Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The alleged first century Mark

There's been a good bit of stir of late about a supposed papyrus fragment containing the Gospel of Mark. It actually is an old story from 2012 that got resurrected of late. I'm skeptical—I always am when it comes to sensational finds...but in this case, I'm not the only one. I just saw this over at Evangelical Textual Criticism:
I have had correspondence with Craig Evans and have his permission to confirm that he has not seen the alleged first-century manuscript of Mark and does not know the identity of the scholar or scholars to whom it has (presumably) been assigned for publication.

I also believe that Dan Wallace had not seen the alleged manuscript at the time he debated Ehrman. I do not know whether he has seen it since then.

There may have been more eyewitnesses to the Secret Gospel of Mark than to 'FCM'.

Based on current evidence I would conclude that, although 'FCM' may exist, we currently have no reason to believe that it exists or will be published in the coming years. Of course, a historical kernel might exist to the stories of 'FCM', but I personally have very limited enthusiasm for source criticism.

Agreed. And here's what Larry Hurtado has to say:
So, what we can ask in the case of this putative fragment of Mark is that the owner(s) enable the scholarly world to access it, so that a critical and measured analysis can be done. Until then, there is no need to ask what I think of the claim that it is a first-century fragment of Mark. No data, no opinion.

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