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A long-awaited early manuscript fragment of the Gospel of Mark has finally been published, ending six years of speculation. Known popularly as "First-Century Mark," from the rumour that it had tentatively been dated to the first century, the manuscript is officially designated P.Oxy. LXXXIII 5345 or P137. It was recently published by Oxford papyrologists Daniela Colomo and Dirk Obbink in the latest edition of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. 83 (2018). The fragment of Mark is approximately 4.4 by 4 cm in size, and contains portions of Mark 1:7-9 on one side and Mark 1:16-18 on the other. Obbink and Colomon have dated the manuscript to 150-250 AD. While not the first-century manuscript biblical scholars were hoping for, it is still the earliest copy of Mark's Gospel to date. In addition to P137, two other manuscripts were published in the same volume: P138, a third-century papyrus of Luke 13:13–17 and 13:25–30, and P139, a fourth-century papyrus of Philemon 6–8 and 18–20.

Off-site Links:

- https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/may-web-only/mark-manuscript-earliest-not-first-century-fcm.html
- https://danielbwallace.com/2018/05/23/first-century-mark-fragment-update/
- http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2018/05/first-century-mark-published-at-last.html
- https://www.ees.ac.uk/news/poxy-lxxxiii-5345

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ABRT 28 | 8/1/2019