Secret Mark: A Bibliography

In conjunction with Prof. Judy Kovacs’ seminar on the life and thought of Clement of Alexandria, Jack Collins (another fine doctoral student) and I delivered a report on the continuing debate surrounding the Letter to Theodore, which contains the gospel fragments popularly known as “Secret Mark” and which, if Morton Smith is to be believed, was discovered by him at Mar Saba in 1958. As I prepared a selective bibliography on this fascinating topic, I was struck by two principal points:

1) There is remarkably little consensus surrounding the authenticity of the letter, with proponents of both sides (authenticity and forgery) claiming victory in recent years. For example, a number of scholars at Yale (e.g., Harry Attridge and Adela Collins) considered the matter to be virtually, if not completely, closed with the publication of Peter Jeffery’s The Secret Gospel of Mark Unveiled in 2007, but two articles appearing in the most recent issue of the Journal of Early Christian Studies make arguments for authenticity.

2) Very few articles have attempted to address the question of the legitimacy of the letter by comparing it to other Clementine writings, particularly his comments on secrecy and concealment of knowledge in the Stromateis. (Prof. Kovacs herself reinforced this point in the course of our discussion.)

For those of you wishing to explore one of the wildest and most bitter debates in the recent history of biblical and patristic studies, check out the bibliography here. It’s certainly not comprehensive, but includes a number of thorough introductory treatments as well as many of the key articles and monographs written in recent years. Enjoy!

0 Responses to “Secret Mark: A Bibliography”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

February 2009


© 2006-2009, Matthew Burgess. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use of the original content of this website is strictly prohibited. Quotations or citations should include a link to this website. The views and opinions given here are my own and do not represent those of the University of Virginia (or anyone else, for that matter).

%d bloggers like this: