Earliest papyri nt dating
Not all books of the New Testament are equally well-represented in our manuscripts, especially early on.There are several early papyri of Matthew and John, but before this new fragment was published, there was only one existing copy of Mark’s gospel produced before the 300s.It should be stated, however, that we have no shortage of New Testament manuscripts.There are about 5,300 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament of various sizes and dates.Six years came and went, and there was no “first-century Mark” fragment. On stage at a conference in 2015, Scott Carroll told Josh Mc Dowell that the manuscript had been for sale at least twice, after the first attempt was unsuccessful.
Carroll claimed to have seen the fragment in person twice, both times in the possession of Dirk Obbink.
As a general rule, earlier manuscripts get us closer to the original text than later manuscripts because there are assumed to be fewer copies between them and the autographs (the original copies of the NT writings, most likely lost to history).
Naturally, this news of a first-century copy of Mark generated a great deal of interest.
Its date range makes it likely the earliest copy of Mark’s gospel.
The fact that the text presents us with no new variants is partially a reflection of the overall stability of the New Testament text over time.