Recent Manuscript Discoveries: A Blast from the Past

As we are nearing the five-year anniversary of the Blog, I have been looking back over some past postings, and this one caught my eye, from 3/30/13 (*four* years ago….).   It’s still of interest.  Two things to say about it: “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” is now recognized by everyone to be a modern forgery (it has been proved) (see, e.g., https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/07/the-unbelievable-tale-of-jesus-wife/485573/); and the fragment of Mark’s Gospel allegedly from the first century has STILL not been published!   Here ...

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My Debate with Dan Wallace: Is the Original NT Lost?

On  February 1st, 2012 I had a public debate with Dan Wallace, professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary.   The event was sponsored by The Ehrman Project, which, despite its name, is something I’ve never had anything to do with (I believe it is now defunct); it is/was an attempt by conservative Christians to debunk what I have written and taught (and thought, and thought about thinking).   We held the event on my turf, at the University ...

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Another (Final!) Insight into that Mummy Mask and Papyrus

OK, I am at the tail end of this thread on mummy masks and the alleged discovery of a first-century fragment of Mark’s Gospel.  But I did want to provide access to an interesting article and penetrating set of questions on the issue published a week ago on CNN by my friend Candida Moss and her partner-in-all-things-editorial Joel Baden (they crank out a lot of articles on issues in biblical studies, especially as items appear in the news).  Candida is ...

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Why I’d Be Thrilled If A First-Century Manuscript Appeared

In several posts I have been emphasizing – possibly over-emphasizing – that if a first-century fragment of the Gospel of Mark does ever get published, and if it is in *fact*from the first century (which, I should stress, will be almost *impossible* to demonstrate conclusively), that it is very hard indeed to imagine that it will be any kind of game-changer, that it will tell us something different from what we already think.   The reason I have been emphasizing this ...

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How Accurate Are our Earliest NT Manuscripts?

QUESTIONS

I have received the following three, interrelated, questions from an inquiring mind that wants to know, all of them involving the potential accuracy of the manuscript tradition of the NT based on what we can deduce from the early papyri.   My responses will follow.

  • In your last debate with Dr. Wallace, he seemed to argue, in part, for the relative integrity of the early NT manuscript tradition. He referred to p75 as being representative of other early NT MSS ...
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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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More on Recent Manuscript Discoveries

As I am taking a break from my Christological posts for a couple of days, I’ve received several inquiries about other things, including the newsworthy manuscript discoveries announced this past year: what has happened to them? Specifically, what about that Gospel of Jesus’ Wife that was named, announced, and published by Karen King back in September, and what about the first-century manuscript of the Gospel of Mark that Dan Wallace announced but would tell us nothing about in the debate ...

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