Cover Image: The Secret Gospel of Mark

The Secret Gospel of Mark

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Member Reviews

This is an eye-wide-open examination of the mysteries surrounding the finding and origin of the document that references the Secret Gospel of Mark.  Smith carefully explores the history of the document, the questions surrounding its origins, and the mysteries that remain.  Smith presents arguments for the various positions as well as his conclusions but never insists that you have to come to the same conclusion.  I didn't feel that the opinions he didn't agree with were ever short-shifted and he solidly states that he doesn't know and that we may never know the true answer.

A very interesting document and a very thorough examination of both it and the story it might tell.
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Fascinating! Academic content is told like true crime. Such a fresh voice without sacrificing intelligence, research, or accuracy. Personally, my undergraduate degree is in Biblical Studies and I’d not ever heard the whole story of this reference as presented here before. Thanks so much for this book! It’s just what I didn’t know I wanted.
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I have never heard about “The Secret Gospel of Mark”, its discovery or controversies surrounding it before. The book was easy to follow and extremely well-written. It read as an investigation and started with an unexpected discovery of a manuscript of a copied letter containing an excerpt from a previously unknown gospel in a remote monastery outside Jerusalem… How exciting! 

The authors made sound arguments and presented all possible explanations. There were many questions that required careful examination. Was a manuscript authentic or was it a forgery? Was it forged in the eighteenth century or much later?  Was a letter copied in the manuscript authentic or a forgery? Could the letter really be written by Clement of Alexandria? And if it was… was “The Secret Gospel of Mark” a gospel earlier that the Gospel of Mark from the Bible? What is the meaning of the excerpt from “The Secret Gospel of Mark” cited in the letter? 

Such a fascinating mystery! I had great fun reading this book and I agree with the authors’ conclusions. After reading the book I feel that Morton Smith really believed he found a previously unknown gospel, that he was treated unfairly by his colleagues and even after his death still is maligned by them. I think the authors of "The Secret Gospel of Mark" want to set the record straight. There are many unknowns of course, but the authors convinced me that Morton Smith was in this case blameless, if only mistaken.  

If you are fascinated by the early history of Christianity or scholarship surrounding it, you should read this book.    

I received "The Secret Gospel of Mark" from the publisher via NetGalley. I would like to thank the author and the publisher for providing me with the advance reader copy of the book.
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Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for this copy! I recently began exploring biblical history and controversies and was very interested in this book. This was an enlightening text and I appreciate having an academic perspective on the controversy.
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This book is remarkable for many reasons. Mostly it discusses a important moment of biblical scholarship that has for the most part IMO has been forgotten. But there is more to this than meets the eye. Firstly I found the fact that one of the influential figures in this drama chose to end his life with dignity against the norm of the day very inspiring. You have to read this to get the whole background but it reads like a conspiracy novel in many places. This title brings to light what is mentioned quietly in the background but needs to be bought to the surface.
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