Finally, a Photo of the ‘Earliest Fragment of Mark'(?????)

Via our friends at ‘almost to Emmaus‘.

My gut reaction?  It looks fake.  Look how crisp the papyrus is.  The letters are excessively ‘sharp’.  If you’ve ever seen a really old manuscript they never (in my experience) look like that.  It looks like something hatched in someone’s tourist trinket workshop.

They need to test the material in a lab and they need to examine the ink.  I’d trust Yuval Goren to do it.  Until someone of his caliber says ‘yes, it is indeed ancient’ I think it’s a fraud.

UPDATE:  If this is the manuscript Wallace is talking about, it’s junk.  If it’s some fake being passed around (doubtless in hopes of selling it), it’s just plain unethical junk.

About Jim

I am a Pastor, and Lecturer in Church History and Biblical Studies at Ming Hua Theological College.
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10 Responses to Finally, a Photo of the ‘Earliest Fragment of Mark'(?????)

  1. two things:

    1) a neutron etc analysis of the papyrus should tell us if it is old (might be)
    2) a similar analysis of the ink should do the rest.

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  2. Tim Henderson says:

    It’s questionable whether this is even the manuscript mentioned by Daniel Wallace. The source for this claim is an anonymous person posting on a message board, who claimed to have obtained the photo from a friend on Facebook. I’m not holding my breath…

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  3. The person who seems to have been the first to share the image is the notorious mythicist promoter of bunk, D. M. Murdock. I can’t help but wonder if this is not an image circulated intentionally to try to discredit the find that the forthcoming E. J. Brill book is actually going to be about.

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  4. Actually, James, I think it was first a person calling themselves “GodAlmighty” who posted it on the forum, then followed up by Murdock.* I must say that a picture of a fragment posted by “GodAlmighty” on an internet forum is hardly grounds for excitement and I’m amazed that so many think it is.

    It should go without saying that this is not the fragment mentioned by Wallace.

    * Unless “GodAlmighty” is Murdock. The latter’s post appears very quickly after the first.

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  5. Hoaxer may also have thought it amusing to have the fragment spelling out “MUG” on the top left, vertically.

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  6. Pingback: More Thoughts on the Markan Manuscript Fragment « The Musings of Thomas Verenna

  7. Jack Kilmon says:

    There have been so many “it’s real/it’s fake” discussions over the years that I stayed out of this discussion when I saw “first century” somewhere. I have never seen a papyrus fragment with cookie cutter, clean edges (obviously cut with scissors), no soiling, patina. This thing looks like it was written from a Greek NT on modern papyrus using a Greek script from a chart to replace the Greek of the exemplar which was not a codex, hence the line-up problem. If I were to do such a thing I would use a frag of ancient papyrus and my own lamp black ink diluted with distilled water and use the appropriate script and patinate the writing. Why is this amateurish thing even being discussed?

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  8. Pingback: The Oldest Manuscript of Mark? Round 3 « Euangelion Kata Markon

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