Did Morton Smith Forge ‘Secret Mark’? A Handwriting Expert Weighs In – Biblical Archaeology Review

secret mark doc

Did Columbia University professor Morton Smith forge the famous Clement letter containing two passages from a secret and different copy of the Gospel of Mark?

A number of scholars have concluded, on inadequate grounds in our view, that Smith was a forger.

In a four-part treatment, including contributions by eminent New Testament scholars Helmut Koester and Charles Hedrick, BAR concluded that Smith, now dead, was innocent.*

Oddly enough, despite the scores of articles and books that have been written on the subject, no one has bothered to consult a handwriting expert in the language in which the alleged forged letter is written: Greek.

BAR has now done so.

Venetia Anastasopoulou is a prominent handwriting expert living in Athens who has frequently testified in Greek courts.

Read the full article and download the report of Venetia Anastaspoulou at Did Morton Smith Forge ‘Secret Mark’? A Handwriting Expert Weighs In – Biblical Archaeology Review.

As a bit of background:

In 1973, when Morton Smith presented to the world the Clement letter and an unknown “secret” gospel of Mark, was he revealing an amazing Biblical manuscript discovery or attempting a risky scholarly stunt? With the help of the experts, our four-part treatment sets the scene of the find at Mar Saba monastery in the Judean Desert (“Secret Mark”: An Amazing Discovery)<!– (p. 44)–>, presents the case for forgery (“Secret Mark”: Morton Smith—Forger)<!– (p. 49)–>, examines the textual tradition that could indicate authenticity (“Secret Mark”: Was Morton Smith a Great Thespian and I a Complete Fool?)<!– (p. 54)–> and offers BAR’s unique editorial assessment to sum up the evidence (“Secret Mark”: Restoring a Dead Scholar’s Reputation.)

Source: BAR

3 thoughts on “Did Morton Smith Forge ‘Secret Mark’? A Handwriting Expert Weighs In – Biblical Archaeology Review

  1. Pingback: Mark Waugh Q&A: World T20 | World Cup 2010

  2. I have been sitting on an interview I arranged between Professor Charlie Hedrick and Agamemnon Tselikas a respected Greek paleographer on the question of the authenticity of the Mar Saba document. It is now published at my blog http://stephanhuller.blogspot.com/

    Hope you and your readers might want to check it out. Dr. Tselikas will be publishing an article on the same subject for BAR next year referencing the same material.


    Stephan Huller

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