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11531recent "Secret Mark" claims

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  • goranson@duke.edu
    Oct 31, 2009
      In the November-December Biblical Archaeology Review four articles address the
      question whether Morton Smith's "Secret Mark" manuscript is bogus or not. All
      four articles are written by staunch proponents of authenticity. Not
      surprisingly, BAR's claim of genuineness is unsatisfactory. It fails to
      present a balanced selection of facts, and it asserts as fact things which are
      not fact. For example, H. Shanks, attempting, weakly, to give the case for
      fraud, wrote (p. 51) that Smith "would also have to have sufficient knowledge
      of Latin to forge the Latin passage in the letter." But, there is no Latin
      passage in the Greek "letter."

      Another recent treatment, translating a thesis in the blog by Timo S. Paananen
      curiously accuses Stephen Carlson's book of proposing a "conspiracy theory,"
      though conspiracy, by definition, includes plural conspirators, which Carlson
      did not posit.

      I welcome further research--including documented description of any other
      annotations in the Voss volume that may indicate where that book has been;
      including more JTS archive research (as Allan Pantuck and others have pursued);
      including investigation whether the putative monk scribe penned any other Mar
      Saba/Jerusalem mss; etc.

      Stephen Goranson