My good friend and intellectual mentor Dennis MacDonald speaks in one of his books about having a dream of having an amusement park all to himself, astonished that no one wants to go there with him. I totally understand that now.
MacDonald’s brilliant, pioneering work showing so many of the connections between the Gospels and Homer’s Iliad, Odyssey, Euripides’ Bacchae, Plato’s Apology. These were THE STANDARD GREEK EDUCATIONAL TEXTS, MOST COPIED TEXTS, AND BEST KNOWN TEXTS OF THE TIME. The deliberate neglect and facile dismissals of his scholarship are utterly baffling and completely intellectually irresponsible. They show just how buried in self-absorption, mediocrity, and banality that so-called New Testament scholarship has become over the last hundred years. Science has progressed at a rocket pace, but we Religious Studies scholars move like snails. But I’m polite, so I won’t say what I really think.
Every day, every hour I’m discovering something brand new, something NO ONE has ever seen. And because I’m taking an iterative, open access, open science approach to my findings, I get to claim credit for these findings before anyone else.
It feels like the discovery of DNA. I’ve discovered the DNA of the earliest Gospels, and now I get to map it. Maybe I’ll do that all by myself. I’m having a hell of a fun time doing so.
I’m not selfish or greedy… like many of the people controlling Religious Studies academic publishing today.
I’m willing to share my hypotheses, my research, and my findings with everyone… equip everyone to join in these discoveries and make them for themselves.
It’s like the Digital Gospel Studies and Open Science episode of Oprah. A Digital Gospel Studies (DGS) Tesla for you! A DGS Tesla for you! A DGS Tesla for you!
Right now, though, I’m on an open road all by myself and I can drive as fast as I want. I’m inviting others along. Trying to give my friends and colleagues DGS Teslas of their own. Mostly all I’m hearing is crickets.
A few close friends (high powered and well-published scholars in their own right) know what’s really up, know that my hypotheses are legitimate and provably so. They may start openly publishing their findings soon, too.
I got an email today from Marco Carlo Passarotti at the University Santa Croce in Italy with an advanced copy of his team’s computer-based analysis of the Gospels, showing how the Gospel of John is linguistically going in a completely different direction from the synoptics. Yup, that’s exactly right.
Folks at Stanford’s Natural Language Processing program are reviewing my work. Previously, they’ve used NLP to show that the Book of Mormon had multiple sources. I hope we get the chance to work together on the Gospels! Or, if they do their own work without me, that’s awesome, too.
All I care about is honoring the spirit of the US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, “To promote the progress of science and the useful arts.”
Go Team Science!!!
Boo Religious Fundamentalism and Intellectual Bigotry!!!