In 1958, American historian of religion Morton Smith made an astounding discovery in the Mar Saba monastery in Jerusalem. Copied into the back of a seventeenth-century book was a lost letter attributed to Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150-215 CE) that contained excerpts from a longer version of the Gospel of Mark written by Mark himself and circulating in Alexandria, Egypt. More than fifty years after its discovery, the origins of this Secret Gospel of Mark remain contentious. Some consider it an authentic witness to an early form of Mark, perhaps even predating canonical Mark. Some claim it is a medieval or premodern forgery created by a monastic scribe. And others argue it is a forgery created by Morton Smith himself. All these positions are addressed in the papers contained in this volume. Nine North American scholars, internationally recognized for their contributions to the study of Secret Mark, met at York University in Toronto, Canada, in April 2011 to examine recent developments in scholarship on the gospel and the letter in which it is found. Their results represent a substantial step forward in determining the origins of this mysterious and controversial text.
List of Contributors: Scott G. Brown Tony Burke Stephen C. Carlson Bruce Chilton Craig A. Evans Paul Foster Charles W. Hedrick Peter Jeffery Allan J. Pantuck Marvin Meyer Hershel Shanks Pierluigi Piovanelli
About the author
Tony Burke is Associate Professor of Early Christianity at York University in Toronto, Ontario. He is the author of De infantia Iesu evangelien Thomae graece (2010), a critical edition of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.
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