The Art of the Hatchet Job Review

A few years ago, back in the days when I used actually to post regularly here, I dropped a reference in the comments to a certain low-blow, embarrassing book review [PDF] that a friend of mine suffered in the pages of The Journal of Theological Studies. These were the heady days before Twitter took off, though, so the scandal of it all was fairly muted, and relegated mostly to a few follow-up comments.

Today I got word from the same friend that JTS has a new reviews editor, and they’ve taken a fairly surprising approach of actually addressing the shit they dropped on the floor. JTS Review

I can only hope now that Professor (Emeritus) Elliott has been told that his reviews are no longer welcome. At least then the stinky odor will have not only been identified but also wiped up.

In any event, I encourage you to read the review in all its vindictive glory. It will make you feel a lot better about the hatchet jobs done to your work.

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6 Responses to “The Art of the Hatchet Job Review”

  1. Adam Kotsko Says:

    “This is what happens when New Testament textual critics stop being nice, and start being real.”

  2. Christopher Rodkey Says:

    It’s interesting that they didn’t name names in the apology, but I guess that’s the editors taking responsibility. More than a couple folks on the inside must have felt the same way.

  3. Evan Says:

    The reviewer actually has a review essay in the current JTS on the latest edition of Nestle-Aland. No criticism of acknowledgments, but he does draw our attention to an all-important discrepancy that surely puts the reliability of NA28 into question: “Klaus Wachtel and Simon Crisp are thanked on p. viii for their work, including the ‘Preface’ (sic). The edition contains no Preface as such; the English of p. vii is headed ‘Foreword’.

    Good to see that some action was taken here; I recently had a chapter from an edited volume unfairly trashed by a reviewer. Alas, the editors of the periodical declined to publish a response.

  4. Mark N. Says:

    I didn’t see a link to the actual response here, but dug it up from the journal’s website; for those curious, it’s here [pdf].

  5. Brad Says:

    Thanks. I figured most here were less than interested on the specifics of the response. I perhaps should not have assumed.

  6. Mark N. Says:

    I’ll admit I’m not sufficiently versed in the subject in dispute to have benefitted much from the content of the response, but I was meta-interested in the way it would go about responding…


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