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1st Century Fragment of Mark

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Kbertsche View Post
    I attended a talk by Dan Wallace two days ago in Palo Alto. I asked him about this before the talk; he said that because of the confidentiality agreement he could say nothing about it. He did not mention it during the talk. Then during the Q&A, the first question was on this fragment. Dan Wallace briefly summarized what he had said in the debate with Bart Ehrman, and said that he could say no more because of signing the confidentiality agreement. But he suggested that folks don't usually sign confidentiality agreements unless something is pretty important (so far as I know, folks in this field usually don't sign confidentiality agreements at all).

    I had a brief talk with him about dating such things. Paleography is probably the best method at the moment. Radiocarbon on a small fragment of the document would get us error-bars of 50-100 years, but could be misleading since the ancients often reused their writing substrates. Dan Wallace mentioned the newer "non-destructive" radiocarbon method being worked on at Texas A&M. This would potentially be a nice way to date the ink itself, but the method is not yet very well developed, and does not seem to be much further along than when I first heard of it about 20 years ago. (it uses a plasma to pull off carbon particles from the surface. It was originally being looked at for cave paintings, but perhaps could be applied to writing. All sorts of issues would have to be addressed, such as how to discriminate against surface contamination, how to discriminate between ink and paper/papyrus, fractionation issues, etc.)
    The reason I give for my range is that there is a range in both carbon dating and paleography have ranges in dating. If you reach to the bottom of this range to justify a date, there will be academic skepticism. I believe this is the controversial issue that will be razed when it is released in publication. I also believe provenance is an issue for documents revealed in the vacuum of secrecy.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 01-29-2014, 01:44 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
      Not unlikely, the early gospels were unauthored, and the hypothetical Q was earlier then the other gospels.
      Earlier and did not survive as a separate document long enough to be noticed by anyone, as far as we know, but 'Matthew' & 'Luke' (if the hypothetical document did indeed exist) and maybe Papias. All of those factors millitate against this being the find, but not as much as the fact that it has already been announced as a fragment of Mark's text, which is not a very likely mistake.
      Last edited by robrecht; 01-29-2014, 01:59 PM.
      βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
      ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

      אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by robrecht View Post
        Earlier and did not survive as a separate document long enough to be noticed by anyone, as far as we know, but 'Matthew' & 'Luke' (if the hypothetical document did indeed exist) and maybe Papias. All of those factors millitate against this being the find, but not as much as the fact that it has already been announced as a fragment of Mark's text, which is not a very likely mistake.
        Unless it includes the name, it is likely that conclusion is hypothetical. Noticed by anyone? We do not have early authored documents to notice.
        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

        go with the flow the river knows . . .

        Frank

        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
          Unless it includes the name, it is likely that conclusion is hypothetical. Noticed by anyone? We do not have early authored documents to notice.
          It is a really easy determination. One merely reads the text to see if it agrees with any existing texts and variants. There is sometimes so much literal agreement between two gospels in a particular passage that a very small text fragment could belong possibly to a couple of different gospels. And occasionally there is a text that is so different that one might posulate a very free rendering or another unknown literary work is postulated. I can only think of a couple of cases where such an identification could not be agreed upon. But the fact that it has already been identified as Mark makes such speculation very unlikely.

          I am not speaking of authored documents, just Wirkungsgeschicte of Q. Basically, who is it quoted by? In our known literature, Q, if it existed at all, is only quoted by 'Matthew' and 'Luke' and it is possibly referred to by Papias, but not directly quoted.
          Last edited by robrecht; 01-29-2014, 03:20 PM.
          βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
          ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

          אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
            Unless it includes the name, it is likely that conclusion is hypothetical. Noticed by anyone? We do not have early authored documents to notice.
            If the text contains a long enough phrase that matches only with extant copies of Mark, it's almost certain to be from Mark. And if it's from Mark, it's not from Q, by definition of Q.
            Last edited by Kbertsche; 01-29-2014, 03:19 PM.
            "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
              Not unlikely, the early gospels were unauthored, and the hypothetical Q was earlier then the other gospels.
              There had to have been written accounts first. The idea of having an oral account of a story that complex is just stupid.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Omniskeptical View Post
                There had to have been written accounts first. The idea of having an oral account of a story that complex is just stupid.
                More clarification needed on what may be written and oral accounts. It is pretty well known that fairly long and involved accounts of past stories and accounts and events are passed on as oral accounts. My assessment of the gospels is parts of the gospels and things like the parables may have been first oral accounts. Since no written accounts are available before 65 AD, oral sources are possible.

                Since the possible Q would most likely have been a simpler and smaller gospel that may have been added to, parts may have been oral testimony handed down,
                Last edited by shunyadragon; 02-24-2014, 07:52 AM.
                Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                go with the flow the river knows . . .

                Frank

                I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Omniskeptical View Post
                  There had to have been written accounts first. The idea of having an oral account of a story that complex is just stupid.
                  Oral accounts can be incredibly complex: indeed, the Iliad is a text form of an oral account (or more accurately, the compilation of a series of oral accounts). The problem with oral accounts is that they are frequently not word-for-word consistent, even when told twice by the same person. There are several ways around that, including rote memorization, use of poetic structure, or repetition of common themetic elements, but word-for-word reproduction of an account, especially when separated by time or distance, is difficult.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                    Not unlikely, the early gospels were unauthored, and the hypothetical Q was earlier then the other gospels.
                    Originally posted by Omniskeptical View Post
                    There had to have been written accounts first. The idea of having an oral account of a story that complex is just stupid.
                    I don't understand how oral tradition relates to this thread. I thought Shuny's comment had to do with unauthored texts in the sense of anonymous since most believe the original autographs of the gospels were not ascribed to authors.

                    Is that not correct, Shuny? Or were you speaking of unauthored in the sense of anonymous and oral communal traditions that were merely written down without any true sense of individual authorship?
                    Last edited by robrecht; 02-24-2014, 10:40 AM.
                    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                      I don't understand how oral tradition relates to this thread.
                      It really doesn't, and I believe Omniskeptical's statement was in reply to a mis-statement on Shunyadragon's part. However, once mentioned, I felt it did need to be addressed, if only in passing. THe concept of the stability of oral accounts in a primarily oral culture is a frequent argument in the less-professional end of apologetics.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                        I don't understand how oral tradition relates to this thread. I thought Shuny's comment had to do with unauthored texts in the sense of anonymous since most believe the original autographs of the gospels were not ascribed to authors.

                        Is that not correct, Shuny? Or were you speaking of unauthored in the sense of anonymous and oral communal traditions that were merely written down without any true sense of individual authorship?
                        I believe, quite literally Mark, Matthew and Luke were unauthored gospels and not written by the apostles. They were written in their present form after 65 AD. I do believe they were added to by oral beliefs, and adapted to assign authors at some time after 125 AD. I believe oral traditions of events that are not first hand testimony are a part of the final gospels as we know them.

                        Originally posted by http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/oral.html

                        L. Michael White:
                        Professor of Classics and Director of the Religious Studies Program University of Texas at Austin

                        It's rather clear from the way that the stories develop in the gospels that the Christians who are writing the gospels a generation after the death of Jesus are doing so from a stock of oral memory, that is, stories that had been passed down to probably by followers. But if we think about the death of Jesus and remember a group of people who would have still been attached to him and to his memory after his death, it must have been a rather stark and traumatic period of time. Many of their initial hopes and expectations had been dashed. All of this talk of the kingdom of God arriving soon seemed to be disconfirmed with his death.

                        And yet there's that story of his resurrection of his coming back to life. And it's around that memory, around that set of concerns that a lot of the earliest oral stories about Jesus must have circulated and must have been built. So we have to imagine the followers of Jesus getting together around the dinner table probably and talking about their memories, maybe it was the memory of something he actually said once upon a time or maybe it was a glimpse of an image that they had of him. Surely they thought it was some image of great power.... But the thing that keeps coming back is they tell the story of who he was in retrospect from the experience of what he became through his death and through the story of his resurrection....
                        Last edited by shunyadragon; 02-25-2014, 12:05 PM.
                        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                        go with the flow the river knows . . .

                        Frank

                        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                          I believe, quite literally Mark, Matthew and Luke were unauthored gospels and not written by the apostles. They were written in their present form after 65 AD. I do believe they were added to by oral beliefs, and adapted to assign authors at some time after 125 AD. I believe oral traditions of events that are not first hand testimony are a part of the final gospels as we know them.
                          By "unauthored", do you mean anonymous?
                          βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                          ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                          אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Another good source:

                            Originally posted by http://www.eerdmans.com/Products/6782/the-oral-gospel-tradition.aspx

                            The Oral Gospel Tradition by James D. G. Dunn

                            A collection of James Dunn's essays on the oral tradition of Jesus' teachings

                            The traditions about Jesus and his teaching circulated in oral form for many years, continuing to do so for decades following the writing of the New Testament Gospels. James Dunn is one of the major voices urging that more consideration needs to be given to the oral use and transmission of the Jesus tradition as a major factor in giving the Synoptic tradition its enduring character.

                            In fifteen scholarly essays Dunn discusses such issues as the role of eyewitnesses and of memory, how the Jesus tradition was shaped by oral usage, and the importance of seeing the biblical materials not so much as frozen writing but as living tradition, today almost as much as in the beginnings of the Gospel tradition.
                            Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                            Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                            But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                            go with the flow the river knows . . .

                            Frank

                            I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                              By "unauthored", do you mean anonymous?
                              Yes, until further information is discovered.
                              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                              go with the flow the river knows . . .

                              Frank

                              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                It seems like some information on the provenance of this supposed 1st century fragment of the gospel of Mark is starting to be unofficially disseminated by nonscholar apologists:

                                http://bricecjones.weebly.com/1/post...in-common.html

                                http://bricecjones.weebly.com/1/post...chaeology.html

                                http://facesandvoices.wordpress.com/...nnage-a-video/
                                βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                                ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                                אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

                                Comment

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