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Liquid Gardens

Gospel of John a 'forgery'?

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Liquid Gardens

https://www.thedailybeast.com/everyones-favorite-gospel-the-gospel-of-john-is-a-forgery-according-to-new-research?ref=scroll

I came across this article concerning a professor who has argued that the gospel of John is a 'forgery', although I personally think that's a confusing word to use since I believe everyone thinks that this was not written by 'John'.  What the professor seems to argue is that the author of John is not who Christians claim (a disciple I think, seemingly a very old one if 90 CE is accurate for it's creation), and that some "Johannine letters" that were claimed to be from a community related to the author of John are forgeries.

Quote

Since the 1960s many scholars have argued that ‘John’ (it might have been a different disciple because the text doesn’t give a name) founded his own community and wrote the Gospel. Academics, who have recognized that the Johannine letters are thematically similar but stylistically distinct from the Gospel, don’t think that they were written by the author of the fourth Gospel but that they were nevertheless the product of the same “Johannine Community.” The picture painted here is one in which a community of followers of Jesus, led and founded by someone who knew Jesus personally, produced all of these texts. There are numerous academic books and articles out there that try to chart the history of this community, its literary output, its social structure, location, and origins.

A provocative and well-argued article published this week in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament threatens to turn this argument on its head. Hugo Mendez, an assistant professor of religious studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, argues that the so-called “Johannine community” never existed and that the Johannine literature are forgeries that claim to be written by a disciple even though they were not.

Okay gotta admit I know zero about this, I was not aware of John's letters or this purported community so don't have much to contribute on that, not even sure if the above would be that controversial within the circle of NT experts, but of course I'm interested in anyone's input who does know more.  What I wondered about, because I may have been making a false claim or at least a sloppy one, was something mentioned in the article about John's gospel:

Quote

The Gospel presents itself as the work of an eyewitness to the events of Jesus’ ministry and death. It doesn’t say it was written by John but instead states that it is the work of a “disciple whom Jesus loved,” who “testifies” to what he has seen (1:14; 19:35; 21:24).

Eyewitness testimony here is an important point in the Gospel. It is because the one who wrote the Gospel had seen these things happen and written them down that “we know that his testimony is true” (21:24).

I think I've said multiple times here that the Bible doesn't even claim to be written by anyone who actually saw Jesus (outside of Paul's visions), but the above argues differently.  I looked up the passages mentioned and they do seem to be, I guess the word is 'poetic', which for this purpose just means they seem to be a little ambiguous as to who exactly is the witness.  Are there parts of the NT that claim to be written by someone who saw the historical Jesus?

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and then
29 minutes ago, Liquid Gardens said:

the work of a “disciple whom Jesus loved,”

That verse actually says "The disciple whom Jesus loved"  it only appears in John and the common assumption has been that it refers to John.

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zep73
22 minutes ago, Liquid Gardens said:

seemingly a very old one if 90 CE is accurate for it's creation

I think that is the answer to your question. Whoever wrote that gospel, was too young, or not born yet, to have met the historical Jesus around 30 AD (if Jesus even existed).
I imagine the writer must have been around 40 years old in 90 AD, so he was likely born around 50 AD, 20 years after the claimed interactions.

It is like me claiming to have met Einstein, who died roughly 20 years before I was born.

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eight bits
Posted (edited)

Well, there are a couple of issues, and then the main event.

@and then raises the issue of who is "the beloved apostle" supposed to be? "Tradition" says John ben Zebedee, the disciple and brother of James, also a disciple. There's nothing in the text to support that, and other guesses include Lazarus of Bethany (the guy Jesus wept for and then raised from the dead). Mary Magdalene is a sentimental favorite, but the Greek is clear that it's a guy (unless it was like, "Hi, I'm Mary and my pronouns are ..." but I don't think they had that yet.. you'll have to ask Jordan Peterson, ke keeps up with that stuff).

@sci-nerd raises the age issue. One interpretation of the relationship between the last two chapters of John is that the first 20 chapters were released when the "beloved disciple"  was still alive, and chapter 21 shortly after he died. It's a long story, but if the interpretation is correct than the BD would be the "last man standing" in a group of at dozen (maybe more or fewer). Take any group of 12 or so people and disperse them. Chances are good that the last of them to die will survive the median one to die by several years.

Also, there's no particular reason to think that BD was more than a teenager when Jesus died; call that 30 CE, for a birth year of 15 CE or so, and thus 75 +/-  in 90 CE. That's doable. Not saying any of it happened (starting with there being a real Jesus), but it is doable.

and now, for the $64 question:

1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

The Gospel presents itself as the work of an eyewitness to the events of Jesus’ ministry and death. It doesn’t say it was written by John but instead states that it is the work of a “disciple whom Jesus loved,” who “testifies” to what he has seen (1:14; 19:35; 21:24).

(Quoting somebody else... LG isn't on the hook for that!)

Ah, no. The text doesn't clearly say that, and once again "tradition" fillis in the holes.

1:14 The Word became flesh and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the only born Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Maybe an eyewitness claim, depending on who's "we," and what "we" saw when. For example, Paul never met the guy, but saw his glory.

19:35 He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe.
21:24 This is the disciple who testifies about these things, and wrote these things. We know that his witness is true.

So, "this disciple" is a different person than "we" at 21:24, and is referred to by the author in the third person. The verse comes at the end of a story featuring the Beloved Disciple being discussed by Jesus.

It's just as reasonable to interpret that pair of verses as saying that the Beloved Disciple wrote something down, and that that writing is the source for such story details as the spearing of Jesus' corpse (otherwise unkown in the Gospels) and the post-resurrection fish cookout in chapter 21.

Personal bottom line: No, John the disciple probably didn't write the gospel, but since the gospel doesn't actually say that he (or anybody else who may have been the BD) wrote it, and may actually say differently (i.e. that the author is claiming to have used a written primary source for some scenes, much as "Luke" claims to have interviewed expert secondary sources) - it isn't a forgery.

Edited by eight bits
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Liquid Gardens
14 minutes ago, eight bits said:

19:35 He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe

Thanks, I think I read a different translation as I think this is the one that most made me question it; that other translation may have also used 'he' but possibly implied that it was referring to the author himself to me. 

I liked also that the article has a few quotes from other NT professors praising this guy's argument.  This topic may not be as touchy and thus tainted by 'certainty' as the historical Jesus question, but it's encouraging to see the doubts welcomed within that community.

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Piney
Just now, Liquid Gardens said:

I liked also that the article has a few quotes from other NT professors praising this guy's argument.  This topic may not be as touchy and thus tainted by 'certainty' as the historical Jesus question, but it's encouraging to see the doubts welcomed within that community.

I think it was pretty much nailed down that it wasn't written by John and then another writer came in and added more. You can see 2 authors hands in it. Even in the NIV whose bias translators were obviously not fluent in the original languages. 

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OverSword

Thought it said Gospel of John Fogerty.  Never mind then. :ph34r:

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Piney
Just now, OverSword said:

Thought it said Gospel of John Fogerty.  Never mind then. :ph34r:

 

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docyabut2
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Liquid Gardens said:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/everyones-favorite-gospel-the-gospel-of-john-is-a-forgery-according-to-new-research?ref=scroll

I came across this article concerning a professor who has argued that the gospel of John is a 'forgery', although I personally think that's a confusing word to use since I believe everyone thinks that this was not written by 'John'.  What the professor seems to argue is that the author of John is not who Christians claim (a disciple I think, seemingly a very old one if 90 CE is accurate for it's creation), and that some "Johannine letters" that were claimed to be from a community related to the author of John are forgeries.

Okay gotta admit I know zero about this, I was not aware of John's letters or this purported community so don't have much to contribute on that, not even sure if the above would be that controversial within the circle of NT experts, but of course I'm interested in anyone's input who does know more.  What I wondered about, because I may have been making a false claim or at least a sloppy one, was something mentioned in the article about John's gospel:

I think I've said multiple times here that the Bible doesn't even claim to be written by anyone who actually saw Jesus (outside of Paul's visions), but the above argues differently.  I looked up the passages mentioned and they do seem to be, I guess the word is 'poetic', which for this purpose just means they seem to be a little ambiguous as to who exactly is the witness.  Are there parts of the NT that claim to be written by someone who saw the historical Jesus?

Gospel of John was  a 'forgery'? no written by several 50 ad , John Mark  and his letter was the only letter that made it  43 ad  john mark was Jesus`s cousin

Later at the crucifixion, Jesus tells his mother, "Woman, here is your son", and to the Beloved Disciple he says, "Here is your mother

he was the only male disciple at the crucifixion

 

 

 

Edited by docyabut2

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docyabut2

the  first letter of Jesus John Mark`s letter  did survive  43ad  he wrote it ,  You see in the days of Jesus `s  story,  all  the letters written about Jesus were destroyed by the government . That first letter written of Jesus  is in the Vatican . Also only a cross was found in a cave,

 

3BD7BEE100000578-4087416-Engravings_of_a_cross_and_menorah_carved_side_by_side_pictured_h-a-37_1483539187852.jpg

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docyabut2

just love all the songs in the movie  Jesus Christ super star:):)

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Mr Walker
4 hours ago, sci-nerd said:

I think that is the answer to your question. Whoever wrote that gospel, was too young, or not born yet, to have met the historical Jesus around 30 AD (if Jesus even existed).
I imagine the writer must have been around 40 years old in 90 AD, so he was likely born around 50 AD, 20 years after the claimed interactions.

It is like me claiming to have met Einstein, who died roughly 20 years before I was born.

The gospel of john was revised and took several  different forms.

Our current form was written down at the latest from 80-100 AD. Ie the gospel was told orally much earlier and some earlier versions were also written down,  making it quite possible that the  original "writer " was a witness to the events of christ's life 

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Mr Walker
7 hours ago, Tuco's Gas said:

John has forever been deemed the least reliable gospel. So much so it's not even considered part of the synoptic.

The Jesus Seminar was especially tough on John, opining via committee and anonymous voting that a full 75% of the quotes attributed to JC were invented. (I was tempted to say the Seminar crucified John's Gospel, but that fruit hangs too low.)

Remember when John was written: around AD 100. The Temple had been razed. Prosecution of Christians was in full swing. Desperate measures were required by members of the Christian cult to survive and perpetuate their agenda.

Ya think the author might used a little creative license?

ts a lot more complex and  controversial than that.

John was recorded around 70Ad then revised and rewritten until,the current version appeared no later than 80 AD I wont get into the academic arguments here but some believe john is the best. most reliable gospel.

It is true that it is different from the so called synoptic gospels but that  difference may be a good thing in  giving a different perspective on the story.  It appears to have some greater historical and geographical accuracy 

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/gospel-of-john-commentary-who-wrote-the-gospel-of-john-and-how-historical-is-it/ 

John had a n excellent knowledge of jerusalem, and another source points out this interesting  piece  quote

It is generally thought among contemporary scholars that John’s gospel was the last to be written, and that John likely wrote it at the close of the first century, possibly in the 90’s AD. But is it possible that John wrote his gospel prior to this time? Take a look at John 5:2:

“Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades.”

These collonades, along with the rest of the temple, were destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. Could this suggest that John’s gospel was written considerably earlier than is often taken for granted? Something to ponder…

https://crossexamined.org/when-was-johns-gospel-written/

 

It thus seems that there are good reasons to think that John knew Mark, which was composed around A.D. 55, and Luke, which likely was published in A.D. 59.

These dates would put the composition of John between 59 and 70—i.e., in the A.D. 60s.

 

If the literal translation of John 21:19 is correct, the latest possible date for John’s Gospel thus would be within a few weeks of Peter’s martyrdom, which would still leave us in the 65-66 time frame.

 

Conclusion

In view of the above, I estimate that John’s Gospel was written between the publication of Luke in 59 and the martyrdom of Peter in 65-66. For the sake of convenience, I will reckon it as approximately 65.

This would give us the following dates for the publication of the Gospels and Acts:

Mark: approximately 55 (info here)

Luke: approximately 59 (info here)

Acts: approximately 60 (info here)

Matthew: approximately 65 (info here, here, here, and here)

John: approximately 65

It thus appears that the historical books of the New Testament were written in the span of about a decade.

http://jimmyakin.com/2018/12/when-was-john-written.html

 

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Davros of Skaro

@Liquid Gardens

The authors Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John are guesses that became tradition from gullible early Xtian fathers. But these unknown authors did come from different Xtian communities. Their source is Mark, and reflect their own theologies, and often a polemic of the previous Gospel they are tailoring for their community.

 

"So the Beloved Disciple is Lazarus, who alone is said to be 'the one whom Jesus loved', the one who thereafter reclined with Jesus at meals, whom people thought might have been freed from death forever, and who first recognized Jesus had risen from the dead when he recognized the burial cloths cast off, a fate he and Jesus shared. But this exposes the grand lie of John's Gospel. Because this Lazarus never existed. He therefore cannot have witnessed anything, much less have been John's 'source' for anything. And it is not as if John didn't know this and was just gullibly repeating what he'd read in some earlier now-lost Gospel. For John is clearly the one who invented him. 


This is already clear from the fact that no one had ever heard of this Lazarus before (he is completely unknown to Mark, Matthew and Luke), or his incredible resurrection (the most incredible resurrection tale of all told in the Gospels), which are definite signs of fabrication. Indeed, John's invention is even more exposed as a lie by the importance he assigns to this novel event: so famous and integral to the plot is this raising of Lazarus in John's account that according to John the Jews plotted to kill Jesus because of the raising of Lazarus, which was converting so many to Jesus (Jn 1 1.53).230 This was originally the first occasion their plotting was men­tioned in John, since it says it was 'from that day on that they plotted to kill him', not before; so earlier references in John to this Jewish plotting are now out of their original order. 231 But the point of note here is that this is not a reason known to any prior Gospel. Yet surely if the raising of lazarus was so famous and so effective at winning over believers that it was the very reason the Jews arranged to kill Jesus, those prior Gospels cannot possibly have not known of it. It is thus more than evident that John has invented this story and completely rewritten history to suit his own peculiar emphasis on 'signs' having proved Jesus was the messiah. 


The final proof of this is the fact that John has invented this Lazarus tale to reverse and thus rrefute' Luke's parable of Lazarus.232 The reification of imaginary people into real people is a major marker of myth making. And here we have just that. There is in fact only one other mention of any Lazarus in the Gospels: the fictional Lazarus in a parable told by Jesus in Lk. 16.19-31 (both facts are astonishing given that Lazarus was the third most common male Jewish name). Luke is the first to have Jesus tell that parable, and it has key similarities to Greek and Egyptian parables, folk­ tales and rhetorical exercises in Greek schools of the era (both in its content and message).233 It was almost certainly Luke's invention.234"

R Carrier, OHJ, pp. 502-503

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eight bits
Posted (edited)

Howdy, @Davros of Skaro

Old Business

The original article (the one written by Mendez and commented upon in the Daily Beast review by Candida Moss cited in the OP) is open access - available free of charge at the publisher's website:

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0142064X19890490

New Business

Well, I agree with Carrier that the Lazarus incident is made up, but I think it's a lot simpler than all that. Mark's story of Jairus' daughter gets rewritten from a non-resurrection story to become a resurrection story. Thus rewritten, it must play a larger role in the plot, and so quite a bit gets hung off of it, more than only providing the immediate motive for the big hats to help Jesus die. The annointing at Bethany, the conflict over the waste of cosmetic oil, and the turning of Judas all flow from the raising of Lazarus in John. The three are connected with each other in Mark, but not connected with anything else.

It is unnecessary to the argument that Lazarus be the beloved disciple. Nobody alive today  knows who BD is. While it is true that Jesus was said to love Lazarus, he also is said to have loved Lazarus' two sisters (11:5), and expresses his love for all the chief disciples (13:34-35, 15:9-10, 15:12-13). That the phrase the disciple whom Jesus loved is a formulaic epithet is implicitly acknowledged by the author of John chapter 21 who uses the phrase, then explains further that he means the disciple who reclined on Jesus' bosom (verse 21:20).

Example The figure of the formulaic epithet also exists in English. If I write about Donald Trump, and refer to him repeatedly as The Donald (as writers before me have done), then I am not claiming that he is the only person named Donald, even though I have used the definite article. I am only displaying confidence that the context is rich enough that the reader knows there is a specific Donald I have in mind, and can puzzle out who that person is (although if somebody reads it 2000 years from now, it may be a lot less clear).

Larding up an argument with disputable fact claims that can scarcely improve the main argument even if they weren't disputable is silly. Buttressing the purposeless fact claim with "spin" (yes, there is only one character described by that exact phrase, but several characters would qualify for descriptive phrases with the same meaning) is baiting at best. Carrier seems to love B&M'ing about critics who consistently fail to read him with comprehension (umm... you don't suppose that such consistent and widespread misunderstanding may not be entirely the readers' fault ...nah). 

And all of it, the buttressing and the larding, could simply be red-pencilled out. It gets in the way of presenting the merits of Carrier's position on what counts: that the Lazarus story was made up.

And no, BD wasn't the first person to realize that Jesus had risen. Summarizing verses 20:1-10: Mary summons Peter and BD because she has discovered the empty tomb and believes that somebody has removed Jesus's body and re-entombed him someplace else. Rocky and BD check it out. BD arrives at the tomb first and looks inside, but Rocky is the first to enter and to see the discarded linens. BD then enters and sees the same things. Although the next line says BD saw and believed, it doesn't say what he believed (or whom). Lest we think BD believes in the resurrection, the very next verses are: "For as yet they didn’t know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes."

That strongly suggests that while the men are corroborating witnesses of the tomb being empty (all very OT: two men see identical things, the standard of legal proof), they didn't dispute Mary's analysis of why the tomb was empty. So, too, does Mary's reaction when Jesus shows up at verse 15.  “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” NOT  "Sir, did you happen to see which way Jesus went when he rose from the dead?" (That is, the boys' visit hasn't changed her theory of the case.)

Mary then becomes the first crew member to learn of Jesus' raising - the first even to consider that as a possibility so far as anything on the page asserts. There is no indication that any of the three, not Mary, not Rocky and not BD, ever associated the empty tomb with Lazarus's recent experience until Jesus presented himself for inspection (even then, it is left to the reader to connect the dots; Lazarus isn't mentioned).

I could go on, but I think you'd do better presenting your own thoughts rather than quoting Carrier at length as if he were an authority. He's a bright guy, with good training and a game attitude. He's an "idea man," but sure as hell not a detail man. Plus, as an advocate, he's an acquired taste, to put it politely. He has good taste in opponents, though.

Edited by eight bits
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Will do

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docyabut2
Posted (edited)

The quotes from Secret Mark

The letter includes two excerpts from the Secret Gospel. The first passage, Clement says, was inserted between Mark 10:34 and 35; after the paragraph where Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem with the disciples makes the third prediction of his death, and before Mark 10:35ff where the disciples James and John ask Jesus to grant them honor and glory.[103] It shows many similarities with the story in the Gospel of John 11:1–44 where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.[23][24] According to Clement, the passage reads word for word (Greek: κατὰ λέξιν, kata lexin

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 straightway, 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.[19]

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Gospel_of_Mark

 

Edited by docyabut2

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docyabut2
Posted (edited)

to add, to me the truth  , Mary Magdalene  was Lazarus`s sister that Jesus saved her through the stone , took her to her family to accept her and became a good friend with  Lazarus.

Mary called  Jesus because Lazarus was sick with thyroid fever, put in a cave to cool him. with a cloth over his body.  Jesus came and treated him to get him well  and came out of the cave,  where this whole  story became a miracle.

 wearing a linen cloth over his naked body.? and some suggested Jesus was a homosexual  of which was all  bull **** :)

 

The Secret Gospel of Mark or the Mystic Gospel of Mark[1] (Greek: τοῦ Μάρκου τὸ μυστικὸν εὐαγγέλιον, tou Markou to mystikon euangelion),[a][3] also the Longer Gospel of Mark,[4][5] is a putative longer and secret or mystic version of the Gospel of Mark

 

Edited by docyabut2

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Piney
1 hour ago, docyabut2 said:

The Secret Gospel of Mark or the Mystic Gospel of Mark[1] (Greek: τοῦ Μάρκου τὸ μυστικὸν εὐαγγέλιον, tou Markou to mystikon euangelion),[a][3] also the Longer Gospel of Mark,[4][5] is a putative longer and secret or mystic version of the Gospel of Mark

I lean towards "forgery". 

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docyabut2
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Piney said:

I lean towards "forgery". 

I don't think the story of Jesus  was A  forgery by Mark

Edited by docyabut2

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Piney
Just now, docyabut2 said:

I don't think the story of Jesus  was forgery". 

 I was talking about "Mark's Mystery Gospel". I think Morton wrote it. 

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docyabut2
Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Piney said:

 I was talking about "Mark's Mystery Gospel". I think Morton wrote it. 

do you know the end of the Bible is a cruse, do not  give or away or take away is a copy right , but it not about truth that  went on in the letters of Mark ,is a putative longer and secret or mystic version of the Gospel of Mark, could be true

He further says that Mark left this extended version, known today as the Secret Gospel of Mark, "to the church in Alexandria, where it even yet is most carefully guarded, being read only to those who are being initiated into the great mysteries."[19][20][21] Clement quotes two passages from this Secret Gospel of Mark, where Jesus in the longer passage is said to have raised a rich young man from the dead in Bethany,[22] a story which shares many similarities with the story of the raising of Lazarus in the Gospel of John.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Gospel_of_Mark

 

 

Edited by docyabut2

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Piney
12 minutes ago, docyabut2 said:

He further says that Mark left this extended version, known today as the Secret Gospel of Mark, "to the church in Alexandria, where it even yet is most carefully guarded, being read only to those who are being initiated into the great mysteries."[19][20][21] Clement quotes two passages from this Secret Gospel of Mark, where Jesus in the longer passage is said to have raised a rich young man from the dead in Bethany,[22] a story which shares many similarities with the story of the raising of Lazarus in the Gospel of John.

Then the Orthodox Church mysteriously "loses" Clement's letter. How does a archivist for the church lose such a important document? 

It was probably because they learned it was fake. 

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docyabut2
Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Piney said:

Then the Orthodox Church mysteriously "loses" Clement's letter. How does a archivist for the church lose such a important document? 

It was probably because they learned it was fake. 

it was not fake, Marks letters  the only letter that made it to Rome was by Mark.

Edited by docyabut2

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