Saturday, March 10, 2018

New Film: ‘Fragments of Truth’

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Faithlife, producers of Logos Bible Software, have a new film (what don’t these people do??) coming out about New Testament manuscripts. It looks apologetic-y and is hosted by Craig Evans. Below is the description and the promo video. You may see some familiar faces. I don’t know what “groundbreaking new evidence” there will be, but the production quality here seems great. The manuscripts sure do look cool in the trailer.
In this new Faithlife original film, Dr. Craig Evans takes this claim [?] head on, traveling the globe to track down the most ancient New Testament manuscripts. Along the way, he highlights groundbreaking new evidence that is changing the debate. Hear from scholars who have devoted their lives to learning the truth, and discover how the evidence for the reliability of the New Testament manuscripts is stronger than ever. Coming soon exclusively on http://FaithlifeTV.com

18 comments :

  1. For "groundbreaking new evidence" read, "first century Mark!?"

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    1. He said "to separate fact from fiction, sober scholarship from sensationalism." That rules out 'first-century Mark' and any other things we only know about through rumors and hearsay.

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  2. I hope the "Fragments of Truth" does not necessitate a "Truth about Fragments" rejoinder on the part of TC scholars.

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    1. Why not? The "Truth about Fragments" is very simple:

      (1) For the most part the fragments confirm the reliability of the basic NT text as established from more complete MSS in the various published editions.

      (2) Even when the fragments differ from those editions, most of the time the differences can be chalked up to error, insignificance, or various other matters that reflect non-originality.

      (3) Even if the fragments predate the more complete later MSS, at best they provide a terminus a quo for the readings they contain, while generally establishing nothing in particular regarding the original or Ausgangstext as determined among the various scholarly editions.

      Even so with "ancient Mark"...should it ever come to light.

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  3. Perhaps the ms of Mark is genuine and quite early; I don't know.

    I'm reminded of the so-called "Angel Scroll" partly published, based on a claimed transcription, in Jerusalem Report, October 11, 1999. We never got to see the putative ms. Probably fake. One odd aspect was a weird provenance claim that it was bought and kept secretly by Benedictines. I wonder if that story was influenced by the 1972 Frederick Wiseman film, "Essene" and maybe E. B. Szekely's "Essene" books.

    Another ms that I have doubts about is the mixed language, mixed genre "Gabriel Vision," ink on (undatable) stone--said to be from Jordan. The Angel Scroll was said to be from Jordan too, and the text also claims the vision happened there. This may be merely a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, but I note that De Vaux excavated in Qumran a Hebrew religious text inked on limestone. Though it is smaller and fragmentary, it, KhQ 2207, was uncovered in locus 129 on 26 Feb, 1955 and published in 2003 (before "Gabriel"), pp. 360-362 in Lemaire, A. 2003 Inscriptions du Khirbeh, des grottes et de ʻAïn Feshkha. Pp. 341-88 in Khirbet Qumrân et de Khirbet Qumrân et ʻAïn Feshkha. II. etudes d’anthropologie, de physique et de chimie, eds. J.-B. Humbert and J. Gunneweg. Fribourg: Academic Press.
    A book, Splendide Mendax: Rethinking Fakes...takes the view that some are interesting nonetheless. A brief review is at amazon.

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  4. Well . . .I'll be watching.

    Speaking of the importance of truthfulness when describing manuscript-evidence:

    Dr. Evans wrote, about Mark 16:9-20, “Many of the older manuscripts have asterisks and obeli marking off the Long or Short Endings as spurious or at least doubtful,” and that Mk. 16:9-20 “were added at least two centuries after Mark first began to circulate."

    Yes; I'll be watching closely, since, it seems, nobody else around here cares enough to attempt to correct him when he spreads misinformation.

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    1. Hello James,
      From what I can tell from your posts you seem to be in the camp of the "Majority Text." Fair enough.
      The word "misinformation" tends to carry a negative connotation where one is deliberately trying to deceive or mislead. Is that the case here? What about those who reject or question these verses? A question not a comment.

      I will be watching as well.

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    2. Anonymous,
      my approach is Equitable Eclecticism, not Byzantine Priority. (I reckon that the Byzantine Text includes a large ancient strata but is not original in all respects).

      If I wished to convey that someone was deliberately trying to deceive, I would call his statements "lies." Misinformation is just that, a statement which, if believed, renders its believer misinformed; no moral aspect of the informant's intent is implied one way or another. (Perhaps, in cases where people are trying to look as if they've done more research than they actually have, there /should/ be some observation about that. But I would rather focus on the evidence and just reduce the amount of inaccurate claims floating around.)

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    3. Hi James
      Thanks for your clarifications. Sensitive topic when we are talking about large passages of the Bible that may or may not be original - especially for Evangelicals.

      Michael Clark

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  5. Has anyone responded to this claim by a Muslim?

    http://www.aricr.org/ar/hunting/can-we-really-restore-the-original-new-testament-through-patristic-citations/

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  6. FYI, there are some short videos of Evans here shot during filming.

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  7. Ken Temple,
    I'm nor sure if that preceded or followed, but the subject has been addressed by J. Warner Wallace --

    http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/can-we-construct-the-entire-new-testament-from-the-writings-of-the-church-fathers/

    It's a malleable statistic; quite a bit depends on if one uses exclusively Greek writings, and on whether the patristic writings involved are limited to the sub-apostolic age or if they include authors up to John of Damascus.

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  8. Since Dan Wallace mentioned the fragment of Mark supposedly coming from the first century in his debate with Bart Ehrman, he has has many of us waiting in anticipation for some published material on this. Not sure if this is what Craig Evans means by "groundbreaking new evidence". I hope it is.

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    1. Evans will be on our campus in one week (20 March). Many of us here are waiting with Great Expectations that the big reveal will finally arrive at that time, and we shall find out what the Dickens is going on.

      Not that I expect anything of the sort to come to pass...

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    2. Maurice, did Wallace give any updates about the first century Mark fragment when he was on your campus?

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  10. Looking Forward to seeing this, wish there was more than 1 showing, but I understand. Everything cost money!

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