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In my debate with Bart, I mentioned that I had it on good authority that this was definitely a first-century fragment of Mark. A representative for who I understood was the owner of FCM urged me to make the announcement at the debate, which they realized would make this go viral. However, the information I received and was assured to have been vetted was incorrect. It was my fault for being naïve enough to trust that the data I got was unquestionable, as it was presented to me. So, I must first apologize to Bart Ehrman, and to everyone else, for giving misleading information about this discovery. While I am sorry for publicly announcing inaccurate facts, at no time in the public statements (either in the debate or on my blogsite) did I knowingly do this. But I should have been more careful about trusting any sources without my personal verification, a lesson I have since learned.
This really puts his so-called scholarship into question.
Daniel B.Wallace announced ( 22 MARCH 2012) in a debate with Bart Ehrman, that he had access to a fragment of Mark from the first-century; making it even older than P52 from the second century (which is the size of a credit-card). This announcement even made it’s way into Forbes magazine.
It is interesting to note that in that article, Wallace claims that :
…..radiocarbon dating has not been employed for Greek manuscripts to any significant degree, “largely because until recently it would necessarily destroy part of the manuscript.”
We have already examined this issue of radiocarbon-dating vs paleography. How is it possible for a manuscript of the Qur’an to be radiocarbon dated, and not the Bible?
But keeping all that aside, lets get back to the main question: WHERE IS THIS FIRST CENTURY MARK?
Many evangelical Christian apologists use an argument attributed to the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, which goes as follows:
We can almost completely restore the New Testament off of the early church fathers alone.
This argument posits that based on the writings of the early Church Fathers (Patristics), in their quotations, we can use those quotations of the New Testament to reconstruct the entire New Testament. However, as Dr. Dan Wallace clarifies, this is not a claim he makes, and he specifically qualifies that although such a reconstruction can be done, it cannot be done using the early Patristics:
As Dr. Ehrman points out, this cannot be done using the early Patristic writings (1st to 3rd centuries). Unfortunately, this is quite a popular argument used by Christian apologists, and it’s long overdue that either Dr. Wallace or Dr. Ehrman corrected lay…
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Have you ever heard it said that if all the Bibles and Biblical manuscripts in the world were destroyed tomorrow, we could reconstruct all but 11 verses of the NT from the writings of the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers alone? Recently, in an interview featuring NT textual critic, Daniel Wallace, we learn that this claim is demonstrably false.
Daniel Wallace mentions the following :
I’m embarrassed to say that sometimes there are Muslim apologists who have done really decent research on the nature of the New Testament or on the transmission of the text or things along those lines, and they have cleared up kind of an apocryphal story that Christians believed in.
There was one example: a number of scholars have passed on saying someone had pointed out that in the first three centuries of Christianity, only eleven verses of the entire New Testament had not been able to be found in those Church Fathers’ writings. Well, that was a garbled story that went back to the early 1800s, and it was a third-hand story of a fellow by the name of David Dalrymple. He was the one who actually was doing the research, and somebody heard about this at a party and not directly from Dalrymple but from somebody else, and then put into a book, and it’s been stated for the last 200 years as though it was Gospel fact.