Review of “Ancient Gospel or Modern Forgery?” by Roger Pearse

Roger Pearse, writer/administrator of his eponymous blog, has written a lengthy review of Ancient Gospel or Modern Forgery? The Secret Gospel of Mark in Debate. These are the papers presented at the 2011 York Christian Apocrypha Symposium. Read the review HERE. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the book, Roger. I will offer a response to the review, but I'd be interested in reading other responses first.

This entry was posted in Secret Mark, York Christian Apocrypha. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Review of “Ancient Gospel or Modern Forgery?” by Roger Pearse

  1. Mike Z. says:

    For one reason or another I’m unable to comment in full, but here are some thoughts.

    I continue to admire Pearse’s work with patristics (hi, Roger) and use his online resources frequently, and I do understand his frustration with the debate and his reluctance to accept Smith’s arguments. Nevertheless, it’s disappointing that here he so easily passes over the efforts by Brown and Pantuck that Hedrick highlights in his paper. Hedrick only mentions them in passing, and of course in a review such as this there is no expectation that the reviewer needs to dig into all the citations and discuss them in full. Nevertheless, there has been growing frustration by Smith’s defenders for some time that it seems no one has adequately responded to these efforts and that awareness of them does not seem more widespread. Even if we can excuse Carlson for being preoccupied with his doctoral and post-doctoral studies (and I would agree that perhaps we can), surely we can at least at the same time recognize Brown and Pantuck’s achievement at undermining nearly all of the most important arguments made by Smith’s critics? I must also add that I found Brown and Pantuck’s contribution far more substantive than mere “fault-finding and nit-picking,” as characterized by Pearse.

    Nevertheless, I can at least agree with the principle that successful theories tend to carry a holism that greatly aid their cause. And I actually agree that Smith might have been better to spend more time editing the letters of Isidore of Seville. Though I can’t quite understand Pearse’s claim that the Secret Mark debate is “parochially North American,” considering the critical contributions made by scholars from Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries on both sides of the dialogue.

    Shanks’ contribution might be a little light, but I actually think it was one of the more important presentations at the conference. Perhaps one had to be there. Surely everyone who heard was compelled to at least take it seriously.

    I do think anyone interested in the subject must read these proceedings.

    (As an aside, the use of apostrophe-s after s that Pearse singles out is not incorrect, at least in American usage; it might not be Chicago style, but it is New York Times style, for example.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *