Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Morton Smith on Secret Mark Documentary

Mark Goodacre, who as of late seems to scour YouTube for video clips of controversial finds, has posted a clip of Morton Smith discussing Secret Mark, which has been making additional waves in scholarship lately.

I have decidedly not publicly defended or refuted anyone's claims on Secret Mark, and do not expect to get anything out of me anytime soon. Those who pay close attention to my CV--the nocturnal initiates--will know why.

Here is the clip on Jesus' potential nocturnal initiation ceremonies:

Be sure to click on the link above to get Mark Goodacre's comments.


rameumptom said...

I don't think the problem is with the Secret Mark document, but with Morton Smith's interpretation. There are many ways to interpret the night time rite, without engaging in sexual concepts.

Margaret Barker recently discussed the Holy Oil and Anointing of the temple, which she stated was lost after the destruction of the First Temple, but restored by the early Christians. It was an anointing which ordained a person to God's priesthood and kingship, prior to their ascension into heaven.

It is just as easy to consider this rite a second baptism, or an anointing, than a sexual encounter.


Jared Calaway said...

Morton Smith, however, rarely ever engages in a sexual interpretation in his books on the topic, except to the degree that "nocturnal" is taken sexually. Scholars who think he forged it, however, seem to think he wrote it as a sexual encounter as well as in the context of the letter of Clement that suggests it was being used by the Carpocratians, whose reputation (by their enemies) was that they used sexual fluids in their sacred rites.

Unknown said...

The chapter of a previously published book has been recast as an essay, "A Letter to Theodore," at magicinthenewtestament.com. The essay briefly presents my translation of the letter, Smith's defense of its antiquity and authenticity, sketches the debate through the recent exchange of opinion in BAR and Stroumsa's publication of the Smith/Scholem letters, and concludes with some pointed criticisms of Carlson and Jeffery. I strongly encourage anyone with an interest to look at Roger Viklund's most recent examination of Carlson's claims of forgery.