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2955Re: [textualcriticism] New Ending to the Gospel of Mark?

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  • Daniel B. Wallace
    Feb 24, 2007
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      A New Ending for Mark 16? Maybe not…

      The sensational report in the school newspaper of Brigham Young University about a new ending for Mark 16 in an early papyrus has circulated the Internet rather rapidly. Other publications have picked it up and the news has continued to spread, with scholarly speculation over what the ending might be.

      All of this is premature, however, and in fact is based on faulty reporting. The scholars involved in the “discovery” have written a disclaimer and have asked me to post it. The three professors working on multi-spectral imaging of ancient manuscripts at BYU are Thomas Wayment, Roger Macfarlane, and Stephen Bay. I contacted Professor Macfarlane because of my interest in the discovery. He told me that it was a journalistic mistake. I would simply ask that the scholarly community recognize that not only is there no such manuscript to speculate about, but that the reputations of these professors should not in any way be impugned by this unintentionally false report of their findings. You can read their retraction for yourselves to see what has actually transpired. (I've posted the retraction along with this missive at www.csntm.org; it was kicked back when I tried to send it to the tc-list.) As all of us who teach know that our students don’t always hear exactly what we are saying. This is simply just another classic case of that, but the ramifications for the reputation of these gentlemen could have been unfortunate if they had not published a retraction of what was written.

      As those of us who are working in the field of textual criticism fully recognize, all too often sensationalist reports about our work have almost become commonplace. I trust that this explanation and the accompanying retraction clear this matter up.

      Sincerely,

      Daniel B. Wallace
      Executive Director
      Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts


      ----- Start Original Message -----
      Sent: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 16:51:59 -0800 (PST)
      From: Mark Thunderson <mark.thunderson@...>
      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] New Ending to the Gospel of Mark?

      >
      > Concerning another ending...

      It is amazing just how many attempts have been made to
      reach beyond Mark 16:8. Surely, the Gospel of Mark
      ends at 16:8. But to the credit of those who have
      argued for an extension beyond 16:8 (and these
      extensions have been less than satisfactory), it does
      seem plausible that Mark 1:1-16:8 expects indeed hopes
      for closure. In order for the textual critic to
      perceive this, he must first understand what Mark is
      saying. So, I would argue on a very precise level
      that Mark expects his reader not only "to understand"
      but to continue the work he began (hence, Matthew and
      Luke). Therefore, those in the past who have written
      "an ENDING" have done so with little success. That an
      ending must come, however, is imminent. But who is
      worthy to write an end to Mark? Who is worthy to break
      the seal at 16:8?

      Mark Thunderson.


      --- Wieland Willker <willker@...-bremen.de>
      wrote:

      > This may turn out to be interesting:
      >
      > Stephen Carlson alerts us on his blog to this:
      >
      > -----start blog quote----------------------------
      >
      > On the Crosstalk list, James Ernest, âœnew Markan
      > ending?â? (Feb. 18, 2007), points out an intriguing
      > article from BYU, Mysteries of Ancient Egyptian
      > Papyri Revealed (Feb. 14, 2007). Hereâ™s the beef:
      >
      > "Three BYU professors have uncovered mysteries in
      > ancient Egyptian writings aided by new technology
      > that allows people to see inscriptions invisible to
      > the naked eye.
      >
      > The professors Roger Macfarlane, Stephen Bay and
      > Thomas Wayment, have been working on deciphering
      > these writings on papyrus found in an Egyptian dump
      > where an ancient city known as Oxyrhynchus
      > previously existed. The papyri are now housed at the
      > University of Oxford in England and studied by
      > various scholars around the globe.
      >
      > The technology developed by BYU called multispectral
      > imaging, can penetrate through dirt, stains and
      > other material on the papyri, making it possible to
      > expose obscured lettering.
      >
      > Specific material in these texts include an
      > unidentified Christian apocryphal Gospel, a new
      > ending to the Gospel of Mark, a different version of
      > two verses in the book of Philemon, and a missing
      > section in Luke 22:43-44. In the King James Version,
      > these verses in Luke talk about Christ shedding
      > blood in the Garden of Gethsemane."
      >
      >
      > A âœnew ending to the Gospel of Markâ?? What can
      > they possibly be talking about?
      >
      > MORE: In any case, a new Oxyrhynchus papyrus scrap
      > of Mark (even without a âœnew endingâ?) would be
      > noteworthy. As best as I can tell from POxy:
      > Oxyrhynchus Online, no copy of the Gospel according
      > to Mark has yet been found among them.
      >
      > UPDATE: April DeConick asks if multispectral
      > analysis can âœhelp us with Saying 30 in the Gospel
      > of Thomas?â? (Feb. 19, 2007).
      >
      > NOTE: An email inquiry of mine (Feb. 20, 2007) has
      > not yet been answered, but, as of Feb. 21, 2007, the
      > news article has now disappeared from the BYU site.
      >
      > -----end blog
      > quote-----------------------------------------------
      >
      >
      > Just to repeat this:
      >
      > - an unidentified Christian apocryphal Gospel
      > - a new ending to the Gospel of Mark
      > - a different version of two verses in the book of
      > Philemon,
      > - and a missing section in Luke 22:43-44
      >
      >
      > WOW!
      >
      >
      > Best wishes
      > Wieland
      > <><
      > ------------------------------------------------
      > Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
      > mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
      > http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
      > Textcritical commentary:
      > http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
      >
      >

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