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G. Stroumsa March 2005 quote on Secret Mark

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  • goranson@duke.edu
    In a new book by Guy G. Stroumsa, Hidden Wisdom: Esoteric Traditions and the Roots of Christian Mysticism (pb; Second, Revised and Enlarged Edition; Leiden:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 12, 2005
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      In a new book by Guy G. Stroumsa, Hidden Wisdom: Esoteric Traditions and the
      Roots of Christian Mysticism (pb; Second, Revised and Enlarged Edition; Leiden:
      Brill, 2005). From the March 2005 Preface p.xii-xiii:

      "Though it is notoriously difficult, if not impossible, to demonstrate the
      existence of an esoteric teaching in the first years of the disciples' group,
      (and I do not claim to have done so), various signs point to the presence of
      esoteric trends at very early stages of the Christian movement. Morton Smith's
      1957 [sic] discovery of a reference to a Secret Gospel of Mark at the
      Palestinian monastery of Mar Saba strikes me as indisputble evidence to such a
      presence. The very fact that this discovery has been so pugnaciously questioned
      only underlines its importance (see G. Stroumsa, "Comments on Charles Hedrick's
      Article: A Testimony," Journal of Early Christian Studies 11 (2004), 147-153).
      I was unable in the present volume to deal extensively with the Secret Gospel
      of Mark, but this should by no means reflect a lack of appreciation of its
      great value on my part. Rather, it reflects my desire to focus on texts and
      problems which have hitherto attracted less attention."

      Though I certainly respect Prof. Stroumsa's scholarship, I do not agree with
      portions of this quotation. Of course, it was written before Stephen Carlson's
      book became available. Carlson's _Gospel Hoax_, building on work of Quesnell,
      Murgia, and Ehrman, shows, in my view, that Secret Mark is not genuine. But I
      will be interested in G. Stroumsa's response to the new book, if he makes that
      available.

      best,
      Stephen Goranson
      http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
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