Thursday, July 15, 2010
Scholar Morton Smith, in his book "The Secret Gospel: The Discovery and Interpretation of the Secret Gospel According to Mark" [Dawn Horse Press, Clearlake, California, 1982], posits that the Gospel of Mark now extant in The New Testament is an expurgated version of an earlier, more authentic Markian Gospel.
And the earlier Gospel, referred to in a letter by Church Father Clement of Alexandria [circa 200 A.D.] to Theodore and found as an underwriting among the Mar Saba manuscripts (notably as part of rewritten pages from a fifteenth-century manuscript of "St. Macarius of Egypt" -- a name used to disguise a colleciton of tracts by ancient Syrian heretics), indicates that the Baptismal rite instigated by Jesus was an homosexual ritual for initiates to His Judaic/Christian brotherhood He fostered.
The following is the portion of the Clement letter, quoting from the Secret Gospel of Mark, which outlines the ritual, but neglects to detail it:
"And they came into Bethany, and a certain woman, whose brother had died, was there...she prostated herself before Jesus and says to him, 'Son of David, have mercy on me.' But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from th tomb.
"And going near Jesus rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb. And straightway, going in where they outh was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him.
"And going out of the tomb they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days Jesus told him what to do and in the evening they outh comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over [his] naked [body]. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God.
"And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan...And he comes into Jerico...And the sister of the youth whom Jesus loved and his mother and Salome were there, and Jesus did not receive them."
Professor Smith equates the rich youth with Lazarus and compares the passage about Lazarus in the Gospel of John [11:17] with the passage above from the Secret Gospel.
Further considerations to the veracity of the Clement letter and the Secret Gospel appear in the canonical Mark Gospel of The New Testament when Jesus is arrested at the Garden of Gethsemane:
"And they all forsook Him and fled. But a certain youthfollwoed Him, wearing a linen cloth on his bare body, and when they seized him, he left the linen cloth behind and fled from them, naked." [Mk. 14:50 ff.]
Professor Smith also elaborates upon the "secret teachings" of Jesus, recounting the references to such in the canonical Gospels.
And the idea that Jesus performed baptism only with and on his disciples, as said by John, purports to show that Jesus, indeed, had a secret teaching or ritual, to which outsiders were not privy.
As to whether or not the secret baptism or The Kingdom of God was a euphemism for homosexual ritual is moot, but some in the Church of Rome, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, believe that Jesus was homosexual and, thus, allows for same-sex activity even nowadays.
The "theology" is considered gnostic and sacred, even though some in the early Church condemned it to be heretical, especially as practiced by the Carpocratians.
But John Boswell [d. 1994] in his "Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century" [The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1980] presents a scholarly thesis about the history of the Catholic Church's attitude towards homosexuality, much of it outside the view of the laity, and not denounced as one might expect.
(Further readings about Biblical homosexuality may be found in a number of books, and a pamphlet, The Biblical Paradigm for Homosexuality, can be had for free by sending a postal mailing address via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org)