Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hans-Martin Schenke's Essay on Secret Mark

Yes, I know all about Tony Burke's wonderful new book.  But as someone who was raised in a household where only German-things are good and worthy of respect, I thought I would pass on this rather interesting essay - the Mystery of the Gospel of Mark.  The text comes as part of a new (2012) release from Brill (who else!) Der Same Seths: Hans-Martin Schenkes Kleine Schriften zu Gnosis, Koptologie und Neuem Testament (I shouldn't say this, but the entire essay is available as a free Google preview so you save $240 bucks right off).   Not a catchy title I admit, but the insights here are so penetrating, the discussion so refreshing and vibrant, it will be difficult for my readers to put down.  The essay also appears in English which should help its accessibility to a wider audience.

Hans-Martin Schenke of the Berliner (DDR) Arbeitskreis für koptisch-gnostische Schriften is one of the most influential writers on the subject of the Nag Hammadi Corpus and having gone through this text - I have to say, it is amazing how many of his ideas I have considered long before reading this book.  It really is worth a read.  I love the way it quickly disposes of the whole question of forgery and jumps right into the question of what it all means.

That's probably the reason I haven't bought the Toronto Secret Mark conference book.  I despise the whole 'controversy' claim about the discovery.  Show me some reason not to believe the authenticity of the text and then we'll talk.  I am far more interested in spending my time with a titan in the field who really knows his subject matter.  It is truly a wonderful essay.

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