Here’s a short update on this (now old) news from the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog. A few thoughts:
1. Read the comments – they’re very informative. I wish this didn’t have Josh McDowell associated with it. You’ll understand why when you see the comments.
2. It’s true that the scholars involved have signed confidentiality agreements. I know two of them, and will be having lunch with one next week. No, I don’t plan on fishing – confidentiality agreements are important.
3. My impression, based on conversations, is that there *is* something to this fragment. But as Peter Head (in the comments) notes, we’ll have to wait for publication (and the discussion that will ensue) to see how solid a first century date really is.
For those new to this news and NT textual criticism (not to mention synoptic gospel research), this fragment and its date are important at least with respect to Marcan priority and (perhaps) the wider discussion about the NT’s “corruption” in the direction of high Christology. That debate (thank Bart Ehrman) makes little sense to me regardless of this fragment due to my own research trajectory in “exalted mediators” in Second Temple Judaism (the two powers issue). It depends what part of Mark the fragment contains as to whether it might have relevance to Christology.
Thanks for this.
News about a possible 1st century fragment of Mark has certainly stirred much interest. Following what’s been happening has been challenging, so all signposts are appreciated.
Tried finding on the internet “exalted mediators” in Second Temple Judiasm (the two powers issue). I would really like to read that if available.
the basics are at http://www.twopowersinheaven.com (my site). Marquette has a site devoted to this sort of thing (but a LOT wider in focus) that has exalted mediator / exalted angel stuff.
Why are hi-res photos of these mss not immediately taken and published? Why are confidentiality agreements important?
Please excuse my ignorance, I know nothing of textual criticism, or papyrology.
It has to do with who get to publish the results first and in what form.