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1st Century Fragment of Mark

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  • #31
    Originally posted by robrecht View Post
    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/
    Yeah. Read about that today. Was going to mention it, but figured I'd wait till something official was released. The video Jones is freaking out about is a year old, so not sure why it took till now for everyone to notice.

    I think everyone already knew that it was part of the private Green (Hobby Lobby) Collection. Its extremely unfortunate that non-experts have their mitts all over this stuff. If the Jesus' Wife fragment controversy has taught us anything its clarify provenance, and leave ancient finds to expert authorities to test and examine. The last thing we need is contamination and destruction of evidence by goofballs who have no idea what they're doing.
    Last edited by OingoBoingo; 05-05-2014, 03:07 PM.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by robrecht View Post
      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/
      Not sure how likely it is that Christian papyri would find their way into the hands of pagan priests for use as mummy accessories.
      Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

      Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
      sigpic
      I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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      • #33
        Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
        Not sure how likely it is that Christian papyri would find their way into the hands of pagan priests for use as mummy accessories.
        Well that part isn't too unbelievable. Cartonnage mummy masks are made from scrap papyrus (sort of like papier mache). Its not out of the question that scrap copies of the New Testament or other works would get tossed out, and then collected and reused in this fashion. According to the McDowell video, these particular masks were supposedly only made between 150 BCE to 125 CE, which (if accurate) would help lock in the date. Its the process of deconstructing the masks, and handling the papyrus that's really worrying.
        Last edited by OingoBoingo; 05-05-2014, 09:11 PM.

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        • #34
          Watching the video, one of the things you have to keep in mind is that McDowell is a non-expert speaking to a lay audience in what appears to be a church. Since he's talking to a lay audience, he's using a lot of pastor-like, sensational story telling techniques. I think Jones is taking a bit of that storytelling element too seriously. The implication I got from the video is that McDowell is far from a key handler. He was just lucky and excited to be there to witness the process at some point...maybe get a little hands-on experience with guidance by a credible professional. The destruction of the masks themselves is unfortunate, but for all I know this is standard procedure. Archaeology is often a destructive process after all.

          Also, Jones added an update to the first link that robrecht posted:
          http://bricecjones.weebly.com/1/post...in-common.html


          Source: Brice C. Jones

          UPDATE: In the comments to this post, Matthijs den Dulk has provided a link to images of some of these papyri that he found publicly available on McDowell's website. One of them is of Homer's Iliad, the very end of book 15 (see image below). The script can be dated pretty confidently to c. 1st cent. CE. See Turner, GMAW, #15, #18, #37. Late 1st cent. BCE and early 2nd cent. CE cannot be ruled out. I would have to study the hand in more detail.

          © Copyright Original Source

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          • #35
            Originally posted by OingoBoingo View Post
            Well that part isn't too unbelievable. Cartonnage mummy masks are made from scrap papyrus (sort of like papier mache). Its not out of the question that scrap copies of the New Testament or other works would get tossed out, and then collected and reused in this fashion. According to the McDowell video, these particular masks were supposedly only made between 150 BCE to 125 CE, which (if accurate) would help lock in the date. Its the process of deconstructing the masks, and handling the papyrus that's really worrying.
            What are the odds that a copy of the NT material would be tossed out as scrap by 125 CE? At that point, copies would be maybe 50 years old.
            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
            sigpic
            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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            • #36
              Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
              What are the odds that a copy of the NT material would be tossed out as scrap by 125 CE? At that point, copies would be maybe 50 years old.
              Yeah, I don't know. Guess it depends on how big a Christian population lived in the places the masks were created. If they were using damaged papyrus to make the manuscripts in the first place, I suppose its plausible that they junked copies when they came upon finer material. What did they use for practice material back then? Is it possible they practiced on scrap/garbage papyrus in the first place?

              They also allegedly found copies of the Iliad, Homer, Sappho, and some Jewish writings. As you can see from my previous post, the Iliad script appears to be close to the dates mentioned. McDowell also mentioned that the manuscripts were sent to Cambridge and Oxford for further dating. They were supposed to be published last year. Who knows what the holdup is.

              In this video from last month http://vimeo.com/92964208, McDowell mentions that scholars from Cambridge, Oxford, and Baylor supervised the destruction of the masks. He claims that the copy of Mark is currently being published and will be available in 1 and a half to 2 years. Its allegedly a copy of chapter 1, currently dated to 85-98 CE. Later in the same video he talks about the team discovering one of the oldest copies of the Republic by Plato dating to the 4th century.

              I don't know. It all sounds a little too good to be true, but we are dealing with the world's largest private collection, so who knows.
              Last edited by OingoBoingo; 05-09-2014, 11:35 PM.

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              • #37
                Just a quick heads up. Daniel Wallace blogged about his non-participation in all of this this morning:

                http://danielbwallace.com/2014/05/06...-the-evidence/

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by OingoBoingo View Post
                  Just a quick heads up. Daniel Wallace blogged about his non-participation in all of this this morning:

                  http://danielbwallace.com/2014/05/06...-the-evidence/
                  I'm not so sure. He seems to be saying that he was not involved hardly at all in this December event, which Josh McDowell referred to as an upcoming event in the earlier video, but with respect to the first century Markan fragment, it seems like a nondenial denial, clarifying that he did not violate the nondisclosure agreement:

                  "Finally, some claims were made at the conference (so I am told) about one papyrus in particular, a fragment from Mark’s Gospel. What was said about that fragment was not said in my presence. And even if it had been, I can neither confirm nor deny the points made because I signed a nondisclosure agreement on this issue some time ago."
                  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׃

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                    I'm not so sure.
                    I should have put "non" in quotes or parentheses like I was planning on doing. By non-participation I simply meant that he seemed to have been at certain events, but not participated in direct discussion. I figured if people wanted more info, they'd just read the blog post (which, unfortunately, doesn't tell us much).

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by OingoBoingo View Post
                      I should have put "non" in quotes or parentheses like I was planning on doing. By non-participation I simply meant that he seemed to have been at certain events, but not participated in direct discussion. I figured if people wanted more info, they'd just read the blog post (which, unfortunately, doesn't tell us much).
                      Precisely. The fact that it does not tell us much of anything at all seems to be a pretty good confirmation that he is not talking about the same manuscript fragment.
                      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׃

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                      • #41
                        Not sure this is still relevant to this thread or not, but there's much discussion between scholars on Christian Askeland's blog concerning the manuscript fragments that were displayed in the Josh McDowell video. Scholars debating the fragments include Jeff Cate, Darrell Bock (I believe), and others. Towards the end Michael Holmes, one of the scholars studying a fragment of 1 Cor that McDowell shows in one of his slides made this post:

                        http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.b...agment-of.html

                        Source: Mike Holmes

                        Colleagues,
                        I find myself in an awkward spot re the fragment of 1 Corinthians pictured above. Due to the generosity of the Green Scholars Initiative, I and two students, Erica Lehn and Catherine Creelman, were given the opportunity to edit this papyrus fragment (which is indeed a fragment of a codex), before it was placed on display. Our work is now being prepared for publication in a volume being edited by Dr. Jeff Fish of Baylor University. As a result of our study of the papyrus, I could answer or respond to the questions or observations about this fragment that have been raised in comments above, by Darrell, Jeff, and Chill, e.g. However, having signed a publishing agreement for the volume being edited by Dr. Fish, I am reluctant to do so, lest I violate that agreement. So, if I receive permission to comment, I will do so, but until such permission is received, I will remain silent--not due to any lack of interest in the matter, or any disrespect for Darrell, Jeff, or anyone else discussing the papyrus, but out of respect for the GSI's planned publication. Apologies for not sharing more, but I hope you understand my situation. Since, however, the 2011 "blurb" from the faculty page was cited just above, let me say just this: I don't think that the initial estimate of the papyrus's date (made prior to its delivery to the three of us) holds up; it strikes me (an amateur papyrologist at best, to be sure) as rather more likely to be 3rd c. CE than 2nd.

                        © Copyright Original Source



                        Prof. Cate and Bock seem sympathetic to Holmes' case. It should also be noted that, while McDowell said he took part in the process of the deconstruction of the mummy heads, some people are debating whether or not it was really him in some of the slides (in one slide that McDowell claims is him carefully pulling apart papyri we see what appear to be a very young man's hands doing the job). Ancient and medieval manuscript specialist, Dr. Scott Carroll, was the one who apparently devised the process of deconstructing the mummy heads (I believe I remember seeing a paper on the process in one of the blogs I visited). He was the director of the Green Collection till relatively recently, so the deconstruction may have been done in a controlled manner, and not as haphazardly as first assumed. The general consensus is that the manuscript fragments appear legit so far, and that McDowell probably shouldn't have been showing them publicly before being published. Guess we'll find out more when the results are finally published. Looks like they're taking their time on this, so, that's good I guess.

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                        • #42
                          Supposed 1st Century Gospel of Mark Fragment Not To Be Published Until 2015?
                          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׃

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                          • #43
                            Assuming they're taking the extra time to make sure that all their i's are dotted and t's are crossed, I don't mind waiting a bit rather than having them rush it out the door.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by OingoBoingo View Post
                              Assuming they're taking the extra time to make sure that all their i's are dotted and t's are crossed, I don't mind waiting a bit rather than having them rush it out the door.
                              Sure, I just don't want people to think that its publication is imminent. It was already expected last year.
                              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׃

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                                Sure, I just don't want people to think that its publication is imminent. It was already expected last year.
                                I wonder if they were all geared up to go last year, but then the Jesus' Wife fragment debacle got them thinking that they better triple proof their dating before publication so they didn't fall into the same trap. Thing is, I doubt the media will take much notice of early copies of the New Testament and the Classics. A manuscript that says that Jesus was married or was gay, no matter how late, or how likely a forgery, now that's what the people want to hear!

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