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

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  • Peter Head
    ... Thanks Stephen, I wish I found that persuasive! I really do. But I remain a little troubled about the critical basis for your positive identification of
    Message 1 of 31 , Dec 5, 2005
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      At 02:20 AM 12/3/05, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
      >At 01:45 AM 12/3/2005 +0000, P.M. Head wrote:
      > >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).
      >
      >I considered that possibility, Peter. However, the date 1779 in the
      >photo of MS 22 occurs within a Greek text, in Greek letters (EIS TOIS
      >1779 / IANOUARIOU / XION. MEGALON), not within a Romanian writing with
      >Latin characters.
      >
      >Also, the recto of final sheet would not be facing the binding (which,
      >as shown in the picture was composed of older manuscripts). Indeed,
      >the verso of the final sheet would be facing the binding.
      >
      >For these reasons, I did not adopt the alternative identification that
      >you discuss here.

      Thanks Stephen,

      I wish I found that persuasive! I really do. But I remain a little troubled
      about the critical basis for your positive identification of the page in 5A
      with the Madiotes sheet.

      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
      b) contains names of previous owners or users
      c) M. Madiotes
      d) the monk Dionysios, Archimandrite
      e) Anobos, monk of the Holy Sepulchre
      f) no dates mentioned by Smith

      I can't see that the photo 5A provides any confirmation of any of these points.



      In terms of method, can I return to my previous comment (the first priority
      ought to be to check the physical evidence, especially when photos are
      unclear, insufficient, or suspiciously cropped) and request a clarification?

      I agree that it is important to consider the relationship between No. 22
      (Madiotes & Summer) & No. 65 (Theodore). It is clear that this book is
      important to Smith's case because the presence of bits of older manuscripts
      (10th or 11th cent) in the binding proves that older manuscript material
      was available in the monastery in the 18th century. But it is absolutely
      critical to your case as well since it provides the concrete physical
      evidence that has generally been lacking in earlier accusations of
      forgery/hoaxing.

      Am I correct though, in presuming from what you've said in the book and
      here so far that you never went to Mar Saba and you never inspected this
      book/sheet and you never checked the earlier catalogues of books there to
      see whether or not this book (which acc to Smith was given to the monastery
      in 1756) had been there earlier? Or I am being overly pessimistic?


      Cheers

      Peter


      Cheers

      Peter



      Peter M. Head, PhD
      Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
      Tyndale House
      36 Selwyn Gardens Phone: (UK) 01223
      566607
      Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
      http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/Staff.htm
    • 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

        Peter


        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
        566607
        Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
        http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/Staff.htm
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