Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by neilgodfrey » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:20 am

Thanks for these links and directions!
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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by lsayre » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:49 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 11:24 am
Nakedness in antiquity wasn't the same as it is today. A gymnasium was quite literally a naked place. There were a lot of naked with nakeds. In Maximus naked with naked means naked (dead) bodies. In that way there is a parallel.
The youth is naked because in part he was dead. There are many Pauline references to death, baptism and unclothed. I find these conversations often take on a Tarantino on (gay) Top Gun dimension. If you want to see a cigar as a penis you most certainly can. But it can also just be a cigar. It's the reference to the agape between youth and Jesus that contextualizes the nakedness too. And agape was taken to mean an orgiastic love feast outside of to Theodore. And Clement himself defends the Agape from these charges elsewhere in his writings.
Jesus said "Let the dead bury their dead". This Gnostic saying implies that those without a certain knowledge he was dispensing (by whatever means) were effectively to him the living dead. John said of Jesus: "In him was life". How such "life" was dispensed may be questioned.

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Who Created the Homosexual Reading of Secret Mark?

Post by Ken Olson » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:37 am

In this post, I'm going to try to draw together some of the topics discussed in this thread and some of the conclusions I have drawn. (This has been kicking around in my docs file for a while now and I thought I should finish it off and post it).

I'm starting with two assumptions which are themselves conclusions for which I’ve argued earlier in this thread:

1 There is a homosexual reading of the text of Secret Mark acknowledged in the text of the Letter to Theodore. Clement, or the narrator of the Letter, says that “naked man with naked man” is not in the text, but by implication an addition by the Carpocratians:


2 The evidence for the practice of homosexual acts among the Carpocratians is weak and suspect. Perhaps I should say the theory that the Carpocatians as a group both openly advocated and practiced homosexual acts is very weakly supported. (I would imagine the Carpocratians probably had some members who practiced homosexual acts as do Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, Pastafarians and everyone else).


So who is responsible for the words “naked man with naked man” and/or the homosexual reading of Secret Mark?

The Carpocratians (two possibilities):

1 The Carpocratians added the words “naked man with naked man” to Secret Mark and introduced the homosexual reading of the text because they were libertines who practiced homosexual sex themselves in their orgies. This is the most common reading among those who accept the authenticity of the Letter to Theodore, but the idea that the Carpocratians practiced homosexual sex (more than other people) is not well supported. It is attested in antiquity, but only in polemical contexts in Christian anti-Carpocratian texts whose sources are very suspect.

2 The Carpocratians added the words “naked man with naked man” and introduced the homosexual reading of Secret Mark, not because they advocated homosexuality themselves, but in order to polemicize against the Alexandrian Christians who held Secret Mark in high regard. They were accusing the Alexandrians of making Jesus homosexual.


The fragment of Secret Mark and the Letter to Theodore are authentic, and the homoerotic reading of Secret Mark was intended by its author and accepted by Clement and a select few initiates in the Alexandrian church who took pains to guard the text of Secret Mark and even denied its existence to outsiders. Clement denied that the words “naked man with naked man” were in the text because he did not want to allow the Carpocratians that kind of ammunition for their anti-Alexandrian polemic (similar to the 2nd Carpocratians case above).


Clement himself came up with the words “naked man with naked man” so he could accuse the Carpocratians of having added it and thus make it sound as though Jesus engaged in homosexual activity. In this case, Clement himself the originator of the homosexual reading of Secret Mark which he invented in order to attribute it to the Carpocratians. He is accusing the Carpocratians of making Jesus sound homosexual when, in fact, he came up with that reading himself.

A Forger

The Letter to Theodore is not by Clement and the author is deliberately introducing the idea of a homosexual Jesus into his readers' minds. This is presumably either to polemicize against orthodox Christianity or to advocate for the tolerance of homosexuality or perhaps both. (This is the theory I laid out in the OP).



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