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

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  • P.M. Head
    ... Well I found the book and some more questions, so let s say this is part two. Here I want to ask whether Stephen has rightly identified the texts in No 22
    Message 1 of 31 , Dec 2, 2005
      Yesterday I said:
      >The rest I really need to have the book to hand for. Your comments helped
      >me understand the argument better, so thanks for that. But this will have
      >to do for now.

      Well I found the book and some more questions, so let's say this is part

      Here I want to ask whether Stephen has rightly identified the texts in No
      22 (acc to SC the Madiotes text = plate 5A and Front Cover). This is a
      simple question with far-reaching implications.

      Acc to SC: there are three handwriting styles that basically equate to the
      three which Smith's catalogue identifies as appearing on f.1.r (Carlson, p.
      42f). The first of these is crucial as (acc to SC) it is the Madiotes hand
      which Smith dated 20th Cent but actually looks 18th Cent (i.e. this
      provides a parallel example of Smith attempting to imitate an 18th Cent

      BUT According to Smith the three hands (Madiotes, Dionysios, Anobos) appear
      on f.1.r and it is not at all clear to me that the right hand text in the
      photograph 5A can be f.1.r (else how can we explain the text and other
      pages facing on the left - f.1.r should be the first folio of the book).
      Acc to Smith's Catalogue (helpfully given in ET here on p100f - I assume
      this is an ET of the Greek translation of the original rather than the
      original english script) No 22 contains primarily an 18th Cent MS in a 17th
      Cent printed book. This was written on the first 11 sheets and the final 6
      sheets. f.1.r identifies earlier owners (as we would expect, on the first
      opening of the book). Later Smith says: 'The final sheet (r), a Romanian
      writing with Latin characters, pertains to a brother of a certain Dionysios
      and is dated 1779.' It seems to me that the right hand text in the photo 5A
      (and front cover) is actually this text. It looks like a final sheet (in 5A
      you can see the backboards behind it). It clearly follows the main
      manuscript text (so it can't be f.1.r). It clearly has the date 1779 about
      half way down. It is not all very clear as to what is being said here (as I
      commented previously), so I can't confirm the other details, but the date
      itself would seem to prove this is not f.1.r but rather 'the final sheet
      (r)' (presumably f.17.r but this is not stated).

      If I am right on this then it creates a big problem for Stephen's case at
      this point. If I am right (in thinking that Stephen has misidentified the
      page as the claimed Madiotes text) then this page is NOT 20th Cent writing
      trying to look 18th Cent and attributed to the bald swindler. "M. Madiotes"
      is at the extreme other end of the book. This is quite a separate 18th Cent
      hand. This section of Stephen's case would, I fear, collapse.

      But I should note that I haven't seen the larger photo in Secret Gospel; or
      anything of 'Monasteries and their Manuscripts'; nor the Greek of Smith's
      Catalogue. So hopefully I'm wrong on this.

      I hope some of you may be able to check me out on this in case I am wrong
      here. If I am right then there is an additional layer of irony to the
      investigation in the failure to properly check the physical manuscript! It
      may not be fatal to Stephen's whole argument, that depends on a few other
      areas to which I hope to return.



      >Yahoo! Groups Links
    • 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
        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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