Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dan Wallace Video on New Manuscript Discoveries

From Parchment & Pen, Michael Licona interviews Dan Wallace about the new manuscript discoveries.


  1. Very, very cool!
    I am really looking forward to these and hope we will see them earlier then 2013!
    The circumstances are still somewhat strange.
    Who discovered them?
    Why not publishing them online?
    At least as a preview?

  2. Wieland, I agree. I'm excited about this, but I feel like quoting a line from the movie "Jerry Maguire," namely, "show me the money!" These are big claims, they are an apologists dream, but I hope the case is not being overstated prematurely. But we will see!

  3. Wallace states that the papyri give us no new readings. What about singular readings? Perhaps I am just confused on what Dr. Wallace means by "readings"...

  4. TM, his point is that the papyri have not revealed any previously unknown readings which he judges to more accurately preserve the initial text than all other previously known readings. Whether he is right or not, is a whole other question. I'll leave the NT guys to answer that one. :)

  5. one must appreciate the mystical music in the background; gives an additional support to the dating.

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  7. Having watched the YouTube dialogue between Wallace/ Ehrman now - the way in which Wallace referred to what he claims to be the 1st century fragment of Mark, SEEMED to suggest that Ehrman will, when the Brill volume is published in 2013 agree with him ...

    In one sense, the scholarly integrity which Wallace has become famous for could either rise even higher, or could be destroyed and provide the Ehrman camp with years of ammunition .......

  8. A measured response by Peter Head over at Christianity Today: "Peter Head ... is likewise eager to get a look at the fragment before rendering an opinion.
    "Other claims for first-century dates for New Testament papyri have not been persuasive," he said. "Also, the approach that puts the 'announcement' before the scholarship is a style that doesn't always seem that bothered with making sure the scholarship is right.""

  9. Let's slice and dice what Dan said:
    7 manuscripts (all less than 1 pg)-
    -1 Mark Ms may be 1st C
    -1 Luke Ms may be 1st half of 2C
    -1 Matthew Ms apparently 2C
    -2 Paul Mss may be 2nd C
    -2 Paul Mss may be 3rd C
    [[Of the 4 Paul Mss, 2 are from Hebrews, 1 is from I Cor, and 1 is from Romans]]
    A multi-author study expected to be published by Brill in 2013.

  10. Saying that an early papyrus would, at best, only shift the weight of evidence from reading A to reading B is still saying a lot. An early papyrus with the PA, the LE, or even the JC would totally upset the paradigm of TC theory, even without introducing an entirely new reading.

  11. I'm not sure it would upset anything; it'd just bring one more early witness to a given reading.

  12. I agree, and early LE reading in papyrus (or without it for that matter) would have to be earlier than Irenaeus, to shift the balance much. We already know that both the LE and SE are very early.

    An early PA reading would change a few things since it's usually considered a later addition.


  13. Bob: An early PA reading would change a few things since it's usually considered a later addition.

    Not likely that even this would change much (even if some of us would be magnificently pleased).

    All they would then say is that it was interpolated into the text at a date far earlier than previously presumed.

  14. many people in the field would expect most of the 'juicy' variants to be as early as from the 2nd century, so it wouldn't be particularly surprising; although i agree it'd be exciting (even though I happen to be one of those who deem them secondary)

  15. Finding a first-century copy of 1 John would, to begin with, offer a challenge either to paleography or the dating of John's writings, as it was virtually the second century before he was thought to have written it.

    Should it pass that challenge, the manuscript would turn out to be likely a first- or second-generation copy of the autograph. Should this manuscript contain the Comma Johanneum, it would mean that a reading that pre-dated all the wild textual changes of the second century could be lost from the Greek transmission stream entirely.

    If we grant that, then we have very thin grounds for claiming the originality of the Trinitarian Formula in Matthew 28:19.

    I really doubt that anyone involved in the discovery and dating of papyri seriously believes in the possibility of finding a first-century ms of 1 John, much less one with the CJ. But as the statement stands, it would be no really big deal if they did.

    I don't believe that.

  16. OK, to begin with - how would you palaeographically date a NT document (esp. later one as 1J seems to be) into the 1st century? Given that few people would be confident to date with more than 50 year precision, it's in my judgement practically impossible. I'de love to be proven wrong about that, though.

  17. Daniel Foote6/21/2012 1:15 am

    Just found this blog. Could someone provide a key for PA, LE, JC, SE, please?

  18. Hi Daniel,

    These are all abbreviations for several famous Textual Criticism passages which are in the Textus Receptus (the 16th century printed edition of the New Testament), but most (not all) modern scholars believe are later additions.

    JC - Johnaine Comma, 1 John 5:7. Thought to be a Latin intrusion in the Greek New Testament. We have no Greek Witnesses for this text that predate the 16th century. (There are latin witnesses as early as the 9th century. A Greek 2nd century papyrus would have to change this evaluation.

    PA - Periscopae Adulterae, John 7:53-8:11. This is thought by many to be a late addition to the Greek. Our oldest copy is from the 5th century, but it very likely goes back further than that. Those that argue it's not original believe it was added long after the 2nd century, so the discovery of a 2nd century Greek Papyrus would mean the model would have to change. Though as Dr. Robinson points out, it probably wouldn't affect whether or not they believe it was original.

    LE and SE are Long Ending and Short Ending in Mark. In this context, the "short ending" really means no ending or truncated ending (James Snapp's paper on the external evidence for Mark does a very good job of distinguishing between all 3 ending types). There are only 2 Greek witnesses that have the SE, but the happen to also be our oldest witnesses. Because of quotes from the Church Fathers, we know that there were at lease some manuscripts with the LE in the 2nd century, so a 2nd century papyrus find with the LE would not likely change anyone's mind about whether the LE was original or not.