Papyrus 137 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), designated by Early translations of this passage into the Latin, Syriac, and Coptic translations (A.D. 150-300) include Mark 16:9-20 in their translations. By now, most readers will have heard that this mysterious manuscript has finally been published in the latest edition of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Earliest manuscript of Mark’s Gospel published The Rylands Library Papyrus P52, a fragment from John’s Gospel and our oldest known surviving New Testament manuscript The Egypt Exploration Society recently published what is believed to be our earliest manuscript of the Gospel According to Mark, dated by handwriting analysis to 150—250 A.D. Parentheses means fragmentary or hard to read. Needless to say, a first-century fragment of Mark was a bombshell. At my debate with Bart Ehrman (1 Feb 2012, held at UNC Chapel Hill) over whether we can recover the wording of the New Testament autographs, I made the announcement that a probable first-century fragment of Mark's Gospel had been recently discovered. 137 fragment was offered for sale to the Museum of the Bible, which Pattengale then represented. Six years came and went, and there was no “first-century Mark” fragment. The EES reaffirmed their previous statement that this fragment had never been offered for sale by the EES while offering the clarification that, in that statement, they had "simply reported Professor Obbink’s responses to our questions at that time, in which he insisted that he had not sold or offered for sale the Mark fragment to the Green Collection, and that he had not required Professor Wallace to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement in relation to such a sale. We now have early and very early evidence for the text of the New Testament. 137. Letters on the verso survive clearly, but those on the recto are seriously abraded. Yet, Scott Carroll and others have reported that it was indeed offered for sale. Codex Vaticanus (4th century) has a blank column after ending at 16:8 and placing kata Markon, "according to Mark". Teresa’s Mark Manuscript, Mark 2 (a): p. 21-36. A Luke P4,P45,P75 B Sin. It contains … Epiphany reminds us that faith is not a prop for political power. Numbers preceded by a P refer to papyri, the letters refer to parchment manuscripts. [7], "Statement in response to questions raised about the new fragment of Mark P.Oxy. As exciting as they are, textually speaking, new manuscript discoveries tend to confirm or at most fine-tune our Greek New Testament editions. 137, is an early fragment of the New Testament in Greek. Pattengale states that he had been present with Scott Carroll in Dirk Obbink's rooms in Christ Church, Oxford in late 2011, when the The EES clarified that the text in the fragment had only been recognised as being from the Gospel of Mark in 2011. An ancient and much-debated fragment of the Gospel of Mark has been dated to the late second to early third century A.D., making it the oldest fragment of Mark ever found. My view is that since none of the earliest manuscript fragments contain any of Mark 16, to say that the passage is an outright interpolation is at best a reasoned guess. The fragment, designated P137, was not published in a Brill volume as Wallace had predicted, nor is it part of the holdings of the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. as many had assumed it would be. If they are correct, this will be the first New Testament manuscript that dates to the first century. Conybeare in 1891, Mark 16:9-20, the Long Ending of Mark, is attributed to the “Elder Aristion,” one of the 70 Disciples of Jesus. The earliest and most famous Greek New Testament manuscript is the Ryland Papyrus P52, currently on display at the John Rylands University Library in Manchester, UK. In early 2012, Daniel B. Wallace, senior research professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, seemed to confirm Carroll’s statement. A question mark means it is probably but not certain the manuscript had these words. 83 (2018), is the same manuscript that I spoke about in the debate and blogged about afterward. The earliest fragment of the Gospel of Mark, dating between A.D. 150 - 250, was recently published by the Egypt Exploration Society from a Greek papyrus. Sign Up For Our Newsletter ca. The other one is P45 (P means “Papyrus” manuscript and 45 means it is the 45 th papyrus ms. discovered and published) which is highly fragmentary, but has portions from eight different chapters of Mark, and dates to the early third century. The first thing to mention is that yes, Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 5345, published in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. The editors propose the fragments Papyrus 103 and Papyrus 77 of the Gospel of Matthew, also from Oxyrhynchus and conserved at the Sackler Library, as being the closest New Testament papyri to In a comment on the post that broke the news about the EES publication at the blog Evangelical Textual Criticism, someone commenting as Carroll named Dirk Obbink as the one who offered the papyrus to him. a first-century manuscript of Mark would be the earliest manuscript of the New Testament to survive from antiquity Many of the church fathers support the inclusion of this passage. Also offered for sale were fragments of the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John, all of which Dirk Obbink had then proposed as likely to be of a 2nd century date; but the Mark fragment was presented as more likely 1st century. One lingering question is whether or not the new Mark fragment was ever up for sale. The handwriting is in a formal bookhand which the editors propose as having the characteristics of the "‘Formal Mixed" hand (juxtaposing narrower and wider letter forms) elsewhere found in dateable documents of the later second and third centuries. There is surely much more to come. But information kept leaking. Naturally, this news of a first-century copy of Mark generated a great deal of interest. P The fragment preserves parts of the bottom five lines (recto and verso) of a leaf; which could represent the first page of a single quire codex; and which may be reconstructed as having 25 lines per page with a written area of 9.4cm * 12 cm. In June 2019 a further statement[6] was released by the EES, following the publication by the museum of the Bible "Scholars Initiative" director Michael Holmes of a contract between Professor Dirk Obbink and Hobby Lobby dated 17 January 2013, for the sale of a number of fragmentary texts, one of which Holmes identified as P.Oxy. In late 2011, manuscript scholar Scott Carroll—then working for what would become the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C.—tweeted the tantalizing announcement that the earliest-known manuscript of the New Testament was no longer the second-century John Rylands papyrus (P52). The writings of Justin, Tatian (A.D. 170), and Irenaeus (A.D. 180) supports the passage’s inclusion. {\displaystyle {\mathfrak {P}}} P In an earlier cataloguing in the 1980s by Revel Coles, the fragment had been described as 'I/II', which appeared to be the origin of the much discussed assertions of a very early date. Obbink was formerly editor of the Oxyrhynchus collection, and Carroll was involved in acquisitions for the Green family at the time. benedek / Getty Images. It was not until a gala dinner in November 2017, celebrating the opening of the Museum of the Bible, that Pattengale realised that the "First Century Mark" fragment had been the property of the EES all along, and consequently had never legitimately been offered for sale. The earliest extant complete manuscripts of Mark, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, two 4th-century manuscripts, do not contain the last twelve verses, 16:9–20, nor the unversed shorter ending. A.D. 200 250 300 350 450 Matthew P45 B Sin. Teresa’s Mark Manuscript, Mark 2 (b): p. 37-45 ", In the July/August 2019 issue of Christianity Today, Jerry Pattengale wrote an article in which he published for the first time his own perspective on the 'First Century Mark' Saga. The New International Version (NIV) however, overstates the case when it says, ?The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20.?? Before any of these manuscripts were written, well-known individuals in the early church quoted many Bible verses that were omitted from the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. He later signed a non-disclosure agreement and was bound to silence until the Mark fragment was published. Obbink recently denied attempting to sell the manuscript to the Greens, according to Candida Moss and Joel Baden, writing for The Daily Beast. All four canonical Gospels introduce their accounts of the ministry of Jesus with these words from John the Baptist. Such an “embarrassment of riches,” as they have been called, allows us to reconstruct the original text of the New Testament with a high degree of confidence. This new publication is only the first word on the manuscript. In 2011/2012 the papyrus was in the keeping of Dirk Obbink, who had showed it to Scott Carroll, then representing the Green Collection, in connection with a proposal that it might be included in the exhibition of biblical papyri Verbum Domini at the Vatican in Lent and Easter 2012. {\displaystyle {\mathfrak {P}}} Interestingly, it is one of the earliest books to incorporate significant decoration to mark major divisions in the text. (7Q5 is a papyrus scrap with writing only on the recto side, having just five lines of text with parts of no more than twenty letters visible.3 The onl… As an example, our Greek New Testaments would be exactly the same with or without our current earliest New Testament manuscript, P52. First, the earliest substantial manuscripts of the New Testament come from the third century. The EES has made the publication, including images of P137, available here. When I contacted Carroll and Obbink for statements, Carroll replied that he had nothing to add to or subtract from his story, and Obbink did not respond. Obbink and Colomo admit in the edition that the handwriting is difficult to date. Some of that collection later became part of the Museum of the Bible collection. CCCU Young Alumni Award winner discusses how diversity in medicine improves care for the most vulnerable. In the Gospel of Luke (3:16) the dative preposition is found before 'Holy Spirit' but not before 'water'; whereas in the Gospel of Matthew (3:11) and the Gospel of John (1:33) both 'water' and 'Holy Spirit' are preceded by the dative preposition. It was purchased in 1920 by Bernard Grenfell on the Egyptian antiquities market. In a debate with Bart D. Ehrman, Wallace reported that a fragment of Mark’s gospel, dated to the first century, had been discovered. He had no apologetic motive for assigning the early date. Not all books of the New Testament are equally well-represented in our manuscripts, especially early on. Located in the British Library in London, this early-5th century Greek manuscript contains almost the entire Bible. 83 (2018), is the same manuscript that I spoke about in the debate and blogged about afterward. One might expect happiness at such a publication, but this important fragment actually disappointed many observers. Many people—including Carroll himself—believed that the Greens had at some point purchased the manuscript until it appeared in an Oxyrhynchus volume. 5345 is an early fragment of Mark 1:7-9, 16-18, and is dated not to the first century but to the late second or early third century. P {\displaystyle {\mathfrak {P}}} The oldest manuscript that had Mark in it was Papyrus 45 (P45), from the early third century (c. AD 200–250). Moreover, P137 is not the only new papyrus of the New Testament to be published in the latest Oxyrhynchus volume. This new fragment would predate P45 by 100 to 150 years, almost certainly placing it in the first century and making it the oldest of its kind, according to the professor. The oldest manuscript that had Mark in it was Papyrus 45 (P45), from the early third century (c. AD 200–250). In one (1) Armenian MS of the Gospels dated 986 (below), discovered by F.C. However, it wasn’t really “discovered” until 1934 when it was translated by C. H. Roberts. Slightly earlier manuscripts exist, but do not contain Mark. There are several early papyri of Matthew and John, but before this new fragment was published, there was only one existing copy of Mark’s gospel produced before the 300s. Also in verse 8 on the recto, the dative preposition εν('in') is not found in In that volume the editors date it to the second or third century. Lines of writing preserved on each side indicate that this fragment comes from the bottom of the first written page of a codex—a book rather than a scroll. Even further, almost every manuscript that we have today has Mark 16:9-2… Obbink is a renowned papyrologist at the University of Oxford, and he is almost certainly the non-evangelical specialist to whom Wallace attributed the first-century date. On the recto side, the papyrus strips are laid vertically, while on the verso side they are laid horizontally. Finally, a first-century manuscript of Mark would be the earliest manuscript of the New Testament to survive from antiquity, written within 40 years of when the Holy Spirit inspired the original through the pen of the evangelist himself. 83.5345. He has written articles for academic journals and is a regular contributor to the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog. The term 'Holy Spirit' at verse 8 on the recto is shortened from πνευματι to π̣̅ν̣̅ι as a nomen sacrum. We hesitate to make it available–it is NOT a substitute for personal study. Second, early fragments of Mark’s gospel are scarce. Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. This preeminent authority was not an evangelical Christian, either. Elijah Hixson is an adjunct lecturer at Edinburgh Bible College. The Egypt Exploration Society made the announcement about the fragment – known as P.Oxy LXXXIII 5345 – … Actually only two early Greek manuscripts and a few manuscripts of translations into other ancient languages omit these verses. It is currently housed at the Sackler Library (P. Oxy. LXXXIII 5345) in Oxford. Even though it is not quite so early as many hoped, P137 is still a significant find. LXXXIII 5345", "Professor Obbink and sales of papyri to Hobby Lobby", "The First-Century Mark Saga from inside the room", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Papyrus_137&oldid=953777567, Early Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, the provenance of the fragment was undisputed, having been excavated by. To unlock this article for your friends, use any of the social share buttons on our site, or simply copy the link below. P In that volume the editors date it to the second or third century. New Testament scholars Craig Evans and Gary Habermas were among others who spoke about the fragment, generating even more excitement. There is no textual proof by the unknown scribe of the Armenian MS. On the basis of the handwriting, Obbink and Colomo estimate that the manuscript was written in the range of A.D. 150–250. Four endings of the Gospel according to Mark are current in the manuscripts. We can happily look forward to more unknown treasures yet to come. Also published are P138, a third-century papyrus of Luke 13:13–17 and 13:25–30, and P139, a fourth-century papyrus of Philemon 6–8 and 18–20. I noted that a world-class paleographer had dated this manuscript and that he… Subscribers receive full access to the archives. Justin Martyr (A.D. 150) refers to Mark 16:20, thus supporting inclusion of the passage. P The text does not present any surprising readings for a manuscript of its age, and the codex format is also what we would expect. The fragment is from a codex, written on both sides with text from the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark; verses 7-9 on the recto side and 16-18 on the verso side. 137 was first published in 2018, but rumours of the content and provenance of a yet unpublished Gospel papyrus had been widely disseminated on social media since 2012, following a claim by Daniel B. Wallace that a recently identified fragmentary papyrus of Mark had been dated to the late first century by a leading papyrologist, and might therefore be the earliest surviving Christian text. Since the first volume was produced in 1898, only about one percent of the collection has been published. Not only this, but the first-century fragment is from Mark’s Gospel. Evidence of idol worship, evil kings, and Christian churches add to our understanding of the world of the Bible. 5345; whereupon Dirk Obbink and Daniela Colomo were requested to prepare it for publication in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri series. CTWeekly delivers the best content from ChristianityToday.com to your inbox each week. [3] The editors note that the space presumed on the recto above the preserved lines of the fragment would imply an opening text of Mark of very similar length to that witnessed in the Codex Sinaiticus; contrary to the proposals of Karl Lachmann and others that some of these verses (especially 2 and 3) might be later intrusions. at no time since had the fragment left Oxford; at no time had the EES offered the fragment for sale; This page was last edited on 29 April 2020, at 00:46. Before the discovery of this fragment, the oldest manuscript that had Mark in it was P45, from the early third century (c. AD 200–250). In omitting a dative preposition in both instances at verse 8, Words are written continuously in a large square uncial hand with no accents and only some breathing marks. Among the papyri are biblical texts, apocryphal texts, classical texts, tax receipts, letters, and even a contract that stipulates the pre-determined outcome of a wrestling match. As a general rule, earlier manuscripts get us closer to the original text than later manuscripts because there are assumed to be fewer copies between them and the autographs (the original copies of the NT writings, most likely lost to history). A first-century fragment of Mark’s gospel would be significant for several reasons. 137 either before 'water' or before 'Holy Spirit'; whereas the standard text of Mark in Novum Testamentum Graece (NA28) has the dative preposition in the second instance only; "..he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit", following in this the Codex Sinaiticus. This is not the only surprise. The manuscript itself is tiny, only 4.4 x 4 cm. Image: Edited by scholars Dirk Obbink and Daniela Colomo, P.Oxy. The earliest known copy of Mark — Papyrus 45, from about A.D. 225 — is damaged and for this reason is missing all of Mark 16. According to Pattengale, he had undertaken due diligence in showing images of the four fragments to selected New Testament textual scholars - subject to their signing non-disclosure agreements in accordance with Dirk Obbink's stipulations; and purchase was eventually finalised, with the fragments agreed to remain in Professor Obbink's possession for research prior to publication. This new fragment would predate that by 100 to 150 years. There are about 5,300 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament of various sizes and dates. The EES, which owns the papyrus, emphatically denies that they ever attempted to sell it. 16:9-20 The Ending(s) of Mark. … It’s a fragment, not a manuscript. This makes it only the second fragment of Mark that dates to the 3rd century – meaning there’s a 50% chance this is the earliest “manuscript” of Mark that has been catalogued. Scott Carroll stated that P137 is indeed the manuscript he had spoken about as “first-century Mark,” and Dan Wallace finally broke his six-year silence on the matter. This new fragment would predate P45 by 100 to 150 years, almost certainly placing it in the first century and making it the oldest of its kind, according to the professor. Its date range makes it likely the earliest copy of Mark’s gospel. Also it’s a tiny scrap of papyrus containing just 28 Greek letters. When A Word Is Worth A Thousand Complaints (and When It Isn’t), Why There Are So Many ‘Miraculous’ Stories of Bibles Surviving Disaster, Biblical Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2020, God Called Me to Encourage Fellow Black Students in White Coats, Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com, Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives. The publication of P137 was prepared by Oxford papyrologists Daniela Colomo and Dirk Obbink. {\displaystyle {\mathfrak {P}}} The manuscript has finally been published, but some are disappointed because it is not what they were hoping for: It’s not from the first-century. What follows is a completed Mark manuscript. This one is now called P137. 137 in handwriting and date. Early Christians quoted Mark 16:9–20 as Scripture before the manuscripts that left them out ever existed. For most of these manuscripts, including 7Q5, the editors did not have a clue as to their textual identity. [4], Following its publication in 2018, the Egypt Exploration Society (EES), owners of the papyrus fragment, released a statement asserting that:[5]. {\displaystyle {\mathfrak {P}}} P 137 is the oldest-known manuscript of the Gospel of Mark, because the one which was so far the oldest (one of the Chester Beatty papyri in Dublin, known as P45) dates from the third century and what remains of it only begins somewhere in Mark 4. P138 overlaps with two roughly contemporary manuscripts of Luke, which allows us better opportunity to assess the early transmission of Luke’s gospel. Mark P45 B Sin. This manuscript of the Gospel of Mark would have been copied in the first century A.D.—when some of Jesus’ early followers were still alive. As unlikely as a first-century Gospel manuscript is, the fragment was allegedly dated by a world-class specialist. It is the earliest surviving witness to the text that it covers; otherwise the only early papyrus witness to Mark is in six surviving leaves of Papyrus 45, dated to the 3rd Century,[2] which nowhere overlaps with the text in On stage at a conference in 2015, Scott Carroll told Josh McDowell that the manuscript had been for sale at least twice, after the first attempt was unsuccessful. We have another significant find, and it is the earliest manuscript of Mark 1! Multi-spectral imaging and digital image processing open new doors to deciphering and understanding manuscripts, and P137 might benefit from such types of analysis. There are three other blank columns in Vaticanus, in the Old Testament, but they are each due to incidental factors in the production of the codex: a change to the column-format, a change of scribes, a… To share this article with your friends, use any of the social share buttons on our site, or simply copy the link below. The Oxyrhynchus papyri constitute a collection of hundreds of thousands of manuscript fragments excavated from an ancient Egyptian garbage dump near Oxyrhynchus between 1896 and 1906. P When pressed for more information, Wallace refrained from saying anything new. And this now is what has created quite a stir. Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Stuttgart, 1971), pages 122-126. The reason stems from the unusual way that this manuscript became famous before it became available. Although news releases from the EES about individual papyri are highly unusual, the organization issued a statement last week reporting that P137 was excavated probably in 1903, that Obbink had previously shown the papyrus to visitors to Oxford, and that it had been preliminarily dated to the first century. Any Christian text written earlier than A.D. 200 is a rare and remarkable find, much less one written before the early 100s. 137 supports the alternative reading of this verse in Mark of the Codex Vaticanus and all editions of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece up to NA25. {\displaystyle {\mathfrak {P}}} LXXXIII 5345.[1]. 2nd century biblical text fragment from Egypt The article was titled “Earliest Manuscript of Gospel of Mark Reportedly Found” (Stoyan Zaimov, Feb. 20). The first thing to mention is that yes, Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 5345, published in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. Let us begin with the external evidences first. It should be stated, however, that we have no shortage of New Testament manuscripts. It was not until the spring of 2016 that the EES realised that the much rumoured "First Century Mark" papyrus that had been the subject of so much speculation was one and the same as their own fragment P.Oxy. Per the British Librarywebsite, “The beginning lines of each book are written in red ink and sections within the book are marked by a larger letter set into the margin. ", this means that one or more manuscripts in the family give the first choice, and one or more manuscripts are not clear, but appear to give the second choice. Where there is more than one number, such as "1 /2? Instead, it was published in the latest installment of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri series by the Egypt Exploration Society (EES) with the identifier P.Oxy. Additionally, early manuscripts of Philemon are rare, and P139 is among the earliest. The manuscript, Wallace claimed, was to be published later that year in a book from Brill, an academic publisher that has since begun publishing items in the Museum of the Bible collection. The manuscript has been dated paleographically to the later 2nd or earlier 3rd century, and has been published in the Oxyrhynchus papyrus series as P.Oxy. Manuscript dates are often disputed, though I expect the question will be whether P137 could be later, not whether it could be earlier. The excavations of Oxyrhynchus continue to yield valuable artifacts of antiquity including new biblical manuscripts after over a century of publishing. LXXXIII 5345. P Only Carroll would publicly state that he had seen it. Already the rumours are flying around the theologicobiblioblogosphere about what this will mean for mythicism. The fact that the text presents us with no new variants is partially a reflection of the overall stability of the New Testament text over time. Bible scholars have been waiting for the Gospel fragment’s publication for years. Significant for several reasons to their textual identity communicating the breadth of true! Dated by a P refer to Papyri, the letters refer to Papyri vol. Anything new a significant find, much less one written before the early date to questions raised the! 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