Manuscript Is 200 Years Older Than Any Other Found
A Greek papyrus published by Egypt Exploration Society is believed to be the earliest historical fragment of Gospel of Mark, dated anytime within the A.D. 150 to A.D. 250 window. This discovery is bittersweet for many observers as many believed the manuscript to be much older. The age of these kinds of documents is important as it lends the nature of content present in the everyday bookshelf Bible. Ancient texts fragments are frequently compared and then considered in scripture’s translation.
The fragment ascribed to Mark is a tiny one. The dimensions are only 4.4 x 4 centimeters. As per sources, the papyrus contained few letters. Both sides of the fragment had writings on them. These indicated it was a component of a book and not that of a scroll. The Egyptian Exploration Society also published a third century dated papyrus ascribed to Luke 13:25 to 30. There was also a papyrus dated fourth century consisting of Philemon 6 to 8 and from 18 to 20. These are extremely rare. They are also one of the earliest in history.
The said document was found as papyri in the midst of a historical garbage dump anytime from 1896 to 1906. This papyrus contained Biblical texts, tax receipts, apocryphal texts, and letters. There was even a contract which stated the fixed outcome a certain wrestling match. The Egypt Exploration Society has published only one percent of the total find. Fragments of the find are now to be found at Washington DC’s Museum of the Bible.
There would have been momentous changes if the fragment dated back to the first century. It will be as a majority of New Testament manuscripts found now dates back earliest to the third century. Any text involving the Christian faith dated before A.D.200 is regarded as a remarkable and extremely rare find. A manuscript written in the First Century would thus be of momentous significance. These in historical terms should be inked before early 100s. It is no wonder Mark’s gospel is a rarest of the rare find. Manuscripts ranging across the New Testament are not democratic in nature. A number of early John and Matthew papyri were found. Before this Mark discovery, only one extant copy of Mark’s gospel was written prior to the third century.