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Further Comment on the Mark Fragment and the Rumors

June 5, 2018

There is now a further news release from the Egypt Exploration Society about the recently published fragment of the Gospel of Mark.  It responds to some of the rumors circulating, and corrects certain of them.  See here, the second item on the page.

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  1. Patty permalink

    I think Dan Wallace and Craig Evans owe us a full explanation, names and all. Right now, we’re being ignored by Wallace and given poor excuses by Evans. It’s unacceptable.

    • Pattty: I think you’re a bit unfair. Wallace has explained his mistake and apologized for it. Evans? I don’t know. But to give names would amount to public accusations against this or that person, with no perceptible gain (the person[s] are no longer in a position to fiddle with papyri), and could generate legal issues. Wallace and Evans were misled, and too eager to believe what they wanted to believe so that they could score a point in an apologetic contest. But now we have the fragment and can study it. That’s where we ought to concentrate now. Lessons (I hope) have been learned.

  2. This is just getting weirder and weirder….

  3. Greg M. permalink

    When is the blogging scholarly community going to start demanding answers? Except for Candida Moss no scholars seem to be speaking out in a manner demanding answers. If not for the Washington Post writing articles last year I wouldn’t know just how shady all of this is. If Wallace saw the fragment then Obbink had to know (if he didn’t then this means the fragment was out of his hands which makes one wonder what EES would think about that possibility!). If he knew then it would seem he must have known about any NDA. If he knew then why doesn’t EES know? If EES is telling the truth in that they never ask for an NDA then this leaves really only one other party that the NDA could have been with: the Greens. When did they get their hands on this fragment long enough for an NDA to even come up? Again, how could EES not know about this? I get the feeling the scholarly community is too afraid to speak up in a manner that demands answers because everyone is afraid they might anger the wrong person and ruin their careers. No one wants to peer into the abyss or poke the bear.

    • Greg: Answers to reasonable questions are appropriate. But some of your claims/questions are framed dubiously. Item: Wallace says he saw the fragment in the Autumn 2012. He doesn’t say where or under what circumstances. He says he had to sign a NDA first, but it’s not clear at all that EES or Obbink was a party to, or even aware of, any such NDA. So a whole string of your questions and supposed syllogisms, “if X then it must have been Y” are based on unsubstantiated premises. Nobody in the scholarly guild is “afraid”. It’s clear that Wallace and others were misled and so repeated incorrect information. Perhaps they should have refused to sign any NDA (I fail to see why they did, and what they gained from doing so). I’m retired now, so no career to ruin! I just don’t think that we should call out a lynching party or hurl accusations at all those involved. For my part, I have reason to think that perhaps one particular person (whose name has come up in various reports) may have been responsible for misleading the others. There’s no “bear” to “poke”. Gee whiz! Take a breath!

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