Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Stephen Carlson cited by Esler & Piper

I have begun reading Philip Esler and Ronald Piper's Lazarus, Mary, and Martha and am very pleased to see that Stephen Carlson's Gospel Hoax is favorably cited. I wonder if this is the first scholarly book to acknowledge Stephen's work. If it is, then I'm doubly pleased, since Esler is one of my favorite NT scholars.

Here is the citation, from page 48:
"The 'Secret Gospel of Mark', allegedly discovered by Morton Smith in a letter attributed to Clement of Alexandria (c. 200 CE), also contains a revivification narrative. We mention this document here because others have brought it into the discussion. The recent study by S. C. Carlson suggests that this document was conceived as a modern hoax.(4) This document, purportedly to be located between Mark 10:34 and 35, describes how Jesus effected a revivification from the dead (at the request of his unnamed sister) of an unnamed wealthy young man in Bethany. The man is then said to 'love' Jesus. As Moody Smith notes, if this document were genuine, it could represent an earlier version of the Lazarus story or something very like it, since in John 11 Jesus in Bethany raises a man from the dead at the behest of his sisters. However, Carlson's analysis demonstrates that serious doubts now attend the likelihood that this tradition is authentic."
The footnote (4) says:
"See Carlson 2005, especially pp 68-71 and 81-86 with respect to the revivification story. For a defence of its authenticity, but based on a much narrower range of evidence than that considered by Carlson, see the recent article by Hedrick and Olympiou (2000). They argue for its authenticity on a number of grounds, but especially in reliance on colour photographs of the letter of Clement taken after Smith's visit by the then librarian of the library where the document was supposedly found. Carlson responds to their findings at several points in his book."
It certainly didn't take long for Stephen to get the press he richly deserves.


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