Archive for August, 2011

New Discussions of Secret Mark

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Allan Pantuck has contributed another article (HERE) to the ongoing discussion on Secret Mark at the Biblical Archeology Review page. The article is a response to the handwriting analysis of Agamemnon Tselikas. Tselikas has, in turn, added a (rather weak) response to Pantuck (HERE).

And James McGrath has entered into a discussion with Craig Evans about his recent post on Secret Mark on the Bible and Interpretation blog. McGrath’s response can be found on Exploring Our Matrix, and Evans has, in turn, responded on Near Emmaus.  And McGrath again back on Exploring Our Matrix.

Craig Evans on Secret Mark

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Craig Evans has a post on Secret Mark at the Bible and Interpretation. He mentions his involvement in the York Christian Apocrypha Symposium and summarizes several of the points of his paper (via Paleojudaica).

Secret Mark and Hebrew Matthew

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Roger Viklund and David Blocker have posted an article suggesting an interesting link between the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew incorporated in Even Bohan and the Secret Gospel of Mark.

“Hoaxes” or Apocrypha?

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Larry Hurtado has an interesting post on his blog entitled "Hoaxes From the Past (That Keep on Re-appearing)." He discusses briefly (essentially presenting an overview of the contents of Edgar J. Goodspeed's Famous Biblical Hoaxes, or, Modern Apocrypha) a number of modern apocryphal texts, including The Aquarian Gospel of Christ (see this previous post on a handy source for such texts). The overview raises for me an issue over the appropriate use of the term "hoax." What is it that divides these modern apocryphal texts from ancient apocrypha? Or, in some cases, from pseudepigraphical canonical texts? The writer of the introduction to the Apocalypse of Paul, for example, claimed to have found this text hidden away beneath his house in the fourth-century. Clearly Paul did not write the text and it was likely written in the fourth-century by the text's "discoverer." A similar "discovery" in the nineteenth-century, such as The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ, is not much different, is it?

I understand the hostility some may feel toward modern apocrypha, but I don't feel the same way about ancient apocrypha. Is the difference solely of time and distance? Or is there something else that is different about the origins of these texts? Are modern apocrypha just as valid an area of study for 19th and 20th century developments in Christianity as ancient apocrypha for medieval Christianity?

Bart Ehrman on “What Didn’t Make it into the Bible”

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Mark Goodacre drew my attention this recent piece by Bart Ehrman in The Huffington Post.

Solving the Mystery of the Gospel of Peter’s Talking Cross

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Mark Goodacre presented a paper at last year's SBL with the provocative argument that the "cross that spoke" in the Gospel of Peter is an element that derives from a scribal misunderstanding of the nomen sacrum ΣΤΑ (thus reading "cross" instead of "crucified one"). I missed the paper at SBL, but Mark has two posts describing his argument (start HERE) and these have sparked some fruitful discussion.

Reading the posts I was reminded of a few instances in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas manuscripts in which the same nomen sacrum has led to some corruptions in the text. The first is in the 11th-century Sabaiticus 259 (=Gs). In 6:2b we have the reading "…and that you may bear the name of salvation." Other Mss have instead "When you see my cross which my father mentioned to you…" The Gs reading seems to have arisen from a misreading of ΣΤΑ (cross) as "salvation." Another corruption appears in 6:2a where we have "Do not consider him to have the worth of a small man (ANOU)." The early versions have "small cross"; so perhaps our scribe (or an earlier one in the chain of transmission) misread ΣΤOU as ANOU.The only Ga Ms to have this chapter (Vienna, Cod. hist. gr. 91) is also corrupt (for microu staurou it reads mikroterou). The Gd Ms Cod. Ath. gr. 355 has the correct reading, but not as a nomen sacrum.