APPROXIMATION OF ORIGINAL MS OF SECRET MARK
The 18th century scribe at Mar Saba seems to have hurriedly written the text of the Clementine Letter in the endpapers of the 1646 Voss book. The urgency with which he does this in his quickly penned minuscule makes me believe it was due to the original ms having been seriously damaged, badly deteriorated, or in peril of destruction due to its "heterodox" citations of Mark. This strongly argues against the text being the work of someone who would have to have been a master forger to have so accurately captured the separate Clementine and Markan styles while totally ignoring the original line length of the ancient uncial manuscript. The first two lines approximate perfectly in uncial and may represent the original line length of the ancient exemplar. The scribe then seems to have "lost it" and completed the document however it would fit on the endpapers, probably intending to later reproduce the document when it was "safe" to do so. He probably never got the opportunity and Prof. Smith discovered his urgently penned "rough copy" in 1958.
Since the Mar Saba scribe did not follow the line length of his exemplar manuscript, I am going to assume that the first two lines, which do align, were instinctively followed before the vagaries of his minuscule script and his substrate set him off. I cannot say that the following is a duplicate of the older manuscript used by the scribe because there are too many variables. I can say that this is what a 3rd or 4th century manuscript of the letter of Clement to Theodore COULD have looked like.
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