazy, just don’t write.

The Greek New Testament – Cambridge, UK, Tyndale House

The publisher, Crossway, has sent a copy of this very new edition.  For which I heartily thank them.  The volume arrived in a quite sturdy slip cover and is itself the black hardback version.

In 11 days it will be publicly available and so will an online edition at Tyndale House.  Be sure to check it out.

If you wish to learn a bit about the edition you can visit this post.  And you can also check out my earlier observations on a sample of the Gospel of Mark and other posts.