Friday, May 6, 2011

Detailed Account of What Happened at the Secret Mark Conference From Synoptic Solutions

An anonymous blogger named 'the cave' has provided a detailed summary of the recent Secret Mark conference in Toronto:

Tony Burke opened with a few remarks, and we began with two exchanges: one between Charles Hedrick and Bruce Chilton, the other between Craig Evans and Allan Pantuck. I thought these opening presentations were the most well-balanced hours of the conference.

Hedrick defended authenticity, though by making the I think rather wrong suggestions that the longer passages are ancient additions to GMk by either an imitator of Mark, or by Mark himself. Chilton emphasized the several (real) problems with provenance, arguing that we need not make any decisions about the status of the text, and that the burden of proof lies on those who would argue for authenticity in the face of these problems.

Evans presented what amounted to an efficient and good-natured though derivative summary of Carlson and Watson's best arguments for inauthenticity (leaving aside the business--nonsense, in my opinion--about puns and plays on words). It was unfortunate that neither Carlson nor Watson could apparently attend (nor Criddle, whose statistical analysis forms a part of Carlson's study). Allan Pantuck responded with a quite impressive demolishing of some of the supposedly decisive arguments, including especially the purported connections with James T. Hunter's novel The Mystery of Mar Saba. (Several of these points I had already made myself here on this blog, so I was quite gratified to hear them.)

The details are here

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