The Bizarre Backstory of the So-Called “Secret Gospel of Mark” (The Faith Explained)

This episode of “The Faith Explained” takes us on a wild ride through the shadowy alleys of biblical scholarship, complete with mysterious texts, allegations of forgery, and a dash of conspiracy that could rival any Hollywood thriller!

📚 The Main Characters:

  • Cale Clarke: Our heroic host, diving deep into the murky waters of false gospels.
  • Dr. Craig Evans: The Bible scholar extraordinaire, armed with intellect and insights that would make Indiana Jones tip his hat in respect.

📖 The Plot Thickens: In the 1960s, a scholar named Morton Smith announced he had discovered a bombshell in the back of an old book at the Mar Saba Monastery: a letter by Clement of Alexandria mentioning a “Secret Gospel of Mark.” Cue the dramatic music! 🎶

It hinted at a longer, mystical version of Mark’s gospel with controversial content that had been edited out of what we now know as the New Testament. The plot twist? Some think this discovery was as genuine as a $3 bill.

🔍 The Investigation: Fast forward to a detective story featuring handwriting analyses, divided experts, and missing pages that would make any sleuth’s heart race. Some experts shouted “Forgery!” while others scratched their heads in uncertainty.

🤔 The Mysterious Signer: Adding to the intrigue, a document signed by an unknown figure points the finger at Morton Smith himself as the mastermind behind a hoax that could shake the foundations of biblical scholarship.

📚 The Curious Case of the Novel Inspiration: To thicken the plot, a 1940 novel titled “The Mystery of Mar Saba” eerily mirrors the whole saga, suggesting Smith might have been inspired by fiction to create a historical fiction of his own.

🕵️‍♂️ The Verdict: While the jury of scholars is still out, the tale of the Secret Gospel of Mark serves as a gripping reminder that the search for historical Jesus is full of unexpected twists, turns, and tantalizing mysteries.

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.