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     7Q5 Papyrus and The Magdalen Papyrus (Papyrus 64) and the LIES of the pagan christian APOLOGIST Carsten Peter Thiede

By: Anonymous Muslim
(He is a new convert to Islam)

 

 

A little background on who exactly was Carsten Thiede:

“Thiede has no credentials, has never held an academic post, is self-appointed, and has no credibility in scholarly circles, who dismiss his claims as groundless. Buyers of his books should demand their money back on the grounds that they were defrauded into buying fiction.” Quote of Dr M D Magee link article:

http://www.askwhy.co.uk/truth/210Thiede.html

  

1)  First let’s quickly go over the work done by the FRAUD Thiede on Papyrus 7Q5

 7Q5

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Fragment 5 from Cave 7 of the Qumran Community

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Fragment 5 from Cave 7 of the Qumran Community

Among the Dead Sea scrolls, 7Q5 is the designation for a papyrus fragment discovered in Cave 7 of the Qumran community. The significance of this fragment is derived from an argument made by José O’Callaghan in his work ¿Papiros neotestamentarios en la cueva 7 de Qumrân? (New Testament Papyri in Cave 7 at Qumran ?) in 1972, later reasserted and expanded by German scholar Carsten Peter Thiede in his work The Earliest Gospel Manuscript? in 1982. The assertion is that the previously unidentified 7Q5 is actually a fragment of the Gospel of Mark, chapter 6 verse 52-53. The illustration at right gives a clear picture of how much text is conserved on the fragment 7Q5.

[edit] Argument

The argument is weighted on two points. First, the spacing before the word και <kai> ("and") signifies a paragraph break, which is consistent with the normative layout of Mark in early copies. Secondly, the unique combination of letters ννησ <nnes> found in line 4 is highly characteristic and may point at the word Γεννησαρετ <Gennesaret>, found only thrice in the New Testament. Furthermore, all attempts to identify the fragment with any other known Greek text have failed.

Several counterarguments exist.

The papyrus is so small, and of such poor quality, that positive identification even of the individual letters is difficult at best, although identifications on similar circumstances such as literature or other subjects have been accepted with not so much discussion.

There is no consensus that the letters ννησ are the best reading of the papyrus. Furthermore, apart from Gennesaret, the word εγεννησεν <egennesen> ("begot") is cited as another word in the Greek lexicon containing those four letters. In fact, this conjecture was proposed by the authors of the first edition (editio princeps) published in 1962. In such case the fragment might be part of some genealogy.

In order to identify the fragment with Mark 6:52-53, one must account for the replacement of original δ <d> with τ <t> in line 3, which is unparalleled.

As the lines of a column are always more or less of the same length, it must be assumed that the words επι την γην <epi ten gen> ("to the land") were omitted, a variant which is not attested elsewhere.

The identification of the last letter in line 2 with nu has been strongly disputed because it does not fit into the pattern of this Greek letter as it is clearly written in line 4. Instead, the reading of iota + alpha (which is the reading proposed in the first edition) has been reinforced.

[edit] Significance

It is hard to overstate the significance that a positive identification of 7Q5 as Mark 6:52-53 would have on biblical literary criticism, which may explain both the motivation to see the Gospel of Mark in the fragment and the reticence of many to hang so much on such a small thread. The Qumran community was disbanded no later than 68 AD, which would make that the latest possible date for any documents stored there. This would make 7Q5 the earliest existing fragment of New Testament canonical text, predating P52 by almost 100 years. It would firmly fix Mark as the earliest of the Gospel accounts, and would be a strong argument for authentic Markan authorship, as a pseudonymous work would be highly unlikely within the lifespan of the attested author.

Most significantly in theological terms, according to Christian apologists such an identification would make a strong argument for the assertion that the miraculous, divine, and messianic attributions to Jesus were very early traditions in the Christian church. However, more skeptical scholars argue that it would only demonstrate that part of the current text of Mark is very early, not that all of it was, and while modern versions contain miraculous, divine, and messianic attributions, there is no way of confirming that the document to which 7Q5 originally belonged actually contained such attributions.

(From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7Q5).

 

So the obvious consensus is that the LIARS O’Callaghan and Thiede were wrong.  Most SCHOLARLY and ACADEMIC Communities (Including HIGHLY Knowledgeable biblical scholars) obviously consider Thiede and O’Callahaghan.

1) The Papyrus is so small and of such POOR quality identification of even the INDIVIDUAL letters is difficult

2) NO Census on letters of the best reading of the 7Q5 Papyrus:

 There is no consensus that the letters ννησ are the best reading of the papyrus. Furthermore, apart from Gennesaret, the word εγεννησεν <egennesen> ("begot") is cited as another word in the Greek lexicon containing those four letters. In fact, this conjecture was proposed by the authors of the first edition (editio princeps) published in 1962. In such case the fragment might be part of some genealogy.

(From:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7Q5).

 

3) Additional problems with identification of this SMALL, POOR quality Papyrus

In order to identify the fragment with Mark 6:52-53, one must account for the replacement of original δ <d> with τ <t> in line 3, which is unparalleled.

As the lines of a column are always more or less of the same length, it must be assumed that the words επι την γην <epi ten gen> ("to the land") were omitted, a variant which is not attested elsewhere.

The identification of the last letter in line 2 with nu has been strongly disputed because it does not fit into the pattern of this Greek letter as it is clearly written in line 4. Instead, the reading of iota + alpha (which is the reading proposed in the first edition) has been reinforced

(From:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7Q5).

 

 

2) Next to the FRAUD Thiede’s LIES on the Magdalen Papyrus (also called Papyrus 64)

Basic Info on what is the Magdalen Papyrus (aka Papyrus 64)

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The "Magdalen" papyrus was purchased in Luxor, Egypt in 1901 by Rev Charles B. Huleatt (1863-1908), who identified the Greek fragments as portions of the Gospel of Matthew (Chapter 26:23 and 31) and presented them to Magdalen College, Oxford, where they are cataloged as P. Magdalen Greek 17 (Gregory-Aland P64) and whence they have their name. When the fragments were finally published by Colin H. Roberts in 1953, illustrated with a photograph, the hand was characterized as "an early predecessor of the so-called 'Biblical Uncial'" which began to emerge towards the end of the 2nd century. The uncial style is epitomised by the later biblical Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. Comparative paleographical analysis has remained the methodological key for dating the manuscript: the consensus is, ca AD 200.

The fragments are written on both sides, conclusive proof that they came from a codex rather than a scroll. More fragments, published in 1956 by Ramon Roca-Puig, cataloged as P. Barc. Inv. 1 (Gregory-Aland P67), were determined by Roca-Puig and Roberts to come from the same codex as the Magdalen fragements, a view which has remained the scholarly consensus.

In late 1994 considerable publicity surrounded Carsten Peter Thiede's redating of the Magdalen papyrus to the last third of the 1st century, optimistically interpreted by journalists. His official article appeared in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik the following year. The text for the layman was cowritten with Matthew d'Ancona and presented as The Jesus Papyrus, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London , 1996. Thiede's re-dating has generally been viewed with skepticism by established Biblical scholars.

(From:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magdalen_papyrus).

 

VERY IMPORTANT: The Magdalen Papyrus was written on a CODEX not a scroll.  Codex’s came LATER after the use of scrolls.

A scroll is a roll of parchment, papyrus, or paper which has been written upon. They were used in ancient civilizations before the codex or bound book was invented in the first century. (From:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scroll).

 

NOW Codex

A codex (Latin for block of wood, book; plural codices) is a handwritten book, in general, one produced from Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages. The scholarly study of manuscripts from the point of view of the bookmaking craft is called codicology. The study of ancient documents in general is called paleography.

New World codices were written as late as the sixteenth century (see Maya codices and Aztec codices).

The codex was an improvement upon the scroll, which it gradually replaced as the written medium. The codex in turn was replaced by the printed book.

Contents

[hide]

1 History

2 Some codices

3 Notes

4 See also

5 References

[edit] History

The Romans used similar precursors made of reusable wax-covered tablets of wood for taking notes and other informal writings. The first recorded use of the codex for literary works dates from the late first century AD, when Martial experimented with the format. At that time the scroll was the dominant medium for literary works and would remain dominant for secular works until the fourth century. Julius Caesar, traveling in Gaul, found it useful to fold his scrolls accordion-fashion for quicker reference.[citation needed] As far back as the early 2nd century, there is evidence that the codex—usually of papyrus—was the preferred format among Christians: in the library of the Villa of the Papyri, Herculaneum (buried in AD 79), all the texts (Greek literature) are scrolls; in the Nag Hammadi "library", secreted about AD 390, all the texts (Gnostic Christian) are codices.

(From:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex).

 

NOW Let us Read Some Scholarly criticism from Sigrid Peterson, Ph. D.

Short biography of Sigrid Peterson, Ph. D.

Background and Links

Sigrid Peterson, formerly a counseling/clinical psychologist, is now a doctoral student in Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania , with an emphasis on methodology and topics in Early Judaisms and Early Christianities. Currently, in Autumn 2005,  she has completed the complicated formatting of her dissertation and will present it to her committee for approval. She had essentially completed writing the dissertation by June of 2004; she then began a fellowship at the NEH Summer Seminar on "Aramaic in Post-Biblical Judaism and Early Christianity." Since then she has completed a paper for the Seminar volume, titled "Wicked Person or Lawless One? The Meaning of )lw( in Syriac Jewish Texts Preserved in Christianity.” The article discusses a term that appears primarily in the Hebrew Bible (Psalms and Wisdom literature), the Peshitta OT, and three Jewish Syriac texts--Psalms of Solomon, 6 Maccabees, and 7 Maccabees.

Sigrid spent June, July, August, and part of September 2000 in Jerusalem , her third visit there. While there she participated in the Rothschild Symposium in Jewish Studies, at the Institute for Advanced Study at Hebrew University , where the topic was Jewish Liturgy and Synagogue Life. Following the Symposium she did research and writing in the libraries of East and West Jerusalem--The National Library at the Givat Ram campus of Hebrew University, and the British School for Archaeology library and the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, both in East Jerusalem. In Spring 1999 and Spring 2001 she taught Lady Wisdom, Wisdom Personified at the University of Pennsylvania . Recently she served as Writing Fellow for the course "The Devil, Women, and Jews."

In 1997-98 a Dean's Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania supported her work on her dissertation titled Martha Shamoni: A Syriac Jewish Rhymed Liturgical Poem of the Maccabean Martyrdoms," under the supervision of Robert Kraft. Earlier, in 1996-97, she held a Finkelstein Fellowship at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles , California . During the 1995-1996 academic year she lived in Jerusalem and commuted to Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan . At Bar-Ilan, Sigrid studied Syriac with Michael Sokoloff on an Interuniversity Fellowship in Jewish Studies, supplemented by the Goldfein Award from the University of Pennsylvania Program in Jewish Studies. 

Background

She has both an MS in Middle East Studies (Languages) and a PhD in Counseling/Clinical Psychology from the University of Utah.

For further information, please see her Curriculum Vitae.

Interests

Cairo Geniza

Presentation of computer potential, CARG Session AAR/SBL 1992

Presentation at AJS, December 1999, "Paradigm shift: Linking the Cairo Genizah" and the related web page Cairo Genizah Links

Fourth Maccabees

Review of literature on provenance AAR/SBL Chicago 1994

Syriac MacC / Sixth Macc

Rediscovered rhymed poem of the Maccabean Martyrdoms in Syriac, not a translation of Fourth Maccabees

Presented at Hebrew University Interuniversity Fellowship Seminar with Aviezer Ravitzky, 1995

Also presented at AJS, Boston, December 1998, Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins, April 2002; International Society for Biblical Literature (SBL), Berlin, July 2002; American Academy of Religion/SBL, November 2002.

(From:  http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~petersig/).

NOW let us read a textual criticism of Thiede’s “work” by Sigrid Peterson, Ph. D.

(All the following from Sigrid Peterson, Ph. D. her whole article:  http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~petersig/thiede2.txt).

                                                    
Media Papyri: Examining Carsten Thiede's Rediscovered Fragments
by Sigrid Peterson, PhD  
 University of
 Pennsylvania
May 14, 1995
(Revised September 1995)
  
           INTRODUCTION: METHOD AND METHODOLOGY
  
METHOD
There is so much inaccessible and unpublished papyrus in
various corners of the world, almost entirely from
 Egypt , that
the great urgency within the field of papyrology is to publish
the pieces and thus make them available to the scholarly world.
For this reason, as well as others, a difference exists between
the kind of close scrutiny of methodology common to the study
of the historical import of ancient literature, and the close
scrutiny of a publication in the field of papyrology. The
former focusses on the assessment of historical information,
while the latter form of review is concerned with the accurate
representation of the physical details of a piece of papyrus or
ostrakhan with written words or symbols on it, a document. 
  
There are some standards, and there is a desirable descriptive
rigor in treating a papyrus or group of papyri. Describing the
physical characteristics of the papyri, both the writing and
the material, is the conventional way to start. This involves
noting the size and determining the side of the sheet which is
being used, and whether there are two sides or one which
contain writing. For example, if both sides of a sheet are used
and the handwriting is the same on both sides, then the
document is tentatively identified as a codex. An assessment of
the type of document follows, making distinctions, as a rule,
between documentary and literary, between business and
personal, and between legal and commercial. The papyrologist
makes an attempt to locate the place of origin, using all
available clues. Such clues may be archaeological context,
place references in the text, close comparability in style with
documentary papyri whose text fixes the place, the way the
material is handled, and other specific characteristics of the
piece of papyrus being described. Those visible aspects of the
papyrus which correspond to known formats of manuscripts are
assessed; these include whether it is a two-column or single-
column codex, in the case of P. Magdalen 17, the subject for
analysis in this paper. A broad determination of the style of
handwriting is the next step, a step which takes advantage of
the characteristics already noted. This is a sort of decision
tree, as in diagnostic determinations of all kinds. In the case
of papyri, the effort is to determine provenance -- place and
date for the origin of the physical manuscript. 
  
Many of the further points concerning paleographical dating of
Greek literary papyri are to be found in succinct summary in
Eric G. Turner, in <book>GREEK MANUSCRIPTS OF THE ANCIENT
WORLD: SECOND EDITION</book>, Edited by Peter J. Parsons,
Bulletin Supplement 46, 1987,
 London:
 University of
 London
Institute of Classical Studies, 1987:
  
             To obtain a more precise result [in dating]. . . it
        will be necessary to find a dated or datable handwriting
        which the piece under examination resembles. . .
        .Confidence will be strongest when like is compared with
        like: a documentary hand with another documentary hand,
        skilful writing with skilful, fast writing with fast.
        Comparison of book hands with dated documentary hands
        will be less reliable. . . .[[20]]For book hands a period
        of 50 years is the least acceptable spread of time [to
        suggest, as they are long-lived]. A palaeographer
        familiar with the material will refuse assent to a
        precise year date allocated to a manuscript simply by
        comparison with other texts and by no other criterion.
  
             How are `resemblances' between handwritings to be
        judged? The first point of similarity to strike an
        observer will be in the forms of the letters, but taken
        in isolation this feature is too arbitrary to be
        trustworthy. . . .The forms of letters must, as W.
        Schubart pointed out, be considered in relation to the
        manner of writing which they help to constitute. The
        letter-forms chosen by the scribe are, of course, the
        most important means by which stylization is achieved
        (Turner, 1987: 19f).
  
In the case of the fragments of P. Magdalen 17, these steps are
described in the beginning of Colin Roberts's first publication
of the fragments (HTR 46, 1953). A sound basis in method is
crucial to the further exercise of critical thought.
  
Thiede's January 1995 article in <italics>Zeitschrift fu%r
Papyrologie und Epigraphik </italics> provides a casebook
demonstration of mistaken methods which invalidate his
inference about the date of the copy of the Gospel of Matthew
represented by the P. Magdalen 17 fragments. First of all, his
redating is opposed to a formidable foursome, that of
 Bell ,
Skeat, Turner, and Roberts, all of whom agreed with Roberts
that these fragments should be redated from the third or fourth
centuries to ca. 200 ce. As indicated again later, Thiede does
not explain why the judgments of these eminent papyrologists is
faulty. Instead, he allows the existence of "new evidence" to
carry the weight of his proposed change in dating. However, he
does not use it to dissassemble the methodical assessment of
evidence in Roberts's first publication, nor does he establish
a good case for the relevance of his new evidence to the
methodical consideration of these fragments of papyrus.
  
This review will concentrate on understanding these fragments
of Matthew as assessed by Roberts, and then by Thiede. It is
thus a third-hand approach to the actual data. Stuart Pickering
(1995) has noted a more direct approach to redating the Matthew
fragments, beginning with Colin Roberts's assessment of the
handwriting style as "Biblical uncial" - now called Biblical
majuscule. His initial suggestion for dating is "try second
half of third century." His implicit method would be to
assemble a comprehensive group of Biblical majuscule
manuscripts for comparison purposes. These would be placed in a
rough sequence according to the development of letters. 
  
The method I would suggest would be to assemble a very long
sequence of examples of "book hands," whether literary or
documentary, looking for several index letters which have a
particular identifiable shape at the beginning of the series,
and go through a small set of changes as the sequence develops.
This is a way of establishing some end points in time, after
which a letter never looks a certain way, and similarly a time
before which the letter is never -- in this kind of hand --
written in a particular way. The series would have examples of
both assigned and internally confirmed dates. It would be
necessary to exclude information from
 Herculaneum ; such papyri
can be dated firmly as earlier than the eruption of
 Pompeii in
79 c.e., but their relationship to documentary and literary
papyri in other parts of the
 Mediterranean is not clear. See
further the introduction in Turner (1987). An informal trial of
this approach showed that the letter epsilon is squared off
before 200 bce and after 200 ce, and is rounded during the 400
years in between. Since the epsilon is squared off in most
instances in the Matthew fragments, the date of 200 c.e.
remains credible by this approach. 
  
This method has the advantage of being able to make the
strongest "truth" statement possible, in the epistemological
sense. It can be demonstrated by the syllogism: If it rains the
streets get wet; At this moment the streets are NOT wet;
Therefore at this moment it is not raining. While there may be
other causes for wet streets, if wetness is absent then rain is
absent.
  
There is much art and ambiguity to paleography. However, if the
unsystematic survey just described holds up to systematic data
collection, one could express the finding as "If the time is
between 200 bce and 200 ce, the epsilon is rounded. In these
fragments of Matthew the epsilon is not rounded. Therefore the
fragments were not written between 200 bce and 200 ce.
  
Some additional questions would be asked of this data set, such
as: Are there are any indications of a two-column format for
the page? Do documentary papyri use abbreviation or suspension
when they abbreviate names? How do literary papyri treat names?
How many letters to a line? When does overlining appear and/or
disappear? Is the codex REALLY confined to early Christian
texts? 
  
These are important questions in general, subject to change in
subtle ways with new information and new discoveries. It is a
complicated and circular process; without the knowledge gained
in this way, the recent effort of Thiede to redate Biblical
papyri simply contradicts what is known in the field. It does
not follow accepted standards of practice, and is therefore
suspect.
  
METHODOLOGY
A sound basis in method is crucial to the further exercise of
critical thought, called methodology, about the place these
fragments of papyri should take in our understanding of the NT.
Methodology is the effort to infer that a situation existed,
and that the inferred situation has a valid foundation. Without
a sound basis in established method, inference collapses.
  
Much of what passes for methodology in NT studies consists of
case-building, of assembling a number of bits of information
from a number of sources, and then arguing that the assemblage
provides the basis from which the historian can infer the
situation. It is crucial, for this process to be credible, that
the historian remain relatively distant from the desired
outcome, and alert to any evidence that contradicts that
outcome. It is also crucial to be aware of the biases inherent
in the sources themselves. 
  
Papyrology would seem to offer the possibility of avoiding a
lot of the work involved in critical consideration of the
sources, and jumping straight into case-building for a
speculatively-developed historical theory. In the case of the
Matthew fragments, this basic work had already been done by
Roberts (1953). Thiede needed only to understand the
implications of Roberts's work before building his case for the
existence of an early manuscript of Matthew in
 Egypt . 
  
Because Thiede's ZPE article makes a few necessary corrections,
he gives the appearance of having mastered the earlier work and
then having gone beyond it. However, Thiede erred in his
assimilation of Roberts's work, or in reproducing it. The
Matthew fragments come from a two-column codex. Thiede barely
notes this detail. Had he noted it, according to current
standards of practice, he would not have been able to claim
that the Matthew fragments stem from an Egyptian copy of the
Gospel written down around 70 CE. This is because the earlier
codices, according to current understanding, are written in one
column rather than two. Of course this could be questioned;
Thiede doesn't seem to notice or care or recognize the point.
  
Thus Thiede does not use the method (Roberts, 1953) upon which
he relies as his basis for inference in the case of two-column
codices. He does appropriate Roberts's suggestion that areas
where the papyrus is broken contain <italics>nomina
sacra</italics>. These are two- or three-letter representations
of "sacred" names, usually marked by an overhead line, not seen
on these fragments. There are various technical aspects,
mentioned above as this article traced Thiede's arguments. To
reiterate: if <italics>nomina sacra</italics> for the name of
Jesus are present, and if the Thiede's downdating could
possibly be true, then these fragments are evidence that some
segment of the early Jesus movement thought that Jesus was in a
category with God, Moses, and David, and like them his name
deserved to receive special treatment as sacred. This group
produced bound codices of gospels which reflected their belief
by using the <italics>nomina sacra</italics> for the name of
Jesus, the argument would go. Since the evidence for the
practice can be identified particularly in this supposedly
early version of the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Matthew
must have been written within the lifetime of some of the
disciples, making it an eyewitness account (more or less), and
overturning most modern scholarship on the development of the
synoptic gospels. Thiede wisely does not claim any of this in
his January 1995 article in ZPE.
  
Thiede's inferences are based on the absence of something that
is evident in pictures of the fragmentary Matthew codex, namely
that it consists of two columns, and on the presence of
something that is not apparent in the photographs of the codex,
namely the <italics>nomina sacra</italics>.
  
Methodologically speaking, reconstructions of missing text
cannot prove that words existed. Inference from reconstructed
words is not valid. They cannot be used as evidence to answer a
question of inference, only a question of description. Where
several documents have similar phraseology, such as legal and
commercial documents, one document can be reconstructed in
terms of another. The reconstruction can be used to
characterize the contents of the document without reference to
the others from which it was reconstructed. However, they are
not a basis for specifics of any sort. That is, an attempt to
base an argument on reconstructions is an attempt to argue from
uncertain evidence.
  
Thiede's research is flawed in its conception and its
presentation, and his findings therefore have no basis. His is
a very limited contribution--he has established that what was
once P. Magdalen 18 is now P. Magdalen 17. The sections which
follow form a more technical review of Thiede's article.
  
                         TECHNICAL REVIEW
  
The following report has taken shape as the result of Dierdre
Good's nudging, requests on the electronic discussion list
called ioudaios-l for some (further) discussion of Carsten P.
Thiede's reassessment of three fragments of a manuscript of
Matthew.
  
The fragments Thiede discusses are all from P. Magdalen Greek
17 (reclassified from P. Magdalen Greek 18), and are designated
as {P}64 in the list of codices in the <italics>Nestle-Aland 26
Greek-Latin New Testament</italics>. There it is dated "ca.
200," in accordance with Colin Roberts's publication and
redating of the fragment, to be found in <italics>Harvard
Theological Review</italics> 46, 1953, pp. 233-7, plate [HTR].
Thiede's article is called "Papyrus Magdalen Greek 17 (Gregory-
Aland {P}64 ): A Reappraisal," and appears in Vol. 105 of
<italics>Zeitschrift fr Papyrologie und Epigraphik</italics>,
pp. 13-20, and Plate IX.(ZPE)
  
I. FULL ARGUMENT. 
As I understand the varied news accounts, Thiede called a press
conference in December of 1994 to announce his forthcoming
publication of a first century c.e. fragment of the Gospel of
Matthew in a German journal of papyrology. The fragments were
a) newly redated by paleography to the first century c.e.,
around 70 c.e.; b) contained a "stichometrically-plausible"
instance of the nomen sacrum -- þþ -- in fr. 1, recto, line 1,
Mt 26.31; and c) therefore, first century followers of Jesus
thought of him as divine, as bearing a name requiring special
treatment in gospel accounts.
  
  
II. ZPE ARGUMENT
In his article in ZPE, Thiede does not address the implications
of his redating and reconstructions of the P. Magdalen Gr. 17
fragments. 
  
There is no argument or discussion in the ZPE article of point
c) above. Such a claim DOES seem to have been made by Thiede in
his press conference, in some fashion. In turn, the media have
omitted any critical distinctions and said things like, "new
papyrus fragment shows that followers of Jesus knew he was
divine."
  
Someone associated with ZPE responded to mention of the flap on
the papy-l list by noting that Thiede had put together some
material that deserved to be aired. This is indeed the case. In
the article Thiede confined himself to the following points:
  
        * The fragments comprising {P}64, formerly known as 
          P. Magdalen Gr. 18, and so listed in Van Haelst's
          Catalogue, must be renumbered as Gr. 17 instead.
          Thiede's description of the error is not clear, but
          perhaps relates to his request to view Gr. 18, which
          turned out to be a tiny unrelated scrap. The Magdalen
          College Library now gives {P}64 the number Gr.17.
  
        * {P}64 and {P}67 from
 Barcelona (P.Barc. inv. 1) are
          part of the same manuscript, but this manuscript should
          not be linked with fragments of Luke known from {P}4.
          
 Pickering thinks the association should not be
          abandoned so quickly. {P}4 is also known as P. Paris
          Bibl. Nat. Suppl. Gr. 1120. To quote C. H. Roberts,
          "There can in my opinion be no doubt that all
          these fragments come from the same codex which was  
          reused as packing for the binding of the late third
          century codex of Philo." [<italics>Manuscript, Society
          and Belief in Early Christian Egypt</italics>,
 Oxford
          University Press, 1979, p. 13.]
  
        * Nestle-Aland has mislabeled the contents of the
          P.Magdalen Gr. 17 fragments, which Roberts labeled
          correctly. It is a matter of Mt 26.31 appearing on a
          different fragment (fr. 1, recto) from Mt 26.32-33 (fr.
          2, recto). Verso listings are correct.
  
        * Four variant readings, most of which Stuart Pickering
          has discussed more adequately than Thiede. However, the
          scribal error of GALEGLAIAN for GALEILAIAN, `Galilean,'
          of Roberts (1953) is reported by Thiede to have been
          misprinted in Roberts (1962) [`Complementary Note,' in
          R. Roca-Puig, <italics>Un Papiro Griego del Evangelio
          de
 San Mateo </italics>, Barcelona\2/1962, 59-60.] This 
          transcription reads, as Thiede reports, GALIGLAIAN, to 
          which Roberts added a note "`v.33, vel GALEILAIAN."
          Thiede transcribed GALEGLAIAN (op. cit., p. 20). In
          discussing the article with Robert Kraft, he mentioned
          that it was apparent that the papyrus does *not* have a
          gamma before the lambda, but rather an iota. Close
          attention to the photos of Roberts (1953) indicates
          that what has been taken as a crossbar to a gamma is
          probably a flaw in the papyrus, and only the vertical
          line (of an iota) should be read.
  
        * Thiede gives the history of dating the fragment,
          starting with its acquisition by the Rev. Charles B.
          Huleatt at Luxor in 1901. Huleatt suggested third
          century; a librarian reported that A. S. Hunt thought
          the fourth c. was more likely. Hunt, together
          with Grenfell, assigned manuscripts which came from
          codices to third century or later. Roberts (1953) dared
          to question this, and reassigned {P}64 to ca. 200,
          based on paleography. Roberts (1953) announced that he
          had obtained the agreement on the dating of
 Bell ,
          Skeat, and Turner, major names in paleography of Greek
          manuscripts. Unaccountably, Thiede does not say why
          these notables were incorrect in their collective
          paleographical judgment as to the date of {P}64.
  
        * Thiede omits to note that {P}64 is clearly in two
          columns; he obscures this in his transcription, though
          the accompanying plate is similar to Roberts (1953) in
          presentation. Roberts (1953) in contrast notes the
          two-column format, and clearly labels his transcription
          according to columns. 
  
        * Thiede argues that new papyri, published since Roberts
          (1953) allow the consideration of an earlier date. He
          mentions the Greek Minor Prophets Scroll, now called
          8HevXIIgr, published in <italics>DJD VIII</italics>,
          Ed. by E. Tov, 1990, paleographically dated by P.
          Parsons. Thiede also mentions texts from
 Herculaneum
          until 79 c.e. -- the eruption of Vesuvius) and a recent
          publication (Kim, Biblica, 1988) that lowers the date
          of Bodmer-Chester Beatty papyrus II ({P} 46) from ca.
          200 to ca. 100 c.e.  He then adduces likenesses of
          individual letters to these early papyri from various
          parts of the
 Mediterranean . As Stuart Pickering
          indicated, most of this work is unsound in its reliance
          solely on individual letter forms. I would add that
          Thiede sees resemblances between serifed letters from
          serif-style mss and 'plain' letters from {P}64, where
          the overall style is also lacking in serifs or other
          ornamentation.
  
        * A sound investigation of the possibility of redating an
          individual ms would assemble a group of related ms
          without regard to their date, and then attempt to place
          the specific ms within a series of mss. This is a
          method which has led to good results with the
          paleographical dating of the Hebrew-Aramaic mss of the
          
 Dead Sea . Where there are few examples, as with the
          Greek mss of the Dead Sea, precise paleographical
          comparisons cannot be made, and dating is very
          hazardous. This is the case with the Greek Minor
          Prophets Scroll (8HevXIIgr). To use this ms as a basis
          for dating another ms, as Thiede has done, is to
          compound the unreliability of paleographical dating. In
          contrast to the method I have sketched, Thiede appears
          to have proceeded by assembling materials which *might*
          be datable to the first century, and then found
          individual letter forms from the Matthew fragments
          which are not unlike letter forms in his samples chosen
          only by their date. Such a method as Thiede's does not
          have what scientists call "face validity." There is no
          reason to think that the investigator has been striving
          for objectivity, when the methodology is so closely
          related to the results obtained.
  
        * While the initial methodological error of A. S. Hunt
          with respect to dating {P}64 - the Matthew fragments -
          occurred because he and Grenfell believed that codices
          did not appear until the third century (Roberts,
          1953:234), codicological information is important and
          relevant. No one disputes that these fragments come
          from a codex. Eric G. Turner's investigation of the
          codex in <italics>The Typology of the Early Codex
          </italics>,
 University of
 Pennsylvania Press , 1977,
          sets a lower bound for codex development as the second
          century c.e. (p. 4), based on the dating of "Christian"
          materials, with Greek literary codices becoming
          prevalent a century later. Thiede does not call for,
          nor address, the implications of his findings for
          codicology. Should Turner's dates for codices be
          lowered? Thiede does not say. 
  
        * Thiede concludes his argumentation with a discussion of
 
          <italics>nomina sacra</italics>. He argues that Kim's
          lowered dating of {P}46, which has clear <italics>
          nomina sacra </italics>, supports Roberts's speculation
          that <italics>nomina sacra</italics> were used in the
          first century c.e.  Roberts did not redate his list of
          early papyri to support his contention, however. 
          [Source is C. H. Roberts, <italics>Manuscript, Society
          and Belief in Earliest Christian Europe</italics>,
          
 Oxford Univ. Press, 1979.] This material is included
          because Roberts (1953) and Thiede (1995) both
          reconstruct <italics>nomina sacra</italics>] in unclear
          or missing portions ofthe fragments of {P}64. Whereas
          Roberts (1953) is methodologically within bounds in
          reconstructing <italics>nomina sacra</italics> for a
          manuscript of ca. 200 c.e., because a fair amount of
          other evidence exists to support the practice, Thiede
          (1995) is methodologically less secure in
          reconstructing <italics> nomina sacra </italics> for a
          date around 70 c.e., since he relies on their plain
          existence only in Kim's redating of {P}46 (Bodmer II).
  
Both the media presentation of I above, and Thiede's article in
ZPE depend on the perception of <italics>nomina sacra</italics>
in the text of these fragments of Matthew 26, and specifically
on the <italics>nomen sacrum</italics> IS for IHSOUS.
  
  
III ASSESSING THIEDE'S ARGUMENT
Thiede contributes greater precision to the specification of
{P}64, as P. Magdalen Gr. 17, rather than Gr. 18.  He notes
Roberts's (1962) changed reading of GALEGLAIAN to GALIGLAIAN,
or perhaps GALEILAIAN, which is helpful, as the source is not
widely available. However, he still reads GALEGLAIAN in his own
transcription. While he notes the relationship with the
fragments in
 Barcelona , he did not obtain photos and include
them in his argument. He also provides no reason for dropping
{P}4 - the
 Paris Luke fragment which Roberts (1979) assigned to
the same ms. 
  
His redating on paleographical grounds is seriously flawed in
four ways. First, he does not indicate how four great
paleographers could all concur on a lowered redating of the
Matthew fragments to a date ca. 200 and still be in error.
Second, he compares letters in these fragments from
 Egypt
[Luxor is purchase place, hand compares with {P}4, from Philo
codex binding] with material from
 Herculaneum in
 Italy (that
may be from ca. 40 b.c.e. on provenance grounds, with a
terminus ad quem of 79 c.e.) and from
 Qumran in The Land, and
from elsewhere in the wilderness of the
 Dead Sea (Naxal Xever).
Third, he compares individual letters without an appreciation
of the characteristics of their formation or the hands of which
they are a part. Fourth, his assembly of mss for comparisons is
not a coherent set, and was apparently chosen primarily as a
group of mss which COULD be dated in the first century c.e.,
regardless of their other features.
   
Thiede does not recognize that a two-column codex such as {P}
64 --Magdalen Gr. 17 -- has no similarly-constructed examples
with which to be compared. He also does not recognize the need
to provide some explanation for the appearance of a two-column
codex at least a century  earlier than all other examples of
two-column codices. See Turner, op. cit.
  
Finally, Thiede (1995) and Roberts (1953) both transcribed the
fragments as though they contained <italics>nomina sacra
</italics>, and as though the use of nomina sacra was not
restricted to KURIOS, KURIE, or QEOS, QEOU, but rather extended
to abbreviations of IHSOUS. However, and I must state this
emphatically, there is <italics>NO VISIBLE SUPPORT</italics>
for reconstructing <italics>nomina sacra</italics> of IS or IH.
That is to say, almost no ink-papyrus combination exists for
the areas where these have been indicated. In working out the
stichometry, using the available text of Matthew 26 in the
relevant verses, I was able to supply alternative lines in
every case where Thiede proposed abbreviation or suspension
(use of first and last letters), except for the proposed use of
letters instead of a word to signify the number 12. There, I
agree, the stichometry (line length) is such that IB (Greek
letters standing for 12) must be read. This was also Roberts's
(1953) transcription. 
  
Specifically, in the case of Fr. 2, verso (Mt 26.10), Thiede
reconstructs a first line as <Greek> [oISeipenau]t[o]i[sti]
</Greek>  -- which gives a 16-letter stich.
  
There are at least two problems with this reconstruction.
First, the column is missing both beginning letters and ending
letters. Second, there are no letters on papyrus for this line.
At most, there are two dots, which might be the bottoms of
letters, and if they are the bottoms of letters, those letters
just might be the indicated t and i of Thiede's line 1.
In the case of Fr. 3, recto (Mt 26.22-23) both Thiede and
Roberts reconstruct a line with KE, for KURIE of "Is it I,
Lord." Thiede shows <Greek>[imei]KEod[eapokri]</Greek> for a
15-letter stich. 
  
That there is a line of text here in the papyrus is apparent.
What it might contain is not at all clear. The only clear line
follows, with both beginning and end of the stich missing. The
possibilities for reconstruction are numerous; Thiede's line is
not supported by the miscellaneous ink in various spots on the
line. 
  
In the case of Fr. 1, recto (Mt 26.31) many might argue that
the name IHSOUS *must* be suspended, using IH, or abbreviated,
using IS, in order for the line lengths to come out right. I
would point out that we have a line clearly beginning <Greek>
autoiso </Greek>. . . . and a following line that is 16 letters
long, (Thiede counted 17) consisting of one word, <Greek>
skandalisqhsesqe </Greek>, with the words following in the text
appearing on the line below. The text we now have suggests that
the first line would read <Greek> autoisoiesouspanteshumeis
</Greek> for an impossible 25 letters.
  
Thiede suggested <Greek> autoiso[ISpantes] </Greek> at 15
letters. I suggest that <Greek> autoiso[iesouspantes </Greek>
at 19 letters is possible. This possibility exists because the
word <Greek> autois </Greek> extends into the margin by one
letter, and the next five letters occupy the space taken by
only four in the following line. This would mean that a line of
19 letters would come out no longer than a line of 16 or 17
letters, yet could still contain the name IHSOUS written out.
Something has to be done to fit the first line into the column.
That it has to be done using an abbreviation or suspension of
IHSOUS is not automatically the case. It is a plausible
solution, however, for a manuscript considered in relationship
with other two-column codices and other manuscripts containing
<italics> nomina sacra </italics>, which Thiede does not do.
  
IV SUMMATION
Thiede's 1995 article suggests a lowered date for {P}64 -- P.
Magdalen Gr.17 -- by arguments which are methodologically
unsound. His further argument that there are <italics> nomina
sacra</italics> used in place of IHSOUS and KURIE is an
extremely flimsy one. These fragments of papyrus do not witness
directly to the reconstructions with recognizable inked letters
on physical papyrus. The layout of visible letters in one case
supports Thiede's (and Roberts's) observation that the text
contains Greek letters which represent the numeral 12, rather
than the Greek word for 12. In the other cases, other plausible
reconstructions of the lines are also possible. In the absence
of more data, such as the
 Barcelona fragments might provide,
these fragments do not provide any firm evidence for the
existence of <italics> nomina sacra</italics> in either
Roberts's date of ca. 200, or Thiede's 1st century dating.
  
A Great Article with a TON of detail.  Sigrid Peterson, Ph. D. gives a HARD ACADEMIC 
analysis of Thiede’s work and his work falls apart (just like it does whenever a TRUE 
SCHOLAR OR ACADEMIC goes over his FRAUDLENT work.
   
Next
 Reading :  All/The Whole article Copied from Here is The link to this site.
(http://www.askwhy.co.uk/truth/210Thiede.html).
  
 
ANOTHER ARTICLE destroying Thiede’s LIES REGARDING the “Magdalen 
Papyrus (aka Papyrus 64).

The Jesus Papyrus

Better with _Javascript on!

© Dr M D Magee
Contents Updated: Thursday, August 31, 2000

The Jesus Papyrus: Eyewitness to Jesus?

In a press conference in December 1994, Carsten Thiede announced his discovery of first century AD fragments of the gospel of Matthew. The fragments were held in various museums but Thiede reclassified and redated them.

  1. He used palæography to redate them to the first century AD, around 70 AD,
  2. He claimed an instance of the nomen sacrum—IS for IHSOUS—in Matthew 26:31.
  3. He concluded the first century followers of Jesus, as bearing a name requiring special written symbolism, already thought of Jesus as divine.

Thiede argued that the three pieces of Matthew that make up the Magdalen Papyrus (P64), usually dated “c 200,” share similarities with handwriting from earlier papyri and should be redated between 70 and 100 AD. Thiede therefore puts the Magdalen Papyrus back before 70 AD to “the lifetime of disciples, apostles, contemporaries” of Jesus. This allows him to picture the Magdalen Papyrus as a direct copy of the original scroll written by the apostle, Matthew, and, because the Magdalen Papyrus uses a “sacred name” abbreviation when Jesus is called “kyrios”, “lord” or “master,"

Thiede’s redating on all these grounds is seriously flawed. He must know the tendentiousness of his method, and that it overturns most modern scholarship on the synoptic gospels, so what is his point? Thiede hopes to strengthen the evidence that Jesus was known to be divine by his contemporaries. If Thiede’s downdating is true, and if nomina sacra are used for the name of Jesus, he wants to argue these fragments show that some of the early Jesus movement thought that Jesus was like God, Moses or David, and his name treated as sacred. If the practice can be seen in a version of Matthew as early as 70 AD, Thiede wants to persuade us the first Christians used the nomen sacra for the name of a man they had witnessed as a god. Within the lifetime of some of the disciples, Matthew therefore recorded an eyewitness account of the deeds of a god.

Media Response

The media were not critical and said things like, “new papyrus fragment shows that followers of Jesus knew he was divine”. Later Thiede with a hack called Matthew d’Ancona wrote a bestselling book, The Jesus Papyrus, (Eyewitness to Jesus, in the USA ). Yet, Thiede’s redating would not qualify the fragments as pieces of an “eyewitness” account, a claim Thiede and his hack accomplice had made. Daryl D Schmidt, in the Journal of Higher Criticism in 1996 said in exasperation, “What is so amazing is that there is no evidence here whatsoever."

The Times of London wrote, “not since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 has there been such a potentially important breakthrough in biblical scholarship.” Such a prestigious weekly as Time was utterly sycophantic about the book even though scholar, Graham Stanton, had been interviewed and explained to the editor the worthlessness of it. His views were scarcely mentioned, while Thiede was made out to be a Robin Hood fighting the cynical establishment. Robin Hoods are needed but Thiede is trying to buttress the “Adamandevers” of the Christian establishment—he is a Sheriff of Nottingham not a Robin Hood!

Der Spiegel, the German popular magazine, gave a much more balanced and scholarly account, notwithstanding its populist appeal. Spiegel rejected Thiede’s claims. Biblical Archaeology Review called Thiede’s work, “junk scholarship”, earning a letter from Thiede himself, but Hershel Shanks, the editor, politely replied that even scholars to whom Thiede appeals reject his claims. Meanwhile Graham Stanton had written his own popular but scholarly refutation in his book, Gospel Truth? Buy it! Especially if you have been gulled by d’Ancona and Thiede.

So, ignoring all the hype, the whole caboodle is a confidence trick. Sigrid Peterson of the University of Pennsylvania has comprehensively shown in Judaios Thiede’s lowering of the date for P64—Magdalen Gr 17—is methodologically unsound. Mistaken methods invalidate Thiede’s inference about the date of the copy of Matthew from the Magdalen Gr fragments. His redating is opposed to those of Bell, Skeat, Turner, and Roberts, all of whom agree that these fragments should indeed be redated but from the third or fourth centuries to c 200 AD, not the first century. Thiede does not explain why these authorities on papyrology are wrong. Skeat completely ignores Thiede in a 1997 review of work of these papyri in New Testament Studies. Thiede’s is a minor contribution—he has shown simply that what was once Magdalen Gr 18 is now Magdalen Gr 17.

Palæography

The seminal work on the Matthew fragments was done by Roberts in 1953. Thiede’s work makes a few necessary corrections, thus apparently going beyond the original. However, Thiede barely notes that the three Matthew fragments, P64, come from a two-column codex. He obscures this in his transcription, though the accompanying plate is similar to Roberts’ in presentation. Roberts notes the two-column format, and clearly labels his transcription according to columns. Had Thiede noted it, he would not have been able to claim that the Matthew fragments stem from an Egyptian copy of the gospel written around 70 AD. The earlier codices are written in one column rather than two. Thiede could have challenged this but did not recognize it. Thiede has not used the Roberts method to make inferences from two-column codices.

Thiede gives the history of dating the fragments. They were acquired at Luxor , in 1901, by the Rev Charles B Huleatt, who suggested third century. A S Hunt, who with Grenfell assigned manuscripts which came from codices to third century or later, thought the fourth century was more likely. While Hunt and Grenfell were wrong to think that codices did not appear until the third century, codicological information is important. No one disputes that these fragments come from a codex. Eric G Turner set a lower bound for codex development as the second century AD based on the dating of “Christian” materials, with Greek literary codices becoming prevalent a century later. Thiede does not address the implications of his findings for codicology. Should Turner’s dates for codices be lowered? One assumes they should but Thiede, knowing his work is feeble, will not say.

Roberts, with the agreement of Bell , Skeat and Turner, all authorities in the palæography of Greek manuscripts, reassigned P64 to c 200 AD from its palæography. Thiede does not say why these eminent people were incorrect. Instead, he argues that new papyri, published since Roberts’ work, allow an earlier date. He mentions the Greek Minor Prophets Scroll, texts from Herculaneum before 79 AD, the eruption of Vesuvius, and a recent publication that lowers the date of Bodmer-Chester Beatty Papyrus II (P46) from c 200 to c 100 AD. From these examples some of which might be datable to the first century, he looks for individual letter forms from the Matthew fragments which are not unlike letter forms in his samples chosen only by their date. In short, he adduces likenesses of individual letters in the Matthew fragments to these early papyri from various parts of the Mediterranean , even seeing resemblances between serifed letters from serif-style manuscripts and unserifed letters from P64, where overall the style is lacking in serifs or other ornamentation.

Even then all his data do not fit his conclusion. The letter epsilon is squared off before 200 BC and after 200 AD, and is rounded during the 400 years in between. In these fragments of Matthew, the epsilon is not usually rounded but is squared off, and so the fragments were not written between 200 BC and 200 AD. The doubt in some cases makes the date of 200 AD just tenable. Without the knowledge gained in this way, Thiede’s redating contradicts what is known. It does not follow accepted standards of practice, and is therefore suspect.

Reliance solely on individual letter forms is unsound. A sound method would assemble a group of related manuscripts without regard to their date, then place the specific manuscript at its optimum place in the series. This method has good results in palæographically dating the Hebrew-Aramaic manuscripts of the Dead Sea . Where there are few examples, good palæographical comparisons cannot be made and dating is hazardous. Thiede’s assembly of manuscripts for comparisons is not a coherent set, and was apparently chosen primarily as a group of manuscripts which could be dated in the first century AD, regardless of their other features. To use the Greek Minor Prophets Scroll as a basis for dating, as Thiede has done, is to compound the unreliability of his palæographical dating. There is no reason to think that Thiede has been striving for objectivity, when the methodology is so closely related to the results obtained.

Nomina Sacra

Thiede concludes his argumentation with a discussion of nomina sacra, two or three letter representations of holy names such as for Iesous and Kyrie. Early Christian manuscripts abbreviated “sacred names” used for Jesus, God, and Spirit, as well as a dozen other associated nouns, such as Father, Son, Heaven, David , Israel and Jerusalem . Thiede contends that the very act of using such an abbreviation was a visual way for Christians to show that “Jesus was Lord and God”. On this basis alone rests the claim repeated in the news media that Thiede had discovered evidence that Jesus was considered divine by his own disciples. There is of course no such evidence. Thiede’s argument, from Roberts’ suggestion, that nomina sacra, might have been used—but cannot now be seen because the papyrus is broken—is flimsy. Usually they are denoted by an overhead line, and none can be seen on these fragments.

Typical of Thiede’s disingenuousness, the evidence argues against him. The context of the abbreviation in Matthew 26:22 is someone calling Jesus Kyrie, which can mean merely “Sir” or “master”, rather than “Lord.” In the other earliest surviving New Testament papyri, this word gets abbreviated regardless of what it means, including when it is addressed to Philip in John 12:21 and when Jesus uses it in parables about masters and slaves. Likewise the name Jesus gets abbreviated even when it refers to Joshua (Heb 4:8) and to Justus (Col 4:11). Such mundane uses of the “sacred name” abbreviations would totally surprise the naïve reader who might well assume that Thiede was telling the whole truth.

Thiede argues that Kim’s lowered dating of P46 (Bodmer II), which has clear nomina sacra, supports Roberts’s speculation that nomina sacra were used in the first century AD. Roberts and Thiede both reconstruct nomina sacra in unclear or missing portions of the fragments of P64. Where documents have similar phraseology, such as legal and commercial documents, one document can be reconstructed from another. In specific cases, there is no such basis. Basing an argument on reconstruction then is arguing from uncertain evidence.

Roberts is methodologically within bounds in so doing for a manuscript of c 200 AD, because other evidence exists to support the practice. Thiede is methodologically less secure in reconstructing nomina sacra for a date around 70 AD, since he relies on their plain existence only in Kim’s redating of P46. Thiede’s hypothesis depends on nomina sacra in the text of these fragments of Matthew 26, and specifically on the nomen sacrum IS for IHSOUS. Thiede and Roberts both transcribed the fragments as though they contained nomina sacra, and as though the use of nomina sacra was not restricted to KURIOS, KURIE, or THEOS, THEOU, but rather extended to abbreviations of IHSOUS. There is no independent support for reconstructing nomina sacra of IS or IH.

Alternative lines can be constructed in every case where Thiede sees abbreviation except for use of letters instead of a word to signify the number 12, where IB (Greek letters for 12) must be read. The layout of visible letters (stichometry or line length), using the relevant verses of Matthew 26, in this one case supports Thiede. In the other cases, other plausible reconstructions of the lines are also possible. Elsewhere, the possibilities for reconstruction are many.

In the case of Matthew 26:31 in the fragment, many argue that the name IHSOUS must be suspended, using IH, or abbreviated, using IS, for the line lengths to come out right. The text we now have suggests that the first line would read “autoisoiesouspanteshumeis” for an impossible 25 letters. Thiede suggested “autoiso[ISpantes]” at 15 letters. But “autoiso[iesouspantes]” at 19 letters is possible. The word “autois” enters the margin by one letter, and the next five letters occupy the space of four in the following line. This would mean that a line of 19 letters would be no longer than a line of 16 or 17 letters even with IHSOUS written out.

In the absence of more data, such as the Barcelona fragments Thiede mentions but does not use—P67 which is part of the same manuscript—might provide, these fragments do not give any firm evidence for nomina sacra from either Roberts’s date of c 200, or Thiede’s first century dating. He also provides no reason for dropping P4, the Paris Luke fragment, which C H Roberts assigned to the same manuscript:

There can in my opinion be no doubt that all these fragments come from the same codex which was reused as packing for the binding of the late third century codex of Philo.

Graham Stanton has found that binding the four gospels into one codex bagan no earlier than about 150 AD. If the fragments P4, P64 and P67 prove to be from the same codex as Roberts thinks they are then Thiede’s hypothesis is dealt another heavy blow. T C Skeat, after 60 years of experience, declares that the script of the three papyri “agree even in the smallest details, so far as these can be checked,” P64 and P67 being such small fragments. Thiede’s research is flawed in its conception and its presentation, and his findings therefore have no basis. It is another lunatic attempt by a Christian to do God’s work by cheating. Thiede has admitted that his purpose was to promote belief. It serves as an example of what Christians have often done and continue to do. Issue bogus research and fabrications to fool the gullible.

Thiede is interested too in a fourth piece of Greek papyrus, a tiny fragment from Qumran Cave 7. He champions the proposal that this belongs to the gospel of Mark (Mk 6:52-53) as against other identifications, such as Jeremy 7:3b-5. The Qumran fragment has fewer than a dozen complete letters and the only complete word is “kai” (“and”). To make it match Mark 6, Thiede has to justify a spelling variation, an entire missing phrase, and special reconstructions of broken-off letters.

Thiede’s forte is creating scenarios that answer critics’ objections to his astonishing suggestions. How would Mark end up in a Qumran cave? As Jewish Christians fled Jerusalem for Pella in 62 or 66 AD, they dropped their scrolls off for the Essenes to deposit in the caves! Thiede further speculates that when they returned to Jerusalem a decade after the war they built the first synagogal church on Mount Zion on “the rubble of their former living quarters”.

Gasping in Astonishment

Daryl D Schmidt, reviewing Thiede’s work, says he defends his approach with language that leaves the critical reader gasping in astonishment at his sheer cheek—we need “to take the sources seriously, to bid good-bye to presuppositions… and vested interests,” to use the “often amazing amount of first-hand evidence” and “the growing awareness of circumstantial evidence”.

Thiede seeks to “do justice to idiosyncrasies” in the biblical texts. Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount in Matthew is evidence that “Matthew/Levy the customs official” may well have “taken down in shorthand words spoken by Jesus!” He cites John 5:2: “Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Bethesda, which has five porticoes.” The author is writing in the present tense, yet the pool was destroyed after the war ended in 70 AD. “It follows logically and conclusively that this text was written before AD 70."

That might be true, but not necessarily as part of the gospel. Thiede does not consider such elementary possibilities that the author of John had an earlier source to copy from one hundred years later. He does not consider any of the internal evidence that convinces even cautious scholars that John was written early in the second century. He does not allow for the use of the historic present tense, not unusual in old documents of this kind to give immediacy to the narrative. Thiede puts on spectacles that stop him from seeing anything other than his own theses which are therefore absolutely plain—the New Testament was written in its present form before 70, and by the apostles whose names are attached to their texts.

Such theories are eagerly consumed by an ever larger audience, even of non-Christians, and quickly lead to bestselling books, a tribute to the gullibility of people despite over a hundred years of public education. According to Schmidt, Thiede has no credentials, has never held an academic post, is self-appointed, and has no credibility in scholarly circles, who dismiss his claims as groundless. Buyers of his books should demand their money back on the grounds that they were defrauded into buying fiction.

Again All From/The Whole thing is copied from this Link:  
  
(http://www.askwhy.co.uk/truth/210Thiede.html).
  
  
After all this
 Reading the Truth is CLEAR the FRAUD and LIAR Carsten Peter Thiede was 
DEFINITELY WRONG, 7Q5 and the Magdalen Papyrus are NOT dated anywhere near 
the time of Jesus (PBUH).
  
Carsten Peter Thiede was DESPERATE to find something to place in the time of Jesus.  But 
even his LITTLE, MOSTLY TRASHED Papyrus like 7Q5 and Magdalen proof nothing.  
The REAL SCHOLARY Community and the ACADEMICS UNIVERSALLY that Thiede’s 
work was wrong.  Thiede’s hypotheses regarding Papyrus 7Q5 and Magdalen Papyrus (aka 
Papyrus 64) have been SOUNDLY REFUTED AND DESTROYED by Professional 
working with the highest level of Biblical Scholarship.
  
For Furthering reading Purchase the book Gospel Truth?: New Light on Jesus and the 
Gospels by a True GREAT SCHOLAR Graham Stanton!
  
Here is a link to the book:  (http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Truth-Light-Jesus-
Gospels/dp/1563381370/sr=1-2/qid=1161757466/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/002-
2696728-9783219?ie=UTF8&s=books).

All Praise is Due To Almighty Allah!