Conference on Secret Mark

I wish I could have attended this today:  The York University Christian Apocrypha Symposium Series on “Secret Mark” (program available here).  Announcements for the conference were made here, here, here, here and here.  For those who have never heard of “Secret Mark”, the controvery surrounds the purported discovery by Morton Smith of a manuscript in the Mar Saba monastery in 1958.  Copied onto a 17th century book on the works of Ignatius was a letter attributed to Clement of Alexandria and written to Theodore.  The text alleges that the evangelist Mark wrote a second, esoteric edition of his Gospel in Alexandria, but Clement also denounces the Carpocratians for adding to and misusing this “secret (or mystic) gospel.”   The excerpts given seem to provide a back story to the young man in the linen garment who flees in the garden in Mark 14:51 (Secret Mark claims Jesus raised this young man and he was later instructed at night about the mystery of the Kingdom of God) and appears to be an alternate (earlier?) version of the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11.  To learn more about the debate over whether the text is authentic (and if so, was the secret gospel part of an earlier edition of Mark that was edited out of the final canonical version, written after our canonical Mark but by the same author, or a later second century pastiche of the gospels?) or an ancient or modern forgery, see the english translations online (or see Scott Brown’s translation in Mark’s Other Gospel, xvii-xxii available on google preview) and a short bibliography below to introduce the main contours of the debate.

For further bibliography, check out the blog of Timo S. Paananen which features a number of helpful posts on Secret Mark.

3 Responses to Conference on Secret Mark

  1. [...] a previous post, I highlighted the York University Christian Apocrypha Symposium Series on Secret Mark.  I was [...]

  2. the_cave says:

    You may also want to consider Stroumsa’s preface to his Brill volume of Smith and Scholem’s correspondence, where he argues that Smith’s writings display a scholar struggling to understand a newly-discovered text, and that they also show he lacked the ability to forge the document. (Pantuck made similar arguments at the symposium, perhaps inspired by Stroumsa’s thoughts or otherwise relying on them, though I should note that Pantuck went far beyond the correspondence with Scholem in making his case.)

    http://bit.ly/kM5IJo

  3. Mike K. says:

    Thanks “the_cave”, that is very useful

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