2015-01-21

What they’re saying about The New Gospel of Mark Fragment

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by Neil Godfrey

Tim linked to some background info on the reported discovery of the new fragment of the Gospel of Mark. Here is some further discussion that might be of interest:

By Roger Pearse (creator of the Tertullian Project website and the Additional Fathers collection)

Covers in serious depth some important aspects to what we have been reading about. Roger’s conclusion:

If the discovery is genuine, then it is wonderful.  Any recovery of lost texts from antiquity is a joy, and any very early witness to any important text is to be treasured.

But is it genuine?  We cannot say.  But the manner in which it is becoming known to the public does nothing to give me confidence.

So I think we need to hold our horses, and await proper publication.  To me, all this is too good to be true.  But let’s hope not.

image3

From http://phdiva.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/is-this-more-of-first-century-gospel-of.html

From Dorothy King of Dorothy King’s PhDiva:

Dorothy adds pics of something she thinks she recognizes from … — one of several attached here. Interesting comments, too, such as. . .

Interesting similarity of handwriting … between these fragments I posted photos of yesterday from the Turkish eBay seller “Zelis eksioglu” …and the newly discovered Gospel of Mark 😉

These top three photos of material he was touting to sell “off eBay” and below the ones of the Gospel of Mark Josh McDowell recently ‘discovered’ … although frankly when the seller is boasting of what it is …

And more interesting observations on Dorothy’s blog.

Another scholar, Jim Davila of PaleoJudaica.com has some interesting background links via:

By John Loftus of Debunking Christianity:

Links to International Business Times article by Mary-Ann Russon. (Though I think Tim’s post with Bart Ehrman’s article also links to this.)

And by P.J. Williams of the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog:

Williams discusses what can be prudently gleaned from the media reports and matters of ethics.

12 Comments

  • john dauria
    2015-01-21 11:25:13 UTC - 11:25 | Permalink

    a good eg of why I subscribe
    latest info
    links to other [amazing websites. D King and others]
    informed commentary
    in all like reading good book reviews on Amazon for max info delivered min time….thnx

  • Tim Widowfield
    2015-01-21 14:51:19 UTC - 14:51 | Permalink

    I might as well be the bad guy and say what some of you may already be thinking. If these very secretive and very devout apologists happened to find something that didn’t confirm what they wanted would they hide it? Would they destroy it?

    Lying for Jesus is, after all, a noble endeavor. Why would this be any different?

  • Neil Godfrey
    2015-01-21 22:33:01 UTC - 22:33 | Permalink

    I love the paid access model to scholarly information set up by Bart Ehrman. When you’re big enough you can shut people out of your discussions unless they first donate to your favourite charity. Well, if Bart’s friend Craig really feels he has been misrepresented I am quite sure he will be more than willing and able to make his voice heard to the wider public, and not confined to those who support closed-access to the words of supposedly “public” intellectuals at Defending the Destruction of Mummy Masks

  • Blood
    2015-01-22 00:52:03 UTC - 00:52 | Permalink

    “If these very secretive and very devout apologists happened to find something that didn’t confirm what they wanted would they hide it? Would they destroy it?”

    Nah. Not necessary. They would just blame heretics for “corrupting” the real text. They’ve been using this method for 2,000 years. Why stop now?

  • Steven Carr
    2015-01-22 08:46:37 UTC - 08:46 | Permalink

    You have to remember that publication takes careful scholarly research and lots and lots and lots of time.

    I think Evans did a YouTube video on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kPgACbtRRs

    This is what careful scholars do. They boast about finds on YouTube while mocking people who want to see this alleged manuscript, as not knowing how scholarship is done.

  • mcduff
    2015-01-22 10:18:17 UTC - 10:18 | Permalink

    I suspect they will ‘find’ something they like, just like the old time archaeologists with a spade in one hand and a bible in the other ‘found’ what
    they were looking for even when it wasn’t there.
    In this case I suspect they’ll find ‘something’, in fact they seem to be already claiming such, but that it was accidentally ‘lost’ [whatever] in the process.

  • Stuart
    2015-01-22 18:21:04 UTC - 18:21 | Permalink

    I rather suspect this will turn out to be much later than they claim. The margin for error on dating can be hundreds of years. The earliest dating they have for any confirmed NT fragment is by writing style. The problem is that so called Hadrianic writing style has been found in samples ranging from 90 CE to almost 500 CE – one document is definitely that style form 187 CE. Its a sample Christian scholars like to throw out a 125 CE or 150 CE date, when a 175 or 200 CE (a date that would have no impact on any theories) is just as likely, and even a 250 CE date is well within the margin of error.

    I have no idea what dating methodology they are claiming here. I am suspicious of all early dating claims. They seem to be driven by an ideological motives, a desire to end run literary criticism which often points toward later dating and heretical origins for many elements in the text.

  • Geoff Barrett
    2015-01-22 20:00:48 UTC - 20:00 | Permalink

    The dating of these texts appears to be based on “fuzzy logic.” In paleontology, we have index fossils and a general idea of the direction of innovations. I don’t know much about dating ancient texts, but it seems that there is a direction presumption that I am not entirely sure is justified. For example, Christian gnostic texts are assumed to be later than more historicized works. Are we sure of that direction, though? The reasoning seems circular to me.

  • Sili
    2015-01-22 21:08:32 UTC - 21:08 | Permalink

    I read at one of the links (I forget which), that embalming died out early in the reign of Augustus. If that’s correct then they’ve either
    1) destroyed the youngest mummy mask we know of
    or
    2) found an exemplar of GMark dating to Ptolemaic times
    or
    3) been well and truly hoodwinked.

  • Pingback: Vridar » A Papyrologist On the Reported Discovery of the 1st Century Gospel of Mark Fragment

  • Kunigunde Kreuzerin
    2015-01-28 09:59:22 UTC - 09:59 | Permalink

    Dorothy King posted a few photos with the comment “New Mark photos that were made public”
    http://phdiva.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/is-this-more-of-first-century-gospel-of.html

    On this photo here you can see a few words: νεφέλην (cloud), ἐν τοῖς (in the), γὰρ (indeed)
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-O53OApOQU6E/VLel_M4l4vI/AAAAAAAAK9o/e5ZzvcjyGKA/s1600/Number62.jpg

    If I have understood correctly then this should be one of the fragments of GMark. The problem is that you will not find this combination of words in the Gospel of Mark.

  • Kunigunde Kreuzerin
    2015-01-28 10:12:49 UTC - 10:12 | Permalink

    But it could be 1 Corinthians 10:2-…

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