Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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neilgodfrey
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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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lsayre
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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.

Ken Olson
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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:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7008&p=109694&h#p109688

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).

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7008&p=109840&#p109840

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.

Mark

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

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).

Best,

Ken

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Secret Alias
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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:27 am

For I want, I want to impart to you this grace, bestowing on you the perfect boon of immortality; and I confer on you both the Word and the knowledge of God, My complete self. This am I, this God wills, this is symphony, this the harmony of the Father, this is the Son, this is Christ, this the Word of God, the arm of the Lord, the power of the universe, the will of the Father; of which things there were images of old, but not all adequate. I desire to restore you according to the original model, that you may become also like Me. I anoint you with the ungent of faith, by which you throw off corruption, and show you the naked form of righteousness by which you ascend to God. [Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Heathen 12]
Seems to me like Clement's Alexandrian community made a big deal about 'throwing off' one's clothes, and staring at the 'naked' image of Christ before baptism and anointing. Seems to involve a naked man staring at another naked man.

Note also the use of ἀποβάλλω in 'throwing off your corruption.' This hearken back to what follows the scene in the secret gospel - i.e. "And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus." It is arguable also that the 'naked form of righteousness' is also a reference to the name of the blind beggar Timaeus = “ritually unclean” and “impure." No where else in the gospel is ἀποβάλλω employed. The sense seems to be that the blind beggar not only threw off his clothes but did so confronting the naked Christ. It's been argued that Jerome's nudus nudum derives from this encounter. At the very least Jerome inevitably cites the Question of the Rich Man in this context. How did Jesus end up naked in front of the disrobed blind man? Only one answer makes sense. At the very least there seems to have been an oral monastic tradition that Jesus walked naked from the Jordan (regardless of Secret Mark he has to cross the river before arriving at Jericho), the impure blind man takes off his clothes and presumably follows a naked Christ. Then there is Clement's explanation of the Question of the Rich Man - strip yourselves of your souls. Then the naked youth being initiated in Jerusalem. Lot of nudity in this section of Mark as we already discussed. No other gospel has this. Just Mark. Strange coincidence. And you say the best explanation is Morton Smith did this because he was having a hard time being gay in the 1950s.

What is also interesting about these closing words, seemingly taken from some sort of liturgical rite is that it represents another parallel between the followers of 'Mark' in Irenaeus 1.13 - 21 and Clement:
For I want, I want to impart to you this grace (ἐθέλω καὶ ταύτης ὑμῖν μεταδοῦναι τῆς χάριτος)
[Clement of Alexandria Exhortation to the Greeks 1, 12]

But there is another among these heretics, Mark by name … addressing [his adherents] in such seductive words as these: "I am eager to make thee a partaker of my Grace (μεταδοῦναί σοι θέλω τῆς ἐμῆς χάριτος) … [Irenaeus Against Heresies 13.1 – 2]
The other is the well documented 'gnostic' reading of numbers in Stromata 6 and Irenaeus's description of the same followers of the gnostic or mystic 'Mark.' Another example of Clement being tied to a mystic Mark tradition. The mystery described in Irenaeus is overtly sexual - 'I want to share my Grace with you' is taken to mean 'I want to get my sperm (seed) into you.' Take that as you may. Maybe this 'mystic' Mark was a farmer who wanted people to eat the seeds he roasted on his farm as part of a well-balanced breakfast.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Secret Alias
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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:02 am

As a side note the echo of Galatians 4:12, 1 Corinthians 11:1 and other Pauline statements is intriguing too - "I desire to restore you according to the original model, that you may become also like Me."
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Ken Olson
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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Ken Olson » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:01 pm

It sounds like you understand the words "naked man with naked man" to have stood in the text of Secret Mark and to be part of a Markan motif. Why, in his Letter to Theodore, does Clement say those words are not found in Secret Mark?

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Secret Alias
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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:07 pm

They're a description of something deliberately not said, an oral tradition. Remember what Irenaeus says AH 3.2.1.
When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents but viva voce, wherefore also Paul declared, "But we speak wisdom among those that are perfect, but not the wisdom of this world."(1) And this wisdom each one of them alleges to be the fiction of his own inventing, forsooth; so that, according to their idea, the truth properly resides at one time in Valentinus, at another in Marcion, at another in Cerinthus, then afterwards in Basilides, or has even been indifferently in any other opponent,(2) who could speak nothing pertaining to salvation. For every one of these men, being altogether of a perverse disposition, depraving the system of truth, is not ashamed to preach himself.
Funny how YOU can use these words FOR forgery but I can't use them to further authenticity. Referee and player you are. Clement is denying that "naked with naked" is literally in the text while admitting earlier that Mark left the holiest of mysteries unsaid in his gospel.
Nevertheless, he yet did not divulge the things not to be uttered, nor did he write down the hierophantic teaching of the Lord, but to the stories already written he added yet others and, moreover, brought in certain sayings of which he knew the interpretation would, as a mystagogue, lead the hearers into the innermost sanctuary of that truth hidden by seven veils.
I think Clement is playing word games. Morton Smith forging to Theodore is THE WORST POSSIBLE explanation of the text. One step above ripping it up which is likely what the Greeks ended up doing.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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