Closed and open minds

Provocative work by fully credentialed specialists in New Testament studies is now quietly being conducted ‘behind the scenes’—that is, out of the general view of the public. An increasing portion of this work is supportive of Jesus mythicism, and a partial list of names quickly comes to mind: Thomas Brodie (recently), Hermann Detering, Matthias Klinghardt, Dennis MacDonald, Robert Price, Markus Vinzent… The historicity of Jesus is now seriously being undermined by these and other fully-accredited scholars. However, one wouldn’t suspect this by reading popularizing literature emanating from the pens of noted scholars such as Bart Ehrman. For that academic, the case is not merely closed—it was never open. Ehrman now has come out with yet another potboiler directed at the … Continue reading

The Acts of Mark: Translation, Chps. 1–5

Note: The only known Greek text of the Acts of Mark is in the library of the Stavronikita monastery in Thrace, northern Greece. As mentioned in the introductory post on this important and still virtually unknown work, the Greek text was published by François Halkin in the journal Analecta Bollandiana 87 [1969]: 346–371. In 1969, Halkin wrote in a footnote: “Once again I am obliged to Mr. M. Richard for a photocopy of this inaccessible text.” Thanks to the offer of Dr. M. A. House, I am able to present here his translation, specifically for this website, of the first five chapters of the Acta Marci. It is my hope that in future a scholar will step forward to complete the … Continue reading

John was Jesus (Ory) Pt. 1

Hypothesis regarding John the Baptist by Georges Ory Cahiers du Cercle Ernest Renan, no. 10 (1956) Translated by R. Salm (Note: Editorial additions are in brackets and/or are signed “RS”) Part One The birth narratives of John the Baptist and Jesus The Gospel according to Luke is the only one to give an account of the birth of John the Baptist. Though it precedes the account of Jesus’ birth, this introduction to the gospel1 is not primitive. It certainly betrays the effort which was attempted—and which met with success—to make of John a Jewish prophet. In the time of Herod the Great, we are told, the angel Gabriel appeared to the priest Zachariah. He and his wife are very old. … Continue reading

The Acts of Mark: What is the date of this text?

Specialists often assign a date to a text: “This is a fifth century text”, “…dates to the latter part of the second century,” and so on. Subsequently, historians look for contemporaneity and construct histories based largely on such datings. But what do such datings mean? I would suggest that in a great many cases they have little applicability and, moreover, are often misleading. The problem is that many ancient texts are products of accretion and change over a great length of time. This is especially the case with the Christian writings of late antiquity. So often, the date given to a text reflects the time of its last major edition. This is the case with the Acts of Mark (AM), … Continue reading

The Acts of Mark: Introduction

By René Salm This remarkable text challenges the orthodox understanding of the apostle Mark, and also of Christian origins. Among other curiosities, Mark is a disciple of John the Baptist, and he is a Levite. Though the Greek text has been in the public domain since publication in 1969 (Analecta Bollandiana 87, pp. 346-71), it has yet to be translated into any modern language and languishes in obscurity. Such is the ability of scholarship to shun that which it steadfastly refuses to acknowledge! Nevertheless, this text contains clues to a very different history of Christian origins… What set me on the search for the text of the Acts of Mark, some years ago, was a note by A. De Santos … Continue reading

The Acts of Mark: Summary

Deeds and Miracles and Testimony of the Holy and All-praiseworthy Apostle and Evangelist Mark From the codex Athonensi stauronicetae 18, s. xiii., f. 175v–189 [Note: The following headings, as supplied by F. Halkin (in French), accompany the published Greek edition of 1969 in Analecta Bollandiana 87:346-371.–RS] 1. Prologue. 2. Mark’s youth; his knowledge of scripture. 3. His Generosity; his other virtues. 4. He Is baptized by St. Peter; his mother receives Jesus the miracle worker. 5. A disciple of John the Baptist, and then of Jesus; Mark received St. Peter freed from prison. 6. The last supper at the house of Mark. His sermon at Antioch and elsewhere. 7. He evangelizes Cyprus, where St. Paul had converted the proconsul Sergius. … Continue reading