Assessing the Lost Gospel

Assessing the Lost Gospel December 1, 2014

Mark Goodacre has been sharing Richard Bauckham’s response to the claims made in the book The Lost Gospel in installments. Here are links to the posts in question:

Part 1: The Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor – Content and Context

Part 2: Misinterpreting Ephrem

Part 3: Misreading Joseph and Aseneth

Part 4: Responding to Simcha’s Responses

We had an interesting discussion in the Blogger session at SBL this year about this phenomenon, of scholars posting pdfs on blogs even when they do not have blogs themselves, rather than wait to publish in the traditional slower format and have their response to sensational claims delayed as a result. I wonder whether this is likely to be increasingly common, and if so, whether such materials will still need to be published in a traditional journal in order for the author to get “credit” for it in terms of their professional activity.


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  • Dirk Jongkind

    I guess it will be increasingly common, and the credit will come by listing such activities under the category ‘Impact’, which I think is a necessary new rubric in every academic CV.

  • Simea mirans

    There’s also the question of preservation: will the PDFs still exist and be discoverable a generation from now, so that scholars can follow the debate? (The same applues to the blogs themselves). They need to be captured in a suitable repository with an institutional commitment to long term preservation, and provided with good metadata. This stuff won’t survive by accident.

    • That’s a fantastic point. For instance, in the case of Bauckham’s series, which has just been finished, if Mark Goodacre’s blog is hacked and wiped, the pdfs he has hosted may be gone for good, for all intents and purposes. We have some serious challenges ahead of us, when it comes to preservation of scholarship and related materials offered exclusively in a digital format.