Saturday, April 14, 2007

Last Twelve Verses of Mark Conference

This weekend SEBTS hosted a conference on the last twelve verses of Mark. The conference featured five wonderful scholars presenting different views on whether these verses are original to the text of Mark. The scholars included Keith Elliott, Darrell Bock, Daniel Wallace, David Alan Black, and Maurice Robinson. Summaries of their presentations can be found here or here. Rather than recounting all the details of the speakers presentations, as Alan and Lew have already done a fine job of, I want to give my reaction to the conference as a whole.

The conference was one of the best conferences I have been to. All of the speakers presented their views well even throwing in some humor from time to time. I was challenged by what Daniel Wallace had to say regarding presuppositions and how they can drive us to certain conclusions. His words definitely caused me to reexamine my presuppositions as I listened to each speaker.

I came into the conference holding to the position that the last twelve verses of Mark are part of the original text. And although I still hold that position afterwards, I have gained a much greater appreciation for those who hold to those verses not being original. I can easily see how two scholars can come to differing possible (or even probable) solutions to this isssue. It is just not as simple as I would sometimes like it to be.

I also came into the conference believing that the internal evidence for a variant cannot determine which reading is the original since the internal evidence can often be argued legitimately for both sides of the issue. Because of this, internal evidence can only support other evidence that we have. This view was confirmed as I listened to the speakers. They were all using the same internal evidence and coming to different conclusions. It was not that one person was making a bad argument while the other made a good one. They all had good arguments. It was helpful to see this aspect of the internal evidence illustrated as the presenter gave their different views.

For those readers who have read Alan's or Lew's summaries of the conference, my view is closest to David Alan Black's. Maurice Robinson presented some great verbal and thematic parallels, but I am just not to the point of giving priority to the Byzantine text type (though I do see it as equal to the others). Dr. Black and Dr. Robinson come to the same conclusion, but methodologically I am closer to Dr. Black's position. As for Keith Elliott's suggestion of there possibly being a lost ending of Mark, I am not to the point of accepting conjecture as a solution to the problem in these verses. Darrell Bock and Daniel Wallace would both argue that the gospel does not include these verses in the original. My biggest issue with accepting this position is that it seems to place too much weight on Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. I wonder whether anyone would argue for the omission of these verses (as most scholars do) if either Sinaiticus or Vaticanus happened to contain them.

Finally, I really appreciated how Dr. Black and Dr. Bock made it a point to say that while the types of questions that were asked at this conference were interesting and important, we still need to keep the Gospel primary and focus on taking it to a lost world.

These are just a few of my thoughts regarding the conference. I would love to hear from others who were able to attend.

15 comments:

Steve Sensenig said...

It was wonderful to get to meet you in person and spend some great time together fellowshipping!!

I do hope it will not be the last time we get to spend time together. I appreciate so much your heart and your spirit, Theron.

God bless!
steve :)

Theron said...

Hi Steve,

Glad to see you made it home safely. Cheryl and I really enjoyed spending time with you and Christy as well. The fellowship that the Spirit produces between God's children is simply amazing to say the least. We look forward to seeing both of you again sometime soon.

Blessings,
Theron

Matthew Rondeau said...

I think that what I learned is that none of the evidence is probative. I don't think that I give priority to either the internal or the external evidence since they are both subjective. That was the great thing about the conference for me; not only did it make me aware of more of the evidence, but it made me aware that the evidence doesn't definitively prove anything. It still comes down to presuppositions and faith.

Sorry I didn't get to chat with you Theron, I had to head out early lastnight. Hope all is well.

Cindy said...

The title of the conference was "The Last Twelve Verses of Mark: Original or Not?". Thank you, Theron, for sharing what you were convinced of: it is original. I agree.
I thought Dr. Robinson's lists of linguistic and thematic parallels were amazing; I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation. I fully expected the speaker immediately following him to get up and announce that in light of Dr. Robinson's presentation, he could not in good conscience present an opposing view; I was shocked when he did not do so.

I am glad we were able to meet Christy and Steve.

Cindy

Theron said...

Matthew and Cindy,

Thank you both for your comments. It is good to hear that others enjoyed the conference as well.

Matthew,

I agree. It really does come down to presuppositions and faith. I don't think there is an absolutely clear solution to this issue. There certainly is room for showing a lot of humility about the positions we hold on this variant. I was happy to see this humility displayed at the conference.

Cindy,

Somehow I thought you and Mael would enjoy Dr. Robinson's presentation. Even though he probably didn't convince everyone at the conference of his position, it was obvious he was convinced of it.

Theron

James Snapp, Jr. said...

Greetings Theron. If you're still wondering about Mark 16:9-20, and whether Mark wrote it, and whether it should be considered canonical, I'd be happy to send a copy of my essay about the subject to you by e-mail. A multi-part summary (*not* the essay itself! Just a summary!) is online at www.curtisvillechristian.org/MarkOne.html .

Several statements by some of the participants in the conference (especially Dr. Wallace) could use some clarification. (But having just finished driving some 700 miles, I refer you to my essay, and to comments on other blogs that you might visit).

Theron said...

James,

Thank you for the comment. Hopefully I will be able to take a look at your summary sometime soon.

Theron

James Snapp, Jr. said...

Dear Theron:

Here are some more thoughts about the Mark 16:9-20 conference (which I may post shortly at the TC-Alternate Discussion-group).

(1) Wallace's view that Mark intended to stop writing at 16:8 was politely beaten up by Robinson and Elliott, who both pointed out the very consistent pattern in Mark about overt prediction-fulfillments in the rest of the book. Elliott also dealt effectively with Wallace's contention that the blank space after Mark 16:8 in Vaticanus may not be suggestive of the copyist’s knowledge of the Long Ending.

(2) Wallace claimed that cumulatively, Mark 16:9-20 has more lexical, stylistic, and grammatical anomalies than any other 12-verse section of Mark. He made this statement a couple of times -- even after it had been pointed out that another 12-verse section of Mark has more once-used words than 16:9-20. While Elliott provided a handout showing precisely what features in 16:9-20 he considered anomalous, Wallace did not provide either a list of specific details or a comparison to other 12-verse sections of Mark to substantiate his claim.

(3) Bock stated that we do not know why the gap in Vaticanus is there. It seemed like he was trying to give listeners the impression that the gap in Vaticanus provides us with no reason to think that the copyist knew the Long Ending. In this respect, he is completely wrong. We don't know that the copyist had the Abrupt Ending in his exemplar and the Long Ending in his memory, and we don't know that the copyist had the Long Ending in one exemplar and the Short Ending in another exemplar and declined to choose between them, and we don’t know that the copyist had the Short Ending in his exemplar and refused to copy it, recollecting the Long Ending but lacking access to it. But saying that the gap can be accounted for in these three ways, and we don't know which one to select, is not the same as saying that we don't know how to account for the gap.

(4) Wallace tried to give listeners the impression that the blank space after Mark 16:8 in Vaticanus is comparable to the blank spaces in Vaticanus in its Old Testament portion, but Elliott pointed out that in the case of the blank spaces in the OT-portion, special considerations are in play which are not in play at the end of Mark (for instance, one blank space comes before the book of Psalms, which is formatted in two-column pages, and one blank space comes at the end of the entire Old Testament portion of the book, and so forth) -- which revealed the hollowness of Wallace's comparison.

(5) Bock stated that he did not believe that Jerome was "merely copying" Eusebius, on the grounds that Jerome added new information in his statement in "Ad Hedibiam" which is not found in "Ad Marinum." Specifically, Jerome mentions that the Long Ending is absent in nearly all Greek copies, whereas Eusebius does not mention whether he was referring to Greek or non-Greek copies.

I don't think Jerome was merely copying Eusebius either, if by "merely copying" one means that Jerome was copying a statement with which he vigorously disagreed. Jerome had probably seen some copies that lacked Mark 16:9-20 -- and regarded them as copies of poor quality regardless of their quantity. However, Jerome's expansion of Eusebius' statement is not evidence that Jerome was not directly echoing Eusebius. It seems more likely that Jerome was simply inserting his own description of what sort of manuscripts Eusebius was referring to (i.e., Greek copies). That is, the statement in "Ad Hedibiam" referring to "almost all Greek codices" is not based on Jerome’s independent investigation of Greek manuscripts; it is based on Jerome's deduction that the manuscripts Eusebius refers to in "Ad Marinum" were Greek.

The fact that Jerome was basing his comments in "Ad Hedibiam" is, of course, demonstrated by the correspondence between four question-and-answer sessions which appear in both "Ad Marinum" and "Ad Hedibiam." I am not sure that this was made clear to the listeners at the conference. (Some listeners may have gotten the impression that Bock meant that Jerome's comments have no obvious link to Eusebius' comments, which would be incorrect.)

(Jerome also stated that he found the account of the adulteress (Jn. 7:53-8:11) "in many manuscripts, both Greek and Latin." It is interesting that there seems to have been quite a different reaction, or different weight-assignment, to that independent statement from Jerome than there has been to his derivative statement in "Ad Hedibiam.")

(6) Bock stated that in the case of Mark 16:9-20, the external evidence that is really important is not Aleph and B. He stated that the versions and fathers are more weighty -- in this particular case, Eusebius and Jerome. Dr. Bock's statement is quite remarkable for two reasons. The first reason it is a remarkable statement is this: it seems like another way of saying that even if all non-mutilated Greek copies of Mark contained Mark 16:9-20, Dr. Bock would still question its authenticity and its right to be in the Bible.

The second reason it is a remarkable statement is this: the versions and early church writers favor the inclusion of Mark 16:9-20 much more strongly than they favor non-inclusion. While on one side we must consider the voices of Eusebius and Eusebius-dependent witnesses, on the other side we must consider the voices (some unclear, some whispers, some shouts) of Papias, "Epistula Apostolorum," Justin, Tatian, Irenaeus, "Acts of John," Porphyry/Hierocles-according-to-Macarius Magnes, Aphrahat, the Old Latin MSS, the Gothic Version, the Curetonian Syriac, the Peshitta, the stichometry of Mark in the Claromontanus Catalogue, Jerome's inclusion of Mk. 16:9-20 in the Vulgate, Augustine, the lection-system used by Augustine, and other sources.

(7) Bock said something about the "earliest Byzantine lectionaries" favoring non-inclusion. That is not true. Similarly, Wallace suggested that the lack of the Long Ending in the earliest strata of the Armenian and Georgian versions indicates that the "Proto-Byzantine" text lacked the passage. That is an illogical conclusion. It's like observing a tall man and a short woman give birth to a son who grows up to be tall and concluding, "The son inherited his height from his mother." The non-inclusion of the Long Ending in the Armenian version is related to the Armenian version's Caesaean ancestry (and, perhaps, its translators' high regard for Eusebius and the Eusebian Canons), not its Byzantine acquaintances.

Here are a few comments related to two of the handouts provided by the presenters.

(A) In Dr. Robinson's handout (which features the bar-code title "Center for Hermeneutical Studies in Hell"), readers should appreciate that the Byzantine Text was used. If the N-A text had been used, "pantachou," on the second-to-last line, would have been formatted in light text (indicating that its exact orthographic form appears elsewhere in Mark), since "pantachou" appears in Mk. 1:28 in the N-A text.

(B) In Dr. Elliott's handout, he states, "Further work is needed" on four areas of research, the fourth of which is "Trials to fit the Longer Ending into Codex Sinaiticus in the style of scribe 'D.'" I refer readers to my lengthy essay for data about this, in which I offer some calculations on this subject.

(C) In Dr. Elliott's handout, he provides a reconstruction of what the last page of Mark in Vaticanus would look like if the Long Ending were added by a copyist who compressed his lettering and wrote slightly more letters per line than the main scribe did. The text ends on precisely the last line of the page. Two factors should be mentioned that helped make the text fit: in 16:18, "KAI EN TAIS CERSIN" was not included (even it is included in the Alexandrian text of the Long Ending) and in 16:19 "OURANON" was contracted into a nomen sacrum even though it is not so contracted in Vaticanus in Mark. Without these two factors, more drastic letter-compression, or wider column-width, would be required to make the text fit.

(D) In Dr. Bock's handout . . . wait; Dr. Bock did not have a handout, because he did not present a paper. Nevertheless he used an hour to wield and shield Wallace's approach, and seemed to be serving as Wallace's wingman throughout the conference. I found myself wishing that we could have heard a round-table discussion, moderated by Dr. Bock, instead of his not-entirely-neutral advice on how to interpret the evidence.

Dan Wallace said...

James Snapp wrote two comments with which I would take issue. First:
"Wallace tried to give listeners the impression that the blank space after Mark 16:8 in Vaticanus is comparable to the blank spaces in Vaticanus in its Old Testament portion, but Elliott pointed out that in the case of the blank spaces in the OT-portion, special considerations are in play which are not in play at the end of Mark (for instance, one blank space comes before the book of Psalms, which is formatted in two-column pages, and one blank space comes at the end of the entire Old Testament portion of the book, and so forth) -- which revealed the hollowness of Wallace's comparison."

Even if all the OT gaps indicated a shift in genre, this is not evidence that Mark's ending indicated knowledge of a variant reading. Non-evidence in one area does not constitute evidence in another. Further, Professor Elliott did not respond concerning the gap at the end of Tobit. Jim's 'for instance' is a bit disingenuous since these are two of the three examples and Tobit doesn't fit. As well, Elliott believes that the original canonical order of the gospels was the western order, which would make Mark the last gospel. There is of course the possibility that both Aleph and B copied an exemplar that had this western order and thus the gap at the end of Mark in B could have been due to the genre shift after the gospels. It is of course possible that Aleph originally had a similar gap (as Jim Snapp and others have argued), but was corrected by a replacement of the leaves to eliminate the gap. But here's the question: Is it not possible that that gap in Aleph was due to its exemplar following the western order of the gospels rather than due to knowledge of a variant here? What strengthens this possibility is that there IS a gap at the end of the gospels in Aleph now--a full page at the end of John. My point is that we really don't have definite reasons for all the gaps in Vaticanus or Sinaiticus, yet many people pontificate on what the gap must mean at the end of Mark. Yet, even here, there is no umlaut, a clear indication of knowledge of a textual variant by the scribes of B. So, I would disagree with Jim that my view about the gaps in B was 'hollow.'

Second, Jim said: "In Dr. Bock's handout . . . wait; Dr. Bock did not have a handout, because he did not present a paper. Nevertheless he used an hour to wield and shield Wallace's approach, and seemed to be serving as Wallace's wingman throughout the conference. I found myself wishing that we could have heard a round-table discussion, moderated by Dr. Bock, instead of his not-entirely-neutral advice on how to interpret the evidence."

This is a caricature of what Bock did, and perhaps reflects a misunderstanding of the kind of education that one gets at DTS. One person asked me after the conference if Bock and I 'had' to agree with each other, since we both taught at DTS! If he only knew how much Darrell and I disagree he would realize how silly such a question is. In point of fact, I did not know Bock's specific view before the conference. And he is a scholar of enough stature to stand on his own opinions. I think it is inappropriate to suggest that he saw his job as 'wielding and shielding Wallace's approach,' and 'serving as Wallace's wingman throughout the conference.' I didn't realize that my views needed any shielding, and it does not help a healthy exchange of ideas to impugn the motives of any of the speakers at this conference.

If I may address Jim Snapp directly: you have some really intriguing ideas about the long ending of Mark. I appreciate all the work you've done on it. I think if we stick to the issues our exchanges can be much more fruitful. Perhaps we can both learn from each other.

Steve Sensenig said...

Dr. Wallace,

Just for the record, my question about Dr. Bock having to agree with you was meant as pure humor, and was not at all serious! :)

I knew from my times at DTS the level of disagreement that can exist between two professors at the same school, even though I was unfortunate in that both you and Dr. Bock were on sabbatical during my abbreviated time there.

So, yes, it was a silly question. And it was asked completely tongue-in-cheek.

James,
The link you have posted on my wife's and other's blogs supposedly linking to your paper goes to a domain registrar's page. I think someone may have forgotten to renew your domain or something.

And I, too, would say that your caricature of Dr. Bock's involvement is not at all productive in these discussions. I've already addressed that to you in another comment on another blog, but you keep persisting with the same disdainful remarks.

I don't know you, your history, your credentials, or anything, but I would humbly submit that if we are all claiming to be brothers in Christ, we have a strong obligation to be gracious toward one another. Your comments about Drs. Wallace and Bock, in my estimation, fall quite short of that.

Please reconsider that approach for the good of the entire body of Christ.

Theron said...

Dr. Wallace,

Thank you for clarifying some of statements from Jim's comment above. I would certainly agree that Dr. Bock as well as yourself are scholars of enough stature to stand on your own opinions. In addition, thank you for the exhortation to focus on the issues related to the textual variant at hand.

Theron

Dan Wallace said...

Steve, I did not recall that you were the one who asked if we had to teach the same things at DTS. Glad it was tongue-in-cheek! Remarkably, there are some folks out there who think that DTS is a cookie-cutter mill, and that the "Dallas man" (as if there are no women graduates!) is totally predictable. I wouldn't say that Howard Clark Kee, Michael B. Thompson, Joel Willitts, Zane Hodges, Bruce Waltke, Sam Storms, or a host of others fit that 'cookie cutter' view at all. I know you know that. But the view that DTS forces views on students is an old one. When Gordon Fee challenged Zane Hodges in the pages of JETS three decades ago about his views of the text, he thought that Hodges held to the TR AND that DTS faculty all agreed with Hodges! It's time to retire such faulty views of the school. Bock and I marvel whenever we do agree on just about anything because it's so rare!

James Snapp, Jr. said...

Dear Dr. Wallace,

The blank space in B after Tobit is merely leftover space, left after a scribe completed his assigned portion of text. For details see http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vaticanus/general.html . In *every* OT blank space in B, there are factors in play which are *not* in play at the end of Mark: there's the end of the OT-section itself. There's the switch to the two-column format of Psalms. And there's the scribe's completion of his assigned portion of text. All of which bear united testimony that the scribes of B normally only left blank space when they had no other choice.

But at the end of Mark in B, the scribe abandoned this otherwise strictly implemented approach, and left a blank column between Mark and Luke (plus the space at the end of the second column). None of the gap-inducing mechanisms which were at work in the OT-portion account for this.

You said that non-evidence in one area does not constitute evidence in another. I agree. But it's not non-evidence to observe that the scribes of B *never* deliberately place blank spaces between books; it's a demonstration of the habits of the scribes. And this evidence is not impacted when we observe the nigh-unavoidable blank spaces in the OT portion of B.

To illustrate: suppose a motorist has a known habit of only stopping at stop-signs, but after we watch him stop at four stop-signs, we watch him stop one and only one time at a place where there is no stop-sign. He stops at a place where animals are known to cross the road. Wouldn't you conclude that he stopped because an animal was crossing the road? We wouldn't draw such a conclusion if the motorist was known to frequently stop to enjoy the scenery. But since he habitually only stops at stop-signs, it is remarkable when he stops once where there is no stop-sign. Knowing that he stops at stop-signs does not make it any less remarkable. The blank spaces in the OT-portion of B occur at stop-signs. The blank space after Mk. 16:8 in B does not.

Against the theory that the blank space occurs to reflect a blank space in an exemplar in which the Gospels were in the (or /a/) Western order: that would not be a sufficient reason for a scribe to leave a blank space between Mark and Luke in a copy in which he knew that the Gospels would not follow the Western order. In addition, why should we expect an Alexandrian exemplar of B (with an Alexandrian text) to follow the Western order? A more potent question is this: why should a scribe treat blank space at the end of a Western Gospels-book exemplar as anything other than blank space? What sort of scribe would read a copy of the Gospels in the Western order, get to the end, and imagine that anything was signified by whatever blank space was left after the end?

You asked, "Is it not possible that that gap in Aleph was due to its exemplar following the western order of the gospels rather than due to knowledge of a variant here?"

Possible? *If* there was a gap in the original bifolium of Mk. 14:54-Lk. 1:56, and *if* the Alexandrian exemplar had the Gospels in the Western (i.e., non-Alexandrian) order, and *if* the scribe somehow imagined that blank space at the end of his exemplar was in some way meaningful, sure, it's possible. But not plausible.

You mentioned, "What strengthens this possibility is that there IS a gap at the end of the gospels in Aleph now--a full page at the end of John."

And there's a blank page after Acts, too. It's not surprising to find separator-pages between Gospels and Acts, or between Acts and the Pauline corpus, and so forth. But there are still bridges of improbability to cross for your idea to work -- notably the improbability that any scribe would come to the end of a four-Gospel book in which Mark was the last Gospel, see blank space, and figure that he should include the blank space in his copy, even though he was making a copy in which the end of Mark would be followed by the beginning of Luke and even though there would be nothing odd about blank space at the end of a book! Considering that we see the use of "token space" elsewhere in the Alexandrian text-stream (in L at the PA-location, for instance), and considering that the blank space in B after 16:8 is a close approximation of the space required for the LE, which theory really seems more worthy of consideration: the scenario you described, or a simple scenario in which the scribe of B was working from an exemplar that ended Mark at 16:8, and he recollected the LE, so, being unsure how to proceed, he left space for the LE?

You said, "My point is that we really don't have definite reasons for all the gaps in Vaticanus or Sinaiticus, yet many people pontificate on what the gap must mean at the end of Mark."

I don't grant your point; its premises are incorrect: we *do* have definite reasons for every single one of the blank spaces in the OT-portion of Vaticanus, and there is no reason to think that we do not have a definite reason for the blank space at the end of Mark (namely, the scribe's recollection of the LE). Again I emphasize that there are no blank spaces in B in the NT except at the end of Mark, not even where one might expect separator-pages or separator-columns.

You said, "Yet, even here, there is no umlaut, a clear indication of knowledge of a textual variant by the scribes of B."

The scribe had already written the MS with a Big Blank Space after 16:8; to add an umlaut would have been superfluous. The umlauts were added as reminders of variants; no such additional reminder was needed at Mk. 16:8. (Plus, there is no reason to assume that the LE was in the particular MS which was used as the basis for the umlauts.)

Dr. Elliott answered your statements about the gaps in B in the OT-portion effectively; now I have answered them exhaustively, addressing the instance of blank space after Tobit. Again: none of the blank spaces in the OT-portion of B provide any basis for any rationale for the blank space after 16:8.

I would add that the Short Ending fits in the space left at the bottom of the second column of the page, and thus if the scribe had only known the Short Ending, he would have had no reason to leave the following column blank.

About my comments about Dr. Bock's role at the conference: Theron asked for thoughts, for impressions. And my impression was that Dr. Bock's hour could have been better spent on a round-table discussion, because when it came to interpreting the evidence, he didn't say much that you didn't also say.

You said, "I think it is inappropriate to suggest that he saw his job as 'wielding and shielding Wallace's approach,' and 'serving as Wallace's wingman throughout the conference.'"

I did not attempt to read Dr. Bock's mind; I didn't describe what he thought but what he did: wield and shield (i.e., utilize and defend) essentially the same position that you presented. There was no plan to overlap the contents of your presentations or fly the same flightpath, but I think that to some extent it turned out that way. If anything I've written has caused anyone to think that I was impugning anyone's motives, I apologize.

Steve,

You can e-mail me directly at office(at)curtisvillechristian(dot)org and I will be happy to e-mail the paper to you, along with a shorter summary of the most important pieces of external and internal evidence related to Mk. 16:9-20. (The website looked okay when I checked it earlier today. Did you type in the "http://"?)

SS: ... "you keep persisting with the same disdainful remarks."

I don't disdain anyone who was at the conference. Theron asked for thoughts on the conference and I provided my thoughts -- and whatever flames are in them are crucible-flames, not incinerator-flames. I don't want my wishes and criticisms of the conference (which was good overall, as conferences go) to distract from the discussion about Mark 16:9-20.

Theron said...

James,

Thank you again for your comment. I appreciate your passion for textual criticism. It seems as if you are convinced of your position and believe that others should be convinced of it as well. However, in the case of the ending of the gospel of Mark, there does not appear to be a perfectly clear answer (of course the answers that we each hold to appear convincing to us). In light of this, as well as the length of your comment, it might be best to post a link to your website so that readers can view the material you have written above. Again, thank you for the comment.

Theron

James Snapp, Jr. said...

Theron,

As Steve S. suspected, the domain name for the Curtisville Christian Church's website expired, and it will take a hopefully brief period to get it back online. (Strangely, the site still works from the local area, but it is clear that the domain-name has expired.) Fortunately there is backup. At

http://www.textexcavation.com/snapp/MarkOne.html

you can begin the multi-part summary of the lengthy essay "The Authenticity of Mark 16:9-20."

The full (100+ pages) essay, a review of commentators' statements related to Mk. 16:9-20, and the new short "Footprints and Fingerprints" essay (less than 5000 words) on the same subject, are all available as Files at the TC-Alternate Yahoo discussion-board.

(You might have to join the discussion-group to get access to the Files, but it's free, and you can unjoin at any time, if you want to.)