Thursday, January 08, 2009

Journal of Early Christian Studies

Blogger Stephen Carlson has prompted much discussion in JECS 16 (2008) with two articles interacting with him heavily:

Scott G. Brown
The Letter to Theodore: Stephen Carlson's Case against Clement's Authorship

Abstract: Chapter four of Stephen Carlson's The Gospel Hoax identifies certain features in the Letter to Theodore as anomalous within a private letter of Clement of Alexandria but explicable if the letter is a modern forgery. This paper examines the logic of those arguments and demonstrates that each feature of the letter that Carlson deems suspicious is fully consistent with Clement's modus operandi as revealed in his undisputed writings; the concordance is so striking as to add new support for the letter's authenticity.

Jeff Jay
A New Look at the Epistolary Frameowrk of the Secret Gospel of Mark

Abstract: This article offers the first epistolary analysis of Clement's letter to Theodore and demonstrates that it comports in form, content, and function with other ancient letters that addressed similar circumstances. In these letters authors issue accounts of the composition and transmission of their works in order to diminish confusions that arose when premature, stolen, and conflicting copies reached the public. The analogy provided by these letters helps establish the remarkable generic coherence of the letter to Theodore, which is difficult to explain by the supposition that the letter is a modern forgery.

Well done Stephen!

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