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Old 03-06-2001, 07:00 AM   #1
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Post Morton Smith and the Forged Secret Gospel of Mark

A new book is out by historian Donald Harman Akenson of Queens University titled Saint Saul, a Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus and it should provide plenty of no doubt fresh ammunition to the Christian, and especially Gospel, debunkers.

Like them, Akenson thinks the Gospels are largely bunk, especially when compared to letters from Paul/Saul (which almost everyone agrees predate the Gospels by at least 10 to 20 years).

But the reason I bring up this book here is based on a review of the book in the Calgary Herald, and what he has to say about the so called "Secret Gospel of Mark". Sadly the web site for the Herald does not have it, so I will print some quotations. Hopefully this will suffice, and if others can find the full text of the interview it can be confirmed.

Akenson on the Secret Gospel of Mark

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> The Calgary Herald August 12, 2000 pg. OS10
Quote:
The Secret Gospel of Mark is actually an "ironic joke at the expense of all the self important scholars."

In "Saint Saul, a Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus", Akenson says the forged gospel is an example of the increasingly frantic efforts of Jesus scholars to do the impossible: find out something new about Jesus, the man even at the expense of making fools of themselves.

As a prime example, he cites the "discover" by the late Morton Smith, a top New Testament scholar at New York's Columbia University, of the first-ever copy of a letter from Clement of Alexandria, an important church father of the second century.

The gospel has since been accepted as authentic by the Jesus Seminar and well-known biblical scholars including Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan and the University of Toronto's John Kloppenborg...

But Akenson says "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."

Morton was the only one ever to see the secret gospel, and published two fuzzy photographs of his find, 15 years after he first reported finding an 18th Century copy of Clement's letter in a monastery near Jerusalem...

"Whoever set this skilled and amusing bit of postmodern scholarly theatre in train must have have been immensely diverted by the way it played" he (Akenson) said.

The most likely author of this "nasty joke" is Morton himself, who died in the early 1990's, said Akenson.</font>
This strikes me as incredible to say the least if it is true. I am left to wonder how these same scholars would view something produced by an Orthodox or Christian scholar on such flimsy evidence.

Nomad
 
Old 03-06-2001, 08:24 AM   #2
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Several here probably already know of this website, but I thought I'd post it again because it contains some really good information on the "Secret Gospel of Mark" including the original photographs.

Secret Mark Page
 
Old 03-06-2001, 08:22 PM   #3
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New color photographs of "The Secret Gospel of Mark" have been recently published in the magazine "The Fourth R."

The gospel was thought to be lost, spurious or a forgery but has in fact been recently re-discovered and documented.
 
Old 03-07-2001, 03:11 AM   #4
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Smile

When where and by whom was it rediscovered?

Where is it now?

Blessings and Peace

Hilarius
 
Old 03-07-2001, 03:12 AM   #5
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Smile

When where and by whom was it rediscovered?

Where is it now?

Blessings and Peace

Hilarius
 
Old 03-07-2001, 07:51 AM   #6
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aikido7, I'd like to know where you got this information as well. I do not believe it has been discovered.

Read the "latest news" from the website I linked to above.

Ish

[This message has been edited by Ish (edited March 07, 2001).]
 
Old 03-09-2001, 02:55 PM   #7
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Authentication of the Secret Gospel of Mark can be studied at:

http://www.westarinstitute.org/Periodicals/
4R_News/4r_news.html
 
Old 03-09-2001, 03:32 PM   #8
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aikido7, thanks, I seem to stand corrected.

I'm glad that we now have color photographs of Secret mark, however, I wonder when or if the actual text will be available for critical analysis!

Ish
 
Old 03-09-2001, 04:15 PM   #9
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Wow! I'll sure be eating a heapin' helpin' of corvus. I had always assumed it was a very clever fraud. What a delight this discovery is!

Michael
 
Old 03-10-2001, 10:41 AM   #10
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Nomad:
[b]A new book is out by historian Donald Harman Akenson of Queens University titled Saint Saul, a Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus and it should provide plenty of no doubt fresh ammunition to the Christian, and especially Gospel, debunkers.

Like them, Akenson thinks the Gospels are largely bunk, especially when compared to letters from Paul/Saul (which almost everyone agrees predate the Gospels by at least 10 to 20 years).

But the reason I bring up this book here is based on a review of the book in the Calgary Herald, and what he has to say about the so called "Secret Gospel of Mark". Sadly the web site for the Herald does not have it, so I will print some quotations. Hopefully this will suffice, and if others can find the full text of the interview it can be confirmed.

Akenson on the Secret Gospel of Mark

This strikes me as incredible to say the least if it is true. I am left to wonder how these same scholars would view something produced by an Orthodox or Christian scholar on such flimsy evidence.

Nomad


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad,

On another Board you offer the following curious statement: "see my thread on how Morton Smith bullshitted everyone about Secret Mark on the Bible Board."


To be fair, I have reproduced your statement in full context:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by sentinel00:
I don't have the context of the possible exchange between Newman and Morris. Sagan quotes from Morris' book to illustrate the differences between science and faith... and wasn't necessarily trying to bring Newman into the debate as some opposing force.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Nomad:]And this is the problem really. When sceptics rely on the statement "that some theist said something bad, but I don't have the quote handy, but somebody respectable like Morris or Sagan said it so it must be true and I still think it is true..." then we are in very deep trouble.

Further, I have never said that laymen do not contribute to science. I have said that when we talk about a scientific area in which we are NOT an expert, we very often MUST rely upon the experts in that field pretty much based on faith alone.

Brutal examples exist (see my thread on how Morton Smith bullshitted everyone about Secret Mark on the Bible Board) of actual cons being pulled by and even ON other scientists (see also the example of that fake "flying bird/dinosaur" from China), so to argue this point is quite dogmatic.

I just wish sceptics would accept the truth of this matter, recognize their faith, agree that it may be rational to have this faith, but that it should be held provisionally. No biggie. We should always do this in matters of faith in any event, even religious based faith.

Peace,

Nomad

P.S. I hope you find Sagan's statement, because it is one of the finest examples of a faith statement I have ever encountered. The actual quote is found in the introduction of "Cosmos", but I don't have a copy handy, so if someone can provide it, that would be appreciated.


Here is a question for you: Did you start this thread with the intention of debunking Morton Smith's conclusions based on his serious scholarly study of "Secret Mark?" If so, What evidence do you have that supports your claim that Smith "bullshitted everyone about Secret Mark?" Surely you have something more substantial than the reported quote of the opinion of one historian?

rodahi



[This message has been edited by rodahi (edited March 10, 2001).]
 
 

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