HT: Brian LePort and Joel Watts for pointing me to Ehrman vs. Wallace: Round Three on the Parchment and Pen blog. In the excerpt below, Dan Wallace shares a new discovery, which could very well be a first-century manuscript of Mark’s Gospel. Looking forward to learning more when this find is published by E. J. Brill next year. Since it’ll be published by Brill, I’m guessing it will be a bit out of my price range, but perhaps I will have finally reached the pinnacle of biblioblogging success, which will part the seas and open enough doors to finally entitle to one of those highly coveted E. J. Brill review copies.
We have as many as eighteen second-century manuscripts (six of which were recently discovered and not yet catalogued) and a first-century manuscript of Mark’s Gospel! Altogether, more than 43% of the 8000 or so verses in the NT are found in these papyri. Bart had explicitly said that our earliest copy of Mark was from c. 200 CE, but this is now incorrect. It’s from the firstcentury. I mentioned these new manuscript finds and told the audience that a book will be published by E. J. Brill in about a year that gives all the data. (In the Q & A, Bart questioned the validity of the first-century Mark fragment. I noted that a world-class paleographer, a man who had no religious affiliation and thus was not biased toward an early date, was my source. Bart said that even so, we don’t have thousands of manuscripts from the first century! That kind of skepticism is incomprehensible to me.)
Dr. Wallace and Dr. Ehrman are both lively characters and are a lot of fun to watch in debate. If manuscripts and textual criticism are you thing, you should consider picking up a copy of Can We Trust the Text of the New Testament: A Debate Between Daniel B. Wallace & Bart D. Ehrman from CSNTM.