Mark’s Other Gospel: Rethinking Morton Smith’s Controversial Discovery

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Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, Jan 1, 2006 - Religion - 360 pages
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Did the evangelist Mark write two versions of his gospel? According to a letter ascribed to Clement of Alexandria, Mark created a second, more spiritual edition of his gospel for theologically advanced Christians in Alexandria. Clement’s letter contains two excerpts from this lost gospel, including a remarkably different account of the raising of Lazarus.

Forty-five years of cursory investigation have yielded five mutually exclusive paradigms, abundant confusion, and rumours of forgery. Strangely, one of the few things upon which most investigators agree is that the letter’s own explanation of the origin and purpose of this longer gospel need not be taken seriously.

Mark’s Other Gospel: Rethinking Morton Smith’s Controversial Discovery calls this pervasive bias into question. After thoroughly critiquing the five main paradigms, Scott G. Brown demonstrates that the gospel excerpts not only sound like Mark, but also employ Mark’s distinctive literary techniques, deepening this gospels theology and elucidating puzzling aspects of its narrative. This mystic gospel represents Mark’s own response to the Alexandrian predilection to discover the essential truths of a philosophy beneath the literal level of revered texts.


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About the author (2006)

Scott G. Brown wrote the first doctoral disseration on the secret Gospel of Mark (University of Toronto, 1999) and has published relevant articles in the Journal of Biblical Literature, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Revue Biblique, and Biblical Archaeology Review. He presently teaches courses on Christian Origins in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto.

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