Finally my and Timo S. Paananen’s peer reviewed article on the handwriting in Clement’s Letter to Theodore is out. It is published in Vigiliae Christianae, which claims to be the “leading journal in its field”. The correct title ought to be: “R. Viklund, T.S. Paananen, Distortion of the Scribal Hand in the Images of Clement’s Letter to Theodore, Vigiliae Christianae 67 (2013), 235-247”.
This article discusses Morton Smith’s famous manuscript find, Clement’s Letter to Theodore (including the so-called Secret Gospel of Mark), and critically assesses Stephen C. Carlson’s study of its handwriting (2005). Carlson’s analysis is found to be wanting due to line screen distortion introduced by the halftone reproduction process in the images he used. We conclude that the script in the manuscript of Clement’s Letter to Theodore lacks all and any kind of “signs of forgery”.
The content resembles that of the on-line article I wrote in December 2009: “Tremors, or Just an Optical Illusion? A Further Evaluation of Carlson’s Handwriting Analysis”, published on my web site here, and in a shorter post on Timo Paananen’s blog here. Now, those who have rejected the implications of the fact that the images Carlson used for his study seem to have been the direct cause of the so-called tremors, with the argument that the information did not come from a reliable source, will have to find other arguments.
Roger Viklund, 2013-06-06