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Old 03-28-2001, 08:16 PM   #1
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Wink Morton Smith once again...

This post is mainly directed at Rodahi in hopes of a more fruitful and friendly discussion.

Finally, I have found time and a library!

Now, my first appeal is for information from you Rodahi. Since you seem to be a professor at a university, perhaps you will have quicker and better access to relevant material. In order to make a more informed judgement on Morton Smith and his discovery of Secret Mark, I need more information.

My position as it stands right now is that I have no idea whether Morton Smith forged Secret Mark. I have no evidence whatsoever to show conclusively that he did. It seems from my reading that most scholars have accepted the pictures of the document and have used them in scholarly research (though many do not fail to mention the controversial nature of the discovery and publication in their works - perhaps a way of not publicly going on the offensive against one of their own but of showing their reservations).

However, my reading leads me to believe Morton Smith might have forged Secret Mark (whether alone or more likely with help). Is this a conspiracy theory? Maybe. Should I be concerned at all? I believe so, especially if the scholarly community is taken in by a false document and subsequently rewrites history based on that false document. I may be wrong, but if I'm right, the consequences could be enormous.

All that said, I am basing a lot of my speculation (yep, that's what I said ) on Morton Smith's own works and related articles from The Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

Though I have been accused of not having read Morton Smith's The Secret Gospel: The Discovery and Interpretation of the Secret Gospel according to Mark (SG), I nonetheless have. Therefore, I feel that I can speak about it in general terms. However, I do not own the book, it seems to be out of print, and both it and its more scholarly companion (Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark - CA) were most unfortunately checked out of the library I visited. Therefore, I will not be able to provide quotes directly from these two works.

In January 1975, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly(CBQ) published an article by a scholar named Quentin Quesnell entitled The Mar Saba Clementine: A Question of Evidence (Vol 37:1, pp. 48-67). This article addresses the first official publication of Secret Mark in CA and SG (both were published in 1973).

Quesnell's article is a scathing critique of Morton Smith's handling of the discovery and publication of Secret Mark. He later sums up his position in this way: "The point was -and remains- that a person who introduces an exciting new manuscript find to the world has the basic responsibility to make the manuscript available for scientific examination."(CBQ 1976, vol 38:2, p. 200)

The MS of Secret Mark photographed by Smith is lost to this very day. Quesnell attributed this to Smith's sloppy handling of the discovery, pointing out in Smith's very book his mistakes and non-chalance towards preserving the document. Similar to my thoughts in the other thread, Quesnell states: "Future researchers must also regret that Smith has apparently made no effort to assure the safety of his find."(CBQ 1975, vol 37:1, p. 49)

Dr. Quesnell's problem with Smith's lack of concern for the original document stems from scholarly principles based on a classic work by Edgar Goodspeed called Strange New Gospels. He quotes from page 5 of the 1931 volume as follows (w/my emphasis):

"Whatever the source of the discovery...it is the business of scholarship to inquire most narrowly into its claims to acceptance, since only in this way can we hope to sift the genuine from the spurious. And every such claim must meet these tests if it is to have any right to attention of intelligent or serious people."

"It is the practice of scholars when any new discovery in ancient literature is brought to their attention to inquire as to the form in which it was found... What the scholar really desires is to see the very document itself... He naturally wishes to scrutinize its material, whether papyrus, parchment, or paper; to examine the writing with an eye to determining its date; and in general to interrogate the discovery on a whole series of particulars bearing upon the all-important question of its genuineness..."(CBQ 1975, vol37:1, p. 48,49)


Morton Smith violated these principles by not helping to protect his find. This is visible in Smith's own words: "I left the MS in the Mar Saba library and have no information as to what has been done with it."(CBQ 1976, vol38:2, p. 196)

Quesnell points out that by violating the aforementioned principles, Smith opened "the door wide to the possibility of deliberate deception."(CBQ 1976, vol 38:2, p. 201)

It is on this note, that Quesnell proceeds to set up a very detailed and convincing case of how possible a forgery might have been, complete with a motive.

Though Quesnell was only attempting to set up a case for forgery to prove his point about Smith's sloppy handling of the MS, he brings up some extremely interesting points that lead me to believe that Smith could have forged the document.

Most of Quesnell's points Smith adeptly addresses in his reply (CBQ 1976, vol38:2, pp. 196 - 199). However, when reading Quesnell's article, there was one point in particular that struck me as very odd: the eerie similarity between Morton Smith's doctoral dissertation (Tannaitic Parallels to the Gospels) and the Secret Gospel of Mark. What struck me even more odd was that Smith did not seem to address this one point specifically in his reply.

I'll quote Quentin's passage (w/my emphasis):

"In his [Smith's] dissertation (1951) he had written: "An important part of primitive Christianity was a secret doctrine which was revealed only to trusted members." He found this implied in the "mystery of the kingdom of God" (Mk 4:11) and he interpreted it in the context of a "similar distinction" by which the Tannaitic literature kept secret all material "dealing with forbidden sexual relationships."(CBQ 1975, vol37:1, p. 60)

I found Tannaitic Parallels to the Gospels and read it to make sure that it was not misquoted. It wasn't.

For those who have read Secret Mark, this is an eerie similarity to say the least. It seems very strange to me that Morton Smith would find a MS in 1958 that so closely fit the ideas that he formulated in 1951.

Quesnell presents many other interesting points to ponder about Morton Smith's works and Secret Mark including a possible motive for the forgery: "This interest in how scholars spontaneously turn any new discovery into support for their own previous positions has been with Smith for many years."(CBQ 1975, vol 37:1, p. 57)

Would a scholar of Smith's caliber forge a document? To quote Quesnell once again, "Literary and other forgeries and hoaxes have always been produced. And, where successful, they have usually been produced by competent scholars of serious reputation. ...If forgeries were committed only by incompetents, then competent scholars would never or almost never be fooled by them. But they have been fooled, and frequently."(CBQ 1975, vol37:1, p. 56) Earlier, he mentions a few such forgeries that fooled expert scholars.


In final summation:
  • Smith is accused of violating documented scholarly principles by not preserving his important MS find and valuing the photographs over the physical document.
  • The physical MS is still not available for scholarly examination today.
  • Smith's ideas behind his doctoral dissertation are eerily similar to the content of Secret Mark.
  • Quesnell provides a convincing motive for the forgery of Secret Mark.

With the information I have, I can be nothing but suspicious of Secret Mark's genuiness, as I imagine many scholars still are today.

Rodahi, if you know of any works that follow these and would lay to rest my scholarly concerns about the genuiness of Secret Mark, I would appreciate it. Surely someone has written a rebuttal to Quesnell's reply to Morton Smith's reply since 1976.

I'll conclude with a final quote from Quesnell's intriguing article that also reflects my thoughts:

"The motivation of the one who might have produced it [the Secret Gospel of Mark] must remain, as is usual in such cases, a matter of speculation. But the history of known hoaxes, as well as some comments by Smith, show that the speculation would not have to range beyond the bounds of conceivable scholarly concern."(CBQ 1975, vol37:1, p.58)

Thanks,
Ish


[This message has been edited by Ish (edited March 28, 2001).]
 
Old 03-29-2001, 05:06 AM   #2
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ish:
This post is mainly directed at Rodahi in hopes of a more fruitful and friendly discussion.

Finally, I have found time and a library!

Now, my first appeal is for information from you Rodahi. Since you seem to be a professor at a university, perhaps you will have quicker and better access to relevant material. In order to make a more informed judgement on Morton Smith and his discovery of Secret Mark, I need more information.

My position as it stands right now is that I have no idea whether Morton Smith forged Secret Mark. I have no evidence whatsoever to show conclusively that he did. It seems from my reading that most scholars have accepted the pictures of the document and have used them in scholarly research (though many do not fail to mention the controversial nature of the discovery and publication in their works - perhaps a way of not publicly going on the offensive against one of their own but of showing their reservations).

However, my reading leads me to believe Morton Smith might have forged Secret Mark (whether alone or more likely with help). Is this a conspiracy theory? Maybe. Should I be concerned at all? I believe so, especially if the scholarly community is taken in by a false document and subsequently rewrites history based on that false document. I may be wrong, but if I'm right, the consequences could be enormous.

All that said, I am basing a lot of my speculation (yep, that's what I said ) on Morton Smith's own works and related articles from The Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

Though I have been accused of not having read Morton Smith's The Secret Gospel: The Discovery and Interpretation of the Secret Gospel according to Mark (SG), I nonetheless have. Therefore, I feel that I can speak about it in general terms. However, I do not own the book, it seems to be out of print, and both it and its more scholarly companion (Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark - CA) were most unfortunately checked out of the library I visited. Therefore, I will not be able to provide quotes directly from these two works.

In January 1975, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly(CBQ) published an article by a scholar named Quentin Quesnell entitled The Mar Saba Clementine: A Question of Evidence (Vol 37:1, pp. 48-67). This article addresses the first official publication of Secret Mark in CA and SG (both were published in 1973).

Quesnell's article is a scathing critique of Morton Smith's handling of the discovery and publication of Secret Mark. He later sums up his position in this way: "The point was -and remains- that a person who introduces an exciting new manuscript find to the world has the basic responsibility to make the manuscript available for scientific examination."(CBQ 1976, vol 38:2, p. 200)

The MS of Secret Mark photographed by Smith is lost to this very day. Quesnell attributed this to Smith's sloppy handling of the discovery, pointing out in Smith's very book his mistakes and non-chalance towards preserving the document. Similar to my thoughts in the other thread, Quesnell states: "Future researchers must also regret that Smith has apparently made no effort to assure the safety of his find."(CBQ 1975, vol 37:1, p. 49)

Dr. Quesnell's problem with Smith's lack of concern for the original document stems from scholarly principles based on a classic work by Edgar Goodspeed called Strange New Gospels. He quotes from page 5 of the 1931 volume as follows (w/my emphasis):

"Whatever the source of the discovery...it is the business of scholarship to inquire most narrowly into its claims to acceptance, since only in this way can we hope to sift the genuine from the spurious. And every such claim must meet these tests if it is to have any right to attention of intelligent or serious people."

"It is the practice of scholars when any new discovery in ancient literature is brought to their attention to inquire as to the form in which it was found... What the scholar really desires is to see the very document itself... He naturally wishes to scrutinize its material, whether papyrus, parchment, or paper; to examine the writing with an eye to determining its date; and in general to interrogate the discovery on a whole series of particulars bearing upon the all-important question of its genuineness..."(CBQ 1975, vol37:1, p. 48,49)


Morton Smith violated these principles by not helping to protect his find. This is visible in Smith's own words: "I left the MS in the Mar Saba library and have no information as to what has been done with it."(CBQ 1976, vol38:2, p. 196)

Quesnell points out that by violating the aforementioned principles, Smith opened "the door wide to the possibility of deliberate deception."(CBQ 1976, vol 38:2, p. 201)

It is on this note, that Quesnell proceeds to set up a very detailed and convincing case of how possible a forgery might have been, complete with a motive.

Though Quesnell was only attempting to set up a case for forgery to prove his point about Smith's sloppy handling of the MS, he brings up some extremely interesting points that lead me to believe that Smith could have forged the document.

Most of Quesnell's points Smith adeptly addresses in his reply (CBQ 1976, vol38:2, pp. 196 - 199). However, when reading Quesnell's article, there was one point in particular that struck me as very odd: the eerie similarity between Morton Smith's doctoral dissertation (Tannaitic Parallels to the Gospels) and the Secret Gospel of Mark. What struck me even more odd was that Smith did not seem to address this one point specifically in his reply.

I'll quote Quentin's passage (w/my emphasis):

"In his [Smith's] dissertation (1951) he had written: "An important part of primitive Christianity was a secret doctrine which was revealed only to trusted members." He found this implied in the "mystery of the kingdom of God" (Mk 4:11) and he interpreted it in the context of a "similar distinction" by which the Tannaitic literature kept secret all material "dealing with forbidden sexual relationships."(CBQ 1975, vol37:1, p. 60)

I found Tannaitic Parallels to the Gospels and read it to make sure that it was not misquoted. It wasn't.

For those who have read Secret Mark, this is an eerie similarity to say the least. It seems very strange to me that Morton Smith would find a MS in 1958 that so closely fit the ideas that he formulated in 1951.

Quesnell presents many other interesting points to ponder about Morton Smith's works and Secret Mark including a possible motive for the forgery: "This interest in how scholars spontaneously turn any new discovery into support for their own previous positions has been with Smith for many years."(CBQ 1975, vol 37:1, p. 57)

Would a scholar of Smith's caliber forge a document? To quote Quesnell once again, "Literary and other forgeries and hoaxes have always been produced. And, where successful, they have usually been produced by competent scholars of serious reputation. ...If forgeries were committed only by incompetents, then competent scholars would never or almost never be fooled by them. But they have been fooled, and frequently."(CBQ 1975, vol37:1, p. 56) Earlier, he mentions a few such forgeries that fooled expert scholars.


In final summation:
  • Smith is accused of violating documented scholarly principles by not preserving his important MS find and valuing the photographs over the physical document.
  • The physical MS is still not available for scholarly examination today.
  • Smith's ideas behind his doctoral dissertation are eerily similar to the content of Secret Mark.
  • Quesnell provides a convincing motive for the forgery of Secret Mark.

With the information I have, I can be nothing but suspicious of Secret Mark's genuiness, as I imagine many scholars still are today.

Rodahi, if you know of any works that follow these and would lay to rest my scholarly concerns about the genuiness of Secret Mark, I would appreciate it. Surely someone has written a rebuttal to Quesnell's reply to Morton Smith's reply since 1976.

I'll conclude with a final quote from Quesnell's intriguing article that also reflects my thoughts:

"The motivation of the one who might have produced it [the Secret Gospel of Mark] must remain, as is usual in such cases, a matter of speculation. But the history of known hoaxes, as well as some comments by Smith, show that the speculation would not have to range beyond the bounds of conceivable scholarly concern."(CBQ 1975, vol37:1, p.58)

Thanks,
Ish


[This message has been edited by Ish (edited March 28, 2001).]
</font>
I disagree with Quesnell's admitted "speculation" (which is possibly motivated by an apologetic agenda) and what you "imagine" to be problems with Morton Smith and his methodology. Also, it should be pointed out that Quesnell's is a minority opinion.

It might be fruitful to present Morton Smith's rebuttal, or is that not in YOUR best interest here?

For the record, I don't know if Morton Smith forged anything or not, and I don't know how honest he was. ALL I know is WHAT HE SAID and what others have said about his work. Based on what he said in one of his books, I tend to think he did precisely what he said he did and found precisely what he said he did. Based on what other scholars have said, I tend to think Morton Smith was an honest scholar.

rodahi
 
Old 03-29-2001, 07:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
ALL I know is WHAT HE SAID and what others have said about his work. Based on what he said in one of his books, I tend to think he did precisely what he said he did and found precisely what he said he did. Based on what other scholars have said, I tend to think Morton Smith was an honest scholar.</font>
Funny, if you change a few of the words in these sentences to read with words like God, Jesus, and the Bible, you'd have my sentiments for Christianity and the veracity of the Bible!

Aside from that, I mentioned Smith's reply (not quite sure I'd call it a "rebuttal") in my post above and said that he adeptly handled most of Quesnell's concerns. However, he did not seem to handle the one point that stood out most to me: the eerie similarity between Smith's doctoral dissertation and Secret Mark. Smith does not seem to mention this specific accusation in his reply.

This one point is very interesting and leads me to scholarly curiosity about Secret Mark's genuiness.

Although Morton Smith's reply is excellent, Quesnell follows it up with an excelent reply to Smith's reply and does not back down from his original accusation of Smith's violation of documented, scholarly principles.

Finally, this is just my opinion, but I believe that Quesnell's opinions are held silently by many scholars. I also believe that many scholars would not be surprised if the document ever shows up to find it a forgery meant as a thought experiment.

As I said, if anyone has addressed Quesnell's concerns since 1976, I would be glad to change my opinions. However, Quesnell gave me enough detailed reasons to question Smith's discovery and possible forgery on a scholarly level. I am hiding nothing and gave my references. I encourage anyone who is interested to read the articles and replies for themselves.

Ish


[This message has been edited by Ish (edited March 29, 2001).]
 
Old 03-30-2001, 04:06 AM   #4
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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALL I know is WHAT HE SAID and what others have said about his work. Based on what he said in one of his books, I tend to think he did precisely what he said he did and found precisely what he said he did. Based on what other scholars have said, I tend to think Morton Smith was an honest scholar.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ish: Funny, if you change a few of the words in these sentences to read with words like God, Jesus, and the Bible, you'd have my sentiments for Christianity and the veracity of the Bible!

This is an obvious false analogy. Morton Smith was a real human being. He made no supernatural claims. We don't know for certain if Jesus existed and there is absolutely no evidence demonstrating the existence of Yahweh. Furthermore, the "veracity of the Bible" will always be questioned because it is the work of ancient, ignorant, superstitious religious zealots. Books written by Morton Smith were written by a modern, honest scholar.

Ish: Aside from that, I mentioned Smith's reply (not quite sure I'd call it a "rebuttal") in my post above and said that he adeptly handled most of Quesnell's concerns.

Apparently, he "adeptly handled" ALL of Quesnell's concerns. Very few scholars have questioned Morton Smith's integrity. Perhaps it would have been more fair to Smith for you to have presented his rebuttal to Quesnell.

Ish: However, he did not seem to handle the one point that stood out most to me: the eerie similarity between Smith's doctoral dissertation and Secret Mark. Smith does not seem to mention this specific accusation in his reply.

It seems the "eerie similarity between Smith's doctoral dissertation and Secret Mark" is manufactured by one who wishes to discredit Smith. Have you read Smith's dissertation? Or, are you taking the word of Quesnell on this issue? By the way, what does Quesnell do for a living?

Ish: This one point is very interesting and leads me to scholarly curiosity about Secret Mark's genuiness.

How many scholars have pointed out this imagined "eeriness?"

Ish: Although Morton Smith's reply is excellent, Quesnell follows it up with an excelent reply to Smith's reply and does not back down from his original accusation of Smith's violation of documented, scholarly principles.

Did Quesnell prove that Morton Smith did anything dishonest? Of course not! Quesnell gave his opinion based on much speculation.

Ish: Finally, this is just my opinion, but I believe that Quesnell's opinions are held silently by many scholars.

Funny, this is only my opinion, but I think that many scholars are silent about their disbelief in many of the stories contained in the NT.

Ish: I also believe that many scholars would not be surprised if the document ever shows up to find it a forgery meant as a thought experiment.

Again, I also think that many (if not most) scholars would not be surprised to find out that much of the NT is fiction.

Ish: As I said, if anyone has addressed Quesnell's concerns since 1976, I would be glad to change my opinions.

I doubt it. You are making much too big of a deal about this.

Ish: However, Quesnell gave me enough detailed reasons to question Smith's discovery and possible forgery on a scholarly level. I am hiding nothing and gave my references. I encourage anyone who is interested to read the articles and replies for themselves.

As I said in a previous posting, anyone who wishes to be objective should read Morton Smith's account of what happened and as many scholarly opinions about the account--and then make up his/her own mind.

rodahi



[This message has been edited by rodahi (edited March 30, 2001).]
 
Old 03-30-2001, 07:59 AM   #5
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Rodahi, now I started with a friendly tone and presented my views and my request of solid follow-up information from you. I haven't seen anything much more than insults.

Did you read my post in full? You have mentioned twice now that I should have included Smith's reply (reply is the correct term and title of his response in CBQ, not "rebuttal"), but I have only covered those main points that Smith did not sufficiently address in his reply as pointed out by Quesnell's reply to Smith's reply (as well as my own observations).

Once again, Rodahi, you accuse me of not having read something: Dr. Smith's doctoral dissertation. This seems to be becoming a standard debating tactic of sorts. If you reread my post, I state that I found his dissertation and read it. It was not misquoted and it is not "my imagination". Some phrases and ideas from Smith's dissertation are suspiciously mirrored in Secret Mark. If you would like, I can (in time) present full quotes from Smith's dissertation which can be found in a really good library.

Next, many scholars do seem to question Smith's work, but in a scholarly subdued fashion. My first post addresses this as well.

Once again, there is enough questionable information for scholarly concern over the genuineness of Secret Mark.

Also, documented scholarly principles (see above post) entail making the original MS available to scholars in order to test its genuineness or spuriousness. Secret Mark is lost to this very day.

So as I said before, rodahi, I need more information to make a more informed decision. You seem to have come to a different conclusion and think I should as well judging by the insults. If Smith forged Secret Mark, then appealing to his book about it will not help me or anyone else. So instead of using harsh rhetoric and insults, please direct my attention to better documented information. It would be much more appreciated.

Thanks,
Ish
 
Old 03-31-2001, 05:49 AM   #6
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These are not public libraries--they are proprietary collections, sometimes guarded and maintained somewhat jealously.

Here is a link for the careful researcher of recent color photographs of the letter:

www.westarinstitute.org/Periodicals/4R_back_
issues/4r_back_issues.html

If one is still skeptical, a possible avenue to take would be to find out the background of every possible person involved in the new "discovery" of this letter: do they all speak and write ancient Greek, are they or are they not believers, or are they homosexuals. Of course, perhaps it would be useful to get system set up for large-scale lie detecting for these people as well.

Another idea would be to check into the lie detector manufacturing and machine maintenance program to be assured of actual truth in this matter.

One might also check the "collegues" of these researchers most carefully as well...

 
Old 03-31-2001, 07:38 AM   #7
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Aikido7, thanks for the website. The specific issue of The Fourth R that contains the color photographs of Secret Mark is a special issue, issue 13:5, at the bottom of your website link. I may see if I can find this issue and, if not, buy it from the website. I'm getting more and more interested in Secret Mark. One thing to remember about The Fourth R is that it is a publication of the Westar Institute of Jesus Seminar fame. They do not represent all scholars, so their views taken alone will not necessarily be representative of all scholars.

Again, as to the "rediscovery" of Secret Mark, the photos in this special issue are not new. "New" only means "never seen before".

Aikido posted this website on the last Morton Smith thread about the article in the special issue of The Fourth R, and I thought it was excellent information.

Once again, for those who are interested, here is Wieland Willker's website, an excellent and relatively unbiased source of information on Secret Mark. This website even has the original photos of the text of Secret Mark, awesome if you know how to read miniscule Greek!

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Aikido7
These are not public libraries--they are proprietary collections, sometimes guarded and maintained somewhat jealously.</font>
I'm not sure what you are referring to here. The quarterlies that I quoted from should be available at large libraries. I went to a local college (not a seminary) library where I am not even a student and studied the material with no problems.

Actually, come to think of it, you're probably referring to Secret Mark and Mar Saba. If so, it has been somewhere around 43 years since Morton discovered the MS, and yet we have no MS. Smith seems to have valued the pictures over the actual MS in defiance of good scholarly practice (as stated in my first post).

"...since photographs are always only second-best, they should really be accompanied by the witness of some other competent observers who have checked them against the original and will verify them as true and satisfactory reproductions."(CBQ 1975, vol37:1, p.50)

In his reply, Smith did not address this point and in fact says, "Nothing I saw in the MS, nor anything seen in the photographs by other scholars, raised any suspicion that the text was modern..."(CBQ 1976, vol 38:2, p.196) Please note that Smith saw the MS, but the scholars he consulted saw the pictures.

Morton did not seem to care about the MS as evidenced in his own words, "So far as I know, the MS is still where I left it in 1958 -in the top room of the tower library. Nobody at the Patriarchate has written me anything about it since."(CBQ 1975, vol 37:1, p.49 footnote).

As far as the comments about checking the background of scholars, I say go for it. I'm checking on Smith.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Aikido7's criteria for background checks:
...do they all speak and write ancient Greek, are they or are they not believers, or are they homosexuals..."</font>
Great criteria! One should take all of these into account when reading a scholar's or researcher's work. Understanding of Greek... Believer or non-believer... Are they homosexual?! At first glance I thought, "What the..."? But you're absolutely right! Since Morton Smith took Secret Mark to imply a secret christian homosexual rite, scholars' opinions on homosexuality should be taken into account. Excellent!

Unlike Aikido7, however, I don't think there are a bunch of lying scholars out there. I think that believers and non-believers state things as they see them from their worldview. This always looks biased to the other side. However, a scholar can have good points regardless of his religious preference (or lack thereof). So, when researching, try to turn off your prejudices and consider all the possibilities.

Ish


[This message has been edited by Ish (edited March 31, 2001).]
 
Old 04-01-2001, 05:02 AM   #8
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Ish, until you can address any problems regarding the manufacture and operation of any lie detection machines used in this inquiry the truth will never be found.
 
Old 04-01-2001, 08:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rodahi:
quote:</font>
A lot of scholars have pointed out the similarity between Smith's dissertation and his "find." In fact when it first came out there were some who suspected that he forged it. Smith studied under the great A.D. Knock, one of the scholars of that day (the 1950's & '60s). Knock did not embrace the genuiness of the find, but he didn't accusse his former student of forgery. Others accussed him of being fooled by someone's attempted earlier forgery.

How obvious does it have to be. If you were ina monestary and just happened to find a letter that suspported a key point of your dissertation, would you just put it back and not take steps to make sure that others saw it? I think he was the only one to ever see the copy.
 
Old 04-02-2001, 09:19 AM   #10
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Hi Ish

You may be interested in taking a look at a relatively new book, Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus", by Donald Harman Akenson in which he dedicates the better part of a chapter exposing why Secret Mark is a forgery. His attacks on Smith's findings (and those of subsequent supporters) is quite devestating (pgs. 84-96). Akenson concludes that "Secret Mark is a forgery... anyone who could not spot it as a forgery from a height of 3,000 feet should not be allowed to make authoritative pronouncements on the authenticity of texts." (Saint Saul, pg. 85). Akenson goes on to say that the evidence for Hitler's so called "Diaries" was better than it is for Secret Mark. At the same time, while he thinks that Smith is the most likely suspect for the forgery itself, he does not rule out that it could have been an earlier hoax in which Smith was merely a naive participant or believer.

Meta is also right. No textual critic except Smith has ever seen the original, and so far as we know, it is now permanently lost. That is unfortunate, since the availability of the actual text would almost certainly answer these questions once and for all.

Nomad

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited April 02, 2001).]
 
 

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