In 1958, Morton of Columbia University discovered two and a half pages of a letter purportedly written by OF to an unknown Theodorus. The contents of this late copy of the original relate that Mark, after writing his in with Peter, left that city after the apostle’s and journeyed to Alexandria. From both his and Peter’s notes, which he had brought with him, then wrote a secret gospel, the purpose of which was to be a ritual text for Christians “being initiated into the great mysteries.”

According to the letter, Clement’s purpose in writing to Theodorus was to warn him that CARPOCRATES had purloined a copy of the secret and had both corrupted and misinterpreted the text. Answering Theodorus’ questions concerning the text, which was still kept under guard in Alexandria, is giving a commentary on some passages when the fragment ends.

In the decade following his publication of the text, cataloged publications and responses relating to the authenticity of the letter of and the Secret of Mark. Acceptance of the letter’s authenticity was overwhelming, but not one publication defended the authenticity of the Secret Gospel of that mentioned and quoted to Theodorus.


  • Smith, M. of and a Secret of Mark. Cambridge, 1973.
  • ____. “ of and Secret Mark: The Score at the End of the First Decade.” Harvard Theological Review 75, no. 4 (1982):449-61.