Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Secret Mark Fragment in the Acts of Judas Thomas

All the people therefore believed and gave their souls obediently unto the living God and Christ Jesus, rejoicing in the blessed works of the Most High and in his holy service. And they brought much money for the service of the widows: for the apostle (Judas Thomas) had them gathered together in the cities, and unto all of them he sent provision by his own ministers (deacons), both clothes and nourishment. And he himself ceased not preaching and speaking to them and showing that this is Jesus Christ whom the scriptures proclaimed, who is come and was crucified, and raised the third day from the dead. (Mark 10:32 - 34)  And next he showed them plainly, beginning from the prophets, the things concerning the Christ, that it was necessary that he should come, and that in him should be accomplished all things that were foretold of him. And the fame of him went forth into all the cities and countries, and all that had sick or them that were oppressed by unclean spirits brought them, and some they laid in the way whereby he should pass, and he healed them all by the power of the Lord. Then all that were healed by him said with one accord: Glory be to thee, Jesu, who hast granted us all alike healing through thy servant and apostle Thomas. And now being whole and rejoicing, we beseech thee that we may be of thy flock, and be numbered among thy sheep; receive us therefore, Lord, and impute not unto us our transgressions and our former faults which we committed being in ignorance. 

And the apostle said: Glory be to the only-begotten of the Father! Glory be to the first-born of many brethren! Glory be to thee, the defender and helper of them that come unto thy refuge! that sleepest not, and awakest them that are asleep that livest and givest life to them that lie in death! O God Jesu Christ, Son of the living God, redeemer and helper, refuge and rest of all that are weary (labour) in thy work, giver of healing to them that for thy name s sake bear the burden and heat of the day: we give thanks for (to) the gifts that are given us of thee and granted us by thy help and thy dispensation that cometh unto us from thee.

Perfect thou therefore these things in us unto the end that we may have the boldness that is in thee: look upon us for for thy sake have we forsaken our homes and our parents, and for thy sake have we gladly and willingly become strangers (Mark 10:29): look upon us, Lord, for we have forsaken our own possessions for thy sake, that we might gain thee the possession that cannot be taken away (Mark 10:21): look upon us, Lord, for we have forsaken them that belong unto us by race (Mark 10:29), that we might be joined unto thy kinship (Secret Mark fragment): look upon us, Lord, that have forsaken our fathers and mothers and fosters (Mark 10:29), that we might behold thy Father, and be satisfied with his divine food (Secret Mark fragment): look upon us, Lord, for for thy sake have we forsaken our bodily consorts and our earthly fruits (Mark 10:29), that we might be partakers in that enduring and true fellowship, and bring forth true fruits, whose nature is from above (Secret Mark fragment), which no man can take from us, with whom we shall abide and who shall abide with us. [Acts of Judas Thomas 59 - 61]

Of course Secret Mark is a fake.  Of course Morton Smith was wrong for concluding that this fragment was  a baptism/adoption ritual.  The Acts of Judas Thomas has just decided to interpret the same section of material in the gospel (= Mark 10: 17 - 34) as if it were related to a brother-making rite on its own - or better yet - Morton Smith decided to forge a fragment about an addition to the Gospel of Mark which just so happens to explain why the Acts of Judas Thomas seems to think this section of the gospel and this section alone was at the heart of the baptism rite which made people sons of God and brothers of Jesus.  Yes, it must be a fake.

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