Zwinglius Redivivus

“Der glaubende Christ ist der denkende Theologe.” – Hans Hübner

Dan Wallace Has More to Say About the ‘Earliest Fragment of Mark’, But Adds Nothing New

It was dated by one of the world’s leading paleographers. He said he was ‘certain’ that it was from the first century. If this is true, it would be the oldest fragment of the New Testament known to exist. Up until now, no one has discovered any first-century manuscripts of the New Testament. The oldest manuscript of the New Testament has been P52, a small fragment from John’s Gospel, dated to the first half of the second century. It was discovered in 1934.

Not only this, but the first-century fragment is from Mark’s Gospel. Before the discovery of this fragment, the oldest manuscript that had Mark in it was P45, from the early third century (c. AD 200–250). This new fragment would predate that by 100 to 150 years.

Still no name for this world class paleographer and no new information, even though the date of the post is – well – today.  The rest of the post is along the lines of ‘even if we did find something new it wouldn’t change what we already know’ apologetics.

It’s a shame, really.  Why not post a photo of the manuscript?  Why not allow others to examine it?  Why not name the paleographer so he could be asked what his views were and how he reached them?  And why not address the issue of provenance?  And most importantly, why no engagement with the questions that have been widely raised- particularly those of Hurtado?

I remain skeptical that this manuscript is anything significant if its even authentic.

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Written by Jim

February 9, 2012 at 17:47

Posted in Bible

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3 Responses

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  1. Question for you:

    In the history of archaeology, are veritable finds often preceded by surreptitious behavior and lack of photographs? In other words, is this “keeping things under wraps” actually pretty commonplace from a historical point of view?

    Marc Regier

    February 9, 2012 at 19:38

  2. [...] Wallace has expanded on his claim of a first century fragment of Mark here and responses here, here, here, here, here, here (please if I have missed your link add it to the comments as I would like [...]


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