PARTS:   I   -   II   -   III   -   IV

Addendum - Hobbs Critique And More

Discussion on Crosstalk 1996

Addendum on Secret Mark
By Bart Ehrman
April 25, 1996 11:13 PM PST

An addendum to my posting on a sixth=century ms of Mark. I also asked Charlesworth if he had ever thought about trying to track down the 18th century copy of the letter of Clement of Alexandria found in an edition of the letters of Ignatius in the monastery of Mar Saba near Jerusalem which allegedly preserves Clement's discussion of the Secret Gospel of Mark (Morton Smith published his own photographs of the letter, but no one else has actually seen the thing itself). Charlesworth told me that he has in fact made some inquiries, but that the book in which the letter is found has been moved to Jerusalem, and no one, evidently, knows exactly where.

Does anyone else have additional information on this?

-- Bart D. Ehrman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Re: Addendum on Secret Mark
April 26, 1996 12:54 PM PST

Bart and others interested in Smith and the letter of Clement of Alex:

Last year at this time there was an extended discussion about this very topic on B-Greek. At that time Professor Edward Hobbs posted a lengthy article in which he relates various discussions and events surrounding Smith's claims about the said document. With Hobbs' permission (I have sent a request to him) I will forward that post to this list, hopefully soon. The long and short of it is: scholars concluded that it was a forgery; and Smith was not amused!

Glenn Wooden
Acadia Divinity College
Wolfville N.S.

Re: Addendum on Secret Mark
By Bart Ehrman
April 26, 1996 02:49 PM PST


Yes, I was on B-Greek at the time and recall the interchange. What I'm wondering about is the actual *place* of the text in question. (I should point out in fairness to both Smith and the discussion, that the forgery question was raised but it has not been answered to the satisfaction of all; before everyone jumps on that bandwagon, they should reread Smith's longer treatment of the question in his _Clement of Alexandria..._; I was inspired to do so by the discussion, and despite my propensity to think he forged it, have to say that his analysis is *extremely* compelling -- the sort of thing that loses almost everything in translation. If he did forge this thing, it's one the most amazing feats of scholarship in the 20th century; and he would have done so at a remarkably young age.)

In any event, does anyone else know where the ms itself is?

-- Bart D. Ehrman

Re: Addendum on Secret Mark
By Maurice Robinson
April 27, 1996 03:06 PM PST

On Fri, 26 Apr 1996, Bart Ehrman wrote:

Despite my propensity to think he forged it, have to say that his analysis is *extremely* compelling -- the sort of thing that loses almost everything in translation. If he did forge this thing, it's one the most amazing feats of scholarship in the 20th century; and he would have done so at a remarkably young age.

This sounds much like the matter of the Brazilian Paraiba inscription which Cyrus Gordon pronounced authentic (it recounts some Phoenecians blown off course while attempting to circumnavigate Africa, ending up in what is now Brazil). Gordon's point there was that there were certain grammatical peculiarities in the inscription (found in 1898) which were not known within northwest Semitic until the Ugaritic materials had been discovered. Nevertheless, most scholars still considered the Paraiba inscription to be a forgery, which seems peculiar.

Maurice A. Robinson, Ph.D. Assoc. Prof./Greek and New Testament Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Wake Forest, North Carolina

Re: Addendum on Secret Mark
By William L. Petersen
April 26, 1996 02:20 PM PST

Just a quick bibliographic note: P.W. van der Horst, of Utrecht, published an article in Dutch in 1979 in _Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift_ 33, pp. 27-51, titled "Het 'geheime Markusevangelie'. Over een nieuwe vondst" ("The 'Secret Gospel of Mark.' Concerning a new find"). It is a survey of the first 5 years' scholarly reaction to Smith's publication of the text(which appeared in 1973), and deserves study. He has, with typical thoroughness, examined every position; therefore, even if you don't read Dutch, the bibliography in the notes is valuable.

The article is reprinted in v.d. Horst's collected essays, _De onbekende god_, Utrechtse Theologische Reeks 2 (Utrecht 1988), pp. 37-64.

Petersen--Penn State University

Re: Addendum on Secret Mark
By [email protected]
April 26, 1996 10:06 PM PST

In a message dated 96-04-26 11:55:38 EDT, you write:

The long and short of it is: scholars concluded that it was a forgery; and Smith was not amused!

It was a 16th century text incorporating the Secret Mark text, wasn't it? Was it supposed to have been a 16th century forgery? If so, it was a hidden one, used as the back of another text as I remember, or was it? Who was trying to fool whom? Smith had so many questions, himself, that I thought he rather ran through most of the possibilities of fraud.

Hobbs et al. on Smith & Secret Mark, I
By GLENN [email protected]
April 29, 1996 11:36 AM PST

Edward Hobbs forwarded his archived material on Smith and the controversy surrounding the letter of Clement of Alex, with permission to forward it to this list for those interested. It has some up-to-date bibliography (1995) on the matter. Because it was so long I am sending it in two sections.

Glenn Wooden

Forwarded material, #1: a long collection.

From: "[email protected]" "Paul Moser" 5-MAY-1995 15:31:26.14

To: "[email protected]"

Subject: Secret Mark, Neusner, Smith, etc.

I wonder if any listmember knows of a careful review of Jacob Neusner, *Are There Really Tannaitic Parallels to the Gospels?* (Scholars Press, 1993). The book is a vigorous criticism of Morton Smith's *Tannaitic Parallels to the Gospels*. In addition, Neusner announces that Smith's proposed evidence for the so-called Secret Gospel of Mark "must now be declared the forgery of the century" (p. 28). Neusner suggests that Smith himself forged the Clement of Alexandria fragment that allegedly surfaced in a library in Sinai in 1958, giving evidence of the Secret Gospel. As one might have expected, Helmut Koester and J.D. Crossan regard canonical Mark as postdating Secret Mark. For overwhelming evidence against the latter view, see Robert Gundry, *Mark* (Eerdmans, 1993); cf. F.F. Bruce, *The Canon of Scripture*, and J.H. Charlesworth & C.A. Evans, in *Studying the Historical Jesus* (Brill, 1994), pp. 526-32. Neusner, in any case, clearly has higher standards for authenticity than Koester or Crossan. Neusner suggests that Smith presented only photographs, not the actual MS, of the Clement fragment.-- Paul Moser, Loyola University of Chicago.

From: "[email protected]" 5-MAY-1995 23:05:04.04

To: "[email protected]"

Subject: Secret Mark, Neusner, Smith, etc.

I had not heard of Neusner's claim or this particular work of Neusner's (_Are There Really Tannaitic Parallels to the Gospels?_) but I have studied this issue of Secret Mark and had become convinced that Morton Smith perpetrated a fraud, also. Not a single reference to or reaction against this alleged Clement letter is known in history; and the book in which Morton Smith found the letter at the Mar Saba monastery was not listed in any previous catalogue of that monastery. Morton Smith made no effort whatever toward conservation of the manuscript, nor has the document apparently been seen or brought to light for testing and analysis by anyone else. (I do not doubt that a genuine 17th century book with a letter in the back exists; but there is no evidence beyond M Smith's word that he found it in the monastery.) The shocking contents of the letter sound suspiciously like theories Morton Smith was working on; and there is much more. I am unfamiliar with Neusner's analysis, but in my own reading of Smith's account of the discovery I have noted strange ways Smith puts things. For example, he dedicated his book on the Secret Gospel, cryptically, "To the one who knows"; and never disclosed who this person was or what this person knew.

For articulation of suspicions of forgery before now Quentin Quesnell in _Catholic Biblical Quarterly_ 37 (1975): 48-67 is a classic, and see also M. Smith's reply and Quesnell's reply to Smith's reply in the next issue, CBQ 38. There is a good discussion of the forgery question in _Longer Mark: Forgery, Interpolation, or Old Tradition?- ed. R. Fuller (Berkeley: Center for Hermeneutical Studies, 1976). This list's very own Edward Hobbs was at the Colloquium reported in this last citation, where Smith was also present at the discussion of whether his discovery was a forgery; perhaps Dr. Hobbs can offer some illuminating firsthand anecdotal information of that occasion! Greg Doudna West Linn, Oregonx

From: LUCY::EHOBBS "Edward Hobbs" 14-MAY-1995 18:46:02.72

To: "[email protected]"

Subject: Lengthy account of Secret Mark

Dear Friends of the B-Greek List:

Thanks to several of you who have asked me to comment on the "Secret Mark" issue, and the 18th Colloquy of the Center for Hermeneutical Studies in Hellenistic and Modern Culture, called "Longer Mark: Forgery, Interpolation, or Old Tradition?". I'll post in two parts: this one, and a follow-up which will be the first part of the text of my Critique, not including the Synopsis (in Greek) which I produced to show the obvious Gospel source of every phrase in Smith's supposed Secret Mark.

BACKGROUND (Skip to SECRET MARK if you wish.)

The Center (founded in 1969 by me and Dieter Georgi, in a [vain] effort to keep Dieter in Berkeley rather than leaving for Harvard) brought together faculty from U.C.Berkeley, GTU, Stanford, Un. of S.F., Un. of Santa Clara, U.C.Santa Cruz, occasionally others. Nine departments of U.C. Berkeley were participants! At the Colloquies, we solicited a Position Paper (from scholars everywhere: besides the Bay Area, Harvard (many times), Columbia (Morton Smith himself!), Chicago, Bryn Mawr, Claremont, SUNY, as well as Oxford, St. Andrews, Constanz, Cologne, Zurich, Paris (Sorbonne), and on and on. The Position Paper was printed and distributed to a select group of Critics (local and elsewhere), who wrote Critiques. The Position Paper and the Critiques were then printed together and sent to the participants a couple of weeks before the Colloquy met. At the Colloquy, we first had 45 minutes of fine wines (from my cellar) and nibbles, with pleasant conversation. Then we met in a giant circle (if possible -- when 40 or more showed up we had to use concentric circles), the Paper author had 15 minutes to respond orally to the Critics, followed by general discussion, following a series of questions which I usually presented as we began. All this was tape-recorded (by my son Kevin--now a mathematician, one of the "Hubble-fixers" who designed the new lenses for the Hubble space telescope). The tape-recording was then transcribed (by one of my graduate students), and copies of everyone's remarks (now severely edited down, usually by me or a trusted graduate student) were typed up and sent to every speaker who was being summarized. Each speaker was allowed to expunge idiocies unless they provoked further discussion, to edit down further, and to improve their English. (Imagine doing all this without computers!) After taking all these things into account, the results were published in a series of Protocols (also handled physically by me, dealing with various local printers and binders), and sent out to subscribers by another of my graduate students (Sharon Boucher, who was never paid for years of this). My colleague at PSR, Wilhelm Wuellner, dearly loved the limelight, and so we usually called him Chairman, often Editor, etc., though in fact all the labors were done by unsung others. We met thus three to seven times a year.


Reginald Fuller (of Virginia Theological Seminary at that time) was planning to visit Berkeley for a few weeks, and wrote to say that he had a paper in the works on Morton Smith's "Secret Mark", wondering whether we wanted to us it as a Position Paper. We agreed, and the Colloquy was initiated (actual meeting on 7 December 1975). Smith himself wrote a Critique, as well as Helmut Koester (always a fan of Smith, to my eternal puzzlement), Hans Dieter Betz, Birger Pearson (UC-SB), Bud (Paul) Achtemeier (Union-Virginia), and locals (including me, and my then-student Daryl Schmidt). Charles Murgia, then Chairman of the Dept. of Classics at Berkeley, wrote a devastating proof of forgery. In the discussion, he said that he didn't think Smith himself did the forging, because Smith's knowledge of Greek was inferior to that of the author/forger, and because the forger had an excellent sense of humor, which Smith lacked. (My reaction was to say that I'd rather be accused of forgery than of lacking a sense of humor and being deficient in Greek!) My own effort in advance was to prepare a Greek Synopsis, with three columns: "Clement's" Text, Parallels in Mark, and Parallels in John. I thought it evidenced that the work was a "pastiche" created from canonical Gospel materials. (I also said that since I wasn't a Clement-scholar, I couldn't judge whether the forgery was pre- or post-Clement, hence I would simply assume Robert Grant's opinion that the letter sounded like Clement. I didn't believe it, but I didn't want to take on THAT issue as well. Smith later cited me, in Harvard Theological Review, as one who accepted the authenticity of the work!) After publication, the hate-mail from Smith began. He quickly learned that I was the center of this vortex, and letter after letter of vitriol, spite, irrational attacks, and the like were showered upon me. This was despite the fact that I had refrained from voicing my personal opinion, that the "letter" and the "secret Mark text" never existed, but were invented by Smith. He produced no MS., only some "photographs" he claimed to have made at Mar Saba monastery in 1958. He kept the matter secret for 14 years, then published two books, a "scholarly" one and a "popular" one. No other person has ever been able to locate the book in which this stuff was supposedly written (mainly on the flyleaf and the binding paper). The entire affair reeks of fraud, which Quentin Quesnell had the courage to publish aloud (I DID have the courage to call attention to his work during the Colloquy!)

A SECOND ATTEMPT (to debunk Jesus)

Three years later, I was Visiting Professor at Claremont, and working with the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity. Hans Dieter Betz (this was before he went to Chicago) was Chairman, and he asked me to be the critic for an all-day session planned to discuss Smith's new MS. which he had sent ahead, "Jesus the Magician".(Having failed to convince everyone that Jesus was executed for running a gay-liberation group, caught in the act in Gethsemane, he now turned to prove that he was executed for being a magician.) I tried to beg off, but Betz was insistent; he assured me that Smith would be quite open to any valid criticism. The typed MS. was about three inches thick, and ruined a week for me. When the day arrived, he walked in, took one look at me, and paled noticeably. He was furious that I had been chosen, but had to sit quietly for 45 minutes while I took his MS. apart (the published version withdrew EVERYTHING I leveled my fire at, fortunately for him). I even pointed out that his major evidence for claiming that Jesus was the bastard child of a German soldier, was in Alfred Rosenberg's Nazi pseudo- philosophical work, _The Myth of the 20th Century_; Smith quoted the German title, and thought readers would assume this was from some renowned German historian! He raged at me for about half an hour, but then (thankfully) Jim Robinson picked up on the attack, and we had a heavy day of argument, about it and about. That evening, it turned out that Smith and I were the guests of honor at a dinner put on by Betz! And we were seated together! So we discussed magical amulets, about which he knew a great deal and I knew nothing, thus escaping ulcers for the evening. The hate-mail began pouring in about a week later; but I noticed that the published book eliminated all the stupidities and errors I had nastily pointed out. Thereafter, when we met at the annual Harvard receptions for faculty (including me) and alumni (including him) at the AAR/SBL national meetings, we avoided each other conspicuously.


Chopped into mincemeat at the 1979 SBL meeting in NYC, a special event was held for Pierson Parker (of General Seminary most of his life), focusing on his early-fifties book _The Gospel before Mark_ [positing a kind of Ur-Markus called K, on which Matthew was based, with canonical Matthew being thus earlier than canonical Mark]. Four speakers were lined up, one of whom had been a student of Parker (Rhys was his name), and another of whom was Morton Smith. Smith was chosen at Parker's request, for Parker had always championed Smith and his work, even though most others in the guild despised (and feared) him. Rhys gave a pleasant little talk, followed by Smith, who worked himself up into a rage over Rhys's words. He said that this speech should be printed as an example of every stupidity possible in the scholarly world. He then went on to attack Parker, saying that Parker's view that Matthew was prior to Mark was simply the old Roman Catholic view, and that Parker, being an Episcopal priest, was sucking up to Rome, as Episcopal priests always do. It was a horrifying performance! When the brief time for discussion arrived, the Chair wanted to close things off quickly. But I leaped to my feat and asked just how it was that Episcopal priest Parker was driven into bias by that fact, whereas somehow Episcopal priest Smith had miraculously escaped, and was enabled to be objective and full of truth? I pressed the issue of ad hominem attacks, questioning whether anyone--EVEN MORTON SMITH--had a right to behave in that fashion at a scholarly meeting. He sputtered for a moment, then stalked out. About ten years ago (I think it was in Chicago, but all these hotels are so similar I'm not sure), Smith took the platform to denounce the translation by Jacob Neusner of an ancient rabbinic document. Neusner claimed this was the first time it had appeared in English, and that he had done the translation. Smith revealed that it in fact was lifted from a translation made centuries ago. Neusner was publicly humiliated, and found it hard to show up for things for a few years. (My vagueness about the exact titles, etc., is because I was in an adjacent room, and did not directly hear this attack; I was told of it many times over during the hours and days which followed.) Now, the interesting thing about this is not that such a thing could happen; plagiarism is shameful, maybe on a par with forgery (?). It is that Jacob Neusner was one of Smith's few ardent champions (Parker and Koester being two of the other three or four). Smith had turned on one of the few friends he had left! Finally: I gather Neusner is now having his revenge!

Edward C. Hobbs

Hobbs et al. on Smith & Secret Mark, II
April 29, 1996 11:36 AM PST

Forwarded material, #2: a long collection.

From: LUCY::EHOBBS "Edward Hobbs" 14-MAY-1995 18:47:00.73

To: "[email protected]"

Subject: Portion of My Critique on "Secret Mark" [Colloquy 18] [This material is Copyright 1975.]

The issue before us in this Colloquy (as it properly is in each of our Colloquies) should be the fundamental methodological one: How is it that we solve problems about the interpretation of a text? This is a special form of the more general issue of how we make historical judgments. Since we deal with the unrepeatable, and thus are deprived of the experimental method in any strict sense, and since we further are not engaged with logical deduction from postulates in the fashion of mathematics, we are faced with the criterion of probability. Thus much is, however, granted by everyone (or, almost everyone!). The problem remains, what constitutes probability?

I wish to suggest that one crucial dimension of any theory of probability, whether in the natural sciences or in the humanistic disciplines including history, is the well-proven Law of Parsimony, or Ockham's Razor: Non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem. Ockham himself, as is well-known, did not invent the principle; but he used it effectively and constantly (though not in this exact formulation which goes by his name; he preferred two other wordings), and he has handed on to us a tool for cutting away flights of fancy and distinguishing the probable from the merely possible. The modern form of it in the sciences usually demands the postulation of the fewest unobservable commensurate with or necessary to explain the evidence. Morton Smith acknowledges the criterion of probability quite explicitly (e.g., The Secret Gospel, p. 148--the last paragraph of the book; and Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark, pp. 289-290--a passage parallel to the previous one); but he also undercuts the criterion by saying, "But the truth is that improbable things sometimes happen. Therefore truth is necessarily stranger than history." (The Secret Gospel, p. 148) Unless this sentence has a hidden meaning (and Smith seems to love them), he seems to be saying that our notions of probability are not fitted to the actual course of happenings in the world, and thus that "truth" (what really happened?) is stranger than "history" (what non-Smith historians write down?). This is a curious notion of probability, indeed! At the level of small detail, Smith's work is indeed "erudite," as it is usually called; his Clement volume is filled with a wealth of homework preparatory to historical explanation.

At the next stage of work, however, he moves suddenly into a rarified realm from which he is able to dismiss all scholars and all scholarly methods in general use with whom and which he differs; scholars' work at odds with his (or even potentially at odds, in the future: see, e.g., Clement, p. 287, "To prevent foreseeable stupidities...") regularly is labeled "worthless," "ludicrous," "hostile," "muddled," "stupidity," in some cases "malicious and deliberately deceitful" (he says there are several of these apparently, while singling out one as "most" so), "extravagance of exegetic fantasy, " and the like. Tools basic to the discipline seem either to be non-existent (e.g. redaction criticism) or to be so badly used by everyone else that "alternatives" need to be used (e.g. form criticism). Important redaction-critical work is ignored or else dismissed as "fantasy" (so with Marxsen's important work), and recent form-critical study, even of this precise passage of Mark, is nowhere mentioned (e.g. H.-W. Kuhn's work). In view of this treatment of differing scholars and methods, our deliberations are unlikely to meet any different fate at the hands of Smith; those who are sympathetic to his work will be praised, and those who differ will be damned (will we, hopefully, be allowed to choose whether we are to be labeled "stupid," "ludicrous," or merely engaging in "fantasy"?).

It seems to me that Ockham's Razor demands that we utilize the least new hypotheses to account for this text. Smith calls his explanation an "account" or a "history"; it is, in fact, an elaborate web of many hypotheses, each one constructed to fit the facts of the text to the previously constructed hypothesis. It is ingenious, and is just the method adopted by the author of historical fiction--one constructs an account which will touch on the known facts at as many points as possible, so as to create the effect "Yes, it might well have happened like this, indeed!" Like many scholars and others, I enjoy historical fiction; I become uneasy only when the word "fiction" is omitted from the sub-title or jacket description. And note that "fiction" does not here mean untrue; it is possible that it happened in such fashion. But the historian does not call his elaborate construction that touches all points while going far beyond them, a "history"; he reserves that term for the work to which he has applied Ockham's Razor, removing all absolutely unessential or unnecessary unobservables.

The simplest explanation is one which accords with other phenomena already known to us from early Christian history. (In what follows, I am assuming that the Letter is indeed from Clement. I am uncertain of this; but Robert Grant, who is far more capable than I to judge the question, considers that Smith has proved this point, and I accept his judgment.) It is roughly as follows:

(1) Following Paul's lead (Romans 6:1-11), some Christians in Alexandria (Carpocratians, apparently, and others) interpreted baptism as resurrection. Someone among them felt the need of an account in the Gospels to illustrate this, and set out to fill the need.

(2) Our author, working after the collection of our four Gospels, is acquainted with the texts of all of them; but he best knows Mark (long associated with Alexandria), just as most people have a favorite Gospel. The Lazarus story (John 11) is the one lengthy resurrection account, but it cannot be simply duplicated. Luke has a resurrection story concerning a male (all of the Synoptics have the story of Jairus' daughter), also; he is called *neaniskos*, a term also occurring in Mark's story of the empty tomb.

(3) Our author has his clues, and begins to piece together his paradigmatic pericope. The to-be-resurrected *neaniskos* has (a mother--Luke? two sisters--John?) a sister, who intercedes for him. The details of the pericope are easily assembled from other healing accounts in Mark, plus the obvious Lazarus-parallel. Especially attractive are some accounts which involve "resurrection" (*egeiro*,1:31; 5:41; 10:49; 16:6) or a "tomb" (*mnemeion*, 5:2,3,5; 15:46;16:2,3,5,8).

(4) The *neaniskos* produces by easy connections his clothing (Mark 14:51) which is like that of the pre-resurrected Jesus (Mark 15:46) and the statement that "looking on him, he loved him" (Mark 10:21, with its Matthaean parallel for *neaniskos*), as well as his wealth (Mark 10:22; cf. Luke 18:23 for exact wording).

(5) The locale is given by the Lazarus story--perhaps also by Mark 8:22, text of Codex Beza. As noted by Smith, the pericope's text often accords with the "Western" text; but the simpler explanation is that our author actually read such a text (coming into being about 150 by the usual dating), rather than that the Western text derived from "Longer Mark," a theory that explains nothing about the Western text in the rest of the Gospels and Acts. Even the dating is given by the Lazarus story, conflated (or maybe not, though the wording is identical) with the opening of Mark's Transfiguration story (in which Jesus is clothed in white, as is the *neaniskos* in the empty tomb).

(6) Our author at the end has to get Jesus back to where the account in Mark continues. The entire process is a simple one: A Mark-sounding story is produced by utilizing related stories in Mark and their phrasing, combined with the obvious resurrection story in John, and some inevitable wording derived from memory of the Matthew and Luke parallels (cf. our own "rich young ruler," a description which is a conflation of the synoptic accounts). To account for the similarities to Mark by having a translator (working from an Aramaic Vorlage) deliberately imitate Mark's style is "multiplying entities," indeed. Finally, could such an "invention" (a "pastiche" might be the best term) be interpolated into Mark's text, even though the Gospel was already accepted as in some sense "canonical"? Of course it could!--all we have to recall is the way in which the pericope on the adulterous woman was inserted into various places, without fire falling from heaven (after Luke 21:38; after John 7:36; after John 7:52; after John 21:24), or the way in which various endings were attached to Mark, endings pieced together in much the fashion we have observed here. If Stendhal's statement (quoted on p. 85, Clement) means that the text cannot have originated in the late second century or after, then it is demonstrably wrong, on the evidence of the pericopes just cited and their textual history; perhaps, however, Stendhal's comment refers to a time after the fixing of the text, i.e., after the supremacy of the Byzantine text.

(by: Edward C. Hobbs -- From the Protocol of the 18th Colloquy)

From: "[email protected]" 15-MAY-1995 03:43:41.88

To: "[email protected]" CC: "[email protected]"

Subject: RE: Lengthy account of Secret...

Dear Professor Hobbs and friends, Thanks to the professor for recalling Morton's visit to Berkeley in 1975. The topic seems now to be more important and exciting than it was at the time, which is a surprise to me. I just want to add a few things in order to balance out the report of E. Hobbs. No one that I knew took Professor Smith seriously at that time. I never cease to be amazed when I hear people twenty years later talking about his invention. Prof. Hobbs is right when he consigns this gospel to the genre of historical novel. We all knew our visitor was mad, but now people don't know this. I didn't know that Prof. Hobbs openly contradicted our visitor. I don't remember anyone wanting to offend the mad one. We thought it our duty to humor him and give him an open forum at the Hermeneutic Center. At the time he was travelling all over California attracting big crowds and newspaper coverage. I was sent to the airport to pick him up and found a place for him to stay in Benton Hall. I think I heard him speak but was more interested in Professor Hobbs's selections of California reds at the time. Professor Smith's apologia in the Harvard Theological Review came as a real shock to me, him marshalling and counting all these famous names who believed in his historical romance. I really do not understand how anyone, student or professor, can take seriously his fantasy. On the other hand, I am concerned that apparently people are doing just that. That's the reason I am saying that at that time no one who knew him took this seriously but people tried to be courteous and not offend someone who was obviously deranged.

Richard Arthur, Merrimack [email protected]

From: LUCY::EHOBBS "Edward Hobbs" 15-MAY-1995 13:08:17.51

To: "[email protected]"

Subject: Smith's visit to Berkeley: correction

Richard Arthur's supplement to my account was a pleasant reminder that other people still live who were there. But I'm afraid he is remembering the wrong Colloquy. Smith visited Berkeley only once, to my knowledge; it was for Colloquy 6, held on 12 April 1973. The subject of his position paper was "The Aretalogy Used by Mark". It was on that occasion that Richard Arthur picked up Smith and took him to his room at PSR. Colloquy 18 is the one we have been discussing. Smith was not present; neither was Richard Arthur (who may have graduated by then?). The date for this Colloquy was close to three years later, on 7 December 1975. The Position Paper was by Reginald Fuller. Secret Mark had not even been published when Smith was present in early 1973, so of course I did not challenge him on it (never having heard of it). I stand by my statement sent yesterday. How I wish everyone had thought Smith deranged! But I did take him on, not only then (in his absence), but on several later occasions, two of which I reported to all of you yesterday. There was never an agreement to be nice to him, at least not one I signed. I wasn't even nice to Ernest Badian (Harvard) when he was with us in 1976 (what an arrogant fellow he was). Incidentally, I received a message asking if I knew Morton Smith was dead. Yes, I knew, almost immediately. So does Neusner know. Edward Hobbs

From: LUCY::EHOBBS "Edward Hobbs" 17-MAY-1995 15:46:38.71

To: "[email protected]"

Secret Mark, Smith, Ad Hominem, & Koester

First, may I thank most warmly those of you who have responded to unwarranted innuendoes about my report on the Secret Mark controversy. I did not write that material of my own choice; I was asked by more than a half-dozen of you to do so. Nothing in it was fabricated, and nothing in it suggested that because Smith behaved outrageously when crossed, his scholarship was to be disregarded. A student from Canada has exhorted us to avoid ad hominem attacks, implying that I had engaged in them. It was precisely for that reason I had reported Smith's repeated use of the ad hominem attack; but I did not use it myself. May I point out that;

(1) I personally spent most of two months of 1975 in organizing, conducting, and editing/publishing a careful analysis of Smith's "Secret Mark" work. I also pointed out that I had carefully refrained from expressing my private belief that the supposed MS. was a recent forgery (i.e., within the last 1800 years). Surely this counts as "judging his views on the basis of his written legacy."

(2) "Jesus the Magician" was the recipient of more than 40 hours of my time, in 1976, resulting in more than 50 pages of criticism delivered to Smith by me, along with a 45-minute oral summary at the beginning of a day-long discussion of his MS. The published volume altered almost every one of the passages I criticized; had I not devoted that extended time to working through his original MS., the published volume would have been far more roundly criticized by its reviewers. This was not an ad hominem attack. That I reported to you some of what was asked for -- namely, the living-person relationship I had with Smith -- was offered not to attack his views, but to report what almost everyone knew about him who disagreed with him. Bob Kraft has rightly -- and generously -- pointed out the supportive, humorous, and congenial way Smith (at times) treated his friends. He also acknowledged his cantankerous, intimidating, confrontational ways on other occasions. I happen to admire Bob Kraft for his loyalty toward his friends, even when dead; I count this a great quality in a person. As I pointed out, sometimes Smith did not share this quality (re: Parker and Neusner, for example). And I want to state emphatically that Helmut Koester also possesses this quality, even at great cost to himself (as in the Bob Funk affair). Hence Helmut has loyally defended Smith through the years, and gave him a forum at Harvard when he otherwise would have been dismissed out of hand. Helmut is an honest scholar, and a great scholar. He and I disagree about many matters of N.T. scholarship, but he has never dismissed me or my work as a consequence. He was my department chairman at the time of my second major broadside against the Q-hypothesis (at SBL in Chicago, six years after my first), and even then he only declined to speak to me for two days! Then all was well again. I cannot want for a better friend and colleague. May I suggest that when we evaluate the written legacy of a scholar, we also take the trouble to read the written legacy of those who have faulted that scholar's legacy. Apparently Smith has supporters of his views who have not bothered to read the reviews and follow-up work. (And among these I do NOT count either Bob Kraft or Helmut Koester.)

Edward Hobbs

From: "[email protected]" "Edgar M. Krentz" 15-JUN-1995 11:22:23.14

To: "[email protected]"

Subject: Secret Gospel of Mark

There was a recent lengthy string about the _Secret Gospel of Mark_ published by Morton Smith. Those interested may want to read a reent article: A. H. Criddle, "On the Mar Saba Letter Attributed to Clement of Alexandria," _Journal of Early Christian Studies_ 2,3 (Summer 1995) 215-220. Criddle argues that the Clement letter is spurious and that _Secret Mark_ is therefore of dubious authenticity. His argument is based on a model of vocabulary statistics that he and an analysis of uaantitative rhythms.

Edgar Krentz [[email protected]]

[Please continue to part 3 - "Magic And Ancient Christianity - & Homosexuality?"]

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