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Re: Stephen Carlson's "Gospel Hoax" on Secret Mark

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  • Wieland Willker
    ... Come on Stephen, you believe Smith unseen that this is a 20th CE hand? Then you argue that it is an 20th CE imitation of a 18th CE hand? How can one
    Message 1 of 31 , Dec 2, 2005
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      Stephen Carlson wrote:
      > I would certainly be nice to have more of the Madiotes
      > text, but we do have enough of it to know in conjunction
      > with Smith's catalog entry that there was a 20th century
      > person imitating an 18th century hand in books that Smith
      > cataloged at Mar Saba. That fact alone means that the 10
      > oral paleographic opinions of Smith's colleagues are not
      > worth the paper they're written on.

      Come on Stephen, you believe Smith unseen that this is a 20th CE hand? Then you argue that it is an 20th CE imitation of a 18th CE hand? How can one distinguish a 20th CE hand from a 20th CE imitation of a 18th CE hand? And you judge from a rather small sample pic here. All this is doubtful, of course.
      You are basically saying that your judgment is better than that of the 10 experts. Possible, but "not worth the paper"?

      Because the script resembles that of the Secret Mark letter you conclude they are the same. Then you notice the name Madiotes, which you cannot find in a telephone book and therefore conclude that it is an invention by Smith. So, it must have a special meaning. This sounds rather far fetched to me.
      If all this really proves true some day, Smith will turn out to be a real mad-idiotes. But I still have my doubts.

      > Perhaps that's just a coincidence.

      How many MSS from Mar Saba did you actually studied?

      > If so, then so must be the case that Madiotes is a
      > pseudonym.

      Is it? Who knows? Says you.

      > And if both are coincidences, the fact that the meaning of
      > Madiotes just so happens to describe Smith

      Again, says you. A rather far fetched theory.
      Perhaps you are seeing things where there is nothing? I am a bit astonished that you are so extremely convinced.

      I think it is essential to study the real thing. I would not have written a book about the case without studying the actual MSS involved. Perhaps a note, but not a book. Try contacting Kallistos, perhaps via Olympiou. Why not looking at MS "22"? If it's in Smith's hand, it might reveal something.

      "Of making many books there is no end..."

      PS: The next case would be MS 2427, I suppose. They already started again, making laborious collations etc., without checking the authenticity first.

      Best wishes
      Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
      Textcritical commentary:
    • Peter Head
      Thanks again Stephen - that is a good job and a good reply, The photo and caption in Secret Gospel are useful here (in support of your case - clearer than the
      Message 31 of 31 , Dec 6, 2005
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        Thanks again Stephen - that is a good job and a good reply,

        The photo and caption in Secret Gospel are useful here (in support of your
        case - clearer than the photo in your book actually) and it does look like
        5A is the front page of the book = f.1.r.
        Together with the information you provided that:
        one of whose lines reads "MONAXOU KAI ARXIMANDRITOU."
        That certainly fits with Smith's catalogue description.
        No names noted as yet, and also 'tacit withdrawals' on your side!

        My 'tacit withdrawal' of the alternative proposal was more of a strategic
        withdrawal (I'd rather try to disprove your identification than to have to
        prove the alternative). But now I'm willing to acquiesce (surrender) to the
        proposed identification of 5A = f.1.r. [I'd be even happier to know that
        someone had seen the relevant names on this sheet as well of course, but as
        a working hypothesis this does seem to be the only viable option on the table]

        Presumably your confidence that the upper text is Madiotes comes from the
        order of treatment in Smith's catalogue.

        Cheers for now


        At 02:52 PM 12/5/05, you wrote:
        >At 10:28 AM 12/5/2005 +0000, Peter Head wrote:
        > >What you are saying is that you considered various possibilities for the
        > >identification of the page in the photo 5A, including the one I have
        > >proposed (but which you did not adopt). But I wonder whether there is ANY
        > >positive evidence for the identification you adopt?
        > >
        > >According to Smith the Madiotes sheet is:
        > >a) f.1.r: i.e. the opening sheet of the whole book
        >The page is either f.1.r (rightside-up) or f.17.v (upside-
        >down). The orientation of the handwriting at the top of
        >the page would indicate that, unless it is upside-down, it
        >is the f.1.r page.
        >Further confirmation of the orientation of the book comes
        >from Smith's caption for the picture (SECRET GOSPEL, p.
        >37) states: "The endpaper, here turned down, was a page
        >from a Georgian manuscript. . . . The leather edge of the
        >binding is seen at the left; the bound, modern Greek
        >manuscript, at the right." The word "down" is appropriate
        >if the page is f.1.r; it is inappropriate if the page is
        >f.17.v. The consistency of Smith's numbering of the pages
        >in his catalog with his description of the orientation of
        >the MS in his photo means that the page must be f.1.r.
        >Further corroboration, should that even be necessary, comes
        >from the content of the second hand (both as listed in the
        >catalog and from the top-down in the MS), which is assigned
        >by Smith to "the monk Dionysios, Archimandrite", one of whose
        >lines reads "MONAXOU KAI ARXIMANDRITOU." [Negatively, for
        >the f.17.v. identification, none of the content shown in the
        >photo corresponds to "Luke, son of the blessed Panagiotos,
        >the tailor (ampatzes)."]
        >In light of the tacit withdrawal of the alternative proposal,
        >which had confounded not only recto and verso but also Greek
        >and Latin letters, I see no reasonable basis to question the
        >identification of the page as f.1.r.
        >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

        Peter M. Head, PhD
        Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
        Tyndale House
        36 Selwyn Gardens Phone: (UK) 01223
        Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
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