Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bart Ehrman`s Most Recent Statement on the Question of Whether the Letter to Theodore is a Forgery

We have seen another motivation, or combination of motivations, in the case of Dionysius the Renegade. One could argue that Dionysius perpetrated his fraudulent play, the Parthenopaeus, principally in order to see if he could get away with it. Or he may have done it to make a fool out of his nemesis, Heraclides. We have other instances in the ancient world of a similar motivation, to pull the wool over someone's, or everyone's, eyes. As it turns out, some such motivation may still be at work in our world today, as some scholars have thought that one of the most famous “discoveries” of an ancient Gospel in the twentieth century was in fact a forgery by the scholar who claimed to have discovered it. This is the famous Secret Gospel of Mark allegedly found by Morton Smith in 1958. Other authors forged documents for political or military ends. The Jewish historian Josephus, for example, reports that an enemy of Alexander, the son of King Herod, forged a letter in Alexander's name in which he announced plans to murder his father ... (Forged: Writing in the Name of God 2011, p. 14)

The last I checked Morton Smith discovered a letter from Clement rather than a copy of Secret Mark. This and other statements by the otherwise learned scholar clearly demonstrates that he doesn`t care very much about the actual details of the controversy. Pity ...

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