How Bad is Wikipedia on the Bible?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    In my thread on the Festschrift for Dr. Maurice Robinson, Rippon insisted on using Wikipedia for a valid resource, and said, "JoJ, you really need to slow down and examine things before you speak off the cuff. Wikipedia needs to be used with discernment, but there is a lot of solid information there as well."

    Well, a friend of mine who is a professional in textual criticism pointed me to this link: http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/search?q=wikipedia

    In any area of Bibliology (and most other areas), Wikipedia is so rife with errors that to cite from it is to open yourself to charges of ignorance and error!

    Would anyone like to share other mistakes in Bibliology on Wikipedia? There must be many more.
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Here is my post #75 from the other thread. I showed "off the cuff" some Wikipedia errors by simply glancing at the "Textual Criticism" article.

     
  3. Rippon

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    I was being perfectly reasonable.

    It's my first stop for information on just about anything. I am not a wild-eyed youngster. Of course there are some articles that are entirely off-base. Give me some credit for discernment.

    I never claimed that that should be the go-to site for one's PhD dissertation. Don't get carried away.

    If you would simply scroll down for documentation you'll come across names like the Alands, Wasserman, Wieland Willker, David P. Barrett, Philip W. Comfort and even Herbert Hunger. Don't be so quick to be dismissive.

    I want to let you continue your review of T. David Anderson, so I will post some info here. If you simply claim it is all wrong then show me --demonstrate. You can't always claim that you are too busy. It won't wash as a legitimate excuse.

    I have winnowed the list down. I find it really hard to believe that you think that only two papyri qualify as pre-4th century Alexandrian text-types. Some of the following is overlap. Give reasons why you think the following papyri cannot possibly be Alexandrian text-types. Or why they couldn't possibly be that early. Talk to your friend --more than likely your son.

    p4, 3rd cent. 95 verses
    p15, 250 AD, 26 verses
    p16, 300, 15 verses
    p20, 250, 17 verses
    p22, 250, 17 verses
    p28, 250, 11 verses
    p32, 200, 11 verses
    p39, 250, 9 verses
    p40, 250, 35 verses
    p47, 250, 6 or more chapters
    p65, 250, 17 verses
    p75, 225 (at the latest) a lot from Luke and John
    p77, 200, 10 verses
    p91, 250, 12 verses
    p92, 300, 9 verses
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    Wikipedia is a helpful site to get basic information, but never a site for referencing in formal studies nor is it helpful for detailed information.

    I'll generally consult Wikipedia for some preliminary information, or even to get a better understanding of some issue. It is helpful for those purposes. However, it fails to provide adequate information for determining deeper truths. Part of this is because those posting are not necessarily experts in a field of study, and because the editorial process has more to do with being able to prove your point that make a rigorous claim based on years of research. The editorial process itself is not peer-reviewed level so there are problems that abound.

    I like Wikipedia for what it is useful for. However, it isn't useful for much beyond an initial inquiry.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    In the area of textual criticism, one big problem with the Wiki article by that name is it conflates secular and NT textual criticism. For someone with little experience or study in the area, this can make learning from Wiki very difficult. For example, the second paragraph lists "copy-text editing" as one of "three fundamental approaches" to the discipline. You will look in vain for this term in any book on the subject of NT textual criticism.

    Again, it says, "Techniques from the biological discipline of cladistics are currently also being used to determine the relationships between manuscripts." Oh really? By who? In what way? It doesn't say, and no book or article I've ever read mentions this. Maybe it's so in secular textual criticism, but not in the NT discipline to the best of my knowledge.

    To make matters worse, at least the first four paragraphs appear to be plagiarized from a book published by PediaPress, Research by Fernando Guimaraes. And who is this guy? Don't know Not a textual critic anyway.

    Anyone still want to use Wikipedia as a resource for textual criticism?
     
  6. Rippon

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    It just depends.
    I especially like to read biographical information. Church history also comes into play. Then I also enjoy artcles on science and technology. It really runs the gamut.
     
  7. John of Japan

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    Well said. I have told students that it can give you a general direction for more solid research, but should not be cited.
     
  8. Rippon

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    Well, I think a lot of information it provides is helpful. For instance, the gathering of data regarding so many papyri is wonderful. Again, it's not a matter of "some guy on wikipedia" --a given article depends on the documentation used in support and how it interfaces with the information in the article.
     
  9. John of Japan

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    Um, no, I never said anything about a PhD dissertation. I have said that it's not even reliable for an undergrad paper. I'll go further. I forbid its use by a student in English 101 for their very first college paper, with a length of only five pages. I would lower the paper a letter grade for that.
    Right after the plagiarism?
    Start your own thread. This one is about citing Wikipedia as a reliable source. I may or may not join you there, that is up to me not you. I don't do guilt trips, especially by one who tried to hijack my other thread.
     
  10. John of Japan

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    And how do you know the data is accurate? You don't unless you yourself are an expert.

    A given article on Wikipedia does not depend on scholarly research. It depends on the majority. If the majority disagrees, then the true scholar is overruled.

    In a famous case, the only genuine scholar in the world on a historical case of arson had written two books on it. He tried to correct the Wiki article on the facts of the case, and was overruled by the amateurs because they disagreed with the only true scholar.
     
  11. Rippon

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    Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed or just getting cranky in your old age?

    I said I didn't want to insert anything before you had a chance to conclude your latest review article in the other thread. That's why I put my "list" on this thread.

    You are always looking for an argument. Just rein it in.
     
  12. kyredneck

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    For Pete's sake, Rippon told you, "As I have said, I'm in the middle of a move. I don't have access to my books...". IMO, you're making a mountain out of a molehill.
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Who is Pete, and why does he have anything to do with this? :rolleyes:
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    How is he making a mountain out of it. Simply discussing a disagreement is not a mountain.
     
  15. kyredneck

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    JoJ takes enough offense at it to create a thread, bring to everyone's attention, and call Rippon out on it. He wouldn't be content to wait until Rippon gains access to his other sources. Instead he makes a big deal of it.
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    Where in the op did he express offense?
     
  17. kyredneck

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  18. preachinjesus

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    What a mess...I didn't read anything into the OP. Maybe we can all chill a bit. :)
     
  19. John of Japan

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  20. kyredneck

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    You're misrepresenting me, I never said you have contempt for Rippon, but you clearly do for Wikipedia.

    Rippon:
    "It's my first stop for information on just about anything. I am not a wild-eyed youngster. Of course there are some articles that are entirely off-base. Give me some credit for discernment."

    It also happens to be a primary starter source for me when researching just about anything. I don't have contempt for it, I use it, and am thankful to have it.

    And I give Rippon a lot of credit for discernment.
     

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