Finally! Now We Know. The “First-Century Copy” of Mark

I have posted on and off over the past six or seven years about an allegedly first-century copy of the Gospel of Mark that some scholars claimed we had now in our possession.  This would be by far the earliest manuscript we have of any part of the New Testament, a matter of real importance and interest.  But it turns out NOT to be that, and it has involved a real academic farce. Those of you who have followed this charade know most of the important facts, but for those of you who don’t, and just to remind those of you who do, let me set them out, before explaining the new development: In 2012 I was holding a public debate on whether we can know what the authors of the New Testament “originally” wrote, given the fact that we don’t have their original writings but only later copies of them, all of them different in many, many small ways and sometimes in more important ways.  Virtually all of these copies are many centuries removed [...]