Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chapter Fifteen of My New Book

Morton Smith never succeeded in solving perhaps the most fundamental mystery related to the discovery.  He never identified who 'Theodore' was and so until now the text has never been placed in a proper historical context.  Indeed after hundreds of pages of analysis all Smith can concluded is that this 'Theodore' might pretty much be anyone as this was a common name in antiquity.  The closest he gets to saying anything definitive about 'Theodore is that the addressee was probably living in Palestine.  Smith remarks that not only did Clement study in Palestine under a teacher of Jewish ancestry but "Clement was also a friend of a subsequent bishop of Jerusalem (Eusebius Church History 6.11.6; 13.3; 14.9) to whom he dedicated a book against Judaizing heretics or Jews (Photius, 111).  He may have had other connections in the city."[1]

There isn't much to Morton Smith's train of thought here.  He supposed that because the letter is preserved at the Mar Saba library there may well be an underlying connection between this Theodore and the Jerusalem see.   The Mar Saba monastery was always under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Jerusalem.  As Smith himself noted, there was known to be a collection of letters attributed to Clement of Alexandria in the monastery's library at least as late as the ninth century.[2]  Morton Smith works this evidence in two directions in his study.  On the one hand he floats the idea that the Letter to Theodore must have been a fragment from that lost collection of letters.  On the other hand he works the evidence in the other direction to hypothesize that the letter was written to or by someone living in the environs of see of Jerusalem.

It should also be noted that when Eusebius developed his Church History he presented letters of Origen drawn from the libraries of Jerusalem and Caesarea.  Caesarea Maritma was the home of a large library of books with many Alexandrian Christian authors.  Caesarea was traditionally independent from the authority of the bishop of Jerusalem and Eusebius was Caesarea's most famous bishop.  While the two cities enjoyed a close relationship in the period before Eusebius's reign, there was bitter strife in the age that followed.  With so many pilgrims flooding its gates to catch a glimpse of the many important landmarks, it is not surprising to witness the see of Jerusalem demanding that Caesarea should be placed under its jurisdiction.  The various bishops of Caesarea resisted these efforts.  But by about the fifth century or so the see of Caesarea Maritima was subordinated to the the Jerusalem church.

A number of scholars have pondered the possible connection between the Letter to Theodore and the great library at Caesarea.   The original letters might either have been copied or physically moved to the monastery at Mar Saba from this library or the one established earlier by bishop Alexander at Jerusalem.[3]  What makes Caesarea so intriguing is the fact that we have already Theodore (= Gregory Thaumaturgus) was united to another man in this city with Origen of Alexandria presiding over the ceremony. Whatever mystical rite was used to yoke Theodore and Athenodorus together, this was not a recent invention of Origen.  It was was of Alexandrian origin and the catechetical instruction which prepared the two men was what had been already established within the Church of St Mark.  These events are referenced in the Panygeric for Origen or as the text is often known - the Letter of Theodore to Origen.[4]

The 1958 discovery of Letter of Clement to Theodore is a correspondence between Clement of Alexandria and Theodore of Pontus.  It will be our working hypothesis that the letter was written before the letter of Theodore to Origen - in other words before his initiation period had even been completed.  In order to begin to see how this all fits together we have start again from the very beginning of the recently discovered correspondence and work our way to the reference about 'secret Mark' at its conclusion.

The Mar Saba letter opens with Clement commending Theodore for having 'silenced' or 'shut' of the 'unspeakable teachings of the Carpocratians.  No one has ever satisfactorily explained what Theodore was being congratulated for, but it presumably has something to do with rejecting an unfavorable or incorrect understanding about what went on in an Alexandrian initiation ritual.  Clement goes on to cite material from the canonical Epistle of Jude in which 'Jude' makes condemns the corrupting of the primitive Eucharist ritual called the Agape or 'love feast' by a certain circle of unnamed heretics.  No one knows which group the Letter of Jude is condemning but since the material is connected to the Outlines of Hegesippus, the Carpocratians are likely the ones being referenced again.[5]

The fact that Jude has always been presumed to be a bishop or high ranking figure in the apostolic Jerusalem church is especially significant.  After all, Clement was a guest of Alexander the bishop of Jerusalem.  By citing the Letter of Jude one can speculate that he is deliberately making reference to a similar contemporary situation with respect to the heretical 'Carpocratian' sect corrupting an Alexandrian 'love ritual.'  Jude is the brother of Jacob, the first bishop of the see in the same way as Clement is now serving at the leisure of Alexander, the current bishop of the city.

The evidence from the letter suggests that Theodore is a catechumen wondering 'what comes next' in his initiation process.  He has heard something negative about the same sex rite after baptism.  He has heard something about a secret gospel.  Now Clement, likely writing from Jerusalem, uses the epistle to Jude to demonstrate that he has been speaking to members of a sect called the Carpocratians who represent an age old problem within the Church which was first referenced by the Letter of Jude.  The implication now is that there were always attempts to misrepresent and corrupt the original love ritual established by the apostles.  These Carpocratians are an age old threat to the stability of the Church.

The Carpocratians claimed to be free from the constraints of the Law of Moses.  They also 'boasted' of their possessing great and profound knowledge.  Yet  rather than saying that the heretics are way of base with their claims - the usual hyperbole developed by Patristic author - Clement argues instead that the group is 'somewhat' or mostly incorrect with respect to their interpretation.  This statement on its own should cause us to pause and take a second look at the details of his commentary.  By implication Clement is also acknowledging that some of what they say about this secret Gospel of Mark also happens to be true but even here Clement advises Theodore to be careful with that understanding because the heretics have ultimately taken things out of context.

As we shall see this is a consistent feature of Clement's critique of the Carpocratian exegesis of some commonly held gospel.  The Carpocratians merely misinterpret or misapply the contents of the secret text.  This is because for both Alexandrian communities the official doctrine never appears in written form but is only passed on by word of mouth.  Again, this is the underlying context of Theodore's original Letter to Clement which is now lost.  We know longer know the contents of the correspondence Theodore was wondering about 'what came next' after the completion of his initiation with Origen.

Theodore likely also heard something about a 'secret gospel' or 'another gospel of Mark' which was said to be superior to the Law of Moses, the Jewish holy writings and likely also the familiar 'gospel according to Mark.'[6]  Indeed one of the principle reasons Clement went on to explain reveal detailed information about this 'secret' gospel of Mark was to demonstrate that it did not support the 'naked man with naked man' charge he made in his previous correspondence.  All of what follows about the Alexandrian community being established around two canonical gospels should hardly be surprising to us.  We learned the same thing from the early Roman community in a previous chapter.

The only real difference that we find in Alexandria is that instead of one gospel being associated with the authority of Peter and another with Paul, we find the Egyptian Church divided the two gospels according to a division of apostolic authority associated with Peter and Mark.  According to Clement, Mark wrote two gospels - one on behalf of Peter and another principally on his own authority.  As we shall see later in this chapter the Roman Church seems to have known a parallel situation with respect to Paul writing a simple account for simple believers and a 'hidden wisdom' for those who are perfect.  Yet there seems to be much confusion between the persons of Mark and Paul to the point that Hippolytus tells us that the Marcionite canon consisted of shortened letters of Paul, and two gospels - one which was said to resembled our canonical gospel of Luke and the other the canonical gospel according to Mark with mystical additions.[7]

It only stands to reason that the shorter gospel was identified with the gospel of Peter and the longer gospel that of Paul.  As such a number of other parallels with other references in the Patristic writings are worth noting.  The idea is frequently referenced with our Patristic sources that the gospel of Peter was somehow understood to be 'under the Law' whereas the gospel associated of Paul was written according to a superior divine authority unknown to the Jews before Christ's advent.  By the late period at least the preferred gospel of the Marcionites was concealed from outsiders and perhaps the catechumen also.[8]  It is interesting that we continue to find ourselves going over the same ground with respect to what is said about the two gospels of Alexandria.  This was the exact same situation with respect to the Alexandrian 'secret gospel' of Mark.  As Scott Brown has already noted "the audience of the longer Gospel is not catechumens who are preparing for baptism but baptized Christians involved in advanced theological instruction, the goal of which is gnosis (knowledge)."[9]

The correspondence between Clement and Theodore then is very much in keeping with what one might expect from a catechumen and a Church elder.  The difficulty that critics have raised, questioning why it is that Clement ignores the very rules of silence he references in the letter - i.e. "to deny the existence of the secret gospel on oath" - is easily explained with the identification of Theodore  as Gregory Thaumaturgus this 'breaking of the rules' becomes easy to explain.  This 'Theodore' was extremely wealthy and as such played by a different set of rules.  We can liken the situation to a rock star like George Harrison visiting with the Indian guru, Maharashi.

The Alexandrian expatriate community were likely eager to show special favor to prominent individuals like Theodore.  After all rich patrons were hard to come by.  The same situation has always been present in religious communities - the wealthy get special treatment from the authorities dependent on their money.  There is nothing at all in the surviving writings of Gregory Thaumaturgus which demonstrate any intellectual brilliance.  His lofty status was almost entirely related to the fact that he was a 'rich man' coming over to the faith.

It can't be coincidence that Clement consistently cultivates a policy of 'special treatment' for the rich.  Indeed his famous treatise Can the Rich Man Be Saved takes this flattery of the rich to new heights.  Similarly we have already seen that Clement was willing to change the rules about married priests in order to accommodate the new and extremely unlearned bishop Demetrius. So it is that Clement demonstrates time and again that the rich, powerful and well connected operate on a different playing field.  He is certainly not the first or last Christian theologian to eagerly embrace this cynical worldview.

We should note once again that when Clement decides to reveal to Theodore the exact words of the secret gospel he does with the specific purpose of disproving certain claims that have been about the material by the Carpocratians.  The 'naked man with naked man' business most obviously but there may have been others at the point we lose contact with the original text.  We should expect that Origen had already told Clement how serious Theodore was about his studies.  As such he must have felt comfortable revealing the presence of an otherwise unknown story inserted after Mark 10:34 in the publicly circulating copies of gospel of Mark:

And they come into Bethany. And a certain woman whose brother had died was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before Jesus and says to him, 'Son of David, have mercy on me.' But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near, Jesus rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb. And straightaway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb, they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days Jesus told him what to do, and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan.

While many detractors have argued the what is presented here is stands totally outside what one might call 'normative Christianity,' all that we have seen so far about the early Church suggests otherwise.

This material perfectly fits what we have just seen with respect to the initiation which united Theodore and Athenodorus and moreover Basil and Gregory a century later.  Moreover most early Christian references assume the catechumen to embody the concept of 'the living dead' in some form - some even have them wear grave-clothes to their baptism.  As the famous scholar A N Wilson notes the narrative is secret Mark is merely claiming that "the ritual has been translated into an event, a 'sign' [where] the catechumen in his grave-clothes becomes an actual dead man in grave-clothes, coming forth to be initiated into the Baptism of Spirit, Baptism of Eternal Life."[10]  The dead at the time were wrapped in linen cloth when they were buried, something explicitly referenced in the parallel narrative in the gospel of John.  So it was that we find an early rite associated with the taking off or trampling the old clothes before baptism too.[11]

The overarching concern that is shown by Clement to Theodore is to reassure him that the ritual he is about to partake in is wholly apostolic.  In other words,that the same-sex union which takes place after ritual water immersion was connected with the apostle Mark and that in no way shape or form was Jesus depicted in Mark's gospel as being a 'naked man with another naked man.'  That is why Clement goes out of his way to reference Mark as establishing these mysteries in order to reinforce the apostolic character of the rite. After all, Theoodre was after all being initiated hundreds of miles from Alexandria.

Every metaphor, every allusion in Clement's Letter to Theodore reinforces makes reference to the rite of baptism of catechumen.  For instance just before Clement explains that Mark wrote the gospel for the newly baptized he makes reference to a saying that has puzzled many critics of the discovery - "for the true things, being mixed with inventions, are falsified, so that, as the saying goes, even the salt loses its savor."  Salt was given to the catechumens in Rome and north Africa before baptism.  The specific idea that salt became 'corrupted' from mixing with heretics or idolaters is preserved in the writings of Gregory of Nazianzus.

Once we connect 'Theodore' here to 'Gregory Thaumaturgus' we can assume that the original correspondence was written within the same historical period that the surviving letter of Origen to Theodore was written.  In other words, Clement clearly wrote to Theodore while he was still a catechumen.  Origen's Letter to Theodore has also been preserved for us by the Cappadocian fathers and appears in the thirteenth chapter of their Philocalia (a kind of literary 'greatest hits package' of things laid down by Origen).  The original text was likely found in a lost part of the third century martyr Pamphilus's Apology for Origen which drew from material at the library of Caesarea.[12]

As John Anthony McGuckin notes in the Westminster Handbook on Origen, "Origen's Address to Theodore is the first of the large surviving epistle.  Theodore is generally understood to be his disciple, a young man studying with him in Caesarea, who subsequently became a leading missionary of the Cappadocian church under the name of Gregory Thaumaturgus."[13]  It is pretty much assumed by everyone that Theodore "assumed the name Gregory at his baptism; it can be presumed also that Origen arranged this at Caesarea."  Since we actually know a great deal about the manner in which the catechumen were initiated in Caesarea we can at least theoretically provide a contextual framework for the context of Clement's writing to the same Theodore.

The process of initiation at Caesarea was undoubtedly derived from or identical with the process of baptizing the catechumens in Alexandria.  This understanding of what went on at Caesarea under Origen's watch was first developed by Pierre Nautin of the University of Paris.  He developed his model from detailed examination of the various homilies of Origen on the books of the Old Testament but especially the Homilies on Psalms.  We are fortunate to have had a group of scholars discover the Greek originals to these homilies in 2012, which previously were only known through inaccurate Latin translations.  As it turns out much of Nautin's model for the dating of these Homilies has been disproved by the new discovery.

What does appear to hold up with respect to Nautin's original analysis is that the catechumen were certainly an important part of the make up of Origen's audience for these readings.  Nautin surmised that on all days of the week except Sunday there was a morning worship service without Eucharist that included a lengthy reading and homily on an Old Testament text.  This service would be open to catechumens as well as those more advanced in the faith and took place over a three year liturgical cycle.[14]  He also rightly noted that catechumens would not have been present during the celebration of the Eucharist.

Yet his claim that they were also were also excluded from the reading the Gospel has come under some scrutiny.  The evidence of both Clement's and Origen's Letter to Theodore would suggest that a gospel - undoubtedly a publicly circulating text - was indeed read to catechumens.  In Clement's case it is certainly something like our canonical gospel of Mark.  Yet the surprising thing that emerges from Theodore's Letter to Clement is that we can see evidence that something like a secret gospel was hidden from catechumen in Caesarea Maritima.  This text - identified by Origen in his letter as 'the mind of the divine scriptures' - was only received by the initiates upon the successful completion of their course.  This text seems identical to secret Mark even if it is never directly associated with the apostle of Alexandria.  As Morton Smith put a secret gospel was hidden so "that catechumens may be left without full information—not to say misinformed—in order to protect their faith."[15]

As we have already noted, Clement and Origen were both corresponding with a Theodore who would become know to future generations as Gregory the Wonder Worker.  This man would be likened by future generations as a second Moses and whose initiation 'in darkness' was likened to the theophany described in the book of Exodus.[16]  Both men were corresponding with Gregory while he was still a catechumen.  So it is not surprising that we find signs both in Clement and Origen's letters to the same Theodore that he was a catechumen.  As McGuckin notes Origen's "letter encourages Theodore to continue his studies day by day, through the assiduous reading of the divine Scriptures." [17]

Yet the 'scriptures' here are clearly a mix of books of the Old Testament and the public gospel. The 'secret gospel' or 'secret wisdom' is something else entirely.  As we see Origen's letter clearly witnesses:

do you, then, my lord and my son, chiefly give heed to the reading of the Divine Scriptures; do give heed. For we need great attention when we read the Divine writings, that we may not speak or form notions about them rashly. And as you give heed to reading the Divine volume with a faithful anticipation well pleasing to God, knock at its closed doors and it shall be opened unto you by the porter, of whom Jesus said, "To him the porter openeth." And as you give heed to the Divine reading, seek, in the right way and with an unfaltering faith in God, that which is hidden from the many, the mind (nous) of the Divine writings [emphasis mine]. Be not content, however, with knocking and seeking; for prayer is the most necessary qualification for the understanding of Divine things, and the Saviour urged us to this when He said, not only, Knock and it shall be opened, Seek and ye shall find, but also, Ask and it shall be given unto you."

The key to the understanding here is the line "that which is hidden from the many, the mind (nous) of the Divine writings (ton kekrummenon tois pollois noun twn theiwn grammaton)."  This is an obvious paraphrase of perhaps the most important passage in the entire collection of Pauline writings - the second chapter of the first letter to Corinthians.  As we shall see, this material is consistently understood by the Alexandrian tradition as Paul acknowledging that he laid down two teachings - even two gospels.[18]

The important point here is for us to understand that Origen in his Letter to Theodore to be saying the exact same thing as Clement.  "And as you give heed to the Divine reading, seek, in the right way and with an unfaltering faith in God, that which is hidden from the many,the mind (nous) of the Divine writings" is a clear reference to the existence of the secret gospel.  According to the Alexandrian interpretation the apostle wrote two gospels, a publicly circulating text that just told the story of Jesus crucifixion and another built on that text as a foundation which is the 'mind of Christ.' (1 Corinthians 2:16)  In a similar way Clement makes reference to Paul as the apostle who "teaches that knowledge, which is the perfection of faith, goes beyond catechetical instruction, in accordance with the magnitude of the Lord's teaching and the rule of the Church."[19]  In each case a secret knowledge which is perfection is explicitly identified as that which "goes beyond" mere "catechetical instruction".

All of these ideas of course ultimately derive from the discussion at the beginning of the second chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians in our New Testament canon with Paul announcing first that:

When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human 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.  I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.(1 Corinthians 2:1 - 5)

Yet the same apostle acknowledges in what immediately follows in the letter that:

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 1.6 -7)  

As we have already seen this second passage was always taken by gnostics in the sense of meaning 'another gospel' separate from that of Peter and the apostles and made secret and reserved for those who are being perfected.[20]

It must be seen as almost certain that the Marcionites themselves did away with the name 'Paul' altogether and identified the apostle of perfection with Mark.  This is clear from the implications of Hippolytus's testimony and has been already developed into remarkably similar argument by the early twentieth century German theologian Hermann Raschke.  This hidden 'wisdom' of Paul must be identified with secret Mark and not surprisingly we find that Clement of Alexandria interprets the material in a very similar manner to Origen - namely that the apostle's 'former' gospel was simply about Jesus being crucified and then a 'secret wisdom' (= secret gospel) was revealed, formerly hidden (apokekrumenen) from the knowledge of the catechumen.[21]

You don't have to be an expert in ancient Greek to see that this all necessarily fits together in Origen's Letter to Theodore.  Paul's original use of apokekrumenen (1 Cor 2.7) becomes Origen's kekrumenon in his correspondence with Theodore.  So too his reference to his "mind of the divine writings" is derived from Paul's "mind of Christ" which immediately follows.   As such Origen's address to Theodore presents exactly the same message as Clement's Letter to Theodore.  He references a 'secret writing' or 'secret wisdom' which is only revealed to the initiated which was written by the same man who wrote the publicly circulating gospel.  The only difference again is that Origen expresses the ideas in terms of the writings of Paul while Clement in his correspondence with Theodore explicitly references an apocryphal tradition related to the person of Mark.[22]

As such we should at least acknowledge again that the parallels between Clement and Origen's letters to Theodore opens the door to the possibility that Mark was in some sense understood to be a substitute for Paul.  Not only were both men paired with Peter in the early tradition, they were both specifically subordinated to Peter's authority by the third century Roman tradition. The point then is that it cannot be ignored any longer that Clement and Origen are saying the exact same thing to same Theodore.  They just happen to be taking slightly different paths to arrive at the same point.

Origen references to the material in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 to hint at the existence of a secret wisdom text which Theodore will receive upon the completion of his initiation.  In Clement's case - perhaps owing to the fact that he was not actively involved in instructing Theodore - he makes the very same point identifying the apostle as Mark:

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 secret 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 whatever makes for progress toward knowledge. Thus he composed a more spiritual Gospel for the use of those who were being perfected.

One could devote an entire volume to the misunderstood Marcionite paradigm and its influence over the Alexandrian Church.  Origen's patron Ambrose after all was a repentant Marcionite.  It is likely that Theodore and Gregory Nazianzus after him came from a neo-Marcionite culture in Pontus.  It would seem as if the heretical culture was eventually accommodated to the normative teaching associated with Rome in the third century.

Indeed Origen says something in the recently discovered Greek texts of his Homilies on Psalms that is worth quoting here which goes to the heart of this paradigm.  Undoubtedly writing some time after 235 CE he makes reference to the previous age when the Alexandrian gospel and its secret doctrines were originally promulgated by a number of different heretical schools:

We know this by experience that in our early age the heresies were flourishing and many seemed to be those who assembled around them.  All those who were eager for the teachings of Christ lacking clever teachers in the Church, because of such famine imitated those in a famine eat human flesh.  They separated thus from the healthy doctrine and attached themselves to every possible teaching and united themselves in schools.  Yet when the grace of God radiated a more abundant teaching, day after day the heresies broke up and their supposed secret doctrines were brought to light and denounced as being blasphemies and impious and godless words. 

Origen speaks only recently of sufficiently 'clever' teachers who managed to accommodate the original Alexandrian doctrine to the new orthodoxy emerging out of Rome.  He was clearly one such teacher, Clement may possibly have been another.

Origen may have been smart enough to avoid detection in his lifetime.  However later Church Fathers ultimately learned to recognize him for what he was - someone who figured out a way to preserve the original teaching within the ever-changing shape of orthodoxy in the early third century.  It was Origen who provided a safe haven for those seeking shelter from the Imperial persecutions of the age.  The Imperial government was certainly 'assisting' the Roman Church in redefining Christianity.  The amazing thing is that the ritualized same sex unions actually survived these intimidation efforts and continued to thrive down to the modern age in albeit a slightly modified form.

[7] We have already shown that this model for two gospels associated with two different apostolic authorities was widely accepted outside of Alexandria.  This is true not only for the early Roman Church but within the Marcionite tradition and even the writings of the Church Father Justin Martyr.  Many scholars have noted that while Justin speaks of a written 'memoirs of the apostles' at times specifically associated with Peter his devoted student Tatian is mentioned in the same breath as a 'gospel harmony.'  The earliest report of this longer gospel only appears in the fourth century.  The assumption of scholars has always been that Tatian simply created this text on his own initiative.  Nevertheless it is almost certain that surviving community of 'Encratites' devoted to Tatian's memory, would have argued that he received the text from his master Justin.
Justin of Rome speaks of the "Memoirs of the Apostles" being tightly connected to the law and the prophets.  Nevertheless we may also suspect that the fuller and more complete 'gospel harmony' was certainly a private gospel which was again hidden from catechumens.[14]  Marcion and Justin were intimately associated with the city of Rome.  The fact that Clement's and Origen's Letter to Theodore were written to the same person is very significant as it affords us a window on the same sex initiation process outside Rome.
[19] In Book Five of the seven volume work Clement remarks that just as "the Spirit says by Isaiah the prophet, 'I will give thee treasures, hidden, dark.'"   According to Clement this is what the "noble apostle" meant when he said "Howbeit we speak wisdom among those that are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought. But we speak the wisdom of God hidden in a mystery; which none of the princes of this world knew. For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." Even though the Jews are well instructed in the Old Testament Clement says that this same apostle goes on to inveigh against the opinion of their wisdom saying later "But we preach, as it is written, what eye hath not seen, and ear hath not heard, and hath not entered into the heart of man, what God hath prepared for them that love Him. For God hath revealed it to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God."  Clement explains that the apostle "recognises the spiritual man and the Gnostic as the disciple of the Holy Spirit dispensed by God, which is the mind of Christ. 'But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit, for they are foolishness to him.'" Already now we have arrived at the same point made by Origen in his letter to Theodore.  There is a 'mind' of the divine scripture referenced in the second chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians as 'the mind of Christ' which stands not only behind the Old Testament but more specifically (and in a deeper heretical sense) in the two gospels that were established by the apostle.  The first, Clement says, is established by "the apostle, in contradistinction to gnostic perfection, calling the common faith the foundation."  Indeed the apostle uses the word 'foundation' in almost the next line after his reference to 'the mind of Christ' saying "according to this grace given to me as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation and another built on it with gold and silver, precious stones."
[22] The idea that Paul should in some sense be a disguise for Mark is not at all surprising given the fact that even in our canonical book of Acts 'Paul' is not the apostle's original name.  Acts claims that Paul was originally known to the world as 'Saul' but suddenly adopted a new appellation which rhymed with his birth name.  No  one has satisfactorily explained why 'Paul' became his new identity.  It is widely recognized however that even though Clement makes repeated reference to the Acts of the Apostles, the text itself  "is not regarded by Clement as canonical."[20]  One may speculate that Clement employed a great number of text beyond those traditionally used by the Alexandrian Church in order to broaden the appeal of his message. There were certainly a great number of Christians who were relegated to the status of 'heretics' for their rejection of the canonical Acts of the Apostles.  Irenaeus mentions many of them in his Against Heresies alongside the idea that Paul was not recognized by this name among these communities.[21]  How was Paul identified outside of the Catholic tradition?  The fifth century Armenian bishop Eznik of Kolb gives us a clue.  He witnesses that the Marcionites understood Marcion as the 'unspeakable' revelation in 2 Corinthians chapter 12.  As 'Marcion' is a subform of the original Latin name Marcus (= Mark) it is at least possible at least some of the Marcionites understood that our apostle 'Paul' was originally named Mark.[22] It is also worth noting that a similar idea appears in the third century heretical compendium called the Philosophumena often attributed to Hippolytus of Rome.  The author attacks the sect which follows Marcion saying that "neither Paul the apostle nor Mark, he of the maimed finger, announced such (tenets). For none of these (doctrines) has been written in the Gospel according to Mark. But (rather it) is Empedocles, son of Meto, a native of Agrigentum. And (Marcion) despoiled this (philosopher), and imagined that up to the present would pass undetected his transference, under the same expressions, of the arrangement of his entire heresy from Sicily into the evangelical narratives." (Phil. 7:18)  The idea that the Marcionites used an expanded gospel of Mark - lengthened by the insertion of mystical doctrines originally associated with the pagan philosopher Empedocles - is significant.  Yet it is especially so given the universal testimony of the Church Fathers that this gospel was at once 'the gospel of Paul' referenced throughout the apostolic epistles of our New Testament canon.

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