Would a First-Century Fragment of Mark Matter?

As you know, there is a good deal of discussion going on about the destruction of mummy masks in order to uncover New Testament papyri.   One point that I am not seeing discussed strikes me as the most important of all, and I want to address that here.

But before doing so, I want to ask two questions, that maybe someone on the Blog can answer for me.   The first is actuallyseveral questions:  exactly how many masks are we talking about ...

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An Expert Talks About Mummy Masks and Papyri

One of the things that I find disconcerting about all the discussion about whether it is legitimate to destroy mummy masks in order to get NT papyri is that the only people who seem to know anything about what has been found (this alleged first century copy of the Gospel of Mark) are not experts in the specific fields in which expertise is required, both to dismantle masks and to date papyri.   As it turns out, they’re all friends ...

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Defending the Destruction of Mummy Masks

In yesterday’s post on New Manuscripts and the Destruction of Antiquities, I cited an article by Mary-Ann Russo that explained the situation about the mummy masks that were being destroyed in order to acquire papyrus fragments of the New Testament.  The scholar mainly cited in that article as being involved in that process was Craig Evans, a friend of mine with whom I have had several public debates.   Craig feels that he has been somewhat misrepresented in this article, and ...

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New Manuscripts and the Destruction of Antiquities

As many of you know, in 2012 I had a public debate in Chapel Hill with Dan Wallace, professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, on the question of whether we have the original New Testament or not.  During the debate he dropped a bombshell, on me and all of us.  He mysteriously claimed that now we have a first-century copy of the Gospel of Mark.   This would be a copy well over a century older than any other ...

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Public Reactions to Muslim Extremists

I have never used this Blog as a platform for my particular political views (even though I suppose they are easily enough seen by a careful reader) or to convert anyone to them.  And I’m not about to start now.   But I do have a category of comment on the blog, not used very often, on “Religion in the News.”   And a couple of news items appeared this past week that are “close to home” for me – one involving ...

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New Discovery of an Ancient Christian Amulet

A new discovery has been made of an ancient amulet, of interest to students of the Bible. It contains some references to both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. An amulet was a kind of lucky charm that a person carried or wore, in order, principally, to ward of evil spirits. I will say more about amulets as they relate to the use of sacred books (esp. the Christian New Testament) in my next post. For now: here’s news ...

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Article in the Huffington Post

The Huffington Post has just published an article that I wrote introducing How Jesus Became God. (Link below) Here’s the article as I wrote it and sent it in. I’ve written several others that I will be providing as well, as soon as they are available in their various venues, plus anything else of related interest.

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Jesus was a lower-class preacher from Galilee, who, in good apocalyptic fashion, proclaimed that the end of history as he knew it ...

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Snake-Handling and the Gospel of Mark

 

Here is something to break up a bit my thread on the Gospel of Mark, studied from a literary-historical perspective (to be resumed in my next post).   This current post is related to Mark but it’s well, different.

There was a recent CNN report that some of you may have seen.   I include it here, below, with the link to the site at the bottom.   This practice in some southern circles (especially in the Appalachians) of handling deadly snakes as part ...

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Camels and the Book of Genesis

Something different. A long time-member of the blog, Ron Taska, has sent this along to me. Biblical scholars for years have argued that the camels one finds in the patriarchal narratives of Genesis (Gen. 12-50) are anachronistic, since camels were not yet domesticated in the times in which the Patriarchs allegedly lived. (I’m one of those scholars who doubts whether the Patriarchs of Genesis are historical figures at all; but that’s another question.) Here is some recent scientific evidence that ...

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New Hermeneia Manuscript

Yesterday I provided background for my post of today by talking about the five hermeneia manuscripts of the Gospel of John that were discussed by Bruce Metzger in a publication in 1988. The reason that is now timely is that a new manuscript has just recently been identified with the same phenomenon. This time it is a Coptic manuscript that survives only in a fragment, of John chapter 3. The person who has identified it is Brice Jones, a PhD ...

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