Friday, October 29, 2010

GAME OVER - I Have Discovered the ULTIMATE PROOF for the Authenticity of Clement's Letter to Theodore

I was talking to someone today about my discovery. I can finally blow the lid off of the whole 'controversy' about whether the Mar Saba document is a forgery or not.  I know for absolutely certain that it is authentic.  I finally found the original late second century context in Alexandria which supports the idea of two gospels - one public and one private - by its original apostolic author. 

If you haven't read my last post you should do so now. It has all come together. You all remember my theory that:

a) the apostle the Catholics call Paul was originally called 'Mark' by the Alexandrians
b) 1 Corinthians was originally (and still secretly) identified by the Egyptian Church as 'the gospel of the Alexandrians' (cf. Muratorian canon)

Here is my breakthrough - I think Irenaeus actually identifies his Alexandrian heretical opponents' interpretation of 1 Corinthians 2.1 - 8 as a reference to the existence of a 'public' and 'secret gospel.'   While the material in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 doesn't directly reference the word 'gospel' all you have to do is read any informed interpretation of the apostle's use of the word 'wisdom' in this section and you will inevitably hear it explicitly identified with the 'gospel.'  In other words, the Apostle is acknowledging that he originally wrote a public gospel which only referenced Jesus crucified and then only later introduced a 'more spiritual gospel for those being perfected.' 

All you have to do is read the original material again with an eye on its connection with the Clementine reference to a public and secret gospel in the letter to Theodore.  The Apostle writes:

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified ... We do, however, speak a wisdom among the perfect, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. [1 Cor 1.1-7]

Yet I am absolutely certain that this passage was the original context of this statement in Clement's Letter to Theodore:

As for Mark, then, during Peter’s stay in Rome he wrote an account of the Lord’s doings, not, however, declaring all of them, nor yet hinting at the mystic ones, but selecting what he thought most useful for increasing the faith of those who were being instructed. But when Peter died a martyr, Mark came over to Alexandria, bringing both his own notes and those of Peter, from which he transferred to his former book the things suitable to those studies which make for progress toward knowledge. Thus he composed a more spiritual gospel Gospel for the use of those who were being perfected. [To Theodore 1.15 - 18]

Indeed I am certain that I can prove to everyone's satisfaction that Alexandrians like Origen continue to interpret 1 Cor 2.1 - 7 in a way which reflects the undestanding of to Theodore (i.e. that sophia = 'gospel' and that there was a public and secret gospel).

Here is one of many examples in Origen's writings referencing the same contemporary Alexandrian initiation rites related to a secret gospel but channeled through the statement just cited in 1 Corinthians 2.1 - 8:

Yet among the perfect we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. It is one thing to lead people to faith and another to reveal the wisdom of God. Therefore, we disclose the wisdom of God not to novices or beginners or those who have not yet demonstrated soundness in their conduct. But when a person has trained his faculties by practice in the appropriate way to distinguish good from evil and becomes capable of hearing wisdom, then we speak wisdom among the mature [Origen Homilies JTS 1908 JTS 238 - 239]

I know it is difficult for people to understand the significance of this discovery, but I am certain that I found the ultimate context for the idea of the secret gospel of to Theodore. Everyone else was checking the writings of Clement, others were looking for explicit references to 'the secret gospel of Mark' in the surviving writings of the Church Fathers, but no one it seems thought of checking what are now the diluted Catholic preservations of the original Marcionite Apostolikon. No one that 'Paul' might witness the twin public and secret gospel traditions. He certainly does, just read my next article for additional context. 

More and more to follow over the next few days, months and years.  I will track this one down to the ends of the earth if I have to.  I have solved the mystery of 'Secret Mark,' and the riddle of the Mar Saba document.  As at least a few of you will certainly see, it is unquestionably authentic  ...

Email with comments or questions.

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