Thursday, 13 February 2014

AN EXCITING DISCOVERY



Well, exciting to me at least.  But I have to keep reminding myself that I am strange...

During his debate a good while ago with sceptic Bart Ehrman, New Testament scholar Daniel Wallace announced an important discovery of papyri fragments including a MS of Mark's Gospel which is believed to originate from the 1st Century!

To put that into some kind of perspective, we must remember  that on average for ancient documents, the time gap between the autograph (original) and the earliest extant copy is typically around a thousand years. The previous earliest New Testament fragment was reckoned to be P52, usually dated to around 125AD.

That was remarkable enough. But to discover a MS from the same century as the writer is truly amazing. The apostle John may well have still been alive when this copy was produced. Very likely the New Testament itself may not even have been completed!

 When fuller details of this discovery are made known (and I understand a book will be published shortly) doubtless it will only serve to demonstrate that which we already knew; that the New Testament documents constitute by far the best attested, most reliable documents we have from the ancient world.