It will be interesting to watch this unfold.
On February 1, 2012, Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, made a claim in a debate with Dr. Bart D. Ehrman that went something like this: “We have as many as eighteen second-century manuscripts (six of which were recently discovered and not yet catalogued) and a first-century manuscript of Mark’s Gospel! ”
Please take a moment a read the last sentence again. Here Dr. Wallace states emphatically that a first-century manuscript of Mark’s Gospel exists. The problem with Dr. Wallace’s claim is that he can’t seem to provide this manuscript.
“In the Q & A, Bart questioned the validity of the first-century Mark fragment.”
Wallace responded with:
“a world-class paleographer, whose qualifications are unimpeachable, was my source.”
(I just had a flashback of the Jordon Lead Codices)
This is the type of argument that one regularly sees from Christian apologists: anonymous sources and claims of evidence, without actual evidence.
Wallace’s claim has caught the eyes of folks that dig this kind of stuff, so it will now be up to Wallace to provide this “first-century manuscript” which has now become a “first-century fragment”, that New Testament students are anxious to see..
Will Wallace provide this supposed fragment of a manuscript that can be reliably dated to the first century and that can be proved to be from GoMark?
Will Wallace try to defend a baseless claim, without evidence, perhaps hoping to sell a few books.
Will he admit his mistake and cease misleading people if the field does not accept his “evidence”?
Will this be a very important piece of the history of Christianity or will this “first-century manuscript of Mark’s Gospel” be chalked up as yet another fraud in the long, long line of Christian frauds?
It’ll be fun.