Monday, February 20, 2012

Is this a fragment of a first century copy of Mark?

As you probably know, there have been a lot of rumors about the discovery of a supposed first century fragment of Mark's Gospel. At this point there is little information about it.

But this picture is floating around the internet today along with the claim by some that it is the fragment. If this is the case, then it is too bad that this is the way a potentially important find is being announced. Even worse is the claim that it was posted on Facebook. If this turns out to be true, I will be very disappointed. However, I have my  doubts that the people connected to the fragment would be so sloppy as to reveal it this way.

For more on this photo see here, here, and here.

Update: Brian LePort at Neat Emmaus has posted a piece with some comments by those who say this photo is a fraud.


  1. ' However, I have my doubts that the people connected to the fragment would be so sloppy as to reveal it this way.'

    Which way would they reveal it?

    Press conference? Publication of high quality photographs allowing scholars to look at it? Claims that anonymous paleographers have pronounced it is certain that it came from the first century?

    1. Steven,

      I think that they if they think it really is from the first century then they should put all their cards on the table at once. Call a press conference at SBL, have the fragment and the paleographer present and then make it available for further study.

      I think Dan Wallace acted out of turn by throwing out a tantalizing claim at a debate without providing any evidence. It sensationalizes the potential find in ways that we don't need. But, its too late for that now.