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Morton Smith as M. Madiotes: Stephen Carlson's Attribution of Secret Mark to a Bald Swindler

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In 1960, Morton Smith announced that he had discovered in the Mar Saba monastery tower library a fragment of a previously unknown letter of Clement of Alexandria containing excerpts from a longer version of the Gospel of Mark that Smith called the 'Secret Gospel of Mark'. Controversial since its publication in 1973, this discovery has recently been criticized in print as both an academic hoax and a malicious forgery. This paper uses newly discovered manuscript photographs and archived documents to refute a claim found in Stephen C. Carlson's The Gospel Hoax, namely that Smith invented a pseudonymous twentieth-century individual named 'M. Madiotes' as an elaborate and deliberate clue that he himself had forged the letter of Clement.


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