A question from Jan 2012 about the placement of a comma in Luke 23:43 attracted this answer:

The understanding of Luke 23:43 is influenced by the punctuation used by the translator. There was no punctuation in the original Greek Bible manuscripts. The Encyclopedia Americana (1956, Vol. XXIII, p. 16) states: “No attempt to punctuate is apparent in the earlier manuscripts and inscriptions of the Greeks.” Not until the 9th century C.E. did such punctuation come into use. Should Luke 23:43 read, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (RS), or should it be, ‘Truly I say to you today, You will be with me in Paradise’? The teachings of Christ and the rest of the Bible must be the basis for determination, and not a comma inserted in the text centuries after Jesus said those words.

The Emphasised Bible translated by J. B. Rotherham agrees with the punctuation in the New World Translation. In a footnote on Luke 23:43, German Bible translator L. Reinhardt says: “The punctuation presently used [by most translators] in this verse is undoubtedly false and contradictory to the entire way of thinking of Christ and the evildoer. . . . [Christ] certainly did not understand paradise to be a subdivision of the realm of the dead, but rather the restoration of a paradise on earth.”

When would Jesus ‘get into his kingdom’ and fulfill his Father’s purpose to make the earth a paradise? The book of Revelation, written about 63 years after the statements recorded at Luke 23:42, 43 were made, indicates that these events were still in the future.

I praised the answer at the time as it appeared well thought out and researched, however, a comment from TRiG caught my eye just now:

Am I right in guessing that this entire answer is an unattributed quote from a Watchtower publication? The writing style feels familiar. – TRiG Nov 7 '12 at 0:30

A bit of Googling uncovered this article from 'Watchtower Online' containing this text near the end:

When will the evildoer be in Paradise?

One’s understanding of Luke 23:43 is influenced by the punctuation used by the translator. There was no punctuation in the original Greek Bible manuscripts. The Encyclopedia Americana (1956, Vol. XXIII, p. 16) states: “No attempt to punctuate is apparent in the earlier manuscripts and inscriptions of the Greeks.” Not until the 9th century C.E. did such punctuation come into use. Should Luke 23:43 read, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (RS), or should it be, ‘Truly I say to you today, You will be with me in Paradise’? The teachings of Christ and the rest of the Bible must be the basis for determination, and not a comma inserted in the text centuries after Jesus said those words.

The Emphasised Bible translated by J. B. Rotherham agrees with the punctuation in the New World Translation. In a footnote on Luke 23:43, German Bible translator L. Reinhardt says: “The punctuation presently used [by most translators] in this verse is undoubtedly false and contradictory to the entire way of thinking of Christ and the evildoer. . . . [Christ] certainly did not understand paradise to be a subdivision of the realm of the dead, but rather the restoration of a paradise on earth.”

When would Jesus ‘get into his kingdom’ and fulfill his Father’s purpose to make the earth a paradise? The book of Revelation, written about 63 years after the statements recorded at Luke 23:42, 43 were made, indicates that these events were still in the future. (See pages 95-98, under “Dates,” also the main heading “Last Days.”)

In other words obviously the same text with only the most minor of tweaking.

The question is, what should we do about it, and future similar cases? Edit to add the attribution, or something else?

share
1  
Compare: Christianity. Also, this has been a really big problem on Islam: meta.islam.stackexchange.com/q/324/156; meta.islam.stackexchange.com/q/193/156; meta.islam.stackexchange.com/q/369/156. –  TRiG Jan 14 '13 at 14:50
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think we should follow the guidance in this answer on MSO, which includes (my summary):

  • For a single case (not part of a pattern), edit in the attribution at the top.

  • If there's a pattern (one user doing this a lot), flag for moderator attention.

  • Either way, educate the user via comments.

(The answer from MSO also suggests hunting for more (check out this poster's other answers). I don't know how fruitful that would be here with such a wide range of possible sources, but if you're inclined, go for it.)

Discussion in the comments raises the case of an answer that is entirely a plagiarized quote (like in the case that motivated this question): should the user get to keep the rep he got from people who probably thought this was his own work, or should the answer be deleted? I think the mods will have to decide on a case-by-case basis; I'm inclined to edit in the citation but leave the answer for an isolated case (which could well be an honest mistake), but if there's a pattern of this behavior we should deletie the answer and add a link to the relevant source as a comment.

share
    
In this particular case it turns out that all 3 answers seem to be cut'n'paste: do I take it you recommend we delte the answers (I can convert them to comments and substitute the answer text for a link) –  Jack Douglas Jan 14 '13 at 16:42
3  
Ah. (That part about "go look at the other answers"? Obviously I didn't do that. :-) ) In that case then yes, I would delete the answers and comment as you said. –  Gone Quiet Jan 14 '13 at 16:45
add comment

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .