Timo S.Paananen will discuss the “Secret Gospel of Mark” Saturday 22.8 at 4pm

Dear friend of Arkadia, You are most welcome to listen to Timo S.Paananen of Helsinki University discuss the “Secret Gospel of Mark” on Saturday 22.8 at 4pm. Timo S. Paananen obtained his master’s degree in the field of New Testament studies in May 2009 at the University of Helsinki, and plans to pursue a PhD from next January onwards. His main scholarly interests include the New Testament, other early Christian, Gnostic, and Judaic works, and the contemporary culture of conspiracy theory narratives, pervading into the Academy, including the field of biblical studies. The current academic endeavours of his are chronicled in Salainen evankelista (salainenevankelista.blogspot.com) a biblioblog focusing on the question of authenticity of the Secret Gospel of Mark Do join us! Warm regards, Ian www.arkadiabookshop.fi – Entrance is free and green tea will be served. A 2€ donation is suggested and would be welcome. – You can also reach me via facebook. I have an address under my name “Ian Bourgeot”and I would gladly become your friend – The opening hours of the shop have changed: Weekdays 12:00-19:00 / Saturdays 10:00-18:00 / closed on Sundays&Mondays Text by Timo S.Pananen: The Secret Gospel of Mark – The Most Sophisticated Forgery in the World? A university professor, Morton Smith, found a previously unknown manuscript from the desert monastery of Mar Saba, near Jerusalem, in 1958. Unless, of course, he did compose the manuscript himself and plant it in the said monastery while visiting it. The manuscript contained a letter by Clement of Alexandria to a certain Theodore, including two excerpts from the ‘Secret Gospel According to Mark’, which depicted Jesus giving out ‘the mystery of the Kingdom of God’ to an unnamed youth, who – while naked under his linen sheet – was ‘spending a night with Jesus’. Not only the contents of the manuscript, but also its disappearance sometime after 1990, have casted doubt about its authenticity. Recently, the scholarly scale of consensus has tipped towards the forgery, with a publication of two books, ‘The Gospel Hoax’ by Stephen C. Carlson in 2005, and ‘The Secret Gospel of Mark Unveiled’ by Peter Jeffery in 2007. But, is the sexual innuendo of the Gospel extracts in the eye of the beholder? Who is to blame for the disappearance of the manuscript? Was Morton Smith proficient enough to write in the style of both Clement and ‘Mark’ – because the texts look unmistakable like something Clement and ‘Mark’ would have written? And did Morton Smith really hide deliberate clues of his identity into the manuscript, including references to his given names, and to his baldness? Is the Secret Gospel of Mark the most sophisticated forgery in human history (and in human future, too, I’d wager), or is the existence of the Secret Gospel a clear sign that the earlier (conservative) accounts of the Christian origins have missed the historical reality by miles?