Wineskins Archive

December 9, 2013

First Century Mark Gospel? (May 2012)

Filed under: — @ 8:11 pm and

By Edward Fudge

On February 1, 2012, Daniel Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary and Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina debated at UNC on the subject Is the original New Testament lost? Dr. Wallace later reported on his blog [1] that he referred in the debate to a newly-found manuscript of Mark’s Gospel which has been authenticated as first-century in origin by a world-class paleographer with unimpeachable credentials.

Based on these comments, several bloggers since have reported that Dr. Daniel Wallace has discovered a Greek text of the Gospel of Mark, with proven first-century origin. However well-intentioned, such reports are false, and Dr. Wallace has responded to them on a different scholarly blog [2] from the University of Sheffield, U.K., with three clarifications.

First, he notes, the Mark manuscript is only a small fragment, not a Gospel of Mark. Second, the fragment appears to have been found among the cartonnage or packing around a mummy; it was not discovered by Daniel Wallace. Third, the fragment’s dating is not yet certain, and we all must wait about a year from now for actual details.

Mark’s Gospel is usually thought to have been written around 65-75 A.D., John’s Gospel is probably to be dated in the last decade of the century, with Matthew and Luke somewhere between. (Richard Bauckham, Jesus: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2011, p.10.) Whatever their dates of origin, the Gospels–like all the Scriptures, beginning with the Old Testament–will continue to point us to Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word, through whom alone we find eternal life.




Copyright 2012 by Edward Fudge. You are urged to reproduce, reprint or forward this gracEmail, but only in its entirety, without change and without financial profit.

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