The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Early Gospel of Mark

Everyone serious agrees that the Gospel of Mark is the first one that survives. (I used to argue here for Egerton as perhaps earlier; but then that one doesn't exactly survive.) Other (less-) serious people have argued for Thomas.

It was a little embarrassing, in that sense, that the Gospel of Mark hasn't been found to survive, its own self, until the tail end of the 100s AD. Revisionists have made hay with the fact that, given Oxyrhynchus 1 etc, Greek copies of Thomas as of 200 AD were about as numerous and antique as were those of Mark - despite Mark being, also, so associated with Egypt. This hasn't annoyed just Evangelicals; it has also annoyed us Markan-priority "revisionists". I mean, it's easy enough to say that Mark survives in the reworked gospels of Matthew and Luke and then that Synoptic harmony which Justin Martyr used, but... "begging the question" sometimes comes up.

That gap may now be filled. Someone's found some Mark in mummy-carton(n)age circa 90 AD. But Roger Pearse warns it might be too good to be true. We'll see. We'll need more cartonnage to be sure.

SIDENOTE: In that light: can art-historians please quit whining that unravelling cheap, ugly papier-mache masks for their palimpsests is "destruction"? With cherries on top? Dude. Take pictures and publish 'em; then let others have their turn. Documentary evidence trumps prole art from a backwater province. Maybe that's the palimpsest of this debate, come to that; historians of prole Egyptian art are guarding turf.

UPDATE 1/24/2015: CNN are doing the Atlas Shrugged thing. Yeah. I'm going with this MS as authentic. The Left'd never go against, say, a Gospel of Thomas copy in cartonnage.


posted by Zimri on 17:19 | link | 0 comments

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