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Secret Mark

From The Fourth R Volume 13-5 September–October 2000

The photographs described in this article appear in  The Fourth R volume 13-5 . Order the issue.

One of the most controversial manuscript discoveries of the twentieth century was a fragment of a previously unknown letter of Clement of Alexandria (end of the second century) to an otherwise unknown Theodore. This fragment contained two very brief excerpts from a text Clement called the Secret Gospel of Mark.

The fragment of Clement's letter, with the excerpts from Secret Mark, was discovered by Columbia University Professor Morton Smith in the summer of 1958 at the Greek Orthodox monastery of Hagios Sabbas (known in Arabic as Mar Saba), near Jerusalem. Smith was there as a guest of the Partriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem studying the manuscript collection of the monastery. His project was to search all printed books — as opposed to handwritten manuscripts — for manuscripts hand-copied into them. The results of his search published in the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate journal Nea Sion listed Clement's letter as manuscript #65.

One day in his cell, toward the end of his stay at the monastery, he began puzzling over a "text written in a tiny scrawl." The manuscript he was reading turned out to be a fragment of a letter by Clement of Alexandria. It appeared at the back of an edition of the letters of Ignatius of Antioch published by Isaac Voss in 1646 and was "written over both sides of the last page (which was blank) of the original book and over half of the recto of a sheet of binders paper."/1/ It was a common practice for monks to hand copy manuscripts onto the unused pages of old books.

Smith photographed the text "three times for good measure." Judging from his published photographs, they were taken while the Clement manuscript was still bound into the book./2/ He also took photographs of the first preserved page (the title page was missing) and the last page of the Voss edition of Ignatius to use later in identifying the date of the volume in which the letter of Clement was written. In 1973, fifteen years after his discovery, Smith published the fragment of Clement's letter, simultaneously, in two separate volumes — a critical edition containing an extensive analysis of the text (Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark), and a popular volume describing the discovery (The Secret Gospel. The Discovery and Interpretation of the Secret Gospel According to Mark)./3/

The publication of Clement's letter with the excerpts from Secret Mark immediately drew charges of forgery and fraud from the scholarly community. These accusations were encouraged by subsequent failed attempts by other Western scholars to see and study the fragment, which had apparently disappeared in the meantime. Privately, scholars wondered if the manuscript even existed and, if it did, why was no one able to see it. Now new photographs and new information, published here for the first time ever, may shed light on some of the questions surrounding the manuscript.

Clement and the Secret Gospel of Mark

The excerpts from the Secret Gospel of Mark are quoted in Clement's letter to Theodore. Theodore had written Clement asking whether or not certain things were found in the Secret Gospel. Clement replies that Mark had written two gospels. His original gospel, intended for beginners, was written at Rome. The second gospel, Mark wrote sometime later in Alexandria, Egypt. This second gospel, Clement says, is an expanded version of the original gospel. Mark simply added to the earlier gospel whatever seemed appropriate for persons progressing toward a more advanced level of instruction in Christian faith. This expanded version Clement dubbed the "Secret Gospel," and described it as a "more spiritual gospel." Clement denied that the Secret Gospel divulged the sacred mysteries of the Lord, or revealed "things not to be uttered." These comments by Clement indicate the existence of an arcane Christian tradition in Alexandria. Clement assured Theodore that only enough information was given in Secret Mark to lead advanced initiates "into the innermost sanctuary of that truth hidden by seven veils."

Available from Polebridge Press There were apparently several copies of the Secret Gospel in use in Alexandria. One of the presbyters of the church gave a copy to the leader of an Alexandrian Gnostic sect in Alexandria, the Carpocratians. The leader of this sect (Carpocrates) apparently revised the Secret Gospel, adding to it other information, which Clement regarded as "shameless lies." Carpocrates proceeded to interpret his expanded version of Secret Mark in line with his own carnal teachings.

It seems likely that Theodore did not have a copy of the Secret Gospel available to him, since Clement found it necessary to quote brief sections to answer Theodore's questions. The first and longer section (which Clement placed between Mark 10:34 and 35 in our canonical gospel) describes Jesus raising a dead youth. This narrative has close parallels to the raising of Lazarus in John 11:38–44. The youth is said to "love Jesus," wanting to be "with him." Six days after being raised he comes to Jesus "wearing a linen cloth over his naked body" (compare canonical Mark 14:51–52). The youth remained with Jesus that night and "Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God."

Theodore must have asked Clement some specific questions about this incident, for Clement responds that "naked man with naked man," and the other things Theodore inquired about are not found in the Secret Gospel.

Theodore had also inquired about another section of Secret Mark (which Clement indicated occurred between Mark 10:46a and 10:46b in our canonical gospel). Whatever Theodore may have suggested the section contained, Clement flatly denied and called falsifications.

Morton Smith's Analysis

Smith's high regard for the historical value of the fragment led him to suggest a radical revision of Christian origins. He argued that the Christian movement began with Jesus practicing a baptismal initiation in which the initiate received the spirit of Jesus and ascended into the kingdom of God during the initiation.

It was a baptism administered by Jesus to chosen disciples, singly, and by night. In this baptism the disciple was united with Jesus. The union may have been physical (...there is no telling how far symbolism went in Jesus' rite) but the essential thing is that the disciple was possessed by Jesus' spirit. One with Jesus, he participated in Jesus' ascent into the heavens, and was thereby set free from the laws ordained for and in the lower world./4/

For obvious reasons, this founding-rite of the early Christian movement was covered up by the dominant form of Christianity in the second and third centuries.

The Reception of Smith's Theories

In general, early reviewers of Smith's books tended to agree that the letter of Clement is genuine, though a number of scholars have rejected its genuineness./5/ They are sharply divided, however, on the historical value of the contents of the letter. Virtually no one takes seriously Smith's conclusion that a secret erotic rite is to be traced to the historical Jesus. Even Clement had denied that such a rite was a part of the Secret Gospel (note his comment that "naked man with naked man" was not in the Secret Gospel). Reviewers' uniformly did not care for Smith's conclusion that the baptismal rite included a physical union between Jesus and the initiate, but most kept both the tone and style of their reviews irenic, though some at times attacked Smith personally, and others bordered on the apologetic./6/

No general consensus has emerged with regard to the historical value of Clement's information about the Secret Gospel. Pierson Parker argued that the quotations from Secret Mark are probably not genuine. They do not reflect a distinctively Markan style, but rather assume a knowledge of all the canonical gospels and other parts of the New Testament, as well. Thus Parker concludes: "Clement is ... wrong about where these expansions come from. They are much more likely to be the work of some Alexandrian Christian Jew, who lived before Clement, and who was familiar with one or more of our canonical gospels."/7/ In other words, Mark was not the author of the excerpts. On the other hand, even Parker thought there was historical value to Clement's comments about Secret Mark. For one thing they provide additional information that Mark had gone to Alexandria, and

Next, the letter supposes Mark capable of a "more spiritual" Gospel. ... It attributes to Mark a narrative somewhat like that of the raising of Lazarus. It declares that a book by Mark went through two editions. Every one of these things could be true without committing us to Clement's identification of what Mark wrote./8/

Is the Letter a Forgery?

The accusation that the fragment is a forgery has cast the darkest shadow over Smith's admittedly spectacular discovery. In a sharply critical review of Smith's two books, Quentin Quesnell made a case that the fragment was forged sometime between 1936 and 1958./9/ Quesnell broadly hinted that Smith himself had perpetrated the hoax.10 One major element in his argument was the inaccessibility of the manuscript to scholars. No Western scholar, except for Smith, had ever seen the manuscript at the time of Quesnell's review (1975)—and that remains true today, a half century after its discovery. In support of his argument that physical evidence was absolutely essential to evaluate the manuscript, Quesnell quoted at length from E. J. Goodspeed's, Strange New Gospels. Goodspeed had argued, says Quesnell, that an examination of the original text of new discoveries is absolutely essential to establishing their historical value, a judgment with which few will argue. Quesnell did, however, omit one line from the Goodspeed quotation that gives a rather different tone to the whole:

What the scholar really desires is to see the very document itself, but failing that a photograph of it will usually answer the purposes of his investigation. 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.

If, however, even a photograph is out of the question, the scholar may for a time be content with a competent copy..../11/

Quesnell is correct: working with the original manuscript is best. But so is Goodspeed correct: sometimes a photograph will have to serve. Most of us are forced to work with photographs in any case.

Those who take their investigations into the field know well the problems of working under the constraints of bureaucracies that control the antiquities we study. The research scholar is at best a temporary inconvenience to the routine of the bureaucrat's occupational activity. They simply do not have the same agendas as the scholar. In response to Quesnell's scathing criticism of Smith's failure "to assure the safety of his find," it must be said that the scholar cannot control, or necessarily even modify, the policies and practices of the places around the world where New Testament research is done in the field. 12 Maybe Smith could have done more to encourage the care and conservation of the manuscript, but in the final analysis he was not, and could not be, responsible for the manuscript.

Quesnell's Rationale that the letter is a Forgery

In his article, "The Mar Saba Clementine," Quesnell offers several reasons for thinking that the letter of Clement may have been forged.

1. The original manuscript has not been available for examination by other scholars (pp. 48–50). Therefore the issues that scholars usually raise about original manuscript discoveries cannot be investigated. Whether or not it is authentic, according to Quesnell, hinges on the investigation of the original manuscript (pp. 52–53). Quesnell's point is that nothing is available for scholars to examine, so as to confirm or deny Smith's conclusions.

2. Smith's photographs are inadequate as a basis for scholarly judgments, since they do not include margins/ edges of the pages and "are only black and white…." Color photographs are preferred (p. 50).

3. Smith does not include the full body of evidence from the scholars who judged the dating of the scribal hand (that is, Smith's questions and their answers). Quesnell raises numerous questions about Smith's printed conclusions on the scribal hand (pp. 50–51).

4. The mastery of the details and style of Clement's writings (so as "to avoid blunders in vocabulary, phraseology, and style," if one were forging the letter) has been possible since 1936, when "Stählin published Volume IV of his critical edition of the works of Clement. 828 pages are devoted to final summary indexing. Clement's vocabulary is covered on pp. 197–828. Every occurrence listed is accompanied with a quotation long enough to show how the word is used in context…" (p. 55). Thus, since 1936 it would be an easy matter for a competent scholar to forge a letter of Clement (pp. 53–56).

5. Because of the lack of supervision and proper care of the manuscript in the monastery library, ample opportunity existed during the period 1936–1958 for someone to perpetrate a hoax (p. 56).

6. Motivation for forgeries "by nature of the case, must normally remain a matter of speculation." But "literary and other forgeries and hoaxes must always have been produced. And when successful, they have usually been produced by competent scholars of serious reputation" (p. 56). Therefore Quesnell concludes (p. 58): "The motives of the one who might have produced must remain…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 concerns" (Smith's concerns as Quesnell describes them, pp. 59–60).

7. And finally Quesnell asks "is there a reasonable probability of forgery? The answer working with only the evidence Smith presents, seems to be clearly yes" (p. 67).

Smith specifically replies to challenges #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in his article "On the Authenticity of the Mar Saba Letter," but he only partially addresses #1 (the charge against Smith that the original manuscript has not been available to other scholars), and this issue Quesnell raises again ("A Reply to Morton Smith," p. 200)./13/

An examination of the physical manuscript, if it ever turns up, will likely not satisfy Smith's persistent critics. Its absence continues to cast a shadow over the discovery. The missing letter and the fact that no other Western scholar has ever seen it continue to fuel the speculation that Smith forged the manuscript.

Is the Manuscript Missing?

In 1980, Thomas Talley, Professor at General Theological Seminary in New York, visited the Patriarchate library in Jerusalem and inquired after Clement's letter. He was told by Archimandrite Melito 14 (a priest in the Patriarchate) that Melito himself brought "it" (apparently meaning Clement's letter, rather than the Voss book) from Hagios Sabbas to the library in Jerusalem.

Talley further reported that the librarian (Father Kallistos) of the Patriarchate library acknowledged that "it" had been received into the library, but (as Smith later reported on Talley's statement) "it had been taken out of the volume of Ignatius, was being studied, and was not available for inspection."/15/ Actually what Talley reported was that "le manuscript en deux folios ne se trouvait plus aux cùtés du volume imprimé parce qu'il était de en cours réparation." That is to say, the letter of Clement was being "repaired." Talley offered this brief report as proof that the letter of Clement actually existed, since "some scholars had challenged the very existence of the manuscript, which only its editor had seen."/16/ What Talley was offering for proof was the acknowledgement by both a representative of the Patriarchate (Melito) and the Patriarchate librarian (Kallistos) that the manuscript actually existed. The report by Talley does not answer the questions: Who removed the manuscript from the Ignatius volume? When was it removed, and why? And why have persons visiting the library since 1980 not been able at least to view the manuscript?

Searching for the Missing Manuscript

My personal involvement in the activities that led to this article began in 1990 at Banias, Israel, about thirty years after Smith was at Hagios Sabbas. I presented a lecture on the Secret Gospel of Mark to the students and staff participating in the Banias archaeological excavation (at the site of ancient Caesarea Phillipi) at our residence in Metulla, Israel. Among the groups participating in the excavation was a team from the University of Athens led by Professor Nikolaos Olympiou, Professor of Old Testament at the University of Athens. After hearing my lecture and learning of the intense interest in Secret Mark in the U.S. and the striking fact that no scholar except Smith had ever claimed to have seen the manuscript, Professor Olympiou decided that it would be possible for him, me, and his team of Greek students to pay a visit to Hagios Sabbas to inquire about the book on Ignatius published by Voss, and perhaps see the manuscript of Clement's letter. The Abbot's assistant at the monastery was a former student of his. Though the Intefada was then in effect, Professor Olympiou engaged a Palestinian taxi and we all piled in: Hedrick, Olympiou, and his four students./17/ It was a memorable visit, but Voss's book was not at the monastery. We were told that it had earlier been taken to the Patriarchate library in Jerusalem.

Two years later, in 1992, Professor Olympiou and I went to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate library in Jerusalem, but the book could not be located. Subsequently Professor Olympiou reported that he had found the priest who served as librarian from 1975 to 1990. He is Archimandrite (an honorary title for a priest in the hierarchy of the Church) Kallistos Dourvas, and, as it turns out, he was also a former student of Professor Olympiou at the University of Athens. Today he serves as parish priest in the church of Eisodia tes Theotokou ("Presentation of the Virgin Mary"), which is located in Plateia Karaiskaki in Ano Glyfada near Athens.

Kallistos told Olympiou that he had removed the manuscript of the letter of Clement from the Voss edition of Ignatius at the time he photographed it, shortly after he received it into the Patriarchate library. He gave black and white photographs of the manuscript of the Clement letter to Olympiou, who later gave copies to me. Subsequently, Olympiou acquired color photographs of the manuscript from Kallistos and loaned them to me in June of 2000 for this article. Professor Olympiou told me that he had been unable to reach Kallistos to inquire further about the manuscript. From June 10–21, Olympiou was again in Jerusalem and visited the Patriarchate. He saw the 1646 Voss edition of the letters of Ignatius (without the letter of Clement) for a second time, having seen it earlier at the library in December 1998. On this second trip he secured photographs of Voss' 1646 edition of Ignatius with the help of Bishop Aristarchos, the current librarian of the Patriarchate. Some of those photographs are published with this article.

As for the missing leaves of Clement's letter, Professor Olympiou surmises that they were likely concealed by certain well-meaning persons at the Patriarchate library for reasons of piety. When Smith's books appeared in 1973, the concern over his interpretation of the fragment and the portrayal of Jesus in the excerpts from the Secret Gospel (Smith had suggested that the mystery initiation may have involved a homosexual encounter between Jesus and a young man raised from the dead) led these persons to conceal the manuscript. Smith had also suggested that the Carpocratians may have inserted material into their bootlegged copy of Secret Mark authorizing the homosexual relationship Clement specifically denied was in Secret Mark./18/ In any case, if Theodore had been enough concerned to write Clement about the matter, why should it be a surprise that today persons in the Greek Orthodox Church are no less concerned?

In June of 2000, I visited Athens hoping to see Kallistos, but Olympiou was unable to contact him. So I returned to Athens in August 2000. When I arrived in Glyfada from America on the afternoon of August 6, I found a message to call Professor Olympiou. He said we could see Kallistos later that evening, if I was up to it. We drove to the church, where Kallistos, Olympiou, and Vassilios Chryssovitsiotis (a student of Professor Olympiou), and I met to talk about the missing letter of Clement. Chryssovitsiotis translated./19/ From what Kallistos told us, Olympiou and I were able to put together the following sequence of events.

- Smith visits the monastery in 1958 and photographs the letter of Clement still in the back of the 1646 edition of Ignatius published by Voss.

- Fifteen years later (1973) Smith simultaneously publishes his two books.

- Four years later (1977), Archimandrite Melito brought the Voss book, with the letter of Clement still attached, to the Patriarchate library from Hagios Sabbas.

Although Melito acted on his own initiative in bringing the single volume to the library, the transfer was described by Kallistos as part of a general transfer of manuscripts from Hagios Sabbas to the Patriarchate library in order to better provide for their care. Kallistos planned on shelving printed books in one location and manuscripts in another location, but that distribution of library holdings never occurred.

- That same year (1977), Kallistos removed the Clement manuscript from the printed Voss edition of Ignatius for the purpose of photographing it, and then for shelving along with other manuscripts in the Patriarchate library, in keeping with his original plan for distributing the library holdings.

For as long as he was librarian (until 1990), the Clement letter was kept with the Voss edition, but as separate items. Kallistos does not know what has happened to the manuscript since he ceased being librarian. He does not recall whether or not he catalogued the Voss book and the letter of Clement into the library. He thinks the reason the present staff cannot find the letter is that the Clement letter has nothing distinctive about it, and for that reason is difficult to locate. He says they frequently ask him where to find things.

Kallistos intends to return to Jerusalem on September 14, 2000, and will look for the Clement letter. If it is there, he is optimistic that he will be able to find it. When I asked him why he photographed the Clement letter he replied that it was because of its importance. I asked him why it was important; he replied because it is the only copy of the manuscript that exists, and also because it contains a great deal of "diversity." (I took this to mean that the text diverges significantly from the acknowledged tradition of the Church.) He further said (without a question from me) that the manuscript may provide the basis for a "sexual Jesus," as has been portrayed in popular movies and books. He said that he had not read Smith's books, but others have spoken to him about them. He does not remember meeting Thomas Talley (who had reported on his failure to see the manuscript in 1980). In addition to the negatives of the photographs printed with this article, he has color slides of the Clement manuscript.

The photographs/20/ of the 1646 Voss edition of the letters of Ignatius that Professor Olympiou brought to Greece in June of 2000 inadvertently contain evidence that the letter of Clement was indeed at one time included in the back of the Voss edition, and confirm that Smith found it where he said he did. Page one of the Voss book has the following modern inscription written in blue ink: "Smith 65." In his 1960 Nea Sion article, sixty-five is the number Smith gave to the manuscript (the letter of Clement) he found written in the back of Voss' 1646 edition of Ignatius.

In the bottom left hand corner of the photograph of page 318, the last page in the Voss edition, there appears a small circular discoloration (see illustration). That identical discoloration is found at the bottom of the right hand side of the first page of Clement's letter at exactly the spot you would expect to find it, if p. 318 and the first page of the Clement letter were facing pages, and the discoloration (water stain, or brown foxing) had migrated from one page to the other. The small circular discoloration has also migrated through to the verso of the leaf and thus appears on p. 2 of the letter of Clement at the bottom left hand corner of the page. The small circular mark is just visible at the bottom right hand side of the sheet of binder's paper, which is the last page of the Clement manuscript . It did not migrate through onto the sheets on the back cover beneath the sheet of binder's paper on which the last page of the Clement letter was written. The same discoloration is also visible in the photograph published by Smith showing p. 318 of the Voss book and the first page of Clement's letter bound into the Voss edition./21/ This demonstrates that photographs published with this article are of the same manuscript photographed by Smith in 1958.

So far as I know, no one has followed up on Smith's photographs, which may still be among his personal effects. If uncropped, those photographs should prove beyond question whether the pages were still bound into the volume at the time he photographed them.

The Value of the Letter of Clement

The letter of Clement does exist, and the consensus (with some dissenting opinions) is that it is genuine. Thus at the end of the second century multiple different versions of the Gospel of Mark were known to exist. Scholars have been reluctant to accept Clement's testimony and assign the fragments of the Secret Gospel to the hand of the author of original Mark. But in spite of their reluctance, clearly Clement's letter confirms that a second Gospel of Mark thought to be by the author of the original Gospel of Mark was used in the Alexandrian Church, and it is to be dated before the end of the second century. As Smith noted, "the real issue seems to be whether they should be classed with the pseudepigraphic gospels of the mid- and later second century, or with the canonical gospels and others of that type (P. Egerton 2, G. Hebrews, etc.)."/22/ Whether or not this "spiritual gospel" of Mark might, in principle, contain information about the historical Jesus depends on how early the fragments are dated (are they early enough to preserve original oral memory about Jesus), as well as on other usual criteria for determining the originality of traditions.

Perhaps the real value of the Secret Gospel of Mark for the historian of Christian origins is its confirmation of the instability of gospel texts during the period between 70 C.E. and 200 C.E./23/ Virtually all manuscripts of Greek New Testament texts are dated third century and later. Based on multiple different readings of the same text among the earliest manuscripts, scholars have known all along that, from the earliest period, gospel texts underwent modification./24/ So it should not be surprising that multiple different versions of the same gospel existed at the end of the second century. The difference between the situation with our earliest known manuscripts and what Clement tells us about original Mark and Secret Mark is only a matter of degree, except, of course, for the unusual nature of the contents of the Secret Gospel. The places where Clement's fragments of Secret Mark fall in the sequence of canonical Mark, and Clement's affirmation that the text he quotes is known to be an expanded version of original Mark seem to confirm the existence of such a gospel in the second century.

The most significant question still left unresolved is the authorship of the two brief excerpts from the Secret Gospel of Mark: are they written by the same author who wrote canonical Mark? Studies of twenty years ago argued that they were not by the same author, but the arguments seem far from compelling. Even if scholars eventually reach a consensus that they were not by our canonical author, their significance for writing early Christian history is not diminished in the least. In Alexandria in the second century, Clement thought they were written by Mark and used them as authentic tradition.

Want to know more?  Try How Did Jesus Become God and Why? by Lloyd Geering, or The Da Vinci Fraud by Robert M. Price.


The research for this article was partially funded by an award from the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies.

1 Smith, Clement of Alexandria, p. 1. He later identified the book as Isaac Voss, Epistulae genuinae S. Ignatii Martyris (Amsterdam: J. Blaeu, 1646).

2 Smith, The Secret Gospel, p. 12. He notes: "My permission to study the volumes did not include permission to take them apart." Though he did remove cartonnage from leather bindings, soak it, and thus recover "almost a dozen , several of which turned out to contain fragments of texts [of St. Macarius of Egypt] unknown to the standard editions" (p. 13). The photographs he published do seem to show the manuscript still bound into the book in The Secret Gospel, p. 38. But in his critical edition the photographs are too closely cropped on the margins to be certain: Clement of Alexandria, pp. 448–53. A comparison of Smith's published photographs with photographs published with this article, however, suggests that they were still bound in. Compare the ragged left margin of the last page of Secret Mark fourth line from the bottom in the current photographs to what Smith published in Clement of Alexandria, p. 453.

3 Translations of the complete text of the letter to Clement are to be found in the following: The Secret Gospel, pp. 14–17; Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark , pp. 446–47 (Greek transcription, pp. 448–52); and Ron Cameron, The Other Gospels , pp. 67–71.

4 Clement of Alexandria , p. 251.

5 See Smith's review essay, "The Score at the End of the First Decade," particularly p. 450. One rather positive review of Smith's books (they were almost all uniformly negative) was by Cyril C. Richardson. He did not, however, accept Smith's grand reconstruction of Christian origins, but was sympathetic to a baptismal interpretation of Clement's letter.

6 See for example, E. A. Yamauchi. Other scholars made uncomplimentary personal remarks about Smith in their reviews. See Hans-Martin Schenke who provides (pp. 69–71) translations of uncomplimentary German reactions to Smith.

7 Parker, p. 57.

8 Parker, p. 57.

9 Quentin Quesnell, "The Mar Saba Clementine," see in particular pp. 53–58. 10 Quesnell, "The Mar Saba Clementine," p. 58. See the exchange between Smith and Quesnell in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

11 Goodspeed, Strange New Gospels, pp. 3–4. Compare Quesnell, "Mar Saba Clementine," pp. 48–49. Italics indicate the line that Quesnell omitted.

12 Quesnell, "The Mar Saba Clementine," pp. 49–50.

13 And raised again by Paul Achtemeier, "Response to Reginald H. Fuller," p. 16.

14 Now Assistant Bishop of the Archbishophric of Athens as Bishop of Marathon.

15 "The score at the End of the First Decade," pp. 458–59. Smith reported, on the basis of Talley's article, that the Clement manuscript was being studied and therefore not available for review.

16 Talley, "Le temps liturgique," p. 52

17 Antonios Finitsis, Demetrios Peristeropoulos, Spiros Bogdanos, and Kostos Psarros.

18 Smith, Clement of Alexandria, p. 185.

19 I also made a tape recording of the session.

20 Olympiou gave me ten color prints of the Voss edition: two prints of the first extant page of the book; one print of the second page; one print of the third page (with part of the second page visible); two prints of the second and third pages lying open and attached to the spine of the book; three prints of p. 318, and one print of the blank back cover.

21 The Secret Gospel, p. 38.

22 "Response to Reginald H. Fuller," p. 14.

23 Helmut Koester (pp. 41–42) uses the excerpts from Secret Mark in precisely this way. Koester, however, goes further and suggests that Secret Mark is an earlier version of Mark than our canonical Mark and was the version used by Matthew and Luke. Hence, Koester rejects Quesnell's hoax theory.

24 Classic examples are the multiple longer endings to Mark and the problem of John 7:53–8:11, among others.


Achtemeier, Paul. "Response to Reginald H. Fuller," p. 16 in Wilhelm Wuellner, ed., Longer Mark: Forgery, Interpretation, or Old Tradition? Center for Hermeneutical Studies, Colloquy 18. Berkeley: Center for Hermeneutical Studies, 1975.

Altaner, Berthold. Patrology. Hilda C. Graef, trans. Freiburg: Herder and Herder, 1960, pp. 215–22.

Best, Ernest. "Review of E. J. Pryke, Redactional Style in the Marcan Gospel, Journal for the Study of the New Testament 4 (1979): 69–76.

Cameron, Ron. The Other Gospels. Non-Canonical Gospel Texts. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1982, pp. 67–71.

Goodspeed, E. J. Strange New Gospels. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1931.

Koester, Helmut. "History and Development of Mark's Gospel (From Mark to Secret Mark )," pp. 35–57 in Bruce C. Corley, ed., Colloquy on New Testament Studies. A Time for Reappraisal and Fresh Approaches. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1983.

Merkel, H. "Appendix: the 'secret Gospel' of Mark," vol. 1. 106–9 in Wilhelm Schneemelcher and R. Mcl. Wilson, eds., New Testament Apocrypha. Gospels and Related Writings. Two volumes. Tübingen: James Clarke/Westminster/John Knox, 1991.

Parker, Pierson. "On Professor Morton Smith's Find at Mar-Saba," Anglican Theological Review 56 (1974): 53–57.

Quesnell, Quentin. "The Mar Saba Clementine: A Question of Evidence," The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 37 (1975): 48–67.

Quesnell, Quentin. "Reply to Smith," The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 38 (1976): 200–203.

Richardson, Cyril C. "Review of Smith," Theological Studies 35 (1974): 571–77.

Schenke, Hans-Martin. "The Mystery of the Gospel of Mark," The Second Century 4.2 (1984): 65–82.

Smith, Morton. Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973.

Smith, Morton. "Clement of Alexandria and Secret Mark: The Score at the End of the First Decade," Harvard Theological Review 75.4 (1982): 449–61.

Smith, Morton. "Hellenika Cheirographa en tei Monei tou Hagiou Sabba," Nea Sion 52 (1960): 110–25, 245–56.

Smith, Morton. "Merkel on the Longer Text of Mark," Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche 72 (1975): 133–50.

Smith, Morton. "On the Authenticity of the Mar Saba Letter of Clement," The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 38 (1976): 196–99.

Smith, Morton. "Response to Reginald H. Fuller," pp. 12–15 in Wilhelm Wuellner, ed., Longer Mark: Forgery, Interpretation, or Old Tradition? Center for Hermeneutical Studies, Colloquy 18. Berkeley: Center for Hermeneutical Studies, 1975.

Smith, Morton. The Secret Gospel. The Discovery and Interpretation of the Secret Gospel According to Mark. New York/ Evanston/San Francisco/London: Harper & Row, 1973.

Talley, Thomas. "Le temps liturgique dans l'Église ancienne. État de la recherché," La Maison-Dieu 147 (1981): 29–60.

Voss, Isaac. Epistulae genuinae S. Ignatii Martyris (Amsterdam: J. Blaeu, 1646).

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