Tuesday, October 30, 2012

From Stalemate to Deadlock: Clement’s Letter to Theodore in Recent Scholarship (CBR 11: 87-125)

Some days ago Currents in Biblical Research published my article "From Stalemate to Deadlock: Clement’s Letter to Theodore in Recent Scholarship", a literature review and a-discourse-analysis-by-any-other-name (link).

This article reviews the literature pertaining to the recent debate over the question of authenticity of Clement’s Letter to Theodore (including the so-called Secret Gospel of Mark) and argues that the academy has tied itself into a secure deadlock. The current ‘trench warfare’ situation is due to various scholarly malpractices, which include the practice of non-engagement with other scholars, abusive language towards them and mischaracterization of their position. In order to remedy the situation and move the discussion forwards a number of correcting acts are suggested.
Paananen, Timo S.: From Stalemate to Deadlock: Clement’s Letter to Theodore in Recent Scholarship. Currents in Biblical Research October 2012 11: 87-125, doi:10.1177/1476993X11416907
First, it looks like anyone can access the article free of charge until tomorrow (October 31) by simply registering at SAGE Journals.

Second, online reactions so far have ranged from pretty baffled to "occasionally self-contradictory" to "un articolo equilibrato e intellettualmente onesto".

Third, I just might have broken some sort of record as it took full 21 months from manuscript submission to publication. Still, nothing like writing a monograph, like Morton Smith's Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark, submitted in 1966 and published in 1973, I guess.


  1. Excellent article. I posted some thoughts about it on my blog (http://ntmark.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/the-state-of-research-on-the-letter-to-theodore-a-new-article/) as well as some additional questions that I would appreciate your input.
    - Mike K

  2. Timo, good article. It is a good survey of the state of play with plenty of angle/Tendenz and a solid critique of those who consider only one side of the arguments.

  3. Thanks, Mike and Peter, for your comments. I also left a comment on Mike's blog about Tselikas and naked men (these two are DEFINITELY NOT RELATED btw), should anyone be interested.