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Reactions to:

 

Peter Jeffery, The Secret Gospel of Mark Unveiled: Imagined Rituals of Sex, Death, and Madness in a Biblical Forgery (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006)

ISBN-13: 978-0-300-11760-8

Library of Congress classification  BS2860.S42 J44 2006

Dewey Decimal classification  229/.8 22

 

Publisher's description: "Jeffery unravels the answers to the mystery" 

http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=0300117604

 

The Library of Congress is, as usual, non-committal.

http://www.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy0643/2006014035-d.html

 

On-line Reviews

"a learned and lively book" -- Stephen Goranson

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2/message/21590

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/textualcriticism/message/2715

 

"fascinating" -- Stephen C. Carlson

http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/2006/11/peter-jeffery-on-secret-mark.html

http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/2006/04/forthcoming-book-on-secret-mark.html

 

"definitive debunking of the Secret Mark hoax" -- Loren Rosson III

http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com/2006/11/jeffery-on-secret-mark.html

http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com/2006/04/more-on-secret-mark.html

http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com/2006/11/peter-jeffery-unveiled.html

http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/2006/11/busybody-peter-jeffery-unveiled.html

http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com/2006/12/relax-and-enjoy-this.html

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2/message/21591

http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com/2007/01/controversial-studies-and-question-of_30.html

http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=187083

http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=187083

 

"discusses many interesting aspects of the cultural construction of homosexuality" -- Wayne R. Dynes

http://dyneslines.blogspot.com/2006/11/imitatio-christi-or-getting-naked-for.html

http://gayspecies.blogspot.com/2006/11/watch-and-learn.html

 

"*****" (from those who read it); "*" (from those who didn't) -- Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Gospel-Mark-Unveiled-Imagined/dp/0300117604/sr=8-1/qid=1165242842/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-1363932-4310341?ie=UTF8&s=books

 

(no comment) -- вселенский трамвай

http://zav-mag.livejournal.com/2006/12/21/

 

"The Agony of Morton Smith"

http://dyneslines.blogspot.com/2008/01/agony-of-morton-smith.html

 

The New York Times story

"Really, it is time for 'CSI: Academia.'" -- Peter Steinfels, New York Times (March 31, 2007, p. A12)

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/31/us/31beliefs.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

 

Comments on the Times story:

http://www.gaynz.com/aarticles/templates/features.asp?articleid=1756&zoneid=16

http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/2007/03/secret-mark-in-new-york-times.html

http://www.theolog.org/blog/2007/04/the_secret_gosp.html

http://www.bib-arch.org/hoax/bswbHoaxMainPage.asp

http://dartreview.com/archives/2007/05/18/was_jesus_gay_no_but_morton_smith_thought_so.php

http://codexceltica.blogspot.com/2007/04/not-so-christian-year.html

http://cheatseekingmissiles.blogspot.com/2007/04/good-friday-bad-bad-media.html

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1810095/posts

http://www.cultureandmedia.com/eoc/2007/200704041524.aspx

http://www.islamicboard.com/comparative-religion/39861-secret-mark-gospel-what-do-you-guys-think.html

http://tzvee.blogspot.com/2007/03/ny-times-morton-smith-hoax-lives-on.html

 

Scott G. Brown's review

"a hermeneutics of desperation" -- Scott G. Brown

http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/5627_5944.pdf

 

Comments on the Brown review:

http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/2007/09/scott-brown-reviews-peter-jeffery.html

http://ntgateway.com/weblog/2007/09/review-of-biblical-literature-latest_18.html

http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com/2007/09/rbl-review-of-peter-jeffery.html

http://www.tonychartrand-burke.com/apocryphicity/2007/10/04/fragments-agrapha-and-secret-mark/

http://markwaterman.blogspot.com/2007/09/whopping-book-review-secret-gospel-of.html

http://piccolozaccheo.splinder.com/post/14317737

http://www.palmtreegarden.org/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=26337

http://ancientmediterraneanmusings.blogspot.com/2007/09/reviews-in-rbl.html

http://michaelpahl.blogspot.com/2007/09/latest-review-of-biblical-literature_18.html

 

My initial response to Brown (first installment). It is unlikely that I will complete this one.

www.music.princeton.edu/~jeffery/replytobrown.pdf

 

A more concise reply to Brown, which the Review of Biblical Literature refused to publish.

http://music.princeton.edu/~jeffery/Review%20of%20Biblical%20Literature-Jeffery%20reply%20to%20Brown.pdf or http://tinyurl.com/4rlssk.

 

Comments on my reply to Brown

http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com/2008/04/peter-jeffery-replies-to-scott-brown.html

http://forbiddengospels.blogspot.com/2008/04/peter-jefferys-response-to-scott-brown.html

http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Secret/SecMark-News.html

http://piccolozaccheo.splinder.com/post/16760047/prosegue+il+dibattito+sul+Vang

http://www.tonychartrand-burke.com/apocryphicity/2008/04/27/jeffery-vs-brown-on-secret-mark/

http://www.ntgateway.com/weblog/2008/05/peter-jefferys-response-to-scott-brown.html

http://tzvee.blogspot.com/2006/10/unmasking-false-gospel.html

http://www.pigmig.com/peter-jefferys-response-to-scott-brown

 

J. Harold Ellens's review

"Jeffery’s weighty volume has eleven page-turner chapters . . . . This superbly packaged book, lovely to read, hold, fondle, smell, and contemplate as an aesthetic object, is completed with sixty-nine pages of endnotes containing 830 entries . . . ." -- J. Harold Ellens

http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/5627_7785.pdf

 

Comments on the Ellens review:

http://salainenevankelista.blogspot.com/2009/06/secret-gospel-of-mark-unveiled-by-peter.html

 

Panel discussions

A "Secret Mark feast" which took place at Claremont Graduate University, Institute for Antiquity and Christianity:

http://neonostalgia.com/weblog/?p=415

http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com/2008/03/secret-mark-panel-discussion.html

http://blog.bible.org/primetimejesus/content/secret-mark%3A-debate-not-over

http://www.tonychartrand-burke.com/apocryphicity/2008/03/03/panel-on-secret-mark/

http://scripturophile.blogspot.com/2008/03/iac-panel-on-secret-mark-find-or.html

 

 

"Secret Mark after 50 Years" at the Society of Biblical Literature in Boston, November 24, 2008.

http://www.ntgateway.com/weblog/2008/11/some-more-sbl.html, by Marc Goodacre, who chaired the session.

http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com/2008/11/sbl-boston.html

http://www.tonychartrand-burke.com/apocryphicity/2008/12/04/secret-mark-at-the-2008-sbl-annual-meeting/

http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2008/12/sbl-24-97-secret-mark-after-fifty-years.html

http://ntgateway.com/weblog/2008/12/tony-chartrand-burke-on-secret-mark-at.html

http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com/2008/12/nanos-chartrand-burke-and-deconick.html

http://michaelsheiser.com/PaleoBabble/2008/12/the-secret-gospel-of-mark-genuine-or-hoax/

http://ntstudent.blogspot.com/2008/12/secret-mark-session-at-sbl.html

http://singinginthereign.blogspot.com/2008/12/jacob-neusner-on-morton-smith.html

http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/2008/12/sbl-session-on-secret-mark.html, by Stephen C. Carlson, who was on the panel.

 

"The Secret Gospel of Mark, Sex, Death,and Madness; The Psychodynamics of Morton Smith's Proposal," session 21-330 ("Psychology and Biblical Studies") at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in New Orleans, November 21, 2009, 4:00-6:30 PM.

speakers:

 

For papers see http://psybibs.revdak.com/2009/_sessions09.htm#mark

 

blogger reactions:

http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/2009/11/immediate-impressions-on-sbl-2009.html

http://thegoldenrule1.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/sbl-recap/

http://salainenevankelista.blogspot.com/2009/10/psychology-and-biblical-studies-at-sbl.html

http://salainenevankelista.blogspot.com/2009/11/live-impressions-from-sbl-meeting-2009.html

http://salainenevankelista.blogspot.com/2009/12/lasting-impressions-from-sbl-meeting.html  

 

Note: Some bloggers have objected that this panel included no one who argued in favor of the Secret Gospel’s authenticity. However, that was not the topic. The subject of the panel was "The Psychodynamics of Morton Smith's Proposal." To competently discuss this subject requires people who have both Biblical expertise (to understand the scholarly issues) and clinical psychology experience (to understand the psychodynamic issues). The pool of such people is not large, and the only place to find them is the Psychology and Biblical Studies group at the SBL. Like it or not, Smith’s memoir, The Secret Gospel, is full of elements that imply Smith was struggling with serious psychological issues, and though these elements would not be noticed or understood by a casual reader, they are unmistakable to people with clinical training. There was no litmus test involved in choosing speakers for this panel, and it was the leadership of the Psychology and Biblical Studies group that chose them, not me. I did make suggestions, some of whom turned us down. Once the panelists were selected, I did not know what some of them would say until they actually said it during the session. However, it would not have been possible to find someone with both Biblical and psychological expertise who believes that Smith’s memoir reveals an honest personality with no discernible psychiatric symptoms, whose account of his discovery should be taken at face value. No such expert exists. I challenge anyone who questions this statement to find one.

 

Print reviews (some of these are accessible on-line to paid subscribers)

"This careful work . . . provide[s] an extremely damaging case against Smith and his Secret Mark."

Robert L. Webb, Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 5 (2007) 216. http://jhj.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/5/2/205.pdf

 

". . . there is indeed more to consider and maybe the pendulum has moved slightly in the negative direction."

Paul Foster, "Secret Mark Again," The Expository Times 119/1 (October 2007) 50-51. http://ext.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/119/1/50

 

"Peter Jeffery is probably the cleverest of Smith's assailants to date."

W. V. Harris, "A Bible Fantasy," Times Literary Supplement No. 5455 (19 October 2007) 23. http://tls.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,25371-2649536,00.html

 

"Students and teachers of liturgical history . . . need to read this book and to do so soon! . . . From this point on it will be difficult to say anything about early Lent and Christian initiation without reference to this book."

Maxwell E. Johnson, Worship 82/1 (January 2008) 85-89.

 

"il reste à démontrer que le rite décrit par l'évangile secret s'accorde ou non avec . . . ce que l'on sait des affirmations anciennes relatives aux «traditions secrètes» des apôtres et du judaïsme." [It remains to be demonstrated that the rite described by the secret gospel agrees or not with . . . what is known about ancient affirmations relating to "secret traditions" of the apostles or of Judaism.]"

Jérome Rousse-Lacordaire, "Bulletin d'Histoire des Ésotérismes" in Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 92/4 (2008) 849-50.

 

"both challenging and infuriating to read . . . well-written and exhaustively researched . . . it is difficult not to be impressed . . . ."

Nicole Kelley in Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft 4/1 (Summer 2009) 114-117, quotes from p. 116. http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/magic_ritual_and_witchcraft/v004/4.1.kelley.html

 

Print articles

"Clement may simply be referring to a general growth in intimate knowledge of God, and not to baptism or the catechumenate per se, or the text's forger has mistakenly used technical sacramental vocabulary anachronistically."

Nicholas V. Russo, "A Note on the Role of Secret Mark in the Search for the Origins of Lent," Studia Liturgica 37 (2007) 181-97, quote from 190-91.

 

"Klemensin kirje lienee aito aleksandrialaisen kirkkoisän teksti, mutta Salaisen Markuksen evankeliumin alkuperästä voi olla montaa mieltä" [Clement's letter is a genuine Alexandrian ecclesiastical text, but the Secret Gospel of Mark could be better understood].

Timo S. Paananen, "Kuka kirjoitti Salaisen Markuksen evankeliumin? Osa 2: Morton Smith vs. Peter Jeffery," [Who Wrote the Secret Gospel of Mark? Part 2: Morton Smith vs. Peter Jeffery; in Finnish only] Vartija [Watchman] 4 (2008) 123-32, quote from 131.

 

"Zuletzt hat Peter Jeffery . . . sich in einem hoch gelehrten Werk mit dem Geheimen Markusevangelium beschäftigt. . . . Meinem Eindruck nach neigt sich die Wage doch mehr und mehr Fälschungsthese zu" [Last of all, Peter Jeffery has devoted himself to a highly learned work on the Secret Gospel. . . . To my mind, though, the odds are leaning more and more toward a forgery thesis].

Hans-Josef Klauck, "Endlich die volle Wahrheit? Neue apokryphe Evangelien III: Skandalöse Riten bei Nacht? Das Geheime Evangelium nach Markus,"Die apokryphe Bibel: Ein anderer Zugang zum frühen Christentum (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008) 62-94, quote from 91.

 

". . . but note again the important critiques by Brown . . . ."

Jeff Jay, "A New Look at the Epistolary Framework of the Secret Gospel of Mark," Journal of Early Christian Studies 16/4 (Winter 2008) 573-597 quote from p. 575 n. 7. http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/journal_of_early_christian_studies/v016/16.4.jay.html

 

"There is rather too much of such speculating [about Smith’s psychological development] in Peter Jeffery’s recent book."

Francis Watson, "Beyond Suspicion: on the Authorship of the Mar Saba Letter and the Secret Gospel of Mark," The Journal of Theological Studies 61/1 (2010), pp. 128-170, quote from p. 131 n. 10. http://jts.oxfordjournals.org.proxy.library.nd.edu/cgi/content/full/61/1/128

 

Article in The Nation

"Jeffrey [sic], in the course of an intricate, minutely detailed analysis, argues that Smith deliberately made his case by indirection, distracting readers from his true purpose as a magician distracts the members of his audience."

Anthony Grafton, "Gospel Secrets: The Biblical Controversies of Morton Smith," The Nation (January 26, 2009). On-line at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090126/grafton?rel=hp_books

http://tzvee.blogspot.com/2009/01/nation-creepy-review-of-morton-smiths.html

http://paleojudaica.blogspot.com/2009_01_04_archive.html#8545687718262881213

http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Blog/?p=1637

http://urtext.ca/2009/01/14/the-secret-gospel-of-morton-smith/

http://rudycarrera.com/religion/?p=602

http://michtavim.blogspot.com/2009/01/prof-anthony-grafton-on-prof-saul.html

http://joculum.livejournal.com/184118.html

http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=259966

http://jfisher777.blogspot.com/2009/01/morton-smith-great-forger.html

http://www.sf-fandom.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=352283#post352283

http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/59585.html

http://biblicalstudiesblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/morton-smith.html

http://wildfaith.blogspot.com/2009/01/lost-gospels-secret-mark.html

http://antiquitopia.blogspot.com/2009/01/smith-scholem-correspondence-published.html

http://jwest.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/morton-smith-deceiver/

http://jamestabor.com/2009/02/02/latest-on-the-secret-gospel-of-mark/

 

Letters to the editor, including one from me:

http://www.thenation.com/bletters/20090126/grafton

 

Biblical Archeology Review Special Issue

Charles W. Hedrick, « An Amazing Discovery » http://www.bib-arch.org/bar/article.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=35&Issue=6&ArticleID=21 Hershel Shanks, “Morton Smith, Forger,” http://www.bib-arch.org/bar/article.asp?Volume=35&ArticleID=22&Issue=6

Helmut Koester, “Was Morton Smith a Great Thespian and I a Complete Fool?” http://www.bib-arch.org/bar/article.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=35&Issue=6&ArticleID=23

Hershel Shanks, “Restoring a Dead Scholar’s Reputation,” http://www.bib-arch.org/bar/article.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=35&Issue=6&ArticleID=26

 

Blog response

http://salainenevankelista.blogspot.com/2009/10/four-articles-about-secret-mark-in.html

http://www.tonyburke.ca/apocryphicity/2009/11/10/secret-mark-in-biblical-archeology-review/

http://www.tonyburke.ca/apocryphicity/2009/12/04/a-debate-on-secret-mark/

http://bycommonconsent.com/2009/10/31/the-secret-gospel-of-mark-revisited/

http://jamestabor.com/2009/10/29/vindicating-morton-smith/

 

Biblical Archeology Review: The Handwriting Expert speaks

The story http://www.bib-arch.org/e-features/secret-mark-handwriting-analysis.asp

The expert’s report http://www.bib-arch.org/pdf/secret-mark-analysis.pdf

My response http://www.music.princeton.edu/~jeffery/VAnastasopoulou.pdf

 

Blogs and on-line reviews

"musicologist/liturgiologist Peter Jeffery has 'sung' like [turncoat mafioso] Joe Valachi."

http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/reviews/jeffery_secret_gospel.htm

 

"stupid stupid stupid . . . I am sorry people but Jeffrey's [sic] argument is stupid."

http://stephanhuller.blogspot.com/2009/11/why-peter-jefferys-and-morton-smiths.html

 

A discussion of the ritual possibilities of the Mar Saba text

http://synopticsolutions.blogspot.com/2009/11/criddle-and-secret-mark.html

http://synopticsolutions.blogspot.com/2009/11/criddle-and-secret-mark-part-2.html

http://synopticsolutions.blogspot.com/2009/11/was-secret-mark-used-for-early.html

http://synopticsolutions.blogspot.com/2009/12/more-on-early-christian-rites.html

 

Frequently asked questions about Morton Smith, the Secret Gospel, and my book, The Secret Gospel Unveiled

You had to ask . . . .

 

Unscientific straw poll

Vote your opinion at http://www.deinde.org/2008/04/29/what-the-whole-world-thinks-about-the-secret-gospel-of-mark-please-vote/

 

Comments:

http://pursiful.com/?p=690

The bad news is: the Secret Gospel isn't doing very well. The worse news is: the only people who still believe in it are the Bible scholars . . . .

 

 

Comic relief

Tired of the Secret Gospel of Mark? Maybe you'd prefer The Secret Gospel of Maxwell Lord. You read about it here first!

 

 

 

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