1st Century Markan Fragment?

In 2012, during a debate with Dr. Bart Ehrman, Dr. Daniel Wallace proclaimed that there had been a discovery of a 1st century fragment of the Gospel attributed to Mark. Textual critics have been waiting for over 5 years to finally see a 1st century manuscript only to receive some bad news today. As covered on the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog, if the fragment published about in the The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Vol. LXXXIII, is the one Daniel Wallace claimed was from the 1st century (and this looks increasingly likely) then it should at least be known now that it actually dates from the late second to early third centuries CE:

markdating

The absolute silence from Wallace, Habermas, Evans and others who promoted a 1st century dating is palpable, they all seem to have gone silent with this recent news. Hopefully more information can be made available soon. Thanks to Peter Gurry for the scan of the journal’s page on the dating of the fragment.

and God knows best.

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Categories: Bart Ehrman, Bible, Biblical scholarship, Christianity, Missionaries

Tags: , , , , , , ,

43 replies

  1. Reblogged this on The Quran and Bible Blog and commented:
    Frustration must be setting in among Christian apologists at their failure to find those elusive 1st-century NT manuscripts!

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    • Indeed, very “elusive” although I doubt they ever existed in the first place! I think we all knew at the time, that Wallace was just blowing smoke to try and save face after getting a spanked by Dr. Ehrman in that debate!! Now Allah has exposed him as his lie has caught up with him and dashed the hopes of his fellow apologists.

      Liked by 2 people

    • When asked if there are any updates on Dan Wallace’s discovery of the first century manuscript of Mark? Dr. Bart Erhman replied on his blog as follows:

      “It appears to be bogus. Doesn’t exist. Or rather, the piece of papyrus exists but it’s not a first-century manuscript of Mark. I know that only from scuttlebutt, but it appears to be pretty well sourced scuttlebutt.” ~ Dr. Bart Erhman April 3, 2018

      https://ehrmanblog.org/recent-manuscript-discoveries-a-blast-from-the-past/

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I can already hear Dr. Bart Ehrman laughing profusely!!

    Here is the original debate, there is a dialogue in the question and answer period about Wallace’s claim of a 1st century Markan fragment.

    Start watching at approx. 1:47

    Bart Ehrman & Daniel Wallace Debate Original NT Lost?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Frustration must be setting in among Christian apologists at their failure to find those elusive 1st-century NT manuscripts!”

    It won’t bother me if they don’t find any.

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  4. The point of the exercise is to preserve the text itself, not the manuscript that it is written on.

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  5. The problem of christians is even bigger, and muslims should always remember this fact.

    Let’s say that christians found a manuscript for Mark dated in the 1st century. Then what? That proves nothing except that christians follow books written by unknown authors.This is according to the Islamic scholarship similar to something called ‘wejadah’ which doesn’t bear any significance as long as we don’t know the one who wrote it, and which authority that author held, especially if there’s no Isnad for that written work (such as students of that author).

    In other words, who’s the author of that gospel that christians are desperate to find a manuscript for his book dated in the first century? What kind of authority did he have and by which he wrote that “biography” of Jesus? Was he a student of Jesus’ disciples ?

    Paul had a great chance to wrote about Jesus and what he did during his ministry if he had had a fellowship with Jesus’ disciples, but he considered them nothing, and he preferred to write contradictory and nonsense letters about his own idea about Jesus. Paul’s writings remind me by the nonsense works of some heretic movements developed in the Islamic world.

    Thank Allah for Islam. Not only we have Qur’an and Sunnah, but also we have the frame of salaf through which we can understand this bless from Allah عزوجل

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Dr. Dan Wallace apologized for his mistake; and explains more background.

    https://danielbwallace.com/2018/05/23/first-century-mark-fragment-update/

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  7. Dr. Michael Kruger has an excellent article on this and links to Dan Wallace and others involved.

    https://www.michaeljkruger.com/is-there-a-first-century-fragment-of-marks-gospel-apparently-not/#more-6789

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    • Dr. Michael Kruger….isn’t he the same person who has said you can be a believer without believing in the bible!

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    • What he means is that a person can hear the basic truths of the gospel message about God, His holiness, God’s justice against sin; Christ and His Ministry, Messiahship, Lordship, sin, the cross and resurrection, repentance, and believe in Christ to save him from his sins; and not yet fully believe that all of the Bible is inerrant yet. But a true believer in Christ will grow and eventually trust the Bible. “My Sheep hear My voice . . . ” John 10:27

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    • Let me repeat what he said
      “You can be a christian and love Jesus and be a follower of christ (((without))) believing in the authority or inspiration of the bible”

      I can’t see the difference between his position and (Stanley and Nabeel)’s position. They all in the same boat, which is the bible is not the foundation of your belief!

      I’m not sure why that dude is a friend for James White while Andey is not. I think there’s a difference though . That dude is a NT scholar, and he knows for sure the real problem in the biblical manuscripts and its history with corruption, yet he’s a hypocrite like you and James who cannot admit it.
      Andey and Nabeel, on the other hand, just cannot deal with the teachings of the bible which do not fir the western life style seemingly. For sure you all in a boat called (hypocrisy).

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  8. Is it really true that we have only four fragments/manuscripts of the NT going back to the 2nd century that only contain 42 verses?

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  9. “Proving the preservation of the text means you must preserve the manuscript.”

    As long as it is replaced by something the same it does not matter if it wears out and ceases to exist. The age of the manuscript is then irrelevant.

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    • LOL, special pleading from a guy who knows he’s screwed when it comes to manuscripts of his scripture! What other sources do you have? What replaced the manuscripts? Let’s see if you’re going where I think you’re going.

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  10. First prove that a manuscript from the first century under conditions of normal use could have survived until now. The onus is on you.

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    • Wow, are you really that dense? What about the Dead Sea Scrolls? Now, of course, they were stored away for a long time, but they survived for more than 2,000 years.

      Also, the Princeton library has Greek manuscripts from as far back as the 4th century BC:

      “Princeton’s collections are outstanding in both Islamic and ancient Greek papyri. Boasting the largest collection of Islamic manuscripts in North America, their 11,000 volumes include Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish language documents. Greek manuscripts from Ptolemaic, Roman, and Byzantine Egypt (332 B.C. – 650 A.D.) dominate the papyri collection, but Latin, Egyptian, and Coptic are also represented.” (https://www.onlinechristiancolleges.com/20-most-impressive-ancient-manuscript-collections/)

      So manuscripts can survive. So why haven’t any NT manuscripts survived? A bit too convenient, no?

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  11. Your assumptions about the date of these documents is also a bit too convenient, no?

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    • LOL, what “assumptions” you fool? Are you questioning the dates of the DSS or the Greek manuscripts contained in the Princeton library collection? Do you have any actual response or are you just too embarrassed to realize you got schooled?

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  12. “What about the Dead Sea Scrolls? Now, of course, they were stored away for a long time, ”

    Exactly, so we don’t know the exact history of any ancient text.

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  13. They could be copies too.

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  14. But even Bart Ehrman believes the apostle Paul wrote 7 letters that are dated to the 50s AD:
    Galatians
    1 Thessalonians
    Romans
    1 Corinthians
    2 Corinthians
    Philippians

    I am not sure which of the others that Ehrman considers truly written by Paul, probably Philemon.

    Based on historical evidence, Ehrman believes that these 7 letters go back to Paul in the decade of the 50s AD to 60 AD.

    “So how do we know which of all the letters claiming to be by Paul really are by Paul? (Again: this is the short version.) There are a group of seven letters claiming to be written by Paul that cohere with one another in terms of vocabulary, writing style, theological point of view, and presupposed historical situation. They appear all to have the same author. It is easy to situate these letters in a historical context of the 50s of the common era when Paul was active. Paul was therefore probably their author (note: probabilities again!) (but again, there frankly is very, very little dispute about these seven, even among otherwise cranky and skeptical scholars). Galatians is one of the seven. The forged Pauline letters are all different from these seven in writing style, theology, and presupposed historical situation. [1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Ephesians, 2 Thess., Colossians; etc.] And so they probably are not by Paul.”

    https://ehrmanblog.org/the-accuracy-of-pauls-letter-to-the-galatians/

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    • And your point is?

      We also know that some letters were not written by Paul. They were forged. Also, since we don’t have 1st-century manuscripts, there is still the possibility that the letters may have been edited later.

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    • My point is that even Ehrman believes that 7 of Paul’s letters are authentic and go back to 50s AD; and that they are basically the same thing as orginally written. He just says we cannot know how much was edited/changed, but he believes that they are basically the same. I wonder even he believes that they are first century and basically the same as what we have today.

      Ehrman believes the other 6 were forged; but they were not forged. Many believing scholars see the other 6 as also written by the apostle Paul.

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    • Ehrmans says that because Paul mentions James as the brother of Jesus in an off the cuff way (Galatians 1:19), he and other historians see this as 99% accurate and believable, since he is not trying to persuade or convince or have an agenda. They view all attempts at apologetics and persuasion as somehow suspect. Also, we have Josephus’ famous passage about James the brother of Jesus being stoned.
      (Antiquities, book 20, 9, 1) Most all historians view this as historically reliable. He was stoned around 62 AD. (around same time as the book of Acts ends)

      “When he says that he met up with James the brother of Jesus, Peter, and John in Jerusalem, he is not trying to make the point “SEE! There really was a James!” He’s making a point about coming to an agreement with someone that everyone – both he and his readers – knows was an important figure in the Jerusalem church. Paul *may* have distorted (slightly?) the nature of their meeting, and its outcome, because those are the points he’s trying to make and stress. But he’s not trying to make and stress the point that James the brother of Jesus existed. That’s simply something he knows, takes for granted, and states off the cuff. And so it is almost certainly accurate. We may not know that with complete 100% certainty, , since ancient history almost never is 100% certain. But it’s pretty darn close, up there around 99% in my judgment.”
      Bart Ehrman
      So Ehrmans says it is 99% accurate.

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    • LOL, so you didn’t add anything I already didn’t say! In other words, no point!

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    • No; you are not acknowledging that even liberals and skeptics believe that much of the NT goes back to the first century and is 99 % historically accurate, like the comment about James, the half-brother of Jesus, and confirmed by Jospehus, etc.

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    • Hahaha, Ken is trying to have it both ways!

      The majority of scholars recognize that the New Testament has undergone a process of redaction. Yes, Paul’s letters are acknowledged as being written in the 1st century, but it is also recognized that there are also forgeries.

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  15. @May 28, 2018 • 4:58 pm
    Moving the goalpost again? The point is that manuscripts can survive for such a long time. You asked for proof, and now you have it. Time to grow up.

    You haven’t proven that any of these ancient texts you cite are the original or first manuscripts. They may just be later copies of these.

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    • LOL, what a loser! You didn’t ask for “originals”. You asked if manuscripts could survive for such a long time. I showed that they can. Typical Christian apologist…unwilling to admit defeat.

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  16. The Dead Sea Scrolls go back to 100 BC and confirmed what we had from history, from the book of Isaiah today. Every time something older is found, it confirms the later copies and manuscripts. (except for comparatively few textual variants – when something is missing, for example, Mark 16:9-20, we are honest about that (but it is only missing in the 2 Uncial texts – Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) But Mark 16:19 about Jesus ascension to heaven and sitting at the right hand of God, is quoted by Irenaeus, who wrote more that a century earlier than those 2 Uncial texts. (Irenaeus Against Heresies, around 180-200 AD)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Except that the book of Isaiah was supposedly written much earlier, so you still have a gap of several centuries. Scholars also recognize that not all of Isaiah was written by the same author.

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    • The dead sea scrolls are evidences against the notion of inerrancy not the opposite. Also, as far as I know that there’s not been any critical version of the hebrew bible based on the dead sea scrolls. Moreover, you have to not forget that the period between these scrolls and the time of Moses is more than 1000 years! , so you still have a problem even if these scrolls were identical to the hebrew bible of today which is NOT the case .

      Liked by 1 person

  17. “LOL, what a loser! You didn’t ask for “originals”. You asked if manuscripts could survive for such a long time. I showed that they can.”

    You haven’t shown anything. No one knows the date of these manuscripts. They might just be late copies.

    Like

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