Monday, May 05, 2014

Breaking News on the First-Century (?) Fragment of Mark

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Over at Brice C. Jones’ blog there is more news about the alleged first-century fragment of Mark, and many other recently discovered manuscripts (a 38 page manuscript of 1 or 2 Corinthians, the oldest copy of Romans, etc). Apparently, all the information is disclosed in a video featuring evangelist Josh McDowell, who has been involved in working on this fantastic discovery and even in the process of extracting the manuscripts from Egyptian mummy masks(!).

It seems that the Markan fragment is soon to be published. McDowell assumed it would be in November last year. We certainly look forward to that.

Update: photos of some of these manuscripts:








67 comments :

  1. Josh McDowell? Is this a belated April Fool's Joke?

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  2. If these are ever properly published we may be able to evaluate some of these outlandish claims. In the meantime I think we should be clear that the processes described in this video are slapdash, deplorable and not reflective of good practice in Christian scholarship.
    For example in relation to the gold painted mummy masks he says 'we washed that gold right down the sink'.

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  3. As I reviewed that account I just wanted to shout "Drop what you are doing and step away from the artifact!"

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  4. The following is an incomplete list of Greek and Coptic biblical MSS mentioned in the Scott Carroll and Josh McDowell videos – and note the partial list at 38:47 and 40:02 in the Scott Carroll video:
    Gen.17 - no details
    Ex.24 - no details
    Leviticus - no details
    Numbers - no details
    Deuteronomy - no details
    I Sam - no details
    II Kings - no details
    Ps.110 - in Coptic
    Ps.148-151 - in Coptic
    Isaiah 65 - in Greek
    Daniel 9 in Greek
    Mt. - c.140AD
    Mk - late 1st-early 2nd century.
    Lk - mid 2nd century
    Lk - mid-late 2nd century
    Jn.8 - early 3rd century
    Miscellaneous Gospel frgs. - in Coptic
    Jn.3 - early 4th century, in Coptic
    Acts 19 in Coptic
    Rom. - early 3rd century
    Rom.14. - early 4th century, in Coptic
    I Cor.9 - mid 2nd century
    I Cor. - 20 pages, 4th century, in Coptic
    II Cor.6-Gal.3 – 36 pages, 4th century, in Coptic
    Eph.4 – in Coptic
    Heb.9 – early 3rd century
    Heb.11 – mid 2nd century
    I Tim.3

    At http://www.josh.org/discover/ there is a list of the following MSS
    • Coptic Biblical texts
    •From late 4th century AD: One incredible miniature parchment had a verse from Matthew 6 on one side and Matthew 7 on the reverse side.
    •350-430 AD: from Mark 15. It is currently the earliest Coptic papyri of this particular passage.
    •350-430 AD: verse from John 14. This was carefully copied by a skillful hand on finely prepared papyrus.
    •5th century AD: from Galatians 4. There are only four known Coptic papyri of Galatians so this just underscores what a rare find this is.
    •350-430 AD: I John 2.
    •5th century AD: Jeremiah 33. This is the earliest discovered Coptic papyri of this passage
    No mention made of any Greek biblical texts

    The significance of the list is that the dating of MSS in it contradicts the (unsupported) date given by McDowell for the use of papyri in mummy masks up to 125AD.

    Going further into the Josh McDowell website there are images of what might be NT papyri at http://www.josh.org/resources/josh-talks/ at the Powerpoint presentation titled “The Bible: Fact, Fiction, or Fable?” Have any of these been identified?

    regards,

    Matthew Hamilton

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  5. and here is another link to the images, supplied by Matthijs den Dulk who posted at Brice's blog:

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/t7rwsfy1t07kttt/dxZX9ETDC2#/

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  6. one of the images is of the 1 Corinthians fragment, proposed to be 2nd century, and is the same one I saw at a Green Collection event back in spring 2013. The image displays 1 Cor. 10:1-6, and the side not visible displays portions of 9:1-3.

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  7. Since in the video Josh McDowell said that all the resources, including the powerpoint (with images) are available for use, I have uploaded the clear images from the powerpoint.

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  8. Who said it was difficult to get blank papyrus?

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  9. In the link above, the 1 Corinthians fragment is in the second row, fourth from the left.

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  10. The first two pictures above show a papyrus of Hom. Iliad, Book 1 (second/third century AD and certainly not from cartonnage).

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  11. Matthew, thanks for the list. Perhaps we could add some info:

    Mt. 27-28 - c.140 AD (OLDEST)
    Mt. 6 - mid 2nd century
    Mk. - late 1st-early 2nd century (70-110)
    Lk. - mid 2nd century
    Lk. - mid-late 2nd century
    [one of these ch. 16]
    Jn.8 - early 3rd century

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    Replies
    1. Is verse 19 of Mt. 28 apart of the fragment?

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  12. This is the Scott Carroll video: http://bricecjones.weebly.com/1/post/2014/05/more-on-the-private-collecting-of-the-indiana-jones-of-biblical-archaeology.html

    So Scott Carroll is now working with helping people sell antiquities (rather than working on buying antiquities).

    His business: Scott Carroll Manuscripts and Rare Books, Inc.
    http://www.michigancompanieslist.com/scott-carroll-manuscripts-rare-books-inc-3dkf/


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  13. Wow. This is messed up.

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  14. I've studied the manuscripts in question, and I am sorry to report that they are *all* fakes and forgeries: Not a single reference to Jesus' wife in the bunch of them!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ryan for adding a little levity to all of the intense and angry posts. By the way, her name was Zelda.

      Delete
  15. Wow, codices with double columns to a page (?)

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  16. Just 2 weeks ago (dated Apr 23, 2014), evidently McDowell spoke further and the video is posted here:
    http://vimeo.com/92964208

    About 1:03:00 into the video he starts talking about NT mss. But the claims become exaggerated and inflated comparing this more recent video to the one Brice posted (from a year ago). In the earlier video, the claim is that the early copy of Romans was 125 years earlier than any other, and then that was superseded soon thereafter by another discovery 25 years earlier than that. But now in this newer video, the claim is that the copy of Romans was 150 years earlier than any other and it was superseded by another discovery 50 years earlier than that. So the dates for each grew by 25 years (50 years total).

    At 1:12:40 in this Apr 23 video he mentions the early fragment of Mark... and that it's from Mark chapter 1. Prior to this, I don't think the passage in Mark had ever been mentioned. He claims it's dated to 85 AD and then says "right between 80-98 AD" without saying how or why.

    At 1:14:00, he goes on to talk about fragments that include passages of Matt 6:33 and 7:4 (front and back)... allegedly the oldest fragments of parts of the Sermon on the Mount. Also he talks about fragments of Gal 4:19; 1 Jn 2:21; and Jn 18:24 (??).

    The gleeful disregard for scholarship and procedures is concerning.

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    1. considering that there is a copy of Paul's epistles dating to c AD 200, to pre-date that by 150+50 years would put it around the birth of Christ, so his math is off.

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  17. The hands in the pictures which Josh McDowell claims are his do not look even remotely like a 74-year-old man's.

    Given McDowell's extreme exaggerations and inaccuracies on other matters, I think (and hope) that he is greatly exaggerating his involvement with the manuscripts.

    Let the recent lesson of Karen King give heed to everyone who is going to write, comment, or publish about these manuscripts

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  18. Like Darrell mentions above, the fourth photo with the papyrus under glass is 1 Cor 10:1-6. You can easily see:
    ου θελω (v. 1)
    νεφελην η (v. 1)
    ν εβαπτι (v. 2)
    ευματικον (v. 3)
    γαρ εκ π (v. 4)
    εν τοις πλ (v. 5)
    ω ταυτα δ (vv. 5-6)
    ων κ (v. 6)

    There are about 50-60 characters per line.

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  19. Jeff,

    In the third line

    ν εβαπτι (v. 2)

    the nu looks more like an eta to me...like the name Moses was spelled differently here, with the nu dropped off. Do you agree?

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  20. also, the last line:

    ων κ (v. 6)

    I can see the entire word, though it is poorly preserved:

    κακων κ (v. 6)

    and in the first line, the last three letters of 9:27 are also visible:

    μαι ου θελω (v. 9:27, 10:1)

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  21. Here is how I see it

    μαι ου θελω (v. 9:27, 10:1)
    νεφελην η (v. 1)
    η εβαπτι (v. 2)
    ευματικον (v. 3)
    ν γαρ εκ π (v. 4)
    εν τοις πλ (v. 5)
    ω ταυτα δ (vv. 5-6)
    κακων κ (v. 6)

    There is a reflection on the glass blocking some of the fragment on verse 4, but I supplied what was missing from the transcription I did when I saw this fragment in person a year ago.

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  22. I think you're right, Darrell. There are good examples of Ν and Η on the preceding line. Looking at the CNTTS apparatus, I don't see a known variant for Moses' name ending with an eta for this verse. Fwiw, P46 has μωυσεα.

    It's too bad εβαπτι- breaks off since there are three diff words used early (εβαπτισθησαν in 01, 02, 04, 06; εβαπτισαντο in p46c, 03; εβαπτιζοντο in p46*).

    And actually this should be 9:27-10:6. -μαι from 9:27 is visible on the first line and ink is partially visible on a preceding line at the top.

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  23. I also wonder if Josh McDowell got full clearance to authorize the use of these images. When I transcribed the 1 Corinthians fragment a year ago while it sat in its display case during a showing, they threatened to confiscate my camera if I took a photo. But here McDowell has made the very same fragment available prior to its publication by Brill.

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  24. Btw, in the video I mentioned in a comment above (dated 23 Apr 2014), at 1:12:40, McDowell says it will be another year and a half or two years before the Mark fragment is published. But is Apr 23 the date this was spoken/filmed or the date this was uploaded?

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  25. Jeff, I have collated enough manuscripts now to have observed that proper names like Moses frequently show up with creative spelling options. Or possibly the copyist just accidently dropped the nu at the end of the word.

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  26. Jeff Cate wrote: "But now in this newer video, the claim is that the copy of Romans was 150 years earlier than any other and it was superseded by another discovery 50 years earlier than that."

    200 years earlier than P46 ... Wouldn't that make the manuscript of Romans pre-Christian? Fabulous.

    Is the first century manuscript of Mark first century AD or BC? :-)

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    1. Yes, either his math is off, or he dates the set of Paul's epistles later than most scholars do. Unlikely he would do that.

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  27. I wonder if they meant 150 years earlier than the current oldest witness to the specific portion of Romans preserved in their fragment? Many chapters of Romans are lacunose in P46, meaning that the earliest witness, for many verses in Romans is the 4th century.

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  28. Just a few thoughts:
    Small pieces of information released without much context in videos given to popular audiences is making people like us speculate, assume, and make negative comments.
    Perhaps the Green Collection could put out more detailed scholarly information in a controlled manner beyond the PR fluff on their website.
    Perhaps Scott Carroll could put out detailed information about his business and what it does and how it helps both scholarship of the Bible and Christian ministry that uses the fruits of that scholarship.
    The private ownership of papyri - it is no worse that the public ownership of papyri where papyri sit unsorted, unpublished, un photographed for decades, until it is misplaced, lost, stolen, destroyed in a flood, fire or war.
    The technique used to extract papyri from the mummy masks and the people doing it - I don't have a problem with people like Scott Carroll doing this as he is the creator of the technique so would be the most experienced person, i.e. the person who has learnt from repeated application and refinement of the technique. But Josh McDowell - I very much respect his work in ministry but he is not the sort of person who should handle the papyri.
    I hope those doing the removal of papyri are recording in detail the relative locations of the papyri pieces in each mask, and taking high resolution photographs along the way in case any fragment doesn't fully survive the process.
    The washed away "gold" - how much non-papyrus material is discarded in the process? If I recall the video correctly Scott Carroll did mention not using C14 dating as it is destructive to the papyri, but what about C14 dating the linen?

    regards,

    Matthew Hamilton

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  29. In case anyone's curiosity goes beyond the fragment of 1Cor ... counting from top:

    1-2 = shots of the same papyrus with Homer, Iliad 1.
    3 = Ptolemaic document
    4 = 1Cor.
    5 = Ptolemaic account
    6 = perhaps the important 'pre-Christian' papyrus mentioned at http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/more-on-green-scholars-initiative-and.html
    7 = Homer, Iliad 16 (end) +

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  30. Wow. Looks very much as if The Green consortium bought cartonnage from M Fackelmann. The 2nd BC Ptol. documents (nos. 3 and 5) resemble the type and appearance of documents sold by him, now in collections worldwide. No. 6 (Homer) is similar in some respects to the Artemidous papyrus, 1BC/1BC.
    The attribution of the glazed seems very secure. It is written in Alexandrian Majuscules (Cavallo's term) c. 200 — this is a stylistic date not a historical one. The make after Μωυσ]η might be an apostrophe, although i can't see it very clearly.

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  31. It's worth remembering that Scott Carroll is no longer with the Green Scholars Initiative and I would assume that if any Green Collection materials are in this untimely release that their release has not been authorized.

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  32. In that case they will eventually complain with their ex director Scott Carroll (2009-2012) and Josh McDowell who have diffused the material online.

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  33. Dan Wallace on this: http://danielbwallace.com/2014/05/06/josh-mcdowells-discover-the-evidence/

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  34. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34ag4nkSh7Q

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  35. As Dr. Mazza has pointed out, McDowell claims in the newest video (http://vimeo.com/92964208) that scholars from Oxford, Cambridge, and Baylor were present when the papyri were being harvested from the mummy mask. There are several scholars from each of these institutions affiliated with the GSI, but I wouldn't want to make any assumptions. Can anybody confirm if such scholars were actually present? I struggle to imagine how MSS and/or TC experts could stand by and watch this happen, so I can only hope that McDowell is telling tales.

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  36. There is an interview Daniel Wallace took in 2012 and he gives some useful information. For example, the Hebrews 11 fragment is actually a homily on Hebrews 11, not the actual text. Here is the interview: http://www.hughhewitt.com/new-testment-scholar-daniel-wallace-on-the-gospel-of-mark-discovery-and-other-biblical-papyri-with-it/

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  37. There is an interview Daniel Wallace took in 2012 and he gives some useful information. For example, the Hebrews 11 fragment is actually a homily on Hebrews 11, not the actual text. Here is the interview: http://www.hughhewitt.com/new-testment-scholar-daniel-wallace-on-the-gospel-of-mark-discovery-and-other-biblical-papyri-with-it/

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  38. Can anybody confirm that the 1 Cor. 9.27-10.6 fragment is a codex and has writing on the other side (Darrell?)? From the listing given by "anonymous," this is presumably the fragment of 1 Cor 9. It looks like the photo is of the verso (vertical fibers), so, maybe the recto contains more from ch. 9?

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  39. Also, it looks like a very generous left-hand margin. That, combined with the "50-60 characters per line" (Jeff), would seem to put this in Turner's Group "really big"!

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  40. Chill,

    By my calculation, the Corinthians fragment has on average 56 characters per line. The reverse side is of 1 Corinthians 8:10-9:3. Here is a blurb from the faculty page of Mike Holmes from 2011:

    "Through the Green Scholars Initiative (www.greenscholarsinitiative.org), Holmes received a small fragment (ca. 1-3/4” w. x 2-3/4” h.) of a papyrus leaf that has been initially and tentatively dated to the second century A.D. Since receiving it, Holmes and students Catherine Creelman and Erica Sherrod have determined that the papyrus preserves portions of 1 Corinthians 8:10-9:3 + 9:27-10:6. If the initial dating holds up to further scrutiny, it would be one of the two oldest surviving copies of 1 Corinthians."

    http://www.bethel.edu/news/articles/2011/may/spring-faculty-accomplishments

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  41. and because P46 is lacunose for a portion of 1 Corinthians 9:2, and all of 9:3, then any text in this new fragment of these two verses where P46 is defective would unquestionably be the oldest witness to those words of 1 Corinthians. It is probably just a word or two, but it would be the oldest.

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  42. Colleagues,
    I find myself in an awkward spot re the fragment of 1 Corinthians pictured above. Due to the generosity of the Green Scholars Initiative, I and two students, Erica Lehn and Catherine Creelman, were given the opportunity to edit this papyrus fragment (which is indeed a fragment of a codex), before it was placed on display. Our work is now being prepared for publication in a volume being edited by Dr. Jeff Fish of Baylor University. As a result of our study of the papyrus, I could answer or respond to the questions or observations about this fragment that have been raised in comments above, by Darrell, Jeff, and Chill, e.g. However, having signed a publishing agreement for the volume being edited by Dr. Fish, I am reluctant to do so, lest I violate that agreement. So, if I receive permission to comment, I will do so, but until such permission is received, I will remain silent--not due to any lack of interest in the matter, or any disrespect for Darrell, Jeff, or anyone else discussing the papyrus, but out of respect for the GSI's planned publication. Apologies for not sharing more, but I hope you understand my situation. Since, however, the 2011 "blurb" from the faculty page was cited just above, let me say just this: I don't think that the initial estimate of the papyrus's date (made prior to its delivery to the three of us) holds up; it strikes me (an amateur papyrologist at best, to be sure) as rather more likely to be 3rd c. CE than 2nd.

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  43. Dr. Holmes, I totally understand your not being able to comment on this. I sense that its probable that Josh McDowell should not have released this image. But having done so, its hard for us to not look at it, and make observations and ask questions about it. At least, so far as I know, the reverse side has never been made public. The 8:10-9:3 side was not displayed in the traveling exhibition of the GSI. So there will still be much interest when the fragment is formally published. Do you happen to know a probable date of publication?

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  44. Mike,
    No apologies necessary. Instead, please forgive us for discussing the photograph that had been made available by others... and please take our comments here only as indications of our interest in the matter... and what you've been able to find by personal autopsy and scrutiny of the manuscript itself, which is essential to any proper evaluation of the item. It is an exciting matter. And it's very good to know you are the one designated for this particular manuscript. Your publication will be greatly welcomed and will supersede any of our preliminary discussion here. We look forward to that volume.
    --Jeff

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  45. well said Jeff

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  46. I found a video in which Scott Carroll describes the process of recovering the manuscripts out of the mask and he also shows some other pictures and also pictures already seen. Check the video out from minute 24:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSUzWsuLpso

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  47. Around minutes 55-56 he refutes as myths some of what Josh said about ancient scribal practices.

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  48. On 1Cor 9:27-10:6 that Jeff and Darrell transcribed, a tentative reconstruction may be offered:

    (v. 9:27) μαι (10:1) ου θελω [γαρ υμας αγνοειν αδελφοι οτι πατερες ημων παντες υπο] = 53
    νεφελην η[σαν και παντες δια της θαλασσης διηλθον (v.2) και παντες εις μωυ] = 56
    [σ]ηʽ εβαπτι[σθησαν εν τη νεφελη και εν τη θαλασση (v.3) και παντες το αυτο] = 53
    [πν]ευματικον [βρωμα εφαγον (v.4) και παντες το αυτο πνευματικον επιον πομα ] = 57
    [επινο]ν γαρ εκ π[νευματικης ακολουθουσης πετρας η πετρα δε ην ο χ̅ρ̅ς̅ (v.5) αλλ ] = 57
    [ουκ] εν τοις πλ[ειοσιν αυτων ευδοκησεν ο θ̅ς̅ κατεστρωθησαν γαρ εν τη ερη] = 57
    [μ]ω (v.6) ταυτα δ[ε τυποι ημων εγενηθησαν εις το μη ειναι ημας επιθυμητας] = 54
    κ̣α̣κ̣ω̣ν κ[αθως...]

    If this tentative reconstruction is allowed, the following observations (also tentative) may be suggested:

    The average number of characters per line is 53-57, making it a relatively bigger codex than P46; this may have some implications for its dating if we go by Turner’s codicological grouping;

    Since a substantial portion of πνευματικον survived, it can be inferred that the other occurrences were also in plene, at least for this section of 1Cor (this, too, will have some implications for its dating, if it can be proved that the nomen sacrum form for the adjectival πνευματικος was a later development in the history of this literary device). Accordingly, if the average number of characters per line is accepted, χριστος and θεος must have been written in their respective nomen sacrum forms;

    As already noted by Darrell, the character before εβαπτι in line 3 is an η, giving a variant form for the name μωυσης. Accordingly, there seems to me an ink spot after η (unless this is an image glitch), which could have been the usual mark after a Hebrew name (this is also present in P46 in a few cases). This seems to be another factor for Turner in dating manuscripts.

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  49. There are interesting details of Dr. Scott Carroll's latest finds since he left the Green Scholars Initiative to form his own group, including "three early 2nd century New Testament papyri", at http://citizensjournal.us/a-scriptural-find-more-important-than-dead-sea-scrolls-coming-to-ventura-county-today/ . Also, perhaps for the first time, some information about where all the new material is coming from: "According to Dr. Marshall Foster, Christian historian, this private collection has spent decades in a railroad boxcar"!

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  50. The earliest lit or doc from dismounted mummy cartonnage I can find, before the new Sappho frr., is the Cologne Archilochus Epode, dated 1-2nd AD by writing. Bagnall says "After the Augustan period, cartonnage plays virtually no role… (Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History).

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  51. Hasn't anyone here read the exhibition-catalog for "Passages"? The second item pictured in the book is a mummy-mask with papyri cartonnage, from the second century B.C. A couple of extracts (from author Scott Carroll):

    "For well over a century, researchers have been dissolving mummy coverings from the Fayoum to extract the papyri in the infrastructure. The artistic elements of the exterior can be preserved by applying a clear covering that, when dried, protects the outer surface."

    "This process [of papyri-extraction] has yielded numerous late-Egyptian literary texts, Ptolemaic Greek classical texts, and many more documentary or non-literary texts such as accounts and letters. It has also yielded biblical texts."

    Along with the investigation of papyri recycled for domestic purposes (to make sandals and mats, for instance), "This frontier might offer the best hope for recovering 1c writings of the New Testament."

    So nobody should be surprised if newly discovered NT papyri have been extracted from mummy cartonnage.

    Some thoughts: the extraction-process might /look/ slapdash, and Josh McDowell's description of it reinforces that impression, but it may actually be a safe (for the materials) and thoroughly tested extraction-method.

    Probably if an apologist had reported in the 1950's that Dead Sea Scroll researchers were putting things together with Scotch tape, some people would be taken aback. But sometimes ordinary things such as Scotch tape, or Dove dishwashing soap (surely this is what Dr. McDowell meant, not Palmolive), turn out to have surprising properties that make them ideal for a particular purpose.

    McDowell has some things mixed up, and he described some dates incorrectly. (Similarly, Scott Carroll puts the Codex Climaci Rescriptus in the 300's; that doesn't mean he's not a scholar. It's not unheard of for scholars who study something a lot to overstate its significance, the way Tischendorf treated the text of Codex Sinaiticus.) Nevertheless he is just as entitled to assist in the extraction-process as any other instruction-following person.

    Your in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

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  52. "This process . . . has also yielded biblical texts . . . . This frontier might offer the best hope for recovering 1c writings of the New Testament."

    Papyri have continuously been extracted from mummy cartonnage since the late 19th century. No one seems to have found any NT in "mummy masks" except for a bookseller ("Manuscripts & Rare Books Inc.").

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  53. Paul Barford on his blog has a link to an interview Scott Carroll gave to the Weekly Trust (a Nigerian newspaper) dated 2 Nov 2013.

    Question: "What sort of texts did you find in these mummy masks?"
    Carroll: "On any given occasion, somewhere around 5% of the texts are what we would call literary and the other 90-95% are documentary."

    Since the literary papyri have been the focus of most online discussion, this might help give a proper perspective to the scope of the entire papyri cache.

    http://weeklytrust.com.ng/index.php/my-thoughts-exactly/14497-breathing-life-into-mummified-texts-prof-scott-carroll-talks-about-his-research-on-ancient-texts-i-last-week-i-had-the-pleasure-of-meeting-professor-scott-carroll-an-american-scholar-of-ancient-languages-and-texts-and-director-of-the-manuscript-research-g

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  54. At http://www.helsinki.fi/hum/kla/papupetra/papyrus/cartonnage.html there is a video -- RealPayer is needed to watch it -- from 1987 in which Jaakko Frossen very meticulously extracts a papyrus from a slipper, without destroying the slipper. The process he used included the step of submerging the artefact in hot water, as well as encasing it in polyurethane foam, and then soaking it in acetone. All to get to a scrap from 8 B.C. that lists the income from a local beer tax.

    The extraction-method looked like basically the same method in Josh McDowell's video, minus the Palmolive, plus extra steps to preserve the slipper.

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  55. Minus the Palmolive bit is not a minor detail. Besides this, the items J. Frösén worked on are securely stored in a public collection where everybody can consult and study them. J. Frösén has published extensively on his methods and the papyri he extracted, I haven't read one line from Scott carroll and those collaborating with him. The modern history of the ancient items J.F. works on is well known. I repeat the question here since I see there are Green papyri editors: where all these mummy masks and papyri come from? Is the person publishing 2 Galatians happy about the fact that the piece was on sale on not exactly reliable Turkish eBay MixAntik in 2012?

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  56. In the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSUzWsuLpso Scott Carrol seems to say (min. 53)that the 2 Cor 9 fragment is part of a 20-page copy of 1 Cor and that it goes with another set of 15 pages from 2 Cor 6-Gal 3. If I understand him correctly, these 35 pages were found "in a box". What he calls the earliest text of Romans was found in a mummy mask.

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  57. Roberta Mazza,

    Like the 8-B.C. Beer Tax Report that Frosen extracted, the items that Carroll is working on are planned to be stored at a Bible Museum, in Washington, D.C.

    Brill's series on the Green Collection's papyri and early manuscripts has been slow in coming, but it is in preparation. Scholars involved in the projects haven't talked/written much about them due to non-disclosure agreements, of the kind that Drs. Wallace and Holmes have signed.

    You asked: "where all these mummy masks and papyri come from?"

    Apparently from private collections visited by Scott Carroll or co-workers, during the time when he was entrusted by the Green family with the task of enlarging the Green Collection.

    I imagine that the person who acquired that Coptic fragment of Galatians 2 *is* happy that he was able to arrange for that fragment to eventually have a home in a collection where every item is documented and available (to a degree) for scholarly study. Who knows where it might have ended up if he had not purchased it.

    On a related subject: some useful information on how to preserve papyri -- right down to recipes and the name-brands of which brushes to use -- is at http://www.lib.umich.edu/papyrus-collection/advanced-papyrological-information-system-guidelines-conservation-papyrus .

    Also, I can't help but notice that some of Scott Carroll's work (on the Van Campen collection, for example) has been in the vicinity of some of the top-level papyrological research in the Western hemisphere, at the University of Michigan. So I would not be surprised if it turns out that it is McDowell's *descriptions* of Carroll's extraction-technique that are problematic, not necessarily the technique itself. If I made freeze-frames of what Frosen was doing in 1987, and put them online, I'm sure that there would be some individuals whose instinctive (but misinformed) reflex would be to tell Frosen to drop what he's doing and step away from the artefact.

    One lesson I've gotten from this is that non-disclosure agreements are evil. There's got to be a better way. (Maybe owners should just wait until after acquiring everything they want to acquire, and then hand the materials over to scholars.)

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  58. Dear James (if I may)
    Thank you for the answer. To buy a papyrus from an eBay disreputable seller and publish it *may be* a way to save it but *certainly is* the best way to encourage looting and illicit trafficking of antiquities, with devastating effects on both people's lives and world cultural heritage preservation.
    What does "available to a degree" mean? What is this degree about? Space? Storage problems? Scholarly reputation? Or what else? It is at best unclear to me from what I have seen and read so far.
    All this said, let's hope into a better future under the current direction and in receiving finally some answers at least through the forthcoming publications and the Museum's labels (the ZPE article on the Green Sappho was not very encouraging we must admit).

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  59. Not only are nondisclosure contracts evil, they're fairly useless. Dan Wallace, for all his mum stance ever since, is the very one who spilled the beans on this Mark fragment to begin with. And shutting up all the scholars is only going to result in people like Josh McDowell making it look like the whole process is in the hands of amateurs.
    By the way, I take umbrage at the description of Josh McDowell as "having no scholarly credentials." He received an M.Div Magna Cum Laude from Talbot Seminary, and is a member of the Russian Club of Scientists. That doesn't make him a paleographer or a papyrologist, but he is a scientist and a scholar in fields that are at least tangentially related.

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  60. You can see the entire set of power point slides on dismantling (Scott carroll's words) a mummy mask at Baylor University in 2012 at this address http://www.slideshare.net/heydoc1/presentations

    The texts in the slides are certainly Ptolemaic, as well as the mask.

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  61. Scott Carroll and Josh McDowell sound and talk like charlatans, and I would keep well away from these attention seeking fakers.

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