Talk:John Dominic Crossan

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Untitled[edit]

The controversial field is not identified (and linked?): "New Testament criticism"? Whatever y'all prefer. --Wetman 16:37, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It was identified by implied reference to Crossan as a Biblical scholar. Evidently that was not sufficient, so it has been corrected and amplified. Thank you for pointing this out. --Blainster 02:28, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Unsourced? Have you not read Crossan? (I will source them better for you. He does call the Rapture "Crapture.")Eschoir 18:28, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Christian?[edit]

Is it save to put him in a Christian category at the bottom? I think this is relevant seeing that the subject of the article deals greatly about Christianity.

And because I am myself a Christian, I have a responsibility to do something about it. My reconstruction of the historical Jesus, for example, must be able to show why some people wanted to execute him but others wanted to worship him, why some thought him criminal but others thought him divine.

[1]

Source?[edit]

"...but is dismissed by those critical of his historical methodology." Source? Ejectgoose 03:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Lima & OR[edit]

Synthesis of published material serving to advance a position

Policy shortcut: WP:SYN Editors often make the mistake of thinking that if A is published by a reliable source, and B is published by a reliable source, then A and B can be joined together in an article to advance position C. However, this would be an example of a new synthesis of published material serving to advance a position, and as such it would constitute original research.[1] "A and B, therefore C" is acceptable only if a reliable source has published this argument in relation to the topic of the article.

Here is an example from a Wikipedia article, with the names changed. The article was about Jones:

Smith says that Jones committed plagiarism by copying references from another book. Jones denies this, and says it's acceptable scholarly practice to use other people's books to find new references.

That much is fine. Now comes the unpublished synthesis of published material. The following material was added to that same Wikipedia article just after the above two sentences:

If Jones's claim that he consulted the original sources is false, this would be contrary to the practice recommended in the Chicago Manual of Style, which requires citation of the source actually consulted. The Chicago Manual of Style does not call violating this rule "plagiarism." Instead, plagiarism is defined as using a source's information, ideas, words, or structure without citing them.

This entire paragraph is original research, because it expresses the editor's opinion that, given the Chicago Manual of Style's definition of plagiarism, Jones did not commit it. To make the paragraph consistent with this policy, a reliable source is needed that specifically comments on the Smith and Jones dispute and makes the same point about the Chicago Manual of Style and plagiarism. In other words, that precise analysis must have been published by a reliable source in relation to the topic before it can be published in Wikipedia. Eschoir 16:20, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Drawing conclusion C from A and B ("A and B, therefore C") is Original Research. Quoting reliable source E, which contradicts source D, is not Original Research. To do so is not merely legitimate, but laudable, in that it ends the pushing of only one particular point of view. Lima 17:01, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Repeat after me: To make the paragraph consistent with this policy, a reliable source is needed that specifically comments on the Smith and Jones dispute and makes the same point. None of your sources reference Crossan or his book. You are the source of the comments. You are doing original research.Eschoir 05:53, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

What Smith and Jones dispute? What is in question is what the article says about titles allegedly used by Octavian. Aren't the Encyclopaedia Britannica and Pat Southern's biography reliable sources? These and other reliable sources contradict statements contained in the article, and thus raise doubts about the article's accuracy. Lima 07:34, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

And they are nice reliable sources, and they are not allowed in that format because they violate the new synthesis rule at wiki. I will repeat Wiki rules:

"Editors often make the mistake of thinking that if A is published by a reliable source, and B is published by a reliable source, then A and B can be joined together in an article to advance position C. However, this would be an example of a new synthesis of published material serving to advance a position, and as such it would constitute original research.[1] "A and B, therefore C" is acceptable only if a reliable source has published this argument in relation to the topic of the article," i.e., Crossan's BOOK! Eschoir 21:23, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Eschoir continues to misread this passage. The passage says one may not use reliably sourced statement A along with reliably sourced statement B as proof of unsourced statement C. It does not forbid inserting reliably sourced statement B in an article that contains statement A. This is what I have done. I have not said: "A and B, therefore C." I have made no new synthesis.

No, that is Original Research. Quintessentially. Eschoir 13:18, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

If Eschoir has misread this passage, is it possible that he has also misread Crossan? Did Crossan really say of Octavian what Eschoir has made Wikipedia attribute to him in this and other articles? Lima 05:35, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Buy the book and see for yourself. But even if I was lying about the source, you would have to use a published source congruent with your position vis a vis Crossan to support your thesis.Eschoir 13:18, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Why? Aren't the published sources I have quoted good enough? Aren't they congruent with what I say of them? Anyone can consult them directly, and check not only that they do say what is attributed to them, but also that what they do say is highly relevant to the claims that the article attributes to Crossan.

The sources are good enough, I would guess, as good as any and certainly extensive. The problem with the sentence is that YOU are forwarding them into a discussion of Crossan, and we as editors at WIKI are not authorized to make original argumentation using original research howsoever worthy in articles we edit. You've been warned about doing this before, by higher authority than me.Eschoir 21:15, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Of course, I have not accused and do not accuse Eschoir of bad faith. I take his understanding of Crossan's thought to be genuine and sincere. But if his understanding is correct, then what these sources say about those elements of Crossan's thought that are expounded in the article is even more relevant to this article on Crossan than if they concerned instead a mere misunderstanding of Crossan's thought. Lima 13:26, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Of course they are relevant. But inadmissible, as we lawyers are fond of saying. Find a published source that takes on Crossan, or get published yourself, and you have standing to take on Crossan. But your work here is original research, and out of bounds.Eschoir 21:15, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

If one source has made a particular claim and another source has made a contradictory statement either before or after the first source made its claim, why on earth do you say the second source is "inadmissible" unless written as a rebuttal of the first? Why on earth cannot the second source be quoted, making clear that the first source's claim is not a universally accepted idea and thus preventing Wikipedia being used as a vehicle for personal points of view? Lima 04:24, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Because first, the second source has to be referring to the first source, in this instance Crossan, rather than the content of crossan's research. Second, the source of the rebuttal cannot be YOU, an unpublished Editor. It might be reasonable, it might be correct, but your footnotes promote YOUR PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW about Crossan, and thus are inadmissable in an article on WIKI.Eschoir 05:04, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps a paraphrase of your last paragraph would be illustrative: "Why on earth cannot the second source be quoted by me, in the course of expressing my personal point of view, making clear that the first source's claim is not a universally accepted idea and thus preventing Wikipedia being used as a vehicle for personal points of view?"

Does that express the point? If Luke Timothy Johnson published the exact same critique, it would be permisible to create a section called, say, Critics of Crossan, and quote him. But you must agree that you could not pool your footnotes and come up with a paragraph starting "Here's where I think Corssan goes wrong." That would not be permissible. It is not NPOV. Well you can't sneak in the back door writing footnotes that first express your disagreement and second bolster the argument using sources that don't reference Crossan. Have you even read WP:OR?Eschoir 05:04, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

The cited sources concern claims about titles used by Octavian/Augustus. They do not concern Crossan. They do not say Crossan is wrong (nor, actually, do I). They say the claims are wrong, regardless of who may or may not make them. An article that includes the claims loses its NPOV character every time you remove from it the information that important reliable sources consider the claims unfounded. Please do not keep unbalancing the article. Lima 07:42, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Please don't accuse fellow editors of censorship without very good reason - I suggest you read our policy on assuming good faith. For what it's worth, I am by no means a fan of Crossan at all - in fact, I completely disagree with most of his stuff on Jesus and early Christianity that I have read. I think your point is a very interesting one that could be very effectively raised in another forum. For example, were I still studying New Testament at university, I suspect it would get me good marks if I were to propose it properly and write an essay around it.
However, we cannot admit points in the Crossan article which do not mention either Crossan or the argument he uses. It is contrary to the rules of wikipedia, as Eschoir has explained thoroughly. You suggest that the article loses its NPOV character every time it is removed - I suspect that may be because you aren't quite clear about what NPOV means on wikipedia (it has quite a technical meaning), and I suggest you read the document explaining NPOV.
It's an interesting point, but if other sources don't mention it in relation to Crossan's work, then it is inadmissable on wikipedia. It may, however, be the case that someone has already made the point somewhere in the academic literature - in which case, all it would require for the argument to be included would be for you to do a literature search and find someone making the argument yourself. TJ 11:52, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Thank you Theology John. There are plenty of published critics of Crossan, Luke Timothy Johnson comes to mind. The lead of this ariticle cites unnamed critics. Let's get them all in there, but keep Lima and all other personal editor's views out.Eschoir 13:26, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Since the word "censorship" is considered offensive, I apologize for using it. I only meant by it exclusion of other views, which is how I saw what Eschoir was doing. I was and am assuming good faith on his part, as I expressly stated above, and I did indicate why I thought excluding views that disagreed with the claims Eschoir inserted in the article (what I unfortunately called "censorship") was making the article unbalanced. I by no means suggested that the exclusion was being done in bad faith: I know he has a sincerely held point of view different from mine on what constitutes balance.
I made no comment on Crossan's "argument" and the conclusion he draws. I made no comment even on the statements that the article says Crossan made and on which he then built an argument. I merely inserted other statements that disagreed with those statements and I let readers take their choice between the conflicting statements. This, I thought - but it seems I did so mistakenly - was a way of ensuring NPOV.
I apologize also for not having discerned in WP:NPOV the prohibition against quoting reliable sources that make statements in disaccord with statements already in this article. I thought Eschoir's quotation about a new synthesis inapplicable, since I made no new synthesis. Perhaps it was in some other way that has hitherto escaped me that Eschoir "explained the matter thoroughly". I would be grateful for a pointer to the part of WP:NPOV that I need to study more thoroughly.
In view of TJ's phrase, "we cannot admiss points in the Crossan article ...", I beg enlightenment also on whether TJ intends what he says to apply only to the Crossan article or also to the other articles in which Eschoir has inserted the same Crossan-attributed claim about Octavian's titles, a claim contradicted by the sources I quoted.
Thanks. Lima 13:58, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

(added later than two below comments, one by Eschoir and one by Lima) I have absolutely no idea about the other articles in which Eschoir has inserted this claim. If in those articles, the claim is about Octavian's titles, then you are entitled to give multiple sources ("Crossan says this, and the encyclopedia brittanica says this") according to WP:NPOV, without stating that either is right. You are not entitled to use Encyclopedia Brittanica as a counter-argument to Crossan (unless it itself argues against Crossan) - but you are allowed to use it as source for what it itself says.

In response to your question asking me to explain why I think this is Original Research, I'll explain that.

WP:NOR states that edits which "introduce original ideas" are Original Research. This edit either a) introduces an original idea (an argument critical of Crossan) based upon the fact that Encyclopedia Brittanica says certain things, which Crossan contradicts, or b) is off-topic for this article. It doesn't matter whether the original idea is implicit or explicit (although by starting with "In reality", that looks pretty explicit), if the argument cannot be sourced against Crossan or his work, then the argument should not be used. It is either off-topic for this article, or original research. TJ 18:25, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

But you did make comments. When you start a footnote "In reality . . " you are stating your opinion that your reality is operationally, functionally correct, and the article's not. That's your opinion, which you bolster with impressive and inadmissible quotes. That's what I see as the new synthesis. Your opinion is the new synthesis.

And it's pointless to insert reqeusts for the source of a quoted assertion, I didn't write the quote. You will have to look at the book (I highly recommend it!) It is my thought that you will have to find sources that take on Crossan to attack the quote in the SOn of God article, especially when you segregate the passage and call it "John dominic Crossan's Interpretation."Eschoir 14:21, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I am uninterested in taking on Crossan. Only in balancing points of view given prominence in Wikipedia. This is my good-faith intention, even if I have, it seems, used ill-chosen expressions like "In reality" and "censorship", which I am quite prepared to correct, or to let others correct. Best wishes. - Before closing, I find a thought has struck me: if I have bolstered something with impressive quotes, that something clearly isn't just my opinion. And I still do not understand what two (or more) things that opinion is supposed to be a synthesis of. Lima 15:29, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I accept TJ's decision. I may not grasp it fully, but at least it doesn't make statements that I think are obvious nonsense. Lima 18:56, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm late to this discussion, but I'd like to note that the counterpoints to Crossan in Lima's notes – and if they aren't intended to imply the falsity of Crossan's claims they're simply irrelevant – seem to focus very narrowly on the official religion of the city of Rome itself, when one can find higher "levels" of divinity attributed to Augustus in many other cases at province-, city- and household-level cult (including during his lifetime, and sometimes encouraged by authorities like provincial governors). I can't vouch for all the titles Crossan mentions, but even if we consider only Augustus' lifetime he's on firm ground with "god" (theos, the same word as used by Christians) and "son of god" (theou huios, the regular first-century Greek translation for divi filius, and a phrase also used by Christians). It's misleading IMO to undermine the second by noting only how the (later) Vulgate translates theou huios. Of course, the titles mean different things to Jews or Christians than they would to others, but I doubt Crossan is denying that. Including this kind of critique of someone's scholarship in an article, besides being original research, has the potential to cause unjust harm to a subject's reputation among readers who treat Wikipedia as if it were written by experts. EALacey 09:32, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

POV in "Career" section[edit]

I believe that many portions of the Career section are not POV. However, I'm coming at the issue from an opposing theological standpoint, so I'd like the neutral (ha) Wikipedia judges to guide me here. POV sections italicized in the small paragraph quoted here:

He challenges those who would debate whether Jesus "really" walked on water to recognize that, whether history or parable, the larger issue is the meaning of the anecdote. He proposes the historical probability that, like all but one known victim of crucifixion, Jesus' body never made it to a tomb, but was scavenged by animals.

The whole section is full of statements like this. It sounds like the author is actually writing a favorable review of Crossan's work rather than simply stating what Crossan's views are. Also, note the scare quotes in there. If the author is quoting Crossan in the "challenge" section, he should quote him, but otherwise, Wikipedia should not be used as a ground for declaration of a challenge for debate.

Furthermore, nothing is cited.

Also, I think that perhaps "Views" would be a better name for the section, rather than "Career". HorridRedThings (talk) 14:47, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

What about this to replace the quote above? The citation is #3; you didn't copy the citation here, but it's clearly included. I'm not sure why you missed it.
He argues that the meaning of the story is the real issue, not whether a particular story about Jesus is history or parable. He proposes that it is historically probable that, like all but one known victim of crucifixion, Jesus' body was scavenged by animals rather than being placed in a tomb.
I agree that "challenges" isn't neutral language, and the scare quotes can go. We can say that Crossan argues, proposes, or claims something. While in many cases those are words to avoid, Crossan makes controversial claims that make those word choices appropriate. I think the goal here should be to make it clear that this is what Crossan says. Do you think that the above makes it clear that Crossan says it was historically probable, rather than simply saying that it is historically probable? WeisheitSuchen (talk) 16:21, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Re: Views vs. Career, what if we moved the first 4 paragraphs of this section to a "Views" section, but left the section starting "Crossan writes books for both academic and popular audiences" as Career? That part seems more of a career section to me. A split might make it clearer. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 16:24, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Since there's been no discussion on this for months, I made the changes I previously proposed and removed the neutrality tag. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 20:09, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

External links[edit]

All but one of the external links in this article were recently deleted, with WP:EL provided as the rationale. I'm not convinced that these links actually violate that guideline, so I'd like to see if we can reach some consensus on these links. To me, these appear to be "acceptable links include those that contain further research that is accurate and on-topic, information that could not be added to the article for reasons such as copyright or amount of detail, or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy." For example, the interviews clearly provide more detail than is appropriate for this article, but they do appear to be relevant information that some readers might find valuable.

Novaseminary or others, could you please go through these link by link and explain your rationale for believing these don't belong? It would be helpful if you could cite the exact part of the guideline you feel is relevant for each. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 23:28, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

I addressed similar concerns you raised at Talk:Marcus Borg#External links, so I will borrow heavily from my response there. Remember one of the overarching points behind the external links guidelines: Per WP:ELPOINTS: "3.Links in the "External links" section should be kept to a minimum." The flipside is that WP:EL does not apply at all to inline citations. So, any that could or should be a reference should and can be cited and there is no problem (and no need to list them in the EL section). I do not think that these each fall within WP:ELYES #3. And the question is not whether some reader would find a particular link useful; WP is not a link repository even if the links would sometimes be useful. And the case is not to be made for why things don't belong in Wikipedia, but for why they do belong. With that in mind, here are my thoughts on each link:
  • Publishers Website -- WP:ELNO #5 (and to the extent it lists his books, ELNO #1)
  • Autobiographical Article -- ELNO #1. His official site is already linked, so this is not that. Any autobiographical info that this could contain that is relevant would be in a featured article. This is not WP:ELYES #3 because it is not neutral. It might be considered under WP:ELMAYBE #4 because it does contain info from an obviously knowledgeable source. But I don't think that overcomes the ELNO #1 concern and doesn't strike me as a terribly compelling ELMAYBE so as to overcome the presumption in favor of adding minimal ELs.
  • Biographical Timeline & Book listing -- WP:ELNO #1 and #11 (and a little #5).
  • Comprehensive interview -- A WP:ELMAYBE #4 at best. I don't know what it adds, though, to overcome ELNO #1 and ELNO #13 (since it is not about him per se, rather his take on certain issues). To the extent he is talking about his biography, it is WP:ELNO #1.
  • Crossan featured in overview of Living the Questions program "Eclipsing Empire"-- At best a WP:ELMAYBE #4, but it is not about Crossan himself (#4 requires the link be "about the subject of the article" and so it also seems to violate WO:ELNO #13. This also might have WP:YT problems.
  • Fresh Air - Interview with Crossan on his "In Search of Paul" & Fresh Air - Interview with Crossan - "A Historical Look at Crucifixion & Crossan featured in overview of Living the Questions program "Eclipsing Empire"-- At best these are WP:ELMAYBE #4, but they are not about Crossan himself (#4 requires the link be "about the subject of the article") and so it also seems to violate WO:ELNO #13. The third one here also might have WP:YT problems.
  • Interview with John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg on "The First Paul" by ReadTheSpirit.com-- Same as the other interviews and also WP:ELNO #11.
So, in my opinion, several are definite ELNOs, and the rest are ELMAYBEs for which no real case has been made. I would be quite ok with suggesting at the Open Directory Project that they create a Crossan directory and then use template:dmoz to link to that; ODP is a link repository. Then lots more interviews, videos, etc., could be added there.
Novaseminary (talk) 04:23, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
As with the Borg article, I think you need to rethink your position. Authors talking about their own work is clearly more relevant than their favorite ice cream flavor. Autobiographical articles from the Westar Institute, where Borg and Crossan are fellows, are "official" because they are affiliated with this publisher and have control over that content. The content of an EL doesn't have to be purely biographical when we're talking about authors and scholars. ELs about their work are also relevant.
We can continue the discussion on Talk:Marcus Borg if you'd like, as I expect we'll both make similar arguments. Once we reach consensus there, we can continue here and then go through the rest of the articles where you did the same thing. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 12:56, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Biblical revisionist[edit]

This guy is a Biblical revisionist, what some people would describe as a "left wing radical" or "liberal". This is a social construct, which is why I haven't inserted it, but it should be debated for inclusion. 129.180.139.17 (talk) 10:01, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

I disagree with using the term 'liberal' to describe him, because the promotion of liberty cannot be attributed to only those adopting his position. Indeed, one could argue his position is contrary to liberty insofar as it obligates people to work towards various specified goals (hence a kind of moral enslavement).
It is also not clear to me what 'left wing' means here. Certainly I think he can be called a radical insofar as he appears to deny the bodily resurrection of Christ without a coherent reason (listening to his discussion with N.T. Wright, available on youtube). -- Newagelink (talk) 01:38, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Let's use AD/BC, not the foolish euphemisms for them.[edit]

My recent removal of the dating euphemism from this article was undone and I was accused of violating wp:era, apparently because I didn't create a talk section discussing it first. So here is the requested talk section. Let's remove the foolish euphemism for dates -- there appear to be only two of them, so it seems a simple problem to solve.

If you want to remove Jesus from the dating system, if that is your reason for using "CE" etc, them come up with a new dating system (e.g. the establishing of the United Nations). Using a euphemism is intellectually dishonest. For this reason, let's remove the euphemism (CE, BCE) and call the date what it actually is (AD, BC). -- Newagelink (talk) 01:33, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

From WP:ERA, "Do not change the established era style in an article unless there are reasons specific to its content. Seek consensus on the talk page before making the change. Open the discussion under a subhead that uses the word "era". Briefly state why the style is inappropriate for the article in question. A personal or categorical preference for one era style over the other is not justification for making a change." Editor2020, Talk 20:02, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Right, thank you for quoting the background for this discussion. As you can see, I've done as that section requests here. If Editor2020 thinks further clarification is needed: Crossan favors intellectual exercise and the pursuit of knowledge, and is partial to Christianity such that many consider him a Christian. It is therefore inappropriate to engage in intellectually dishonest euphemisms such as "Common Era" while using the 'Anno Domini' dating system, and, as if that weren't enough, it is more appropriate to mention the Lord he so often discusses (and for whom he took priestly vows). -- Newagelink (talk) 09:02, 5 September 2014 (UTC)