Re: Dead Sea Mark

From: Nichael Lynn Cramer (
Date: Fri Apr 24 1998 - 19:18:01 EDT

Jim West wrote:
>Ben Crick wrote:
>> It does appear that three fragments from Cave 7 (7Q4, 7Q5 and 7Q8) are from
>> New Testament documents.
>This is absolutely false. [...]

Jim has already pointed out (on the B-Greek mailing list) many of the
problems and errors in Ben's post. However I would like to make a couple
of small additions.

>> [...] Eventually O'Callaghan
>> thought the unthinkable and looked for a match in the New Testament. He was
>> amazed to find that 7Q5 fitted Mark 6:52-53 (Gennesaret).
>What Ben forgot to tell you (or does not know) is that only by an
>excruciating, gymnastic twisting of the evidence can one even suggest that
>7Q5 is Mark 6.

Actually, the situation is rather worse than this. As W. Slaby has shown,
if we restrict a computer search to match only the ten sure letters of 7Q5,
the only possible identification is Lk 3:19-21. (See n17, p 198 of Graham
Stanton's book for more information, including a full reference.)

>> As it cut right across the received wisdom of the Redaction Criticism lobby,
>> it met with considerable opposition from that quarter. But some very heavy
>> guns were brought to bear in support, most notably CT Thiede.

Hardly a lobby. But that aside, it is perhaps worth pointing out here that
"Redaction Criticism" has, of course, nothing whatsoever to do with the
issue at hand.

>> ... /Biblica/ only has a limited circulation, so he wrote
>> to /The Times/ (London) about his discovery (16th March 1972).

Assuming this to be an accurate depiction of the events, this fact alone
would be sufficient to allow the unbiased reader serious doubts about such

Nichael Cramer Gather the folks, tell the stories, break the bread. -- John Shea

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