Possible 2nd century manuscript of “Hebrews” discovered

Word has it a 2nd century fragment of Hebrews 11 was discovered three weeks ago. If the dating is correct this would be (I believe) the oldest extant copy of that book and one of the oldest New Testament manuscripts yet discovered. It was found in a funerary mask. It seems the fragment is on display through the weekend at Baylor University. Not exactly in my jurisdiction down here in Florida. Maybe some readers near Baylor will be able to check it out in person.

Preachers and Bible teachers should not proclaim this yet without caveats. The dating and provenance have not been confirmed, and the text has not been published for review. If the initial claims hold up under scrutiny, that would be excellent news. There are enough mistaken analyses and (gasp) fraudulent discoveries out there to warrant caution on everyone’s part.

Early copies of the New Testament are relatively rare, in part because many manuscripts were rounded up and destroyed by Roman authorities during persecutions in the late 3rd century.

HT: PaleoJudaica

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About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister in English and Spanish with the North Terrace Church of Christ and participates annually in archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke also leads tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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4 Responses to Possible 2nd century manuscript of “Hebrews” discovered

  1. Brian Small says:

    Agreed. The fragment needs to be studied and verified.

  2. Brian Small says:

    Luke,

    Regarding the post on the Hebrews fragment: While the information I posted about the fragment was nothing more than what anybody could have learned about the fragment from attending the exhibition, I was apparently out of place for posting the information about the fragment on my blog. I kindly ask you to remove that post, not so I can save face, but so that the post does not infringe on the rights of the person who has been assigned the fragment to publish on it. I regret the mistake. Thank you.

    Brian Small

  3. afrankangle says:

    Like the good scientists you appreciate …. just being patient.

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