“First-Century Mark,” Published at Last?

“It looks like we are finally getting that First-Century Mark (henceforth, FCM) fragment everyone has been talking about for years. (By the designation ‘FCM’ I am not implying that it actually dates to the first century. I don’t know the date yet. I only mean that ‘FCM’ is probably the actual papyrus that has been reported to be the first-century Mark fragment.)” ETC


For the technical data on this fragment:


The update and apology by Dan Wallace here:


What made this papyrus fragment controversial was the build up to its publication. Entering a 2012 debate with Bart Ehrman, Dan Wallace was advised by someone he trusted that he could announce a forthcoming publication of a fragment of Mark’s gospel dated to the 1st century. Wallace made the announcement, only to discover a few weeks later that the expert had already changed his mind on the dating, to the late 2nd, early 3rd century. But by then Wallace had signed an agreement to not speak of any details of the fragment before publication.

So for these long years since, he has had people asking him for updates on the ‘FCM’ (First Century Mark) and he has been unable to correct the misinformation. The papyrus has now been published, and so the whole saga comes to an end.

It is still an exciting find as now there are a total of 138 number papyri witnesses to the ancient New Testament text.

I remember listening to that debate and hearing Wallace’s claim. I’ve been patiently waiting five years to hear what it was all about!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.