2010-12-11

Finding meaning in Mark’s “bad” Greek and distinctive style (Part 1)

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by Neil Godfrey

The earliest surviving evangelist portrait, in...

Early in the third century Hippolytus (“Philosophumena”, VII, xxx) refers to Mark as ho kolobodaktulos, i.e. “stump-fingered” or “mutilated in the finger(s)”, and later authorities allude to the same defect. Various explanations of the epithet have been suggested: that Mark, after he embraced Christianity, cut off his thumb to unfit himself for the Jewish priesthood; that his fingers were naturally stumpy; that some defect in his toes is alluded to; that the epithet is to be regarded as metaphorical, and means “deserted” (cf. Acts 13:13). (From the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia)

Some have suggested that the nickname was used to refer to the crude Greek style of his Gospel. WikiAnswers speaks of Mark’s Gospel being “written clumsily and ungrammatically, in an unpolished Greek style”.

It is sometimes said that Mark’s Gospel was written for oral presentation, even dramatic performance, and that this explains certain features of the Gospel’s style. Maybe, but Greek tragedies were written for oral presentation, too, and their language is polished; Seneca also wrote tragedies that were meant to be read aloud and used some of the most bombastic and flowery language imaginable just for this purpose.

So oral performance alone cannot be the explanation for the oddities of his Greek.

Dennis MacDonald suggests that Mark was writing an “anti-epic”, and deliberately cultivated an “anti-polished/poetic” style of “natural speech” to match his anti-epic theme.

(It might seem odd to some to speak of “deliberately cultivating” a “natural speech style”. But it is not easy to express the way we really talk in writing. For most of us it takes effort. Pick up the pen, sorry, sit at the keyboard to write just what we’ve been talking about and bang, for a few moments at least writer’s block as likely as not hits. And the words we type rarely come out just the way we would say them.)

Gilbert Bilezikian has argued that many of the unusual features of Mark’s style can be explained as a mix of the spoken language of everyday life and literary devices characteristic of dramatic performances (The Liberated Gospel: a Comparison of the Gospel of Mark and Greek Tragedy). This post looks at Bilezikian’s explanations for a wide range of the unusual features of Mark’s style. (Where technical terms such as “aorist tense” are used I link to off-site explanatory notes; I also link to the Bible Study Tools Lexicon to enable comparison of frequency of use of certain words across the Gospels.)

I also refer to additional insights by Paul Nadim Tarazi.

I begin immediately with two of my favourite Markan so-called infelicities of style:

Began . . . immediately

I can imagine some of today’s professors rebuking Mark for repeating certain words too frequently. “Use a thesaurus!” they would demand. “Find alternatives. Variety is the spice of writing.” I can also imagine Mark shrugging them off impatiently and muttering under his breath: “Idiots. I’m trying to make a point here. If they can’t see what it is I’ll quit this class.”

Bilezekian says that the auxiliary verb  “hrxato”, began is found 26 times in Mark, 6 times in Matthew, twice in Luke.

The word “euthus”, immediately, is found 41 times in Mark, 8 times in Matthew, 3 times in Luke.

The obvious effect is to convey a sense of fast-moving immediacy.

But I am sure there is more involved. Does not the repetition of both these words keep the audience focused on the opening pronouncement in the Gospel?

The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ . . . The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight (euthus) . . . .

This is the view of Paul Nadim Tarazi in Paul and Mark:

The relative importance of the passage from Isaiah becomes even clearer when one realizes that a text with the word eutheias (straight) was the perfect choice for Mark due to his remarkably frequent of other forms of the same word, especially the adverb euthys (straightaway/immediately). The latter appears no less than 42 times in this short book, compared to only 12 times throughout the rest of the New Testament — so often that English translations ignore many of these 42 instances because it is so repetitive and would not sound natural in English. But the word should not be written off so lightly, as if Mark sprinkled his carefully planned gospel text with accidental and superfluous extras. In fact, the connection between the adverb euthys and the adjective eutheias found in 1:3 will have been unmistakable for Mark’s hearers. The two words sound alike and are closely related in meaning. Given the fact that the other form of the same adverb, eutheos, occurs 34 times in the New Testament but never in Mark, one may conclude that the choice of euthys was deliberately made because its link with eutheias of Isaiah would be more apparent. Each of the 42 times Mark uses this word he is effectively pointing out how this prophecy of Isaiah’s is fulfilled. (p. 135)

We can conclude that Mark’s repetition of “immediately” or “straightaway” or “following straight on” was also intended to convey that the details of the narrative were themselves showing how the “way” was being made “straight” for the life of the Christian.

Recently we were discussing the allusion to “making a path” in the story of the disciples plucking corn on the sabbath. The same story also uses “began”:

and his disciples began to make a way, plucking the ears (Mark 2:23)

This would lead us to conclude that what Mark meant by “the beginning of the Gospel” was not simply the opening words, but that his written narrative itself was the “beginning” of a “Gospel” that referred to something more than the written text alone.

1:452:23

4:1

5:17

5:20

6:2

6:7

6:34

6:55

8:11

8:31

8:32

10:28

10:32

10:41

10:47

11:15

12:1

13:5

14:19

14:33

14:65

14:69

14:71

15:8

15:18

[The leper] went out and began to publish it much and his disciples  began, as they [made a way] to pluck the ears of corn

And he began to teach by the seaside

And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts

And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis

he began to teach in the synagogue

And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth

and he began to teach them many things

and began to carry about in beds those that were sick

And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question him

And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer

And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him

Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all

And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen

And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased

he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me

and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them

And he began to speak unto them in parables

And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed

And they began to be sorrowful

and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy

And some began to spit on him

And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by

But he began to curse and to swear

And the multitude crying aloud began to desire [Pilate] to do as he had ever done

And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!

1:10

1:12

1:18

1:20

1:21

1:28

1:29

1:30

1:31

1:42

1:43

2:2

2:8

2:12

3:6

4:5

4:15

4:16

4:17

4:29

5:2

5:13

5:29

5:30

5:36

5:42

6:25

6:27

6:45

6:50

6:54

7:35

8:10

9:15

9:20

9:24

10:52

11:2

11:3

14:43

14:45

15:1

And straightway coming up out of the water

And immediately the spirit drives him into the wilderness

And straightway they forsook their nets

And straightway he called them

and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue

And immediately his fame spread abroad

And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue

But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him

and immediately the fever left her

immediately the leprosy departed from him

and forthwith sent him away

And straightway many were gathered together

And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned

And immediately he arose, and took up the bed

And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians

and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth

Satan comes immediately, and taketh away the word

when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness

immediately they are offended

immediately he puts in the sickle

immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit

And forthwith Jesus gave them leave.

And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up

And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken

And straightway the damsel arose and walked

And she came in straightway with haste unto the king

And immediately the king sent an executioner

And straightway he constrained the disciples to get into the ship

And immediately he talked with them

And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him

And straightway his ears were opened

And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples

And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed

and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him

And straightway the father of the child cried out

And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way

and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a cold tied

and straightway he will send him hither

And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas

And as soon as he was come, he goes straightway to him

And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation

 

Frequent use of the historic present

The effect of the frequent use of the present tense is to create “the impression of vividness and directness”.

Mark’s Gospel uses this 151 times.

Matthew’s Gospel, much longer than Mark, uses it 78 times.

Luke’s Gospel, also much longer, uses it 10 times.

Even when Mark gave the speaker’s words in indirect narration Mark used the present tense or the perfect:

And again he entered into Capernaum, after [some] days, and it was heard that he is in the house (Mark 2:1)

Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. (Mark 15:44)

and Mary the Magdalene, and Mary of Joses, were beholding where he is laid. (Mark 15:47)

And having looked, they see that the stone hath been rolled away — for it was very great (Mark 16:4)

Other times, in the past tense Mark used the imperfect rather than the aorist. He thus brought the events somewhat closer to the reader in a descriptive tense. (p. 113)

Direct Discourse

Teachings of Jesus and debates involving Jesus are expressed in direct speech “as though written to be repeated by an actor in the same circumstances.” (p. 113)

The Gospel’s dialogues follow the stichomythic form found in Greek tragedy. Examples include Jesus’ conversations with

Legion

And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

And he asked him, What is thy name?

And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

the Syrophoenician woman

But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.

And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.

father of the epileptic boy

And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him?

And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

the rich young man

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Bartimaeus

And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.

Bilezekian sees Mark following the close relationship between this sort of dialogue and recognition scenes in Greek tragedy. Sophocles’ Electra, for example has the following recognition scene:

ELECTRA And where is that unhappy one’s tomb?

ORESTES There is none; the living have no tomb.

ELECTRA What sayest thou, boy?

ORESTES Nothing that is not true.

ELECTRA The man is alive?

ORESTES If there be life in me.

ELECTRA What? Art thou he?

ORESTES Look at this signet, once our father’s, and judge if I speak truth.

ELECTRA O blissful day!

ORESTES Blissful, in very deed!

ELECTRA Is this thy voice?

ORESTES Let no other voice reply.

ELECTRA Do I hold thee in my arms?

ORESTES As mayest thou hold me always!

ELECTRA Ah, dear friends and fellow-citizens, behold Orestes here, who was feigned dead, and now, by that feigning hath come safely home!

Compare the recognition scene in Mark’s Gospel

And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?

And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.

And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.

Bilezekian cites Lyman’s book, The Christian Epic (p. 86)

Mary E. Lyman remarked that Mark used direct discourse in instances where it is “merely a way of bringing a scene more clearly or more impressively before us.” Such are some of the commands uttered by Jesus, which sharply intensify dramatic situations:

Be silent, and come out of him

I will; be clean

I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home

Little girl, I say to you, arise

Be opened

Peace! Be still!

Aramaic

For an even more realistic effect the phrase is sometimes pronounced in Aramaic, but its translation always follows, being an element of the narrative so as not to attract attention:

Tali tha cumi (5:41)

Ephphaha (7:34)

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani (15:34)

Mark’s use of Aramaic expressions and occasional Latin terms also has antecedents in Greek tragedy. Aristotle stated that “a certain admixture of unfamiliar terms is necessary. These, the strange word, the metaphor, the ornamental equivalent, etc. . . . will save the language from seeming mean and prosaic.” (p. 114)

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44 Comments

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  • 2010-12-11 18:34:27 GMT+0000 - 18:34 | Permalink

    Since first posting the above I have since added a section quoting Tarazi’s argument for Mark’s deliberate repetition of “euthys” (immediately) and its significance for the theme the Gospel’s prophetic fulfilment.

  • Mike K
    2010-12-12 00:58:15 GMT+0000 - 00:58 | Permalink

    Neil, the literary solutions are interesting, but I wonder if the Gospel’s bad Greek and reduntant style is a sign of working in a second language and not being able to reach the rhetorical skills of even an educated Christian like the author of Luke-Acts, much less the standards of elite classical texts. On stumpyfingered in both Hippolytus & the so-called Anti-Marcionite prologue, J.L. North “MARKOS HO KOLOBODAKTYLOS: Hippolytus, Elenchus, VII.30″ JTS 29 (1977): 498-507 has a good overview and creative solution; probably the best books on the reception history of Mark’s gospel and of the patristic authors who were less than impressed with Mark’s style are C. Clifton Black “Mark: Images of an Apostolic Interpreter” or the midieval turned biblical scholar Brenda Deen Schildgen, “Power and Prejudice” (both on google preview).

    • 2010-12-12 08:30:08 GMT+0000 - 08:30 | Permalink

      Comments and statistics on previous posts on this blog have led me to think that many of those reading this post would be well aware of Casey’s arguments, and also be aware of challenges to their validity. I deliberately avoided even indirect allusions to Casey’s name and argument here because I don’t want to come across as “always attacking Casey” or taking cheap shots at him.

      Some of the arguments against Casey’s proposal draw attention to their inconsistency and to their one-sided view of the evidence.

      On inconsistencies, Casey will point to ‘nonsense’ in Mark’s Greek as evidence that he was misreading Aramaic texts, even misreading very common words such as ‘go/walk along’!, and was not “fully competent” in either of the languages he spoke as a bilingual, and but on the other hand really was fully competent to have gone back and corrected all his mistakes — IF he had not died prematurely!

      So which is it? Was Mark writing a rough draft that he would have corrected and polished afterwards? Or was he so incompetent that he would misread even common words simply because of a single letter not expressed clearly, even when the letter’s ambiguity was very well-known to anyone learning the alphabet?

      Further on inconsistency of Casey’s argument: He will argue that Mark’s Greek was sometimes outright nonsense and that this is to be explained by him incompetently attempting to translate Aramaic. But in another publication Casey argues that Mark could not possibly have been influenced by Latin, because that would make him look incompetent as a writer of Greek!

      (This inconsistency of Casey’s argument was pointed out in a recent post discussing Casey’s argument, and again in one of the comments to that post.)

      On the one-sidedness of Casey’s argument, Casey will simply declare that a passage in Mark does not “make sense” when read against his own assumptions that are always asserted and nowhere justified, and then, in defiance of Ockham’s razor, bring in multiple layers of hypotheses to “explain” a certain passage in Mark, and subsequently declare that “this makes sense of the passage”. What Casey fails to do is acknowledge the alternative explanations that are out there in the literature and that do make very good sense of the Greek as it stands.

      Casey unfortunately lets his readers down by failing to observe the norms of scholarly standards in arguing his hypothesis. Even in works for a wide readership (for academic peers as well as educated lay readers) it is standard procedure to explain why the previously argued hypotheses are considered inadequate and how the new hypothesis better explains the problems left unresolved by those earlier attempts.

      Casey, on the other hand, ignores alternative explanations. Simply saying an alternative explanation is “interesting” and then holding up another explanation instead is not an argument for why we should reject one hypothesis in preference for another.

      This is not to say that I do not discount some Aramaic influence of some kind on Mark. Others have pointed out indications of this for some time, now, yet without seeing this as any indicator that Mark was translating from Aramaic written sources. But the Aramaic influence needs to be seen in the context of the Latin influence as well, and Casey does not do full — or consistent — justice to the Latinisms.

      As for Mark’s literary competence, there are many studies now pointing out the sophistication of Mark’s literary structure and rhetorical devices. When scholars like Casey and Crossley simply dismiss these with “that’s going too far” or “that’s reading too much into it” they are failing to address, let alone refute, these arguments.

      The arguments for literary sophistication in Mark’s Gospel meet the standards of coherence, explanatory power and simplicity. Casey’s argument must break Mark’s gospel up into a series of incoherent units as far as the surface text reads (in defiance of alternative well-known coherent readings of the surface text), resort to contradictory explanations, and draw on multiple conjectural hypotheses in order to work.

      • mikelioso
        2010-12-12 08:57:53 GMT+0000 - 08:57 | Permalink

        “The arguments for literary sophistication in Mark’s Gospel meet the standards of coherence, explanatory power and simplicity.”
        So do, I think, the arguments that Mark is simply an unpolished writer. Evidence such as “We can conclude that Mark’s repetition of “immediately” or “straightaway” or “following straight on” was also intended to convey that the details of the narrative were themselves showing how the “way” was being made “straight” for the life of the Christian.”, is fairly subjective and it would be hard to place to much weight on this.

        • 2010-12-12 15:23:15 GMT+0000 - 15:23 | Permalink

          Did you read the evidence for objective grounds for the argument? If you still think the argument is subjective then explain why the objective case fails.

          • mikelioso
            2010-12-13 06:53:40 GMT+0000 - 06:53 | Permalink

            The basis of the argument appears to be “a reader would think this and, Mark thinks this.” That these words are used a lot is objective, That he has a higher purpose in mind other than keeping the action going is subjective. The most common appraisal I’ve heard concerning Mark is that his frequent use of “straightaway” is just unsophisticated story telling, like a pulp novel or comic book. I don’t think the arguments here necessarily topple that. While they are both subjective, the ideas you are presenting here require us to imagine some higher purpose in Mark a lot of other competent Greek readers have missed out on. If the point is that obscure, I can’t be sure Mark intended to make it.

            • 2010-12-13 08:18:43 GMT+0000 - 08:18 | Permalink

              You failed to notice the grounds for the argument.

              But as for many generations of readers missing something in a text this is not so strange as you suggest. The question is not about capturing the literal meaning of the words, but discovering (recovering) cultural and contextual indicators that have long since been lost, and that once recovered give us a richer, sometimes quite new, understanding of what the author intended. This is as true of biblical texts as it is of classical and more recent ones.

  • 2010-12-12 02:56:55 GMT+0000 - 02:56 | Permalink

    JW:
    Okay, so after reading B you straightWay began to understand “Mark”. I think “Mark” would really appreciate that those of us who are last and on the outside (non-Christians) “understand” while those who are first and on the inside (McGrath El-all) have a loaf of bread in one ear and a fish sticking out of the other.

    As usual, I see “Mark” following the Way of Paul here. Paul’s attitude is simple. Jesus’ Passion is important. Jesus’ Ministry was not (MJ would say this with a slightly different word order). Paul and “Mark” coordinate with the possible HJ scenario that the historical disciples were promoting Jesus’ Ministry while Paul was promoted Jesus’ supposed Passion and this competition was the historical conflict (as opposed to a conflict in Jesus’ supposed time). “Mark” is giving flesh to Paul’s themes and creates the original Gospel narrative primarily to emphasize the Passion over the Ministry. “Mark” chooses the genre of GT and therefore his responsibility is primarily to the God of STYLE and not Israel.

    Regarding your excellent observation of “Mark’s” use of the straightaway ad Nazorean, the observant student should note that “Mark” has rightly divided his Ministry/Passion sections in a number of stylish Ways. The obvious one is through use of the Recognition scenes at chapters 8 and 9, half the Way through, with the Ministry before and the Passion mainly after. In accordance with the unimportance of the Ministry, these stories go relatively fast and are short. Note that most of the straightWays are with the Ministry. With the Ministry than you have a relatively long chronological time covered with proportionately little text. In contrast, the Passion is a relatively short chronological period which receives disproportionate text. The Passion story goes relatively slow and is comparatively long in details. Now note the infrequency of the “straightWay” in the Passion:

    14:43 And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas

    14:45 And as soon as he was come, he goes straightway to him

    15:1 And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation

    Of especial note here is the Ironic transfer of the straightWay attribute from Jesus to his opponents. In the Passion Jesus is now never in a hurry to get to schooling, he takes it like a son of man. But Judas is the one now in a hurry (twice) and the chief priests once. For contrast, observe how slow Jesus moves at the G-spot. I believe the only emotion Jesus shows during the Passion is at the G-spot, which is the preparation for the Passion. During the Trial note that Jesus goes from a few words to complete silence while his opponents go from silence, to words, to shouting and to hitting. This is flipped from the Ministry where Jesus is the One with emotions and his opponents are generally emotionless. All in line with Paul’s “crucify your Passions”. Jesus had to have Passions before he could crucify them.

    I have a dedicated Thread at FRDB:

    http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=244055

    “Mark “I Am IronyMan”. How Much Ironic Contrast, Transfer and Reversal Did He kraM?”

    to inventory this style phenomena. This type of style is a long Way from a crude, ungrammatical account based on memories of Peter’s teachings (it should be obvious by now to the objective student that “Mark” is an original, sophisticated and thoughtful creation).

    Joseph

    • 2010-12-12 09:03:46 GMT+0000 - 09:03 | Permalink

      My first love for making sense of Mark was Mary Ann Tolbert, Sowing the Gospel. This, and similar discussions, led me to see Mark as a short novel. Then there was Dennis MacDonald’s The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark which alerted me to a pool of scholars who have been working on Mark’s mimesis of classical (in addition to Hebrew) texts, including specific scenes from the epics and classical Greek tragedies.

      Many of the (Aristotelian) devices Bilezekian identifies in common to both Greek (and Senecan) tragedy and Mark’s Gospel are also features of the popular novel and epic literature.

      Mark’s Gospel’s structure and some of its related rhetorical devices are also similar to Primary History (Genesis to 2 Kings) and Herodotus’s Histories. (Primary History was very likely compiled and redacted to imitate Homer’s work, anyway.)

      But that latter detail does not argue any more strongly for the Gospel of Mark being history than it does for Genesis to 2 Kings being real history. One can identify the creative motifs in that canon that were born of a need to justify the experiences of people resettled into Judaea by the Persians and to instill them with a new identity.

      Mark’s Gospel is replete with all the marks of creative literature from start to finish — no historical underlay. (The only historical bits are those setting details that are not anachronistic, such as Jerusalem being a real city, Pilate being governor and Herod being a — no, he wasn’t a king, was he, but Herod having some sort of authority at the same time.)

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  • John
    2010-12-19 14:01:08 GMT+0000 - 14:01 | Permalink

    This discussion is tongue in cheek and connects dots that may really not be connected. It is in the best style of christian historical exegesis. Another Greek/Hebrew double entendre is exposed.

    Mark: Sophisticated structure, yet showing signs of hasty or careless composition, familiarity with Jewish texts, a superficial knowledge about Hellenic literary tradition, and poor grasp of Koine Greek? Written in Rome, shortly after the end of the Jewish Revolt?
    The text of Mark does not offend Roman geo-political sensibilities because it presents Pontius Pilate as a puzzled and put upon nice guy, and creates Jesus as an otherworldly, apolitical, misunderstood and generally harmless cult leader, instead of as yet another violent commander of a messianic liberation movement (See SGF Brandon, Jesus and the Zealots)?

    Sounds like “Josephus” or someone like him, a Judean steeped in his own traditions, having some acquaintance with Hellenic culture, not a native Greek speaker, who was carried off to Rome, and enjoined to write pro Roman propaganda.

    Was Jesus’ corpse resuscitated as per a literal reading of the gospel attributed to John, or carried away by his sycophants (as per Celsus and rabbinic tradition)? The surviving text fragment of Mark is incomplete, it ends with a missing corpse without resolution as to how the corpse went missing from where it had been stashed. The long and short endings were later interpolations.
    Is this early censorship?
    Did the original end of the text get shredded and its author whacked when Domitian, about 95 CE, purged Rome of the “philosophers” his father and brother had recruited and subsidized?

    Is our putative author Joseph ben Mattithyahu providing us with a subtle clue that he wrote the text by commemorating and aggrandizing himself as the character “Joseph Arimathias” or Joseph the lion of Mattithyahu? Is this another of the notorious bilingual double entendres to be found in the gospels (see prior posting).

    This hypothesis is no more bizarre than some orthodox christian interpretations. Their hypothesis are typically more convoluted and resort to references of questionable historicity.

  • 2010-12-22 11:50:14 GMT+0000 - 11:50 | Permalink

    BTW… one final note. I was wrong. Michael DID in fact has ID3 tags on his original .mp3. I just checked my copy and there are there. I know people get really crazy when someone makes mistakes so I just wanted to make it clear, that I was incorrect in that last entry where I said he did. So now, anyone that I give the file will see all that crap if I was to give them a copy of the file. BTW… I won’t be giving it to anyone (other than already having given it to Neil per his request) Since Michael has expressed concern of people sharing the file, I would certainly not go out of my way to share it against his wishes. But I did just want to make sure that my prior statement that he had not tagged his file in my earlier comment was wrong.

    Cheers! RichGriese.NET

    • Michael Halcomb
      2010-12-22 12:11:55 GMT+0000 - 12:11 | Permalink

      Well, for whoever has the file, I would ask that you not share it. Neil, please do not share it.

      Finally, Rich, yes, we do have different philosophies. But part of the reason for that is that in the research / academic world, nobody is just going to be able to city and ID3 and everyone else take that seriously. A book or article is different than an mp3 in many many ways.

      If I have learned anything from this, it is don’t put my stuff out there trusting that people will handle it appropriately. In fact, it is even distasteful that after all this, Neil still asked for a copy of it and it was shared. Unreal! But Rich, thanks for not spreading it anywhere else, I appreciate that, I can only hope Neil will have the same respect for my wishes not to share it.

      • 2010-12-22 13:50:39 GMT+0000 - 13:50 | Permalink

        Michael, your use of the word “appropriately” is insulting to me. The idea that you put a file on the web, and someone downloaded it is somehow inappropriate is angering to me. Get off your fucking righteous horse.

        Cheers! RichGriese.NET

        • Michael Halcomb
          2010-12-22 13:59:46 GMT+0000 - 13:59 | Permalink

          classy, rich! it may be insulting to you but maybe that’s because you’re the one on a “fucking righteous horse”. you are only fooling yourself if you don’t think people misuse and mis-distribute content. yes, i posted it. i posted it for people to hear and even use. i didn’t say downloading it was necessarily inappropriate. what is done w/it afterwards may be what is inappropriate. i’m just asking folks to be respectful of my property…there is nothing at all wrong with that and if you think they’re is, then you’re MOST CERTAINLY on a “fucking righteous horse”. asking someone to respect your property whether it be physical, intellectual, etc. isn’t righteous. in fact, i’d say that acting as if my request is out of bounds is the problem. cheers to that mate!

          • Michael Halcomb
            2010-12-22 16:22:38 GMT+0000 - 16:22 | Permalink

            Rich, hey man, I feel a little bad about my previous comment, so, let me just say this last comment and I’ll be done here. I do appreciate both your willingness to honor my request and your advice for the future as well. Probably, I have not given you as much credit as I should in my above comments. Certainly, you do have knowledge on internet and tech stuff. Of course, I do to. Even so, I don’t really feel like I was on a righteous horse or any kind of high horse, really, this whole thing was just asking respectfully to not share the content without citation, that’s it. And we have both acknowledged that we have different views on these things. Regardless, I’ll leave this conversation where it is. With all that said, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, I hope all bodes well for you and your loved ones. The same to everyone else as well.

            Grace and peace,
            -Michael Halcomb

            • 2010-12-22 16:39:15 GMT+0000 - 16:39 | Permalink

              Thank you for finishing on a positive good-will note.

              Cheers Neil

  • 2010-12-22 02:16:13 GMT+0000 - 02:16 | Permalink

    JW:
    Just found an audio lecture here:

    ….michaelhalcomb.blogspot.com/2010/10/was-mark-framed-killing-messenger-in.html [Link no longer active, 15th August, 2015, Neil — see http://blog.michaelhalcomb.com/2010/10/was-mark-framed-killing-messenger-in.html for author’s note]

    Was Mark Framed? Killing the Messenger in Mark’s Greek Tragedy (Audio)Was Mark Framed?

    Where a Michael Halcomb argues (well) that “Mark” is Greek Tragedy. Probably inspired by my related Thread at FRDB (Why are all Markan experts named “Michael”?). Halcomb, like Bilezikian before him, is a believer who just thinks that GT is a stylish and effective Way to communicate the Passion and resurrection. Perhaps they will eventually come to accept the significance of the endings of GT.

    AnyWay, he has lots of good parallels between “Mark” and GT and related insights. He notes that historically there is no consensus on the Frame (big picture presentation style) of “Mark”. The most popular is Geographic (Galilee, Judea & Jerusalem). He righteously points out that in trying to ID “Mark’s” Jesus, above all else, this Jesus is a Messenger (GT). The relatively short stories fit the episode structure of GT, the supposed 12 disciples parallel the common 12 members of the chorus (GT) and the select 3 disciples at a time fit the limit of 3 actors on stage at a time (GT).

    There is an instructive contrast here to Casey in that Casey’s Aramaic theory receives interest from Christian Bible scholarship because they WANT to believe its true even though there is no real evidence for it. On the other hand, while there is real evidence for “Mark” being GT, Christian Bible scholarship is generally not interested in it because they do not want to believe it. The lesson here is that regarding the evidential value of evidence maintained by Christianity you do not have to think they are liars to doubt it. You only have to know what their MOTIVATIONS were. Motivation to seek, gather, develop and improve evidence that supported Christian assertians and motivation to avoid, deny, shun and hide evidence that went against Christian assertians (none of this is unique to Christianity by the Way). That is why this evidence gets discounted.

    Joseph

    Enjoy!

  • Michael Halcomb
    2010-12-22 05:08:45 GMT+0000 - 05:08 | Permalink

    Joseph,
    Sorry buddy, I was not “inspired” by your thread. You are certainly not the first one to suggest this. I had never even seen your thread until you put a link to it on my site. I do ask, however, that you do not “steal” my material (you did cite it hear and I am grateful for that but please, do not hi-jack it and act as if it is your own…not saying you’re doing that now, just please do not do it in the future…I hope to be publishing this work in the near future). Also, I do have proper citation format on the site.

    • 2010-12-22 07:13:21 GMT+0000 - 07:13 | Permalink

      Hi Michael. Be assured that Joseph has presented your work here as yours, and his discussion and linking of it here is by no means “hi-jacking” it — so no need, on the basis of what Joseph had done here, to have the slightest concern regarding that for the future. Josephs’ reference and linking of your work is entirely proper and is fulfiling what the internet is meant to be all about.

      A Creative Commons licence might interest you.

      • Michael Halcomb
        2010-12-22 07:17:10 GMT+0000 - 07:17 | Permalink

        Neil, I didn’t say he hi-jacked it here, I was asking him not to do so elsewhere (read my comment a bit more closely, esp. what’s in the parentheses). My main bone of contention was the claim that my work was inspired by his thread, which it totally was not. As for proper citation, any can cite properly anywhere, it does not take a built in web feature to do so: T. Michael W. Halcomb, “Title”, Location, Conference / Publication, etc.

        • 2010-12-22 07:38:26 GMT+0000 - 07:38 | Permalink

          Citation conventions do serve a number of purposes, many of them legacy from the print era that we still use, but nothing is lost by direct linking to your work on the internet, along with your name and attribution. I often cite a book by hyperlinking it to the direct source on Google books or LibraryThing. The internet is enabling new and more useful methods of attribution. (I was aware you did not say JW was hijacking anything now which was the point of my ‘future fear’ reference.)

  • Michael Halcomb
    2010-12-22 05:11:41 GMT+0000 - 05:11 | Permalink

    By the way, Joseph, forgive me for sounding so crass. I’m sure you know that my work is original to a great degree and therefore, I just want to protect it, all the while sharing it and not keeping it totally secret. Knowledge is good. I should say, I’m glad you find my work convincing (to some degree) and stimulating. There is MUCH more to say than what I put forth in that brief lecture. I do hope to write a commentary or monograph on this too!

  • 2010-12-22 16:53:37 GMT+0000 - 16:53 | Permalink

    Hey folks,

    I just realized the problem here, possibly. Michael earlier said;

    “Tim, As I said, I’m glad to share info freely (e.g. at no cost).”

    Michael is using a different meaning of the word SHARE than what is common on the internet.

    Generally when someone says, “I will share this file with you”, they mean that you can get a copy of that file. As in a “file sharing system”. A file is not like a book. With a book if two people want to read it only one can read it at a time. With a file copies are generally made, and “shared”. The term “sharing a book”, and “sharing a file” are meant two different ways. In reality, when someone says they will “share” a file, it generally means, that they will give you a copy of the file. Since, computers allow virtually instantaneous copies of files to me made at no cost. This is different than a book. If you wanted to make your friend a copy of your book, that would involve cost. If you want to make your friend a copy of your file, it involves no cost. You simply duplicate your file.

    When people talking about “sharing their file with the world”, they don’t mean that each person takes a turn reading their original file, like with a book, they mean, look I put my file here on a server, and you can all make copies for your personal use.

    In fact, every time a web page is viewed by you using a browser, you are actually making a copy of the file the have stored on a server, that copy is delivered to your computer, and then your browser displays a copy of the file. We say we “shared” our web page with others, but really we allowed people to download copies of our web page, so that our browser could display them to us locally. On the internet the word “SHARE” means “allowing someone to copy”.

    So while Michael says;

    “Tim, As I said, I’m glad to share info freely (e.g. at no cost).”

    He does not actually use the word in an internet sense. Since he is making the point, that he is upset that someone made a copy of his file, and he actually then asked people NOT to make copies of his file. And requested that anyone that had already made a copy of his file, to not make any more copies. And in fact, on his web site he recently posted;

    “NOTE: Due to a certain someone attempting to misuse my lecture, I have since removed it. Sorry!”

    He is NOT actually glad to “share” his info freely, because he has label that “misuse” on his web site, and here in this thread made it clear that he is angered and someone made a copy of his file.

    He means SHARE in a different way than the word SHARED is used in computer science.

    It was my mistake in not understanding this. All of my comments initially began from this misunderstanding of Michael’s use of the term SHARE. His indicating that he wanted to SHARE was meaning something different to him than it was to a normal computer user.

    Im any event, perhaps if nothing else, the discussion on the “beauty of the hyperlink” and how it has made footnoting and/or citing no longer necessary on the internet will have been of us to some others. Even if it resulted in a little bruhaha.

    Cheers! RichGriese.NET

  • 2010-12-22 07:14:43 GMT+0000 - 07:14 | Permalink

    Get the file directly at …..kristihalcomb.com/Halcomb_WasMarkFramed.mp3 [Link no longer active. 24th August, 2015 — Neil]

    Cheers! RichGriese.NET

    • Michael Halcomb
      2010-12-22 07:27:29 GMT+0000 - 07:27 | Permalink

      This is EXACTLY what makes me not want to share my stuff! People like you, Rich, cannot let the content exist where it is posted, you have to dig and dig and then rip it off and share it with the world. As a scholar, I ask who takes his work seriously, I ask that you not share this file with others, since you have downloaded it. I have now removed the file from the link you posted. Unfortunately, others will not be able to hear it now.

      • 2010-12-22 07:41:13 GMT+0000 - 07:41 | Permalink

        I don’t understand you. Your work is more widely known via the sharing mechanisms on the net. You are becoming more well known and personally acknowledged by such sharing.

        Look also how easy it is for you to access the works of others, too, this way.

        • 2010-12-22 08:57:36 GMT+0000 - 08:57 | Permalink

          I see this kind of thing more and more. Religion industry professionals appear to want to be part of the internet explosion. Many of them are creating personal blogs, trying to interest the public in their work, and the work of their industry. Some, are also talking excitedly about the potential for the religion industry via the internet. But, then at the same time, they seem to be trapped in an old method of thinking. In addition, they sometimes reveal a lack of knowledge of how the internet works (this is understandable since it is not their field).

          With regards to the second point. The commenters poster talks about people having to “dig and dig and then rip off…”. First off. This shows that he does not realize two things. First that almost every browser has buttons that appear right on your tool bar that show the media files related to a pare. This is called a TOOL. It does not require “digging and digging”. Second thinking helping others find information is seen sometimes as “ripping off”. This is just totally incorrect. That is like saying, that a browser “rips off” web pages when they view them. THE POINT of a URL is to distribute information. If you don’t want someone to view a essays or listen to a mp3, DON’T put it on a public web page. It’s like a business installing a phone, and then any time someone looks up their phone number and calls them them to say “why did you rip off” my phone number! It just shows a total lack of understanding of what the web is, and how it is used.

          I think that there is a explainable reason for this attitude. And I think that with education it can both be change. And, with an appropriate change in attitude, the religion industry COULD actually take advantage of the internet.

          First off… a very short bit of history. The religion academics industry, like other academic industries, existed before the internet. A collection of say chemistry researchers existed throughout the world, when communication was much different than it was today. They had the brilliant idea of creating a club or a network so they communicate with each other. Granted, one chemist could write a letter to another, and hey often did. But clubs facilitate what we eventually called mailing lists, bulletin boards, and even magazines. It was all about creating ways to share information when sharing information was hard.

          If a chemist wanted to announce some cool finding, they would write to the club headquarters, and provide details of their experiment. The club would then send a copy of that information to everyone in the club. The club later realized they could take advantage of economic efficiencies of scale by, instead of sending to everyone information any time they received it… they accumulated that information, and sent a digest each month, or quarter, or year. And hence the scientific journal was born. This also facilitated an even greater network. For, as “World Chemistry Journal” became know, a chemist working in the out of the way small town in Peru, could write to the club headquarters, and ask to be added to the list of members so they could receive the periodical. There was a cost for this, because the printing, mailing, and even the administration took effort.

          Today, almost all this an be done for free. Computerized mailing lists, blogs, forums allow all the above mentioned procedures at zero cost… other than computer access. But… since everyone now has computer access, that cost does not even have to be born by the club. So, the chemist in Peru HAS a computer, and internet access, to the “World Chemistry Journal” does not even have to consider any costs. Since each of the Chemists is paying the cost of getting access to the internet.

          So today, chemists, or religion professionals can share information freely with zero cost to any coordinating club. In fact, the clubs can expand to everyone. I should be able to, as a non-chemist, receive all the posts of every chemist that writes to the club. So not only has the problem of communication between a collection of parties scattered throughout the world interested in a subject been solved. But in fact, communication pretty much between anyone in the world has been accomplished (assuming internet access).

          Now in many professions an evolution took place that I believe causes some not to cheer this evolution, but to see it as a problem.

          As the chemist community grow, politics within the chemist community grew. The “journal” became part of the chemist community, and as such the community became adjusted by it. Let’s say you were a chemist that was not hired by a company, but instead was hired by a college. So your product was teaching chemistry. Ok, so the college like any other business wanted to reduce it’s cost (teaching expenditures), so perhaps they arranged with the chemist that they would reduce his salary slightly, but they would make up for it by paying him whenever he contributed to a particular chemistry journal. You can see where this is going. Even if the chemist was not payed, let’s say the “NEW journal of chemistry” wanted to start seeing a business oppertunity. The might approach say the best college of Chemistry, and say “we will make sure that one article in our journal comes from a teachings in your school each issue, and will include the name of your school in that article” if you try to encourage some of your teachers to start sending articles to our journal.

          Net, Net, NET… journals started to be affected by natural economics and market forces. So today, Journals, and universities, and research institutes has complicated social, political, and economic relationships with Journals. It is a complex history, and of course not a straight line. But we all are aware of it to a certain extent. To convince you of this think of the saying;

          “publish or perish”

          If we jump back to our original description as a journal simply being a mechanism for a community of people interested in topic X to keep in touch… the phrase “publish or perish” would have no affect on that mechanism. But since today we accept that phrase as true, it follows that there have obviously been changes to the purpose and affects of Journals.

          So what does this all have to do with the religion industry having to adjust it’s mind set to take advantage of the internet?

          Well, the religion industry, and any other industry that has evolved so that their experts rely on either money, or some kind of commitment to journals and therefore are economically tied to journals, and going to have to change.

          The sort of “Yes, I can answer that question, buy my book” is not going to work on the internet. Even if the book is great. The internet is about freely sharing. If you are a person looking for information about X you are more likely to read website Y on the subject even if it is only 20% as good as the Book. At least to start. First the web page is immediate, plus the web page is free, plus, with discussion pages, and comment systems. That web page may lead you to person Z or website W that can provide you more information. It is faster and cheaper to use the internet to search our free resources and people than it is to put a book on your Amazon wish list, and or order it.

          Newspapers have found this out. Why purchase a newspaper any longer, when there is so much news on the web?

          Some will argue that experts know more and just asking random people will give you bad information. This is an excuse. While true, it overlooks the probability that additional internet tools will be created to help you find people and material with either a confidence level you accept, or based on other criteria. It is on the level of a Horse Stable owner saying, “yeah, those cars might be fast, but there is nothing like the personal knowledge of our drivers when you have to get someplace”. It is a excuse to keep an old industry going, not a true reason to not buy a car.

          In addition, because journals and industries have evolved politics, one could argue that you WANT information from outside the experts. Some argue that Journals, and professional organizations have become gatekeepers. Deciding what information is acceptable, and what information is not. And prohibiting a true marketplace of ideas from actually being exchanged. Creating in effect and small industry of “experts” that can further enhance some economically either by marketing only some experts as worth listening to, or other spin off type marketing ideas that result from other than a open marketplace of ideas.

          The religion industry will have to think about all this. Many people are happy and looking forward to finding and talking with individuals about ideas that have formerly all been funneled through certain religion industry gatekeepers. The actually would PREFER talking to people in a free open market of ideas, rather than only read books and journals marketed by industry gatekeepers.

          The religion industry is going to have to deal with the soon to come FLOOD of exchanging of information that is going to come from people all through out the world that are going to start freely discuss religion ideas with the new internet tools.

          The religion industry and professionals are going to find them selves saying “what were we thinking trying to get people to pay for our work, and complaining when people shared it!” And are going to end up hiring marketing companies that will teach them how to find a way to FREEly share their information with more people, because if they don’t other free information will be available to the public.

          Cheers! RichGriese.NET

        • Michael Halcomb
          2010-12-22 08:05:12 GMT+0000 - 08:05 | Permalink

          Neil, I had asked Joseph above to cite the material when he used it in the future. He did so here (by linking to my site), which I was grateful for. Then, here comes someone else, after I had already mentioned this, telling people to go get the file at a place away from my site (where it was uploaded on a server). I put it on my site precisely so people would know it was my work, that it was me lecturing. However, by going and downloading the mp3, only to disseminate it with no name or anything, nobody would have a clue who it is. The point is: This is original work, put on my site to share from my site (or at least linked back to it, as Joseph did, again, for which I am grateful), not put on my site to share away from my site. How in the world does this NOT make sense to you? What is so hard to understand about it? I am not becoming more well known when it shared away from my site and apart from my name.

          • 2010-12-22 09:05:11 GMT+0000 - 09:05 | Permalink

            BTW, Michael. a simple solution to your above concern is to add ID3 tags to your mp3 file. the artist and album ID3 are perfect place to put your name and your website when distributing your mp3. This overcomes the worry you are talking about in the above post.

            Cheers! RichGriese.NET

            • Michael Halcomb
              2010-12-22 09:08:54 GMT+0000 - 09:08 | Permalink

              Seriously, Rich, who is looking at ID3 tags on the internet or anywhere else…VERY few people. Most people won’t even know what that is. And many flash/mp3 players online do not make this info directly seeable or accessible. So, no, it doesn’t overcome that worry.

              • 2010-12-22 09:22:13 GMT+0000 - 09:22 | Permalink

                Michael, BTW, when you play a mp3 file with virtually any mp3 player, it is the title, artist, and album ID3 tags that are displayed in the players information window. So for example, if you play a mp3 with iTunes, VLC, Windows Media Player, or other players, everyone that plays it will see these tags. In fact, virtually any online Flash player that plays an mp3 right in a browser window ALSO displays the Id3 data. If you are having problems with the Flash based players, look to add a parameter to the embed. I will tell you that virtually any flash based player now allows you to display ID3 information when playing. It may simply have been something that you overlooked thinking about.

                In addition. The ID3 data becomes part of the mp3 files. So If I make an mp3 files, and give it to you, and even if you DO find some way to play it without being aware of the title, author, or album information, if you xfer that to anyone else, THEY will certainly see that information. In fact, you would have to get a audio editor,and edit the information out of the file to prevent someone from knowing where the file you gave them came from. You are making a argument that people in the computer industry would not accept. You not thinking in a way that can actually promote yourself via these mp3s but are limiting your thinking. Try putting your name in the author tag, and your URL in the album tag, and sending the file to some friends to play, and then ask them what your URL is. I bet if you they will be able to tell you.

                Cheers! RichGriese.NET

              • Michael Halcomb
                2010-12-22 09:26:27 GMT+0000 - 09:26 | Permalink

                Again, Rich, I know what ID3 tags are and how they work. But, for example, the googleplayer that I used on my site…ID3 tags, well, they’re all but absent. No avg person could look at that player and tell you the ID3 info!!! TONS of other players work this way too, leaving the tags off! Seriously, I know you think I’m clueless about all of this but I’m not. Most people, however, are.

  • Michael Halcomb
    2010-12-22 09:05:16 GMT+0000 - 09:05 | Permalink

    Rich, you totally miss the point.

    First of all, I have complete knowledge of browsers (and how they dig), I’m a web and content designer for goodness’ sake!!! I know full well how to do this! The problem is promulgating someone’s information without citing it. I don’t mind sharing information for free (clearly, you haven’t looked at the 6 language sites I’ve created, etc. etc. etc.) but I do mind it being hijacked. For all of your pre-judgments and think-you-know-it-all about me, you’re quite wrong and in fact, know VERY little about me. I just lol here. You act as if because someone doesn’t adopt your ideology, they are ignorant of the internet, etc. This is absurd. I disagree w/your ideology on technology, publishing, etc. However, what we should all agree on is that when someone’s work is shared, it be cited as such. To do otherwise is not just unkosher, it is disrespectful and well, arrogant and ignorant.

    • 2010-12-22 09:31:38 GMT+0000 - 09:31 | Permalink

      When you put the ID3 data in your MP3 you are citing it.

      It is like saying that when I handed you a book, I did not site it. I don’t have to. when the person opens the book, the author has put his name on the title page.

      ID3 tagging IS signing your work. Sign your work yourself. You would not write a book without including a title page so that people knew you wrote it. Don’t make a mp3 with adding ID3 tags. The mp3 file is like a book. The ID3 tag is the title page. If you are creating anonymous unsigned mp3 files, and putting them on public internet space, and then complaining about it, you are going to give yourself cancer being angered over this. Just sign your work.

      Cheers! RichGriese.NET

    • 2010-12-22 09:32:03 GMT+0000 - 09:32 | Permalink

      Well, you could (and I hope you do) post the audio on YouTube with perhaps some helpful slides. People are less likely to rip Flash-based audio/video.

      But I’m glad people like Mark Goodacre and Bob Price just put their stuff out there in MP3 format. It helps them get broader recognition and it gives me something to listen to while I’m shoveling snow or mowing the lawn.

      • Michael Halcomb
        2010-12-22 09:35:42 GMT+0000 - 09:35 | Permalink

        Rich, I’m still not sure you’re hearing me at all…not sure how many times I have to say “I UNDERSTAND ID3 TAGS”?

        • 2010-12-22 10:10:07 GMT+0000 - 10:10 | Permalink

          Michale, but unfortunately you do not understand them, and how they are used.

          Let me try to explain (BTW… this is for everyone not just michael)

          In the old days, you had a journal or book, and you wanted to quote someone. You added a foot or end note. the person then looked up the foot not/end note, so they could then go to the actual book.

          What people don’t understand that hyperlinking has made footnoting irrelevant. What I add a URL i am actually GIVING you the book. It would be look in a book, if you went to the foot note, and found not the name of the book, but the ACTUAL book. MAGIC!

          It is very important to understand this. I URL has a address and a name. I can add http://RichGriese.NET and that ends up being both the name and the address. but I can add a hpyer link that points to an address but says “My Site”. When you click on that, it will actually take you to MY SITE. Now… if on my site, I don’t put my name, that is not the person that pointed to me’s fault, that is MY fault.

          Remember, links can be not just html documents, but .mp3 files, and many other types of things.

          When someone links to a MP3, they are not just providing a reference like a footnote, they are actually giving you thing thing. If you choose not so sign your thing, that is not the linkers fault.

          To explain ID3 tags and why they are important.

          Let’s say you make a Word document that is a book, when someone reads they notice on the first page “By Rich Griese”. See the content of the document HAPPENS to be the same data type as the tag.

          Now, if someone made a mp3, they could always TAG it by starting it and SAYING “My name is Rich Griese, and I made this file, and you can find more of my crap at H T T P colon slash slash Rich Griese dot com”

          That would be tagging too.

          Now, because computer people are smart they say, you know, that would be really annoying to have to do everyone time someone made a file. Let’s do this. Just like any file has a NAME like ME . MP3 files also have OTHER attributes. For example that actual SOUND you hear when a mp3 file is a attribute. It is an attribute callled CONTENT. Well, believe it or not all files already have attributes for names and ownership, and permissions, etc…. so adding attributes is a piece of cake.

          So think about it. When your mp3 player plays a song. It displays the name of the sone, and the title and the album. It is “signed” or “sited”. Nobody would expect you to say that at the end of every song that some studio guy said “that song was by Bobby vinton and is from his album Bobby Vintons sings songs”. See there is a difference betweet audio tagging and text taggings.

          So the key thing to understand is today the URL is all you need. I don’t need to on my blog say “read this article by Neil Godfrey it is at XXXXXX” the “by neil godfrey part is not needed. When I follow the link,. the site will say “this is neil godfrey’s site”. He sighs his site. ID2 tags simply sign a mp3 because audio is slightly different that text. but in either case. Singe a hyperlink is not a REFERENCE to a thing like a footnote, it actually MAGICALLY IS THE THING. If you don’t sign your work (file) when someone links to you, it is not the linkers fault, it is yours. You would not publish a book without putting your name on a title page. You should not release a mp3 without adding ID3 tags of title, author, album.

          Cheers! RichGriese.NET

      • Michael Halcomb
        2010-12-22 09:39:52 GMT+0000 - 09:39 | Permalink

        Tim,
        As I said, I’m glad to share info freely (e.g. at no cost). But the differences between Goodacre and Price and someone like myself are twofold: 1) Much of what is put on podcasts is not original info / research but rather, common knowledge. Don’t hear me wrong, I’m not saying they offer no unique vantage points ever, etc. They certainly do. But a lot of that stuff is common stock discussion that has been around for a long time. 2) They are both established scholars who can put a lot of this out because they’ve already published it (in print). I’m a PhD student. Therefore, they don’t have to worry about it getting stolen. It will be more “official” to cite it in a book anyway. Plus, they’re so respected that people would possibly even cite their audio/video stuff in research because they and it are so well known. Make sense?

        • Michael Halcomb
          2010-12-22 09:40:50 GMT+0000 - 09:40 | Permalink

          plus, there are several youtube to mp3 converters online, which does make it pretty easy to “rip”.

  • 2010-12-22 11:33:28 GMT+0000 - 11:33 | Permalink

    BTW… my expansion on this ID3 tag subject is not an attack on Michael, but an attempt to help others, and related to the first long comment I made on this thread which I also posted as an essay on my blog. That topic talked about thoughts on how religion professionals would have to change their thinking with regard to the new internet age, and this thread sort of became one where I was able to give more and more clarification on the subject.

    Here is an additional thought that may describe even more clearly why the HYPERLINK itself is not only a citation, but is really a super-citation, with nothing else ever needed. Let me use instead of a .mp3 a .pdf example because it makes the point more clear.

    All I have to do is provide this in any web page.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20120625015845/http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/assets/documents/Azur640HAttributesandID3Guide.pdf

    I don’t have to label it, I don’t have to tell you the author, I don’t have to tell you where to go to get followup information, or anything. I simply post something with http:// in front of it pointing to a file somewhere out there in cyberspace, and your browser deals with that file. Now, most browsers are set to autodownload anything with a .PDF extension. So… I clicked on that link, my browser gave me the file. you can have that file on your computer for 5 years, and any time you open it, anything in it you can know. Since the PDF in question lists a web site, and authors and all that info, I can, 5 years later use that information. So, I can freely distribute that .PDF and not feel like I have to only allow it to be displayed on my web site where I can be assumed that I will also tell you who the author is.

    This is a fundamental difference in philosophy between those that say. “I need to make sure that people always look at that PDF from my web site, so that I can make sure that the page tells people who the author is, and other stuff I want them to know”.

    If you notice. If you look at michael’s page where he displays his mp3;

    …. michaelhalcomb.blogspot.com/2010/10/was-mark-framed-killing-messenger-in.html [Link no longer active, 15th August, 2015, Neil — see http://blog.michaelhalcomb.com/2010/10/was-mark-framed-killing-messenger-in.html for author’s note]

    You will notice that there is no link to download the file. His view was that anyone that was to listen to the file should do it through this particular web site. In fact. I did download the file simply because I viewed the page source, and went to the URL of the actual mp3

    http://kristihalcomb.com/Halcomb_WasMarkFramed.mp3

    so that I could listen to it later. Perhaps on my iPod when I was not even connected to the internet. But the idea was “OK. I am here, I don’t even want to have to come back here, and I want a personal copy of this thing.”

    BTW… Michael did not actually tag that mp3 with ID3 tags. If he did, I would be able to look at those tags 5 years from now, and navigate to his web site. For all the thought Michael seems to be putting into mp3 citation, and distribution, I think this is something it would be good to do. But again, this is not an attack on Michael, but an attempt to educate people that might be interested in how to effectively distribute work.

    Michael simply has a different philosophy. His philosophy seemed to be that if someone wants to listen to my mp3, they should navigate to my web site, and listen to it via whatever mechanism I decided to play it through the browser for them via.

    See, I take a different philosophy. I figure, if someone finds a mp3 file on a page I make. I want then to EASILY be able to save it to their machine. I will make sure the file has all the information I care to share, like the audio itself, and meta data that will allow someone that has it on their computer or iPOD know the various things I hope them to know like my name and perhaps my web site so they can find more of my crap. But… I want them to save it. And I want them to send it to 40 of their friends. And when their friends play it on their iPODs all my audio and meta data will be available to them.

    If i had a mp3 file that became so popular that 100,000,000 tried to listen to it through the single page I forced everyone to go to to listen to my file, that server would probably come crashing down. but, if 100,000,000,000,000 played it on the individual iPODs not a single one of them would have a problem.

    The fundamental difference is that Michael was concerned to NOT share his actual file, but wanted people to come to one particular page on the internet so they could listen to it.

    Also, by not signing his MP3 he now also has to be concerned that every single person that even mentions his page also has to tell you his name. If you notice the first concern he expressed to the person that originally posted a link to his page was that the linker did not do it good enough. He wanted him to do MORE than simply posting a link. That means that he has to lie awake at night worried that people not only provide a link to his web page, but next to the link tell you who he is. I would submit that anyone that simply posts the URL is doing it right.

    These are the kinds of things that people that wish to take advantage of the internet have to start thinking about and understanding.

    Cheers! RichGriese.NET

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