Possible Discovery of a 1st Century Fragment of Mark

On February 1st, Dan Wallace debated Bart Ehrman, for the third time, on the reliability of the New Testament text. In this third debate held on Ehrman’s own UNC Chapel Hill, Wallace mentioned the possible discovery of a 1st century fragment of the gospel according to Mark. Subsequent rumors have revealed that this is a fragment, dated by a neutral party, older than P52. Wallace has made some comments at various blogs to assure us that he was neither the discoverer not the examiner of said document, but was merely reporting news. A book is expected to be published next year that will detail more information.

Some bypassing comments on the Internet suggested that, if validated, this discovery can be a mighty blow to the arguments of Ehrman as well as the arguments of King James Onlyism. While I think such an old fragment will carry much significance, I think both sides will be able to continue to their respective positions regardless.

Check out the website of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts for updates (as of this blog, no update has been given).

Also, check out Evangelical Textual Criticism periodically for possible updates.


3 thoughts on “Possible Discovery of a 1st Century Fragment of Mark

  1. Bob Hayton February 15, 2012 / 10:06 pm

    From looking at the links, it appears that this probably was found in conjunction with the Green collection and may well have been a recovered papyrus MSS fragment from cartonnage (papyrii and other linens and fabric that was molded into funeral masks for Egyptian mummies. Apparently Scott Carroll the director of the Green collection has: “developed a method to extract writings reused in the infrastructure of mummy coverings while preserving the decorative external features.” More about the Green collection here.

    Per Sheffield Biblical Studies blog, there appears to be several new papyrii mss fragments that are initially dated quite early and which will be published (according to Dan Wallace) next year.

    From what I’ve been able to glean there are now in the Green Collection 7 unpublished NT papyri
    1. 2nd century frg. with Hebrews 1
    2. 2nd century frg. with I Corinthians 8-10
    3. 2nd century frg. with Matthew
    4. 2nd century frg. with Romans 8-9
    5. 2nd century frg. with part of a Pauline Epistle, from what I know it is from Hebrews
    6. 2nd century frg. with Luke
    7. 1st century frg. with Mark

    • Bookworm February 21, 2012 / 4:01 pm

      Dr. Carroll gave a lecture Feb 13, 2012 at Gordon Conwell Seminary in Charlotte, NC. He presented some of these fragments (Matthew and I Corintians) encased in plexiglas. The man received a doctorate at Miami Univ in Ohio and has collaborated with Oxford University on patented multi-spectral digital scanning techniques for ancient manuscripts. Carroll also developed a ground-breaking method to extract some of the earliest Greek writings from mummy coverings. He has also developed realtime interactive programs for students, one of which is featured in the Smithsonian Museum. He is a consultant for National Geographic and the BBC.

  2. Bob Hayton February 15, 2012 / 10:07 pm

    Sorry this post was down a few days. We migrated to a new host and that caused some problems. I’m hoping commenting issues will be resolved now that we have the new host.

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