First Century Mark – Myth Busted!

Since 2012, it has been rumored that there exists a fragment of the Gospel of Mark which a leading papyrologist dated to the first-century.

Daniel Wallace first mentioned the fragment in his debate with Bart Ehrman in 2012.  Since then, everyone has waited with baited breath for the publication of “First Century Mark” (FCM), especially for the estimations of its dating, provenance, and any significance its contents might have for text-critical issues.

There was some controversy involved since a veil of secrecy surrounded the project, non-disclosure deals were signed, some apologetics ministries were making much of this fragment before it was published, and it was alleged that an Egyptian mummy funeral mask had been partially destroyed in order to retrieve the fragment.

Well, it turns out that FCM is not from the first-century, it is rather dated to the second or third century. It is known as P.Oxy 83.5345 and has the text of Mark 1:7-9, 16-18.

Check out Elijah Hixson’s summary and Dan Wallace’s explanation and apology as to how he was led astray.

You can read more from Larry Hurtado, Michael Kruger, Brice Jones, and Brent Nongbri.

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