Warren Throckmorton points out on his blog, that Crossway is investigating charges about Driscoll’s plagiarism while pointing us to an article on Religion Dispatches:
In an email exchange, Crossway stated, “We are in touch with Mars Hill and are conducting an internal review to ensure that our books published by Mark Driscoll have proper citation and documentation.” So far, NavPress, publisher of Wounded Heart, has not issued a response regarding Driscoll’s use of that book without proper citation, nor has Thomas Nelson commented about these latest allegations of plagiarism committed by its #1 New York Times bestselling author, and why it appears to have failed to fact check Driscoll’s books prior to publication.
In the press release regarding Mark Driscoll’s “mistakes,” Tyndale says:
In the days following the interview, the talk show host posted on her blog further allegations of plagiarism against Pastor Driscoll, complete with screenshots of other books where she alleged he had committed plagiarism. She later removed all of those posts and issued a public apology.
Um, that’s a lie/half-truth/oh-bless-their-heart…
This was posted a few minutes ago by Ms. Mefferd. She, unlike Tyndale, is telling the truth. She originally said:
I should have contacted Tyndale House directly to alert them to the plagiarism issue.
She has yet to withdraw her charges of plagarism. Further, it appears Jones has had his say as well:
Tyndale can speak in nuances but this appears to be a trick right out of Driscoll’s play book.
Tyndale House is standing behind Mark Driscoll even though more allegations of plagiarism are surfacing.
They are hiding behind nuances and attempting to shame those who see through this facade:
“To his credit, Mark Driscoll has moved quickly to make all necessary changes where mistakes were made in the study guide” said Ron Beers, Senior Vice President and Group Publisher for Tyndale. “Moreover, he has assured us that he has personally spoken with the primary editor of a commentary that was inadvertently used in the study guide without adequate citation, and all parties spoken to have told Pastor Driscoll that they are satisfied with the steps he has taken to correct the errors. Because of the biblical manner in which Pastor Driscoll has handled this situation, Tyndale strongly stands behind him and looks forward to publishing many additional books with him. Tyndale believes that Mark Driscoll has provided a significant call to Christians to unite together in translating the message of Jesus faithfully to a post-Christian culture, to proclaim clearly, loudly, and unashamedly the Good News of Jesus.”
While there are many nuanced definitions of plagiarism, most definitions agree that plagiarism is a writer’s deliberate use of someone’s words or ideas, and claiming them as their own with no intent to provide credit to the original source.
14 pages? That’s not deliberate?
What definitions include deliberate attempt? The fact is, is that it is not just once… But now more and more and more. That is a pattern. Princeton’s definitions point to responsibility, not motivation.
Part of the issue is this idea of “market standard.” Is “market standard” less than an academic standard? I doubt it because academics participate in the marketplace as well and will generally set the market standard.
Remember, the original charge was that Driscoll plagiarized by paraphrasing 14 pages of Peter Jones’s work.
After reviewing the material and the charges, I, as an academic grader, would cite the example below and fail Driscoll.
From Princeton University:
Original source (text)
From time to time this submerged or latent theater in Hamlet becomes almost overt. It is close to the surface in Hamlet’s pretense of madness, the “antic disposition” he puts on to protect himself and prevent his antagonists from plucking out the heart of his mystery. It is even closer to the surface when Hamlet enters his mother’s room and holds up, side by side, the pictures of the two kings, Old Hamlet and Claudius, and proceeds to describe for her the true nature of the choice she has made, presenting truth by means of a show. Similarly, when he leaps into the open grave at Ophelia’s funeral, ranting in high heroic terms, he is acting out for Laertes, and perhaps for himself as well, the folly of excessive, melodramatic expressions of grief.
Paraphrasing the text while maintaining the basic paragraph and sentence structure
Almost all of Shakespeare’s Hamlet can be understood as a play about acting and the theater. For example, in Act 1, Hamlet pretends to be insane in order to make sure his enemies do not discover his mission to revenge his father’s murder. The theme is even more obvious when Hamlet compares the pictures of his mother’s two husbands to show her what a bad choice she has made, using their images to reveal the truth. Also, when he jumps into Ophelia’s grave, hurling his challenge to Laertes, Hamlet demonstrates the foolishness of exaggerated expressions of emotion.
Comment for example 3
Almost nothing of Kernan’s original language remains in this rewritten paragraph. However, the key idea, the choice and order of the examples, and even the basic structure of the original sentences are all taken from the source. This is another clear example of plagiarism. When paraphrasing, it’s absolutely necessary (1) to use your own words and structure, and (2) to place a citation at the end of the paraphrase to acknowledge that the content is not original.
Several paragraphs from the New Bible Commentary edited by G. J. Wenham, J. A. Motyer, D. A. Carson and R. T. France published by InterVarsity Press appear in Mark Driscoll’s now out of print book Trial: 8 Witnesses From 1 & 2 Peter. These improperly appeared without quotation or attribution. With proper citation the material would have been a case of fair use.
InterVarsity Press believes all writers should use great care as they do research and prepare texts for any use to make sure that proper acknowledgement is given to source material.
As most of you know, Mark Driscoll was caught in the middle of a plagiarism scandal that began with one book and went to other books. Now, he and his publisher (Tyndale House) are in the middle of the scandal of the Christian machine. This post pretty much sums up everything at this point:
When I started blogging, rather, when I first got into reviews, I was able to do so generally because of one publishing house — Tyndale. Further, as I have stated time and time again, the New Living Translation, which I was (and to some lesser extent still am) a very enthusiastic supporter of, helped in no small way to save my bible reading. My coming out of the KJV-Only movement coincided with a chance to review the NLT Study Bible. I devoured the NLT and came to love and share it. I gave several dozen copies away. Not a lot, to be sure, but as many of my blogging contemporaries of the time knew, I was the NLT guy — the only one in the blogosphere, mind you.
Tyndale House is an evangelical publishing house and have published books with a more conservative bent to them than I could ever pretend to be. They even flirted with publishing blatant political books when they published the biography of a former Minnesota governor before the 2008 Presidential race. Further, they have taken on the Affordable Healthcare Act because they would like to deny to their employees birth-control coverage, something not historically associated with Evangelicalism. I have not yet said anything about this. The only time I chose to actively blog against one of their releases was Mark Galli’s “God Wins” book.
I have, admittedly, blogged against Mark Driscoll. I find his theology abhorrent to the Christian faith and his personal style a sin. I will touch on this in a bit because it is important.
My complaint comes with the silencing of Janet Mefferd who was the first to call out Driscoll’s plagiarism. They first commented on the tone of Mefferd’s interview with Driscoll and now refuse to even address the issues, instead saying:
It has come to our attention that a radio talk show host has suggested that author Mark Driscoll has committed plagiarism in his recent Tyndale book, A Call to Resurgence. Tyndale House takes any accusation of plagiarism seriously and has therefore conducted a thorough in-house review of the original material and sources provided by the author. After this review we feel confident that the content in question has been properly cited in the printed book and conforms to market standards.
This is a poor statement because anyone who knows anything about plagiarism knows Driscoll did not conform to “market standards.” When you discover a case of plagiarism, you need to take into consideration the author’s style, absent-mindedness, and other factors. When I find a student plagiarizing, I examine the student’s body of work. Does the student know how to properly cite? It would appear Driscoll does. How large is the section copied? In Driscoll’s case, pretty large and larger in some cases. Is this the first time? Mefferd has shown this isn’t. Those three things are often enough what I need to decide how to proceed. Driscoll would fail any class in which he submitted his last book in. Assuming the other books are classes, he would be kicked out of the institution with a black-mark assigned to his name.
Mark Driscoll is a known liar. At the recent Strange Fire dust up, Driscoll stated that Security has confiscated his books. Thiswas an absolute lie. He has lied before. It is not just his shameful behavior as a “pastor” where he loves to mock others, punish those who question him, and otherwise insure women stay on their knees in the kitchen — he is a serial liar. And Tyndale House has chosen to stick behind him, attempting to remain as tight-lipped as possible. This is the work course, Tyndale.
I was 6 or 7, I believe. I say this because my memory of where I was was in the “old trailer” I grew up in. This trailer was old in the early 70’s and older still in the early 80’s. My fundamentalist Christian father had once again skipped child support and my and my sister were going to miss another item of clothing or skimp a little on food. I remember my mother and stepfather fighting about it. Finally, she called him. They got into a heated match. She found the only bible that had mattered to her, the green covered Living Bible paraphrased by Kenneth Taylor in 1974. She flipped to 1 Timothy 5.8 and read it to him:
But anyone who won’t care for his own relatives when they need help, especially those living in his own family, has no right to say he is a Christian. Such a person is worse than the heathen.
I recently got to meet Mark Taylor, Kenneth Taylor’s son, at SBL. I imagined the moment a little differently, but I was rushed and he was speaking with Keith Williams, the energetic editor at Tyndale House. Keith has edited the Mosaic bible, they best devotional bible on the market. The Mosaic bible introduced me to the Church calendar, to a proper appreciation of the Saints and Church History, and sustained my family and I as we moved from fundamentalism to mainline Christianity.
You understand my emotional attachment to Tyndale House. This is one of those odd quirks of my personality often misunderstood. I sincerely appreciate Tyndale House for the quality materials presented to me throughout my life that have helped in no small way to me being the believer I am today. I believe the NLT is a fine translation and a trend-setter even if I do use it less these days. I appreciate Tyndale House and those people I know because of the New Living Translation.
But, don’t misunderstand this. Tyndale House, I am severely disappointed, no — dismayed and disgusted at your protection of Mark Driscoll. I will reserve condemnation of any silencing of Janet Mefferd and hope you are not part of the mafia machine behind Driscoll. There is nothing Christian about institutionalized power and such power used to silence the voice of truth.
I will make no threats. They are silly. I will only ask for your reconsideration of your denial of wrongdoing. I do not believe Tyndale would knowingly allow plagiarism; however, it is clear it did occur and has occurred in other publications. I will further ask that you make it clear you did not silence Janet Mefferd and would not attempt to use any influence in attempting to control negative publicity regarding Driscoll that was fairly leveled. I will ask that you, now, take care of all of your family, as Christians, else we consider you worse than the heathen. If there is no resolution, I will pull down every post praising Tyndale and the NLT and encourage fellow bloggers to refuse to review for them and to reconsider any past reviews.
Perhaps this is nothing but spitting in the wind, but I do not believe we should allow those we love to harm themselves and others, else we would be worse than the heathen.
In anything except for relationships, it is always grand to return to your first love. As a young and nubile prince of reviewers, I first began to review for Tyndale with their Cornerstone Commentary series and then, the NLT Study Bible. Even though the time for reviews had long since passed and I had been turned down once; yet the kind folks, sensing the my need for the NLT relented and sent me my first one… the one that changed devotional reading. This edition of the New Living Translation promises to drive reading in much the same way a new translation does — by mixing it up.
First, let us discuss the question that is pressing: Why do we need a bible set in a chronological line? Canonical theists may argue for a reading as it is set in canon. I would prefer a reading of the time of composition. The Chronological method straddles the fence between both of these in a good way. It sees Scripture as a grand narrative not of a set of authors and audience, but one of Author and one audience. Is this new? Maybe, or maybe it is presented with a foot in the past and a hand on the door of the future. Why then do we need to have such an edition? Are we not destroying sacred canon? No. After all, the canon is only recently settled, with different orders appearing in the Reformation. Reading the bible in such a way is beneficial because it helps those who struggle with viewing Scripture as a great whole (even the noted the literary theorist, Northrop Frye who struggled with religion and Christianity could see the completeness of Scripture) while maintaining their place in the grander narrative. Further, on a slightly different level, reading the bible with its self-proclaimed chronology helps to examine how different authors write of different events — thus it becomes both a scholarly and a theologically method.
The method here is to take the books along the calendar which they portend to, or tradition tells us, they follow. Therefore, you begin with Genesis even though scholars may argue it comes after other books if we were to date it by composition event because it begins the story. Added to this concept is the infusion of different parts of the story. For instance, Kings and Chronicles are placed inside one another so that a history is given that does not bare the marks of ideological driven drivel discovered if we were to separate them out. Paul’s letters are interspersed among Acts to provide a certain amount of theological detail to Acts and historical detail to the Pauline corpus. Likewise, there is here no synoptic problem. The Editors would make Tatian proud as they have made a modern day Diatessaron allowing the reader to read the story of Jesus from four angles, at once.
Coupled with this method of reading are the notes from the Life Application Study Bible acting to give the bible an applicable feel to the believer. This bible is also filled with lots of color — timelines, charts, and pictures that help to amplify the passages and even books (a personal favorite is the picture of the act of Creation at the beginning of Genesis 1). Various articles, such as “A Chronological Survey of the Bible” supplement the Life Application Study Bible notes, to allow for a deeper, investigative, study of the schema of the volume. On the top of each page is a progressing timeline so that the reader can know where she is at while reading that page. Of a particular note are the colors in Psalms. The title, theme, and author are noted in a shade of blue-green, like the eyes of the ocean. This, in my opinion, helps to separate what we have done from what the Psalmist has written. Of course the color of these headings and the headings for the rest of the volume match the color on the progressing time line. And, thank God, with all of this color, the editors have refused to use red for the words of Jesus. This, my friends, is a rather important point for me when selecting a bible.
So, now comes the inevitable question: Would I recommend the NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible? I would, but not because of some forlorn loyalty to the translation who kept me reading Scripture. Nor would I because I was provided this as a review copy. There is nothing to actually make me recommended a bible except for the fact that it is a good one. Yes, it is geared to more conservative Christians, including a Christian Worker’s Resource Guide that is, in fact, not about labor unions. Yes, it is deeply evangelical. But it is a solid translation for reading. The Life Application Study Bible notes are found in many churches across the denominational spectrum. Here, these notes that have served for years to guide believers into applying biblical precepts are coupled with an artistic take on telling the bible story as if it is a grand story of many interconnected parts, rather than a library sixty-six books. This is a great resource for renewing one’s appreciation of our place in the story of God. So yes, I would recommend it.
Thanks to the kind folks at Tyndale House for sending this review copy:
The Bible is the story of God’s interaction with his creation. It is a story that occurs over time, in many places, and through many events. It includes the lives and lessons learned by many people from many cultures. It’s often easy to lose sight of the way in which God’s story fits together when our primary way of looking at the Bible is a bit here and a bit there.
The new four-color Chronological Life Application Study Bible combines the proven resources of the Life Application Study Bible with a chronological format and several brand-new resources. The Bible is arranged in 10 chronological sections that help the reader to see how the various pieces of the Bible fit together. New section intros and timelines set the stage for the passages in each section. New archaeological notes and photographs help to bring God’s story to life in a whole new way. And of course, the Life Application resources answer the all-important question—“so what?”
Tyndale House Publishers, a Bible-only publishing house, filed suit against the government yesterday, arguing that the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate violates the owners’ right to free exercise of religion.
“The federal government has deemed devout publishers of the Bible to be insufficiently ‘religious’ to enjoy religious freedom in America,” the complaint stated.