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Old 01-04-2001, 01:40 PM   #11
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by karlydee:
another explanation, is that this is fragmentary papyri from which the ORAL TRADITION that later came to be known as the Gospel of Mark was taken from.</font>
I have to admit, I am unsure why the papyrologists and other scholars have not put forward this idea, that it may be from the so called "urGospel of Mark" or "urMark" for short. It is certainly not from "Q", since that is a supposed sayings tradition, and this is not a sayings passage, nor is it from the possible early Passion Story that may also predate the Gospels (since it would have to be Mark 14 or later).

At the same time, since we have no direct textual evidence for such a document (beyond the theories suggesting how it was developed), I suppose scholars consider this to be overly speculative.

On the other hand, perhaps as more papyri are examined and studied, a pre-Gospel Gospel like urMark will turn up, and we can consider this possibility more seriously.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Many Xians routinely discount the Coptic gospels, and steadfastly refuse to believe that there were MANY sects of early CHRIST cults, that did not always agree to the same STORY.</font>
Well, there is little question that the first Gospels are in Greek, and even the Coptic translations must have had their source in these earliest texts. And it is true that the Coptics are different in places from the Majority Text and Textus Receptus. I honestly don't know how the Coptic translations of Mark 6 relate here, but again, this fragment is definitely in Greek, so it is not Coptic.

Thank you for the post karlydee.

Nomad
 
Old 01-04-2001, 04:39 PM   #12
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Do you think this gives credence to those that argue Jesus, John the Baptist & Mary Magdalene were members of this Essene cult? They seem to share a dislike for the Preists of Jerusalem who kowtowed to the Romans with their filthy western ways.
 
Old 01-04-2001, 06:31 PM   #13
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by marduck:
Do you think this gives credence to those that argue Jesus, John the Baptist & Mary Magdalene were members of this Essene cult? They seem to share a dislike for the Preists of Jerusalem who kowtowed to the Romans with their filthy western ways.</font>
I've heard the theory (at least that Jesus was a member of the Essene community for a time before He left it to join John the Baptist) put forward before (by a very conservative Methodist minister no less), and I have to admit it sounds plausible. I have not researched the question sufficiently to give you an answer however. If you (or anyone else for that matter) has any additional information on this question I would love to hear it.

Peace,

Nomad

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited January 04, 2001).]
 
Old 01-04-2001, 09:09 PM   #14
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What is the possibility that someone placed the manuscripts into the caves at a later date than 68 CE?

Your words: Since the fragment is found in the caves by the Dead Sea, and clearly belonged to the Qumran community, then it cannot possibly date later than 68 AD (when the entire community fled from the Roman army and abandoned the Dead Sea Scrolls).

Why do you assume that the people of the Qumran community left the Dead Sea Scrolls in the caves at the time they fled the Roman army in 68 CE?

It certainly would seem logical to hide the Scrolls before fleeing and therefore not have the responsibility for them while in flight, but it is also possible to flee with the Scrolls and bring them back at a later date, as, for example, what might have happened had the people needed to flee quickly, without thought to hiding anything, but possibly with the thought of getting out of the area carrying all they could, including the Scrolls. It is logical to think that placing the Scroll into the caves and leaving them behind could mean the possibility that they would be discovered and either confiscated or destroyed, with either confiscation or destruction meaning the loss to the people of the Qumran community.

Is it not possible that they fled, but came back, secretly, if necessary, to hide the Scrolls in the caves they knew about in a land to which they might want to return rather than carry the Scrolls with them or otherwise hide them in other places?

Or what is the possibility that the Scrolls did not exist prior to the Roman attack/invasion but were created at a later date and placed in the caves, therefore, at a later date?

So long as these possibilities remain, there is a danger to making assumptions about the age of the Scrolls based upon the date of the Roman attack/invasion.

Regards,
Bob K

[This message has been edited by Bob K (edited January 04, 2001).]
 
Old 01-04-2001, 10:49 PM   #15
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
One of these in particular has become extremely important, and was labeled 7Q5. Until recently it was believed that we could not know what ancient work this fragment came from, but now have learned that it is, in fact, a portion of the Gospel of Mark 6:52-53. </font>
It seems more like hype, and certainly not a fact. The piece in question has not been conclusively determined to be from Mark 6:52-53, and this is the view still held today, for the vast majority of scholars. I’ll bring out some of the reasons of why most scholars are not convinced. Thiede doesn’t share anything really new, basically he just rehashes Callagan‘s work for the most part which has been out for decades, and it has had plenty of reviews.

This 7Q5 piece of papyrus is less than the size of a U.S. postage stamp. About 3 cm x 4 cm. It consists of five lines of text of which no more than twenty letters are visible. Of those 20 letters, Theide thinks he can make out 10 of those, but most scholars won’t go so far as to say that many, stating only six letters are for certain. And only one word can be clearly made out for certain: kai. Here are a couple of obstacles of what Thiede has to clear in order to try to give credence to this 7Q5 of being that of Mark 6:52-53. Says Dr. Wallace:

Only six other letters are undisputed: tw (line 2), t (line 3, immediately after the kai), nh (line 4), h (line 5). To build a case on such slender evidence would seem almost impossible even if all other conditions were favorable to it. But to identify this as Mark 6:52-53 requires (1) two significant textual emendations (tau for delta in a manner which is unparalleled; and the dropping of ejpiV thVn gh'n even though no other MSS omit this phrase); and (2) unlikely reconstructions of several other letters.

Not a lot of material to be making such bold claims, and Wallace brings out these two textual emendations that just can’t be causally dismissed.

Thiede argues for an earlier date, and says no later than 50 CE, and much of the expertise he relied on for the dating is from C.H. Roberts. What kind of date does Roberts give for this piece? He gives a variance of 100 years, 50 BCE to 50 CE. Dating these manuscripts has a certain art to it, not an exact science, which is why most like to speak in general dates with a wider amount of variance. But most qualified and capable papyrologists can use methods that can generally get the dates within 25 years for larger amounts of texts. It would be difficult to imagine how any professional papyrologist could give credence to a more precise date of this 7Q5 piece which deals with only six undisputed letters and one known word.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
The lettering is even more decisive in confirming the identity of the document. Comparative analysis is employed to help Thiede examine the letters, and he even goes so far as to use an electron microscope at the Investigations Department of the Israel National Police in Jerusalem (Ibid. pg. 41) to confirm that one of the most hotly contested letters in the document (a letter “nu” or “N” on line 2) is actually a “nu” as opposed to an “iota” (or “I”) as was believed previously). The results are conclusive, proving that the letter is in fact a “nu”, and thus keeping the text consistent with what we would expect to find in Mark 6:53 (a diagram of the letter in question compared against the other letter “nu” is found on page 42). </font>
Nothing conclusive at all according to Dr. Gundry in which he wrote an article in 1999 for the JBL. Again, you are over exaggerating your case. You are picking a small minority view of scholars, and giving the impression that somehow this makes it conclusive. See Gundry‘s "No NU in Line 2 of 7Q5: A Final Disidentification of 7Q5 with Mark 6:52-53." JBL 118/4 (1999): 698-707.

Dr. Gundry’s thinks his examination is decisive concerning “No NU, and that there is nothing else left to discuss, although Wallace never felt like the issue was ever completely settled. Dr. Wallace addresses other concerns that can’t be ignored. Here are two more among the others that I have already addressed, and when Thiede tried to rebut his point he missed it and didn’t succeed in a rebuttal. Says Wallace:

(1) TIA where Mark 6 has DIA--this especially is crucial since no Greek word begins with TIA. (2) What strengthens the case against the Mark 6 identification is the fact that 7Q5 is written in a literary hand.

Wallace mentions a Dr. David Armstrong of the University of Texas, whom is one of the world's leading papyrologists, and Armstrong states in order to write T instead of D in the way Thiede has proposed is exceedingly difficult even in a non-literary hand, and quite impossible in a literary hand.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Finally, Thiede deals with the possibility that the fragment could be from a previously unknown “sayings” Gospel (like the hypothetical “Q” Gospel for example) by showing that the fragment does not contain a single saying of Jesus, nor could it be from a Passion Story (Ibid. pg. 46).
So conclusive is Thiede’s proof, that leading papyrologists have come to accept them,</font>
In Thiede’s prior work that was published in ‘92 in which he addresses 7Q5, he tries to make his case for this by using a powerful software search engine which was able to scan 64 million words in hundreds of ancient Greek texts. According to Thiede, he could not find any other text, besides Mark 6, that would fit this “Cinderella’s shoe” (using Wallace’s description). Wallace, however didn’t have any trouble finding plenty of other texts. Says Wallace: “In my own cursory examination of the TLG via Ibycus, I found sixteen texts which could possibly fit (though only if one stretched both his or her imagination and the textual evidence).

Wallace explains more in detail at his site that I will give. He treats Thiede fairly, and his review of Thiede’s ‘92 7Q5 article can be found at: www.bible.org/docs/soapbox/7q5.htm Others write scathing rebuttals of Thiede's “Eyewitness to Jesus", one of which can be found in the Tyndale Bulletin under Dr. Head, I think, and Dr. Stanton‘s is in a book.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">In my view, this bit of work, together with Thiede’s even more dramatic discoveries regarding the so called Magdalen Papyrus fragments, could very well revolutionize all of New Testament scholarship, and many of its underlying assumptions and beliefs. </font>
7Q5 has been known for some time. I’ve seen quite a few of the most important arguments used pro and con, and most scholars have been unimpressed enough with Theide’s work to treat it with the contempt of silence.

John
 
Old 01-04-2001, 10:53 PM   #16
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bob K:
What is the possibility that someone placed the manuscripts into the caves at a later date than 68 CE?</font>
Hi Bob

You are right, this is a good question, and something that cannot be ruled out without investigation. We do, however, have considerable evidence to support the idea that no more scrolls were stored after 68 AD.

The first, of course, is that none of the Caves have thus far produced any papyri fragments, scrolls that can be dated after 68 (using methods like comparative analysis and the like). Some date back to 100-200BC, but most are 100BC to 50AD

Second, is the writing style (including grammar, spelling and syntax, and we need to see if it matches what we would find common to that time frame. Just like people wrote and talked differently 100 to 200 years ago in America, the same is true of the ancients. The writing on the fragments in Cave 7 definitely match up with what is called the pre-Second Temple era (i.e. before the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed in 70AD). Once the Jews were expelled from Jerusalem, writing styles changed drastically, probably due to the changing demographics of the region and the new immigrants that moved in. The last of the people that were from the Qumran community itself died either in Jerusalem, or on Masada in 73AD, further dimishing the likelyhood that later scrolls of this style could have been produced.

Next, we can clearly see that the lettering on the fragments touches each of its neighbouring letters (I cannot demonstrate this here, but picture a text where there are no spaces at all between letters, words, and even sentences. This style was abandoned in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries.

Another argument for early dating (i.e. mid-first century) is the fact that after the fall of Jerusalem, use of the codex (papyrus books) replaced the previously favoured papyrus scroll as the preferred means of transcribing lengthy documents like the gospels. And 7Q5 is defintitely a scroll, not a codex.

Finally, all archeological evidence tells us that there was definitely no rehabitation of the area of the Qumran community and the Caves, not even during the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-35AD).

I have been in email contact with Dr. Daniel Wallace of the Dallas Theological Seminary. He is a leading specialist in ancient Koine Greek, and he wrote an excellent critique of 7Q5 about 5 years ago (before Dr. Thiede published his newest findings in Eyewitness to Jesus in which he remained sceptically neutral on 7Q5's identity. He likes the new evidence, but thinks that the biggest single problem is that the dating of the fragment actually looks to be closer to 50AD than the mid 60's. This would be too early by at least 10 years for it to be Mark no matter who you ask, but he does believe that the fragment could be a part of UrMark, and earlier version of Mark's Gospel.

And if we can establish that UrMark does actually exist, then we will be a very long ways toward solving the so called Synoptic Problem, and a whole new mystery will present itself for scholars to pursue in the coming years.

Like I have told my friends (and wife, whose eyes tend to gloss over very quickly at this stuff) this is VERY exciting stuff!!! Really!

Thank you all for your very good questions and comments.

Nomad
 
Old 01-04-2001, 11:04 PM   #17
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
I have been in email contact with Dr. Daniel Wallace of the Dallas Theological Seminary. He is a leading specialist in ancient Koine Greek, and he wrote an excellent critique of 7Q5 about 5 years ago (before Dr. Thiede published his newest findings in Eyewitness to Jesus in which he remained sceptically neutral on 7Q5's identity. He likes the new evidence, but thinks that the biggest single problem is that the dating of the fragment actually looks to be closer to 50AD than the mid 60's. This would be too early by at least 10 years for it to be Mark no matter who you ask, but he does believe that the fragment could be a part of UrMark, and earlier version of Mark's Gospel.</font>
He thinks the biggest single problem is the dating of the fragment? You better take a look at his site. I've given quite a few of his arguments in my previous post.

John

 
Old 01-04-2001, 11:43 PM   #18
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by John the Atheist:

This 7Q5 piece of papyrus is less than the size of a U.S. postage stamp. About 3 cm x 4 cm. It consists of five lines of text of which no more than twenty letters are visible. Of those 20 letters, Theide thinks he can make out 10 of those, but most scholars won’t go so far as to say that many, stating only six letters are for certain.</font>
Okay, first off many fragments are and have been identified without controversy or opposition that are of similar size, and containing approximately the same number of letters, so this doesn't really prove much.

The Oxyrhynchus papyrus XXXVIII 2831 was identified as being from Menander's comedy Samia eventhough it measures only 2.4cmX3.3cm and has only 19 letters on five lines. Fragment 7Q2 from the same cave in Qumran has only 21 letters on it, yet it is accepted as being from Baruch 6:43-44. P.Masada 721a is known to be from Virgil's Aeneid 4.9 with only 15 visible letters on it (yes, Virgil was read by the folks on Masada, cool eh?). (C.P. Thiede, EJ, pg. 44)

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">says Dr. Wallace:

Only six other letters are undisputed: tw (line 2), t (line 3, immediately after the kai), nh (line 4), h (line 5). To build a case on such slender evidence would seem almost impossible even if all other conditions were favorable to it. But to identify this as Mark 6:52-53 requires (1) two significant textual emendations (tau for delta in a manner which is unparalleled; and the dropping of ejpiV thVn gh'n even though no other MSS omit this phrase); and (2) unlikely reconstructions of several other letters. </font>
Yes, I have read Dr. Wallace's excellent article as well, and as I told Bob in my last post, I have been emailing him to see what he thinks of Thiede's new evidence (Wallace wrote his article before Eyewitness to Jesus was published. He told me that he has always remained neutral on the disputed "nu", but did not have a problem accepting it. I also showed him Thiede's work on the problematic "tau" letter found in the sequence TAI, and Wallace found that interesting as well.

If he has a significant major concern remaining it is the dating itself. If the fragment dates from no later than 50AD, then it is virtually impossible that it could be from Mark, but the likelyhood that it comes from an earlier gospel tradition, like the theoretical UrMark is very credible in his view.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Thiede argues for an earlier date, and says no later than 50 CE, and much of the expertise he relied on for the dating is from C.H. Roberts. What kind of date does Roberts give for this piece?</font>
Colin Roberts was working in the 50's, and lacked the tools available to Thiede today (especially the electron microscope). Also, given that many of the documents in the caves fall within such a broad range (and Roberts was still working in the early stages of the DSS discoveries, his caution is warranted. Tightening up the range is much easier now, and neither Thiede nor Wallace has a problem with the dating at 50AD.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nothing conclusive at all according to Dr. Gundry in which he wrote an article in 1999 for the JBL.</font>
Wallace mentioned this article as well, but I have not read it. Do you know if Grundy has looked at the papyrus under an electron microscope? And do you have his actual article? I would not mind seeing what he has to say.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Again, you are over exaggerating your case. You are picking a small minority view of scholars, and giving the impression that somehow this makes it conclusive. See Gundry‘s "No NU in Line 2 of 7Q5: A Final Disidentification of 7Q5 with Mark 6:52-53." JBL 118/4 (1999): 698-707.</font>
What does he say? And why?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">... Wallace addresses other concerns that can’t be ignored. Here are two more among the others that I have already addressed, and when Thiede tried to rebut his point he missed it and didn’t succeed in a rebuttal. Says Wallace:

(1) TIA where Mark 6 has DIA--this especially is crucial since no Greek word begins with TIA. (2) What strengthens the case against the Mark 6 identification is the fact that 7Q5 is written in a literary hand.</font>
Okay, this is what I talked to Dr. Wallace about most, since it is his major concern.

The word in question is derasantes, and whether or not this word can be spelled tiaperasantes. This is crucial since the letters on 7Q5 are defintitely TIA as Wallace noted.

Here is what Thiede had to say:

"Two verbatum copies of the (Temple barrier) stone have been found by archeologists, a complete one now in Instanbul, and a fragment, now at the Rockerfeller Museum in Jerusalem. The spelling is striking: in line 1, the Greek word for medena (nobody) is spelled methena; and in line 3 the word drphyakton (barrier stone) is written tryphakton. Quite obviously the scribes had a problem with the soft "d". In both cases they turned it into a hard "t" or "th". In our investigation, the change at the beginning of the word tryphakton is more revealing, as it corresponds to the initial change in the beginning of d/tiaperasantes. It cannot have been an accidental spelling mistake... As Christian Clermont-Ganneau, the first editor of the complete sonte, had already noticed in 1872, the variants faithfully reflect a characteristic way of pronouncing the letter "d" in Greek speaking, Second Temple Jerusalem.

...Thus the d/t shift in a papyrus of this Gospel, to be dated before A.D. 68 -that is, before the destruction of the Temple... is a compelling piece of circumstantial evidence for a local or regional pronounciation and spelling variety which was common..."
(Ibid. pg. 38).


Wallace was not necessarily convinced by this argument (as he said in his own response in JBL) "since Thiede hasn't shown parallels in a literary hand of a common morpheme such as a preposition. That's the real rub." (quoting his email to me).

At the same time, he does not dismiss Thiede's theory on the "T" replacing the "D", especially if the document is a part of UrMark. "As for whether this would be a Ur-Mark, I (Wallace) would think that that would be more likely than the actual Gospel, simply because the outside date is normally considered to be c. 50 CE"

Personally, I happen to agree with Wallace on this one, ESPECIALLY if 7Q5 is placed closer to AD50 than AD68.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Wallace mentions a Dr. David Armstrong of the University of Texas, whom is one of the world's leading papyrologists, and Armstrong states in order to write T instead of D in the way Thiede has proposed is exceedingly difficult even in a non-literary hand, and quite impossible in a literary hand.</font>
Yes. See above for Wallace's own comments on this point.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">In Thiede’s prior work that was published in ‘92 in which he addresses 7Q5, he tries to make his case for this by using a powerful software search engine which was able to scan 64 million words in hundreds of ancient Greek texts. According to Thiede, he could not find any other text, besides Mark 6, that would fit this “Cinderella’s shoe” (using Wallace’s description). Wallace, however didn’t have any trouble finding plenty of other texts. Says Wallace: “In my own cursory examination of the TLG via Ibycus, I found sixteen texts which could possibly fit (though only if one stretched both his or her imagination and the textual evidence). </font>
Wallace did not bring up this concern in his email with me, but since I am not an expert in Greek, I do not see a reason to dispute him (obviously). None the less, Wallace is not arguing by this that the fragment could NOT be from Mark, only that it may come from another source, and that has always been a possibility, since that source could well be unknown as are the other fragments in Cave 7.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Wallace explains more in detail at his site that I will give. He treats Thiede fairly, and his review of Thiede’s ‘92 7Q5 article can be found at: www.bible.org/docs/soapbox/7q5.htm </font>
That is an excellent site, and I recommend it highly for anyone interested in in depth looks at the textual and translation difficulties found in the New Testament. It is called the Prof's Soapbox

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">write scathing rebuttals of Thiede's “Eyewitness to Jesus", one of which can be found in the Tyndale Bulletin under Dr. Head, I think, and Dr. Stanton‘s is in a book. </font>
I offered Thiede's rebuttal to Stanton's work to Wallace as well. Here is what I quoted:
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
I do know that Thiede did address Graham Stanton's concerns from Gospel Truth? where Stanton directly challenged the disputed nu. Quoting from Stanton: "...although it is most unlikely that an early copy of Mark's Gospel found it's way to Cave 7, this is not completely impossible. The theory that 7Q5 is part of Mark's Gospel does not collapse for this reason, but simply because the crucial damaged letter on line 2 of 7Q5 cannot be a nu (N). "Gospel Truth?" by G. Stanton, pg. 28-29.

Thiede replied:

"Graham Stanton's recent book Gospel Truth? includes a plate with a diagram, attributed to Geoffrey Jenkins, in which the clear and undisputed nu from line 4 of 7Q5 has been superimposed on the damaged letter in line 2. Ignoring the difference in width established by Hunger and Thiede and demonstrated as absolutely normal within this papyrus, Stanton claims that the minute difference actually visible on his diagram "shows that the letter cannot be a nu, thus undermining the theory that 7Q5 is part of the Mark's Gospel." It seems remarkable that a scholar of Professor Stanton's repute would treat the evidence in such a cavalier manner...(T)he incomplete drawing of the underlying letter frangment from line 2 is the first distortion; the second one is the willful ommission of the diagonal line established by the Jerusalem anaylis; and the third one is the conclusion which flies in the face of what event he distorted diagram still shows: the fragment can of course be reconstructed as a nu, as Hunger has shown. It goes without saying that Hunger's paper is neither quoted nor mentioned by Stanton." (Eyewitness to Jesus, C.P. Thiede, pg. 43) Thiede also shows a diagram on page 42 including the two clear nu letters and the damaged one, and overlays them to prove his point. </font>
Stanton appears not to have been his usual thorough self on this question.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">7Q5 has been known for some time. I’ve seen quite a few of the most important arguments used pro and con, and most scholars have been unimpressed enough with Theide’s work to treat it with the contempt of silence.</font>
LOL! Please John. Silence is not an argument against anything, and you should know better than to make such a claim. Thiede defends himself very well against Stanton, and even some of Wallace's concerns and critiques. I have not seen Head's or Gundry's articles, so anything you have to offer is welcome.

I am not here to PROVE anything conclusively, but to see how the evidence stacks up.

Final question:

Have YOU read the book yourself? If not, perhaps you may wish to do so before criticizing it so much. After all, I've already seen Mike roasted for this same "crime" (of not reading something he is criticizing), and we would hate to be using a double standard, no?

Nomad


[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited January 05, 2001).]
 
Old 01-05-2001, 07:48 AM   #19
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Nomad,

For my information, in what way does the use of an electron microscope help the dating of a papyrus?

fG
 
Old 01-05-2001, 09:13 AM   #20
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by faded_Glory:

For my information, in what way does the use of an electron microscope help the dating of a papyrus?</font>
Okay, the analysis of the disputed letter with the microscope is not to determine the age of the material, but to resolve the question of whether or not the letter in question is an "I" or an "N", thus helping us to know the word this letter belongs to. Basically, everyone agrees (Thiede included) that if the letter is an "I", then the fragment is not from Mark's Gospel, but if it is an "N", then the probability that it is from Mark increases dramatically (Stanton's and Gundry's criticisms focus almost exclusively on this point in fact, which is why the question is so important. I have not read Gundry's article, but in Stanton's case, as we can see, he has effectively admitted that his criticism of Thiede's conclusions rests on proving the letter is an "I").

The question of dating rests largely on scholarly consensus and archeological supports that all of the scrolls found in the Qumran caves cannot date after 68AD (when the community was abandoned), and that the vast majority are from about 100BC to 50AD. Since Mark could not possibly have been written much earlier than 50AD (and most likely 60AD), then the theory that it could come from the theoretical UrMark Gospel becomes much more probable. Concrete textual evidence of UrMark would be almost as big news wise as if 7Q5 comes from the actual Gospel of Mark itself.

Actually, the evidence for UrMark (a basic outline of the travels and teachings of Jesus during His ministry), even without any physical fragments is pretty compelling, and could be coupled with the so called "Q" Gospel (a sayings Gospel) and Passion Narrative (basically the events of the Last Supper, through the prayer at Gethsemane, Jesus' arrest, trial, and crucifixion as found in the Synoptic Gospels) as the common thread that helps to link together the Synoptics.

Nomad
 
 

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