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Re: Secret Mark vs Mythicism

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:42 pm
by Blood
stephan happy huller wrote:I wrote a blog post that I won't even link here (it's nothing special) comparing the arguments for Secret Mark being a 'hoax' and those in favor of mythicism and came to the conclusion that there were uncanny parallels. Isn't the strongest argument in favor of Secret Mark being a fake the parallels with the Hunter pulp fiction book? To me that is remarkably similar to the central mythicist claim in the blogosphere that Jesus is Mithras because of parallels between the two traditions. Why is one theory respectable among respected authorities and the other 'ridiculous' among the same figures when the arguments are really the same (i.e. weak parallels, similarities, coincidences etc)?
I doubt if anyone here (except you?) has read James Hunter's "The Mystery of Mar Saba". What are the supposed strongest parallels and why do you dismiss them?

What happened to the Mar Saba/Morton Smith documentary you were working on? Is that coming out?

Re: Secret Mark vs Mythicism

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:32 pm
by stephan happy huller
Nah, not coming out. Tried to make deals with two different companies. Too controversial.

Re: Secret Mark vs Mythicism

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:04 pm
by Peter Kirby
In this day and age, do you need a publisher to make a straight-to-DVD documentary?

Re: Secret Mark vs Mythicism

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:16 pm
by stephan happy huller
No not at all. But I was dealing with companies with multi million dollar budgets. First class travel and accommodations etc. Nice production values. The medium is the message.

Re: Secret Mark vs Mythicism

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:57 pm
by rakovsky
stephan happy huller wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:53 am
I wrote a blog post that I won't even link here (it's nothing special) comparing the arguments for Secret Mark being a 'hoax' and those in favor of mythicism and came to the conclusion that there were uncanny parallels. Isn't the strongest argument in favor of Secret Mark being a fake the parallels with the Hunter pulp fiction book? To me that is remarkably similar to the central mythicist claim in the blogosphere that Jesus is Mithras because of parallels between the two traditions. Why is one theory respectable among respected authorities and the other 'ridiculous' among the same figures when the arguments are really the same (i.e. weak parallels, similarities, coincidences etc)?
I guess a stronger argument is that he published on related topics in the decade before his find, like his religious writings: on homosexuality, on debates over whether Clement of Alexandria taught people to use dishonesty for religious purposes (1949), on Clement of Alexandria and mysteries, on the mysteries, the kingdom of God and forbidden sexuality. And then he went on to write a book that was unsettling to Christianity, "Jesus the Magician". I'd have to check how much the book's portrayal of Jesus resembled that in Secret Mark, but I would expect there was similarity.

If there was a much stronger case for Mythicism on Jesus' non-existence, I think that the Mithras claims would be given more weight. But I am inclined to think that there is so much emphasis overtly on Jewish tradition, that there is enough in Judaism to serve the basis for creating a Jesus character without relying on pagan myths like Mithras.

With Secret Mark however, the parallels involve known coincidences with Morton Smith's own interests and views. For example, if an anti-Buddhist archeologist who had shown a prior and subsequent interest in Buddha's sexuality claimed to discover lost documents embarrassing to Buddha's sexuality, one would tend to look askance more at the newly "found" anti-Buddhist documents.

To give an analogy, if we knew that Nazareth and Galilee was a hotbed of mithraic activity, or that Jesus and his disciples were converts from Mithraism, one would be more likely to see a relationship between Christianity's origins and Mithraism. There is a direct preexisting known relationship between Morton Smith and the ideas found in Secret Mark, whereas with Jesus and the gospel writers, one can at most infer a relationship to Mithraism based on similarities.

Re: Secret Mark vs Mythicism

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:14 pm
by rakovsky
stephan happy huller wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:46 am
There's no f_____g evidence that the letter was forged. Nothing.
Morton Smith said that it's shocking how much of the story of the Mar Saba Letter he invented:
The whole story spans more than thirty years, from 1941 to the present. I am shocked to find how much of it I have already forgotten. No doubt if the past, like a motion picture, could be replayed, I should also be shocked to find how much of the story I have already invented. Memory is perhaps more fallacious than forgetfulness.

https://the-eye.eu/public/concen.org/Fr ... veiled.pdf
What part of the story of the discovery of the document could he conceivably mean that he invented? The name of the monks who handed him the books?

That Jacob Neusner, his student, and also his teacher Arthur Darby Nock consider that he invented it probably qualifies as some kind of evidence.