Duby Tal / Albatross

Built into the side of a canyon in the middle of the Judean wilderness 12 miles south of Jerusalem, the Mar Saba Greek Orthodox monastery was founded in 439 A.D. In the accompanying article, author Scott Brown relates how Morton Smith, a Columbia University professor, found a late copy of a letter by the second-century Church Father Clement of Alexandria that quotes a longer version of the Gospel of Mark known as the Secret Gospel of Mark. The Secret Gospel was quickly questioned as a possible forgery, and some scholars demanded that Smith produce the manuscript for testimony. Smith, now deceased, was never able to do this.