Jul 31, 2020
To Cite or Not
Recently a prominent biblical scholar was convicted of possessing child pornography. A number of years ago I was tasked with reviewing a book that was part of a major commentary series. As I was looking for material on the author to include in the review, I found that he had also been convicted of a similar crime. A decision was made not to include that as part of the review. I still wonder whether that was the right decision. The issue of whether to interact with and/or cite works from tainted authors was also part of an online conversation that I had a few days ago. For some, the issue is straightforward and clear-cut. But I for one, find it more complicated. The fact is, every human author has shortcomings of some kind, albeit some are considerably more serious than others. This editorial by Mary Beard raises some of the complexities of the issues involved. In the end, I feel that it is a judgment call involving a variety of factors that could go either way. One thing I am sure of though, sin always makes things more complicated.