Re: [textualcriticism] Morton Smith's Mar Saba Mark Secret
- ----- Original Message -----From: Gie VleugelsSent: Friday, April 21, 2006 7:48 AMSubject: Re: [textualcriticism] Morton Smith's Mar Saba Mark SecretFrom the "Daily Princetonian" (http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/archives/2006/04/19/news/15284.shtml):<<In the fall, he [Peter Jeffery] will publish a new book entitled, "The Secret Gospel of Mark Unveiled: Imagined Rituals of Sex, Death, and Madness in a Biblical Forgery." In it, he argues that an alleged fragment of the "Secret Gospel of Mark," supposedly discovered by a Columbia professor, is fake.
"This guy in about 1973 published a text that said ... Jesus initiated his disciples through acts of homosexual intercourse," which caused a great deal of controversy but was never either refuted or proven by scholars, Jeffery said.
Jeffery, however, approached the text from his perspective as a musical historian and conclusively refuted it. Because "everything it says about the early Christian liturgy is utterly nonsensical, it can't be made to fit into the history," he said.
Jeffery said that it took more than 30 years to debunk the text because the study of rituals is complicated, involving a high degree of non-textual interpretation.>>I'm eager to read an evaluation by Wieland ...Gie
On 4/21/06, goranson@... <goranson@...> wrote:
Stephen Carlson, author of The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith's Invention of Secret
Mark (2005), notes a book forthcoming in September 2006: The Secret Gospel of
Mark Unveiled: Imagined Rituals of Sex, Death, and Madness in a Biblical
Forgery, by Peter Jeffery, Yale U.P.
At amazon, Prof. Adela Yarbro Collins, a careful scholar, wrote: "Peter
Jeffery's book proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Morton Smith forged the
discovered text. It demonstrates that he had the scholarly expertise, the wit,
the sense of humor, and above all the motivation to do so."
http://www.duke.edu/~goransonI have a lot of respect for Stephen...actually BOTH of you Stephens...but that transcription of Clement's letter to Theodore in the fly leaf pages of the Voss book was done in the 18th century....but I will still refrain from such terminology as "beyond a reasonable doubt" since it is an unscholarly, unacademic, unscientific phrase in the assessment of this issue where the "evidence" for Morton Smith being a "hack" is totally subjective and does not even rise to the circumstantial.As I stated on this list almost exactly a year ago:First, I think the biggest problem is the term "forgery." A forgery (in
writing) is an attempt to duplicate a hand and/or signature. This is not
what the person who wrote this document on the flyleaves of Voss' book was
doing. The original text of Clement's letter could easily have been in an
uncial hand. What I am looking at is a COPY in a Phanariot minuscule hand
with its "legalistic" shorthandedness, ligatures and flourishes. Criteria
for forgeries, such as lack of fluency and rhythm, slow broken strokes,
"tremors" and retouching and blunt beginning and ending strokes and frequent
pen rests are not there and do not apply. This hand has fluency and rhythm.
There are smooth unbroken strokes and rounded forms with delicate pressure
at beginning and ending strokes. I have no reason to believe that Morton
Smith was accustomed to writing fluently, normally and rhthmically 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. 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.
This document is not a forgery, it is a handwritten copy. There is a big
difference.As Jim West just posted on XTalk (I am sure he won't mind):*begin quote*
Everyone should watch HTR for an article forthcoming by Scott Brown that
debunks Carlson's assessment of Secret Mark as forgery by Smith. If you
have not seen his book Mark's Other Gospel. Rethinking Morton Smith's
Controversal Discovery (Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2005), it is worth a look
before rushing to judgment on Clement's letter. Most of Carlson's
evidence for the letter being Smith's forgery was less than circumstantial.
*end quote*Jack KilmonSan Marcos, Texas