Egypt Exploration Society on the Papyrus Formerly Known As “First Century” Mark

The Egypt Exploration Society has just posted an announcement on their website about P.Oxy. 83.5345:

In the latest volume of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, volume LXXXIII text 5345, Professor Obbink and Dr Colomo publish a fragment from a papyrus codex (book). The two sides of the papyrus each preserve brief traces of a passage, both of which come from the gospel of Mark. After rigorous comparison with other objectively dated texts, the hand of this papyrus is now assigned to the late second to early third century AD. This is the same text that Professor Obbink showed to some visitors to Oxford in 2011/12, which some of them reported in talks and on social media as possibly dating to the late first century AD on the basis of a provisional dating when the text was catalogued many years ago. Papyrus 5345 was excavated by Grenfell and Hunt and has never been for sale. No other unpublished fragments of New Testament texts in the EES collection have been identified as earlier than the third century AD.

Lots of interest here. First off, they confirm the piece comes from the excavations of Grenfell and Hunt. Second, they deny the account of Scott Carroll that the piece was offered for sale. Third, they state that “No other unpublished fragments of New Testament texts in the EES collection have been identified as earlier than the third century AD.” This is actually a pretty rare insight into the unpublished Oxyrhynchus pieces. It would be useful for scholars to more about these pieces (How many are there? What books are represented?) And why all the secrecy all these years? After all, “Professor Obbink showed [at least one of these unpublished papyri] to some visitors to Oxford in 2011/12,” as the post puts it. Seems like there is a bit more to the story.

This entry was posted in Antiquities Market, First Century Mark, Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Egypt Exploration Society on the Papyrus Formerly Known As “First Century” Mark

  1. Pingback: P.Oxy. 83.5345: A Picture and Still More on Inventory Numbers | Variant Readings

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