Ken Arkwright Exposed

Is the Jewish community of Perth prepared to tolerate intellectual dishonesty?

The text in this weeks “Did You Know” column would appear to the unsuspecting reader to be the scholarly research of the articles author.  However it appears to have been taken straight from Wikipedia – “the free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit”. 

There is nothing in the Maccabean item to reference it back to Wikipedia.  Similarly there is no citation on the  Wikipedia item’s history page to suggest that the content is authored or contributed by Ken Arkwright.    

 Approximately 90% of the DID YOU KNOW? column in this weeks Maccabean appears to have been plaguarised from a single webpage, and in many cases is barely even rephrased. 

The page concerned is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God_in_Judaism

Remember as you read this that all the ideas, sources and quotes included in the Maccabean column would appear to have been cut and pasted from a single webpage, not from a multiple range of websites.  Also remember that this webpage is not referenced by the article.   Here are the examples: 

 

Quote from the Maccabean article:

“The best-known and most important name of God recorded in the Torah is YHWH, also called the Tetragrammaton.  Tetragrammaton is a Greek word meaning tetra (four) and gramma (letter).  It appears in the Masetoric Text of the Torah 6828 times, albeit in various spellings.   You may wish to look for more details in the Stuttgartensia addition of the Hebrew Masoretic Text.”

 Quote from Wikipedia:

The most important and most often written name of God in Judaism is the Tetragrammaton, the four-letter name of God, YHWH or Yahweh. “Tetragrammaton” derives from the Greek prefix tetra- (“four”) and gramma (“letter”, “grapheme”). The Tetragrammaton appears 6,828 times (see ‘Counts’ in the Yahweh article) in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia edition of the Hebrew Masoretic text.”

 

 Quote from the Maccabean article:

“Orthodox Jews use this Adonai only in prayer, whilst Progressive and most Conservative Jews are willing to pronounce it and write it for educational purposes, but not during casual conversation.”

Quote from Wikipedia:

“Orthodox and some Conservative Jews never pronounce it for any reason. Some religious non-Orthodox Jews are willing to pronounce it, but for educational purposes only, and never in casual conversation or in prayer.”

 

Quote from the Maccabean article:

“The Tetragrammaton appears for the first time in Genesis 2:4″…. “translates to Adonai Lord”

Quote from Wikipedia:

This name is first mentioned in the book of Genesis (2.4) and in English language bibles is traditionally translated as “The LORD”

 

Quote from the Maccabean article:

“Some Christians, who were ignorant about the fact that in many Jewish texts the vowels for Adonai were put under the consonants of YHWH for the Name of G-d, believed that they had discovered the true meaning of the name of G-d.  This combination of muddling together two words adds up to the nonsense word Jehovah”

Quote from Wikipedia

“By contrast, the translation “Jehovah” was created by adding the vowel points of “Adonai.” Early Christian translators of the Torah did not know that these vowel points only served to remind the reader not to pronounce the divine name, but instead say “Adonai,” so they pronounced the consonants and vowel points together (a phonological impossibility in Hebrew). They took the letters “IHVH,” from the Latin Vulgate, and the vowels “a-o-a” were inserted into the text rendering IAHOVAH or “Iehovah” in 16th century English, which later became “Jehovah.”

 

Quote from Maccabean article:

“The book of Ruth 2:4 and many other biblical passages account for an unrestricted usage of the name of G-d.  “And behold Boaz came from Bethlehem and said unto the reapers, YHWH be with you.  And they answered him “YHWH be with you”  Abbreviations of the name of God were freely used, and we do know how they were pronounced, for instance, yeho, -yo, -yahoo-yah”

Quote from Wikipedia:

Substituting Adonai for YHWH dates back at least to the 3rd century BCE.[3] Passages such as:  “And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, YHWH [be] with you. And they answered him, YHWH bless thee” (Ruth 2:4)….strongly indicate that there was a time when the name was in common usage. Also the fact that many Hebrew names consist of verb forms contracted with the tetragrammaton indicates that the people knew the verbalization of the name in order to understand the connection. The prohibition against verbalizing the name never applied to the forms of the name within these contractions (yeho-, yo-, -yahoo, -yah) and their pronunciation remains known.”

 

Quote from Maccabean:

“El is yet another word in the Torah for G-d.”…. “Linguists failed to accept that Judaism was often influenced by heathen theology and they tried to assert that Elohim is a pluralis majestatis (expression of majesty) or a pluralis excellentiae (expression of excellence and dignity). 

Quote from Wikipedia:

 “Another popular explanation comes from the interpretation of El to mean “power”;……”Other scholars interpret the -im ending as an expression of majesty (pluralis majestatis) or excellence (pluralis excellentiae), expressing high dignity or greatness: compare with the similar use of plurals of ba’al (master) and adon (lord).”

 

Quote from Maccabean

 Wilhelm Gesenius (1786-1842), the father of Semitic language studies, writes in his Hebrew Grammar “The use of the plural as a form of respectful address is quite foreign to Hebrew.”

Quote from Wikipedia

Indeed, Gesenius states in his book Hebrew Grammar ² the following: …..The use of the plural as a form of respectful address is quite foreign to Hebrew.”

 

Quote from Maccabean:

It was first translated into English by William Tyndale in 1530.  He was not sure of the true meaning of the Tetragrammaton and therefore translated it into its Hebrew substitute Adonai (my Lord)

Quote from Wikipedia:

Many English translations of the Bible, following the tradition started by William Tyndale, render YHWH as “LORD” (all caps) or “LORD” (small caps), and Adonai as “Lord” (upper & lower case).

 

Quote from Maccabean:

“The word Adonai has an equally interesting history as YHWH.  It is a Hebrew plural of Adoni and means ‘my lords’.  The singular, Adoni, was applied by Phonecians for their God Tammuz and it entered the Greek language as Adonis”

Quote from Wikipedia:

Jews also call God Adonai, Hebrew for “Lord”. Formally, this is plural (“my Lords”), but the plural is usually construed as a respectful, and not a syntactic plural. (The singular form is Adoni, “my lord”. This was used by the Phoenicians for the God Tammuz and is the origin of the Greek name Adonis.”

 

Quote from Maccabean:

Another word for God is Shaddai…. Shaddai was a city at the banks of the Euphrates in northern Syria during the Bronze Age.  Now it is called Tell eth-Thadyen.  Thadyen” is the modern Arabic form of Shaddai. El Shaddai would therefore translate as God from the city of Thyden (Shaddai).  Exodus 6:2 states Shaddai is the name by which God was known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who came from that region.  Another theory is that Shaddai is derived from the verb shaded (overpower, destroy).  Professor Harriet Lutzki has produced evidence that Shaddai was an attribute of a Semitic Godess.  She believed that the name of the goddess is connected to the Hebrew word sad (breast), in other words he/she is the goddess of the breast. 

Quote from Wikipedia:

Shaddai was a late Bronze Age Amorite city on the banks of the Euphrates river, in northern Syria. The site of its ruin-mound is called Tell eth-Thadyen: “Thadyen” being the modern Arabic rendering of the original West Semitic “Shaddai”. It has been conjectured that El Shaddai was therefore the “god of Shaddai” and associated in tradition with Abraham, and the inclusion of the Abraham stories into the Hebrew Bible may have brought the northern name with them (see Documentary hypothesis).

According to Exodus 6:2, 3, Shaddai is the name by which God was known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The name Shaddai is used as a name of God later in the Book of Job.

In the Septuagint and other early translations Shaddai was translated with words meaning “Almighty”. The root word “shadad” means “to overpower” or “to destroy”. This would give Shaddai the meaning of “destroyer” as one of the aspects of God. Thus it is essentially an epithet. Harriet Lutzky has presented evidence that Shaddai was an attribute of a Semitic goddess, linking the epithet with Hebrew sad “breast” as “the one of the Breast”, as Asherah at Ugarit is “the one of the Womb”.

  

Quote from Maccabean:

“God was sometimes called The Seven, because Hebrew scribes had to take particular care when writing the following seven names of G-d: Eloah, Elohim, Adonai, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh, YHWH (i.e. Yahweh), Shaddai, Zebaot

Quote from Wikipedia:

God was sometimes called The Seven.[11] Among the ancient Hebrews, the seven names for the Deity over which the scribes had to exercise particular care were: [12] Eloah, Elohim, Adonai, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh, YHWH (i.e. Yahweh), Shaddai, Zebaot

 

I believe that these extracts demonstrate and evidence the fraudulant use of intellectual property.  The evidence above suggests it is highly improbable that the Maccabean Did You Know column this week is the original writing and research of Mr Arkwright.  This is a very serious situation for the community and its representative newspaper. 

As a matter of journalistic ethics, the Maccabean must now act as it considers appropriate.   This type of plagiarism where personal credit is claimed for the scholarly and academic ideas of others is a serious ethical breach.  It is not tolerated in academic institutions.  It is not tolerated in the business market.  Most of all, it is not tolerated by the journalistic profession. 

I urge the Maccabean to treat this alleged plagiarism with the disdain that it deserves.   The Maccabean, regrettably, must own up to what has occurred, and find a way to move forward.  By acting decisively the paper will maintain the confidence of the community.  I also believe the outrage associated with this situation should be directed toward the apparent intellectual dishonesty of the author, and not the unsuspecting editorial or administrative people who no doubt accepted the item for publication in good faith. 

Some years back there was an ethical outrage from the Jewish Community over an incident when the Maccabean inadvertantly published a photoshopped image.  On that occasion the paper chose to admit its error and apologise, and also reiterate that its editorial stance did not sanction this breach of journalistic ethics.  It maintained the support of its readers as a result. 

This situation that JewglePerth regrettably feels needs to be exposed, has far reaching repurcussions that strike at the heart of journalistic integrity.

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