Item description for Decoding Mark by John Dart...
Using both his background in interpreting biblical research and his interest in word-puzzles, nationally known journalist John Dart decodes the Gospel of Mark, with explosive results. Dart uses ancient, puzzle-like writing devices called chiasms, which are found throughout Mark, to reconstruct the original Gospel. By the presence or absence of these chiasms, he identifies sections of the Gospel that were added by a later editor, and he recovers passages from the Secret Gospel of Mark (a work discovered in 1958) that the pattern of chiasms indicates had been deleted from canonical Mark.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.24" Width: 6.32" Height: 0.81" Weight: 1.15 lbs.
Release Date Oct 28, 2003
Publisher Trinity Press International
ISBN 1563383748 ISBN13 9781563383748
Availability 0 units.
More About John Dart
John Dart, news editor of Christian Century magazine and a religion writer at the Los Angeles Times for 30 years, has written extensively about New Testament research. He won a 2004 American Academy of Religion award for in-depth reporting on religion. His books include The Laughing Savior: The Discovery and Significance of the Nag Hammadi Gnosti Library; The Gospel of Thomas: Unearthing the Lost Worlds of Jesus; and Deities & Deadlines. Dart has won numerous reporting awards.
John Dart currently resides in Los Angeles, in the state of California. John Dart was born in 1936.
Reviews - What do customers think about Decoding Mark?
A Potentially Ground-Breaking Study of Mark Dec 29, 2008
This title is for those who take a serious, learned interest in the gospels. Long considered the simplest of the gospels, Mark may actually be the most subtle - and artful - of the four. The key to Mark is the chiasms, mirror-like patterns that tend to bracket certain scenes and events, a long-forgotten practice that was common in the Classical world. The odd repetitions and confusing syntax in Mark, often seen as a product of the author's poor Greek, are actually hints to the chiastic code. Through Mr. Dart's careful research of chiasms in Mark, he reaches several startling conclusions.
First, the entire gospel is built of multiple chiastic patterns, in a way that brackets the gospel's pivotal themes. Second, the so-called "Lost Gospel of Mark," sometimes seen as a later (and suppressed) addition, was actually a key element of the original gospel, a point which Mr. Dart contends is proven within the gospel's chiastic patterns. Third, Mark had an agenda to diminish the role of Jesus's family and the traditional apostles.
The conclusion, as best I can deduce it, is that Mark deliberately shifted the theme of Jesus's teachings beyond the established hieararchy of the "Jesus Movement" within Judaism toward the universality that became Christianity. The author disputes the homoerotic connotations often associated with the Secret Gospel of Mark, contending that the scene in question suggests a long-lost ritual quest for oneness, and that the scene may have been Mark's fictional creation anyway.
If you see your faith as a quest for deeper meaning, if you can live with the "open door" of doubt, and if you just can't resist a deeply compelling mystery right at the core of western culture's deepest foundations, then this book is for you. I give it four stars rather than five because I believe the author put too much emphasis on specific chiastic patterns and too little on the ultimate meaning of his findings. Still, this title may ultimately prove revolutionary in answering some of Christianity's deepest questions.
Decoding Mark -The Truth & Proof About The Secret Gospel of Mark Oct 25, 2005
Utilizing the little-known presence of word Puzzle-like mosaics called "chiasms," nationally recognized author John Dart painstakingly reconstructs Mark's Gospel in his recent book entitled 'Decoding Mark', showing exactly how the previously removed and concealed sections of the `Secret Gospel' indubitably belong in the original, and identifying sections that were added by a later editor (redactor). Any noteworthy biblical researcher worth their salt should recognize the peculiar presence of an ancient writing device called "chiasms", and educated scholars have proposed a few dozen in the Gospel of Mark alone.
However, veteran commentator John Dart, a popular interpreter of biblical research and word-puzzle militant, reports that Mark contains within its encrypted pages more than 150 chiastic patterns, large and small! The bigger shock is that this concentric mosaic word matrix prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the barely clothed beloved young man affair from the Secret Gospel of Mark discovered by Professor Morton Smith at Mar Saba Monastery in 1958, was indeed a part of the original Gospel of Mark! Another hidden key to the Kingdom presented in Decoding Mark is an editor who deleted the original story and inserted a miracle-laden section that 'Luke' never saw. The Secret Gospel reveals the critically important lost testimonial role played by this rich young man, beloved by Jesus, as the foremost interior joint-hero -along with the risen Christ- of the original narrative core of the Gospel of Mark. This book will lead its readers into the Innermost Sanctuary itself of that Truth, which lays veiled beneath Seven. An absolute must read for any scholar on the Golden Path that leads to lifting the veil of the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved.
And he says to me, "Write: Happy are they who have been called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb" ...These are the true words of God.
The Greatest Story Never Told! This book hints of a very controversial story of a long-lost disciple loved by Jesus who stays with him for six days,and on the evening of the seventh day: the young man comes to Him wearing nothing but a linen veil over his naked body for an all-night ceremonial rite where Jesus teaches him the Secret Mystery of the Kingdom of God. Dart's book details how this is by far an integral part to the original version of the Gospel of Mark.
Author John Dart (Los Angeles Times, Christian Century), is a popular interpreter of biblical research and incorporates his intrinsic bible-decoding skills astonishingly making a solidified case that the ancient writing device known as 'chiasmus' sets the hacked story neatly back into the earliest version of the oldest biblical gospel, where it comes to rest... beautifully illuminating a rather evocative account of Jesus and a young man.
Moreover, when placed back in Mark 10:46a: "Then they come to Jericho," and 10:46b: "As he was leaving Jericho..." the place where Clement of Alexandria indicates these secret fragments occured, it fills a well-known lacuna in the Markan narrative.
This young man seems to play a rather important, yet veiled, role in Mark. Most notably, his reappearance in the empty tomb announcing 'He is not here, He has risen!'(Mk 16:5)suggest that this secret story of this young man's own ressurection served to foreshadow Jesus'.
And the Scripture was fulfilled which says: 'His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a Rich Man in His death, Because he had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in his mouth' [Is.53:9]....but that all the Writings may be fulfilled: "And having left Him they all fled; and a certain young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his naked body, and the young men lay hold on him, and he, having left the cloth behind, did flee from them naked." [Mark 14:50-52] Only to return and follow the Lamb wherever He goes [Rev. 14:4]. Thus, Simon Peter was following Jesus, and another disciple[Jon 18:15]. Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following; the one who laying back on His bosom at the Supper and said, "Lord, who is the one who betrays You?" [Jon. 21:20]
Jesus said, "Recognize what is in front of your face, and that which is hidden from you will be disclosed to you. For there is nothing hidden that won't be revealed, and nothing buried that will not be raised, and there is nothing covered up that will remain unexposed." [GrGospThom 5:1-2; 6:5-6]
The beginning of the Knowledge of the Truth is to Marvel at what is already present, laying this down as the first step toward the Knowledge of the Secret things beyond. This book is crucial proof that 'the Secret Gospel' is NOT a hoax, and never was. Among good scholars, the debates the late Professor Morton Smith's research has initiated are just 'the top of the Ark'; no doubt they will continue for decades to come.
Meanwhile, 'The Secret Gospel' invites readers to peek back behind the veil, and behold the Two Witnesses of the Testimony of God joined One to Another atop the Mercy Seat. Then, and only then, may the 'Secret of the Kingdom of God' be revealed to you; "...yet for those on the outside everything is in parables; so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven." [Mark 4:10]
Jesus said, "After all, there is nothing hidden except to be brought to Light, nor anything kept Secret that won't be exposed. If anyone here has two good ears, use them!" [Mark 4:22-23]
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which even if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that were written. [Jon. 21:25]Decoding MarkThe Secret Gospel: The Discovery and Interpretation of the Secret Gospel According to MarkThe Disciple Whom Jesus Loved - The Bible v. Tradition on the beloved discipleMan Jesus Loved: Homoerotic Narratives from the New TestamentClement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of MarkJesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same-Sex Love
Lots of Good and Interesting Ideas Well Presented Feb 4, 2004
As a journalist, John Dart has a nice, easy to understand and charming style. He presents a hypothesis that he's obviously excited about, and it is a hypothesis well worth considering. He suggests that the gospel writer Mark organized his work around a series of chiasms (basically words and ideas arranged in a mirrored form: A, B, C, B', A'). Using this concept, he finds evidence that Morton's Smith's "Secret Gospel of Mark" along with a number of passages from Luke were in the original Gospel of Mark, while a section in the middle of Mark 6:47-8:26 was added later. Another important hypothesis is that the original writer put in 16 miracles for Jesus to match the number of miracles done by the Jewish prophet Elisha. A later editor added 8 more to have him outdo Elisha. I would have liked to have seen a bit more references to the gospels of Matthew and John, for example can you find these chiasms or other chiastic patterns in them? And it would have been nice to have more speculation about the author Mark and why he hated the disciples and Jesus' family so much, although there are a few paragraphs on this. Altogether a fascinating, pleasant and enjoyable book for anyone interested in the gospels or any serious students of ancient literature and history.