La folie de Wikipédia: Actes de Paul et Thècle (Une critique et une note)

May 4, 2009

This is the French version of the previous post.

Pour Anonymous Dissident (qui a enlevé mon lien vers Acta Pauli de l’article ci-après critiqué)

Compte tenu de la correspondance que j’ai pu avoir avec Anonymous Dissident, un éditeur de Wikipedia, j’ai décidé de commencer à critiquer les articles liés aux Actes de Paul chez Wikipedia. Commençons avec le français. S’il vous plaît, gardez à l’esprit que je fais l’évaluation de l’article tel qu’il est examiné aujourd’hui, mais qu’il peut changer à tout moment.

Titre: Actes de Paul et Thècle – Je ne vois rien d’inexact avec le titre de l’article. Passons donc à la ligne 1.

Première partie: Origine du texte

Ligne 1: Les Actes de Paul et de Thècle sont une histoire apocryphe “de l’influence de Paul sur une jeune vierge nommée Thècle et la vie romancée de celle-ci.” Les Actes de Paul et de Thècle ne sont pas une “vie” romancée de Thècle, parce qu’ils ne racontent que ses deux expériences de martyre à Iconium et à Antioche ; il y a un court résumé de comment elle s’est rendue à Séleucie (IV, 18), a  illuminé de nombreuses personnes, et  s’est endormie dans un beau sommeil. Par contre, le texte du 5e siècle Ps. Basile est intitulé, “Vie et Miracles de Thècle”.  Une partie de ce texte est présentée chez “Le Champ du Midrash” comme s’il s’agissait du texte du deuxième siècle (voir le lien externe). Le bon titre en grec, cependant, est ΠΡΑΞΕΙΣ, “Actes” (Voir texte chez Dagron, titre).

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Wikipedia Follies: Actes de Paul et Thècle (A critique with a grade)

May 3, 2009

[Cet article est aussi disponible en français]

For Anonymous Dissident (who removed my link to Acta Pauli from the article herein critiqued)

In view of the extended correspondence that I’ve been able to have with Anonymous Dissident, a Wikipedia editor, I’ve decided to begin to critique the Acts of Paul related articles in Wikipedia.  Let’s start with the French.  Please bear in mind that I am evaluating the French article as it looked today but that it can change at any time.

Title: Acts of Paul and Thecla (Actes de Paul et Thècle) — I suppose there is nothing wrong with the title of the article.  Shall we move to line 1?

Part One: Origine du texte

Line 1:  The Acts of Paul is an apocryphal story “of the influence of Paul on young virgin named Thecla and the novelized life of the girl” (de l’influence de Paul sur une jeune vierge nommée Thècle et la vie romancée de celle-ci.)  The Acts of Paul and Thecla is not a novelized “life” of Thecla, because it only recounts her two martyrdom experiences in Iconium and Antioch, with a short summary of how she went down to Seleucia (IV, 18), illumined many and slept a beautiful sleep.  However, the 5th century text of Ps. Basil is entitled, “Life and Miracles of Thecla”.  A part of this text is presented at “Le Champ du Midrash” as though it were the second century text (see the external link).  The proper title in Greek, however, is ΠΡΑΞΕΙΣ, “Acts” (See text in Dagron, title).
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Wikipedia Follies: Response to Anonymous Dissident

May 2, 2009

Anonymous Dissident wrote a very kind and pertinent reply to my complaint that he had taken down the links to Acta Pauli that I put in articles in the French and German Wikipedia on Acts of Paul and Thecla (etc).  I reproduce his reply, which shows that he is a thoughtful young man with a great future:

Anonymous Dissident Says:
May 1, 2009 at 9:55 pm

The action I took in removing links to this site was not the result of the ill-discretion of a twelve year old (who is now approximately two years older than posited by this entry — while you may possess PhDs, you’ve neglected to review your sources and their dates of publishing properly here), but rather one prescribed by Wikipedia policy. See [this link] for more, with particular attention to the recommendation for blogs in the “links to be avoided” section. Posts like this one, which does not concern anything remotely educational or pertinent to an encyclopedia, lead me to believe that this blog does not meet the criterion thereat explicated.

My Wikipedia related-posts are a signal to scholars and others interested in the Acts of Paul that Wikipedia will be unhelpful if they want reliable information on Acts of Paul related subjects–I could spend the time to critique its articles line by line, but the rapidly changing content of that platform creates a significant challenge.  Why provide a critique against something that could soon be gone?
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Wikipedia Follies-Anonymous Dissident

April 23, 2009

I’ve learned that Anonymous Dissident, who removed my links from the French and German articles on the Acts of Paul and Thecla, is 12 approximately 14 years old.  Wow, that’s pretty cool Wikipedia!  A 12 approximately 14 year old is able to eliminate a link to this site which is being published by people with PhDs.  Now I’m sure that Anonymous Dissident is very mature for the age of 12 approximately 14, but it does lower the status of Wikipedia considerably when scholars can’t even add a little insignificant link to your so-called encyclopedia.

The French article in question (you will have to find it yourself because I will not be linking to Wikipedia anymore), includes a external link to Le Champ du Midrash.  Anonymous Dissident has insufficient ability to discern between what is a scholarly site for the study of the Acts of Paul and a site that obviously not at the same level.  What Le Champ du Midrash presents a “texte du travail” for the Acts of Paul and Thecla is actually a translation excerpt of Ps. Basil of Seleucia’s Life of St. Thecla, a fifth century text (at least the part that I checked).  Well, it would be nice if Le Champ du Midrash would inform its readers of that little bit of trivia, instead of providing the French of what is supposed to be a second-century text.  Very shoddy indeed.

I read once that blogs are, “The uninformed writing to the ill-informed.”  The people in the Wikipedia hierarchy don’t seem to be able to tell what is credible and what is not.  Yet Wikipedia is given high priority in just about every google search ever done on any subject.


Wikipedia Follies, auf Deutsch

April 16, 2009

A user called “Anonymous Dissident” removed from “Thekla (Heilige)” the link to Prof. Annette Merz’s post, “Thekla und Timotheus beraten Paulus bei der Abfassung des Römerbriefs“, which is by far the most popular article on Acta Pauli to date.

I deeply question the merit of a so-called Encyclopedia, when a valid link to a scholarly site can be removed by some moron who does not know the first thing about the subject.


Wikipedia follies

April 8, 2009

I’ve added links to Acta Pauli to Wikipedia’s articles s.v.,  “Acts of Paul”, “Acts of Paul and Thecla”, “Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul”, and “Third Epistle to the Corinthians”.  Today in making edits, I’ve noticed that they can be reverted very quickly back to the original.  They took out my external links in a couple of cases.

Ok Wikipedia.  If your intention is to remove edits by scholars in the field then you have your wish.  I will no longer support your platform for my scholarly endeavors.

But bear in mind that your articles on the Acts of Paul and 3 Corinthians are inaccurate and could use some serious help from people like me.  For one thing, there should not be two articles for 3 Cor:  it is a single apocryphon, not two (I suggested this in my edit I made and it was gone with minutes).  There probably should be single treatment of Acts of Paul and the Acts of Paul and Thecla since the latter is originally part of the former.


Logos Acts of Paul Page

June 23, 2011

A couple days ago I noticed that Acta Pauli received a hit from a Logos.com Acts of Paul page. Logos has started a wiki of “Topics” related to biblical studies. I found that they had used material from Wikipedia but had also linked to Acta Pauli and had copied over Jeremy’s bibliography. Later, I tried to edit the page and found that I could because I am user of Logos software and I was already logged in to their website.

Since it is wiki, and anyone can edit that page (just like wikipedia), I’ve decided to keep a mirror site here. I’ve eliminated most of the primary sources and many of secondary sources that Jeremy listed in his bibliography, and have left sources directly relevant to the study of the Acts of Paul, as is appropriate for such a page. Furthermore, I’ve reorganized the bibliography into texts, translations, and studies. I have also removed the Wikipedia content, which is terribly inaccurate, and explain that the Acts of Paul consists of Episodes I-XIV and listed the principle witnesses to each section. Finally, I’ve added links to relevant material directly on the page, making it far easier to access source material directly on the internet. But it remains a work in progress.