Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Fragment of Mark's Gospel

No, this is not the so-called first century fragment of Mark about which rumors have been flying around the internet. That fragment has still yet to be published.

This is a third/fourth century papyrus from Oxyrhynchus Papyri collection at Oxford. This fragment was published recently after being examined by experts, which is what we all hope will happen with the so-called first century fragment of Mark to determine if it is authentic AND from the first century.

The fragment below contains the opening lines of Mark's gospel. For those who can read Greek, it contains the first two verses of Mark 1, which includes the quote from Malachi 3:1. You will also note the abbreviated spellings of 'Jesus' and 'Christ' since these are treated as nomina sacra in the text.

What makes this fragment interesting is that 1:1 does not include the phrase"son of God." As most first year Greek and New Testament students learn, there is some discrepancy among the witnesses to Mark as to whether "Son of God" was original or not. This fragment is a witness to its absence in some manuscripts.

I have included a photo below from the Oxyrhynchus Papyri webpage. If you go to the the webpage, however, you can look at low and high resolution photos and increase the size.

HT: Pete Williams @ Evangelical Text Criticism


  1. You mean, the quote from Isailachi?

  2. Yes, that one. The quote that would get a seminary student in trouble for not properly citing a source. LOL