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Re: [XTalk] Chilton on Carlson & Secret Mark

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  • Loren Rosson
    ... Chilton writes: “Mr. Carlson persistently calls the document a ‘hoax’ rather than a fraud or a forgery, on the grounds that a hoaxer does not
    Message 1 of 17 , Oct 25, 2006
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      Jeffrey wrote:

      > List members may be interested in seeing the review
      > of Stephen Carlson's
      > book on Smith and Secret Mark that Bruce Chilton has
      > just published.
      >
      > It is available here:
      >
      > http://www.nysun.com/article/42197

      Chilton writes:

      “Mr. Carlson persistently calls the document a ‘hoax’
      rather than a fraud or a forgery, on the grounds that
      a hoaxer does not directly profit from his deception.
      That defense is only partially convincing... Smith did
      not reveal his trick (if it truly was his) during his
      lifetime, nor did he arrange for any disclosure after
      his death.”

      That was a question I had when I finished reading
      Gospel Hoax, and a question posed to Stephen in an
      online interview (see
      http://www.will.uiuc.edu/AM/ktf/default.htm, and
      scroll down to Nov 27, 2005). Stephen’s answer is that
      Smith probably never came clean, as most hoaxers
      eventually do, because his allies were taken in by
      Secret Mark more than his enemies.

      “And he profited from publication and publicity;
      ‘Secret Mark’ set the stage for the reception of
      Smith's own idiosyncratic ideas about Jesus.”

      But it’s doubtful that Smith intended to benefit from
      Secret Mark, and (as Stephen notes in his book), he
      barely mentioned the document at all in Jesus the
      Magician. In other words, he was clever enough not to
      behave as a forger (rather than hoaxer) would behave
      with his own fake.

      Needless to say, I think Stephen's case is more
      conclusive than Chilton allows (or seems to want to
      allow), but it's a decent review for the most part. I
      like Chilton's sidebar on the modern love affair with neo-gnosticism.

      Loren Rosson III
      Nashua NH
      http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com/

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    • Jack Kilmon
      ... From: Jeffrey B. Gibson To: Crosstalk2 Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 2:51 PM Subject: [XTalk]
      Message 2 of 17 , Oct 25, 2006
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
        To: "Crosstalk2" <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 2:51 PM
        Subject: [XTalk] Chilton on Carlson & Secret Mark


        > List members may be interested in seeing the review of Stephen Carlson's
        > book on Smith and Secret Mark that Bruce Chilton has just published.
        >
        > It is available here:
        >
        > http://www.nysun.com/article/42197
        >
        > Jeffrey
        >
        > --
        > Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
        > 1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
        > Chicago, Illinois
        > e-mail jgibson000@...


        Interesting but Chilton's review is somewhat hollow. Stephen's book is
        extremely well done but still unconvincing. My first objection is the
        "homoerotic" thing...to whom? Sexually insecure and adolescent
        modernWestern males? The foundation of the claim that Clement's letter to
        Theodore is a fake lies in Morton Smith being a con man. I don't believe it
        and it gains purchase because Smith is dead making him a tad unresponsive to
        the charge. My examination of the fly leaves show a very rapidly...almost
        urgent...copying of an exemplar manuscript (probably in an uncial Greek)
        into a Phanariot Greek minuscule with all of the flourishes and ligatures
        peculiar to the 18th century. Unless it can be demonstated to me that a few
        flow tremors do not appear in genuine 18th century minuscule manuscripts
        written similarly hurried AND if it can be demonstrated to me that there are
        non primarily Greek speaking scholars who can write 18th century Phanariot
        minuscule very hurriedly, Secret Mark can still be genuine.

        Jack Kilmon
        San Antonio, Texas
      • Ken Olson
        ... extremely well done but still unconvincing.
        Message 3 of 17 , Oct 26, 2006
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          On October 25, 2006, Jack Kimon wrote:

          >>Interesting but Chilton's review is somewhat hollow. Stephen's book is
          extremely well done but still unconvincing.<<

          It has proved convincing to several competent scholars.

          >> My first objection is the
          "homoerotic" thing...to whom? Sexually insecure and adolescent
          modernWestern males?<<

          I do not believe that Carlson is saying that you or I or any particular
          reader would find the text sexually stimulating, but rather that the
          narrative contains a suggestion of homosexual activity (see chapter five of
          his book). As he is by no means the first person to find a suggestion of
          homosexual activity in it, I think it is reasonable to see that suggestion
          it in the text.

          >> The foundation of the claim that Clement's letter to
          Theodore is a fake lies in Morton Smith being a con man.<<

          First, the term "con man" is a more extreme term than Carlson uses or argues
          for. Stephen calls Secret Mark a "hoax."

          Second, this is Carlson's conclusion based on the evidence he produces, not
          an unexamined premise. Carlson may be wrong in his conclusions, but it is
          imaginable that Smith did compose the letter to Theodore himself and the
          possibility can be investigated, which is what Carlson did.

          >> I don't believe it
          and it gains purchase because Smith is dead making him a tad unresponsive to
          the charge.<<

          We make claims about dead people all the time. Such is not off limits in
          this field and you produce no evidence that Carlson is incorrect unless you
          wish us to accept your personal incredulity as having probative value.

          >>My examination of the fly leaves show a very rapidly...almost
          urgent...copying of an exemplar manuscript (probably in an uncial Greek)
          into a Phanariot Greek minuscule with all of the flourishes and ligatures
          peculiar to the 18th century. Unless it can be demonstated to me that a few
          flow tremors do not appear in genuine 18th century minuscule manuscripts
          written similarly hurried AND if it can be demonstrated to me that there are
          non primarily Greek speaking scholars who can write 18th century Phanariot
          minuscule very hurriedly, Secret Mark can still be genuine.<<

          It seems that you wish to place the burden of proof on Carlson to prove the
          non-existence of flow tremors in hurriedly-written 18th century manuscripts.
          If you wish to falsify Carlson's claims about the tremors, all you have to
          do is produce counterexamples.

          It also seems that you are insisting that in order for Carlson's theory to
          be plausible, he must show that someone besides Smith who is a non primarily
          Greek speaking scholar is expert enough to have written the Greek hand. But
          Carlson is suggesting that Smith practiced in order to be able to draft the
          letter to Theodore and it is very understandable that other people who lack
          Smith's motive and did not want to produce a manuscript in such a hand would
          not invest the time and effort to acquire the ability. I find it
          fascinating that you have to qualify your requirement with "non primarily
          Greek speaking." You seem to be admitting that there might indeed be human
          beings who have acquired this ability, but Smith could not have been one of
          them by virtue of having English as a first language. (It would, of course,
          also be possible to entertain the theory that Smith used an accomplice who
          was Greek scribe).

          One of the characteristics that many of Carlson's critics (Scott Brown being
          something of an exception) seem to share is the desire to dismiss the
          possibility that Smith could have composed the letter to Theodore himself
          without ever seriously investigating that possibility or engaging Carlson at
          the level of detailed argument with which he investigates that possibility.

          Best Wishes,

          Ken

          Kenneth A. Olson
          MA, History, University of Maryland
          PhD Student, Religion, Duke University
        • goranson@duke.edu
          Jack, you described the manuscript writing using these words: very rapidly, almost urgent, hurried, hurriedly. I m no expert on this, but I am not aware that
          Message 4 of 17 , Oct 26, 2006
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            Jack, you described the manuscript writing using these words: very rapidly,
            almost urgent, hurried, hurriedly. I'm no expert on this, but I am not aware
            that it has been demonstrated that the manuscript was written quickly. I find
            it more probable that Smith took his time, and practiced, including on the
            front end papers. And then brought the book with him to Mar Saba.

            Even though Smith wrote, more than once, that marginal annotations in old book
            were an important source of information, he gave no information about any
            marginal notes that the Voss book may have had. Nor, evidently, though he was
            subsequently in Jerusalem, did he make efforts to reexamine the book, or have
            someone else to do so. Also, he did not mention in his Mar Saba catalog that
            the manuscript had Secret Gospel quotations. And only after the 1960 catalog
            (and his seldom-seen 1958 publication) were in print did he announce his find
            at the December 1960 SBL meeting.

            I'm all for discoveries of ancient documents. But I think Secret Mark is not
            ancient, but modern.

            Smith directed few doctoral dissertations. I am not aware of any on that short
            elite list who has declared Secret Mark non-genuine other than Neusner. But I
            can say that at least two of the others--even if they are not persuaded that
            motive has been shown--do allow that Morton Smith was capable, in terms of
            knowledge and skill, of creating the manuscript.

            best,
            Stephen Goranson
            http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
          • Frank Jacks
            Thanks for Loren s hyperlink to the AM interview, but the URL given does not work, at least no for me ... but after a little fooling around, I found that
            Message 5 of 17 , Oct 26, 2006
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              Thanks for Loren's hyperlink to the AM interview, but the URL given does
              not work, at least no for me ... but after a little fooling around, I
              found that dropping the last part gave me access to the right location.
              Whether or not this is useful to others, I have no idea but "just in
              case" it is, well try instead just http://www.wil.uiuc.edu/AM/ktf.

              Frank

              Clive F. Jacks, Th.D.
              Professor of Religion, Emeritus
              Pikeville Collge,
              Pikeville, KY

              (but now happily retired back home in the metro Atlanta area!)

              Loren Rosson wrote:
              >
              > Jeffrey wrote:
              >
              > > List members may be interested in seeing the review
              > > of Stephen Carlson's
              > > book on Smith and Secret Mark that Bruce Chilton has
              > > just published.
              > >
              > > It is available here:
              > >
              > > http://www.nysun.com/article/42197 <http://www.nysun.com/article/42197>
              >
              > Chilton writes:
              >
              > “Mr. Carlson persistently calls the document a ‘hoax’
              > rather than a fraud or a forgery, on the grounds that
              > a hoaxer does not directly profit from his deception.
              > That defense is only partially convincing... Smith did
              > not reveal his trick (if it truly was his) during his
              > lifetime, nor did he arrange for any disclosure after
              > his death.”
              >
              > That was a question I had when I finished reading
              > Gospel Hoax, and a question posed to Stephen in an
              > online interview (see
              > http://www.will.uiuc.edu/AM/ktf/default.htm,
              > <http://www.will.uiuc.edu/AM/ktf/default.htm,> and
              > scroll down to Nov 27, 2005). Stephen’s answer is that
              > Smith probably never came clean, as most hoaxers
              > eventually do, because his allies were taken in by
              > Secret Mark more than his enemies.
              >
            • Loren Rosson
              ... My apologies. I managed to attach a comma to the URL. Drop the comma and it should work (and again, scroll down to Nov 27 2005 to get Carlson s radio
              Message 6 of 17 , Oct 26, 2006
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                > Thanks for Loren's hyperlink to the AM interview,
                > but the URL given does
                > not work, at least no for me ...

                My apologies. I managed to attach a comma to the URL.
                Drop the comma and it should work (and again, scroll
                down to Nov 27 2005 to get Carlson's radio interview)

                http://www.will.uiuc.edu/am/ktf/default.htm



                Loren Rosson III
                Nashua NH
                http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com/

                __________________________________________________
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              • Frank Jacks
                ... Whoops - apologies all around for my URL did not work either, as I left out a letter (heavy sigh!) - it should have been: http://www.will.uiuc.edu/AM/ktf
                Message 7 of 17 , Oct 26, 2006
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                  Frank Jacks wrote:
                  > Thanks for Loren's hyperlink to the AM interview, but the URL given does
                  > not work, at least no for me ... but after a little fooling around, I
                  > found that dropping the last part gave me access to the right location.
                  > Whether or not this is useful to others, I have no idea but "just in
                  > case" it is, well try instead just http://www.wil.uiuc.edu/AM/ktf.
                  >
                  > Frank
                  >
                  > Clive F. Jacks, Th.D.
                  > Professor of Religion, Emeritus
                  > Pikeville Collge,
                  > Pikeville, KY
                  >
                  > (but now happily retired back home in the metro Atlanta area!)
                  >

                  Whoops - apologies all around for my URL did not work either, as I left
                  out a letter (heavy sigh!) - it should have been:

                  http://www.will.uiuc.edu/AM/ktf

                  Sorry about that! Hopefully, I got it right this time ... I hope.

                  Frank
                • Stephen C. Carlson
                  ... Thanks for your comments, Jack. For those on-list who may not be aware of it, Jack s web page about his uncial exemplar hypothesis is found here:
                  Message 8 of 17 , Oct 26, 2006
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                    At 09:27 PM 10/25/2006 -0500, Jack Kilmon wrote:
                    >My examination of the fly leaves show a very rapidly...almost
                    >urgent...copying of an exemplar manuscript (probably in an uncial Greek)
                    >into a Phanariot Greek minuscule with all of the flourishes and ligatures
                    >peculiar to the 18th century.

                    Thanks for your comments, Jack. For those on-list who may not
                    be aware of it, Jack's web page about his uncial exemplar
                    hypothesis is found here: http://www.historian.net/smunc.htm

                    A major difficulty I'm having with your idea about an uncial
                    exemplar, Jack, is how could a early modern monastic scribe
                    copy a scriptio continua (no spaces between words) uncial
                    exemplar into a fully accented and word divided minuscule
                    script "very rapidly" without any word division errors or
                    typical confusions of uncial letters (e.g. between E O S).
                    A further difficulty with the idea of a hasty scribe is
                    that the scribe must have expanded common uncial nomina
                    sacra (e.g. IC for name "Jesus") into its full spelling.
                    The amount of editorial interventions to produce the text
                    we see in the photographs is irreconcilable with the idea
                    that the scribe was pressed for time.

                    Also, Smith had a lot of prior experience with 18th century
                    hands, as I documented in my book, so your observation about
                    the peculiarity of the hand would tend to exclude a great
                    number of people as a candidate for the scribe, but not Smith
                    himself.

                    Stephen Carlson
                    --
                    Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                    Weblog: http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/
                    Author of: The Gospel Hoax, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1932792481
                  • Jack Kilmon
                    ... From: Ken Olson To: Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 4:01 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Chilton on
                    Message 9 of 17 , Oct 26, 2006
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                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Ken Olson" <kenolson101@...>
                      To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 4:01 AM
                      Subject: Re: [XTalk] Chilton on Carlson & Secret Mark


                      > On October 25, 2006, Jack Kimon wrote:
                      >
                      >>>Interesting but Chilton's review is somewhat hollow. Stephen's book is
                      > extremely well done but still unconvincing.<<
                      >
                      > It has proved convincing to several competent scholars.

                      Of course, Ken. Stephen's book is very well done. There are going to be
                      competent scholars who accept Stephen's well presented position as well as
                      competent scholars who do NOT. That is the way scholarship works and
                      Stephen is an excellent scholar.


                      >
                      >>> My first objection is the
                      > "homoerotic" thing...to whom? Sexually insecure and adolescent
                      > modernWestern males?<<
                      >
                      > I do not believe that Carlson is saying that you or I or any particular
                      > reader would find the text sexually stimulating, but rather that the
                      > narrative contains a suggestion of homosexual activity (see chapter five
                      > of
                      > his book). As he is by no means the first person to find a suggestion of
                      > homosexual activity in it, I think it is reasonable to see that suggestion
                      > it in the text.

                      And I do not think so in the context of the ancient Middle East. When I put
                      both the canonical version in Mark and the Secret Mark version together of a
                      naked young man with a linen wrap I get a baptism in "living water"
                      scenario. Some clues suggest that the Gethsemane olive orchard may have
                      belonged to Mark's parents in the upper city. There was the Kidron water
                      flow that supplied water to the olive orchard as well as the Gihon Spring
                      and may have been used for baptism in this "favorite place" of Jesus. The
                      conflation of the Lazarus story and the Gethsemane story is no different
                      than other narratives in the Gospels but my point is that there is much in
                      the ANE and in other cultures around the world in modern times that are NOT
                      "homoerotic" or suggestive of homosexuality but will be perceived as such in
                      the sexually juvenile Western World. I cannot count the number of times
                      that male friends in Israel, Egypt or even Indonesis, Thailand and Malaysia
                      have taken my hand when walking down the street. It is, in their culture, a
                      gesture of protection as well as signalling locals that "this person is with
                      me." Don't try that in downtown Memphis.



                      >
                      >>> The foundation of the claim that Clement's letter to
                      > Theodore is a fake lies in Morton Smith being a con man.<<
                      >
                      > First, the term "con man" is a more extreme term than Carlson uses or
                      > argues
                      > for. Stephen calls Secret Mark a "hoax."

                      But a "hoax" is a con job.

                      >
                      > Second, this is Carlson's conclusion based on the evidence he produces,
                      > not
                      > an unexamined premise. Carlson may be wrong in his conclusions, but it is
                      > imaginable that Smith did compose the letter to Theodore himself and the
                      > possibility can be investigated, which is what Carlson did.

                      Yes, of course. Stephen was very thorough and it is certainly not an
                      unexamined premise any more than my own. I am not claiming Stephen is
                      wrong, I am saying I am not yet convinced which is also not an unexamined
                      premise. First, I need to be convinced that one of the "forgeries within a
                      forgery within a forgery," namely the forgery of Clement is indeed one of
                      the forgeries and that Morton Smith was a good enough Clementine scholar to
                      pull that off.

                      >
                      >>> I don't believe it
                      > and it gains purchase because Smith is dead making him a tad unresponsive
                      > to
                      > the charge.<<
                      >
                      > We make claims about dead people all the time. Such is not off limits in
                      > this field and you produce no evidence that Carlson is incorrect unless
                      > you
                      > wish us to accept your personal incredulity as having probative value.
                      >
                      > >>My examination of the fly leaves show a very rapidly...almost
                      > urgent...copying of an exemplar manuscript (probably in an uncial Greek)
                      > into a Phanariot Greek minuscule with all of the flourishes and ligatures
                      > peculiar to the 18th century. Unless it can be demonstated to me that a
                      > few
                      > flow tremors do not appear in genuine 18th century minuscule manuscripts
                      > written similarly hurried AND if it can be demonstrated to me that there
                      > are
                      > non primarily Greek speaking scholars who can write 18th century Phanariot
                      > minuscule very hurriedly, Secret Mark can still be genuine.<<
                      >
                      > It seems that you wish to place the burden of proof on Carlson to prove
                      > the
                      > non-existence of flow tremors in hurriedly-written 18th century
                      > manuscripts.
                      > If you wish to falsify Carlson's claims about the tremors, all you have to
                      > do is produce counterexamples.

                      That is one of the problems for both Stephen and me...lack of the primary
                      resource...the actual manuscript. I have no reason to believe that Morton
                      Smith was accustomed to writing fluently, normally and rhthmically ( and
                      hurriedly) in a Phanariot Greek hand. This is a hurried hand which conforms
                      in my mind to a librarian attempting to preserve something he thought
                      important and was probably ordered to destroy, much like Kallistos was
                      ordered to do the same thing to the copy. And why would he tear out the
                      leaves and "lose" them..or destroy them when access to them would settle the
                      debatte? In a real sense, the letter is not a "forgery" but a copy. In a
                      legitimate copy of the original, a "tremor" can form where the copyist
                      pauses to check back to the exemplar and there may be an occasional pen
                      rest. I also see foxing that occurred between 1642 and the time of the
                      writing and also foxing that occurred afterward that interferes with the
                      writing....at least so it appears from both the Smith and Hedrick photos.

                      In short, a COPY will demonstrate the same flow patterns as a forgery as the
                      18th century scribe's eyes went from the original Clementine letter to the
                      flyleaves and back again.

                      >
                      > It also seems that you are insisting that in order for Carlson's theory to
                      > be plausible, he must show that someone besides Smith who is a non
                      > primarily
                      > Greek speaking scholar is expert enough to have written the Greek hand.
                      > But
                      > Carlson is suggesting that Smith practiced in order to be able to draft
                      > the
                      > letter to Theodore and it is very understandable that other people who
                      > lack
                      > Smith's motive and did not want to produce a manuscript in such a hand
                      > would
                      > not invest the time and effort to acquire the ability. I find it
                      > fascinating that you have to qualify your requirement with "non primarily
                      > Greek speaking."

                      Why? I am seeing a document that was written, IMO, by someone who spoke and
                      wrote Greek in an 18th century Phanariot minuscule naturally. I think the
                      suggestion that Morton Smith practiced for..how long? months? Years> ..to
                      write this is far fetched.




                      > You seem to be admitting that there might indeed be human
                      > beings who have acquired this ability, but Smith could not have been one
                      > of
                      > them by virtue of having English as a first language.

                      That is what my paleographer's eye tells me.



                      > (It would, of course,
                      > also be possible to entertain the theory that Smith used an accomplice who
                      > was Greek scribe).

                      In a Phanariot minuscule hand with its "legalistic" shorthandedness,
                      ligatures and flourishes? That is still reaching too far and I think he
                      would have to had an accomplice for the Clementine style as well. That is
                      just too many hoaxers to remain a secret for so long.


                      >
                      > One of the characteristics that many of Carlson's critics (Scott Brown
                      > being
                      > something of an exception) seem to share is the desire to dismiss the
                      > possibility that Smith could have composed the letter to Theodore himself
                      > without ever seriously investigating that possibility or engaging Carlson
                      > at
                      > the level of detailed argument with which he investigates that
                      > possibility.

                      Other than the familiarity with Clement and his works common to any scholar
                      in Smith's position, I think it is legitimate to question whether Smith had
                      the degree of specialization combined with an equal degree of specialization
                      in a Greek minuscule hand that is unique. I am not sure that a similar cas
                      could not be made against a number of Biblical scholars with such an
                      intensive examination of their abilities, styles, prejudices, etc.

                      Stephen may well be right but I am not convinced and do not see his book as
                      the "final" deathblow to SM that is being promoted. We need the actual mss
                      and it looks like Kallistos has thought to himself that "so-and-so was
                      supposed to have destroyed this in 1750 and now I am going to get it done."

                      Regards

                      Jack Kilmon
                      San Antonio, Texas
                    • Jack Kilmon
                      ... From: To: Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 5:57 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Chilton on Carlson & Secret Mark
                      Message 10 of 17 , Oct 26, 2006
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                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: <goranson@...>
                        To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 5:57 AM
                        Subject: Re: [XTalk] Chilton on Carlson & Secret Mark


                        > Jack, you described the manuscript writing using these words: very
                        > rapidly,
                        > almost urgent, hurried, hurriedly. I'm no expert on this, but I am not
                        > aware
                        > that it has been demonstrated that the manuscript was written quickly. I
                        > find
                        > it more probable that Smith took his time, and practiced, including on the
                        > front end papers. And then brought the book with him to Mar Saba.

                        Actually, it is my observation of the hand that leads me to believe it was
                        written hurriedly. The flow tremors and pen rests could have resulted from
                        the scribe's eyes moving back and forth between the original and his copy on
                        the fly leaves. It would have been far easier to fake the letter in an
                        early uncial script than in the highly flourished Phanariot style, IMO.

                        >
                        > Even though Smith wrote, more than once, that marginal annotations in old
                        > book
                        > were an important source of information, he gave no information about any
                        > marginal notes that the Voss book may have had. Nor, evidently, though he
                        > was
                        > subsequently in Jerusalem, did he make efforts to reexamine the book, or
                        > have
                        > someone else to do so. Also, he did not mention in his Mar Saba catalog
                        > that
                        > the manuscript had Secret Gospel quotations. And only after the 1960
                        > catalog
                        > (and his seldom-seen 1958 publication) were in print did he announce his
                        > find
                        > at the December 1960 SBL meeting.
                        >
                        > I'm all for discoveries of ancient documents. But I think Secret Mark is
                        > not
                        > ancient, but modern.
                        >
                        > Smith directed few doctoral dissertations. I am not aware of any on that
                        > short
                        > elite list who has declared Secret Mark non-genuine other than Neusner.
                        > But I
                        > can say that at least two of the others--even if they are not persuaded
                        > that
                        > motive has been shown--do allow that Morton Smith was capable, in terms of
                        > knowledge and skill, of creating the manuscript.

                        I cannot think of what the motive could have been either, particularly since
                        Smith would have another 30 years to his career which would have been
                        destroyed. Much of the debate appears to settle around Smith's activities
                        and eccentricities as well as dislike for him. I have read some of his work
                        on political and social aspects of early sects but I don't think it has been
                        demonstrated sufficiently that his degrees of specialization in Clement,
                        Greek hands and Markan style (just one of these specialties is a career in
                        itself) was so acute. My position is that I am just not as convinced as
                        those who claim Stephen has dealt the definitive death blow.

                        Regards,

                        Jack

                        Jack Kilmon
                        San Antonio, Texas


                        >
                        > best,
                        > Stephen Goranson
                        > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
                      • Jack Kilmon
                        ... From: Stephen C. Carlson To: Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 10:22 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk]
                        Message 11 of 17 , Oct 27, 2006
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...>
                          To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 10:22 AM
                          Subject: Re: [XTalk] Chilton on Carlson & Secret Mark


                          > At 09:27 PM 10/25/2006 -0500, Jack Kilmon wrote:
                          >>My examination of the fly leaves show a very rapidly...almost
                          >>urgent...copying of an exemplar manuscript (probably in an uncial Greek)
                          >>into a Phanariot Greek minuscule with all of the flourishes and ligatures
                          >>peculiar to the 18th century.
                          >
                          > Thanks for your comments, Jack. For those on-list who may not
                          > be aware of it, Jack's web page about his uncial exemplar
                          > hypothesis is found here: http://www.historian.net/smunc.htm
                          >
                          > A major difficulty I'm having with your idea about an uncial
                          > exemplar, Jack, is how could a early modern monastic scribe
                          > copy a scriptio continua (no spaces between words) uncial
                          > exemplar into a fully accented and word divided minuscule
                          > script "very rapidly" without any word division errors or
                          > typical confusions of uncial letters (e.g. between E O S).

                          That's a valid point, Stephen. I would expect, however, that an 18th
                          century Greek scribe whose natural hand was the "flourishy" Phanariot of SM
                          could read an uncial mss and just copy away in his minuscule hand.



                          > A further difficulty with the idea of a hasty scribe is
                          > that the scribe must have expanded common uncial nomina
                          > sacra (e.g. IC for name "Jesus") into its full spelling.

                          If my natural hand is a minuscule without nomina sacra, as was the
                          convention at that time, and I knew what the NS were, I see no problem with
                          this.

                          > The amount of editorial interventions to produce the text
                          > we see in the photographs is irreconcilable with the idea
                          > that the scribe was pressed for time.

                          Even if his eyes were shifting back and forth from his copy to the original?


                          >
                          > Also, Smith had a lot of prior experience with 18th century
                          > hands, as I documented in my book, so your observation about
                          > the peculiarity of the hand would tend to exclude a great
                          > number of people as a candidate for the scribe, but not Smith
                          > himself.

                          As I told Ken and Stephen , you may well be right...and I hope you are not
                          offended by my skepticism...maybe I am just stubborn but my paleographer's
                          eye is just not yet convinced. Does a 42 year old Smith have these
                          abilities? I see a hand that must have taken years to develop. Why would a
                          man in the peak of his career jeapardize it? I would like to further explore
                          my opinion that the hand is a hurried one. This is an important issue and
                          can be the deciding factor for me. The line quality of a hurried hand is
                          good. Quality diminishes the slower the hand. There are normally 3 writing
                          speeds for the average person using this type of script, which includes
                          English). There is a set speed, a facile speed and a rapid speed.. SM
                          appears to me, from the photographs, to be between a facile and rapid hand
                          because of the line quality, use of accents, apparent quill pressure and the
                          Phanariot flourishes. Because SM is a copy requiring the copyist to
                          write...stop...look to the exemplar...write again, etc, I would expect quill
                          lifts and rests. The person who wrote/copied SM was right handed...what was
                          Smith?

                          Where is the Voss book now? was there bleed through or offset transfer to
                          the boardpaper? It seems to me that a forensic examination of the book
                          itself, which I assume is in Jerusalem and was not "lost," could yield some
                          information.

                          I will say that your research and examination of the photographs is so well
                          done and without bias that I am leaning in your direction...I just need more
                          for the reasons I have outlined in these communications before concluding
                          that Morton Smith was an extremely talented nut and a fraud.


                          Best Regards,

                          Jack


                          Jack Kilmon
                          San Antonio



                          >
                          > Stephen Carlson
                          > --
                          > Stephen C. Carlson
                          > mailto:scarlson@...
                          > Weblog:
                          > http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/
                          > Author of: The Gospel Hoax,
                          > http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1932792481
                          >
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                        • Mike Grondin
                          ... STM this is only the case if there is a natural hand tremor due to age or infirmity. Such a tremor would probably result in small jags if writing too
                          Message 12 of 17 , Nov 1, 2006
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                            --- Jack Kilmon wrote:
                            > The line quality of a hurried hand is good.
                            > Quality diminishes the slower the hand.

                            STM this is only the case if there is a natural hand
                            tremor due to age or infirmity. Such a tremor would
                            probably result in small jags if writing too slowly.
                            Not having that problem, however, I find the opposite
                            to be true, viz. that the more quickly I write, the
                            lower the quality.

                            Mike Grondin
                          • Bob Schacht
                            ... Jack, Do you have evidence for this, or is it just your experienced opinion? It seems like an unlikely over-generalization to me. When writing fast, isn t
                            Message 13 of 17 , Nov 1, 2006
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                              At 09:21 AM 11/1/2006, Mike Grondin wrote:

                              >--- Jack Kilmon wrote:
                              > > The line quality of a hurried hand is good.
                              > > Quality diminishes the slower the hand.

                              Jack,
                              Do you have evidence for this, or is it just your experienced opinion?
                              It seems like an unlikely over-generalization to me. When writing fast,
                              isn't there a tendency to do fine on the straightaways, but then tend to
                              overshoot the hard turns? Or by "line quality" are you only talking about
                              the "straightaways"?


                              >STM this is only the case if there is a natural hand
                              >tremor due to age or infirmity. Such a tremor would
                              >probably result in small jags if writing too slowly.

                              True, the straightaways will get more ragged if drawn too slowly.
                              Seems to me *confidence* would be a bigger factor.
                              Bob


                              >Not having that problem, however, I find the opposite
                              >to be true, viz. that the more quickly I write, the
                              >lower the quality.
                              >
                              >Mike Grondin
                              >
                              >


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • David Hindley
                              ... From: David Hindley [mailto:dhindley@njassociates.com] Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 9:30 AM To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: Chilton on
                              Message 14 of 17 , Nov 3, 2006
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                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: David Hindley [mailto:dhindley@...]
                                Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 9:30 AM
                                To: 'crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com'
                                Subject: Re: Chilton on Carlson & Secret Mark

                                Ken Olsen said:

                                <<It seems that you wish to place the burden of proof on Carlson to prove the non-existence of flow tremors in hurriedly-written 18th century manuscripts. If you wish to falsify Carlson's claims about the tremors, all you have to do is produce counterexamples.>>

                                I am not directing this response to you in particular Ken, but if one is making the claim that evidence for tremors almost certainly means forgery (or whatever semantic term we wish to employ for rhetorical effect), and I think Stephen has essentially done so in his book, he *should* include an examination of similar documents for indications of, or lack of, similar tremors. In other words, there has been no control study to compare the manuscript photos against. The fact that a tremor can be an indication of forgery, when other evidence rules out a contrary explanation, does not mean that these tremors prove forgery. This is basic scholarly method, as without controls we are only making allegations.

                                I've said it before and I'll say it again, this whole debate about a possible forgery smacks of "advocacy scholarship" and a "will to believe" so strong that almost any argument seems persuasive. What's the argument here, really? "Smith *could* have done it (because he was an evil genius, like the devil himself), so he *must* have done it (because the idea of a Secret Mark, in which Jesus *may* be portrayed as a libertine, is repulsive to our sensibilities)." The unstated assumptions I am picking up are in parentheses.

                                Smith might have originally zeroed in on this particular manuscript, in spite of its source (a partial manuscript quotation in a blank book page written in a modern hand), because it could be interpreted to show that a relatively early tradition once existed that supported his already formed opinion that Jesus was a libertine. Yet he ultimately did not press the issue, probably because evidence was not strong enough to really prove anything. He himself noted the letter fragment appeared too good to be true. At best, even if this letter of Clement of Alexandria was genuine, the Gospel which the author quoted may not have been. Remember, it was the supposed Carpocratian version of Secret Mark that said "naked man with naked man", with "Clement" denying that such a passage was in his own Church's version.

                                Is it really necessary to kill the messenger to dispose of Secret Mark? It can be disposed of quite nicely on its own merits, without getting ugly.

                                Respectfully,

                                Dave Hindley
                                Cleveland, Ohio USA
                              • goranson@duke.edu
                                ... Dave, I suggest that your message takes as too small the difference between whether the MS is a copy of a second century text or is a twentieth-century
                                Message 15 of 17 , Nov 3, 2006
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                                  Quoting David Hindley <dhindley@...>:

                                  >
                                  >
                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                  > From: David Hindley [mailto:dhindley@...]
                                  > Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 9:30 AM
                                  > To: 'crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com'
                                  > Subject: Re: Chilton on Carlson & Secret Mark
                                  >
                                  > Ken Olsen said:
                                  >
                                  > <<It seems that you wish to place the burden of proof on Carlson to
                                  > prove the non-existence of flow tremors in hurriedly-written 18th
                                  > century manuscripts. If you wish to falsify Carlson's claims about
                                  > the tremors, all you have to do is produce counterexamples.>>
                                  >
                                  > I am not directing this response to you in particular Ken, but if one
                                  > is making the claim that evidence for tremors almost certainly means
                                  > forgery (or whatever semantic term we wish to employ for rhetorical
                                  > effect), and I think Stephen has essentially done so in his book, he
                                  > *should* include an examination of similar documents for indications
                                  > of, or lack of, similar tremors. In other words, there has been no
                                  > control study to compare the manuscript photos against. The fact that
                                  > a tremor can be an indication of forgery, when other evidence rules
                                  > out a contrary explanation, does not mean that these tremors prove
                                  > forgery. This is basic scholarly method, as without controls we are
                                  > only making allegations.
                                  >
                                  > I've said it before and I'll say it again, this whole debate about a
                                  > possible forgery smacks of "advocacy scholarship" and a "will to
                                  > believe" so strong that almost any argument seems persuasive. What's
                                  > the argument here, really? "Smith *could* have done it (because he
                                  > was an evil genius, like the devil himself), so he *must* have done
                                  > it (because the idea of a Secret Mark, in which Jesus *may* be
                                  > portrayed as a libertine, is repulsive to our sensibilities)." The
                                  > unstated assumptions I am picking up are in parentheses.
                                  >
                                  > Smith might have originally zeroed in on this particular manuscript,
                                  > in spite of its source (a partial manuscript quotation in a blank
                                  > book page written in a modern hand), because it could be interpreted
                                  > to show that a relatively early tradition once existed that supported
                                  > his already formed opinion that Jesus was a libertine. Yet he
                                  > ultimately did not press the issue, probably because evidence was not
                                  > strong enough to really prove anything. He himself noted the letter
                                  > fragment appeared too good to be true. At best, even if this letter
                                  > of Clement of Alexandria was genuine, the Gospel which the author
                                  > quoted may not have been. Remember, it was the supposed Carpocratian
                                  > version of Secret Mark that said "naked man with naked man", with
                                  > "Clement" denying that such a passage was in his own Church's version.
                                  >
                                  > Is it really necessary to kill the messenger to dispose of Secret
                                  > Mark? It can be disposed of quite nicely on its own merits, without
                                  > getting ugly.
                                  >
                                  > Respectfully,
                                  >
                                  > Dave Hindley
                                  > Cleveland, Ohio USA

                                  Dave,
                                  I suggest that your message takes as too small the difference between whether
                                  the MS is a copy of a second century text or is a twentieth-century
                                  misdirected
                                  composition. If historians do not address that difference, whether for fear of
                                  being charged with "getting ugly" or "kill[ing]" or for some other reason,
                                  would that seem good to you? Or perhaps I misunderstand your
                                  recommendation. If
                                  it is (to skip the fake/forgery/hoax/fraud choice) bogus, shouldn't that be
                                  shown and known?
                                  Stephen Goranson
                                  http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
                                • Stephen C. Carlson
                                  ... Actually, in my book, I specifically compared the photos of Smith s MS against three manuscripts from Mar Saba: Sabas 452, 518, and 523 (See FIGS. 2A, 2B,
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Nov 3, 2006
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                                    At 09:36 AM 11/3/2006 -0500, David Hindley wrote:
                                    >I am not directing this response to you in particular Ken, but if one is
                                    >making the claim that evidence for tremors almost certainly means forgery
                                    >(or whatever semantic term we wish to employ for rhetorical effect), and I
                                    >think Stephen has essentially done so in his book, he *should* include an
                                    >examination of similar documents for indications of, or lack of, similar
                                    >tremors. In other words, there has been no control study to compare the
                                    >manuscript photos against. The fact that a tremor can be an indication of
                                    >forgery, when other evidence rules out a contrary explanation, does not mean
                                    >that these tremors prove forgery. This is basic scholarly method, as without
                                    >controls we are only making allegations.

                                    Actually, in my book, I specifically compared the photos of Smith's MS
                                    against three manuscripts from Mar Saba: Sabas 452, 518, and 523 (See
                                    FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C, respectively).

                                    Stephen Carlson
                                    --
                                    Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                                    Weblog: http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/
                                    Author of: The Gospel Hoax, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1932792481
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