This article is based on items [G 214] and [G 166r] of this site. Also on Orchard’s and Riley’s 1987 book and Orchard’s other publications. Clement and Orchard had much in common.  Both were head teachers, Catechists, historians and authors.

Following Peter’s death, Mark moved to Egypt and founded a diocese at Alexandria. According to an early Prologue, he took his gospel with him. [G 166r].

Clement of Alexandria was born about 150 in Greece. When aged about 30 he became a Christian and moved to Alexandria. He became a leading Catechist so had access to its diocese archives. His books tell us the gospels having the genealogies (ie: Matthew and Luke) were written first. He also tells where, when and how Mark’s gospel was formed. Those involved had not planned to produce a third gospel. The intention was that Peter would give an important talk. It was recorded by Mark, Peter’s secretary. It was the audience which insisted copies should be made.

Fr. Bernard Orchard osb was born in 1910 and, Pre-Vatican II, he was a world leader in promoting a Catholic biblical revival. But, in the freedom following Vatican II, many Catholics adopted the secular myth of: Markan priority and ‘Q’. It was called: ‘The Two Source Hypothesis’, and it caused Orchard to research this challenge.

His years as a teacher may have helped him to recognise Mark’s Gospel as originating in a talk. (E.g. Leaving Scriptural references uncorrected). This led him to study what Clement had written.

In this way Orchard developed what he called the: ‘The Two-Gospel Hypothesis’. Wishing to make this hypothesis better known, Dennis Barton, re-named it: ‘The Clementine Gospel Tradition’ so as to be more ‘reader-friendly’.


[G 207]                                                                              October 2016